I wrote the following on June 15, 2003:
"Mr. Deadly" is a track from Robyn Hitchcock's Invisible Hitchcock that just emerged from my computer speakers as I was tweaking the template for this weblog. I just put my 6800 mp3's on random and let my computer "entertain" me when I'm doing mundane tasks like updating links, and was blindsided by this song. I've probably heard it at least 100 times, and I've never really taken a shine to it. Hitchcock's greatest songs tend to be (understandably) guitar driven. "Mr. Deadly" is all keyboard - moody chords, flat early eighties drums (the sound to me was always a bongo with a sock on it) - complete with a vocal echo & multitrack chorus, and a Tones on Tail menacing atmospheric wash.
Randomly the radio that wanders through the stations like a train
Flickers on the dashboard as the melody dissolves into his brain
"Mr. Deadly" has surprised me. It's the case of a certain song finding a way to be heard, a way to connect to a listener at a specific time and place. Today is overcast outside, my mind is tired and sluggish, and a slow miasma of a knowing step-outside the lines of convention and expectation has invaded my cells through porous walls. I may hate it tomorrow, a trite and cheesy eighties mistake. But oh, "Mr. Deadly", you're comfort and succor keep me whole.
And all who hear him say you must be further gone then they
And all who hear him say he must be mad to be himself around today