Tag Archives: Maxell ad

Subterranean Homesick Blues

3555_10200358126270237_464951706_nYou know it. This one.

The seminal, iconic and bloody marvellous Subterrranean Homesick Blues was the opening sequence of Don’t Look Back, D.A Pennebaker’s documentary of Dylan’s 1965 tour of UK.

Don’t Look Back with (for some reason) Spanish subtitles  for the clip

The segment was Dylan’s own idea, as described here in

a version including a Director’s commentary.

Throwing away word cards to moderately indecipherable lyrics proved such a winner  that it’s been borrowed in some rather lateral ways> Here is an 80’s ad that took UK TV by storm…

My ears are alight

The first time I saw this I was so excited I called London’s ITV to find out when it would be screened again. Then stayed up to stupid o’clock (nothing unusual in that, really) to record it on a then cutting edge VHS recorder. Collaring people to show them something you’d recorded on tape was the then version of blogging. A bit like taking photos of your food around to your mates’ houses to show them what you’d had for dinner. Except no one did that, as that was clearly too dumb to contemplate, with the potential either to bore your friends or type yrself as prone to eating disorders.


Some spoofs are brilliant, such as this one, where Al Yankovic shows himself more witty than weird..

Al Yankovic’s Palindromic version

Dylan’s even spoofed himself (using Instagram, a fave of foodfotoposters- yes, it all connects in the great circle of inter-life) in the vid for the otherwise rather lacklustre Dusquene Train

So, in this great tradition, in 2013 I offered  my own local-ref-full parody/homage- Subterranean Expat Blues- at the first Bali Gong Show, a riotous spoof and skit night held in the cosmopolitan ‘creative hotspot’ of Ubud, Bali.
A Karoake backing track was downloaded, 65 cards were hand-drawn, much unrecyclable waste created (Indonesian board markers don’t last long), the marvellous  Nadia Lala of Bali Circus played Bobby and, bloody amazing, I didn’t forget the words.
Mind you, this achievement’s a little in the shade seeing the song done by a 2 year old

Subterranean Expat Blues

Johnny’s at the balian Johnny’s in the basement
Mixing up the medicine Mixing up the medicine
I’m on the pavement I’m on the pavement
Fending off transport Thinking about the government
A man in a headscarf The man in a trench coat
Bad job, laid off Badge out, laid off
Says he’s got a bad cough Says he’s got a bad cough
Wants to pay his car off Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid Look out kid
Some karma you did It’s somethin’ you did
God knows when God knows when
but you’re doin’ it again But you’re doin’ it again
Hit a duck in the alley way You better duck down the alley way
Now you got a new friend, Lookin’ for a new friend
A man with a fighting cock The man in the coon-skin cap
and a pigpen In a pig pen
Wants a hundred dollar bills Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got yen You only got ten


Maggie gotta detox a Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot Face full of black soot
Driving round Denpasar’s Talkin’ that the heat put
there’s ants in her bed and Plants in the bed but
she’s overstayed her visa. The phone’s tapped anyway.
Maggie says that Imigrasi Maggie says that many say
must bust in early May They must bust in early May
Orders from Jakarta Orders from the D.A.
Ubud kid Look out kid
healin’s big Don’t matter what you did
Walk on your tiptoes Walk on your tiptoes
fill yr arse with ozone Don’t tie no bows
Better stay away from those Better stay away from those
that carry round a game plan That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes Watch the plain clothes
Blow a joint of ganja You don’t need a weatherman
They can slam you in Kerobokan To know which way the wind blows
Get sick, get well Get sick, get well
dengue fever sink to hell Hang around a ink well
Shamans ring bells Ring bell, hard to tell
For makin’ sure the villas sell If anything is goin’ to sell
Try to learn Bahasa Try hard, get barred
give up, learn braille Get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail Get jailed, jump bail
pay somebody if ya fail Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid Look out kid
You’re gonna get hit You’re gonna get hit
By losers, cheaters But losers, cheaters
Six-time users. Six-time users.
Then ya meet a flirty boy Hang around the theaters
by the swimming pool (language school) Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin’ for a new fool Lookin’ for a new fool
To buy him a motorbike Don’t follow leaders
He’ll park at Napa Orti Watch the parkin’ meters
Yoga Barn romance Ah get born, keep warm
interpretive ecstatic dance Short pants, romance, learn to dance
De stress, get blessed Get dressed, get blessed
Turn into a princess Try to be a success
Visa squeezing agents Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don’t steal, just drift Don’t steal, don’t lift
Twenty million later Twenty years of schoolin’
And you still ain’t got yr KITAS? And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid Look out kid
You’re starting to skid They keep it all hid
Gonna fall down a manhole Better jump down a manhole
light as dim as candles Light yourself a candle
slippery sandals Don’t wear sandals
streets a fucking scandal Try to avoid the scandals
bang yr head  half drown Don’t wanna be a bum
Brain damage goin’ down You better chew gum
Of course the pump don’t work The pump don’t work
dude, you live in Indonesia ’Cause the vandals took the handles

Karaoake track