(Cont.) The song "Blind" ends with a few interesting sound effects. We are presented first with some circus calliope music. Under this bed, we then hear the sound of a cow mooing, followed by a mule's ranting, and then a laughing hyena. A flesh-and-blood commodity, a stubborn workhorse, and a cowardly scavenger in a three-ring circus. Does this make any sense to you? It makes plenty of sense if you look at the roles of these three animals. Cows are among the most oblivious animals on earth. Not even when they are in line to the hammer man on the kill floor do they realize the whole reason they were doing nothing but eat and eliminate during their whole lives. They are raised and herded for one purpose: whatever commodities man can take from them, including their milk, meat, and hides. Mules are good for one thing: hauling as much of your heavy stuff as you can pile on them. But mules can be downright stubborn. If they don't want to haul your stuff, they won't budge. It will take an act of Congress to get any action out of them. The third animal, a laughing hyena, is one of the most vicious, conniving scavengers on the Earth. But they are also cowards. They will usually wait until an animal of a different species finishes eating its prey, then move in to eat the remains. The only animal lower on this part of the food chain is the vulture, who usually follows our laughing friends. Does this now begin to make sense? The Galactic Cowboys (who are not alone) entered their record deal with
Geffen with open arms and confidence in the record executives who were supposed to take care of their best interests. They were actually being led in like cattle, to be fattened up for slaughter. The band trusting those scavengers was perhaps not so dumb as it was Blind. Well, the record company had only one thing in mind for the band: to sell as many records as they could and make money hand over fist off of this workhorse. And when these scavengers realized that they weren't laughing all of the way to the bank, they cut the band loose without a second thought. Rule number one in the record industry: Never trust the record company executive who is about to sign you a deal, especially if he is smoking a cigar and offers you one! The last sound we hear after the calliope music ends is that of a rooster. The band finally woke up. Track seven, "No Problems" (rife with Beatles-style harmonies), is about the relative nature of our problems. No matter how bad you think you have it, there is always somebody out there who is worse off. It is also about our inablility, sometimes, to know how to help the homeless. "About Mrs. Leslie", the eighth track on this album, is a heavy song written in the famous Beatles style, a la "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" about an imaginary character (a wealthy widow) who has a "dark little secret" ("Poor old
Mr. Leslie. We know alive and healthy, living in a belfry"). "Where Are You Now?" is track nine. It chronicles Monty's imaginary attempt to (unsuccessfully) re-establish communication with a couple of girls he knew in high school, complete with staged phone conversations. This song has a long, melancholy electric guitar solo by Dane, using many different rock and metal riffs, and is accompanied by soaring Beatles-like harmonies. "Ranch On Mars" is the first of two "hidden" tracks, and it lies 11 (a reference to Apollo 11?) tracks away from "Where Are You Now?", and starts after 2:31 of blank space into track 20, continues into track 21, and ends 4:55 of blank space before the end of track 21. This is, of course, a reprise to the theme of the first album, the self-titled "Galactic Cowboys," that "our future lies beyond this earth," and begins with the sound of a launch countdown at mission control. The album ends another (Apollo?) 11 tracks away with track 32, "Still Life Of Peace". This is a heavy Beatles-like song with sitar and cello, and harmonies that sound more like Crosby Stills and Nash than the Beatles. This song's lyrics are cloaked in mystery. I have read and re-read them, and the only thing I can come up with is that it might be a picture of a barren city after an atomic war. Write in and let me know what you think about this song!