Original Format: cassette
There’s a lot of ground to cover here, so let’s get to it.
Clue #2 National Lampoon
This Beatles reference from Radio Dinner has nothing to do with anything else here — though there is a song on Side 1 that references a car crash, so a missed opportunity there.
Sex Machine (Live) James Brown
From one of James’s lesser live albums, vintage 1981. It’s still pretty damn funky though.
What the Fuck James Eddie Murphy
Nobody but You Lou Reed & John Cale
“Lou Reed and John Cale spoke to one another for the first time in years at [Andy] Warhol’s memorial service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on April 1, 1987. The painter Julian Schnabel suggested they write a memorial piece for Warhol. On January 7 and 8, 1989, Cale and Reed performed an almost-completed Songs for Drella at The Church of St. Anne’s in Brooklyn…. On December 4–5, 1989, a live performance — without an audience — was filmed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, directed by Ed Lachman, and released on VHS and laserdisc formats. Over the following two months, Reed and Cale proceeded to record the material for the album, which was released in 1990 by Sire Records. The album was the pair’s first full collaborative record since 1968’s White Light/White Heat, and by the end of recording Cale vowed never to work with Reed again due to personal differences, hence plans to support the album with a tour were shelved. Nevertheless… after playing a Drella selection on June 15, 1990, at a Warhol/Velvet Underground exhibition at the Cartier Foundation in Jouy-en-Josas, Reed and Cale were joined onstage by Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker for a rendition of the Velvet Underground song ‘Heroin,’ which eventually led to the first and last Velvet Underground reunion, which took place in 1993 (after which Cale and Reed, again, vowed never to work with one another again).” —Wikipedia
A Blind Man’s Penis John Trubee & Ramsey Kearney
The tale of “A Blind Man’s Penis” — original title, “Stevie Wonder’s Penis” — is a long and tangled one, and you really should read the whole thing here.
Breastfed from Falsies Woody Allen
I know that Woody Allen is officially cancelled, and yet his voice continues to echo through the dim corners of our culture.
I’ll Be Your Chauffeur David J w/Max Eider
“I remember stumbling into a WWII vets garage at 7 in the morning after listening to this song at 6 30 after all night drinking and reminiscing. Long story short I still think about that awkwardness to this day and post about that shit on Youtube for future generations to know that I know too was here. If I have any advice it’s to seek that you are that was here before and you are that is here before everything is gone.” —YouTube commenter “Mind Over Minis”
Big-Eyed Beans from Venus Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band
Metal Man The Breeders
Love Your Enemies William S. Burroughs
“I want to turn your attention to this subject: ‘Loving Your Enemies.’ It’s so basic to me because it is a part of my basic philosophical and theological orientation — the whole idea of love, the whole philosophy of love. In the fifth chapter of the gospel as recorded by Saint Matthew, we read these very arresting words flowing from the lips of our Lord and Master: ‘Ye have heard that it has been said, “Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.” But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.’ Certainly these are great words, words lifted to cosmic proportions. And over the centuries, many persons have argued that this is an extremely difficult command. Many would go so far as to say that it just isn’t possible to move out into the actual practice of this glorious command. They would go on to say that this is just additional proof that Jesus was an impractical idealist who never quite came down to earth. So the arguments abound. But far from being an impractical idealist, Jesus has become the practical realist. The words of this text glitter in our eyes with a new urgency. Far from being the pious injunction of a utopian dreamer, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies. Now let me hasten to say that Jesus was very serious when he gave this command; he wasn’t playing. He realized that it’s hard to love your enemies. He realized that it’s difficult to love those persons who seek to defeat you, those persons who say evil things about you. He realized that it was painfully hard, pressingly hard. But he wasn’t playing.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Helpless Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Neil Young wrote this, bless his prolific Canadian soul. But I would argue that Aussie Nick’s version is the definitive one.
Gun Called Justice The Lords of the New Church
“Lords of the New Church were playing, and there’s Martha Quinn, this pixie-ish sort of girl. And you remember Stiv Bators? He was a fucking maniac. So he’s on stage, and he is, as Stiv is wont to do, is vomiting, during his set. I remember that because I had to clean it. After the show, there was a little green room that was up the stairs […] and so I went up there with some beers to load the band up. And there, post-stage-vomit, is Martha Quinn on Stiv Bators’ lap, basically Zamboni-ing the inside of his mouth.” —Jon Stewart (yes, that Jon Stewart, former bartender at City Gardens in Trenton NJ)
I Cannot Account for It Orson Welles & Frank Readick
“The supposed [War of the Worlds] panic was so tiny as to be practically immeasurable on the night of the broadcast. Despite repeated assertions to the contrary in the PBS and NPR programs, almost nobody was fooled by Welles’ broadcast…. How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America’s newspapers. Radio had siphoned off advertising revenue from print during the Depression, badly damaging the newspaper industry. So the papers seized the opportunity presented by Welles’ program to discredit radio as a source of news. The newspaper industry sensationalized the panic to prove to advertisers, and regulators, that radio management was irresponsible and not to be trusted.” —Slate.com
Rocketman Elton John
As sometimes happened in mixtape-making, there was a bit of desperation here to fill in space before the big finish. This song was dubbed from a poor-quality cassette copy, which was all I had to hand at the time; and while I could drop in a higher-fidelity version now (as I did with “Helpless,” cheating swine that I am), in this case it seems like the glitchiness is part of the point.
Sweet Shiver Burn That Petrol Emotion
Quick, somebody tell the Bernie Sanders campaign about this song.
His Squeaking Guitar Nelson Olmsted
From E.A. Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.”
Bold as Love The Jimi Hendrix Experience
“All the vibratory centers along the Earth’s axis from pole to pole resounded to his call; the whole earth trembled; the universe quivered in tune. Thus he made the whole world an instrument of sound, and sound an instrument for carrying messages, resounding praise to the Creator of all. The living body of man and the living body of the earth were constructed in the same way. Through each runs an axis, man’s axis being the backbone… which controlled the equilibrium of his movements and functions. Along this axis were several vibratory centers which echoed the primordial sound of life throughout the universe.” —The Book of the Hopi