Saturday, August 4, 2018

178. Turn you on } dead man.


After Leatherface decides not to murder radio DJ Vanita Brock (about 46 minutes into The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, 1986), he rejoins his brother Chop Top in the front office of radio station K-OKLA. In Chop Top’s satchel are stolen LPs (while Leatherface was in the studio with Vanita, Chop Top rummaged through the station’s LP collection—he was excited about Humble Pie’s live album Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore and he shouted, while flinging 45s, “Music is my life!”). We can only see one of the albums in Chop Top’s satchel—The Beatles’ Abbey Road.

If Toby Hooper (director of Chainsaw 2) wanted to be really obvious, he’d’ve put The Beatles (“The White Album”) in Chop Top’s satchel—the Beatles album most strongly associated with the Manson Family murders. But Abbey Road is obvious enough. It’s the only Beatles album I know with a song about a serial killer (“bang! bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer came down upon his head”); Chop Top murders the station manager a la Maxwell—with a hammer.

What would Chop Top do with his records? Listen to the Beatles sing in harmony about getting high and being inspired by love and making love and sitting in the sun feeling great in love? How does a Chop Top understand a Beatles album? Such musing leads no where.

Thom Yorke (of Radiohead) once expressed to Bono (of U2) his dismay in discovering fans of Radiohead’s music who were also politicians who supported positions antithetical to Radiohead’s politics. I don’t remember specifically what Bono said, but I think it was hopeful, something like, “You want your music to reach people whose minds you hope to change.” That sounds like Bono.

Another answer might be that once you put art into the world you cease to have control over it. The Family can misspell Helter Skelter in blood on a refrigerator door. Toby Hooper can put Abbey Road in Chop Top’s satchel.

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