The mid-1980’s Twilight Zone was actually really good. It had an appropriately creepy vibe right from the start, aided greatly by the reinterpretation of the classic theme music, courtesy of Merl Saunders and the Grateful Dead.

I mean, sure, you could hire anybody to pluck out those four notes repeatedly, but why not Jerry Garcia? The guy was a huge fan of old comic books; he must’ve been into EC, and it’s only natural that someone who read EC comics would be an avid watcher of The Twilight Zone, back in the twilight of the ’50’s.

That said, does he not nail it like he loves it? Hell, I bet he didn’t even have to learn it.

As a young man, I could not figure out how the band that made music that occasionally robbed me of sleep was the same band the stoners caterwauled along with on the radio in art class. Their songs always seemed to be about driving that train high on cocaine, or begging not to be murdered. I just didn’t get it. At gunpoint however, I would eagerly choose their American Beauty over Sam Mendes’ awful version. If he’d recut it so that its entirety was Thora Birch exposing herself in a window, I might recant that decision.

Thora Birch is the spawn of porno people, did you know that? Her parents were porn stars. That’s actually pretty hot when you think about it.

John Doe of X played the husband of Julianne Moore’s Amber Waves in Boogie Nights, the one who tells the lawyer that she does porno, thus winning custody of their son and making her wrenchingly sob in the parking lot. He was the bartender Patrick Swayze fired in Road House for skimming from the till. This doesn’t even scratch the surface, the dude’s been in a ton of shit, not always as a sleazeball.

Like many 1980’s bands, X regrouped in the ’90’s, with an album that, despite its clearly not-hideous cover, was not a big hit:

Record store browsers often wore the same expression as the bust.

I mean look, compared to most punk and rockabilly, X is practically wholesome. They’re like a cuddlier incarnation of Patti Smith’s group. Even though I wouldn’t call myself an avid X listener, I’m glad they’re out there (still) doing their thing.

Happy Independence Day, everybody!

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Filed under Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Girls of BIUL, Nostalgic Obsessions, Thousand Listen Club, Unfairly Maligned