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.
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