Thursday, October 31, 2013

Remember The Beastles?

            It was in the early 1960s that the American audience for pop music’s new offshoot, rock’n’roll, heard of a new band from the other side of the Atlantic pond.  It was four Vlads who played loud and hard and long.  Whispers among excited fans was that this new band, The Beastles,  was slayin’ ’em right and left.

             It was true -- literally.  This quartet of supernatural swing -- John Venom, Paul McCoffin, George Hairyson, and Ringo Stab -- became known to the world as “the Slab Four,” as the popularity of their music and their only-after-dark public appearances made a ticket to a Beastles concert the hippest “Ticket to Debride,” as one of their song titles put it.

            In 1964 they signed with the American label Decapitate Records.   Over the next six years, until 1970, when a curtain malfunction in their tour van brought about a sudden and smoky and smelly and crumbly end to their career, The Beastles were the rulers of the musical underworld, producing dozens  of hits, such as

  • Yelp!
  • Grey Mood (with its famous three-minute-long fadeout)
  • Scum Together
  • She Digs You (Blehh! Blehh! Blehh!)
  • I’ve Just Seen a Throat
  • Dying (the group’s only instrumental; culminating in a whispery sound signifying a sheet being drawn over one’s head)
  • Don’t Dig Me Up
  • Carry That Deadweight
  • Axeman (from their first Sickedelic album Repulsor)
  • A Hard Day’s Fright
  • You Mother Should Croak
  • Clavicle Blistery Tour
  • Lady Belladonna
  • I Dig Up Bony
  • Twitch and Howl
  • While My Widow Gently Weeps
  • You Never Give Me Your Mummy
  • Get Black
  • PS I Bit You
  • Revulsion (echoed in their eight-minute sound montage, Revulsion #9)
  • Festerday
  • The Long and Winding Shroud
  • Things We Bled Today
  • Everybody’s Got Someone to Bite Except Me and My Creature
  • I Am the Werewolf
  • Get Drac
  • I’ve Just Been Erased
  • Long-Buried Fields Forever
  • Old Brown Bat
  • You Know My Name (Look Up the Obituary)
  • She Came in Through the Charnel Window
  • No Werewolf Man
  • The Cool of the Thrill
  • Dead Letter Writer
  • Back in the U.S. ER
  • I Should Have Dug Deeper
  • Doctor Leper’s Heart Transplant Club Band
  • Please Mr Ghostman
  • Grave Stripper
  • Filling a Hole
  • You’re Going to Lose That Ghoul
  • Getting Deader
  • Good Night Moonshine
  • Lucy in a Box with Flowers
  • She’s Bleeding Out
  • I Want You (She’s So Bloody)
  • Don’t Let Me Drown
  • Maxwell’s Silver Bullet
  • Happiness Is a Cold Slab
  • A Waste of Honey
  • I’m Happy Just to Drink from You
  • Rotting Raccoon (which inspired Loudon Wainwright III’s “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road”)
  • Decay in the Life
  • And Your Wolf Can Sing
  • Baby, You’re a Dead Man
  • Being for the Death Benefit of Mister Kite
  • Blue Blood Way
  • (The Worms Crawl) Within You, Without You
  • Two of Pus
  • A Little Help from My Fiends
  • Norwegian Stake
  • Let It Beat (nicknamed “the Poe song” by fans for  its retelling of Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart”)
  • Rot Naturally
  • We Can Dig It Up
  • Got to Get You into My Crypt

            Ironically, their final single release reached Number One on the US and British pop charts the same week of their passing.  Perhaps prophetically, it was titled “Here Comes the Sun (Better Hide).”

             But their first hit made such a smash that I am including its lyrics here today.


I Want to Bite Your Neck
The Beastles

(John Venom, Paul McCoffin, George Hairyson, Ringo Stab)

 Oh, yeah, I’ll tell you something,
I hope you won’t object.
When I say that something,
I want to bite your neck.
I want to bite your neck, I want to bite your neck.

O please say to me
You’ll let me be your wreck,
And please say to me
You’ll let me bite your neck.
You’ll let me bite your neck, I want to bite your neck.
            And when I touch you I feel thirsty inside.
            It’s such a feeling for your blood
            I can’t hide, I can’t hide, I can’t hide.

Yeah, you’ve got that something,
So don’t keep me in check.
When I feel that something,
I want to bite your neck.
I want to bite your neck, I want to bite your neck.


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