Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My Ukulele Wants to Kill Your Mama

On my drive home, XM Radio was playing The Mothers of Invention's "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama." My mind wafted back to when I first heard that song. It was Saturday on American Bandstand. It was that segment called "Rate a Record" where two teenagers listen to two singles as the rest of the audience dances to it. Then, they rate it, usually making comments like, "It had a really great beat Mr. Clark and I can tell it would be fun to dance to" or "I liked the words and loved the lyrics."

So, this day, "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama" was one of the songs. The two teen judges didn't quite know what to make of the song (remember, this was back when kids were still pretty intelligent-you know, MY generation). I don't remember what it was, but the other song got a better rating.

I also went back to when I was a youngster, sharing a bedroom with my older brother. He had one of those suitcase-like stereos with a fold-out turntable and you could place up to six albums on the record changer. He used to like to go to sleep with music playing.

I was indifferent to this.

One night, he had FREAKOUT by the Mo's of Invention as one of the selections. It was eerie, but I liked laying there in the dark, listening to the bizarre tunes.

The last album of the night was one by Steppenwolf. I don't remember the title, but the song playing was "The Pusher"-the one where John Kay growled out "God damn, God damn the pusherman!"

It was one of those extra-long tunes that was so popular back then.

It was not a song that lulled you to sleep.

I could hear that my brother was sleeping (i.e., snoring) and this song was keeping me awake, so I got up, leaned over my bedpost and, reaching through the darkness, turned off the record player.

Bro sputtered awake and snorted at me "hey, what are you doing? I was listening to that!"


Donita said...

Wow, how long did you guys share a room? By the time I met you Bill had already moved out. I'm trying to imagine you two boys living in the same room but I keep seeing you as two old, curmudgeonly guys fighting for the top bunk.

Brother Atom Bomb of Reflection said...

I must have been around 13 at the time.

Donita said...

Wow. And you both survived.

I shared a room with Debbie when I was 5. She almost sorta liked me then so it was ok. At 13 it would have been impossible.

Billy Canary said...

I remember that very Bandstand. How weird. Zappa on Bandstand. Almost as weird as Public Image's appearance when John Lydon wouldn't come down from the platform to talk to Dick. Dick kept sayiing "Johnny, come down!". But Johnny wouldn't budge.
I also remember hearing something on one of Zappa's longer pieces whilst asleep that was pinched from another well known composer (Varese?) NO! I think it was Holst and one of his planets. I could hum it for you.
I think I learned that sleeping/listening skill in Stover's Music Appreciation class at R.So.So. It was dreadfully yawny. One of the snooziest classes I have ever experienced.

Jim said...

It can't happen here.