Music

Friday A/V Club: What If the Beach Boys Had Been Communists?

The music of Red Shadow

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From the 1975 LP Live at the Panacea Hilton, I give you "Gone, Gone, Gone":

That's Red Shadow, a trio of Marxist economists who decided to fight capitalism by forming a band. Besides that Beach Boys parody, they wrote socialist spoofs of Chuck Berry and Ray Charles, among others. (Their Ray Charles rewrite is, I think, what Schoolhouse Rock would sound like in the Red Dawn universe.) They also attempted to compose some original numbers, such as the ballad "Grand Rapids," which doesn't seem to be online and I wouldn't inflict it on you anyway; it nonetheless deserves a mention as one of the few songs anyone ever bothered to write about Gerald Ford.

After two albums the band disappeared from the music world, but not from economics. The man who wrote "Gone, Gone, Gone," one Ev Ehrlich, went on to become an undersecretary of commerce in the Clinton administration, an assistant director of the Congressional Budget Office, and—every young Marxist's dream—the president of "a Washington-based economics consulting firm serving Fortune 500 companies."

(For past editions of the Friday A/V Club, go here. For a better song about Gerald Ford, go here.)

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