Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
Earache My Eye By Cheech & Chong. Album: Cheech & Chong’s Wedding Album (1974)
“Earache My Eye” is a novelty song and radio comedy skit rolled into one. In spite of not being a “serious” song at all, it not only charted but was Cheech (Marin) and (Tommy) Chong’s only Top-10 hit. They did break the Top-40 with two other works, as well.
While the piece is “featuring Alice Bowie,” this is merely a character created by Cheech Marin. While the comedy duo wrote the lyrics, self-taught guitarist Gaye Delorme set the piece to music and also supplied the guitar riff, while percussionist Airto Moreira supplied the drum-work. Cheech is indeed singing the vocals, although they lip-synch to the track during its appearances, such as in their first film Up In Smoke.
This is often cited as one of the most popular novelty songs of all time, becoming a mainstay of the Doctor Demento program. It also got heavy airplay on the influential Chicago radio station WLS 890 AM. WLS has an interesting history all its own; it was started by the Sears-Roebuck company back in the 1920s and then sold off, and it has a history of mixing comedy and music formats – such as adding farm animal sound effects to John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.”
This song owes a lot of its popularity to sounding awesome and yet also being such a dead-on parody of rock in the 1970s. “I only know three chords!” sums up a lot of rock music, especially in the ’70s. The line “The world’s coming to an end; I don’t even care,” echoes the sentiment of the ’70s “Me Generation” which turned from the idealistic folk songs of the ’60s, and immediately after it, “as long as I can have a limo and my orange hair!” refers to Ziggie-Stardust-era David Bowie, who really did have orange hair at the time. “Alice Bowie,” of course, is an amalgam of the names Alice Cooper and David Bowie.
Covers and samples of this song include Korn (a hidden track at the end of Follow the Leader), Soundgarden, 2 Live Crew, and Electric Magma.