Happy National Dog Day!
Goodrich Gevaart, aka Daddy’s Little Party Boi, is our favorite party boy. He’s also an expert on rock and roll. Let’s learn about rock dogs!
For some reason I’ve been really into Lou Dog. Like obsessed with talking about him. I’m unsure why at the age of 31 I have become very intensely involved with the mythos behind the dog that Brad Nowell from Sublime considered his muse. Is it because I recently started smoking marijuana regularly? I hope not. I would hate to think my new fondness for the sticky dank-ness has distorted my cultural obsessions to something so stereotypically reserved for “pot-heads only”. Thankfully I haven’t resorted to making STAY CALM AND TAKE A TRIP TO GARDEN GROVE memes, but I have commissioned my friend Sarah Shockey to make a piece of art declaring my love.
This has gotten me thinking about all the other rock n roll dogs out there. The not so famous dogs that inspired so many classic bands and songs.
ELVIS & FRANKLIN
Sure, The King of Rock n Roll had a penchant for pills and white cotton panties, but what about his love for his hound dog Franklin? Franklin was known to tour all over with Elvis, they used to share peanut butter, banana, & bacon sandwiches together. If you are thinking he was the inspiration for “You Ain’t Nothin But A Hound Dog,” you are mistaken. According to sources inside the Elvis camp, Franklin thought the song was a “human-centric” view of the experiences of hound dog life. The release of this hit put a rift in their relationship that never quite fully recovered. Franklin passed away five years before Elvis in 1972. Ironically Franklin died in a fashion that foreshadowed the king himself, while drinking from a toilet, Franklin choked on the toilet’s water and lodged his head deeply into the bowl. He was unable to breath and passed away shortly after. A housekeeper found Franklin’s body the next day. Elvis requested a military funeral for his best friend, but never received a proper response from the US Armed Services.
THE SPECIALS & HOOVER
These originators of two tone ska did a lot to bridge blacks and whites in a turbulent time in England’s history, and they owe much of it to the bull terrier Hoover. Legend has it that when frontman Terry Hall was 13, he was playing a game of football with his mates. A stray dog got in the way. It was a lost Hoover, running around London with a copy of a Jimmy Cliff LP in his mouth. Terry, a known animal lover was the only player to drop out of the game and help the dog. Terry took the dog home to his flat and played the LP on his stereo. Terry was blown away by this new music from Jamaica, and he saw Hoover as the messenger from God that gave it to him. The Specials track “Do the Dog” was frequently dedicated to Hoover at their live shows.
METALLICA & BILLY
Before they lost Cliff Burton in that horrible bus accident and before they kicked out Dave Mustaine, Metallica had Billy the Border Collie. In the early days of the band, James Hetfield would bring his dog Billy to the Los Angeles practice space for the band. Legend has it that Billy would curl up in a ball in the corner of the space and only get up when he heard a riff he liked. The songs “Seek & Destroy,” “Hit the Lights,” and “Four Horsemen” were all said to have been based on riffs that got Billy to stand up and run circles around the band, barking excitedly. Unfortunately Billy was taken from the band too soon when a fellow member of the rehearsal space got caught on a bad trip and thought Billy was trying to attack him. Billy was thrown down an elevator shaft. James was pissed and it was that fuel that fired what he desired.
We originally ran this piece February 11, 2015.