Nick Gilder’s one & only hit slowly slithered its way up to the top of the charts after a 5 month climb. The mid-tempo pop song straddled the line between a new wave strut and a tough yet laid back rocker. You can almost imagine Nick sneering his words in a leather jacket with a guitar in his hand. But Nick was only a songwriter and a singer backed by a four-piece band. It was one of those songs that made you feel cool no matter what age you were.
Produced by the golden hands & ears of Mike Chapman, it was neither disco nor a ballad, so it secured its only little spot on the FM dial. It was so smooth you might have missed that the ‘hot child’ was a teenage prostitute or that Nick was leering over her. You have to hand it to Chapman. He did everything he could to make sound hip without it coming off creepy. And then you read the lyrics:
Danger in the shape of something wild
Sounds kind of fun and sexy. Hey I wanna check that out.
Stranger dressed in black, she’s a hungry child
OK, so are we talking Oliver Twist hungry or hungry for something other than food?
No one knows who she is or what her name is
I don’t know where she came from or what her game is
Ok could be an alien or an immigrant…still sounds like a fun adventure
Hot child in the city
Runnin’ wild and looking pretty
Child? What do you mean? This is a kid that you’re getting us all revved up about? I’m gonna assume its a phrase and move on.
So young to be loose and on her own
Young boys, they all want to take her home
Now I’m getting creeped out. Is Nick hanging out under the bleachers of a homecoming dance?
And when she comes downtown
The boys all stop and stare
When she comes downtown
She walks like she just don’t care, yeah
Well maybe not. This sounds like a hooker. An underage one at that. Don’t need to be committing 2 crimes at once, but thanks.
Come on down to my place, baby
We’ll talk about love
Come on down to my place, woman
We’ll make love
But I guess Nick thinks he’s above the law and has no problem luring a teenage whore, who’s probably a runaway strung out on whatever her pimp gives her, back to his place, where they’ll talk about doing it then do it.
Maybe this is why we never heard from Nick again. He was probably doing 5 to 10 somewhere. Take another listen to this 1978 version of a Dateline sting:
I think Adrian Brody can play him in the upcoming Lifetime movie, Too Hot In the City: The Nick Gilder Story