I speak of Bombs and the Phil.
He had all kinds of Bombs in his satchel, along with three warm Heinies and some soft pornography, and Phil parceled them out carefully. (Not the beers: those were for Phil and Phil alone; if you reached for one, Phil would bite you. He would share his soft pornography.)
There were the Cluster Bombs, those huge BRAP’s and BWAOH’s all the way down the neck, where chords–especially from the bass guitar–need POWAH! just to get out of the starting blocks. Those massive fifths and sixths with a low F? That can’t be accomplished with human amplifiers, only ones fueled with hypermatter that the Dead had stolen from the Vordronulan Imperiex on Barka XIII, where the–
Knock it off with bad Douglas Adams impressions.
You’re hurtful and small.
Be that as it may. You were speaking of Phil Bombs?
There were the Surgical Strikes: these were farther up the register and gained their strength not so much from the note, but from Phil’s attack. He would dig in under the string with his pick and KWAONK the shit out of a passage in Wharf Rat.
You could, if you were unlucky, find yourself in the path of a Bouncing Betty, most famously at the beginning of Cornell’s Scar>Fire: bah-WHOOOM, shattering stereo speakers and old Hispanic women’s pelvises. (There was something about the combination of osteoporosis and a diet high in chimichangas that made the pelvic bones particularly susceptible to this Phil Bomb, and it became a problem on the road. Out of compassion and following legal advice, Phil could only allow people of Nordic descent to clean his room, and, you know: that’s gonna cost you.)
This show’s got every last one of Phil’s Bombs on display: 9/1/79 in Rochester, NY. PLUS a second-time-ever Saint of Circumstance with some utterly foolish argle-bargle about Ophelia or whatnot instead of the lyrics we’ve come to know. And love, and love.
But the second set’s where the Bombs live. A half-hour Scar>Fire that needed every second, a Miracle with a killer (!) jam (!!!) after it into Bertha into Good Lovin’ and Phil’s just losing his fucking mind the whole time, like “BOMBING YOU, MOTHER FUCKER. HEY, YOU: IN THE TIE DYE. Got something for youIT’S A BOMB!”
Life is short; listen to ’73. But life is also too short to only listen to ’73. Check out this overlooked gem from the dawn of Reagan’s America.