The Hard Aspirin Pillow

Skip Spence

Skip Spence was a resident of Bellevue Hospital in the psych ward when he wrote “Dixie Peach Promenade” for his only solo album, Oar (1969).

It begins with the lyrics “I could use some yin for my yang/ It would make everything alright/ I will stay by your side by the day/ You’ll stay underneath me at night, ” and skips along as he mumbles details of his drug-addled lovesickness in Bellevue’s fabled mental hygiene clinic. Spence died from lung cancer in 1999. This picture looks like a mug shot.

Dixie Peach Promenade- Skip Spence

Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the United States, is where Ray Milland’s character, Don Birnum, in The Lost Weekend (1945) is sent to dry out. Suffering the effects of delerium tremens while in lockdown with certifiable loons only hastens his descent into crazyness. I’d be crazy too if Jane Wyman played my girlfriend and I was a latent homosexual! Who could kiss that mug? I can’t even bear to post her picture.

I’m just kidding, but Ronald Reagan’s first wife was an unlikely film star, and her character in The Lost Weekend is annoying, thinking she can make her boyfriend quit drinking simply by loving him. She would drive anyway to drink with all that pestering and blind adoration. Besides, he’s a total self-absorbed jerk.

Here a few of my favorite songs about getting drunk and depressed.

Blues Run the Game- Jackson C. Frank

There Stands the Glass- The Shadows

What Made Milwaukee Famous (Sure Made a Loser Out of Me)- Jerry Lee Lewis


One response to “The Hard Aspirin Pillow

  1. this blog is almost as good as hanging out with you. the lost weekend–i love that movie. “Don’t be ridic!”

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