I did not know The Pretenders had a song called “Brass in Pocket” until last week. Sure, I’d heard the song, where lead singer Chrissie Hynde vows to woo a gentleman using various body parts and inanimate objects. (I also remember the ’80s music video where Hynde plays a waitress.)
But I learned the song title, naturally, from the latest opinion by Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. of the Court of Appeals. As my colleague Steve Lash reports in today’s paper, the case decided whether Harford County police unreasonably conducted a search-and-seizure of a car. Officers stopped the car in part because the driver, Garry Dennis Crosby Jr. was “slumped down” as he drove.
In his brief, Crosby said he was using a “Detroit Lean” while he was driving and pointed to a definition in Urban Dictionary: “driving with one hand on the wheel while slouched over to the right.”
Harrell, in a footnote, said an “independent endeavor to determine whether such a phenomenon exists” led to the Pretenders’ song, which he quoted:
Got motion, restrained emotion
I been driving, Detroit Leaning
No reason, just seems so pleasing
Gonna make you, make you, make you notice
“As the song predicts, Crosby’s ‘Detroit Leaning,’ if that is what he was doing, succeeded in getting him noticed,” Harrell concluded in his footnote.