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Posts Tagged ‘William Shatner’


Yeah it’s just what you need when you’re down in the dumps
One half hillbilly and one half punk
Big long legs and one big mouth
The hottest thing from the north to come out of the south
Do you understand? do you understand?

The Cramps, Garbageman


Okay, it’s just about Halloween. Between a deadly pandemic and the looming election, most likely many of you are already sufficiently spooked. But since those other things will still be hanging over our heads for a while, I thought we’d head towards more typical Halloween fare today. 

Well, a little more typical.

In a couple of prior years here on the blog, I have played a couple of songs from The Cramps, a now defunct band that emerged the legendary punk scene in NYC in the late 1970’s. The Cramps had their own look and schtick, a brand of macabre psychobilly that just made them a perfect fit for Halloween. Their first album in 1980, Songs the Lord Taught Us, had a host of weird but wonderful songs like I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Zombie Dance, The Mad Daddy, and TV Set, which is a gruesome but highly singable ditty about a cannibalistic serial killer.

I bought the album it on vinyl when it came out and have really enjoyed it periodically through the years. I say periodically because I believe a steady diet of it might be detrimental to my overall state of mind. That would no doubt please The Cramps.

One of my favorites from that album is Garbageman. It’s a song I revisit quite often when I want to get my engines revved a bit. I seem to always end up stomping around the studio, yelling, ” Do you understand? Do you understand?”

I thought I’d share it along with a great cover of it from the legendary rock vocalist William Shatner. Who can ever forget his cover of Rocket Man? He did this version of the song with The Cramps on a single whose cover, shown above, that employs the iconic artwork style from the cover of their greatest hits album, Bad Music For Bad People.

Actually, the Shatner version is not bad. A lot of kitschy fun. And in these weird and wild days, can’t we all use some of that?

Enjoy. And try to have a good day. And be careful — a lot of weirdos out there!


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sandals2I stole the idea and the photo for this particular blog from one of my favorite blogs, A Dark Planet, from David Terrenoire.  I hope he doesn’t mind my theft but i’ve had this rolling around in my head for a couple of days now and felt like sharing.  Sorry, David.

In his post, David talked about coming across this tiny pair of sandals in the office park where he works, a place not frequented by children.  He wrote about how this sparked all sorts of speculation.  It was basically the start of a story which reminded him of what Ernest Hemingway had written when challenged to come up with a story in just six words:

For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.

It’s a stunning use of six simple words and nine syllables.  It conjures up all sorts of storylines involving all sorts of human experience- love and marriage, tragedy and loss, etc.   It’s like the spark that sets off the explosion that creates  a new universe. A Big Boom of ideas.

I found other examples.  For instance William Shatner came up with this:

Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket.  

Then there’s this from author Margaret Atwood:

Longed for him.  Got him.  Shit.

And Augusten Burroughs wrote:

Oh, that?  It’s nothing.  Not contagious.

To his credit, David Terrenoire came up on short notice with:

A mother, now childless, seeks divorce.

There’s a website, Six Word Stories, that has a running log of such stories,to which anyone can submit.  Some are pretty witty.  Some very creative.  A few recent ones:

No thanks, Eve.  I prefer oranges.      – from Ruth Polleys

And from Brian (just Brian):   

Five zombies.  Four bullets.  Two zombies.

There are many more but I still haven’t found one that has that completeness of idea and emotion that Hemingway brought with his six words.  I keep running some through my head, kind of like trying to put together a puzzle.  For me, it’s like composing a painting. I’m trying to create something that has a sense of its own world with the fewest elements, paring away detail but trying to find an iconic image that carries all sorts of meaning, needing no other words.  I always seem to find myself in a dark, kind of noir setting.  

Greyhound into Reno.  Cuckold fingers pistol.

Okay, it needs work.  I never claimed to be Hemingway or even a writer.  I paint pictures!

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