My friend Mark Casale and I were talking about Captain Beefheart last night (as we are typically want to do) and were yucking it up over the surreal late-night TELEVISION commercial for the Beef’s 1970 record, Lick My Decals Off, Infant(which I posted about last month).
This prompted Mark to ask me if I ‘d ever seen the strange promotion video for Cat Steven’s 1976 song, Banapple Gas I ‘d never even heard of the tune. It was a track on Steven’s ninth studio record, Numbers Numbers was composed as a concept album, subtitled “A Pythagorean Theory Tale.”
[Numbers] was based upon an imaginary planet in a far-off galaxy named Polygor. The album included a booklet with excerpts from a planned book of the very same name composed by Chris Bryant and Allan Scott. The pamphlet includes pen-and-ink illustrations drawn by Stevens.
The principle of the album is a wonderful spiritual musical which is set on the world Polygor. In the story there is a castle with a number maker. This machine exists to fulfill the sole function of the planet– to disperse numbers to the rest of the universe: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 (however notably not 0). The nine inhabitants of Polygor, the Polygons, are Monad, Dupey, Trezlar, Cubis, Qizlo, Hexidor, Septo, Octav, and Novim. As the last lines of the book state, they “followed a life of routine that had actually existed for as long as any could remember. … It was, therefore, all the more stunning when on a regular day things initially started to fail.” The change takes the kind of Jzero, who comes from nowhere as a servant and ultimately confuses everyone with his easy reality. ( Wikipedia)
Um, sure. OK.
An online search likewise finds claims that Banapple Gas was a recommendation to Banadine (the mythic drug made from banana peels), a derivative kind of LSD, and/or another name for Amyl Nitrite.
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