By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
The first mutation was relatively welcome. “Take Me Out” (or whatever it was) d/evolved naturally into its original form: “Trampled Underfoot” by Led Zeppelin. That seemed fair. “Talkin’ ’boutlo-uh-ove! Talkin’ ’bout love!”(And no, I don’t know the rest of the lyrics, and neither do you. Talkin’ ’bout love!) The guitar riffs in these two songs are not identical — and yet they may as well be. At any rate, you can’t have the FF one without the Led Zep one.
So I was diggin’ that okay. I’d have it in my head maybe 15 percent of my waking hours. And then, a few ball games later, one absent-minded early summer evening, I’m doing my thing. I’ve got the Led Ferdinand rockin’ upstairs; it’s all good. I’m making some salad. Suddenly, I realize a whole ’nother band has taken the stage in my mind and joined the jam — and they’re singing about the love! too. They sound kind of like Chicago, but the song is pretty Zeppelin, in its way. Good gorgonzola: It’s the freakin’ Doobies. They’re just droppin’ by to lay some of their heavy-ass grooves on us. I will find out later that theirversion of the jam — “Long Train Runnin’?” (1973) — came out two years before “Trampled Underfoot,” so there. “Without love, where would you be now? Withoutlo-uh-uh-ove!”
At this point, it’s getting pretty smelly up in this joint. I mean, I’m trying to make some dinner here in 2006, and I’ve got about 10 long-haired mid-’70s hippies in my head — with beards; with bongos; with B.O. and terrible denim shirts. Not to mention the post-punk guys, who have bad breath. Overall, the pot stench is pretty strong.
I guess that’s probably why, a few months later, toward the end of baseball season, my mental hippie punks and their endless, endless jam took a turn that seemed surprising at the time — but in retrospect was inevitable. I mean, you can only smoke so much pot and bang on so many bongos before the Rastas show up.
Yes, round about late August, Bob Marley and the Wailers turned up for a cameo while I was filing old bills. In truth, I suspect it was primarily their backup singers, the I-Threes, who instigated the move. You see, Rita and the girls were kinda diggin’ on the verse lyrics in the Doobies’ tune, and they felt inspired to join in and do their own little rap — from “Could You Be Loved” — right on top. The Doobies go, “Down around the corner/A half a mile from here/You can see them long trains run/And you watch them disappear.” And the ladies go, “The road of life is rocky/And you may stumble too/So while you point your fingers/Someone else is judgin’ you.”
The Doobies go, “Without love, where would you be now?” The ladies go, “Could you be, could you be, could you be loved?”
And me? I go slightly mad.
POSTSCRIPT: Dodger baseball has been over for a while, and yet — scary but true — the mashup lives on in my head. He’s several weeks too late, but now James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, is knocking on the door, trying to get down with us by singing “Living in America” over the whole mess. So far, the hippies and I have refused him entry, but we can only hold him off for so long.