Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins by Chuck Prophet.
Bandcamp Link: Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins
In 2015, for the 100th anniversary of SF City Hall, Chuck Prophet was asked to organize a musical tribute to the city of San Francisco. His band, The Mission Express, provided the core for the backing band, and played for singers as diverse as The Kingston Trio, The Beau Brummels, Flamin’ Groovies, Deborah Iyall, Mark Kozelek, Penelope Houston, and Jello Biafra.
Chuck and his band did so well, especially on their song, “Willie Mays is Up at Bat”, that I expressed to Mrs Flannestad how impressed I was. I had enjoyed Mr Prophet in the past, but not listened to him a lot recently.
She reminded me Prophet had been in the band Green on Red, whose album Gravity Talks had been in heavy rotation during my brief stint as a college radio DJ, and my mind was blown.
I resolved to listen to more Chuck Prophet.
Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins is his most recent album, released in 2017.
The music is well produced, joyful and energetic rock, ranging in its influences from the 1960s to the 1980s. The lyrics are by turns slightly disturbing, mournful, joyful, and angry.
I mention “mournful” as a lot of the album is tributes to musicians and public figures who have passed. From the likely murdered singer of “I Fought the Law”, Bobby Fuller, to Jesus Christ (the hilarious, “Jesus Christ was a Social Drinker”). From David Bowie (“Bad Year for Rock and Roll”) to Alan Vega (“In the Mausoleum”). The album closes with a moving tribute to the young man killed by police in our neighborhood, Alex Nieto.
Maybe we all should listen to more Chuck Prophet.
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