SONG TITLE: I WALK ON GUILDED SPLINTERS
PERFORMER: DR. JOHN
SONGWRITER: MAC REBENNACK
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1968
COMMENTS: In the late '60's, veteran New Orleans session musician and A&R man Mac Rebennack wanted more self-expression and some narcisstic fulfillment. To this end he created his character "Dr. John Creaux, the night tripper." He took the idea of a wholesale fictional artistic identity from Bob Zimmerman, and the drugs and mysticism from the Beatles, and it all got translated into New Orleans variants. Dr. John was basically a powerful Creole voodoo man with a vengeful nature.
"I Walk on Guilded Splinters," the climactic 8 minute finale of his first album, is a kind of seance to summon forth voodoo vengeance. The song is built on a slow, intense trance groove, backed by women apparently chanting invocations of Creole curses. The whole song works, and the conceit works because the groove really is hypnotic. Walking on guilded splinters seems to be a metaphor for the price he's willing to pay to fulfill his expressed desire to see his enemies at the end of a rope. "Roll out my coffin, drink poison in my chalice/ Pride begins to fade, soon you all will feel my malice." I rather suspect that the specific poison in his chalice was actually LSD. In any case, he's quite a bad daddy.
And this track sounds bad as hell blasting out of your car when you're cruising the city at 3 am and you've had, er, some poison in your chalice.
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