# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Funeral Choices - Vinyl Stories

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 4 / 5 / 2024

Funeral Choices - Vinyl Stories

Vinyl Stories has taken a somewhat morbid but jovial turn this month. I was conscious that things might have got a little serious or at least on a level, so I placed a post on some of the social media groups I frequent. I know what you are thinking but it’s not actually like that and it was never proven anyway. I have a healthy fear of dying. And I want to stay on this planet for as long as I can. But when the time comes I suppose it is inevitable. During a daydream I had the other day, I was at my own funeral and the pallbearers were carrying me in. It was all very sad and morbid, and they slowly walked in line down the floor and placed my coffin on a table in front of everybody. The vicar said a few kind words and then proceeded to ask the congregation to join him in song. Instead of the usual organ pipes striking up there was, however, the high- pitched sound of what sounded like choral tapes. Then there was the unmistakeable electronic disco sound of badabooooom badabooooom and then the most unmistakeable sound of drums, which then kicked into the Georgio Moroder sound of Sparks’ ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’. The congregation started to move and smile, and before you knew it they were all dancing and grooving around in the aisles. So, I asked the question……. ”The church where you are having your own funeral is equipped with a turntable, and you have three vinyl records that you can play at separate intervals during the proceedings. Which three singles do you pick?” I was not really expecting the amount of replies I got back. So much so, that I couldn’t really list every single one here. The usual suspects kept cropping up such as ‘Stairway to Heaven’, which was suggested by Steve Polzin, Paul Meyer, Chris Mafia, and Bill Ware suggested Dolly Parton’s version of the same track. To be honest, I was a little unsure as to whether it was a serious inclusion by some or a bit of fun. Another popular track is Norman Greenbaum’s ‘Spirit in the Sky’, which was suggested by Mark Jakimiak and John Price among others. Graham Glover, Doug Colby, Mark Edwards, Ray Mowlem all suggested ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ by Eric Idle from ‘Monty Python's Life of Brian’. Incidentally Graham Glover’s other additions made me chuckle. After ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’, he followed this with Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ and ‘Fire’ from The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown for cremation, or The Jam’s ‘Going Underground’ for burial. Nice to cover all eventualities! One of our latest Vinyl Stories victims Mr Chris Hladzik gave me this little trio; ‘Anthem‘ by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, ‘Voyage To Atlantis’ by The Isley Brothers and ‘Wasted Sunsets’ by Deep Purple. And he proceeded to add,“I’m sure there are others, but those three are pretty epic songs that would be a great way to be sent off.” I soon realised that what you need to do is picture the average funeral, a little specialist interest I know, but try it and picture everyone attending with rather sad faces until the first track starts. Then you need to picture the crowd as the tracks go on until the last one play, and instead of the usual tears and hankies there is foot-tapping, and disco-dancing, break-dancing and even full on head-banging. Here is Dave Williams’ addition: “Just attended a funeral service for a guy named Bobby (well, Robert) where the opening track was solemnly introduced by the chaplin…’King Tut’- Steve Martin, followed later by something from Miss Piggy, and closed out the service with The Jim Carroll Band with…you guessed it….’People Who Died’”. Bill Ware’s other choices, as well as ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Dolly Parton, the version from her ‘Halos and Horns’ album and not her ‘Rockstar’ album, were ‘In My Time of Dying’ by Led Zeppelin and ‘Surfin Bird’ by Pee-Wee Herman off of the ‘Back to the Beach’ soundtrack. “I am always making people laugh, so why not make them laugh one more time before I go?” says Bill. And why not, Bill? Some thoughtfulness went into this as well. It’s not all death and laughter here, you know. Larry Pre Watts sent in ‘Sowing Seeds’ by The Jesus and Mary Chain, ‘I Can’t Make It Alone’ (45 version) by PJ Proby and ‘Ball of Fire’ by Tommy James and The Shondells I’m not sure whether Jim Golzjinski is joking or not when he says. “I only have one, ‘Please Don't Bury Me’ by John Prine.” But I am liking Anthony McShane’s choices of ‘Atmosphere’ by Joy Division, for it's pure depressiveness, ‘Sausalito’ by Grover Washington Jr for its 11 minutes of joy, and ‘Cool for Cats’ by Squeeze To lift the depressing mood. Duncan Leach said his playlist is waaaaay longer than that, but a representative three would be ‘Wooden Ships’ by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, ‘Forever Young’ from Bob Dylan to lighten the mood and a brilliant choice for the last song, ‘Enjoy Yourself’ from The Specials, to be concluded with ‘Days Between’ by The Grateful Dead as an encore. I can just imagine the congregation skanking around to Terry Hall the gang. Andy Needel got in touch to tell me he had actually thought of ‘Enjoy Yourself’ as well , but it’s only one song, He added, “I always come around to thinking that it’s too long and it would probably get uncomfortable during the long jammy parts. People would be checking their watches and be like ‘WTF Andy’. Anyhow, I always loved this song. It gets me pretty emotional sometimes. Whenever I move into or out of a place the first and last things I do are set up my stereo or dismantle it. When I opened up my record store in the 1990s, this was the first tune I played on the new system. When I closed up in 2009, I cranked this up in an empty store, then tearfully dismantled the stereo set-up. I can’t think of two other songs. They’d have to be short and sweet after this one. Maybe RHCP’s cover of ‘Red Hot’ and The Beatles’ ‘Her Majesty’? Meanwhile, Colin John Cunningham asked his daughters if they could arrange Blur’s ‘Tender’ sung by a full gospel choir for his…and Scott Rubinoff picked Slayer’s ‘Angel of Death’ and Necrophobic’s ‘Reign in Blood’ because as he says in his own words “I'm such a happy guy!” A big shout out to Katie Van Berlo with her three…… 1. IDLES – ‘The Chant’ 2. Prince – ‘Little Red Corvette’ 3. Marilyn Manson – ‘Kill4Me All sexy tunes...just like me! Brian Gibbard had me chuckling too with his three – ‘Waiting for the Worms; by Pink Floyd, ‘Going Underground’ by The Jam and ‘Best Day Ever’ from …wait for it…SpongeBob Square Pants... The joviality continued with David Horwitz, who said when they closed the casket he wanted them to play ‘Play Pop Goes The Weasel’ over and over until everyone is jumping out of their seats. Janine Haxel wants ‘One Step Beyond’ by Madness” played as everyone is leaving. “And they all have to do the walk,” she says. “That is imperative or I’ll come back and haunt them. I need to think about the other two. For my Dad I had ‘One Step Ahead’ by Split Enz”. Which made everyone smile, as he drove me to enough concerts. So that can be my second. And maybe something by The Smiths. Or Paul Kelly. I really should start working on this. Not getting any younger.” Whoa, steady on Janine, don’t wish it away!! I really liked Dana Wright’s choices of 1. ‘This Must Be the Place’ - Talking Heads 2. ‘Pictures of You’ -The Cure 3. ‘This Corrosion’- Sisters of Mercy (“during which I will rise out of my coffin on wires and freak everyone the fuck out”) Another former Vinyl Stories contributor Bill Wellwood picked out ‘Ireland's Call’, ‘Flower of Scotland’ and ‘The End’ by The Doors. I had some lovely and touching comments, especially from the likes of Raulin Sherne who got in touch to tell me, “I have my music for that day written out on a piece of paper under the stereo. It's been revised a number of times. Some Beatles, Pink Floyd and others. Songs with meaning about the journey of life. I hope my friends and family will pause to think about what it means to be a good person and help others as they live on. I can't believe I'm sharing this.” But, there you go. Over the years we have touched on all sorts of subjects, some of which have touched people and even helped people somehow so that was a nice one to share. And coming to the end, if I thought at first this was a bit of a morbid approach to Vinyl Stories Mike Jones confirmed, “Oh Geez ,not morbid at all. I have often thought of this: George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ or the ‘Anthology 3’ acoustic version of ‘As My Guitar Gently Weeps’...never had a third choice so I don’t want to force it.” A slightly off kilter Vinyl Stories for you, and I suppose I have broken the law a little because I doubt if some of the inclusions here actually ended up on vinyl. It’s not been one hundred percent about the vinyl but its been such fun doing it. I couldn’t include all the comments because, honestly, I had so many, so a big shout out to all the kind folk that contributed to the posts I put on various pages.

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