Saturday, April 22, 2006

the Tale of Galong Galong Galong

It began one chilly night in New York City, around the year 1990. I was walking down St. Mark's Place when I overheard what was recognizably a Yellowman song emitting from a boom box held by a shadowy figure in a dark corner. The funny thing was, I didn't recognize this Yellowman song, and even stranger, he was singing about how "Michael Jackson make me crazy". That encounter with that song left a deep impression on me, and the heady combination of Yellowman singing about Michael Jackson was one I could not shake, even if I wanted to.

Fast forward to 2005. There comes a time when a man feels the need for a new Yellowman album -- not that the old ones have lost their luster, but a certain adventurousness kicks in. I remembered the song, but I didn't know the name, nor the album it was on. An extended Internet search revealed that it was, appropriately, "Beat It" from the Galong Galong Galong album.

Since there was no guarantee the whole album was worth one song, I decided to buy a used, discounted copy from a third party on Amazon.com. I hadn't experienced any problems buying this way in the past. I guess there's a first time for everything.

The day the CD arrived I feverishly popped in in my player and turned up the volume. Imagine my astonishment when Country Music started pouring out of my speakers. Was this some kind of a sick joke? The cover and CD said Yellowman, so evidently someone burned these hee haw ballads right over King Yellow.

When I e-mailed the vendor, he responded with some kind of "What? I've never heard of this" line, and asked me to return the CD. I did, but never heard from him again, in spite of bombarding him with e-mails. So I proceeded to crack down on him with the full force of Amazon.com ethics enforcement. My money was refunded, and I eventually ended up buying a new copy of Galong Galong Galong.

It's not a spectacular album. It's sort of average. Stick to "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" and "King Yellowman". But retain the memory of that clever song emerging from the dark shadows one chilly night in New York City.


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