The above pic's been popping up all over town this week, and I thought maybe somebody'd get a kick out of it. It's not a complete non sequitur - all will come full-circle soon enough, kein angst.
This week the credits roll on something like a 70-day-long, high intensity internet hunt. Though it strolled past as casually as a flash animation mortgage refinance advert, I didn't fail to notice that an mp3 of The Icemen's “My Girl (She's a Fox)” had made a very rare appearance within easy capture range. Recorded in 1966, its good solid soul but, much like the writings of David Foster Wallace, generally discussed for its footnotes.
(1) Guitar contributed by Jimi Hendrix.
(2) Catchy hook straight stolen by Amy Winehouse for her 2007 “He Can Only Hold Her.”
(3) Catchy hook, seemingly by coincidence, also stolen by John Legend for his 2007 “Slow Dance.”
It was the second item that particularly excited me. I confess to something of a full-blown addiction to Winehouse's Back to Black. They tried to make me go to rehab, but... aw, skip it. Back in June I was stunned to discover how much her “Rehab” borrowed from Aretha Franklin, and this here be another example of her comfort with brazen soul citation. Oh and also I'm apparently the last person on Earth to notice that the tune of her single “Tears Dry On Their Own” is effectively a minor rework of Marvin Gaye's “Ain't No Mountain High Enough.” But I digress....
Though “My Girl (She's a Fox)” stands up steadily without the support of its music trivia tripod, let's not go calling this an enduring lyrical masterpiece or anything. We're not talking Solomon Burke here, but a treasure all the same. Submitted for your evaluation:
The Icemen – My Girl (She's a Fox) (1966)
Nice, no? But what's that going on at the end there? In the final 30 seconds we get, “She's a fox now (My baby)/ My baby, she's a stone fox/ My baby, she's a stone fox...” I hafta dig the use of the not-at-all-dated term “stone fox,” and I have a sneaking suspicion that Aaron will appreciate too. But brace yourselves, because then we hear, “My baby (Yeah), she's a fizzox now.”
“Fizzox” ?!? Is this 1966? or 1996? I'm prepared to acknowledge that I may have misheard this word, and that I've let my imagination run away with me. But if I'm not? Could it be that we have yet another footnote to add here? Could this prefigure Snoop Dogg's most cuddly verbal trademark? I mean, I knew he didn't invent it, but in my wildest dreams I'd never have imagined it went all the way back to 60s pseudo-Stax soul or, for that matter, Jimi Hendrix's pre-fame career. Fascinating.
And just for good measure, here are those aforementioned Winehouse and Legend tracks:
Amy Winehouse - He Can Only Hold Her (2007)
John Legend – Slow Dance (2007)