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Wild Turkey Music
July 4, 2010 6:14 AM   Subscribe

In the late 90s EMI's Songbook Series released an album, "Where Were You When The Fun Stopped" with tracks chosen by author Hunter S. Thompson along with detailed liner notes. Since you can't get the cool notes or photos, why not enjoy Hunter's country and folk flavored taste at your July 4th revelry of choice? Ballad of Thunder Road - Robert Mitchum : I Smell A Rat - Howlin' Wolf Big Momma Thornton : Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum : The Hula-Hula Boys - Warren Zevon : Maggie May - Rod Stewart : The Wild Side of Life / It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels - Hank Thompson feat. Kitty Wells & Tanya Tucker : Will The Circle Be Unbroken - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band : Mr Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan : Walk On The Wild Side - Lou Reed : If I Had A Boat - Lyle Lovett : Stars On The Water - Rodney Crowell : Carmelita - Flaco Jiminez feat. Dwight Yoakam : Why Don't We Get Drunk - Jimmy Buffett : American Pie - Don McClean : White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane : The Weight - The Band : Melissa - The Allman Brothers Band : Battle Hymn of the Republic - Herbie Mann (cover)

Bonus Patriotism - Judy Garland And The Battle Hymn Of The Republic
posted by The Whelk (32 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, this is fun! I can see HST choosing all these. Thanks for this, Whelk!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:25 AM on July 4, 2010


Holy crap. I own that album and at least one other from the Songbook series on cd. Very cool! Thanks for posting.
posted by zarq at 6:27 AM on July 4, 2010


"Since you can't get the cool notes or photos,"

"I own that album"

Do you have a scanner?
posted by LarryC at 6:38 AM on July 4, 2010


Why the strikethrough on Flaco Jimenez? His accordion makes Dwight's version the best -- best thing Yoakam ever did.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:51 AM on July 4, 2010


Strike throughs in cases where I couldn't find an exact match but found another performance or cover , I'm pretty sure that version doesn't have Flaco on it?
posted by The Whelk at 6:53 AM on July 4, 2010


Ah. Oh, drat. Great song, either way. (like I'm supposed to follow the links before commenting, or what?)
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:59 AM on July 4, 2010


Happy 5th July! (on the dot)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:00 AM on July 4, 2010


Do you have a scanner?

I do! But I don't know if I saved the liner notes. Will have to go hunting and check.

Before my kids were born, I had to dismantle my office to make room for their nursery. Took most of my CD's (they took up an entire bookcase at the time) and transferred them into giant sleeve books. (The rest were either traded in to a local shop, or converted to mp3, then thrown away.) I only saved liner notes for a few....
posted by zarq at 7:03 AM on July 4, 2010


Surprised I don't see "If I had a rocket launcher" up there. I love the thought of HST sitting in his back yard with a bottle and an RPG. (In theory, anyway. Or at least from a good safe distance, like in a concrete bunker in Brazil.)


> Don't We Get Drunk - Jimmy Buffett

I feel so sure that title was RCA's decision and not JB's
posted by jfuller at 7:03 AM on July 4, 2010


I certainly hope so.
posted by box at 7:21 AM on July 4, 2010


I feel so sure that title was RCA's decision and not JB's

Every live recording of JB has him introduce it as 'Why don't we get drunk and screw'. But I sort of like the RCA version better for some reason.
posted by unSane at 7:22 AM on July 4, 2010


How am I supposed to hear the last two songs on Hunter's compilation if I had someone throw the tape machine in the tub when "White Rabbit" peaked?
posted by Houyhnhnm at 7:44 AM on July 4, 2010


I started listening to Warren Zevon after HST mentioned The Hula-Hula Boys in an essay. I was post-break-up, and has startled by such a hilarious, deeply sad song, especially the bit, "I didn't come to Maui to be treated like a jerk," which is just such a funny-ass line, but delivered so despondently.
posted by Football Bat at 7:56 AM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know how thrilled Hunter would be about the hippie tag, otherwise an outstanding FPP. Thanks.
posted by Splunge at 8:07 AM on July 4, 2010


Man, it's kind of depressing that HST liked Jimmy Buffet. It's depressing that anyone likes Jimmy Buffet, actually.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:16 AM on July 4, 2010


Man, it's kind of depressing that HST liked Jimmy Buffet. It's depressing that anyone likes Jimmy Buffet, actually.

Don't mistake the Parrotheads and JB's monitization thereof, JB is a good musician.
posted by gjc at 8:52 AM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Songbook Series was great - the best-designed book/CD packages I've ever seen, with the possible exception of The Anthology of American Folk Music Volume 4 on Revenant).

Robert Crumb's Songbook is particularly fine.

Packages like these, that combine curatorial and design excellence (not to mention large back-catalogues and/or rights-clearance departments) are about the last remaining justification for the existence of record companies, and for keeping CDs in the home. Everything else I have ripped and stashed in boxes in various attics and storage places.
posted by GeorgeBickham at 9:02 AM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Judging from this, I'd say that HST had exactly the same musical tastes as every other male of his particular age, generation and and social group. It's interesting that someone who was such an innovative writer should have such conventional musical tastes. No Bruckner, for instance. No Lancelot Link. No Hungarian operetta, or Helen Shapiro, Macedonian folk songs or even Tiny Tim. HST was courageous in his prose style, but too chicken to like non-Tex-Mex polka, Little Jimmy Scott, or the Big Bertha Band Organ. In fact, I see no circus music here whatever. No Gershwin songs with ocarina. Nothing from the court of Louis XVI. The Piatnitsky Chorus, I see, was off his radar. So was Samoan Catholic Slap Dancing (although we know he had Samoan friends). If he ever liked "eefin'" (tip o' the Hatlo hat to flap) there is no indication of it here. The wild, gonzo journalist was obviously too square to appreciate Buzz and the Flyers "Fireflies" on harp, Hank Penny, Benjamin Britten/Peter Pears, or the Soviet Army Chorus and Band. HST was so far into the conventional groove that his list of favorites does not even nod in the direction of Comedian Harmonists, Borrah Minevitch, or early Schoenberg. This madcap writer apparently took his musical cues from the album reviews in Rolling Stone, like every other tedious substance abuser of his generation. He seems never to have heard of George Beverly Shea, Dave Apollon, or even member of his age and intellectual cohort, like the Sandy Hurvitz, Pearls Before Swine, or Uncle Willies Brandy Snifters. No "Shepherd on the Rock", no "Too Fat Polka", no "True Love". HST dug "American Pie"? Wow, he was out there! No wonder he KILLED HIMSELF.
posted by Faze at 9:04 AM on July 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


How does one strike through Flaco Jiminez? I have issues with this.
posted by timsteil at 9:06 AM on July 4, 2010


Faze ...are .. you ... a .. hipster?
posted by adamvasco at 9:35 AM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


One can get the liner notes, for a mere US$50 or so.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:40 AM on July 4, 2010


I have the Peter Bagge songbook CD, Peter Bagge's Rockin' Poppin' Favorites! It's a lovely object.
posted by mippy at 9:49 AM on July 4, 2010


Faze ...are .. you ... a .. hipster?

It makes it almost tolerable to endure Faze's relentless trolling if you imagine him as a sort or Rube Goldberg robot with an output algorithm composed of neologisms from a David Brooks screed mixed with like Ignatius J. Rielly's temperament and social skills, only with the classical-scholarship obsession replaced by a particularly pompous Pitchfork reviewer's sense of self-righteous tastemaking expertise.

As I said, this makes it almost tolerable. Now that I can imagine the good Doctor dismantling that idiotic bleating machine with an empty bourbon bottle and a shotgun packed with black-eyed peas, then inviting William Kennedy, Warren Zevon, Jack Nicholson and Johnny Depp over for some barbecue and ether, after which they ceremonially piss on the pile of rubble that remains and get Steadman to draw the whole scene, it's verging on actually tolerable.
posted by gompa at 10:29 AM on July 4, 2010 [7 favorites]


I love Thompson but I fucking hate "Spirit in the Sky."
posted by Snyder at 10:44 AM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jimmy Buffett has always seemed to me like someone I would enjoy sitting down and having a beer with, as long as we didn't have to listen to his music. Kinda the opposite of Lou Reed, whose music I quite like but with whom I have no desire to ever hang out.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:58 AM on July 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


That last one may be a Herbie Mann arrangement, but that's San Diego's Bradley Leighton on flute!
posted by cherryflute at 12:14 PM on July 4, 2010


It's interesting that someone who was such an innovative writer should have such conventional musical tastes.

I have to admit, that even though I've read everything HST wrote, most of it twice, I have to echo this disappointment in his tastes in music. Writing about the Jefferson Airplane or Bob Dylan in 1970 could not possibly have been any more "all eyes on the underground" than talking about Radiohead or Jane's Addiction in 2010. Not that any of those are not superior artists, it's just that in each case they've been around long enough that merely namechecking them offers absolutely zero insight or payoff.
posted by squeakyfromme at 2:56 PM on July 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love Thompson but I fucking hate "Spirit in the Sky."

I have to admit, that even though I've read everything HST wrote, most of it twice, I have to echo this disappointment in his tastes in music.

For a bunch of reasons I can't hate a lot of these songs, cause almost all of them bring up memories of camping in the summer with my mom and a mix of rural hippies, gay truckers, home-brew enthusiasts, tambourine-slapping Baptists, Zen Recovery groups and clutches of neo-pagans and the occasional goth yurt. Not all of those memories are particularly nice, but something like Spirit In The Sky brings up the day when my brother nearly knocked himself on a truck bumper so vividly that I can't dislike them.
posted by The Whelk at 5:04 PM on July 4, 2010


Man , this makes me miss Hunter even more. Gonna strap on the Shadow, and go for a rip up the Sea to Sky, runnin' this as the soundtrack. Thanks so much for the effort you put into this, The Whelk.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:04 PM on July 4, 2010


I should mention was a big fan of "retreats" in isolated mountain environments and often dated men who already had a truck full of camping equipment.
posted by The Whelk at 5:05 PM on July 4, 2010


mention *my mom was/is *
posted by The Whelk at 5:05 PM on July 4, 2010


In Faze's defense, he did post a number of music videos which are good to experience while high.
posted by telstar at 5:44 PM on July 4, 2010


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