This Band Could Be Your Life

Yesterday I contributed the 170th Imaginary Compilation Album over at The Vinyl Villain. I think it’s fair to say it is an idea which has caught on. After sending over ICAs for Big Audio Dynamite, Husker Du, ACR and Andrew Weatherall I decided it was time for San Pedro’s 80s punks Minutemen to have their time in the sun. You can read it and get the songs here. As always there are songs which had to be left out. This is one of them, the live version from their posthumous 1987 live album Ballot Result. Following D. Boon’s death Mike Watt and Hurley compiled the album from fans votes and contributions but the idea had started back in 1984 when they were bootlegged.

I Felt Like A Gringo (live)

The lyrics for this song show, along with the 10 short songs over at TVV, what a remarkable band they were. Over their frenetic, jerky post-punk funk we get one minute forty seconds of American awkwardness and cultural imperialism in the Reagan era.

‘Ton of white boy guilt, that’s my problem
Obstacle to joy- one reason to use some drugs

Slept on a Mexican beach, slept in trash
America trash
Too much can ruin a good time

I asked a Mexican who ran a bar for Americans
‘Who won’ I said, ‘the election?’
He laughed, I felt like a gringo
We paid for a song and they had some fun with us

Why can’t you buy a good time?
Why are there soldiers in the streets?
Why did I spend the 4th in somebody else’s country?’

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