Elliott Smith: Here in Hell, we suicides are given new bodies as twisted trees and bushes in a black, tangled forest. I’m a weeping willow. Boo hoo hoo! Frankly, I think we got a pretty good deal, compared to the heretics in their burning tombs or the fortune tellers with their heads turned around backwards. I sure wish they’d stop playing all those Radiohead and Wilco records over the house stereo, though. That’s just cruel. Did you know that they have a special rock star section of the black forest here in the seventh circle? They do, it’s true! I hear Ian Curtis moaning whenever the wind blows the right way.
Ian Curtis: They keep calling me. Keep on calling me. Calling me. Caaaaaaaalling me.
Elliott Smith: Cobain’s right next to me, too, right over there. They made him into a little scruffy patch of poison ivy.
Kurt Cobain: Boston Red Sox! Asian wild ox! Little black box! Bagels and lox! Pustules and pox! Chickens and cocks! Tackles and blocks! My libidox! YEAH!!!
Elliott Smith: All the overdose guys are here too. As far as the powers that be in the cosmic order are concerned, apparently, if you off yourself, you’re going to the forest of suicides, whether you meant to do it or not. I’ve got to tell you, just between us: Janis Joplin is one rough looking tree.
John Bonham: Honestly, I have no idea why I’m in Hell. I mean, one minute, I’m hitting on some fourteen year old girl that I’ve drugged with Mandrax, and the next thing I know, I’m a tree, locked into an eternal embrace with Keith Moon. He’s a strangling fig vine, wrapped all around me, head to heel in Hell. What the, um, Hell, you know?
Keith Moon: Always running at someone’s bleedin’ heel! You know how I feel, John? Always running at someone’s heel? John? You know how I feel? Always running at someone’s bleedin’ heel? John? John? You know? You know how I feel? John?
D. Boon: I guess setting up tour schedules in such a way that your driver ends up falling asleep at the wheel counts as a self-snuff, too, since here I am in the forest with Elliott and Ian and Bonzo and the others. But that doesn’t quell my indomitable jolly big man spirit, since I’m still writing great Minutemen lyrics in Hell, every single day! Here’s a sample for you:
Me and Watt, we lived in Pedro.
out in the shed behind Watt’s house.
Decided we were straight.
Chose to play guitars instead.
Drove to the grocery store in the van.
This is the essence of man.
Oh, wait, wait! Here’s another new one I like a lot. A real classic! Check this out:
Me and Watt drove in the van from Pedro.
Set off to discover the land.
Made George drive, most of the time.
This is the essence of drummers.
Had Corona and bologna.
Wrote a political song for Anthony Kiedis to sing.
But he wouldn’t.
Looked like dorks.
Went home to Pedro.
See, being dead, I haven’t lost my touch at all! And just like in the good ol’ days with SST Records, I’m still a hard-working Joe here in Hell. A couple of weeks ago, I helped Lucifer out by driving the Zamboni around the pit of ice at the center of Hell, to tamp the traitors and falsifiers down, and also because the big red man likes to see things looking neat, not with a lot of chewed up ice surrounding him down there like you might see at a double overtime Rangers game at the Garden. But, anyway, he gave me a 24-hour furlough, so I went up and caught my old buddy Mike Watt on tour with his new band. I even wrote a song about it! It goes like this:
Went to Albany to see Watt.
Drove in the van all the way up from Hell.
Made fun of some pool playing dudes.
Watt was late.
I detuned his Thunderstick and scrambled his Spiel.
But he still jammed econo.
Had a Corona, (ten cent deposit in New York).
Boy, Watt still can’t sing.
Hillel Slovak: Really D. You are the man. Your words are such poetry to me.
D. Boon: Thanks, Hillel in Hell. Sorry you had to play along to all those Anthony Kiedis lyrics for so many years. I probably would have overdosed, too.
Martin Tamburovich: Me and Boon and Watt went to Pedro High together, and I was there in the shed when we started our first band. I loved those guys so much, like brothers. Heck, I even started a record label with them, but it never went anywhere, and no one remembers my part of their story anymore. So now I’m in Hell, too, but D. Boon never calls or visits. I guess that’s just all part of the torment. Here in Hell, abandoned and forgotten, just as in life.
D. Boon: Hey, Martin! I didn’t realize you were here, since they assigned you to the Circle of the Hopelessly Obscure! But now that I know we’re neighbors, I wrote a song for you anyway. It goes like this:
Me and Watt and Martin grew up in Pedro.
Formed a band.
Changed our name and threw Martin out.
Me and Watt started a record company with Martin.
But we put all of our good stuff out on Greg Ginn’s label instead.
Maybe partying will help.
Ian Curtis: Eliott Smith keeps calling me. Keeps on calling me. Calling me. Calling me. But when he does, I always do my best fake Missus Curtis voice and say to him “Ian isn’t home right how, he’s out hanging around somewhere.” Ha ha! I’ve still got it, even in Hell!
Elliott Smith: Boo hoo hoo!
The Demon Azmahobeth, Esq.: Alright then, that’s quite enough of this unauthorized nonsense! You rock stars shut your traps and get back to suffering. And for the rest of you out there, I’ll have you know that “Hell” is an official trademark of Cloven Hoof Enterprises LLC, a subsidiary of Satan Lunchmeats Corp., a joint venture of Oscar Meyer, Inc. and Pope Pius XII Famous Brands GMBH. Tamper with our proprietary properties and we’ll roast your thighs for Lunchables, and poach your eyeballs for Spaghetti-O’s. Try us. We’re infinitely patient, and infinitely litigious.