Strictly Ballroom

Year: 1984

Song: “Ballroom Blitz,” by Krokus

The problem with writing about “Ballroom Blitz” is that if you do not specify Krokus in your YouTube search, you get the original by Sweet, which is only a problem because they are so very hypnotic and before you know it, you’ve spiraled into their entire Top of the Pops oeuvre and you’ve got like 3 sweater vests in your Amazon cart and you’re contemplating getting bangs again.


Anyhow, the Krokus version opens up in a bar that has an alligator hanging from the ceiling. Pretty sure this bar is in New Orleans and I done karaoke there.

Krokus, however, is not here for karaoke. They are here in your new favorite fall boots and they are ready to rock, even though the clientele seem pretty ambivalent about that and there’s one red-checkered tablecloth that is really harshing the metal level. Also, the lighting is like a Lord of the Rings movie, which is to say: nonexistent.

Oh! I’ve been looking for a red suede pump!

Oh yes, the clientele are definitely engaged in other, rocking-adjacent activities. There’s a dude who has invited a woman to pet his snake, for instance, which I feel like is a sentence I type a lot in service to this blog and is possibly why it takes so long between posts sometimes because you probably only get so many of those (also my laptop is very old and making gifs makes it sound like a hotel blowdryer). So yeah, snake petting, definitely happening, definitely not a metaphor for anything else probably. Also! There’s note passing! Intrigue!


And then there’s a woman in the corner on the worst. date. in. the. world. He’s like falling down drunk and since Infinite Jest is still 12 years away from publication, he’s probably explaining F. Scott Fitzgerald to her and how he’s been really into this bourbon lately, it’s called Bulleit, she probably hasn’t heard of it.


And then three dudes at the bar take notice. They pop over to the table and suddenly, the reason for the note passing becomes quite clear! This is a very sophisticated system for helping people get out of horrible dates. Is the band Krokus pulling double duty, rocking faces and also ensuring that no one is an uncomfortable situation, date-wise? I think so!


So the Date Rescue Squad is dispatched by Krokus and they show up at this woman’s table and just start drinking the bad date’s booze and putting their hats on his head as some sort of bad date identifier. And a trend was born. (Look, let those among us who have not hit the brakes due to questionable millinery choices cast the first stone.) Of course she’s skeptical at first, because it’s like, she works hard all week and just wants to listen to some sweet Sweet covers and now she’s got four jokers to deal with?


Then she makes eye contact with the lead singer and realizes what’s going on. The look he gives her isn’t just “please rock responsibly and get home safely.” It says, I am ready to do some sexy dance fighting. Listen, I don’t know if this woman is named Linda and I don’t think Krokus went on to open a burger restaurant, but there is something very familiar happening in his expression and what I am saying is I am very comfortable thinking of this video as a Tina Belcher origin story.


Anyhow, our heroine is appreciative of Krokus’ assistance but she stands up and reveals she’s got it all the way under control. You can’t have “Ballroom Blitz” without a literal ballroom blitz, and she just kinda zaps everyone in the bar who is being an a-hole. It’s fantastic, and she looks fantastic doing it.


The bartender is like, oh man, not again, I just wanted a nice quiet Tuesday, and the bad date somehow ends up with the snake, who tries to choke him, which is a thing I am not going to touch, nope, not even a little bit.

Krokus finishes their set and exits through a backstage area/truck ramp/tunnel that is honestly larger than the bar they were just performing in. And who should be waiting for them but the Ballroom Blitztress? We don’t know what happens next because the video abruptly ends but it probably goes something like this:


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