This Tuesday lands on Halloween, so that calls for a pair of spine-tingling spooky songs raised from the very depths of… well, Van Nuys.
That’s the hometown of The Ghastly Ones, a surf guitar band that made A Haunting We Will Go-Go, which starts with a brilliant opening track assuring the listener not to be alarmed if they find themselves transformed into an evil space robot or some other monster. It instantly became a lifelong favorite just for the correct pronunciation of “robot.”
And also because of “Ghastly Stomp,” which is kind of but not exactly a surf guitar cover of “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” the theme to Disney’s Haunted Mansion. I still love how much they commit to the bit, making the whole thing feel like an artifact from the 1960s, as if the vinyl release had surf rock on one side and spooky haunted house sfx on the other.
The other song is an actual cover, but I’ve only seen it on YouTube. It’s The Breeders doing John Carpenter’s theme from Halloween for their late-October concerts back in 2018.
It all calls back to a time when Halloween peaked, when it was all about hot rods and monster make-up and guitars and I wasn’t alive yet but am still somehow nostalgic for it.
I hope everybody has a fun Halloween, and may all your candy be Reese’s cups!