Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Might as well Jump!

Not too far from us, on a road that I often use as a shortcut to physical therapy, used to live a family named the Simpsons. Their name was right on the mailbox! I have no idea if they still live there, but I can understand why they now have a plain mailbox with no name on it, since the local ne'er-do-wells and rakehells, in the flush of Bartmania, must have stolen the first three they saw by the driveway.

I know the feeling of having a famous name, although, the longer it's been since World War II ended, the fewer comments I get about being named for a famous general.  Even though I wasn't.

Jumpin' Gene
The other day, I posted a song on Facebook from YouTube that was a Halloween hit in 1964. The song was "Haunted House," and it was the only top 40 hit for a man from Mississippi named Morris Eugene Simmons, who went by the name Jumpin' Gene Simmons.  JGS didn't write the song, but his is the best-known version of the story of a man who moves into a house with all sorts of creepy people from outer space drinking hot grease and boiling coffee and rattling their chains. He recorded the song six years after the original version was cut by Johnny Fuller.  (Tim McGraw fans, and you know there must be some out there, will recall McGraw's rather racist 1994 hit "Indian Outlaw." Jumpin' Gene wrote that one.)

Gene...about your hair....
History does not record how the original Gene Simmons felt when an Israeli immigrant, born Chaim Witz, took the name "Gene Simmons" for use in his activities as a rock star and leader of the execrable KISS, and source of idiotic statements about the world in general, but I'm pretty sure that Jumpin' Gene took his name off his mailbox before he passed away in 2006.

I know I would have!

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