Friday, June 21, 2019

Weekend Listomania: Special "And In Conclusion, National Rifle Association -- Bite Me!" Edition

[I originally posted a version of this about ten years ago, but obviously it's even more relevant now, alas. In any case, I've rewritten it and swapped out a couple of the original entries to avoid accusations of being a total slacker. Please enjoy. -- S.S]

Okay kids, here we go. What are...


Self-explanatory, so no arbitrary rules, but by firearms I mean the obvious, i.e. handguns, rifles, etc. In other words, if you try to sneak in something like Bruce Cockburns' otherwise quite splendid "If I Had a Rocket Launcher" I'll make merciless fun of you.

And my totally top of my head Top Nine are:

9. Terry Reid -- Bang Bang

Written by Sonny fricking Bono, and covered here to within an inch of its "my baby shot me down" life. Reid, of course, is the man who passed on Robert Plant's gig in Led Zeppelin, thus altering history in unfathomable ways. A certain Shady Dame and I were privileged to see Reid in a tiny club a few years ago, BTW, and it was in a word transplendent.

8. The Connells -- Get a Gun

From 1990 and a long-time fave of mine. Utterly gorgeous on every level, I think, but to this day I haven't the slightest idea what it's about. These guys are apparently still a going concern, however, and if I ever run into them maybe I'll ask.

7. Warren Zevon -- Jeannie Needs a Shooter

I know, I know -- you thought I was gonna say "Lawyers Guns and Money."

6. Mission of Burmaa -- That's When I Reach for My Revolver

Yeah, it's a great song. Still, and I forgot who said it, but there comes a time in everybody's life when they look at their CD collection and realize that those three Mission of Burma albums are basically just taking up space.

5. Hackamore Brick -- Zip Gun Woman

From the 1971 cult album. These guys are supposed to be some kind of proto-something -- punk, powerpop, I don't know what -- and people I know whose opinions I respect actually like the record. All I know is, I pull it out once every year or two to see if it makes sense to me yet, and it never does.

4. Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul -- Under the Gun

That's Dino Danelli, of Young Rascals fame, on drums, BTW. In any case, the best nasal homage to the ouevre of Keith Richards ever waxed.

3. The Clash -- Tommy Gun

I know, I know -- you thought I was gonna say "The Guns of Brixton."

2. The Sevens -- Seven

Apocalyptic garage rock from the Rolling Stones of Switzerland. Actual gun shots -- a starter pistol, actually -- fired in real time in the studio, courtesy of producer Giorgio Moroder (in his pre-disco days, obviously).

And the Numero Uno ode to the joys of blowing stuff up real good simply has to be...

1. The Guess Who -- Guns, Guns, Guns

This is one of the Guess Who tracks I usually pull out when people make fun of my obsession with the band. I'd actually forgotten it was a single; I mostly think of it as one of the best cuts from Rockin', the 1972 LP that's not only their masterpiece but one of the most unjustly overlooked albums of its decade. The song itself is sui generis; slash-and-burn guitars, a chorus for the ages, and a lyric -- at a historical moment when corporate greedheads are trying to convince us that fracking is good for you and the NRA and their Supreme Court enablers won't rest until every American can walk into a bar carrying a Stinger missile -- that's obviously depressingly prescient.

Alrighty, then -- what would your choices be?

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!!


The Kenosha Kid said...

John Cale - Gun
Tom Waits - Gun Street Girl
Gang of Four - Guns Before Butter

Weirdly, "I Shot the Sheriff" doesn't mention a gun anywhere in the lyrics?

Blue Ash Fan said...

Held Up without a Gun -- Bruce Springsteen
Gun Sale at the Church -- Beat Farmers
Gun Control -- Ian Hunter
Gun -- Gigolo Aunts
Put Down the Gun -- Peter Case

Anonymous said...

Lynyrd Synyrd - Saturday Night Special
Neil Young - Powderfinger
UFO - Shoot Shoot, Profession of Violence
Drive By Truckers - Loaded Gun in the Closet

There was some discussion of Rickie Lee Jones' cover of Elton John's "My Father's Gun." always struck as Bernie Taupin taking his wild west fixation too far.

Sal Nunziato said...

XTC-Melt The Guns
Andrews Sisters-Pistol Packin' Mama
Shotgun- Jr. Walker

Billy B said...

Warren Zevon - Lawyers, Guns, and Money
Def Leppard - Billy's Got a Gun
The Beatles - Happiness is a Warm Gun
Jimi Hendrix - Machine Gun

mainuh said...

Marc Bolen/T Rex - Zip Gun Boogie
Gang of Four - Armalite Rifle
The Police - Invisible Sun


Anonymous said...

Let's take this firearms love fest way out west:

I Hung My Head - Johnny Cash
Reservation Blues - Peter Spencer
El Paso - Marty Robbins

Keep your heads down!

Captain Al

JR said...

Hey Joe - Jimi
Devil's Right Hand - Steve Earle
Crimes of Passion - Rough Trade

- Freki

BG in Q said...

Dylan - Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Aerosmith - Janie's Got a Gun
Cher - Bang Bang
Beatles - Rocky Raccoon

M_Sharp said...

Brought A Knife To The Gunfight - Wayne Kramer
Ballad Of A Well Known Gun - Elton John
I Think She Likes Me - Treat Her Right
Delia's Gone - Johnny Cash
Shotgun Boogie - Tennessee Ernie Ford
Shootout On The Plantation - Leon Russell

Anonymous said...

Cooney Shot Delia - Peter Spencer
Me & My Uncle - John Phillips
Janie's Got A Gun - Aerosmith
Across the Great Divide - the Band
If I had a Rocket-Launcher - Bruce Cockburn

Anonymous said...

How about another Warren Zevon?

Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.

Anonymous said...

The Only Ones - Baby's Got A Gun
The Clash - Guns of Brixton
UB40 - Guns In The Ghetto
Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey - Everybody's Carrying A Gun
Skatalites - Guns Of Navarone
Uncle Tupelo - Gun
Mink Deville - Gunslinger
Ry Cooder or Steve Earle - Don't Take Your Guns To Town
Robert Cray - Smoking Gun
Tom Waits - Gun Street Girl

Roger said...

Woody Guthrie/The Byrds/Bob Dylan - Pretty Boy Floyd

"Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen."

Anonymous said...

One last western gun song:

Bo Diddley's a Gunslinger!

Captain Al

Yah Shure said...

I agree completely with "Guns, Guns, Guns", which was a big hit at my college station. Halfway through, it would start to sound intermittently distorted. It turned out that the station's copy of 'Rockin'' pressed on RCA's thin Dynawarp vinyl was flat along the outer edge, but very warped around the label. Since "Guns" was the last cut on side 1, the warped vinyl was bumping against the bottom of the phono cartridge with each revolution, lifting the stylus ever-so-slightly out of the groove and getting increasingly noticeable the closer it got to the label. It never quite got to penny-on-the-tonearm stage, but sure came close.

The "Guns" single was must-have for Guess Who fans: the "A" side was remixed, and "Heaven Only Moved Once Yesterday" on the flip was in the clear, without the crossfade into "Don't You Want Me" on the always-fun "Hi Rockers!" "Hand Me Down World" also had a mix that was unique to the single.

Good to know I'm not the only one who loves "Get A Gun" but has no idea what the hell it means.

A few others, mostly from those college years:

Carole King - "Smackwater Jack"
The various "Give Ireland Back To The Irish" bits on National Lampoon's 'Radio Dinner' album
"Gun Control" from Arista's SNL cast album
Doors - "Unknown Soldier". Entirely different gunshot SFX on the 45 and LP.
Proctor & Bergman - "Saturday Night Gun Mart"
Steely Dan - "Don't Take Me Alive"
Free - "Wishing Well". Extra points for passing the 45 off with a time of 2:98
Country Joe McDonald - "Wilderness Trail", where each band member gets picked off one by one.
Five Pieces Of Eight - "Age Of The Gun", from the rock opera 'Moses And The Impossible Ten', with surprisingly scorching guitar work later on. Never had a chance, being on BASF Records, whose cumulative won-lost record was 0-everything.

Roger said...

The Olympics - Western Movies