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Date: Mon, 7 Oct 85 14:59:40 edt
From: Doug Alan <nessus>
Subject: Pull Out The Pin
This is what Kate has to say about "Pull Out The Pin" from an interview in Keyboard (Jul 85):
My motivations are not social or political. It's an emotional motivation, where I'm so moved by something that I have to write.
There was this fantastic TV documentary about a cameraman who was on the front lines. He was a brilliant cameraman and he was so well-trained a technician that he kept filming things no matter how he was feeling about it at the time. Some of the stuff he was shooting was really disturbing. Some of these Vietnamese guys would just come in and they were sort of dying in mid-air. And he'd just keep on filming. It was strange the sort of irony that these Vietnamese who were fighting the Americans were Buddhists and they'd pop a silver bullet that they wore on a chain around their necks into their mouth before they went into battle. So if they died, they would have Buddha on their lips. This is the whole irony throughout history between religion and war. "Breathing" is about human beings killing themselves. I think that people smoking is one of those tiny things that says a lot about human beings. I mean, I smoke and enjoy it, but we smoke and we know it's dangerous. Maybe there's some kind of strange subconscious desire to damage ourselves. It would seem so if you looked back through history, wouldn't it?
And from Zig Zag (1982):
I saw this incredible documentary by this Australian camerman who went on the front line in Vietnam, filming from the Vietnamese point of view, so it was very biased against the Americans. He said it really changed him, because until you live on the level like that, when it's complete survival, you don't know what it's about. He's never been the same since because it's so devastating people dying all the time.
The way he portrayed the Vietnamese was this really crafted, beautiful race. The Americans were these big, fat, pink, smelly things, who the Vietnamese could smell coming for miles because of the tobacco and cologne. It was devastating because you got the impression that the Vietnamese were so beautiful and all getting wiped out. They wore a little silver Buddha on a chain around their neck and when they went into action they'd pop it into their mouth, so that if they died they'd have Buddha on their lips. I wanted to write a song that could somehow convey the whole thing, so we set it in the jungle and had helicopters, crickets and little Balineses frogs.
And from Kate's newsletter:
We sat in front of the speakers trying to focus on the picture -- a green forest, humid and pulsating with life. We are looking at the Americans from the Vietnamese point of view and almost like a camera we start in wide shot. Right in the distance you can see the trees moving, smoke and sounds drifting our way,... sounds like a radio. Closer in with the camera and you can catch glimpses of their pink skin. We can smell them for miles with their sickly cologne, American tobacco and their stale sweat.
Take the camera even closer and we find a solitary soldier, perhaps the one I have singled out. (Sometimes a Vietnamese would track a soldier for days and follow him until he eventually took him). This soldier is under a tree, dozing with a faint smile and a radio by his side. It's a small transister radio out of which cries an electric guitar, I'd swear it was being played by Brian Bath, but how could it be, way out here on our stereo screen.
I pop the silver buddha that I wear around my neck into my mouth securing my lips around his little metal body, I move towards the sleeping man. A helicopter soars overhead, he wakes up and as he looks me in the eyes I relate to him as I would a helpless stranger. Has he a family and a lady waiting for him at home, somewhere beyond the Chinese drums and double bass that stalks like a wild cat through bamboo?
The moving pictures freeze-frame and fade, someone's stopped the multi-track, there's more overdubs to do.
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 93 04:09 CDT
From: email@example.com (chris williams)
Bob Kovitz writes: I just listened to the box set from start to finish, and came up with a group of questions:
> 9. What is "baccy" (`The stink of cologne and baccy, and all their Yankee hash') (Pull Out the Pin)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jorn Barger)
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1993 02:53:15 GMT
Bob Krovetz fires the startingpistol for a new round of rec.music.gaffa.jeopardy:
9. What is "baccy"? (`The stink of cologne and baccy, and all their Yankee hash') (Pull Out the Pin)
Baccy's tobacco, but what's Yankee hash? Army rations, probably? (Americans didn't bring hashish *into* Vietnam!)
From: email@example.com (she listens like her head's on fire..)
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1993 15:29:00 GMT
Jorn Barger writes...
>> 9. What is "baccy"? (`The stink of cologne and baccy, and all their Yankee hash') (Pull Out the Pin)
> Baccy's tobacco, but what's Yankee hash? Army rations, probably? (Americans didn't bring hashish *into* Vietnam!)
Yankee hash is referring to marijuana I would think. They might not have brought it *into* Vietnam but some of them certainly smoked it.
On to "Suspended In Gaffa"
written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Sept 1995 June 1996