Whole Lotta Metaphorin’ Going Down

Brain dead, totally tired, I needed a pick-me-up and here are the boys with a real doozie, ZZ Top Sleeping Bag.  Not only that but it’s on a pharaoh shaped picture disc, a vinyl shape that has in exhaustive scientific tests been found to be up to 39.56% more perky and restorative than normal boring round vinyl.

ZZ Top Sleeping Bag 02

I really loved their Afterburner LP, okay so it lacked the guitar bite of Eliminator, but you go back to it now and there are some really great tunes in there.  I suppose it may depend on your tolerance for Texan robo-synth-blues-boogie.  I’ve never had much resistance to it personally, especially when, like most of my favourite music, almost every lyric is just a big steaming double entendre; it really might be about time I grew up past the age of 15.

ZZ Top Sleeping Bag 01

The title track of Sleeping Bag is a case in point.  Billy Gibbons sings of spreading it out and laying on down and then hits us with ‘we’ll tuck it in until it’s clean out of sight’, hmm ladies and gentlemen, I think this might just be some of that sex talk stuff I’ve read about.  Poor ladies, I bet they didn’t stand a chance with all that metaphorin’ going down.  A passing verse about Egypt, gives us the really rather cool image for the picture disc.

ZZ Top Sleeping Bag 04

The B-side is ‘Party On The Patio’ from 1981’s El Loco, not an LP I ever got on with, in fact I sold my copy about a year after getting it and this hasn’t really prompted me to revisit it*.  It was a bit too treated and synthesized for me – I know I’m being a hypocrite here, maybe ZZ Top just got much better at doing it that way.

Never mind I’m happy again, pharaoh-shaped happy.

Let’s go out to Egypt ’cause it’s in the plan,
sleep beside the pharaohs in the shifting sand.
We’ll look at some pyramids and check out some heads**
Oh, we’ll whip out our mattress ’cause there ain’t no beds.
Slip inside my sleeping bag,
slip inside my sleeping bag

ZZ Top Sleeping Bag 03

570 Down.

PS – this is dedicated to Mr Victim Of The Fury, a man who crosses the Nile every day on his way to work – how cool?

*Anyone out there rate El Loco more than I do? I just think it’s lacking some bollocks.

**I always heard that as ‘hash’, rather than ‘heads’ before today. True story.

33 thoughts on “Whole Lotta Metaphorin’ Going Down

  1. This was one I really liked in middle school. I never bought the album, but dug the song. There was a slow song off this record that they played on the radio as well I also quite enjoyed.

    Not sure why I never bought this now that I think of it. Probably too busy with David Lee Roth and Cinderella to care.

  2. Much appreciate the dedication, and who knew Egypt was actually such a hard rock touchstone, er, touchrock. Thankfully the country has taken care of that whole lack-of-beds problem since the ZZ’ers visited; the linens can get a little sandy, but I do have a proper mattress.

    El Loco? I actually don’t dislike it, although it is one of my least spun ZZ Top albums. I can’t hate it because I saw them live my one and only time on that tour, so nostalgia plays a big role in my judgement. Funny story (maybe): For reasons of personal denseness, I believed that the song “Groovy Little Hippie Pad” was actually “Groovy Little Hippie Dad” for a couple of decades and would always picture it as being about the long-haired 70s version of my Pop. I vaguely knew the lyrics didn’t make a lot of sense but nevertheless stuck to my convictions. I’m actually kind of sad to have been disabused of my illusion.

      1. Yeah it was a single of The Imperial March, taken from those Star Wars special edition soundtracks I’ve been reviewing. I wanted the single but couldn’t justify buying it just for the shape, but my sis didn’t care!

      1. I left them down there in the basement last night and I didn’t get a wink of sleep. What with all the ZZ Top, Barry White and other noises I don’t want to try and repeat.
        Have you ever heard the high pitch moaning and squealing that 2 pieces of plastic can make when rubbed together with great force? Let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. 😉

      2. The noise I heard was more like 50 boxes of cd’s were put through a blender on various speeds ranging from ice crush to frappe, and all speeds in between. My precious sleeping bag is now full of plastic shavings and stuck together by plastic cement.

      1. It wasn’t cool finding condoms for him though. I had to go to about 20 places asking for “extra, extra, extra, extra,extra,extra, extra small condoms.”

        I don’t think they believed me either when I said “They really are for a friend.”


  3. I remember being about 14 years old and walking into Hi-Way Market in Kitchener and seeing this on the wall. I had NEVER seen anything like it before. Although my memory is hazy, I could have sworn the flipside had a picture of them in sleeping bags.

    1. From memory I think there may have actually been a sleeping bag-shaped one too.

      I love shaped pic discs – WASP had a saw blade one I always wanted.

  4. Afterburner just hasn’t connected with me. Possibly in the same camp as El Loco. But there’s probably 2 or 3 good tunes … which is more than El Loco boasts.

  5. Your protestations about ‘growing up’ remind me of the Captain in the Hitchhiker’s Guide books. He’s been in the bath for, well, years, as the Ark B zooms through space towards it’s scheduled crash-land on Earth.
    ‘I suppose I should get out,’ he sighs.
    ‘But then, why stop when you’re enjoying it so much?’

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