Earache My Eye
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2008)|
|"Earache My Eye"|
|Single by Cheech and Chong|
|from the album Cheech & Chong's Wedding Album
|B-side||"Turn That Thing Down"|
It first appeared on Cheech & Chong's Wedding Album (1974) and later on the greatest hits collections Cheech & Chong's Greatest Hit (1981), and Where There's Smoke There's Cheech & Chong, a double-CD anthology from 2002.
Cheech And Chong also lip sync to the recording (with Chong behind the drum kit) in their first movie Up in Smoke (1978). The song has been featured repeatedly on the Doctor Demento radio show. According to Tommy Chong's autobiography, the famous guitar riff is played by Gaye Delorme, who also composed the music for the song. Additionally, Chong states that drums on the song are played by famed international percussionist Airto Moreira.
The song was also released as a single in 1974, and reached #9 on the Billboard charts and #4 in Canada. In Chicago, it topped the charts at the powerful and influential Top 40 radio station WLS (AM), holding the #1 position for one week in September 1974, in the middle of an eleven week run on the station's top 40 airplay charts. The song also reached the top spot for one week on the West Coast's biggest Top 40 radio station, Los Angeles' KHJ-AM. The B-side, "Turn That Thing Down" features the remainder of the musical track, from the point of Marin's monologue about his wealth, without the actual dialogue, complete to its conclusion. It is possible to assemble the full-length version of the song by editing the two sections together. The version featured on Cheech & Chong's Greatest Hit fades out before reaching the skit as it appears on the single and the Wedding Album LP.
Several radio stations refused to play the song. Once the song hit its peak on the charts, radio station managers pulled the song out of the format of airplay, due to complaints by parents, teachers, psychologists, principals, and counselors, who stated that this song mostly appealed to junkies, dropouts, drug addicts, and drunks, as well as for students playing hooky from class, giving them a bad example of behavior. Some radio managers threatened to fire their disc jockeys for playing the song on the air.
"Earache My Eye" consists of a song, followed by a comedy skit.
In the opening skit, Tommy Chong plays a rebellious teen with an attitude. At the beginning of the piece he's snoring. We hear an alarm clock, and then the boy wakes up noisily. He starts up a glam rock record, with Cheech Marin singing the lyrics as glam rock star character Alice Bowie, who, as the name implies, is supposed to be a combination of Alice Cooper and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie (at one point in his tune, "Alice Bowie" even mentions having orange hair, which the real David Bowie had sported at that time). The song itself is about a teenager fantasizing about becoming a world-famous rock star, becoming very wealthy and not having to listen to authority as a result.
As the song continues into an electric guitar-heavy bridge, the teen's dad (also played by Marin), then barges into the room, yells "I said turn that thing down and get ready for school!", and scratches the record, which annoys his son to no end. The son then complains about an earache, prompting the dad to exclaim, "Earache my eye, how would you like a butt-ache?" (implying that the son is lying and just doesn't want to go to school). The boy then gets even snottier, provoking his father to swat him with a belt. When he ridicules the spanking as painless, the father then whips him into sniveling, outward compliance, which lasts until his father leaves the room, and the teen puts the record back on.
During the latter part of the record ("Turn That Thing Down") – essentially, an extended, electric rock guitar-driven coda – the father can be heard knocking on the door several times demanding that his son get dressed for school.
The musical portion of "Earache My Eye", which was written originally by Canadian artist Gaye Delorme, a resident of Edmonton, AB, has been covered by many bands, ranging in styles from heavy metal to hip hop. The comedy-metal group Scatterbrain covered the song on their album Here Comes Trouble. Korn released the song as a hidden track at the end of "My Gift to You" from their 1998 album Follow the Leader, with Cheech Marin appearing as a guest vocalist. The recording was reissued on the compilations Live and Rare and Playlist: The Very Best of Korn, separated from "My Gift to You".
Alternative rockers Rollins Band and Soundgarden both covered the song, and the hip hop group 2 Live Crew used a sample from the song on their 1989 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be. The Canadian power trio Rush have used the song's signature riff live, to end "The Big Money", (whose album version ends with a fade) on the live album A Show of Hands. It was also used to end Tom Sawyer on the band's Snakes & Arrows World Tour and can be heard on the subsequent live album.
Gov't Mule covered the song at the Vic Theatre in Chicago, Illinois on April 15, 2000 with Brodie Hutchinson, soundman, performing the spoken word portion and this is available as a Classic Muletracks.
The Kottonmouth Kings also sampled this classic on the song "Loadies" from their album Cloud Nine.