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April 1, 2002
TWELFTH EDITION: JIM MORRISON VS. BLACK RANDY, A REPORT FROM CENTRAL FLORIDA

The west is the best. Get here, we'll do the rest."
-Jim Morrison, "The End"

"I'm a loner with a boner and I'm gonna telephone her."
-Black Randy, "Loner with a Boner"

"Who's Black Randy? Duh, I'm just a big dumb emasculated indie-rocker who thinks Ian Mihkigh is the tits of my generation." See, that's you. I'm sorry about your luck, but don't worry, you will learn all about Black Randy, right here, right now. Just give me two minutes of your time, then you can go back to your ersatz emotiveness.

Black Randy (neč Jackie Morris) fronted Black Randy and The Metrosquad, a wonderful late-70's LA band representing one of those many weird strains of punk that withered when hardcore codified a set of rules and regulations thicker (and duller) than the average American suburb's zoning laws. Think Beefheart, Sly and the Family Stone, or Jon Spencer without the black face paint, and there ya' go.

I recently ordered the reissue of Black Randy and the Metrosquad's 1979 release, Pass the Dust, I Think I'm Bowie, and one of the many fascinating aspects of this should-be-classic that I listen to thrice daily (at least) is how Black Randy was way more of the inheritor of Jim Morrison's legacy than anyone, including Darby Crash, who's always looked at as being the absolute end of the deathtrip idea as lived/died by Jim Morrison, et cetera. After Darby Crash's suicidal heroin overdose, the romance of the Pretty Corpse was bankrupt (as it should have been to begin with); Johnny Thunders, Kurt Cobain, GG Allin, all these wastoid Central Floridian ravers who surely play some role in my wanting to flee the Sunshine State for grayer climes... it's expected, and they're dead, and by this point, it's about as "shocking" to anybody as a celtic rune tattoo around your arm.

I'm not putting Darby Crash down here; I'm putting down Jim Morrison, while praising Black Randy. Darby Crash was, in spite of (or because of) his junkie degenerate incoherent stage presence, a gifted lyricist. Read the Germs (MIA) lyric sheet, and then try convincing me that he didn't use his thesaurus more than Nabokov ever did.

Better yet, compare the Germs (MIA) lyrics to any Doors record you care to name. There's no comparison. Jim Morrison's rhymes are dope, dope as in "dopey," not dope as in "good." To whit, from "Riders on the Storm": "There's a killer on the road/ his brain is squirming like a toad/ take a long holiday/ let your children play."

Ridiculous, right? Here are some Black Randy lyrics, just as ridiculous:

"Idi Amin/ I am your fan... politicians on the tube all say you're smarmy/ just give me one chance/ I'll join your army... though I can't afford to fly to Entebbe/ the next time you're in town/ we'll go to CBGB."

"Woke up early the other day/ had to run to the toilet right away/ don't know what's wrong with me/ my feces are soft and full of pee/ beer shit/ this is it."

"ran into a guy/ with lipstick and a beard/ when he took me home he was everything I feared/ he was very kind/ he gave me some good pills/ we saw the Avengers and part of the Dils."

"way out in the dark/ I wanna be a nark/ there'll be no safety for rock n' roll trash/ when I put the cuffs on they better have cash/ at the clubs where they play/ at the motels where they stay/ when they see my car/ they'll know who's the star."

The difference, of course, is that Black Randy had a sense of humor with his rhymes, whereas Morrison, while certainly capable of making a deliberate funny, instead opted for the shamanistic godhead lead singer schtick: "Is everybody in?/ the ceremony is about to beg-in!" Yeesh.

I could go into Black Randy's psychoprankster proclivities here, but since I've already declared him the winner vs. Jim Morrison, I will save that for the next column: Black Randy vs. Black Francis. In the mean time, I urge you to order Pass the Dust, I Think I'm Bowie by Black Randy and the Metrosquad. Sympathy for the Record Industry re-released it in 1994. Maybe you'll like it too.

SEE ALSO: www.myspace.com/blackrandyandhiselegantmetropolitansquad

--
Rollie St. Bacon
A renown rock critic, Rollie St. Bacon has contributed to LAS in the past. But no longer. He may not even be real.

See other articles by Rollie St. Bacon.

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