During a meet up with my friend Craig a few years ago we discussed great albums. Albums we held dear and such like. Then he hit me with the news that David Carradine had released a really ace record called Grasshopper. An album, he assured me, that he held in high regard. My reaction was “really? David Carradine?” In hind-sight, my reaction was similar to what I was saying in my head as he and Tommy discussed ZZ Top albums while we were mulling over the mixing of Ten Fires. Now, given how the ZZ Top thing turned out, this piece of information was duly noted.
About a month or so later, during an impromtu (haha) record store trawl, I found a pretty beat up copy sitting in Oxfam sporting a £2.99 sticker. When I say beat-up, what I mean is tatty. The record itself is in pretty nice condition – some surface noise adding to the overall atmosphere of the record. Like a scene from one of those crazy movies, I saw Craig’s face and heard his wise words “Grasshopper is a really great album. Probably right up your street, too” (some paraphrasing there) and duly picked it up. At £2.99 I couldn’t leave it sitting there. Could you imagine?
Released in 1975, Grasshopper is a collection of spaced out bluesy folk-type numbers. Sounding an awfy lot like a bunch of wonderfully surreal improv performances and streams of consciousness. There’s also some pretty strange moments (Cosmic Joke and the fantastic Chicken Song). In fact, it’s actually quite Manson-esque in that regard (not Marilyn, but Charlie). I haven’t ever really found out much else about this one, either. There’s really not that much to find when you possess the Google skills I do. That being said, I did learn that he appeared on a UK chat show shortly after its release and insisted that he and the host, Russell Harty, sit on the floor. He spent the interview tuning his guitar before playing a version of Around. Brilliant.
So yeah, David Carradine’s Grasshopper. A really special record.