Just tell them BORIS SENT YOU!
It had a white label. At least that’s how I remember it.
My mother bought our earliest 45s. She got a kick out of "Big Girls Don’t Cry", "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" and "Purple People Eater". But I bought "Loco-Motion" and "Monster Mash".
It was before the Beatles. But we were already addicted to radio. I guess we found the stations when we twisted the dial looking for baseball games.
77 WABC was my station. Oh, the hipper kids listened to 1010 WINS. And WMCA was a city thing. But I was positively mainstream. It feels good to be a member of the group. And on some level, I truly believed Bruce Morrow was my cousin. And I was buddies with Dan Ingram and Scott Muni too!
Buying a 45 wasn’t a casual thing. You NEEDED IT! One didn’t debate whether it had lasting value, whether you’d listen to it in two years, you needed it NOW! It was an itch that needed to be scratched.
And when one got home from the store, one extracted that thirty cent piece of vinyl from its thin paper sleeve and dropped it onto a contraption that looked positively primitive. Not a turntable, but a RECORD PLAYER! With a heavy tonearm, upon which you’d place dimes, pennies, SOMETIMES EVEN QUARTERS, to prevent records from skipping.
And you wouldn’t listen from across the room, but close nearby. Close enough that you could pick up the tonearm to listen to the record again. And again. And AGAIN!
Oh, eventually you gave the flip side a spin, but it was almost always crap. But you didn’t care, because it was about the TRACK!
Why is "Monster Mash" such a great record?
Oh, there’s the lyrics, the Boris Karloff imitation, but what infatuates one, what keeps you coming back, is the GROOVE!
Written and cut almost instantly, "Monster Mash" is a masterpiece. And will last longer than every Mariah Carey track ever cut. It was a lark, not over-contemplated. It’s got the genius of the early sixties in the grooves. When it wasn’t for tomorrow, but just today.
Bobby "Boris" Pickett might be gone, but his record will live on.
Funny, if you contemplate legendary status, you don’t achieve it. It’s only when you throw off restraint, do what feels good unrestricted, when pure inspiration is allowed to flourish, that you create something that reverberates forever.
I’m listening to "Monster Mash" right now. Over and over again, just like back in ’62. When I’d just entered the fifth grade. When I took the single to Keith’s house, and listened to it over and over while lying on his floor with the radiant heat. Funny how when you hear these records you’re not reminded of a time back when, you’re jetted instantly right back to those days, they COME ALIVE!
Excuse me while I resonate with who I used to be. A boy whose life was changed when he heard a sound…