Hades High School

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Introduction by Jimmy Flemion


The fifth track on side two of our first LP The Frogs is "Hades High School". The song was literally the second made-up song on the spot in the series of songs which would become known as The Death Songs. They were recorded on the east side of Milwaukee in an apartment. The apartment above ours in 6C housed an old man who Dennis dubbed Dr. Malmac. We would play our beautiful music and if our sound became too loud for his ears he would slam something into his floor reverberating through our ceiling. This apartment can be seen during "Satan's In The Manger" in our "Toy Porno" video. These songs would become synonymous with and would inspire the concept of the now famous batwing costumes the lead singer guitarist wears.<br&>

Lyrics


you're not going to heaven<br&> you're going to my hometown<br&> you're not going to heaven<br&>

hades high school, how i remember<br&> hades high school, in september<br&> hades high school, how i remember<br&> hades high school, in september<br&>

you're not having fun<br&> but maybe this is my point<br&>

hades high school, how i remember<br&> hades high school, in september<br&> hades high school, how i remember<br&> hades high school, in september<br&>

once i was a pupil<br&> but my how i have learned<br&> i did not need a teacher<br&> hence i became one<br&>

you're not going to heaven<br&> you're going to my hometown<br&> you're not going to heaven<br&>

go to hell<br&>

Notes


I remember Dennis coming home with a Fangoria magazine at this our first apartment. There were pictures of costumes with monster hands- something we thought I could wear but might be detrimental with regards to playing the guitar. At that point either Dennis suggested it or Janice said she could make a winged costume for our stage shows. The first batwings were then made out of paper mache and chicken wire and were extremely heavy with a harness that would strap across my back. They were brown and lacquered. Other winged costumes would follow including red, gold lame, silver lame, leopard, green and black. I owe a debt of gratitude to Janice for the creation of these wings because they did make a mark on my persona and represent something The Frogs are known for milky way wide. Dennis wore a pair of smaller gold wings that Eddie Mueller (Vedder) from a band from Seattle called Pearl Jam wore. Dennis would give Eddie his smaller gold wings after Eddie flew 40 feet in the air above the stage in St.Louis at the Fox Theatre while singing with us. The same gold wings can be seen on Eddie's amp during Pearl Jam shows.<br&>

Hades. Well Donovan once sang in his song "The Ocean" off of his "Essence to Essence" LP "The one and only Hades, the Satan of man is but the closing of an eyelid away". High School. I went. I graduated. Unlike Gwendolyn Macrae I was not a straight A student. I passed. 'Twas not a fascinating experience. I had dreams early on in 1970 or so (perhaps because my height was approaching giraffe status) of being a basketball star. I would practice 8 hours a day in the wind, rain or snow. This was at a time when catwalk-wise all there was then was Twiggy to look up to and I weighed in at 120 pounds and was 6' 2". Soon in May of 1976 before my 16th birthday I would buy an acoustic guitar and my dreams turned to rock stardom. At one point I practiced 14 hours a day trying to take Kurtis Cobain off the number 7 spot on Rolling Stone magazine's greatest guitarists of all time list. Who were the voters? Is this a set-up as Andy "Dice" Clay and Donald Rickles would say. School- guitar lessons i took them once a week at Modern Music for 4 months. Lessons consisted of Skip To My Lou, Mary Had A Little Lamb, On The Clear Rock Candy Mountain, Camptown Races and other favorites. I eventually bought a Bee Gees songbook and an ELO "New World Record" songbook and learned different chords. After that I understood that reading music was not my forte. I realized that I have perfect pitch and play by ear so that when I hear a song I know exactly what chords the musicians are playing and I can play right along. This is something that was developed and I believe this is a true gift along with my photographic memory (inherited from your favorite mother ours) allowing me to remember and recall 5,000 songs. In the early 1990's I took a fingerpicking class at the Milwaukee Conservatory once a week for 4 months.<br&>

The chord progression for "Hades High School" verses is B minor / G Major / G b minor. The chord progression for the chorus is G Major / A Major / G Major / A Major / G Major / A major / G b minor. The chord progression for the middle eight is E minor / B minor / E minor. The song had two different vocal endings the whispered "Go to hell' on the Lp version and the screamed "Go to hell" version which can be heard on our 1st Lp out-takes CD.<br&>

The track "Hades High School" contains bass guitar played by the drum machine-bass lines written by Dennis, electric guitar played by myself, drums written by Dennis and played by the drum machine, keyboards played by Dennis and double-tracked vocals by myself. This track has the most tracks of any song on the LP because some of the instruments were in the drum machine. The LP was recorded on an 8 track tape machine. The Gb / D / D b guitar riff was something I started playing during playback of the track in the studio so we recorded it. The thunder at the end of the song was recorded by Dennis.<br&>

On the original version of "Hades High School" (improvised straight to tape) my voice sounds like I need to gargle- having not yet cleared my throat before the take but ultimately lending itself to a super, sexy, seductive, sensual sound.<br&>

Written in 1982.<br&>