Before things get too serious at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song at the end of each month, that could be considered to be either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.....
Nash's profile was raised on the international stage when he toured the world with the likes of Gary Numan and Iggy Pop. Other high- profile shows include opening for The Who at C.N.E. Stadium in Toronto to a crowd of 70,000 people, and opening for The Tubes at a sold-out Maple Leaf Gardens.
Unique gravel-voiced Canadian one-man electro band who came to Gary Numan's attention and rose to prominence as his support act on the 1980 Pleasure Principle tour. Ex-of prog band FM, Nash's heavy rock sensibility coupled with virtuosity on electric mandolin and violin, doused liberally in home-made analogue electronics, made him an instant hit among many Numanoids. The white tux and top hat with black piping, blind man's glasses and white face bandages preserved his anonymity and further fuelled his myth. Nash's real name is Jeff Plewman, born March 29 1948, and he took his nom-de-plume from a villain in a Laurel & Hardy short film.
Alongside his horror-influenced original material, Nash had a penchant for cover versions including The Who's "Baba O'Reilly", The Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown" and Jan & Dean's "Dead Man's Curve". The icing on the cake was this irreverent poke at Deep Purple's touring excesses, with the title changed from "Smoke On the Water". It's very good quality, from the bootleg album Hammersmith Holocaust, recorded live at Hammersmith Odeon on September 15 1980.
|Live In London|
Nash has recorded new music for the silent film classics "The cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919) and "The Lost World "(1925) and for other silent film classics including "Nosferatu " and the original "Phantom of the Opera".
In 2012, he officially retired from composing and performing. Plewman died on May 10, 2014 at age 66.
"19th Nervous Breakdown"
The Rolling Stones wrote some great songs and this is one of them. In addition, it was written during the time of their best writing and playing. The scornful remarks to the woman addressed by the lyrics struck some people at the time as being cruel and unusual, while others responded to the attacks on social emptiness. This song comes from the same era of "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadows?" and "Under My Thumb." Jagger had never been more lyrically incisive, while Richards was more structurally dynamic. And let's not forget how Brian Jones crowned the arrangements with his instrumental brilliance.
This is the most radically altered of the cover songs on this album. The tempo has been quickened. A simple bass sequencer pattern delineates. Most of the ornamentation has been revised, although the bass run at the very end has been retained from the original Stone's single. It was done on a mandolin going into an octavider. And keep in mind, there are no guitars to be heard. Amazing !
A take off of Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water', this is my favourite track on the album.
"Smoke" presents special problems for any artist wishing to cover the song. When Nash decided to perform the number, the question arose as to how he could gracefully deal with an autobiographical piece which did not involve him. At the suggestion of Steve Hillage, Nash wrote an off-the-wall satire of the song's lyrics employing the title "Dopes on the Water"
"It was the perfect target for a Parody," Ian Gillan stated during the course of an interview he granted CFNY-FM while visiting Toronto in 1980.
Some heavy metal fans think this is sacrilege, while art rockers label it low life bilge. Musical bigotry in its many forms holds no value for Nash The Slash.
The new lyrics are written from the point of view of a bar band who pretend that they are Deep Purple while they are playing the song. There is an overlapping of the two realities throughout. The chorus refers to the tragic bar band pride in the fact that they are playing the song for money, as (they assume) Deep Purple did. This is what makes this particular bar band what they are: stupid and self-deluded.
The song was written by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and Jan Berry of Jan and Dean in 1963. The original was a regional hit in various parts of North America, and so Steve Hillage decided to release Nash's version as a single also, in the hope of reaching the same critical claim, but made like impact on the charts. It is interesting to note that the 45 release (see left) was a completely different version to that found on the LP.
Nash choose the cover songs on this album for their psychotic elements (ie. internal and / or external chaos and disaster).
Jan and Dean were never a great influence (unlike the Rolling Stones and Deep Purple), but Nash likes the sentiment of the lyrics in this song. There have been minor changes to the original words. Specific references to California have been generalized to make the song more appealing to the broader audience intended for this album.
It's surprising the number of people who think that this is an original tune.
Some people have a hard time understanding the final line: "Hey Doc, how's my 'vett"
This refers to one of the greatest cars ever built in America. The Corvette Stingray. Hence the first line "I was cruisin' in my Stingray late one night...." The car isn't well known in the United Kingdom, but then again maybe it's because the Stringray wipes out the Jaguar XKE, and the Brits find that unfeasible.
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my promo vinyl copy which I acquired in the 80's from an import shop in Flinders Street, Melbourne. I heard Dopes being played while I browsed to racks of inviting vinyl, and thought it deserved further investigation. When I inquired about the album, I was told that it was a promo copy and was produced by Steve Hillage.
As soon as I heard this I knew I had to have it. To my surprise the album was selling for $7.99 which was almost half the price of most imports at that time. I couldn't wait to get it on my turntable at home and listen to the other tracks, and I wasn't disappointed. I am including full album artwork and label scans as usual.
Nash The Slash ticks most of the boxes for 'W.O.C.K on vinyl' status, particularly due to his bandage costume, sunny's and top hat. Weird and Wacky come to mind while the album is certainly Obscure - I've never seen another copy in 40 years. I think ya gonna like this one.
02 Dead Man's Curve
03 Children Of The Night
04 Deep Forest
05 In A Glass Eye
06 19th Nervous Breakdown
07 Swing Shift (Soixante-Neuf)
09 Dopes On The Water
10 Danger Zone
Performed entirely by Nash The Slash using:
Electric mandolins, electric violins,
electronic percussion, keyboards, pedal devices, voices
[there are no guitars]
Produced by Steve Hillage
Nash The Slash FLAC Link (275Mb)