A midsummer night’s mystery train

Year: 1993
Original Format: cassette

Playlist:

On a Hot Summer Night Jim Steinman& Marcia McClain
“The spoken intro [to ‘You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth’] is NOT Meatloaf! [sic] That’s the voice of the songwriter: Jim Steinman. The woman is Marcia McClain. She is the actress who played Dee Stewart on the soap opera ‘As The World Turns.’” —Craig Allen’s Fun Facts

Long Hot Summer Night The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Meanwhile, in 2020, at Jimi Hendrix Park in Seattle:

The Mystery Trend Julian Cope
It seems likely that Julian is obliquely referencing the Sixties San Francisco band the Mystery Trend, whose name, says Allmusic, came about when “the bandmembers misunderstood the line about the ‘Mystery Tramp’ in Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’” Though they were part of the S.F. scene of the time they only made one single (“Johnny Was a Good Boy”) and, appropriately enough, vanished into the mists of history.

God’s Own Private Mystery Laura Dern & Nicolas Cage

Mystery Train Elvis Presley
“It was the greatest thing I ever did on Elvis. It was a feeling song that so many people had experienced — I mean, it was a big thing, to put a loved one on a train: are they leaving you forever? Maybe they’ll never be back. ‘Train I ride, sixteen coaches long’ — you can take it from the inside of the coach, or you can take it from the outside, standing looking in. Junior [Parker, who wrote the song] was going to make it fifty coaches, but I said, no, sixteen coaches is a helluva lot, that sounds like it’s coming out of a small town. It was pure rhythm. And at the end, Elvis was laughing, because he didn’t think it was a take, but I’m sorry, it was a fucking masterpiece!” —Sam Phillips

The Memphis Train Rufus Thomas
Rufus used to call himself “The Funkiest Man Alive,” and this was back when James Brown was in his heyday. But how do you argue with a man who can rock an outfit like this?

Catchfire The Jesus and Mary Chain
“Sometime around 1992. I heard this at The Scrap Bar in The Village. Sitting in the corner of the bar facing the 4 TV screens trippin’ balls on powder blue blotter. Drinking Scraps beer and smoking cloves. I was watching a Star Trek episode, a basket ball game, Bugs Bunny cartoon with Elmer Fudd and an Outer Limits episode. I lost my mind.” —YouTube commenter “TOBORE8THMAN”

Catch a Fire That Petrol Emotion
“If by no means as compulsively listenable as Chemicrazy, Fireproof nonetheless has its moments. ‘Last of the True Believers’ is one, as are the impassioned singles ‘Detonate My Dreams’ and ‘Catch a Fire.’ Yet without proper industry support, the game was up, and within a few months of release the members of TPE were variously back in the London dole queue or at home with their families in Northern Ireland.” —Alex Ogg, Allmusic.com

This Earth of Ours Beans Morocco
This clip is from an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, but Beans has had a long and illustrious career.

Slave Driver Bob Marley & the Wailers
“Slave Driver is a song about the truth. Songs like this one bring a revolution to music – some topics requiring addressment cannot be dealt with through love songs.” —Eagle-rock.com

Slave The Rolling Stones
“Originally recorded at the Black And Blue sessions in 1974, this song went on for a while and was called ‘The Black And Blue Jam’ before being reworked for Tattoo You. Jazz great Sonny Rollins was brought in to play sax. Pete Townshend from The Who sang backup.” —Songfacts.com

Dogs of Lust The The
“Like Nick Cave, [Matt] Johnson protects himself from the ridicule he invites with bombastic self-caricature. When he lets this slip, he’s left with an album that, although frequently absorbing, is still as inherently laughable as any The album. Dusk needs time to grow; it deserves it. But while it takes it, the Dogs of Lust are closing in, howling with mirth.” — David Bennun, Melody Maker

Cracked Actor David Bowie
“‘Cracked Actor’ dies after its second refrain (1:40), but Ronson’s guitars and Bowie’s harmonica drag its corpse through another four refrains and start a fifth at the fade. With a callback to ‘The Bewlay Brothers,’ with Bowie wailing ‘stay for a day,’ it’s life as perpetual nightmare.” —Chris O’Leary, Rebel Rebel

Speed Paul McGann
“McGann’s co-star, Richard E Grant, has been cheering up Twitter since mid-March by posting daily ‘Withnail and Isolation’ videos of quotes from the film. And McGann himself is reminded of such quotes on a regular basis. ‘It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve probably had every single line of it said back to me,’ he says. ‘Including the French and Latin ones.’” —BBC.com, 5/26/2020

Summer St. Throwing Muses
During this period it was more or less required that any mix tape made among my group of friends had to include this song. It’s a great song, it’s short, and it has a definitive beginning and ending that mix well into other things.

The Great Leveller The Wolfgang Press
This has only 812 views on YouTube. Not nearly enough.



Ten Percenter Frank Black
Back in the era of live music — remember them days? — I was fortunate enough to see Frank and his band at the tiny Starry Plough pub in Berkeley. When the noise kicked in, it was like a gust of wind that blew your hair back. There may have been some small amount of ear and/or brain damage, but I’ll take it.

Creme Brûlée Sonic Youth
“The last song on the [Dirty] album, “Crème Brûlée”, was recorded when [Kim] Gordon was randomly playing guitar and singing with [Steve] Shelley playing the drums, while [Thurston] Moore was trying to turn on his amplifier and guitarist Lee Ranaldo was recording the whole thing.” —Wikipedia

A Golden Circle Al Strobel
I know that Al Strobel, who played the One-Armed Man on Twin Peaks, really was a one-armer as a result of a teenage automobile accident. But surprisingly little other biographical information about him is to be found. A web search turned up two other Al Strobels; one was a race car driver, the other was the subject of this newspaper clipping with a certain David Lynch quality:

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