The Last Mystery of All

We’ve had everything explained to us and there are no mysteries left. Myths have been debunked, and the internet had analysed every cultural detail into meaningless dust.

DJ Shadow finds an unmarked record when cratedigging and throws it in a mix as “unknown song, unknown artist”. Anton Newcombe from Brian Jonestown Massacre picks it out a number of years later, puts it up on youtube, claims it’s from a sixties band called Smile, or Smiles, says it’s a brilliant tune. Says it’s called “I Am Just A Star On A Democratic Flag”.

Maybe it’s Newcombe himself behind the record, sounds like it could be.

DJ Shadow allegedly says “The name of the group is “Smiles”. I think it’s a group from Los Angeles, and the song’s dating back from 1968-69. Unfortunately, the writtings on the record are not in good shape. I’ve never seen another record. I remember Dante came to my house, he saw the record, listened to it. He will never stop digging to find that particular record.”

Someone listens carefully to the surface noise, to see if it’s genuine, or an affectation.

Newcombe denies it’s him. Youtube commenters fail to find any online record of the song. Some claim that Newcombe is not Newcombe. DJ Shadow denies his real name is Clive. Clive Shadow.

I post the song on an intelligent, popular music blog with very well listened contributers, and hope for some news.

The mystery continues, the plot thickens.

17 thoughts on “The Last Mystery of All

    • I am really hoping the mystery will be solved by ‘Spillers, of course! And if nothing else, it has led me to the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s first album, on tape from 1991, and now on youtube. I had no idea they even existed that far back. It’s utterly brilliant

  1. It sounds like a spoof or pastiche to me. The sound doesn’t seem quite right, it reminds me of CSN&Y a little bit but it has more of a 70s feel to my ears. There is also a kind of a feel of Spirit about it, bit overall it sounds like a patchwork of ideas from lots of places.

    If I am wrong, then I wonder why the song remained in obscurity?

    • Very good point. One of my first thoughts was it could have been Anton at it – everything he’s ever recorded has been a meticulous throwback. Also, do you remember when Lee Mavers from the Las was after genuine 1960s dust to sprinkle on his 1960s valve amp. No wonder there hasn’t been a follow up record (that & the smack).

      • Yeah, i read that about Lee Mavers too. I was pretty impressed, as until then i though i had the best excuses for perfectionistic artistic procrastination.

  2. This is kindo in the same area:

    In 1968, an unknown 21-year-old musician named Scott Fagan released a heady psych-pop album called South Atlantic Blues, and it went absolutely nowhere commercially. But the album has a strange history. The New York artist Jasper Johns found the album in a cutout bin in 1969 and used it as inspiration for a series of three artworks known as “Scott Fagan Record.” And Fagan also turns out to be the biological father of the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt, though the two of them never met until a the premiere of a 2013 documentary about Doc Pomus, Fagan’s mentor and manager. A remastered South Atlantic Blues is about to get a reissue.

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