#503 ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ by the Animals (31 July)

Album: single 1965 (Animal Tracks in the US)

Justification: Many of the posts here have been fairly flippant. This one is not. You might want to read something else.

“Fine: I’ll accept the ‘gotta’ if I must, but damned if I’ll sit idly by and let a misconjugated ‘we’ adorn this cover”: someone at the Columbia sleeve design department, 1965

My father had a PhD in chemical engineering and he therefore knew how to read lab results. In some ways this made him a superb patient to have in the oncology ward of Flinders Medical Centre because it meant that the doctors didn’t have to go through the emotionally difficult process of explaining to a man who’d just turned 40, with a wife and three children, exactly why it was that he wasn’t going to leave the building alive.

When my father was my age he was in the endgame of his 18 month battle with a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia that had cruelly gone into remission for a few short weeks in 1986, allowing my family to believe for a little while that everything was going to be OK and that this terrible scare would bring us closer together and teach us to devour life as we would a ripe peach, before roaring back with increased vigour just in time for Xmas. It was to finally kill him in the afternoon of the 3rd of April, 1987, with my sisters and I waiting in the next room for the inevitable call to come and say our final goodbyes.

At one point a few weeks prior, as he lay in his room on a morphine drip, this song came on the radio and he started to sing along. The way my mother tells it, this is when he first admitted to her that the battle was lost. It was probably the Angels‘ version of the song, incidentally, which was a hit at the time – but for our purposes, Doc Neeson’s got nothing on Eric Burdon.

I look uncannily like my father these days: the same eyes, the same half-smile, the same grey-flecked beard. I don’t have his height – he was just over six feet, which I most assuredly am not – nor his strength, his remarkable brain or his gentle authority, and I’m reminded of this each day when I look in the mirror and see what appears to be a sub-par Peter Street knock off, like a badly-painted Batman figure in a tacky market stall.

In a few months I will be in the peculiar situation of being older than my father ever was, and I have no idea how that will feel.

SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010/2011: Appropriately enough, nothing.


498. The Charlatans: I Never Want An Easy Life… (17 July)

 499. The Hollies: Carrie Anne (18 July)

500. The Smiths: This Charming Man (19 July)

501. The New Pornographers: Sing Me Spanish Techno (26 July)

502. Franz Ferdinand: Ulysses (27 July)

3 thoughts on “#503 ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ by the Animals (31 July)

  1. AP, consider this an e-hug to be cashed in when I see you in October … Let’s make more music, screw more hot chicks* and enjoy the time while we have it.

    *Or, failing that, some of us may opt to screw more IKEA furniture together, whichever causes less domestic friction.

  2. Pingback: #505 ‘Mary Joanna’ by the Stairs (8 Aug) | Songs You Should Rediscover Today Because They Are Awesome

  3. Pingback: #507 ‘Search and Destroy’ by Iggy & the Stooges (13 Aug) | Songs You Should Rediscover Today Because They Are Awesome

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