Wednesday, October 1, 2008
“That’s Your Mama, Son! There’s the Monster Over There!!!"
October is finally here, thus kicking off this RedBoy’s month long ode to Halloween. Always an important day on my calendar, I intend to keep this month’s posts on the “all together ooky” tip. Check back regularly for some spooky action, as well as a forthcoming collaboration with fellow Halloween enthusiast DevilDick over @ 'The Devil's Music'
So…shall we begin?
Like the majestic Wombat, the Gila Monster is a woefully underappreciated animal in the annals of Rock & Roll. In fact, much like the Wombat, only one individual to my knowledge has had the foresight to extol the virtues of this venomous reptile on the recorded medium of wax.
Who is this giant among men of whom I speak, why none other than Huston Texas’ own Joe Johnson.
While not officially sponsored by 'Hollywood Film Corporation',‘Gila Monster'was initially conceived and recorded as a tie in to the 1959 HFC film ‘The Giant Gila Monster’ (Note: Check out the crowd scenes in ‘The Giant Gila Monster’ for a young, pre- ’99 Chicks’ Ron Haydock!). Joe Johnson pulled out all the R & B stops on this pounder. From that opening salvo of a scream to the ghetto breakdown which brings this monster home, it’s tuff to top this scaly bastard “lickin’ around” on the “Shela Monster” prowl.
Funny story...upon trackin’ this disc down, I gave it a spin and was just about to rock out to the screamin’ guitar break I have come to know and love, when all of the sudden I got hit with this weird-ass rag-time solo and a completely different take on the vocals. At first I assumed I got horn-swaggled, that is until I discovered that the promo version of ‘Gila Monster’ and the standard release version are two different recordings!
The promo is obviously the original take, sliding effortlessly into that cool guitar break; where as the standard version randomly pastes a piano solo right in the middle of the tune like a goddamn postage stamp. Lord knows why they would try to improve upon perfection, but at least it gives us twice the ‘Monster’ to dig.
In the interests of evolutionary science I have managed to track down a promo in addition to the official release, and am now passing the savings on to you, the consumer. Please enjoy a double helping of ‘Gila Monster’, warts and all!
Gila Monster (Promo) – Joe Johnson
Gila Monster (Release) - Joe Johnson