Wednesday, November 11, 2009
You'll believe it when you find something SCREAMING 'cross your mind!
Midweek Music - The Green Slime, "The Green Slime (Title Theme)"
Before devotees of 1969's The Green Slime recall the rubbery special effects, the laughably bad miniatures, or even Luiciana Paluzzi's pulchritude squeezed into a mylar jumpsuit, there is The Theme Song, and there are few funkier in the history of sci-horror cinema. A two-and-a-half minute concoction of sheer psychedelic bliss, complete with obligatory theremin effects, the tune was written for the opening credits by Sherry Caden, but it was vocalist / drummer Richard Delvy that sent the endeavor right over the top into deepest space.
Delvy had started out as the percussionist for The Bel Airs, a quintet of teens who got together in true Oneders (that's pronounced "wonders") fashion in the early 60s and produced one of the earliest surf rock instrumentals, "Mr. Moto." While it never hit on the national charts - just a year or two ahead of its time - it was a big regional single and a pivotal moment in the history of surf music; not a bad accomplishment for five kids just out of high school. The band called it quits after just a couple of years, and Delvy tooled around CA gigging, picking up the occasional producing job, and eventually landing the chance to record the title track for a 1968 Japanese sci-fi flick that was to be filmed with an international cast. What was known overseas as Death and the Green Slime got shortened for its US debut to The Green Slime, and picked up its insane theme. (Just like The Blob in 1959 and its theme song from "The Five Blobs," the 45 attributes the performance to "The Green Slime," but it's Delvy and some session musicians.) Delvy throws his soul into the vocals, squeezing every emotion out of every note, and even pulling a Sammy Davis Jr. soundalike moment during the bridge. It is an inspired performance, one that was groovy enough to pave the wave for his next gig - producing the tunes for the CBS Saturday morning animated series, The Groovie Ghoulies.
The version that is below is the seldom-heard complete single, along with the bridge that was edited out of the finished film. It was issued as a promotional 45 to radio stations in an attempt to chart the tune; clearly those stations just didn't try hard enough. (I've seen the 45 go for three figures on eBay.) The Fuzztones were known to have covered this in their live sets, and should you feel so inclined to create your own version, here are the immortal lyrics -
Open the door and find the secret
To find the answer is to keep it
You'll believe it when you find
Something screaming 'cross your mind!
What can it be? What is the reason?
Is this the end to all that we've done?
Is it just something in your head?
Will you believe it when you're dead?
Man has looked out to space in wonder
For thousands of years
Sometimes thinking that life could be somewhere
And now, now it's here!
Get out the incense and love beads, kiddies, and let your hair down. Shag carpeting is not necessary to enjoy this, but it sure as hell couldn't hurt. (Oh, I did I mention that The Green Slime is not available on DVD? Like yesterday in a really, really long post? And they think American health care is a shame...)