Yesterday, Bert Jansch skipped off into oblivion. The below was originally posted on April 12th, 2009. Re-posted as, well, you’re not going to find a better Bert Jansch song, and it seems appropriate. “That death itself is freedom for evermore.” RIP.
Bert Jansch - Needle of Death
Bert Jansch was a 60’s Scottish strum’n’croon type whose early adult life was pretty action-packed. In his early twenties, he married a 16-year old acquaintance in order to allow her to travel with him, as her age prevented her from travelling alone. They soon split, and Bert was forced to return to Glasgow after contracting dystentery in Tangiers, a small bit of foreshadowing of how shit-soaked the band Tangiers would become 40 years later. If you ask me, dystentery could be what caused the breakup. Dystentery is apparently a bit of a turn-off for the ladies. Although it’s likely quite an uncomfortable condition that could be described to firing liquid through the eye of a needle and then dying, this song is not about dysentery, but rather about smack. You know, junk. Horse. For my dollar twenty-five, this jerks a tear a lot more effectively than Neil Young’s ‘Needle and the Damage Done’. The picture below isn’t the cover of the album this song appeared on, but look at the puppy. Cute right? That puppy died tragically of a heroin overdose at the age of 27.