Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blue 88 Is A Band; Blue 88's Were Downs

I'm having a high-stress moment here, what with the death and the post-death internecine family recriminations, ongoing at present with no resolution in sight.  I am employing a favorite technique of mine to keep calm in the situation: reading about all-out, full-throttle infantry assault warfare.  ("The Guns at Last Light: War in Western Europe," by Rick Atkinson.)  Reading about the soldiers going through a really, really stressful situation centers me somehow, it makes me feel lucky not to be there.  It's a matter of perspective. 

I read that combat fatigue was usually treated with deep, induced sleep.  The common method was to drown the problem with sodium amytol, brand name Nembutal.  The soldiers called them "Blue 88's," after that particularly sleep-inducing German artillery piece.  Well I recall that we were quite fond of Nembutal in the old days, especially the hybrid product called Tuinal, which was half Nembutal and half Seconal.  A buck a piece if you were lucky, throw in a couple of cocktails and you had a deal.

I thought, "The Blue 88's," what a great band name!  Google informed me that it had been taken already, minus the article and the "s," by the guys and girls in this band in the video.  Probably a case of polygenesis,  the band probably had the piano in mind, with its eighty-eight keys.

Still a cool band name, and not a bad version of this song.

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