SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS
Watching the BTS features for “Mystery Train” recently, I heard director Jim Jarmusch talk about his relationship with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, a musician I’ve never been too familiar with. This is sending me down a rabbit hole to learn more: apparently Hawkins originally wanted to be an opera singer, but that didn’t work out. He was also reluctant to start using the various stage props that gave him his later macabre, Vincent Price-esque stage presence. It’s odd that the guy who was apparently Shock Rock Patient Zero and must have inspired the image of everybody from The Cramps to Alice Cooper to The Misfits to Gwar to White Zombie… didn’t really want to. With the approach of the Halloween season-- my favorite time of year-- I will add Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to my holiday practice, with respect for his reluctance. There’s a documentary about Hawkins called “I Put A Spell On Me”, that I’m looking forward to catching. Unfortunately, the only place I can find it is YouTube; not even my public library has it.