Great Song Intros Of Our Time
Most of us have got them lurking in our record collection somewhere. They can usually be found on live albums, but they occasionally crop up on studio cuts. Frank Zappa is undoubtedly the master, indeed I could fill this article with his amazing preambles, but I will resist that.
1) "Okay listen, this is very important... your attention please... this is an important Public Announcement. It is necessary for me to tell you at this point that there's a clause in our contract here tonight that says if anything nasty happens on stage terrible things happen to us...
So we just want to assure you that our only interest here is doing a swell job for you. However, it is also necessary to prove our good intentions before we begin, by reciting our Mothers of Invention anti-smut loyalty oath!
If the members of our rocking team combo will please repeat after me:
I do hereby solemnly swear in accordance with the regulations in the contract for this rock and roll engagement and the imbecilic laws of the State of Florida and the respective regulations perpetrated by rednecks everywhere do hereby solemnly swear under no circumstances to reveal my tube, wad, dings, wee wee and/or penis any place on the stage. This does not include private showings at the motel room however", announced Frank and the Mothers at a 1970 Florida gig.
2) "This piece of shit's called my arsehole's on fire" screamed a crazed Captain Sensible on an obscure live b-side which was actually called Teenage Dream.
3) "I've suffered for my music now it's your turn" insisted Neil Innes on his Dylan inspired Protest Song.
4) "I think I've bust a button on my trousers, hope they don't fall down. You don't want my trousers to fall down now do you?" sneered a teasing Mick Jagger prior to a rousing version of Carol on their live LP Get Your Ya Ya's Out.
5) "This is one of the most beautiful poems in the English language it was written by William Blake when he was thirteen. It was the first poem he spewed out of his brilliant mind, walking naked in his garden. He ran into a lesbian troll, he loved her, she didn't love him. She wanted the galactic banana, the great golden electric toothbrush in the sky, attached to Nico" one of the more printable monologues from The Fugs live LP Live at the Fillmore East way back in 1968. Oh yes, the song was called How Sweet I Roamed, a William Blake poem put to music.
6) "I'd like to slow the pace down a little bit, give you a chance to buy your popcorn or your peanuts whatever they buy at circuses. Fuck off man! let me talk! and like if you didn't bring any blues with you we'll make sure you have some to take home" Uttered Jimi Hendrix before performing a blistering Red House at a gig in New York weeks before his death, a track from the LP The Jimmy Hendrix Concerts,
7) "This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles, we're stealing it back" Bono handing Helter Skelter back to the people on Rattle and Hum.
8) "My name is Ian Underwood and I am the straight member of the group, one month ago I heard the Mothers Of Invention at the theatre. I heard them on two occasions and on the second occasion I went up to Jim Black and I said "I like your music I'd like to come down and play with you"
Two days later I came up to the recording session and Frank Zappa was sitting in the control room, I walked up and said how do you do my name is Ian Underwood, I like your music and I'd like to play with your group. Frank Zappa said "What can you do that's fantastic?" I said I can play alto saxophone on piano, he said "Alright, whip it out" Self-explanatory anecdote preceeding the track "Ian Underwood Whips It Out" from Uncle Meat.
9) "I love America, I love America, I tell you I wake up every day and say thank God for America. Believe me I do. Imagine being like a Russian getting all that misinformation that they give you over there, they don't give the people the truth at all you know, I mean those Russians think that Billy Joel is a rock and roll singer" pronounced Graham Parker during his white hot one man tour entitled "Live Alone In America"
10) "Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands, all the rest of you if you just rattle your jewelry" nervously announced the Lennonmeister at the Royal Variety Performance on the 4th of November 1963, arguably the most famous rock and roll intro of our time.