This country have a sexy First Family or what? A...


March 12, 1994

TC DOES this country have a sexy First Family or what? A few weeks ago, President Clinton made some public remarks about the back of a car -- wink, wink! -- that he had driven in his younger days. More recently, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton confessed to having ogled the handsome Norwegian cops -- hubba, hubba! -- in her security detail at the Olympics.

More than a few folks had to cringe at Mr. Clinton's reminiscences of the El Camino with the carpeting in back. You could just hear people saying, "With all due respect, Mr. President: Down, boy!"

As for Mrs. Clinton -- who told USA Today, "If you ever have a traffic accident in Norway, count your blessings!" -- you have to wonder if she was making a conscious attempt to show her husband that she can be as, uh, lively as he can.

Most men and women have said similar things among friends at one time or another. Plenty of people recall old car upholstery as fondly as the president remembers the carpeting in his El Camino.

What's more, the Clintons' youthfulness, as revealed in these instances, is one of their appealing qualities. Still, even in 1990s America, the concept of the nation's First Family shouldn't be stripped entirely of its dignity. They're Bill and Hillary, after all, not Tom and Roseanne.

The Clintons But they would be wise to keep their odd, bawdy comments within their own private circle, as do most other Americans. Otherwise we might soon be hearing what happened -- wink, wink! -- after the president's high school ring dance.

* * *

SURVEYING a copy of Rox, a monthly review of hard rock and heavy metal music in the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia region, this local instrumental scene seems populated by doom-and-gloom groups: Nothingface, Museum of Fear, Urban Blight, Crushing Day, Dead End, Mass Confusion, Berzerk, Malicious, Chemkill, Neurotic Twitch, Dead Man's Hand, Mother Warned You, Sorry About Your Daughter.

One rock player explained his band's weltschmerz this way: ". . . we just were very disillusioned by a lot of the faith, hope, love kind of stuff we believed in."

Ah, to be young again.

* * *

NO PIANO in the world quite has the prestige of a Steinway. Yet some purists claim today's Steinways are not what they used to be.

They may have a point.

In recent years, Steinway has been trying to modernize its stodgy image. The company has even lent some of the glitz of its name to a piano manufactured in Japan.

An ad spotted recently suggests selling Steinways may not be easy any more: "Use American Express, Visa, Mastercard or Discover to take advantage of flier mileage . . ."

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