As a follow-up article to the one on my favorite movies for Halloween, it’s time for a bit of musical accompaniment. After all, if you’re going to have a Halloween party, then you definitely need some good music to get the evening going on a high. As some of you may know, my favorite band of all is the Ramones. For many people, they’re best known for their warped songs dealing with mental illness. We’re talking about great tracks like Psycho Therapy, Go Mental, I Lost My Mind, and Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment.
It’s less well known that the band wrote several songs of a paranormal nature. They include Apeman Hop, I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement, and Zero, Zero UFO. And, then there’s Pet Sematary – which the band recorded in 1989 for their album, Brain Drain. Pet Sematary aside, it’s not a good album. Thankfully, though, the guys bounced back and continued in fine fashion for another seven years.
Pet Sematary is the perfect song to be playing in the background on Halloween. Joey Ramone tells us: “I don’t wanna be buried in a pet cemetery,” as – in the accompanying video – the entire band is lowered into a grave big enough for four. The song was apparently written in less than an hour by bassist Dee Dee (who died in 2002), and is a fine track of atmospheric and eerie proportions. And particularly so considering the unfortunate fates that were in store for Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, and Tommy (the latter having left the band in 1978). Play it loud while you hand out candy!
Then, there’s The Monster Mash. The 1962 original – done by Bobby Pickett – is both stupid and forgettable. But, the Misfits gave it the kick it needed to get it into shape. The band recorded The Monster Mash on several occasions. But, the best version is without doubt that which appeared on the Misfits’ 2003 album, Project 1950. Of course, it’s hard to go wrong on Halloween with the Misfits, as they have so many tracks which are just perfect for October 31: Astro Zombies, Braineaters, Dig Up Her Bones, and Vampira are just a few of dozens.
And I have to include Ghoultown, who are fronted by a good mate of mine, Lyle Blackburn. Lyle is the author of a number of cryptozoology-themed books: The Beast of Boggy Creek, Lizard Man, and Beyond Boggy Creek. As with the Misfits, I could have chosen more than a few. But, let’s go with Werewolves On Wheels, a fast, powerful song from Ghoultown that pays homage to those certain monsters that surface on a full moon. You know the ones. A fiery rock band fronted by a monster-hunter: does it get any better than that? Nope, it does not!
Moving on, say hi to the Murderdolls. Any number of songs were available, including Dawn Of The Dead, Love At First Fright, and Grave Robbing USA. But, I decided on She Was A Teenage Zombie. After all, Halloween is the night when the dead walk. And you can’t go wrong with the lyrics: “Don’t know what I’m feeling or what I should say, On how my life changed, The day I stumbled on her grave, Not a necrophiliac, I guess I was bored, I just love to spend my Time with a fresh embalmed corpse, Of course.”
Finally, there’s The Cramps. Raw, distorted and cool, their songs – like The Ramones – were driven by just a few chords, but were absolute catchy classics. Big Black Witchcraft Rock was almost the song I went for. As was The Creature From The Black Lagoon. But, I just had to go with Papa Satan Sung Louie, which will go down very well on Halloween. I first saw them back in the eighties and they never disappointed. And, if you blast out a bit of Louie as midnight comes around on Halloween, you won’t be disappointed either!