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March 11th, 2007 under Randomness

So the other night I was talking to my friend, Dave, about the meaning behind the song Turning Japanese by The Vapors. You see my other friend, Jerry, has been telling me for years that the song is about when a man climaxes he makes a face that well makes him look Japanese, thus Turning Japanese. Well I thought it seemed logical, I mean c’mon how fun is that? Well back to Dave, he said that he read The Vapor’s lead singer Dave Fenton denies that is what the song is about. So I called Jerry who remains adamant that the song is about, masturbation. Well today I found the answer on a The Vapors fan page and I don’t have the heart to tell Jerry he was wrong. So in order not to upset Jerry, we will keep this between us. What do you think after reading the below quote from Dave Fenton and listening to the song?

Over in the States, “Turning Japanese” was deciphered as a paen to masturbation – more specifically the Oriantal – looking facial distortions one pulls in the moment of climax (so I’m reliably informed). Fenton is characteristically reticent on such matters. “It means whatever you want it to mean,” he says, before admitting: “I wrote it as a love song. But when I went to America everyone said to me, “Is it about wanking?” In interviews, I’d say alternatively, “Yes it is”, and “No, it’s not”. It could be about a lot of things. I just woke up with that phrase in my head. It’s just an image which captures what that song was all about. But, no it wasn’t intended to be about wanking at the time. What surprised me was that the Americans thought it was an English phrase!”

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