Thanks to our neighbor Tim for telling us about And Vinaly, a company that will press your ashes into vinyl. You could have yourself pressed into a record of anything you’d like – Now the only question is what you’d choose.
Rock and roll is full of tracks that take on newly spooky qualities when they’ve been pressed with your ashes, like the entire Black Sabbath catalog, or Cake’s “When You Sleep” or Yo La Tengo’s classic “Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House”. What are people going to think?
If you want to make people sad every time they put you on the turntable, you’d chose Chris Bell’s “I Am the Cosmos” (Since its the only record he ever made, anyway) or some sappy classic like “In my Life” or – My choice – “You Won’t be Satisfied Until You Break my Heart”. Maybe you’d rather be irreverent, in which case I recommend Richard Pryor’s “Bicentennial Prayer” from Bicentennial Nigger. Maybe you’d prefer to be reverent and use a spiritual like “Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through the Goal Posts of Life” or “In Heaven There’s No Beer”.
Hymie’s recommends the following:
TOP TEN RECORDS TO BE PRESSED INTO AFTER YOU DIE
(You don’t find this kind of thoughtful content on the websites for other record stores…)
10 – “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by Pete Seeger
Because you’re going to be a record now – Bwa hah hah! Seriously, Pete Seeger’s adaptation from the Book of Ecclesiastes is actually a pretty reverent choice.
This folk classic has been recorded by dozens of artists, too, so you have a lot of choices. Most people like the Byrd’s version, which was a huge hit, but every folk singer of the day recorded it as well. A short list would include Judy Collins, The Limelighters, The Seekers and Mary Hopkins (whose version would be long, long forgotten if it weren’t on Apple Records).
Because Seeger donates a portion of his royalties (He did write six words) to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, some of the zealots out there might not want to chose this one. Maybe they could chose a number from You Can’t Take it with You instead.
There’s a lot of folk songs to chose from, anyway – If this had been the top eleven records to be pressed into after you die, which its not, number eleven might have been Phil Och’s “When I’m Gone”. We’re including it here for your listening pleasure, but its not an official part of this official Hymie’s TOP TEN list.
You might also chose Ani DiFranco’s very nice recording of this song from her 2000 EP Swing Set. Then again, if you’re choosing one of Ani DiFranco’s songs you might consider “What if No One’s Watching?” (to be irreverent) or “Work Your Way Out” (to freak people out). All of my favorite Ani DiFranco songs aren’t as funny as these two but “Not Angry Anymore” might be a good way to be remembered.
(“Remember Alice? Its a song about Alice.”)
9 – Pretty much anything by the Grateful Dead
I’ll try to stay focused with this one – If you really want to spook them you can probably find something relevant like “China Cat Sunflower” if you were mauled by a tiger, or – Get this! – “Casey Jones” if you crashed a locomotive while on cocaine. There’s probably a song for every occasion and plenty of tracks to cover everything, like “Things Won’t Be the Same”:
8 – “See that my Grave is Kept Clean” by Blind Lemon Jefferson
Nobody likes it when someone plays their records without cleaning them.
7 – “Don’t Put no Headstone on my Grave” by Charlie Rich
This one would be for those who don’t want their record to be kept in a jacket. These are the same people who keep their 45s loose in an old cigar box, and would probably want their ashes scattered somewhere out of the way on a windy day anyway.
Charlie Rich fans are discouraged from chosing “Who Will the Next Fool Be?” or (Seriously, what’s wrong with you) “There Won’t Be Anymore”.
6 – “Handle with Care” by the Traveling Wilburys
Of course, you could make the case that its a little late for instructions. However, if you’ve ever seen somebody drop an urn (And we’re not saying that we have, and certainly not saying that it happened right in front of the store) you know that it never hurts to be reminded. Seriously, folks, handle with care or you’re going to end up looking like Lucky Wilbury.
5 – Pretty much anything from Blues Obituary by the Groundhogs.
Pretty much anything by the Groundhogs, really, although you probably would only want to use “Thank Christ for the Bomb” if you were blown up by a bomb. I’d actually go with “Waking Blues” from Scratching the Surface and put it in a jacket from Blues Obituary because nobody’s going to know anyway.
4 – Pretty much anything by Hüsker Dü:
If you’re going to be ironic, you can’t go wrong with Minneapolis’ most beloved trio. Songs like “Diane” from Metal Circus have more creep factor in that context than anything I can think of by crypt-obsessive rockers like the Misfits, and other songs – like “Never Talking to you Again” (Zen Arcade) and “Too Far Down” (Candy Apple Grey) – are just plain mean spirited or miserable. If, like me, your favorite Hüsker Dü record is their epic concept album Zen Arcade, you’re going to settle on a track like “Whatever”.
3 – “You Spin me Round (Like A Record)” by Dead or Alive
The problem is you’d really rather be remembered as the video, and that defeats the whole irony of being remembered as a record about being a record. Stupid Dead or Alive.
2 – “Cold Cold Ground” by Tom Waits
Because your crummy friend already called “Cemetery Polka”. He’s probably going to die first too, the jerk.
1 – “Next Time Round” by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Look, the truth is your mother’s going to be disappointed, and probably never play the record. You’re better off putting “Nearer My God to Thee” on the label because its going to sit in a china cabinet either way – And if nobody’s going to play the record, it might as well be something you like, like Arlo Guthrie’s “Motorcycle Song” or this one. Yes, in fact, all the other songs are taken and those are your only choices.