Previously on “A Quick Word From“…
I am Dracula, Prince of Darkness. I thirst for the blood of virgins and have brutally feasted upon hundreds, turning many into demon soldiers in my army of the undead. I am also the singer/songwriter of a modest hit called the “Transylvania Twist” that seems to have been lost to history due to the massive success of the hack pop song the “Monster Mash.”
Sure, it’s now the “Mash.” It’s now the “Monster Mash.” But it was the “Twist.” It was the “Transylvania Twist.”
We all know Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash.” It’s a catchy, rather derivative Halloween tune. It’s a fine song. But the Transylvania Twist was at least trying to do something different, you know? It was interesting. It was weird. It was about a lonely vampire. Whatever happened to it?
I suppose what bothers me most about the Monster Mash is that I am specifically mentioned in the lyrics complaining about the Monster Mash. This has always struck me as remarkably petty and unprofessional. This would be like if Taylor Swift wrote a part in “Bad Blood” where Katy Perry is offended by the song “Bad Blood.” It doesn’t even make sense.
Sure, out of my coffin, my voice did ring. And yes, I was troubled by just one thing. I did open the lid and shake my fist, and I did ask whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist. But I was just asking if we could maybe play it next. The Crypt Kicker 5 had been playing the “Mash” all night. Spread the love a little. It’s a party.
And how did Boris, the laboratory scientist who I thought was my friend, respond? He immortalized me as the biggest loser in novelty holiday song history. For years, I was Dracula, the feared Count of Transylvania. Because of the Mash, I’m now just an old man desperately clinging to the past.
I’m a cool vampire, O.K.? I like new music. Do you have any idea how much new music I’ve heard over the last two thousand years? Drac loves Future. I really think pop music is going in a really interesting direction.
Sorry I didn’t immediately fawn all over the song like everyone in the Castle East. Everyone knows that the ghouls just came to get a jolt from Boris’ electrode. Ghouls aren’t tastemakers. Ghouls are terrible jolt fiends, and they’d dance to anything for a taste of that sweet, sweet electrode.
The Monster Mash is a travesty, and not the gothic travesty of a handsome vampire falling in love with an unsuspecting virgin and attempting to seduce her into the night. That’s what the Transylvania Twist is about.
“The Monster Mash” is a song that is exclusively about itself. The Beatles didn’t spend half of “She Loves Me” asserting that “She Loves Me” is a graveyard smash. They let it speak for itself. We all know that “She Loves Me” is a graveyard smash. The Monster Mash is only about how popular and great the Mash is. The Transylvania Twist is about love and loss and transforming into a bat.
“The Mash” is still the hit of the land. It’s been the Mash for over 60 years. It’s not fair that my Halloween song was replaced with another Halloween song, and then it just stayed that way forever.
Here’s an excerpt from the “Twist”:
Everyone’s a bat; we’re having some fun!
Partying all night, ‘cause I’m afraid of the sun!
Drained all the blood from my sweet Claire
I didn’t mean to kill her, I solemnly swear.
Wish I were mortal so I couldn’t exist.
Nothing to do but to do the Twist.
The Transylvania Twist!
[Thirty seconds of blood dripping]
The upbeat melody of “The Transylvania Twist” tends to mask its rather dark, existentialist lyrics. I was really trying to tap into the inherent sadness of being a bloodsucking vampire. There’s a part later where you can’t really tell if I am doing an evil laugh or crying. It’s pretty experimental, and you can dance to it.
So, this Halloween, listen to something with substance. Please, please donate to the GoFundMe to reissue the “Transylvania Twist” on CD and red Vinyl. I’d put it up on Soundcloud for free but there’s this whole thing with the rights that I don’t really want to get into. Everyone who donates will get thanked in the linear notes, and if you donate over $10, I’ll write you a personal thank you note. If you donate over $100, you are automatically a member of the Bat Bunch, and you’ll receive a “Transylvania Twist” beanie, tote, and a lock of hair from my beloved, departed Claire. It’s a real steal.
I’ll leave you with the final lyrics from the “Twist”:
So, do a shuffle and grab a wooden stake,
Nothing to live for, no need to be awake.
I’m an evil vampire, so I doubt I’ll be missed
Remember me when you the Twist.
The Transylvania Twist!