Thursday, February 15, 2018

Soft Machine – "Save Yourself" (1968)

It's my, my, my bed you're lying on
And it's my, my, my bed you're dying on

In 1951, Beat novelist William S. Burroughs accidentally shot and killed his second wife while attempting to re-enact William Tell’s legendary feat.

The couple were drinking with friends in Mexico City when Burroughs allegedly pulled a gun from a satchel and told his wife, “It’s time for our William Tell act.”  After she balanced a highball glass on the top of her head, Burroughs fired – but his aim was off, and the shot killed her.  

Burroughs eventually decided to leave Mexico for the United States before his trial.  (Burroughs had gone to Mexico in the first place to stay out of an American prison.)

*     *     *     *     *

Today’s featured band, the Soft Machine, took its name from the 1961 novel by Burroughs.  (The names of a number of other musical groups were inspired by Burroughs’s writing – the most famous being Steely Dan.) 

Today’s featured song is the first track on the second side of the Soft Machine’s eponymous debut album, which was released in 1968.  (The band subsequently released albums titled Volume Two, Thirds, Fourth, Fifth, Six, and Seven.)

The Soft Machine was a trio on its first two studio albums, so it qualifies for this year’s “29 Songs in 28 Days.”  Plus the quoted lyrics from the song include the phrase “my, my, my” – twice.  (I wish it had been thrice, but c’est la vie.)

Here’s “Save Yourself”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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