Mercenary // The Mission

You're a sycophantic, bullshitting,
Cock sucking, arse licking, mercenary
Mind numbing, money grabbing,
Motherfucking scum of the earth, mercenary
You're a cringing, grovelling chicken shit,
Pissing waste of time
You're a crawling, whining hypocrite,
You fucking piece of slime
You can take the money and run,
but there's nowhere you can hide
You arsehole mercenary

There are days when swearing and name-calling is the only way to get through the day without throttling someone to death.

Today is not one of those days for me. I’m actually in a decent mood for only having about 4 hours of sleep. I’d been wool gathering and information consuming and lost track of time. And you know how it is at times — you don’t want to stop. Especially when the kids are away and you know you don’t need the presence of mind to not snap at them when they drive you bonkers. I finally did crawl into bed and managed to avoid my nightly dose of nightmare — which might have helped improved my mood.

Why this song, then? Lots of harsh language in it. Because I feel like being contrary, that’s why.

The Mission (U.K. in the U.S.) are more known in their early days as being hopelessly romantic and mystical when it came to lyrics — more apt to fuck than fight. This was a different side to them. I don’t know if the rumor is true, but this song is said to be a response to Andrew Eldritch from Sisters of Mercy for his album-in-a-weekend under the name The Sisterhood, recorded to prevent The Mission from using the band name and the rights were sold for 25,000 British pounds — just to piss off Andrew’s former bandmates.

Wayne Hussey apparently penned this song in response. I don’t know why they waited so long to release it after the event, except that maybe it was a cut track from an earlier album that made it onto a singles compilation.

It can be cathartic in the right mindset, to sing along.


©2021 Michael Raven

rigid nails dig deep
to find relief
in the painslipstream
as i try to locate
the corners where
to find my path to
the where of you

fumbling with
the fucking
rusted locknkey
prying the right door
find the rotation
right for the letter i sent
to you in promise

hüsker dü/

©2021 Michael Raven

do you remember?
trouble, oh trouble move away
busking on the corner
after they ran the good folks
down with their red tanks
as they cried freedom
i have seen your face
maybe just we just cried
i felt the hurting
in the core of my heart
strumming, pulling, tugging
and it's too much for me today
bloody heart strings
in a red square
worse than those four dead
in oh-hi-oh
flags crushed under the

he wept the pavement shadowed grey
a note singing, ringing on
a voice for the ghost in you

Desire // Gene Loves Jezebel

Oh honey, I won't be kissing you
And I've been wondering, where it is you're hiding
I've been a ball of fire in your arms desire
And I've been wondering, where it is you're hiding

What you get is what you seek


I actually had intended on posting a song by GLJ before the Bowie song. My sleep has been so broken these past few weeks that I honestly don’t know my head from a hole in the ground some days, so I forgot. And then, remembered. So it goes.

Gene Loves Jezebel was one of my faves back in the day for no other reason than they had their own unique sound on the first couple of albums that no one ever quite emulated (or tried to emulate, for that matter). Twins, Michael and Jay Aston took turns singing until the whole band absolutely imploded in a most spectacular fashion with brother suing brother for the name and song rights and running two versions of the band called “Gene Loves Jezebel” run out of two different countries an ocean apart… As far as I know, they are still feuding and I don’t know if anyone knows the real reason why. Like hair-pulling, eyeball-scratching cat fight feuding…

This song is not one of their unique sounding efforts. They decided by this point they wanted to sell records, so they smoothed the rough edges while still retaining their signature sound.

Jay, their primary guitarist in the early years, sings this song, with Michael (primary singer) singing backup.

I met Jay and Pete Rizzo when they played in Minneapolis in support of Echo and the Bunnymen (along with New Order as the second set of the three). I had a habit of going to venues early before a concert and this was on the U of MN campus so, naturally, the student-run college radio station leveraged an interview and it happened to be on the front steps of the Northrup (awesome venue at the time). A small cadre of fans (including myself) got to sit down with them as long as we promised to stay quiet during the interview. Jay kept putting his arm around me and hugging me and I was quite flattered by the attention he gave me. I don’t know if it was anything more than I was sitting next to him and he was feeling huggy with fans, so I just went with that at the time and since then. It didn’t feel like he was flirting and I don’t know if that is his thing anyway.

I’ve met quite a few famous (or semi-famous) musicians over the years and, for the most part they’ve been pretty cool folks without being flakes (with several exceptions, which I won’t go into here). This is one of those cases where I felt I could probably be good friends with the band members I’d met if we just happened to bump into each other and start talking in a bar, a café, or a party. Jay and Pete were nice guys.

For the record, the one song I “sang” in my goth band was an homage to GLJ, and I tried to sing in Jay’s style. I was told to sing it because the normal lead singer didn’t like my lyrics (I wrote all but about 2 of the songs’ lyrics for the band) about prostitution, but he liked the finished product — he just didn’t want to sing about folks and their orgasms.


Trivia: Julianne Regan from All About Eve played bass for Gene Loves Jezebel in the early days, before their first album.

Lady Stardust // David Bowie

People stared at the makeup on his face
Laughed at his long black hair, his animal grace
The boy in the bright blue jeans
Jumped up on the stage
Lady Stardust sang his songs
Of darkness and disgrace

Of all the Bowie albums, Ziggy Stardust resonated with me the most. Sure, Bowie had some great songs and great albums, but this one is one I go back to regularly over the others because of this song and a handful of others. While no one ever directly referred to me as “Lady Stardust” during my senior year in high school (my most “goth” phase), it was whispered that I was going to be one of those “rock and roll suicides”, and any time Bowie was played on a boombox in the “mall” (greenspace where most of us misfits ate our lunch between the buildings of the school) while we smoked our smokes and pulled our poses, people would be sure to crank this song up if I was in the area. Or the aforementioned song. I assume it was implied that they both were applicable to me in retrospect, especially a year or so later when I’d heard the “suicide” label had been applied to me — although it hadn’t been the misfits, punks and rockers who had given me the label.

While I hadn’t consciously emulated Bowie in my teen years, there were some similarities — I had a fuck-all approach to gender norms when it came to clothing, was one of the only boys who wore eye make-up all of the time, and I was more effeminate than almost anyone else at the school (hell, most of Minneapolis, save for the avowed crossdressers), with a few exceptions. While I went more dark than glam, Bowie and I were both disinterested at some point in our lives in being defined by gender norms. I’ve mentioned this before, but I was asked to model a man’s dress at one point for a clothing designer because of this couldn’t-give-two-shits attitude about clothing. I’ve also said I almost regret leaving the city before she could make it happen. It would have been epic.

Anyway — I vaguely recall someone making a joke about me, calling me “Queen Michael” or “Lady Michael” back then and also recalling that, while it was meant to make me feel bad about my wayward life choices, I also recall responding with either a pair of birds or flashing Vs at them. I wasn’t insulted, but I had to play my role as the surly waste of air.