The Sperm, So Valuable To The Goverment
:: California Fairy Tale ::
Jimmie Haskell is a very well known, very well respected producer and arranger. From his days working with Ricky Nelson up through the massive amount of film work he's done more recently, he's kept very, very busy. In 1971, he put out a concept album, with the concept and writing supplied by one Tom Gamache, called California 99. It's about a post-massive-earthquake future where all of America is called California, and people smoke lots of pot and eat bugs. Sadly, I (so far) have only this promo single as partial evidence of the madness that this album surely must contain. I don't really need to do much explaining here, as someone else has already done a bang-up job elsewhere, and anyway, one listen of this bizarre track will either make you feel what I feel (which is, I must hear this whole album) or make you delete the mp3 immediately.
Stuff like this cracks me up, not just because the guesses about what might be in the future are often patently ludicrous, but because they never seem to go far enough in the future to even give such ludicrous ideas a chance. Even in 1971, the year 1999 wasn't really that far off, so the notion of an instant supermarket that you just add water to was probably a little far-fetched. Most likely Gamache's vison was meant to be whimsical, and hearing this now, 35 years later, it kind of sounds like a goofy Godspeed You Black Emperor piece. I do have to wonder, though, that given the era and the fears of nuclear war and the prevalence of pot-toking hippies, and the fact that the sound of a radio-smooth voice still seemed like an authority figure, if this thing might have scared some folks. Well, maybe some old folks what ain't never ate a bug or inhaled a lungful of killer green bud.