Friday on My Mind: Friday the 13th

It’s time again for Friday on My Mind, the weekly post and collaboration between King 5 news and KEXP. This week were talking about Friday the 13th! Be scared.

The superstitious nature and actual origin of Friday the 13th stems not from some dude in a hockey mask with a machete, but apparently is the combination of two long standing superstitions- that Friday was the unluckiest day of the week, think “Black Friday” for stock market crashes and that the number 13 was just unlucky. Bring the two myths together and mass panic ensues. Bring in a guy with a hockey mask and real panic ensues. Bring in 6 or 7 sequels to that movie and boredom ensues. The name given to the fear of Friday the 13th is friggatriskaidekaphobia which also sounds like the next Outkast album. It’s estimated that 17-21 million people suffer from this phobia according to a 2004 article in National Geographic. Its estimated that 0% of them own a hockey mask. Out of fear, people have been known to not get out of bed on Friday the 13th or they avoid travel but they might just not want to go to work on a Friday. No surprise here, all of this is mostly US based. In France, the day is actually considered lucky and Friday the 13th is the only day that a particular lottery is held. America is funny. We’re scared of a day. Then again, the whole Mayan 2012 deal is mostly American based. Don’t we have enough to deal with? At least that’s on the 21st day of the month. Anyway, here’s your Friday the 13th Songs!

Alice Cooper – He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask) [from Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives]

That’s right. “Part VI”. Scary!

Stevie Wonder – Superstition

“Superstition” was the first single off of Steve Wonder’s 1972 album, Talking Book. The lyrics were written by Stevie Wonder, and the drum beat was written by guitarist Jeff Beck, who was one of Wonder’s studio musicians. The song came together while the two were practicing in studio. After finishing the lyrics, Stevie Wonder initially offered the song to Jeff Beck, but Berry Gordy who was Stevie’s manager at the time had the ear to advise Wonder to record the song first, knowing it would probably be a hit for him. The song went to number one on the billboard charts in 1973. Berry Gordy kind of sucks if you are a Jeff Beck fan.


Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

“Psycho Killer” was the debut song from Talking Heads off of their first album, Talking Heads: 77. The majority of the song is written by David Byrne and stems from many influences. One of the inspirations was the main character of Psycho, Norman Bates, which seems somewhat obvious. The other influence being that Byrne for one reason or another felt motivated to write a song in the style of Alice Cooper. Tha’ts right. The man behind Friday the 13th part 34 or whatever. The song made it to #92 on the Billboard charts and was one of the band’s most popular songs, which came as a surprise to Byrne, who wrote the song off as being somewhat silly. What is even more silly is that one of the band’s most popular songs was ONLY #92!!! I have a new fear, it’s the fear of people not loving great music. A fear of the Billboard Top 40.

Performing the song on Old Grey Whistle Test in 1978:

Performing the song in Stop Making Sense:

http://youtu.be/pA1oFSMwRDU


Social Distortion – Bad Luck

From the 1992 album Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, the song title to this Social Distortion says it all. It was the first single off of the album, and became the highest charting single and one of the most popular songs for the Fullerton based punk band. It really is a great song.

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