Monday, June 21, 2010
Revenge: A Dish Best Served Cold (and w/ Cheese)
I’m takin’ this opportunity to shine a light in my little corner of internet sky (Be it ever so humble). One-Hundred thousand hits might seem like a drop in the bucket, especially in a place where information flows like so much blood and attracts just as many rubberneckers as it does flies to the edges of its sticky imbruement, but it’s a distinction I’ll wear w/ pride. If I could turn just one noggin upside down w/ an unknown, or unknowable recording thanks to my efforts, than it is worth a thousand times a thousand computer crashes and just as many unwarranted political entanglement (I’m always right- just for future reference).
Now, if psychologists are to be believed, then we are not born bad, we are, however, every last one of us born square, and as such, we each have to start from square one.
It’s precisely for this reason that I’m highlighting – what is in my humble opinion- the greatest record ever pressed - a record which blew my mind like a cherry-bomb in a trash bin at a time where I was branching off from what I understood music to be (Totally wrong, by the by), and into a miasma of detritus popular critics would exemplify as everything music should NOT be. The record is the Rat’s Revenge; the reasons it strikes a chord, albeit, slightly out of tune, are myriad.
First, the Rats Revenge is not so much a song, as it is a meandering jam; loose in a way that seems juvenile, yet w/ the sincerity that only some wet-behind the ears 16 year old could hope to muster up. Second, Rat’s is completely spontaneous in it’s arrangement; one gets the feeling even the Rat’s themselves don’t quite know where this shit is going’, even knowing full well where this shit has been. Third, as I am a sucker for anything with a pt 2, these bookends are actually on par w/ each other, continuing the narrative (Such as it is) in lieu of just dumpin’ a slightly tweaked DUB track on the flip.
As for the Rats themselves? Word on the street places the Rats in Ohio circa 66’. Word on Tim Warren’s liner notes for BFTG vol 1 places them in the studio where, as the sensational combo the Decades, they recorded the instro classic ‘Strange Worlds’. Would that that had been enough, Mystics producer Terry Rose decided to hip the Decades to a lucrative proposition: Being that the beach party films staring Frankie Avalon & Annette Funichello were so popular, and a big part of that popularity is thanks to their antagonist, Erik Von Zipper (the late Harvey Lembeck) and his motorcycle gang, the Rats, how could a song by the Rats, about the rats, not sell a million copies? The result: after several dismal takes, the band was cautioned not to be so ridged and just have fun with the track…and thus the Rats Revenge was born. Needless to say, the disc sunk like a stone, was disavowed by the band and remains a cult classic to this day, despite the fact that “Most of the 500 copies pressed ended up in a garbage dump in Kent Ohio” …which is right where I come in…square one.
As a kid burned out on punk and ripe for some non-sensical, non-proselytizing R ‘N’ R, Rats revenge is everything I wanted out of a disc; stupid, crude and w/ absolutely no social message or redeeming value…kinda like this blog and it’s owner. SUPERGORILLA!!!
He’s to a Hundred Thousand more! Salute!
Rat’s Revenge pt 1 – Rats
Rat’s Revenge pt 2 - Rats
P.S. Fuck the Golden Pelicans!