Christmas 1976

I’ve always liked relics.

I don’t remember whose house we were at Dec. 11, 1976, but it was our ritual to gather to watch Saturday Night Live. I do remember the episode: the killer Christmas trees and the horrifyingly hilarious holiday carole: “Let’s Kill Gary Gilmore for Christmas.” And Santi-Wrap. It must stand as one of the television program’s greatest episodes.

I remember Frank Zappa as one of the killer Christmas tree’s victims, and as the slime oozin’ out of our TV. It is almost certainly not the first time I’d ever heard Frank, but it’s the first time I really noticed him. (I was all, like “ELP are so bitchin'” ‘n’ stuff back then.) So I’m a little sad that I don’t remember hearing Peaches En Regalia that night. In the years since, I acquired a number of different recordings of the song, which FZ seems to have put to vinyl over and over.

Tonight I added the live SNL recording of Peaches En Regalia to my podgoober.

The epilogue came the morning of Jan. 17, 1977, when Gary Gilmore was executed. I was eating poached eggs at the moment he uttered his last words: “Let’s do it.”


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