It says here in the notes to David Roter Method’s They Made Me that Mr. Roter is an educator; actually, you might think of him as someone who is to Blue Öyster Cult what Jack Tempchin is to the Eagles. Anyway, if the contents of They Made Me are any measure of his skill as a teacher, a Roter class must be a real nerve-racking experience. That’s because They Made Me contains lots of soliloquies about johnsons, soliloquies that will suck the lead right out of the pencil. But this is rock and roll, not pedagogy, so nerve-rack is a quite acceptable and even necessary part of the playbook.
Anyway, if you are troubled over loss of erectile function at this point in life, you should know They Made Me features a helpful quiz for all the impotent as well as a couple of sessions at a shrink on the same topic that make the back of the neck sweat. Then Roter advises his baby son to learn from Dad’s experience and choose not to travel the road of the cross-dresser; the Roter physique, it is said, does not lend itself to gowns. Then someone imitating a Saturday Night Live comic imitating Larry King imitating Elton John morphs into a Roter ex-girlfriend calling him a scumbag. The more embarrassing the revelations, the more the delivery becomes borscht belt aversion-conditioning aimed at men doomed to a lifetime of idiopathic satyriasis and hydraulic failure. Albert Bouchard collaborates as the friendly, uncomforting psychoanalyst.
As for the tunes on tangential subject matter, there’s a jolly one built on a cool guitar and organ vamp—subliminally, it’s “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”—called “I Love My Mom,” plus a decent revisitation of BÖC’s “Joan Crawford.” And—the best—a number that puts Buck Dharma guitar to a tale of a trailer-livin’ closet-queen OB-GYN doc patronized for his acceptance of a convenient insurance payment plan. The fine print delivers the alarming statement that reviewers of They Made Me could receive a litho of David Roter’s circumcision ceremony as compensation for their labor.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 14, 2000