Song Of The Day 11/14/2015: Peter Stampfel – “Goldfinger”

It’s never easy to publish on days like today, when all our minds are on tragedies far away, and we fret about how hopeless and idle we are in our desire to help. It feels a little indecorous to be talking about something else. Since today’s entry was already half-written in advance, and in the chance that you might need a momentary dose of levity before moving on in your thoughts, I’ll go ahead with it. Know that I’m also asking the same infuriatingly unanswerable questions that you are right now, and hoping Paris is picking up at least a little of the thoughts we're sending their way.

Quarterly Covers Report – We put a bow on the final Quarterly Covers Report of 2015 with an old friend: the theme to Goldfinger as done by Peter Stampfel. Figured it would make for good synergy what with Spectre just coming out. Stampfel was in the Holy Modal Rounders, an almost balanced folk duo who rivaled David Peel for the title of Most Deviant Thing To Come Out Of Greenwich Village In The ’60s. They started in 1964. Wikipedia, that first-rate source for info about Gaerdahl Ironhand and concomitant drugs, says the Rounders were the first artists to even mention the word “psychedelic,” via their version of the early blues classic “Hesitation Blues.” So if you want to understand the earliest roots of The Unknown Trust Fund Student and his hydroponic apparatuses, I refer you there.

“Goldfinger” was the lead track from Stampfel’s 1995 solo album You Must Remember This…, which sauntered into the KAOS studios shortly before I bolted for Los Angeles. I did what I could to push it up the station charts, and I think it managed to squirt along the bottom of our CMJ Top 30. We had a contingent of appropriately aged DJs, I’m pretty sure, who helped it along. Fearless Stampfel has taken his rendition to the streets of New York:


He took another pair of covers to an even more dangerous place, Rochester, in 2010:


Finally, I thought we’d close out with some good advice Stampfel has for musicians of all ages (“Don’t play with pissy people. Don’t play with assholes.”)


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