Category Archives: Rock and Roll

Jim Morrison is Dead and So is Elvis

Book: Skagboys

Author: Irvine Welsh

Music: Riders on the Storm

Artist: the Doors

Jim Morrison was only 27 when he died. Never ceases to shock me when I re-read that.

Leaping forward in my reading many, many months into your future, though not mine since I’ve already read it, I revisited Stephen King’s “The Stand” recently. There’s a great little vignette in the book where a character tells the story of encountering a mysteriously familiar figure at a small petrol station in rural West Texas at which he worked part-time. Having fumbled with that unexpected familiarity for a while this gas station cowboy realized he’d just sold fuel and sundries to the living, breathing Jim Morrison. In that universe, he’d obviously faked his own death and burial. I’d bet that everyone who reads that scene for the first time expects it to be Elvis. I did. Apart from it being an unexpected gem buried in the epic novel which manages to be more eerie in those few pages than the entire premise of the book—a plague-emptied America becoming the stage for a classic good v evil contest—I like it for that – it dodges the obvious. It strikes me as I write this, though, that Elvis may not even have been dead when King wrote the novel (or this part of it). It was first published in 1978, a year or so following Elvis’ death, but he’d been writing it for several years.

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Playlist: Black Swan Green

Book: Black Swan Green

Author: David Mitchell

This is missing John Lennon’s ‘#9 Dream’ since it doesn’t appear on Spotify.

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I know what dance you did last summer

Book: How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood

Author: Jim Grimsley

Music: The Twist

Composer/Artist: Chubby Checker

Which came first – the dance or the song? I don’t know. I just found out that Chubby Checker is still alive and only in his early 70s. Chubby made a career out of Twist-related songs:

The Original version – The Twist (revisited several times throughout the decade)
The Beach-Boys-Cash-In version – Twistin’ USA
The Running-Out-of-Ideas version – Let’s Twist Again
The Hubba-Hubba version – Slow Twisting (posh inclusion of the ‘g’ at the end there)
The International-Hit-Market-Expansion-Grab version – Twistin Around the World (note the grammar-Facist-prodding omission of the apostrophe from Chubby there)
The Beatles-Cash-In version – Twist it Up
The Poignant  Version – You Stopped Twisting. Why?
The Hip-Hop-Rap-Cash-In version – The Twist (Yo, Twist!)

He was not a Twist monogamist, however, and also sang paeans to the Hucklebuck, the Mess Around (I don’t know what that is), the Limbo (several times), and the Freddie (?).

Keep twistin’, Chubby!  (I want a liner notes credit when he releases that one)

Link to streaming audio: Chubby Checker (Spotify)

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