Friday, August 03, 2007

Weekend Listomania (Death, Where Is Thy Ring-a-Ding-Ding? Edition)


Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means. My Oriental houseboy Hop-Sing and I...

Actually, I'm gonna break character here and get serious for a minute, so bear with me.

Ahem.

As Capt. Picard said in Star Trek: Generations, I have of late become acutely aware that there are fewer years in front of me than behind. Thus, perhaps predictably, I've started to have all sorts of dire thoughts about my iminent departure from this sad vale of tears. And one of the direst is that when I snuff it, my friends (assuming they've outlived me), will feel compelled to have a memorial service in my honor.

So at this juncture let me go on record as saying, loudly and publically, that

I DON'T WANT A FRICKING MEMORIAL SERVICE!!!

Really -- I hate them. I think they're sadistic and serve no purpose other than to depress people who are already depressed. Yes, I know there are well meaning folks who think they're a good idea, but look -- speaking in my capacity as the (soon to be) Recently Deceased Guy, here's what I'd like you all to do if you feel you absolutely must do something to remember me by.

THROW A PARTY WHERE EVERYBODY GETS STINKING DRUNK OR HIGH ON THE POISON OF THEIR CHOICE AND HOOKS UP WITH SOMEBODY INAPPROPRIATE AND GOES HOME TO HAVE CRAZED WEASEL SEX!!!

Thank you in advance for your diligence in that regard.

But since this is, after all, Weekend Listomania, here's a little competition that seems appropriate:

Rock/Pop Song You'd Most Want Played At A Memorial Service for You!!!

I've been agonizing about this, so let me stipulate that if after I've become worm fodder you still decide -- despite everything you've just read above -- to have a fricking memorial for me, under no circumstances -- repeat, under NO circumstances -- play any music featured on the soundtrack to The Big Chill. I'm serious about this; if you should play such music, I will come back from the dead and do a poltergeist number on your ass.

So what's my song? Oddly enough, it's "Maybe in a Dream," the alternately elegaic and peppy pseudo baroque (mostly instrumental) Sopwith Camel track of which an almost complete mono sound clip can be heard here. If you listen, I'm sure you'll agree that the mood of the thing just seems right. It's kind of like Pachelbel's Canon, except with really cool guitars and a backbeat.

FYI: The complete song in all its stereophonic glory can be found on the Camel's wonderful debut album. Said album, which is usually (and erroneously) referred to as "Hello, Hello" (after the group's hit single of the same name), is (as you can see from that Amazon link) now available in an expanded and improved import version that if somebody decides to buy for my birthday I'd be happy as a clam. Hint hint.

Anyway, that's my choice (although it just dawned on me that I also would't mind Warren Zevon's Life'll Kill Ya).

What's yours?

32 comments:

Sinfonian said...

I have no idea what rock/pop song I'd want played. I never gave it any thought, honestly.

However, I do have a classical piece I'd like played. Guess I'll go post that on teh PowerClassical blog.

(Incidentally, I see that Tommy Makem was born right between the births of my parents; my father is 34 days older than my mother. Weird.)

steve simels said...

Sinfonian said...
I have no idea what rock/pop song I'd want played. I never gave it any thought, honestly.


Nor should you. But since I spent most of my adult life writing about that stuff, I have to expect that it would come up when I'm gone.

I mean, I'd prefer the slowest movement from Vaughan Williams Fifth Symphony, but I'm not gonna have a choice, if you know what I mean.
:-)

Anonymous said...

I stayed up until 1:00 for this?

Okay.

"Macarthur Park."

Yes, I'm kidding. But it has been almost unanimously voted "Worst Song Ever Conceived of, Let Alone Recorded, Since the Dawn of Time", which counts for something (be honest, hearing it again would probably make you want to kill yourself). Then again, maybe it doesn't count for diddlysquat. I don't know. I had a bad day and I'm tired. But at least it's a reminder, albeit a bizarre one, to LIGHTEN UP and not take everything so seriously.

Anonymous said...

Heavy, dude.

I've read that Peter Sellers had requested In The Mood be played at his service, since he hated the song so much and wanted it to be his final joke on his friends. I could probably have one of my unholy trinity of evil, awful songs played: Honey, (You're) Havin' My Baby, or I've Never Been To Me.

If I wanted to convey my last message to humanity, I've thought of the old Chaplin song Smile. Maybe Tony Bennett's version. But that's too serious. How about Elvis Costello's song God's Comic.

I could just go the Zevon route and have My Ride's Here played.

Anonymous said...

Joey Ramone - What A Wonderful World

I never really cared for the song until I heard this version. Being sung by someone who knew his days were numbered made me see it in a whole new light.

The family and friends could have whatever type of service they think is appropriate. After all, funeral services or wakes are to help the survivors deal with their loss, I don't care what they do, I'll be dead. But I do think it should end with this song.

Jim

Anonymous said...

I'd probably want something sad and stately, but still inappropriate enough to leave the mourners scratching their heads. A Perfect Circle's version of The Nurse Who Loved Me comes to mind.

Because I'm something of a Hendrix freak, my wife says she'll have them play I Don't Live Today at graveside. Not too original, but I like it.

For a classical piece, no question: the Air from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3. Absolutely perfect music, it makes me cry every time I hear it.

NYMary said...

I am such a geek that I have asked that "Solsbury Hill" be played at mine, and Thers has categorically refused.

I would never ask anyone to play it for me, but The Offspring's "Gone Away" is my favorite song to mourn to, especially when someone has died too young. Having lost 2 siblings and a parent in the last decade, it's gotten too much play at my house.

Shoes have a pretty pensive song about a friend who committed suicide, "I Don't Know Why," on Stolen Wishes.

Am I taking this too seriously?

NYMary said...

Oh, and...


I DON'T WANT A FRICKING MEMORIAL SERVICE!!!

..........
THROW A PARTY WHERE EVERYBODY GETS STINKING DRUNK OR HIGH ON THE POISON OF THEIR CHOICE AND HOOKS UP WITH SOMEBODY INAPPROPRIATE AND GOES HOME TO HAVE CRAZED WEASEL SEX!!!


Are these supposed to be mutually exclusive?

Anonymous said...

half glass full said...
Joey Ramone - What A Wonderful World


Speaking of Joey Ramone, according to Bono, he asked to hear "In a Little While" when he was on his deathbed.

Anonymous said...

I've often thought about posing this question at my place but never got around to it.

The one song that always comes up in my mind for memorial music is The Wallflowers' 6th Avenue Heartache. And if my friends decided to put up a little tombstone for me, I'd like two lines from that song on it:

I had my world strapped against my back
I held my hands and never knew how to act

Other than that, I'm with steve - get piss drunk, remember the fun times and laugh. Although, part of me would want to request that someone play Beth by KISS - just to make people wonder "Who was Beth?". Yeah, that sounds like something I'd do. heh!

refinnej said...

NYMary can be in charge of this because she's more trustworthy than the rest of them: "Fiesta" by the Pogues. I also wouldn't mind "Ripple" by the Grateful Dead. And "Rockaway Beach" by The Ramones.. maybe "Superman" by REM. Actually, just play what's on my iPod and it's all good.

I just think they're cool songs that people would enjoy hearing at the wake. And yes, I have put a lot of thought into this as I've had long maudlin stretches. The only Smiths song that I stiil want played though is "Sheila Take a Bow".

Anonymous said...

Who cares? I'll be dead.

shrimplate said...

I'd like to have a monkey going around with a tin cup while an organ-grinder plays "Everybody's Got Something To Hide 'Cept Me and My Monkey."

Is that too much to ask for?

Anonymous said...

THROW A PARTY WHERE EVERYBODY GETS STINKING DRUNK OR HIGH ON THE POISON OF THEIR CHOICE AND HOOKS UP WITH SOMEBODY INAPPROPRIATE AND GOES HOME TO HAVE CRAZED WEASEL SEX!!!

*salutes*

Oh, and "Bowie's in Space."

Because I'll be pretty far out by then.

-Jay C.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea. Let me hit shuffle on the iPod and see what comes up...

Hmmm. The Mercy Seat by Nick Cave.

Well, that's unfortunate...

Anonymous said...

Hey steve--let's hook up at someone's funeral, 'kay? 'Cause even though it'd be wonderfully 'inappropriate,' I won't sleep with you when you're dead.

I hate memorials, too. I just went to a horribly catholic one for a sweet 31 year old.

Songs?

-Townes' 'To Live is to Fly' or 'Catfish Song'
-Springsteen's 'Reason to Believe'
-The Cox Family w/ Alison Krauss 'Everybody wants to go to Heaven (but nobody wants to die)'
-Willie and Emmy Lou's version of 'Gulf Coast Highway'

And on and on... into the night...

dave™© said...

Oh, I know the answer to this one - and have for some time.

"Instant Karma." At the very end.

dave™© said...

Actually, the other thing I want is a Dixieland band playing from a truck and everyone marching behind it.

Feral said...

Well, I've got to go with some Zevon.

"I'll Sleep When I'm Dead".

steve simels said...

I'm actually kind of gratified to learn that I'm not the only person who's actually devoted time to thinking about this issue.

Thanks, everybody!

BTW -- just got back from seeing Fountains of Wayne at the Beacon.

Talk about life affirming.
:-)

steve simels said...

I don't know who posted the flower on the coffin graphic, but I love you.
:-)

Anonymous said...

After folks break out some CDs of my own tunes, and at some point late into the intoxihaze, my spirit will surely be hovering about--someone should put on some Patti Smith!

I will materialize, bum a smoke, flip everyone off, and ascend to the other side of a dark cloud for late night ramble with my newly reunited dead friends.

steve simels said...

Uncle Smokes said...

After folks break out some CDs of my own tunes, and at some point late into the intoxihaze, my spirit will surely be hovering about--someone should put on some Patti Smith!

I will materialize, bum a smoke, flip everyone off, and ascend to the other side of a dark cloud for late night ramble with my newly reunited dead friends.


You sentimental old fluff...
:-)

danny1959 said...

Zevon's "My Shit's Fucked Up."

NYMary said...

Oh, and "Bowie's in Space."

Because I'll be pretty far out by then.


Excellent!

BTW, Thers had a celebrity sighting outside the FOW/Squeeze show last night: Sutton Foster, who plays Coco. He came in and said "Guess who I just saw!"

I was unreasonably excited.

I don't know who posted the flower on the coffin graphic, but I love you.

It was me, and I already knew that. ;)

HoneyBearKelly said...

I'm Only Sleeping or Doom's Night by Azzido Do Bass (because I'll still be loving the dance music).

Anonymous said...

Meet On The Ledge - Fairport Convention. And I'd appreciate it if you could get Richard Thompson to drop by and sing it. ;)

The Kenosha Kid said...

"Heart and Soul" by Joy Division.

Too obvious?

Anonymous said...

...EVERYBODY GETS STINKING DRUNK OR HIGH ON THE POISON OF THEIR CHOICE AND HOOKS UP WITH SOMEBODY INAPPROPRIATE AND GOES HOME TO HAVE CRAZED WEASEL SEX...

Okay, fine, I'll come back from the dead.

And, oh, lordy, I just remembered that the best wake I ever attended started out with a bunch of teary upper east siders wearing suits on one side of the room and bunch of teary stinking hippie squater freaks on the other side. Then, someone cracked a joint for the widow in the kitchen and to distract the suits, someone else delivered giant tumblers of vodka to everyone, even the kids. (Did I mention it was a freaking hot day and everyone was very thirsty from the very dreary memorial service and no one was allowed in the kitchen--because of the huge cloud of pot smoke--and so vodka was it.)

Then, after the pot and the vodka, more vodka, just cold straight vodak was planted on a table between the two weepy groups. Freaks on one side, suits and society girls on the other. More vodka was consumed. Some of the kids started climbing the walls. The kitchen door swung open and the widow danced out in a cloud of pot smoke, demanding, what else? Vodka.

Things went down hill from there. Someone put on trip hop. The suits and the freaks started mixing. The squatter chicks started removing clothes that they wore to cover up some wild tattoos. Did I mention it was a very hot day? The golf guys and the brokers and the lawyers went for their third glass of vodka. The squatter chicks started dancing with them. People started passing out. The large guy who was covered with facial tattoos started making out with the widow's now quite drunk aunt. People hooked up. Kids got drunk for the first time. Shit went down. The kitchen kept filling with pot smoke.

The best memorial service. Ever.

Well, the best memorial service until your memorial service which will be all of that and weasel sex!

steve simels said...


The best memorial service. Ever.

Well, the best memorial service until your memorial service which will be all of that and weasel sex!


You made that whole story up.
:-)

Anonymous said...

I've actually thought about this at length - having had to provide music for the service of a close friend who passed suddenly. (I used mostly Coltrane and Stevie Wonder - the family were grateful.)
On the way in - when my dirtbag friends will be fighting over my record collection - I want a mix CD.
It MUST include Louis Armstrong's "Potato Head Blues," Duke Ellington's "Jack The Bear," Elvis Costello's "Riot Act," Johnny Cash's "Redemption Song," and John Prine's "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore."
On the way out, I want a live bagpipe player AND a second-line New Orleans combo. (I know plenty of musicians - shouldn't be a problem.)
Then everybody goes to Redbone's and follows Dr. Simels' prescription..
- Bill Buckner

Anonymous said...

...made that whole story up...

Well, yeah, I had to disguise a few details and the guy with facial tattoos, well, actually, he was completely covered with tattoos, even his ears. And, well, he wasn't exactly making out with aunt, he was just cuddling her in his tattooed arms. And, oh, it might have been a bong in the kitchen instead of a joint. Anyway, it was a mighty meeting of the tribes and a worthy memorial for a young wildass father of two.