Archive for the ‘Slant Six’ Category

Slant Six–an Athens band of Archaeologists
May 22, 2009

The Slant Six (aka Slant 6 or Slant VI) was formed in the Summer of 1981 in a tiny green tin house on the Commerce Highway, several miles north of Athens, Georgia. This house was a converted garage and was then rented by one archaeologist named Elliott.  The landlady was a elderly beautician and former local pornographic film actress of little acclaim. The Reagan-era had quickly trickled down upon the small community of archaeologists and during this period, one archaeologist named Spencer and another named Griffin came to stay in the green metal house for a few weeks. One evening one archaeologist named Schoettmer dropped by for a few cold ones and before the night was done, the band was solidified. Why the name Slant 6 you ask? The name Slant 6 was not chosen because three members of the band drove Dodge-Plymouth products with the enduring Slant-6 engine, just as R.E.M. was not named for Rapid Eye Movement–yeah right! The original Slant Six musical revue is not to be confused with numerous late-comers and copy bands. Below is a summary of the legacy of this quintessential archaeology band.

Although the band was formed in 1981, the roots of the band extend back to early June 1977 in Greensboro, Georgia. There, in a former boarding house, 35 University of Georgia Fieldschool students established their home. For those of who that do not remember, 1977 was avery hot year in central Georgia. The 100+ degree temperatures and lack of any cooling forced them onto the expansive front porch for most of their waking hours, when not in the field. Later-to-be Slant VI frontman, Elliott, was given the job of “House Mother” to this herd of archaeology wannabes. Elliott had the only guitar in the house, and soon provided entertainment on the porch. Many songs later performed by the Slant VI began on this porch or other parts of rural Greene County, Georgia.

The Original Band, July, 1981 Lead guitar, harmonica, electric saw, cheap metal detector, and vocals: Daniel Thornton Elliott, Esquire Rhythm guitar and vocals: Jean Spencer Lead vocals: Ronald “Eggplant” Schoettmer Rockem’ Sockem’ Robot guitar, amplified beer can, and token hippie: Michael “Chief” Griffin Haunted Illinois Mental Hospital Saxophone and Manager: R. Jerald Ledbetter (in absentia) Performances: Nightly, August 1981, Twila Motel, Leachville, Arkansas Tunes from this Phase of the Band’s Existence included: Pencil-necked Geek Mastodon Stomp Ice Cream Social Leapin’ Into Leachville The Bible.

The Band, October to December, 1981 Ditto: Elliott, Spencer, Schoettmer, and Griffin Bass guitar: Mark Williams Accordion: Chad Braley Manager: Cynthia Leigh Williams Performances: Halloween, 1981, Constantine Comolli Mansion, Elberton, Georgia December, 1981, Coffee Club, Athens, Georgia Tunes from this Phase of the Band’s Existence included: Ramona Double Fisted Sister Twister Plymouth Rock Immaculate Misconception

The Band, April 1982 Ditto: Elliott, Spencer, Schoettmer, and Griffin Occasional Lead Guitars: Bones and High Gear Performances: House on a Hillside above a Cave and Sinkhole and Next Door to the former Grand Dragon of the KKK, Erin, Tennessee Tunes from this Phase of the Band’s Existence included: I Need a Sedative Arctic Circle Jerk Mike the Trilobite I’ve Got a Speech Problem Jumper Cables Pine Sol Biscuits Watsnu Pussycat? or Wayward Paleoindians Do Tom Jones, I am a Mass Murderer.

The Band, 1983 and 1984 Ditto: Elliott, Spencer, Schoettmer, Williams, and Braley Drums: W. Dean Wood 2nd Lead guitar: Gary Shapiro Production Engineer: Jim Hawkins Manager: Cynthia Leigh Williams (1983) Performances: Summer 1983 and 1984, Uptown Lounge, Athens, Georgia Tunes from this Phase of the Band’s Existence included: We are the Beef People Drive Me Crazy French and Indian Dip Highway 15 Woodstork, Palm of My Hand, Hey Buddy!

The Band, 1987 Ditto: Elliott, Spencer, Schoettmer, Williams, Braley, Wood, and Shapiro Mandolin: Jim Errante Clarinet: William Marquardt Master of Ceremonies: Vincent Macek Performances: Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Charleston, South Carolina Tunes from this Phase of the Band’s Existence included: Flippa’ The Band, 1990 Ditto: Elliott, Spencer, Schoettmer, Williams, Braley and Wood Mandolin: Jim Errante Clarinet: William Marquardt Master of Ceremonies: Vincent Macek Performances: Society for American Archaeology, International Ballroom, Atlanta, Georgia Tunes from this Phase of the Band’s Existence included: Third of a Fifth Pitiful covers of old favorites, including Mudcat and Key to the Highway

The Band, 1999 Ditto: Elliott, Williams, Braley, and Wood Keyboards: Chris LeBlanc 2nd Lead guitar: Scot Keith 2nd Bass guitar: William Zimmerman, IV. Performances: Society for Georgia Archaeology Reception, Columbus, Georgia Tunes from this Phase of the Band’s Existence included: The Bart Simpson on a Stick March.

The Band, 2000 Ditto: Elliott, Schoettmer, Williams, Braley, and Wood 2nd Lead guitar: Matt Wood 2nd Bass guitar: William Zimmerman, IV Performances: Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Macon, Georgia. This was a lackluster-era in the band’s history. Actually, this performance really sucked! But hey, we did play the Georgia Music Hall of Fame!!!

SELECTED LYRICS

Stoned on the Rock
Words and music by Daniel T. Elliott and Paul Arthur Webb, Siloam, Georgia 1977.

Key of G

Jesus gave me papers,
He gave me his roach clip,
He even gave me matches,
He said, “here, take a hit!”
I took a toke for Jesus,
And now I’m stoned on life,
I’m stoned on the rock of Jesus Christ,

Oh Lord I’m Stoned on the Rock,
Stoned on the Rock,
Stoned on the Rock of Jesus Christ,
Of Jesus Christ,
Oh Well I’m Stoned on the Rock,
Oh Yes I’m Stoned on the Rock,
Stoned on the Rock of Jesus Christ.

The cop he pulled me over,
He said, “You sure looked stoned!”
I said, “It’s just a headache,
won’t you please take me home?”
A voice rang out from Heaven,
“The Kid is Stoned on Pot!”
I said, “Gee thanks Jesus”,
“Goddammit, thanks a lot!”, and now I’m,

[REPEAT CHORUS]

Now Christ has a great personality,
Lord knows he sure can cook,
Anyway you look at it,
He’s O.K. in my book,
Every time I’m horny,
He sets me up with twat,
And everytime I wanna get stoned,
He lets me smoke his pot and now I’m,

[REPEAT CHORUS]

The Bible

Words and Music by Daniel T. Elliott, Erin, Tennessee, March, 1982

Key of E

On the first day, God created the heavens and the earth,

On the second day, he created the Slant Six engine,

On the third day, he created the Electric guitar,

And on the fourth day, on the fourth day,

He created this Big Fat Red Man, who started giving away free things, and this Rabbit that was laying eggs,

Oh but he wouldn’t let Poor Jesus, let Poor Jesus, play in any reindeer games, He said,

[CHORUS 1]

Jesus, with your nose so bright,

Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

Jesus, with your nose so bright,

Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

[CHORUS 2]

And this Big Fat Red Man,

Was givin’ away free things,

And this Rabbit was layin’ eggs,

This Big Fat Red Man,

Was givin’ away free things,

And this Rabbit was layin’ eggs,

But they wouldn’t let poor Jesus, let poor Jesus,

Play in any reindeer games,

No, they wouldn’t let poor Jesus, let poor Jesus,

Play in any reindeer games,

They said,

[REPEAT CHORUSES 1 & 2 to infinity]

Burned Beyond Recognition

Words and music by Daniel T. Elliott, Granite Village, Nova Scotia, January, 1982.

Key of G

I went to the welding shop today,
To see my little girl,
I wanted to see what she had to say,
My mind was in a swirl,
I asked her if she’d been cheatin on me,
I had a good idea that she might be,
But she turned around with her welding torch,
The first thing you know,
My body was scorched,

And I’ve been burned, fried,
Battered up, roasted and broasted,
Your love set me on fire,
Til like a piece of bread I was toasted.

Yes I’ve been burned, fired,
Heated to the point of ignition,
Your love set me on fire,
Til I was burned beyond recognition.

**

Ramona

Words and Music by Daniel T. Elliott, Ronald Schoettmer, and Jean Spencer, Elberton, Georgia, 1981

Ramona changed her mind,

Ramona changed her mind,

We thought she was dead,

But she only changed her head,

You know Ramona changed her mind.

Ramona works all day,

Ramona works all night,

Working so hard she nearly lost it all,

You know Ramona changed her mind.

Ramona changed her mind,

Ramona changed her mind,

We thought she was dead,

But she only changed her head,

You know Ramona changed her mind.

Follow link below for video of instrumental (slightly retarded) version of Ramona:

OR:

Ramona (Instrumental)_The Slant Six
Uploaded by dantelliott. – Explore more music videos.

Now then, a little background information about the song, Ramona:

Ramona was a large doll. It was late September, 1982. We found her in a dump in Elbert County, Georgia, mixed with debris from a cemetery, including faded plastic flowers and rotted green styrofoam. The debris was piled on an earlier dump of cut granite fragments. Elberton prides itself as granite capitol of the world. I prefer the title, “tombstone capitol of the world”. So, obviously we couldn’t just leave Ramona lying there, so we took her back to our archaeology fieldhouse, the Constantine Comoli mansion in Elberton. [This grand palace, complete with a dedicated telephone room and a toaster room, has since been bulldozed to make way for a widened highway.] Ramona simply loved her new home. We were curious and inspected her for any diagnostic information, for which we were immediately rewarded. Let me first describe her to you. Ramona stood about 2 feet tall, she wore a pink fluffy dress and a simple faux pearl necklace, she had red hair and her face was green. The green was acquired from decades of repose in a graveyard. On her upper chest was written in red ink, “Dec. 25, 1957”. Curiouser and curiouser she became. She made herself comfortable in our den bookcase. Now on a separate reconnaissance trip several days later, Dean and I were riding out a rural dirt road in Elbert County when we spied something odd in the middle of the road. It was a goat skull, well aged and apparently drug into the road by a neighborhood dog. The skull was impressive with its large twisted horns and it immediately went into our vehicle and we returned to the field house.

Now I should mention that Ron, our lead singer, was visiting us and Ron and I discussed making a photo-essay with Ramona Comoli as the subject. One thing led to another, we purchased a jar of peanut butter and with camera and Ramona in hand, we headed for the abandoned granite quarry on the west side of town (the one seen in the movie, Breaking Away). Our intent was to smear peanut butter over Ramona and film the thousands of stunted bream, who called the quarry pond home, as they feasted on Ramona. What we did not anticipate, however, was the laziness and timidity of these fish. They were hungry, for sure, but they waited for the chunks of peanut butter to drift down. They were apparently afraid of Ramona, maybe it was the green face.

Dejected and disappointed, we returned home with a soggy Ramona. We returned to a raging fire in the fireplace and we set Ramona by the fire to dry. Ron removed her head and we discovered it filled with wet cotton. While the contents of her head were drying, Ron held up the headless body and paired it with the body-less goat head, and thus, Ramon had changed her mind.

Ramona worked for a while in October and November as a figurehead on our john boat. She led the way through the fog across the Savannah River to Paris Island. As the archaeological excavation progressed, Ramona volunteered to serve security duty. She suspended herself on a rope over our block excavation to ensure that evil doers did not do evil in our Late Archaic bonanza. She and Roy Dickens met there and struck up a friendship-cut short by his early death.

Fast forward to the Coffee Club in early December, 1982, Ramona took the stage with the rest of the band. She was a smash hit. When the music finally ended around five in the morning, Ramona parted ways with the band. She was taken by the lady who ran the Coffee Club, we thought it was just a short term loan, sort of an Athens stay-cation, but the Coffee Club closed down and the owner moved to New York City, taking Ramona with her for all we know. Her picture never appeared on a milk carton and we never saw Ramona again. I have some faded photographs in a box somewhere, and Chief still has her eyeball in his “Table of Neat Weird Things”, but mostly Ramona is remembered in song.

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