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Traumafessions :: Reader Bob L. on “D.O.A.”

September 21st, 2009 by aunt john · 23 Comments

bloodrock d.o.a.

Seeing as someone else started talking about music (cf. Steve Miller), my kindermusiktrauma song would have to be “D.O.A.” by Bloodrock from 1971. Ostensibly a song about a plane crash victim told in first person, the song starts with a Hammond organ that has some of the creepiest, deepest, dirtiest production imitating an ambulance siren. It goes on from there to a pretty basic (yet rather turgid) 3-chord progression, culminating in the chorus “I remember we were flying low and hit something in the air.” Pretty graphic lyrics about a lost arm, a dead girl staring back at the narrator, and the classic climax of “Dear God in heaven, teach me how to die!”

The whole thing sounds like it was recorded on some bad b-movie set in Texas, with thuddy drums (typical for the time) overworked bass licks in the chorus, crazy deep and dramatic vocals, then – and this is what always really got me as a kid – THEY SLOW THE TAPE DOWN AT THE END OF THE SONG AND CROSSFADE TO AMBULANCE SIRENS!

I downloaded this song a few weeks ago, and it still has the same effect on me as being up late watching a Movie of the Week from the same time period.

The song made it to #36 on the Billboard charts, according to the Bloodrock Wiki entry.

I’d be curious if other folks remember this song, or have similar trauma moments (I can think of “One Tin Soldier” (“Go ahead and hate your neighbor/go ahead and cheat a friend”) and the spoken word break from Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City” as two other immediate trauma inducers).

Tags: Traumafessions

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 aunt johnNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 9:01 am

    One of my personal kindermusiktrauma songs is “Time in a Bottle” by Jim Croce. There was some T.V. movie from the ’70s, whose name totally escapes me (if anyone wants to NAME THAT TRAUMA — have at it!), about a teenage girl who gets killed by a car while walking down a road. Throughout the rest of the movie, this song keeps playing over and over again while her death is remembered.

    Every time I hear this song in a foodstore, for example, I have an irrational fear that a car will come out of nowhere and plow over a young girl.

    I really hate this song.

  • 2 EibmozNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Whoa, I couldnt get through the whole thing. I am having trauma right now.

  • 3 senskiNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Hey, Aunt John –
    I remember that “Time in a Bottle” was all over the 1973 movie She Lives, and then it was all over the radio after that aired (and Croce’s death).  The movie is a low-rent version of Love Story, and my family never missed a one of those ABC Movies of the Week.  (Mom always said she hated those terminal disease weepers, but boy, she sure watched every one!) That’s not a death by car, but could that be what you’re thinking of?
    Everyone covered that song at the time – even my 5th Grade music class. And then there was this…

  • 4 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I only found out about that BLOODROCK song a few years ago when I bought a book called THE 52 MOST DEPRESSING SONGS (or something like that) i downloaded it out of morbid curiosity and I immeditaly found myselfr getting goosebumps. Everytime I hear it I get a feeling of uneasieness. I think maybe this song was ahead of its time. It gives me a BLACK SABBATH vibe but instead of singing about burining in Hell it talks about something even more possible – dying in a plane crash (I HATE to fly!)

    For some reason the way the guy sings I re-memmmmmm-berrrrrrr” freaks me out. Its just so eerie and haunting.

    Now as far as creepy songs so I wanna suggest VANILLA FUDGE’s version of Season of The Witch. I have versions of this song done by everyone from DONOVAN to JOAN JETT (I actually ENJOY their versions) but something about the VANILLA FUDGE version just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe Im just freaked out by that whole Inna Gadda Davida keyboard thing. Also by the guy freaking out and screaming at us at the end!

  • 5 aunt johnNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 11:24 am

    @senski: I strongly recall scenes of the girl walking on the road and a teen boy driver being haunted by this image, and then that song would play. It’s been so long that my mind could have very well mixed up the plot and concluded that the boy ran her over. If I kept hearing that song while driving, I would probably hit something.

    I gotta say, that song even sounds creepier coming out  MARCIA BRADY!

  • 6 ChrisNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Oh man, I remember hearing this one back as a teenager, only it was a cover by somebody else, that was along these lines, but a bit more metal sounding (especially the “God in Heaven, teach me how to die!” part). Danged if I can remember who it was, but I never found it creepy, rather really good fodder for story ideas. I’ve always wanted to see this idea done as a short film.

    As for my musiktrauma, don’t laugh now, but it’s “Wonderful Wonderful” by Johnny Mathis. I worked at an old folks home, and this was always playing. I never really heard the lyrics or singing, just the haunting beginning melody running over and over…

  • 7 PropagatrixNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I was traumatized by “D.O.A.” in college twenty years ago!
    As a child, I was traumatized by  “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot and by Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey.”  I still can’t hear either song without feeling panicky.

  • 8 WarpedRecordNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Other ’70s trauma inducers:
    “Timothy” by the Buoys, one of the finest Top 40 singles about cannibalism ever — OK, the only one. Written by Rupert Holmes.
    “Once You Understand” by Think, which posited that if parents didn’t give in, their kids would die of drug overdoses.
    “Last Kiss” by Wednesday, a cover of the Wayne Cochran tune.

  • 9 godmonsterNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Oh yeah! That song gave me nightmares as a kid. It’s still pretty scary. I would also agree with “Once You Understand”, I still can’t listen to it, but only because it is so sappy and maudlin. “Black Sabbath”, the whole first album freaked me out pretty bad when I was in high school. The cover art for “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” is nightmarish too. My first traumatizing song as a kid was Arthur Brown’s “Fire”. I love Arthur Brown now though. He sang “The Tell-tale Heart” on the first Alan Parsons Project, “Tales of Mystery and Imagination”. Even saw him perform once in Austin. He does techno music now, and occasionally performs with British space rock pioneers Hawkwind.

  • 10 ApocalypsejunkieNo Gravatar // Sep 21, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I can not listen to any song discussing the death of beloved pets 🙁

    Michael Murphy’s “Wildfire” comes on the radio, I’m twirling that dial the other way! “Shannon” is another one.

    “She ran calling wiiiiillllld fire! She ran calling wii-i-ii-iiild fire”.

  • 11 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Sep 22, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Is “Honey” the one where the guys wife dies? If so I was working at a supermarket when I was a teenager and they had the oldies station on and that song went on. I had heard it before but never really LISTENED to the words. Well, I DID ths particular day and there I stood packing people groceries and CRYING! I must have either had PMS, had had a fight with my boyfriend or both – cuz I weeped uncontrollably (By the way, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by ROBERTA FLACK used to make me cry too. oh. And What A Wonderful World by LOUIS ARMSTRONG>)

    Its funny someone should mention ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. doesnt someone on this site have a huge ALAN PARSONS PROJECT Phobia?

  • 12 Blue SevenNo Gravatar // Sep 22, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Holy crap, that song is AWESOME.  I love it!

  • 13 smidget28No Gravatar // Sep 23, 2009 at 4:40 am

    @senski – I never thought ANYONE saw She Lives but me. Thanks for this!!

  • 14 smidget28No Gravatar // Sep 23, 2009 at 4:41 am

    @mamamia – I don’t have an APP phobia but I ADORE them, even though it’s that 80s synth stuff….funny to read about it here.

  • 15 BobbaNo Gravatar // Sep 23, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Alan Parson’s music does not provide a ton of musiktrauma (aside from it’s execcesive bent), but the cover of the album EVE, with the hot chicks with fake warts, used to freak me out as a kid.

  • 16 BlackwingroseNo Gravatar // Sep 23, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Okay, this song is one of the creepiest and most bizarre things I’ve ever heard. It’s also pretty damned good. But seriously, can you imagine having to perform this song on a regular basis. Or the jacked up mindset required to write it?
    Oh, and I was raised on Alan Parsons Project…I love them. And Tales of Mysteries and Imagination is my favorite album of theirs. *makes note to look up Arthur Brown*. I’d be curious to know if anyone has a phobia of them, because that sounds really funny to me (funny as in ha ha not funny as in wierd).  🙂

  • 17 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Sep 23, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    The odd thing is after I downloaded D.O.A. I wondered what the bands OTHER songs sounded like so I downloaded whatever else I could find by them (not a lot was available) and surprisingly NONE of the other stuff I heard by BLOODROCK sounded anything like D.O.A. No foolin. You’d think it was a totally different band! They probably played Good Time Bar Band Music and then shocked the audience by launching into sirens and “I re-memmmm-berrrrrrr…we were flying lowwwwww and hit something in the skyyyyy”
    (I also imagine this song would be hard to perform live. Whose the guy in charge of the sirens?)

    Now I tryed to research this but for some reason I cant get a SEARCH going here for ALAN PARSONS PROJECT (and I dont wanna read over a years worth of archives) ONE of you guys was afraid of the song Time by ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. Just admit it already! To make you feel less like a wimp I’ll admit that the song The Unkown Soldier by THE DOORS used to creep me out. Something about that sound effect that played right before Jim said “Say a prayer for The Unknown Soldier…” just made me wanna crawl up in a fetal position and weep!

  • 18 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Sep 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    UPDATE: It was Uncle Lancifer and he admitted it on January 13th! Afraid of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT . I KNEW I wasnt crazy.

    By the way, when you consider that D.O.A. is pretty damn old doesnt it blow your mind no one covered it? I mean, when metal was really really huge in the 80s? You’d think someone would, right?

  • 19 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Sep 23, 2009 at 6:51 pm


    sorry I was away from the computer today and missed this thread’s newer comments. I am indeed horrified by The Alan parson’s project! “Time” especially but also “eye in the sky” The other song that scared the crap out of me as a kid was Wings’ “someone’s knocking on the door” which I thought was about the devil. Some guy did a cool youtube thingy with that song and Kane from Poltergeist 2 that we posted a while back too. creepy.

  • 20 BlackwingroseNo Gravatar // Sep 24, 2009 at 11:24 am

    This isn’t a kindertrauma, but I was traumatized by “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. I had never paid attention to the song, so I never realized my first name was in it until a few years ago. There I am at 1 a.m. in my house alone, sitting in front of my computer deeply engrossed when suddenly I hear a man say my name behind me. My heart lept into my throat I spun around so fast I knocked stuff over and proceeded to start searching my house with a makeshift weapon until the song said my name a second time. Then I just felt like a dummie.
    I hate that song.  😛

  • 21 ThroatNo Gravatar // Oct 2, 2009 at 8:05 am

    I was traumatized by this song as well. When I was a kid I’d listen to Dr. Demento late at night on headphones in my bedroom. In complete darkness. I was supposed to be sleeping. Some creep requested this and I ended up awake for the rest of the night. Why the hell did Demento play it? I think the song’s laughable today, but I sure didn’t find it funny during that first disturbing listen.

  • 22 DunbarNo Gravatar // Oct 18, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I had nightmares about D.O.A. well into adulthood. My brother bought a copy knowing how much it scared me (I was 10, he was 11). I broke the record (a 45!) and he bought a new one and would play it while I was asleep. Prick. If you want ma really good scare, check out the Alan Parsons album “Tales of Mystery and Imagination: Edgar Allen Poe.”  B.J. Thomas’ “Billy and Sue” used to give me the creeps, too.

  • 23 JulianaMarieNo Gravatar // Feb 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I’m late to this thread, just found this site today & HAD to search “D.O.A.” Hadn’t heard it in about 30 years until a couple weeks ago (I think I was listening to Cult Radio A-GoGo, on iTunes). And it freaked me out just like it did when I was a kid. And sorry this is long but this song made such an impact on me.
    In 1971, my dad was a probation supervisor at Los Pinos Forestry Camp in the mountains of Orange County CA (near Lake Elsinore in Riverside County). If we needed to go “to town (Elsinore) Mom would drive 8-yr-old me & my 4 *younger* siblings around around in a ’68 VW Bug. Up and down a curvy, mountain road between the camp & town. That ride was enough to freak me out and give me falling-off-mountain-road nightmares for years. Then I hear this fR4k#n song. The blood was scary, the sirens were scary, the people in the plane were dying… at least they were on a plane not riding down a mountain road with a nervous mom and five little kids! I think mom was too distracted with trying to avoid driving us off a cliff to pay attention to the radio. I remember talking to my mom about it for years after.
    Honey & Wildfire creeped me out, too, but they got nothing on D.O.A.

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