Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Dun, diddle-un, diddle-un, diddle-un, diddle-un DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN Thank you, ladies and gentlemen – that was an approximation of the opening salvo from an “Overspill” album track that has “the Mediterranean aroma” about it. Industrial Injury is a pretty funny composition. Its inspiration comes principally from two sources. Firstly, I’ve had the privilege of listening to Frank Zappa music for over twenty five years, and there’s an album of his dating from 1967, a largely instrumental and spoken word project, called “Lumpy Gravy” which I consider to be one of his finest. I can’t deny this album is somewhat bizarre. However, the title track, “The Theme From Lumpy Gravy”, is a fantastic little melody that leaps out at you like a pea from a shooter, and it pushed me into writing something in a similar vein. There’s a great live version of it, performed by Frank’s last touring ensemble from 1988, which appeared on the 1991 album, “Make A Jazz Noise Here”. Secondly, I was a big fan of the old Herbie series of films – the 60s and 70s Disney ones that had Dean Jones, Don Knotts and Cloris Leachman in them – and I vaguely recalled The Love Bug having a soundtrack that, to me, added immensely to the funny scenes of Herbie “automatically” whizzing around the place.
The music, written by a guy called George Bruns, always sounded a bit sped up and the melody lines were chaotic little jumbles of 8th and 16th notes – it still cracks me up when I hear it now (how old fashioned, eh?). Industrial Injury brings that kind of genre to mind when I listen to it.
As a postscript, many listeners may also associate the first few bars with the kind of cowboy music you got in the old John Wayne or Gary Cooper westerns, or even from the Lone Ranger theme. It’s that musical representation of the galloping horse, although my version doesn’t progress in the standard, country and western fashion. Perhaps my horse suddenly decided to express itself by showing us its jazz hooves or something – who knows? Throw in a few Cossack-inflected “hey-hey-heys” half way through and there’s a veritable, continental stew of a tune brewing. It is one of my favourites from the album “Overspill” and I hope that you all get to hear it, sometime soon.