The Nommos: Eight Finger Funk
Eight Finger Funk
It's not often that someone sends us a tribute song for someone's 80th birthday here at betterPropaganda world headquarters in San Francisco. Actually, that had never happened before until now. And it's not very often that anyone anywhere gets a song written in commemoration of their birthday, or that news of the event travels around the world. An American who permanently moved to in India in the 1950s, Eight Finger Eddie- who was born missing an index finger and pinkie on one of his hands, making him appear like a space alien- is the amazing octogenarian hipster honored in the track "Eight Finger Funk" by The Nommos. Psychedelic warrior Eddie is a long time denizen of Anjuna Beach, Goa, India, which has been home to all night beach parties every winter season since the early 1970s when a ragtag collection of hippies from around the world first settled into an abandoned Portugese tourist resort town in India.
"Oh yeah, you're gonna take the train, and get off in Nirvana station, huh, is that it?" We're hearing samples of Eddie himself throughout the track, spewing the psychedelic gospel and other sillyness over beats made in Anjuna Beach by his close friends Ariane and Goa Gil from The Nommos. The audio is heavy on the trippy sound effects- which float and scribble over a relatively subdued trance backbeat by Goa standards- which pumps out an unrelenting and persisent tempo nonetheless. Gil explains that the busy madcap soundscapes thrown down in this track directly reflect Eddie's personal character and performance style. Is that speaking in tongues, or sampler-nuts gobbledeegook? Turns out Eddie is an old school upright jazz bassist from the be bop era, and the polysyllabic vocal cutups are actually him singing jazz scat style, the real deal. Eddie crows like a bird- or is that like jazz great Pharoah Sanders- before remarking "Who dropped the acid in my tea?" near the end of the song.
This glowing tribute to an oldest school prankster stands as a distant marker for those of us that will attempt to be so fortunate in years.