Knuckle-dragging and dime-bagging down the highway towards 29 Palms, with a doobie stuffed of hemlock and a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon, we pull into a truck stop for water as the radiator is overheated and the antifreeze was drunk by our copilot for the evening, Drake. Upon entering “Cum N Go” there’s a big-breasted blonde twirling her hair between her fingers’ while popping bubble gum and multitasking the cash register.
I proclaim, “I gotta use the can, man” and said blonde obliges with a key to the bathroom that’s barbed-wired to a hubcap. Finishing up business, as usual, I exit the once-kitchen-area-now-transformed-into-a-unisex-drug-den/bathroom and trip into a familiar sound that permeates the airwaves and stops me dead in my ever-loving Vans shoe-wearing tracks.
With a brisk disruptive E-chord, the airwaves are shattered as heaviness engulfs our wellbeing, and we all hear, “Well, I got up at seven, yeah and I go to work at nine. I got no time for living yes, I’m working all the time.” The Bebe Buell look alike drops into my vibe and starry-eyed without warning cranks up this raucous ruckus. Who are these masters of the universe? Why, it’s not Rush, but rather Orange County’s own Fu Manchu ripping through “Working Man.” In juxtaposing this cover is like listening to the original while getting roofied by the blonde behind the register. At this point, we should all roll together towards the better plan.
“When I get home at 5 o’clock and take out an ice-cold beer, always seem to be wondering, why there’s nothing going down here.” At 1:52, the bass guitar drops in and psychedelia takes us on a fantastic carpet ride. In this version, Bob Balch’s lead guitar work is very Hendrix-infused in what one can envision on a Bigsby tailpiece chasing tail into the 2:46 minute breakdown that counteracts to the half the speed original version grinding into a trippy dirge that keeps things afloat and airy (aka the headbanging portion). There’s a little sci-fi in the effects department that helps exit the song and sends us along our merry little trip.
I love 29 Palms and I love Palm Springs and everyone should take a trek there at one point to get a grasp on life known as stoner, doom, gloom rock and roll. Fu Manchu may be from the OC, but their tone lands them hard sand surfing and intergalactic voyaging.
Run Time: 4:59
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Record Label: At The Dojo Records