Chuck Prophet, Under Appreciated But Still Cranking ‘Em Out

chuck prophet

Sometimes when you hear a song for the first time that’s really catchy, you end up getting sick of it all too soon. I’m thinking of songs like “Friday on My Mind” by the Easybeats or “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, two really tasty tunes that satisfy you for a second or two, but by the third serving, you’re not even paying attention.

On the other hand, some really catchy songs never get old. The first time I heard Zevon’s “Werewolves of London,” on the radio in 1977, I hopped into my parents’ VW Bug and drove fourteen or so miles to the Record Bar, the closest record store. Despite the song’s simplicity[1], I’ve never gotten sick of it. Of course, the lyrics help:

Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen
Doing the Werewolves of London
I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen
Doing the Werewolves of London
I saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s
And his hair was perfect.

Anyway, Chuck Prophet’s 2002 album No Other Love I’ve never gotten tired of.  I first discovered Prophet via Salon back in the day when they’d offer free cuts you could download from just-dropped albums.

Just as in the case of ‘Werewolves,” the featured cut “I Bow Down and Worship Every Woman I  See” blew me away.  It’s a narrative. Here’s the first verse, which stands up remarkably well naked on the page:

Chloe was a neighbor girl

who walked round in a trance

A lot like Sissy Spacek

at that homecoming dance

Her father was religious

Mother was too

She yearned to be a model

Had issues with food

Last I heard of Chloe

someone saw her on TV

Preaching the power of hypnosis

and aroma therapy

Darby was my sister’s friend

a fashion paranoid

She wore a winter coat all summer long

and made a lot of noise

about conservites and demigods

and how we should be scared

We dropped LSD at Disneyland

She left me stranded there

I hitched back to the valley

with a Dr. Leopold

who sermonized computers

have come to steal our souls

ooh baby ooh baby

I bow down and pray to every woman I see

I bow down and pray to every woman I see

A song from the same album I like even more is “That’s How Much I Need Your Love.” Here’s a brief sonic sample:

 

So what you have here in LA noir music, sunny and creepy at the same time. I just discovered a new one yesterday. My wife Caroline asked if I wanted to hear “Jesus Was a Social Drinker.” The title sounded so Zevon. “Who’s it by?” I asked.

“Chuck Prophet.”

Obviously, I’d lost touch.

Now Jesus was a social drinker
He never drank alone
He never partied at a strip club
Keeping his woman up at home
Or overstayed his welcome
Or threw up in your sink
Nah, Jesus was never late to work, man
And he always pulled his weight

 

It’s off the album Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins, and he’s got a new one coming out in 21 August 2020.  I’m planning on checking it out.[2]


[1] D D (quarter note, half note, then a quarter rest), C C (quarter note, half note,

then a quarter rest), G G C G (the rest quarter notes with no rests), G G G G,

throughout the song

[2] BTW, I’m one of these old-fashioned cats you doesn’t stream his music. I buy the records.