Dr. John, The Night Tripper

Listen: I Walk On Guilded Splinters Part 1) / Dr. John, The Night Tripper

If ever, as a youngster, I felt intimidated by an album cover; or more precisely by the life that artist appeared to lead as a result of the album’s graphics, it was Dr. John, The Night Tripper’s GRIS GRIS. I was starting to get interested in drugs and this one sure did look druggy to me. A dark, menacing smoke filled back lit photo of this guy, super imposed over an even more alarming profile shot not only frightened, but of course, sold me on getting a copy. To be honest, I didn’t like it much for a the longest while but it was a bit of a dark secret pleasure still the same. My friends hated it. Even the mono (they were a buck cheaper) Atco label looked kinda ‘stoned’ to me, butterscotch and gray……these were hangover colors. I had a couple of other mono Atco albums, The Cream’s FRESH CREAM and the first Buffalo Springfield record. They were fittingly considered drug records. So Atco too became intriguing as well. Always more focused on singles than albums I was well pleased to get one of ‘I Walk On Guilded Splinters’, dividing the the 7:57 album version into Parts 1 & 2. How can you not be curious by a song with this title? I certainly was. I seem to remember it being the clincher for putting down the $2.98 of lawn mowing money to buy the LP.


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