24 December 2007

"goodbye horses" || q. lazzarus || 1991

Umm, so let's talk about obscurity. This song is pretty much the definition thereof.

No one seems to know anything about Q. Lazzarus. The only tidbit of information about her that repeatedly seems to turn up on random websites states that she was, at some point, a cab driver in NYC. I've even tried to contact Ms. Lazzarus through this MySpace profile, which purports to be run by the husky-voiced heroine herself, but to date I've gotten no response.

I'm calling BS: I think she's not real.

Think about it: How could you create the most obscure song of all time? Simple. Invent a fake singer. Milli Vanilli had the right idea, but I think at the last minute Frank Farian decided to throw two German models into the spotlight. Big mistake, Frank; the folks behind Q. Lazzarus had the right idea: Invent a singer, invent a producer ("William J. Garvey"), and slide it into an iconic scene in an iconic film that will no doubt become both a cult and pop favorite. Then take a picture of some random staffer around the office (the Pepsi machine restocking chick, the head of corporate development, and the front-desk receptionist are all good suggestions) wearing a goofy cowboy hat, and throw it on the cover of the 12". Boom! Instant club / cult / college radio sensation, and lots of annoyed folks on the Internet 15 years later, looking for info about your non-existent, illusory singer.

The song itself is, naturally, beautiful. Lazzarus has an encapsulating, velvet voice, and the subject matter itself is quite interesting. The singer of the song is kissing goodbye to reality (which, in some mythology, was represented by horses). The singer has obviously been through something very tragic, and the lyrics indicate that she doesn't see things getting better anytime soon. So rather than trudge on with life and continue to deal with pain, she says, "Screw this, I'm outta here." Could it be a nod to suicide? Maybe, but I don't think so. I think it's about creating a new reality when the one in which you exist ceases to please you.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope Ms. Lazzarus does indeed exist, and I hope that this blog entry alone will inspire her to record more music (or at least shoot me an e-mail). But hey, even if I'm right, wouldn't that be awesome if I uncovered some massive musical sham? Gosh, even if it is a sham, kudos to the Q. Lazzarus team for pulling this off.

Listen to it here.


Heather said...

Haha, love the theory! The song is groovin' all the same.

rock is dead said...

I've been trying to find out more about this artist too. I'm not even sure where those pictures of her came from, if they're even really her, but they've been circulating on the internet for a few years. Heard this song played in a few clubs in Manhattan in 2005, and since the Clerks sequel used it in 2006 there's been a lot of demand for her.


Dawn said...

I knew Q and she is for sure real!!! I lived in London in the early 90s when she ran a series of rock discos with her boyfriend Richard. They even put on a Rock Festival once in Cumbria. I lived with my boyfriend at the time who frequently did club lighting for them.

I had little/no interest in either Q or Silence of the Lambs at the time, but a few years ago I worked in a bar that did an 80s night.

The DJays were big fans of Q's and were telling me all about her. That she's a drag queen from NYC....

I was like.. She was a big loud and boisterous american woman, but I believe she was really a woman.

Tough to say for sure.

Q and Richard took a big group of us to a theater to see the movie when it came out. She was so proud!

I still can't tell you for sure where they got the idea she was a drag queen, although I can't 100% say she wasn't one.... I think she was a girl.

I haven't lived in London since the early 90s' so don't ask me what happened to her or Richard or even my boyfriend at the time.

But of the few people who I still keep in touch with from back then, all of us think she was probably a woman, mostly because she was running the METAL scene in London and the metal fans weren't very drag queen friendly at the time.

The pictures are really her!