Listen, dear readers, I want to discuss the records that exist only in my mind. You know, the ones that would be perfect if you added one key component, or the ones that could never exist no matter what, but they should. Like if you poured glue all over the shitty Zeppelin record and then played it at 45 speed while the glue dried. Or if Alice Cooper scatted over Coltrane’s Ascension.

These, then, are those records.

While numbered, this order is contextual only—it can be rearranged by whim.

Proceed.

 

1. The King’s Singers cover Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced—instrumental tracks only.

The King’s Singers were a bunch of dorky Oxford graduates (or maybe they were Cambridge dweebs).  Anyway, what they did was make really stilted a cappella arrangements of popular and traditional songs, and then they sung ‘em and recorded ‘em and sold ‘em to the masses. But what masses were buying these slabs of stridently stiff upper lip ridiculousness? That’s my point exactly. One of those masses was my dad, and he had a rule in his car, he’d let me play a cassette, and then he could. So for every daringly hip selection I made—Funkadelic lasted four minutes into Maggot Brain—he had a rather dreary classical piece, usually Mozart, usually played by some orchestra over there in Bavaria. But every now and then a glimmer would appear in his eye, and he’d slip in something goofy. And goofy doesn’t do justice to the King’s Singers. So, I always thought that Hendrix would have done better shutting the fuck up and showing off his guitar more and more. But wouldn’t the King’s singers have been better singing Hendrixian guitars in their black robes and their number 2 men’s haircuts? Yes. Press PLAY to continue.

 

2. Melvins’ Eggnog, extended play, featuring Ornette Coleman.

Yeah, Lorax, the bass player on this record, is fucking Shirley Temple’s daughter. So there’s that. Plus the lumbering pace of each sludge-filled selection lends itself to medicine cabinet lovers of the world. In fact, that might have been the alternate title—Medicine Cabinet devotees of the world unite! Slide in a dose of Ornette skronk every few moments, play it backwards, forwards, sideways, down, and you’ve got the best mash-up masterpiece of all time.

 

3. Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue with a chorus of cats screeching.

Fuck Miles Davis. I’m tired of that tinny ass goddamn trumpet. So add some cats, and man—you’ve got a whole roomful of Miles Davis skinning the fuzz off your eardrums.

 

4. Nina Simone and Screaming Jay Hawkins arguing while Hawkins’ version of “I Put a Spell on You” plays in the background.

Hawkins apparently keeps poking Simone in the chest because you hear her say, get your bony ass finger off of my tit, sonny. And then Hawkins starts trying to harmonize with the record, but he can’t because he’s high on glue and waffles.

 

5. Whichever Black Sabbath record you like best, with Hope Sandoval singing.

Yeah, metalheads are really annoying sometimes. But I’ve always loved Sabbath, especially because Ozzy sings/screams alright now in, like, every song, even on the records he’s not on! But imagine a doped-up LA chanteuse doing that, why don’t ya? Bliss.

 

6. Jay-Z and Sarah Jessica Parker duet on “Hard Knock Life.”

Carrie-what’s-her-name started out on Broadway, playing Annie, singing “Hard Knock Life” a fuckload. And it was right around the same time Jay-Z might have been running rocks in Bed-Stuy. So, you can see, getting these two together in my head was hardly much of a leap. I love show tunes. Guess what? So does Jay-Z!

 

7. Aretha Franklin, “Amazing Grace”—with Nigel Tufnel.

It could be any gospel recording, maybe even Mahalia, but since there is a book about this particular slab of divinity I think it’ll do. And Tufnel, of Spinal Tap fame, is about as devotional to music as any might-be chapeau salesman could be. So this is another no-brainer, as the vocals soar heavenly, Tufnel’s metallic arpeggios can only aid their rise. Celestial!

 

That’s it for now. Feel free to add your own slabs du kick ass. Why can’t these things happen today? Ask Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse. The bass line from “Mountain Song” mashed up with Bob Goulet is way more revelatory than the Grey Rekkid. Kick out the Dextromethorphan!

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HANK CHERRY, As I live and breath on earth as it is in print, in person, and on webpage! Slake Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, Artillery, Poydras Review, The Hammer Museum, The Louisiana Review, Southwestern American Literature, Juice, Cadillac Cicatrix, Offbeat Magazine, Desire 82, Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Twitter Facebook

26 responses to “Kick Out the Dextromethorphan”

  1. hank cherry says:

    I encourage you to lend your own imagined rekkids here, kiddos!

  2. John Albert says:

    Hank Cherry is a genius. There, satisfied Hank? No, really. I mean it.

    • hank cherry says:

      If only we could bottle me, or smoke me. Pass me around. Thanks Mr. Albert, it takes one to know one.

  3. Gloria says:

    3 makes me sad (I love that album), but 7 is hilarious.

    Okay, let me see if I can do one…My 10 year olds have taken a shine to crappy pop music lately (as all ten year olds do at some point – this is the shit I’ll tease them about later.) I’d really love to hear every Lady Gaga song in existence played with someone gurgling in the background, because in my head I always think Lady Gurgle. At least it would be entertaining.

    I’m pretty sure you’re way better at this than I am.

    • hank cherry says:

      Lady Gurgle! That’s better than I came up with. Now, I’m thinking Lysterine Gaga. And on down that line.

    • hank cherry says:

      The band on Kind of Blue is one of the greatest bands of all time. Second only to Supertramp, or whoever it was that sang, Give a little bit…

  4. John Tottenham says:

    Let me think of something suitably incongruous. Meanwhile, I like what you’re putting down/up/sideways. How come nobody ever thought of this before? Somebody probably did think of it, but nobody actually did anything about it, until now. Thanks.

    • hank cherry says:

      I was going to post a reply to this, but when I pressed post comment, a the nervousbreakdown.com sign popped up. It said> you are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.

  5. Rachel Pollon says:

    I was reading this on my phone while eating a grilled cheese sandwich at a local gourmet foodery here in L.A., laughing out loud and smiling hugely, and figured someone was going to tap me on the shoulder to ask me what all the fuss was about. They didn’t, but I’m sure that’s only because no one talks to anyone they don’t know in L.A. Without a fight anyway.

    Brilliant, hilarious, I loved it, but I already told you that on Facebook. I’ll read it again later because who doesn’t want to feel delighted twice in one day?

    • hank cherry says:

      That reminds me, remember Dee-Lite? I think combining Groove is in the heart with the 405 and a grilled cheese sandwich would be a good mash up. Thanks RP(W)!!!

  6. Max Jones says:

    Hot-damn! I’m taking Henry Cherry’s imaginary records to my imaginary desert island!

  7. Max Jones says:

    Remember when Bootsy Collins played bass for the Oak Ridge Boys? …I do!

  8. seanbeaudoin says:

    I want to hear the Meat Puppets played over the Meatmen played over Meet The Beatles played over Pleased to Meet Me.

  9. J.M. Blaine says:

    Man, I had to jump back at #5
    because I have always wondered
    what Sabbath’s “Heaven & Hell”
    would have sounded like if they
    hired Roger Troutman instead of Dio
    when Ozzy got the boot….

    • hank cherry says:

      Mr. Blaine, you have outdone yourself! Troutman Iommi + Eddie Hazel, Bernie Worrell Bill Ward and Zigaboo Modeliste.

      Let’s get it on!

  10. hank cherry says:

    I always forget to sign in the right way

  11. I once heard Peter O’Toole do The Spice Girls’ Wannabe*. “I’ll tell you…what I want. What I really…REALLY want…”

    *had to Google to make sure he hadn’t died before Wannabe came out. Actually he’s still alive. I’m fairly confident I didn’t make this cover version up

  12. hank cherry says:

    Oh, here’s the King’s singers!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgR5qi-kSoE

  13. Joe Daly says:

    I’d love to have that Screaming Jay/Nina Simone collaboration for a nice long run.

    Hank, you nailed the Melvins on the head–a band that might best be savored by medicine cabinet enthusiasts and cough syrup connoisseurs. I’d be afraid to listen to them on something heavy. I don’t think I’d ever come back.

    Glorious, glorious list. I had to say that twice because of its glorious glory.

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