Story Behind The Song by Andy Cairns (Aug 16th, 2003)
This tune, although mainly instrumental, was inspired by an incident that happened to myself, Fyfe and friends in the seaside town of Portrush in Northern Ireland. Fyfe was at college in the nearby town of Coleraine and many students at that university had accommodation in Coleraine itself or in the nearby towns of Portstewart and Portrush.
It was the end of a term and I got a call from Fyfe inviting me to a party at a friend’s house in Portrush. I had the night off work at the time and drove down. It was a beautiful evening and I had a thirst on me. I’d been working shitty hours all week and I needed to let off some steam. I stopped at the off licence on the way and bought a case of beer.
The house was being rented by some of Fyfe’s friends from college, among them amiable hippy ‘Hash’ Harry, who occasionally did lights for us at other gigs. There were quite a few strangers there too but the atmosphere was very good natured. College was over for the term and everybody was determined to get fucked up.
I remember sitting in the main room upstairs in the house, drinking beer and smoking some ‘sputnik’ hash. Someone claimed that it had some cocaine in it as it had white flecks in the hash. I don’t know if this was true but it was fucking weird stuff. The Swiss band Young Gods were on the stereo really fuckin’ loud and we all began to listen intensely. Whatever was in the dope was taking hold and together with the beer we were soon looking at each other, smiling and listening to the morphing sonic carnage that was coming through the speakers.
Soon the house was full and rockin’. People were passing joints and beers and the music was being changed to the Butthole Surfers, Sonic Youth, Can and many others. The large window at the front of the high-ceilinged room was wide open, letting in the evening sun which was beginning to set. Portrush was a seaside town so the cool breeze coming in was fresh. We were all fucked. Heads spinning, mouths grinning, everybody talking all over everybody else.
Out of nowhere there was a loud screaming and shouting, and a man and woman burst in the door of the room kicking people at random, calling us bastards and trying to drag people out. The guy looked insane. He was intent on hurting someone. The woman was telling us all to get out, “Have some fucking respect”. Stoned and paranoid, I made a dash for the cloakroom where my leather jacket was, which had my car and house keys. Just as I got to the door the guy grabbed me and threw me down the stairs. I tried to explain about the jacket but he kicked at me. It was mayhem.
All of us eventually ended up on the pavement, dazed, looking up at the room we’d just been partying in and wondering what the fuck was going on. Some of the girls had been handled roughly and were crying and screaming, a few were furious and were trying to get us all to kick the door down to get our stuff back. The people who rented the house were wondering why they’d been locked out of their (rented) home. The rest of us stood there confused.
Next thing the cops arrived. Lots of them. They leapt out of the cars and told everybody to stay where they were. Nobody move. They were gonna search the house and they would be wanting our names and addresses. We stood there in a small herd while two cops glared at us, inches away from our faces and checked nobody tried to run for it.
Eventually the other cops came down the stairs and declared they’d found ‘lots’ of drugs. Everybody would be going down to the station for questioning. It seemed that the guy who burst into the house was himself a cop and his father, who also happened to be the landlord of the house we were partying in, had died that day. Driving past the house, he heard the loud music and voices through the upstairs window and cracked up. His father had died that day and to add insult to injury a crowd of scruffy students were wrecking his property. On busting into the house he smelled hash, saw the cans and bottles and phoned his colleagues in the drug squad.
Just before we were dumped into the cop car the police stated that they’d found drugs. If someone would own up the rest of us could go. We all stayed silent. Just then a cop asked, “Is there a Harry here?”. Our mate Harry put his hand up, “is that ‘Hash’ Harry?” smirked the cop. In his hand was a letter addressed to ‘Hash’ Harry that they’d found in his room. Oops.
Next, another younger cop came out and asked “O.k. which one of you assholes wrote ‘satan’ on the bathroom mirror in shaving foam?”. We all started laughing. “It’s not fucking funny, you assholes!” he screamed, eyes bulging in his head, “Fucking assholes”. The whole time he screamed this he couldn’t look one of us in the eye. He was only a young guy and slightly built. He looked like he wanted to kill all of us.
When we got to the station we were all questioned individually with the good cop/bad cop technique and fed bullshit like “You guys are in the shit”, “This is serious, we found heroin in there”. We were all still high as kites and unable to get it together. Eventually one of us cracked and took the rap (they later got off with a caution, after all the hassle).
Next rehearsal we started putting together Loser Cop. We’d been listening to a lot of Nomeansno and Minutemen and liked the way they would sometimes throw little jazzy bits into their tunes. Michael got together a jazzy bass riff. We jammed it out and added the heavier bit on the end. Next bit was the slightly ‘funk’ bit and then the noise guitar squalls for the ending.
To top it off we decided to begin the song with the sound of a police siren played on the guitar with a sampled, speeded up, police siren guitar played underneath it on my Boss delay/sampler guitar pedal. The song had a few ‘trick stops’ in the arrangement. In these we decided to shout “Look me in the eyes and say it!”, which is how we felt about the cop outside the party house ranting about the ‘satan’ shaving foam, and sing the term “Asshole” back at them in the later segment.
Recording the track I played a little bit of piano (we were trying to be ‘jazz’ after all) and we added a sample from the movie Electra Glide in Blue on to the end section. The end result, to us, fully captured the surreal events of the evening at the drug raided party house. As for ‘sputnik’ hash… I’ve never tried it since.
Read the story behind the next song on this album.
All we represent to them, man, is somebody who needs a haircut
Look me in the eyes and say it!
You little punk
Good morning, pigs
Good morning, fascists
This indoctrination of vocal harassment was compiled by our own juvenile division in preparation for the concert this weekend