Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Random Ten

In my favorite-ever book, Tom Robbins' "Still Life With Woodpecker," one of the main characters, Mickey Bernard Wrangle, has a theory-- that you can tell everything about a person by who their favorite Beatle was (mine was Paul. Unlike everybody else on the planet, John was not my favorite)

I think our generation's version of that is the Friday Random Ten. Here's mine:

Johnny Yen’s Friday Random Ten

1. The Blow Monkeys- Digging Your Scene
2. Pete Shelley- Qu'est-ce que c'est que ├ža ?
3. King Crimson- 21st Century Schizoid Man
4. Phil Ochs- I’m Gonna Say It Now
5. Pete Shelley- Love in Vain
6. Elvis Costello- Goon Squad
7. Rolling Stones- Salt of the Earth
8. Laid Back- White Horse
9. Velvet Underground- Venus in Furs
10. The Music Explosion- Little Bit ‘O Soul

"Albert Camus wrote that the only serious question is whether to kill yourself or not. Tom Robbins wrote that the only serious question is whether time has a beginning and an end. Camus clearly got up on the wrong side of bed, and Robbins must have forgotten to set the alarm"

Tom Robbins
Still Life With Woodpecker

12 comments:

lulu said...

Paul?! Really? I think Paul has moments of transcendent brilliance, but then he writes shit like Silly Love Songs.

I'm gonna go with George because My Sweet Lord is one of my favorite songs ever, and no one picks George.

Johnny Yen said...

Oh my god-- he did lose me there, too. Then he does thing like "Here Today," his tribute to John Lennon.

I'm with you on "My Sweet Lord." Just a lovely, lovely song.

I think that I Paul was my favorite Beatle, but I liked John Lennon the best as an ex-Beatle. "# 9 Dream" is one of my very favorites.

One night, in high school, I woke up in the middle of the night to 'xrt playing the un-bleeped version of "Working Class Hero." Maybe it was because I was half asleep, but it seemed like he said "you're all fucking peasants/As far as I can see" like 104 times. It was pretty exciting.

Dale said...

Good call on the George pick. I love the quote from the book too. Is that where Pete Shelley's been hiding? In your mix? Say hey for me!

Johnny Yen said...

Yeah-- what the fuck-- I've got 4,700 songs in my itunes, and two songs from the same album came up.

Actually, Pete's been busy with Buzzcocks reunions lately.

Bubs said...

George was my favorite. Paul was too cutesy, and John was too capable of being an ill-mannered ass.

It's nice to see Venus in Furs on there. Heh. There was a period of about 10 years where I couldn't play that around the kids. I'm glad I can listen to it again now.

Palette said...

If you want "My Sweet Lord" ruined forever, listen to the Jim Neighbors version. You will see what a truly very bad song it is. Has to be John, "Nothing's Gonna Change My World" one of the most beautiful songs every written ever.

Johnny Yen said...

If you want any song ruined, listen to the Jim Nabors version. Have you ever heard the Golden Throats album? It's got Jim singing "You Are the Sunshine of My Life." It just doesn't get any whiter. Also: William Shatner doing "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and "Mr. Tamborine Man." Also: Sebastian Cabot (Mr. French on "Family Affair") doing Dylan songs "LIke a Rolling Stone" and "It Ain't Me Babe." I have this one in the original vinyl-- we'll have to play it for you next time you're here. We'll have to give the kids earplugs-- it might disturb them.

BTW, my friend Dan and I give one another gag albums for Christmas every year. As a result, I own the Jim Nabors Christmas album. The height of Dan's year is his annual trek to Indianpolis (aka the White Trash Woodstock), when Jim Nabors opens the race with a rendition of "Back Home Again in Indiana" that brings down the house year after year.

Chris said...

Good to see another Phil Ochs fan...

lulu said...

I have both the Golden Throats CDs, plus a little gem called Hollywood Hi-Fi that features Little Joey Pesci singing Got To Get You Into My Life.

Utterly terrible. But fun.

Johnny Yen said...

Chris-- Do you have the box set, Farewells & Fantasies? Great set-- great liner notes. I still keep the vinyl best-of set, too, just for Ed Sanders' (of the Fugs) touching liner notes.

Lu-- I didn't realize that not only did it come out on cd, there is a 2-- and 3 and 4. There's one just devoted to bad Beatles covers.

Chris said...

Johnny- I don't, but I'm pretty sure I have all the albums he's released. I'll have to check it out. I had heard that Sean Penn (who's a big fan) was trying to make a movie about him. I read a biography about him. Pretty tragic guy.

Johnny Yen said...

Yes, very tragic. There are two biographies out there, both pretty good.

That's true about Sean Penn.

Farewells and Fantasies is a great collection. I think it's out of print-- I looked on www.half.com, and used copies are going for $150.00. I don't think there was anything on it that wasn't on an album.

You're a friend of Phil's, aren't you? I work with him at the restaurant. If you like, I can burn a copy of the set and give it to him.

Some of my favorite of his tunes: Tape From California, Chords of Fame and Jim Dead of Indiana.