This is one of the first songs I ever wrote, nearly 30 years ago. Last year I re-recorded it to share with my friends from my high-school band, The Nutrients. (I got the idea to record this version after our unplanned performance at my wedding reception.)
When we were in high school, “dechromium cob” was our code word for how some of the weightlifters walked. We got it second hand from a Frank Zappa song via Ward Aycock, a salesclerk at Rolling Stone Records in west Phoenix.
See, I had a big mancrush on Ward. I created the first verse to Dechromium Cob while walking to Rolling Stone. I sang it again and again and laughed to myself. When I presented it to Ward, he was unimpressed. I was disappointed, but a day or so later I hummed the main riff to Ron (the guitarist for The Nutrients) and asked if he could play it on guitar.
I never heard the Zappa song myself until today—about 30 years after I wrote the iconic song. (Iconic, that is, for the five guys in The Nutrients.) I had tried to find it by searching “dechromium” (a nonexistent word), “dichromium” (a type of chemical bond), but today I tried “de chromium” and found it. And heard it.
The song is Sy Borg from the rock opera Joe’s Garage. The song is an account of how Joe inadvertently destroys a “model XOJ-37 Nuclear Powered Pan-Sexual Roto-Plooker.”
Somehow I feel dirty (well, dirtier) now knowing the full musical and lyrical context from which this seminal song was taken.
Photo Credit: www.tokkoro.com