In the world of kids, there is Christmas and then there is Halloween. Everything else pales by comparison. If you get to hang out with kids this time of year, you know that they are focused on their costumes and getting lots of candy. In fact, the greed and avarice for candy is almost unmatched except for a similar zeal associated with Christmas gifts. This is a big time of year for kids.
Are you thinking "Kids? What about me?" Well, you're right, you can dig into the candy that is set aside for the trick or treaters and indulge yourself. I remember as a teenager my Mom and sisters went nuts and ate 80% of what was purchased to give to the trick or treaters, and I was the one stuck giving out candy. We ran out early, and I ended up digging into the mini bags of Doritos, and near the end of the evening, as the hordes continued to cross the Rubicon and ring our doorbell, I was giving out cans of Coke.
But if you're thinking that you're going to get dressed up and go get drunk in the city, hey Peter Pan, time to grow up. This is a kids holiday. You can dress as silly as you want anytime (and given what I see at work, people take this admonition seriously), and since it's America, you can have brews for breakfast, too. What a country! But if you want your Halloween jones, you came to the right place, because I've got a lot of treats for you from the rock songbook.
First up, it's Bobby Picket and his novelty song from the 60s, Monster Mash. This track always gets heavy rotation this time of year, and was a staple in my house when it first came out. It's a very odd video, but a timepiece in its own right. Here ya go:
Let's get more contemporary, shall we? It wouldn't be Halloween without those crazy Cramps. Exploring the rock/horror movie boundaries, the Goo Goo Muck is one great song from a band that is often overlooked. I love it, and not just on October 31.
What's that? Where's Thriller? Yes, of course, how can I skip that? Like Michael, I don't believe in the occult, either. But then again, what a video! I remember when this one came out - it was a revolution for the MTV generation. The song is mega-Jacksonian too, keeping the King of Pop firmly on the top of the heap. Watch and remember.
How can we forget candy this time of year? And how can we forget Malcolm McLaren and his mash-up band Bow Wow Wow who came up with a tremendous track called I Want Candy that features big African drumming and lots of groove.
A lot of bands put out songs that are not per se Halloween related, but can be lumped in because of the name or the relation to ghosts, ghouls, hell, and every other Halloween horror. I won't go after anything zombie-related because I don't find zombies particularly scary and I find the whole concept stupid. So no Rob Zombie, stuff, ok? But want to hear some of the other stuff to which I was referring? Of course you do. Let's start with this one. The Specials contributed a fantastic slow ska song to the Halloween smorgasbord: Ghost Town.
Want more? How about a campy hit song from Warren Zevon (I was a big WZ fan back in the day) called Werewolves of London:
Death? Sure, we have a great death song. It's one of my all-time favorite songs, too. I can listen to it over and over and not get sick of it. How does that happen? Me don't know, but me like. Here it is in all its glory: Blue Oyster Cult's Don' Fear The Reaper:
One last song, and then it's back to work. Oops, did I do this at work? Well, I could have because it looks like I'm working while I type this. Anyway, this anthemic rock song is one of the best-known tunes ever. It still gets the juices flowing many years after its release. And, at least for me, it's probably very true. Which song am I writing about? Yep, AC/DC's Highway to Hell.
That's it, rockers. Have fun on Halloween, give out the good stuff, make sure the kids have fun, and remember, if you're reading this, you aren't a kid. No puking up red wine on the Elmo costume, ok? Unless, of course, you are wearing that puppy to work.
Devil horns, my friends!
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My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.