From the recording BIG GREEN W



This is the last thing you want to see
This is the last thing you’ll ever see

It’s the threat of death
That makes us feel alive

This is the big green W
This is the monogram of truth

It’s the threat of death
That makes us feel alive

c 1994 by Wishnefsky, Dave Rodgers, and Todd Jameson

Dave – drums
Todd – backing vocals, windchimes
Wishnefsky – vocals, fuzz bass, electric guitar, synthesizer, samples
Ken Korg – guest synthesizer

This is one of my favorite Jabberwock songs. I know you think the surprise ending was carefully scripted and expertly performed. I hate to burst your bubble, but it happened like that because the tape ran out at that exact point. I played the lead synth part on my old vintage duo-phonic Maxi-Korg (also known as K. Korg). Not to brag or anything, but my performance was especially challenging given that K. Korg was missing a G courtesy of an inadvertent misstep by my old friend Alan and one of the Ds hung precariously in place courtesy of some old duct tape.

Michael James did a masterful job mixing this song. When he started working on the mix, Dave, Todd, and I were being such utter pains in the ass that Michael banished us from the studio and told us not to enter for a few hours. So, we went and got some falafels. When we came back, Michael had mutated into a mad scientist, hair disheveled, pupils dilated, fingers twitching, and cords and pedals strewn everywhere.

"Listen to this," he cackled demonically.

Pure magic wafted from the speakers as Mike rode the faders like a desperate aviator trying not to crash land his smoking, bullet hole ridden bi-plane on the burning French farmland.

Genius is not always pretty.

Lyrically, this may be the only pop song ever written about a flyswatter. We kept the Big Green W (which stands for Woolworth, the store from which I purchased the Big Green W) at home and in active service terminating various species of pests for over a decade. Finally, years of vicious swatting overcame the expertly designed plastic swatting surface and we had to put the faithful destroyer of bugs into retirement. It would have made a nice memento, or, at least, I thought so. Alas, my wife, as it were, did not share my sentimental feelings for the poor green insect eradicator. She threw it out.

There was no way we could have pulled off this song live in a way that satisfied us. Thus, we only played this song live once; it was simply Todd and I singing while I strummed the chords. This was at the infamous Sunset Club one-off gig during which we played Southland in its entirety in order from start to finish.

In 1994, we did a radio appearance on the Mr. KFI show and he loved this song. He used it as bumper music for a long time. We ended up on his show, by the way, because my mother was his biggest fan. After she found out that he had gone to the same high school Dave and I did, she sent him Southland and he was instantly smitten. The appearance was absolutely hysterical. We played a few acoustic songs and then hung out for an hour and answered questions from the callers. My father-in-law called in and didn’t turn his radio down – so Mr. KFI hung up on him. That brightened my day considerably. For some reason, we weren’t able to get a hold of our guest guitarist and good buddy Stephen Bock, so he didn’t come along. However, he did manage to call in and give the radio listeners the distinct impression that there was an enormous rift in the band. Mr. KFI milked it of course. I recall Huell Howser calling in, as his show was up next, and we had some pleasant on-air banter with him. Todd was so nervous that he wasn’t his usual self at all. During one break we decided that Todd would sing a song after we went back on air. Literally five seconds before the light went on, Todd completely freaked out and had a full fledged panic attack. So, I started singing the first song I could think of, which was an old tune called Cold Blue River that we never even came close to playing in Jabberwock. We forgave Todd, of course, because we just as nervous and probably twice as stupid. My mom was so proud.