Friday, April 9, 2021

Overheard at Booth 2: Notes on The Needles

Found this in a notebook for when I was writing "Moth and Rust"

I had noted that it might be included in "Warren Peace" but perhaps I should just keep it for the other.



- punked out versions of the Beatles catalog

- re-doing all albums

o Interjecting … The Needles

o Beat the Needles

o The Needles’ Second Helping

o Something Gnu

o The Needles 69

o Red Rubber Soul

o Oscillator

o Sgt Punkers Lowly Farts Club … Banned

o The Needles (The White-Out Album)

The Needles started as a punk send-up.  Their name derived – from various interviews – a euphemism for heroin addiction, their penises, their sharp wit, their intelligence, but as they continued their career in remaking each Beatles album in their own punk image, they began to have more of a social conscience. 

This became truly apparent on “Run for Your Life” in which they changed the point-of-view from a spurned lover to that of a corporate CEO.   Their re-working of the song came in the wake of what became known as the Dayton Massacre, in which the bodies of six striking workers were found dead in an alleyway.  The official report declared that the workers had been drunk, disorderly, and offended the wrong type of person; however, the obvious lack of thorough police investigation, as well as eyewitness reports stating that the killers appeared to be professional hit men, led everyone to believe that their employer had paid to have them killed.

The CEO denied the allegations as slanderous, and after a few days, the story died … due to lack of public interest.   However, The Needles, when describing their parody of the song, mentioned Thomas Leighton by name as the narrator, leading the CEO to sue them for libel.   The case was eventually settled and for an undisclosed sum.

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