The Good, the Bad, and the Dead

Wayne Cochrane might have penned The Last Kiss, and Pearl Jam might have proved its camp essence, but the big hit was from 1964, by J. Frank Wilson. I remember this time vividly as it was the first summer I was sick with what became known as Crohns Disease.

I had been sick for several months, losing weight and unable to keep any nourishment in me when it was determined that I needed to go to the hospital for tests and observation So, on the way to Monterey and the family’s summer vacation, they dropped me off at the hospital and went on their merry way.

I got my summer solace first, not being around them, second with books, and third with my transistor radio which blared Ferry Cross the Mersey, and Bits and Pieces chunks of Brit Pop, but also the maudlin Wilson song.

The Last Kiss, however, belongs to a strange genre of pop song known as death songs. Some of the more prominant?

  1. Teen Angel, Mark Dinning (1960): When I was in third grade (also 1960) our classmate, Don DeVincenzi’s sister died in a local accident just like this.
  2. Patches, Dickey Lee (1962): Evolved into Poor Side of Town in a few years.
  3. Laurie, Dickey Lee (1965): Lee clearly had some kind of necrophilia thing going on.
  4. Tell Laura I Love Her, Ray Peterson (1960): Peterson actually had a pretty good hit with Corina, Corina.
  5. Honey, Bobby Goldsboro (1968 ): Arguably the most loved/hated of the maudlin.

There are more for sure. The links above lead to YouTube files of the originals. But, J. Frank lurks below.

Afternoon Snack: Eagles of Death Metal, “San Berdoo Sunburn”

I cannot remember how long ago my mate Steve Gibson burned a disc of the Eagles of Death Metal for me. I know I played it, but the disc got lost in a pile, and the band never really made my playlist, though they were always hanging around the periphery of my listening and consciousness.

There was “Them Crooked Vultures,” which featured Josh Homme whom Steve  Moyer discovered several years back, and from then, it seemed everywhere I looked, Homme, the guitar player, was featured.

Still, though I thought of them kind of like James Joyce’s Ulysses, a book I know I should read someday, but a book I am keeping on my to do list so I always will have something to fall back on should I run out of things to do, you know?

Of course, over the past months, the band has had sad interactions with first the shootout in the Bacalat in Paris, and then oddly, the San Bernardino connection because of the song below, San Berdoo Bunburn.

Which is kind of extra sad as the more I get to know the band, the less they would want to be associated with much of anything aside from their irreverant–and funny–rock’n’roll chops and words.

This song came to me by way of my Biletones mate Bill Alberti, as we are now looking to put the tune on our setlist. (One thing is for sure: I now follow the Eagles on Spotify.)

I did look through several versions of the song, and though I prefer live, it is really hard to hear the words on the recordings on YouTube. So, I went with this video which peppers the screen with the occasional lyric.