English rock-and-or-roll supergroup Bad Company, who combined with Foreigner to encourage sex in hallways and multi-purpose arenas across Christendom, once queried: “Are you ready for love?” The aria is a tale — a necessary tale — of the everyman who is rendered urgent, turgid and veiny for immediate and driving coitus.
As it turns out, “Ready for Love” was inspired by right-hander Claude Raymond, who pitched to middling effect in the major leagues from 1959-1971. Bear nubile witness:
As implied by his 1966 and 1967 baseball cards, Mr. Raymond walked around for two full years in a state of partial and suggestive undress. This is because he was ready for love.
Chroniclers of Raymond’s day took to calling him “The Un-Bezippered Corsican Rogue.” While such a sobriquet misstated Raymond’s origins, the prevailing incrimination — that of a pecker lurking in wait — could not plausibly be denied.
Just two years after Raymond retired from baseball, he served as a session bassist for Bad Company’s self-titled debut album. It was during those boozy marathon studio conclaves that Raymond’s story was told and subsequently put to vinyl.
While modern society has forced Raymond to leash his organ, he remains ready for the possibilities — love among them.
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