If any time over most of the past 20ish years you’d have asked me about The Gun Club I’d have been able to spit out about three general facts…
1) West Coast
2) “Blues Punk”
3) Dude is dead…
In more recent years I’ve gotten somewhat more familiar with them, enough to expand a bit on a couple of those things…
1) The Gun Club was from California, specifically Los Angeles.
2) “Blues Punk” (I mean it is what it is…)
3) “Dude” was lead singer Jeffery Lee Pierce and yes, he is dead.
These guys – along with X, the Cramps, Nick Cave, etc – helped break the punk and post punk genres into more than three chords and yelling about whatever made you mad. Their sound was raw, tribal and dead sexy, and while Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s lyrics may have focused a lot on sex, especially on their seminal debut Fire of Love, it was with a sinister wit that was so much more than your average “get with a girl” drivel, hashing out the real dirt and grime of making love in the early 80s and all the emotional ramifications that came along with it.
Anyway…to come more into focus on our theme, tonight’s entry is Ghost on the Highway from the aforementioned Fire of Love album. While this song deals more with the death of the heart from a woman who preys on men’s emotions, the imagery is dark and forbidding with talk of eyes like “black holes,” “blood and crying” on sheets and “trailing souls to the end,” and the music itself is an easy backdrop for the midnight, fog-laden country byroads of anywhere USA.