Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

Make It Stop! The Most of Ross Johnson 

Make it Stop! The Most of Ross Johnson (Goner Records)
  • Make it Stop! The Most of Ross Johnson (Goner Records)
Make It Stop! The Most of Ross Johnson
Composer: Ross Johnson
Conductor: Ross Johnson
Label: Goner Records
Release Date: 2007-11-28
Rated: NONE
Media: CD
Length: LP
Format: Album
Genre: Garage

At one point in the middle of this career-spanning collection, Ross Johnson describes himself as “the king of middle-aged garage-band losers.”

If only things were that simple. Then Johnson might actually be marketable.

But for the uninitiated (which covers everyone not conversant with the Sugar Ditch Records catalog, or the recorded work of Monsieur Jeffrey Evans and Tav Falco), Johnson is a 54-year-old Memphis-by-way-of-Little-Rock drummer who bluffed and drank his way into a side career as a vocalist/musical storyteller. Johnson can’t sing, and doesn’t try to, nor does he rap in the conventionally accepted manner. Rather, he talks, pleads, exhorts, and bellows over whatever ramshackle three-chord accompaniment happens to be handy. Kind of like a self-loathing, Southern Big Bopper on crazy pills.

This drunken, Foster-Brooks-of-rock-and-roll shtick would quickly grate if Johnson were not such a witty, self-aware buffoon. “Wet Bar” finds him admitting to a drinking problem, before begging, “Couldn’t we work it out?/Couldn’t we have a drink or something?”

“Nudist Camp” is a hilariously terrifying sexual-coming-of-age saga with Johnson slipping into his best wrecked-preacher’s voice (“I HAD DREAMS! I HAD DREAMS!) as he relays the story of a 12-year-old neighbor girl who exposed herself to him when he was 10-years-old. Predictably, he responded to this realized fantasy by running down the stairs in fear “like a chihuahua,” adding: “I hate chihuahuas/I wanna smother a chihuahua.”

Johnson’s rants are best appreciated in small doses, and some tracks here, such as an instrumental version of Manfred Mann’s “Pretty Flamingo,” skirt the edges of pointlessness. But Johnson is a true original: a glorious wreck who didn’t let a little tone-deafness get in the way of his musical kicks.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation