Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The 66 Chevy Nova Blues

It's about time for another tune written by Jim Weiler in one of his creative fits. One day back in the 90s or so he dropped off on my desk a folder of song lyrics he had scribbled over night. This was one of the first that I recorded and it has one of my favorite effects -- singers who can't hear each other. It's like having Don and Phil Everly in separate rooms when they sing -- and they have to guess at each other's phrasing. 

I spill out a gallon of reg'lar
  Fillin' up my Nova at the pump.
Got me an old dead battery.
  Now I'm just waitin' for a jump.
So I roll me up some sensemilla
  Just to pass the time away.
I light up with a match from my pocket
  And step up to the winder to play.
Well I drop that match and it lands in the gas
  And the whole damn station blows up.
The fire engines come and they put out the fire
  And then I'm talkin' to a cop.

He asks "What happened?" and I tell him "Don't know--
  I was just here fillin' up my Rolls.
When for no good reason the gas catches fire and
  The whole damn station blows."
Now I don't think he believes me, 'cause I'm greasy
  And I'm dressed in blue jeans.
He asks me what I've been smokin' and I ask him
  Just what he means?
And he says "Now don't get smart, kid,
  Or I'm gonna have to take you in."
And I ask "Oh yeah?" and he says "You bet."
  And he belts me smack on the chin.

I drop like a sack of potatoes
  And I lay there lookin' up at the cop.
And he reaches out with his taser
  And zaps me--so I ask him to stop.
He laughs and says “I don’t think so, kid,”
  And reaches out to shock me some more.
So I jump up and get him in a headlock
  And smash his face to the floor.
That just makes him pissed so he pulls out his stick
  And pokes me once or twice in the groin.
Then he slaps on the cuffs and reads me my rights
  And asks, “Kid, you know where you’re goin’?”

And I say “Yeah, I know. But you’ll never make it stick.”
  And he says, “Now, watch your head.”
But they do make it stick, and the judge says twenty years
  And now I wish I was dead.
That damn old 66 blue Chevy Nova
  Was just more trouble than I need.
I shoulda fixed the leaky gas tank.
  I shouldna lit me up that weed.
I guess I just wasn’t thinkin’
  ’Cause the sign said “No smoking here.”
But to go to jail ’cause I didn’t read the sign
  Well it just don’t seem quite fair.

So I sit behind bars and I watch TV
  And I wait for my sentence to end.
And if I stay out of trouble and act real good
  I’ll only do five or ten.
But they won’t let me have no matches here
  And I can’t get my hands on no pot.
When you’re in a Federal prison for arson
  You just got to sit and rot.
But man! that blaze was a beauty!
  I think I’d like to see it again
So I’m learning all I can about ’splosives
  In the library here in the pen.

Jim says this song was inspired by Knees Calhoon's 1959 Pinocchio Timex Blues, but unlike that song which was made up out of whole cloth, this one is about a real car and a real event. If you'd like to read the whole story, here it is.