The Body Electric: Head


As organisms evolved and developed nerves, through possibly one-hundred trillion trials and errors, the most sensible condition seemed to be a bundle of nerves near the top(the anterior end, as opposed to the organisms that have their brains at the posterior end, easily recognized by their reluctance to speed up to match the flow of traffic on interstate on-ramps) with all of the major sensory organs, usually including the mouth, in as close proximity as possible. As space was created for specialized sense organs, larger brains, and protective bones, the head was born. Having a “head” is usually associated with having bilateral symmetry, but honestly Billy Squire is tired of talking about that and would rather talk about his music.



Just ask Bobby Peru; the word “head” has a ton of meanings. Maritime bathrooms were located at the bow, or the “head”, of the ship, which knowing does not make referring to the place where you’re about to shit as the same word I use to describe where I applied moisturizer to any less creepy. “Head” refers to the top of a lot of things, like beer, classes, and peer group leaders. It’s technically a “head” of lettuce, but that seems like broad usage there; we would probably eat less wedge salads if we had to decapitate a vaguely human-shaped plant(note: this would not stop me in particular, because any excuse to eat bleu cheese dressing on something is a good one, even if your excuse is “murder”).


Music, The Worst: “Suedehead”, Morrissey

Morrissey’s coming out album(no, not that “coming out”), Viva Hate, makes me roll my eyes faster than the butter tigers in Little Black Sambo, only with the racism replaced with exhaustion over Morrissey’s fey loneliness. Any of the balm Johnny Marr might have brought to The Smiths to apply to the cold burn of Morrissey’s languishing vocal delivery and angsty lyrics is removed, and instead you get the raw Morrissey-ness of  the word “why” being pronounced with eleven syllables and the phrase “it was a good lay” being repeated until you might think its repetition is clever or provocative. It never is.


Music, The Best: Head, The Monkees

The word “head” is also slang for oral sex. “Head” is traditionally reserved for describing fellatio, but in my opinion it has more to do with attitude and power position than with physiology; surely Juliette Lewis, before murdering the poor sap for being “too eager”, was getting “head” on the hood of that car in Natural Born Killers.

This won’t be the last time I bring up the sexual definition, but first and foremost in the sexual etymology of “head” is that act of using the word to title your album/movie for the sole purpose of being able to use the tagline “from the people that gave you Head” in the press for the sequal. Yes, The Monkees did that.

They also made a brilliand albumfull of rockers, psych ballads, and 5/4 folk songs. The album even came with a brush-up of the Davy Jones feature(RIP and all, but for real he was the forth of four) with Mike Nesmith on vocals. You should definitely give this album a listen if you haven’t already, but watching the movie might just be for the hardcore and the curious; did listening to the album make you want to kiss Kanye on the lips for killing off the trend of having “skits” in rap albums, because all of the snippets from the movie interlaced in the album, Head, make you lunge for the track advance button? Skip the movie then.


Music, The Rest:


“Sweet Head”, David Bowie

Hey, speaking of K. West…

Listen again, even if you know how rockin’ it is, just to hear “I’m the kind of man she warned me of” today.


“Helpless”, Diamond Head

Don’t be ashamed, we all know it’s better than Metallica. Somehow.


“When You Wake Up In The Morning”, Murry Head

When I get into that Bert Jancsch/Tim Buckley/Roy Harper mood (aka “when I get into that bottle of rye whiskey at 2:45 PM on a Thursday”), this track does me good. I can’t vouch for the whole album, but hey, y’all like concept albums, right? Give it a go!


“Bartender”, Hed (Planet Earth)

Ok, maybe I was a little hard on Morrissey. Sorry guy. The banchan plates on the table are 100% vegan.


4 thoughts on “The Body Electric: Head

    1. I am willing, because I am gracious and because the sands of time have worn dull the shuriken I throw at people with poor music judgement, to concede Morrisey’s time with The Smiths as an ok choice, an opinion approximately 17 gazillion miles away from where it was twenty years ago. But that solo stuff, even from the very beginning, is so pretentious sounding that I want to fuck a vaguely vagina-shaped piece of raw veal out of spite. I mean, musically yes that dipshits Hed(PE) song is worse, but Moz earned the title. I know, it’s serious.

  1. Take the Skinheads Bowling by Camper Van Beethoven versus Head like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails versus Head over Heels by Tears For Fears versus Radiohead’s Creep versus Radiohead by The Talking Heads.

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