Monday, October 29, 2007

Ghostly Groover

Roxy Music (Spook-Rock)
Track: The Bogus Man (1973)

Halloween is approaching and Roxy Music's ghostly groover The Bogus Man is the perfect soundtrack for gruesome goings on.

Hail Roxy. They blew my pubescent mind when they erupted onto BBC's Top of the Pops with Virginia Plain in 1972. For a twelve-year old it was a life-changing experience to see Bryan Ferry in leopard skin and eye-liner, Brian Eno poncing about in a feather boa, Phil Manzanera in glitter boots and shades. And the music was even better: literate, self-aware songs of decadent high life and seedy subversion.

Roxy sure made dressing up seem like fun, which reminds me that a couple years ago I won first prize in a Halloween costume competition at a Kyoto night club. If I say so myself I made a pretty convincing vampire, and I'll never forget the DJ playing The Bogus Man in my honor.

It's hardly more than a glorified jam, but its twisted nursery rhyme quality makes it one of Roxy Music’s most memorable songs.
It's a loose, deliciously disturbing ode to the bogie man, and the influence of Can is obvious in the plodding drums and insistent bass line.

Incidentally, another great Halloween track is Throbbing Gristle's disturbing Hamburger Lady. It's bloody terrifying and I only play it when I have company, otherwise I get the heebeejeebies. Download it if you dare. In the meantime, here's a cool animation of The Bogus Man. Have a scary Halloween!

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