Saturday, November 8, 2008

Voice from beyond: Jimmy Carl Black


Eerie coincidences dept.:

A couple of days ago I wrote an obituary for Jimmy Carl Black, the original drummer of the Mothers of Invention. He’s the one front and center in a beard and white dress on the cover of We’re Only In It for the Money, on which he famously introduced himself by saying, “Hi, boys and girls, I’m Jimmy Carl Black — I’m the Indian of the group.” Like the rest of the band, he was canned by Zappa in 1969.

Today in the mail I got a two-CD set by Jon Larsen, a jazz guitarist from Norway, called The Jimmy Carl Black Story. In his later years Black lived in Europe and played there with various people, including Eugene Chadbourne. Larsen’s album is a self-described “surrealistic space odyssey” that includes a fair amount of jimmycarlsploitation, like the second track, which is called, ahem, “Hi Boys and Girls, I’m Jimmy Carl Black.”

(According to the accompanying press release from Hot Club Records, the album is being released in the U.S. on Nov. 25, though it looks like as if you can get it now through eMusic.)

PhotobucketBut truly creepy is the last number, “Jimmy-As-A-Ghost,” an interstellar love story in which Black, whose vocals were apparently recorded by phone, narrates as a space-age Casper who had a fatal dalliance with “a very, very funky Mrs. Martian.”

But people, don’t despair, I’m back as crew-on-post.
Hi boys and girls,
Now I’m actually ... Jimmy-As-A-Ghost!

Disc 2 of the set is a spoken interview with Black, who goes into a good bit of detail about his early days and the juicy misadventures of a Rosencrantz Guildenstern in the glory days of 1960s rock. Track 11, for example, is called “Miami Pop Festival/Freak out at the Cast Away Hotel/Arthur Brown/Jimi Hendrix/A helping hand from unca Mickey.”

Here’s Track 1, whose title you could probably guess: “My name is Jimmy Carl Black.”


1 comment:

tresider said...

They really should have titled that "My Name is Jimmy Carl Black (2008)"