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The hell with that rock 'n' roll! I hate that rock 'n' roll!
-- Evel Knievel
Evel Knievel LP.
Viva Knieval 7" single.
Zeke 7" single.
A CD single.
Evel meets Beck.
The Evel Knievel Discography
"Evel Knievel was my only idol," Kurt Cobain once commented, so perhaps it's no coincidence that Nirvana's breakthrough record, Nevermind, was recorded at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where much of Knievel's own 1974 album was laid down. Later, in a 2005 interview with Rolling Stone, former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl said of Cobain: "He jumped into my drum kit like some sort of Evel Knievel shit... Kurt said once that he aspired to be a stuntman, so whether it was putting firecrackers underneath his shirt to look like he was being shot or jumping off the roof of his house with a cape, he had no fear and a high tolerance for pain."
Though Cobain has since passed, it turns out that Evel has an oddly large rock 'n' roll following these days. In the last decade alone some 70 recorded songs have been named after Evel, or sampled soundbites of Evel, or in some other way made explicit reference to Evel. More impressive are the over 50 known artists whose names pay tribute to Evel; a few have even shared a stage with him. When considering the many other releases with Evel-esque artwork, music videos with Knievel themes, and comedy records poking fun at Evel, it appears that Evel has a surprisingly large influence over the recording artists of our time.
Granted, most of this stuff isn't worth a second listen, but for posterity's sake, here's an exhaustive guide to all known albums, artists, songs, cover art, advertising art, costumes, videos, lyrics, and other musical references to Evel. Though it isn't quite yet cliché to address Evel in song, this phenomenon betrays modern music's lack of originality, so inclusion here is by no means an endorsement. Really, most of these items are essential only to Knievel completists. All misspellings of "Evel" and "Knievel" are consistent with their sources... Please contact me with any additions, corrections, or inquiries as to where to send materials for review.
Evel Knievel LP (Pickside, 1972).
A fairly generic country-and-western collection of throwaways recorded by unknown hacks. Side one features five corn-pone numbers from a fella named Hub Reynolds -- "The Ballad of Evel Knievel," "For God and Country Too," "Knievel: A Living Legend," "Snake River Canyon Blues," and "Color Me Lucky." Side two opens with three mundane tracks by Lamar Teer -- "Unlucky Thirteen," "Who'll Be Second," and "The Last Gladiator" -- and closes with two uncredited instrumentals: the pickin' 'n' grinnin' "Crashing Cycle," and the soulful "Cow Palace Rumble." The cover features a 1971 photo of Evel jumping 19 cars in Ontario, California.
Evel Knievel LP (Amherst, 1974).
Better known is this scattershot disc (pictured above), released to promote Evel's Snake River Canyon jump. It consists of press conference recordings, a Q&A with some kids, an original song, and even a poem, recited by Evel himself. First he maintains his tough-guy persona as he tells reporters about grappling with the mighty Snake, until he reveals his tender side with a dramatic reading of his poem "Why?" Written in response to his most commonly-asked question, Evel (backed by piano and strings) explains, "Just like you, I've gotta be me." After a boisterous round of applause, we hear "The Ballad of Evel Knievel," an entirely different tune from Hub Reynolds's "Ballad" described above. This one is a mellow, rather pedestrian country ditty, written by Ron Kramer and performed by John Culliton Mahoney. Evel then assumes a benevolent, fatherly tone as he fields some children's questions. He audibly smacks one kid in the head ("Does this hurt?" ...slap!), and remarks, "I have never, ever drank much alcoholics" -- a Freudian slip? Finally, the record closes with a reprise of Mahoney's cheesy "Ballad." This oft-sampled slab of incredibly strange music may still turn up in thrift stores -- both in the LP and 8-track bins -- but more likely commands top dollar in collectible record shops.
Chiva Kenevil bootleg CD by Sublime (Skunk, 1993).
See more here.
Evel Knievel cassette by the State of Samuel (Grande Barbe, 2000).
Thirteen mostly acoustic songs recorded by a guy in Sweden, featuring the title track, "Disabled Evel Knievel." The cover portrait is taken from the photo enclosed in the Amherst album (above), and also from the cover of John Culliton Mahoney's 7" single (below). Two of the songs, "Plato Was Right" and "Submarine Head," may be heard on the "Sounds" page at the SOS official site.
Evel Knievel CD by the Idiots (Beer City, 2001).
The title track is named "Evel Knievel" (obviously). Also includes the song "Surfin' with Beth Loudmouth," whose subject is briefly profiled below in the Costumes section. Order it here.
Kneivel is Evil CD by Throat (Riverman, 2002).
Despite the album title, none of the tracks seem to actually address Evel, but the band reportedly blew their label's advance on matching Knievel jumpsuits. Download it here.
Evesham Knievel CD by the George Cowley Experience (self-released, 2005).
This appears to be an album-length rock opera about a British daredevil who comes to America to jump the Grand Canyon. I'll write more once I get my hands on a copy. Order it here.
This Year's Evel Knievel CD by Loopy (self-released, 2006).
The cover comes from Marvel's 1974 Evel Knievel comic book; the title track is named "Evel Knievel." Listen/order at the band's official site.
Evel Knievel Factor CD by Private Line.
The Finnish glam-metal band's album opens with "(Prelude) For the Daredevils" followed by the title track. Read more at the band's official site.
Negro Knievel CD by J-Swift (TBA).
First reported in January 2006, Negro Knievel is the working title of an upcoming hiphop album by the former Pharcyde member.
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Drummer for San Francisco's Sex-Rays; here's their MySpace page.
Amoeba Knievel (Pittsburgh).
Tommy Amoeba says: "This wacky four-piece, formed in 2000, incorporate costumes, action figures and pop culture references into their over-the-top, Iggy-Pop-meets-Sid-and-Marty-Krofft spectacles. They are currently working on their first studio recording but have six live mp3s online." Download them here.
Bowevel Brothers (San Diego).
The Bowevel Brothers (Eddie, Geoff, Duke, Fritz, and Hans, who wears an Evel-type stage costume and helmet) are apparently a Knievel-approved act, as they've performed at public appearances by both Evel and Robbie. The trio recorded "The Legend of Evel Knievel" and "Kaptain Knievel" for the two-song CD Super Knievel, released on mp3.com in 1999. "Kaptain Knievel," a tune about Evel's daredevil son Robbie, was also made into a low-grade VHS music video. Unavailable.
Buddha Knievil (Chicago).
Metal band that released a self-titled CD on Urban Legends Records in 1996.
Chiva Knievel (Finspång, Sweden).
Perhaps their name was inspired by the song by Zeke, listed below. ("Chiva" is Spanish for "kid.") They have just one recorded song, "Riding with Chiva Knievel." Download it here.
Elvis Knievel (Los Angeles).
A four-piece punk band that recorded the song "Frying Pan," available on the compilation CD Triskaidekaphobia (S.A.D. Cassettes, 2000). Order it here.
Devious Kanevil (Lynchburg, Virginia).
Some hiphop rapper guy. Here's his official site, and here's his MySpace page.
DJ Evel-1. (parts unknown)
Some European DJ, who may or may not be the same as this guy.
DJ Kieron Knievel. (Blackpool)
A British club DJ who wears a replica EK jumpsuit and uses a Raleigh Chopper bicycle in his act at Blackpool's Tower Lounge.
Evel Karaoke (Marlboro, Massachusetts).
A "mock 'n' roll" band that performs familiar tunes with their own juvenile lyrics: "I Will Survive" ("I Will Muff Dive"), "Ramblin' Man" ("Nambla Man"), "Dear Prudence" ("Dear Penis"), "Candle in the Wind" ("Gerbil in Your Ass"), etc. Their latest CD, He Who Smelt It (Smashit Records, 2002), is available through their official site.
Evel Nad and the Fetal Pigs (Queenstown, Maryland).
A jokey metal band; here's their official site.
Evel Steve (parts unknown).
Some guy whose "Electronica," "Instrumentals," and "Beats General" compositions are downloadable here.
Even Canevil (Bergen, Norway).
Some folk/country guy; here's his MySpace page.
Evil Knievel (London).
The British band's members included Ali (Reverend Al) Knievel, Nick Knievel, Rob Knievel, and Seamus. No known recordings.
Evil Knievel (Ottawa).
All I know is that they have song called "Willy Loman" on the 1993 compilation Plug! New Music From Ottawa (One Handed Records).
Evil Knievel (parts unknown).
Here's their official Spanish-language site.
Evil Kinevil (Columbus).
They play "OLD SCHOOL ROCK!!", much like their influences Creed and Stone Temple Pilots. Read more here.
Evil Tordivel (Norway).
Some electronica/dance music artist, whose latest album is A Fine Young Man. Unavailable.
Good Knievel (Dallas).
A Christian rock band. Read more here.
Harley Knarley (parts unknown).
A sort of satirical comedy group that performed in Amsterdam in the '80s, incorporating motorcycles and topless nurses.
Jesus Knevil (New York City).
"A punk hard core sound that rips with each cord and shows you why it takes a daredevil to be the messiah." Whoa. Here's their official site.
Jesus Knieval (Fredonia, New York).
Led by L. Ron, Knieval, JK were most active between 1990 and 1993. They recorded The Howdy Cheezeheads demo, as their web site explains. Unavailable.
Kid Kanevil ("Tokyorkshire," UK).
Some scratching DJ guy. Official site, MySpace page.
King Knievel (Scotland).
Some defunct band that used to have a guy named Gene Clarke on bass.
Kings of Knievel (Aberdeen, Scotland).
A side project of the rockabilly band the Creoles. Here's the Creoles's official site.
Kitten Knieval (parts unknown).
Contributed the song "Oh Well Orwellian" to a four-band, four-song compilation 45 in 1996. Apparently they shortened their name to just "Knieval" by its release.
Released the CD The Prize Fighter on Kwality Records in 1995. The disc's best moment is a sample of Blue Velvet's Frank Booth screaming, "Heineken!? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!" My sentiments exactly. Buy from Morphius.com.
Knievel (Birmingham, Alabama).
Drummer for the band Universal Joint; here's their official site.
The most prolific Knievel Rock band, having released four full-length power-pop CDs and a number of singles since the trio's 1994 inception (see their official site for a full discography).
Knievel (Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK).
This four-piece blues-rock band has no official releases, but they have some songs on their MySpace page. Here's their official site.
Knievel Genius (Bedford/Milton Keynes, England, UK).
Here's their official site, and their MySpace page.
The Knievels (Austin).
A sort of poppy, jangly guitar trio whose CD ¡Que Sabor! (Spanish for "that flavor!") was released on Sweatbox Records in 1996.
The Knievels (Chester, Virginia).
A three-piece pop-rock band, whose 8-song demo recorded in the early '90s included a cover of Roxy Music's "More Than This." Unavailable.
The Knievels (Hertford, Hertfordshire, UK).
They had a website touting a demo tape in the mid-'90s, but both the site (and apparently the band itself) are now defunct. Unavailable.
The Knievils (Elletsville, Indiana).
Led by Bollwievil Knievil, this trio's bar-band style party anthems ("Live to Party," "Partyasaurus," "Party Tonight," etc.) appear on their self-released cassettes Buds & Suds (1994) and Punchdrunk (1995). Indiana knows how to party.
Kung Knievel (Oslo).
A "stonerrockband" led by Jody Knievel, with the (unreleased?) album, Happy go Lucky. Read more here.
Medieval Knievel (San Diego).
Played a few hometown shows in 1993. No known recordings.
Medieval Knievels (Tempe, Arizona).
This trio of pranksters wore Knievel-style jumpsuits and helmets while playing "stunt surf" instrumentals. Their six-song, 7" clear red vinyl EP Lucky Chinese Buffet (Surf With Bleach Music, 1997) samples the South Park episode in which Chef wears an Evel costume for Halloween.
Needle Kineval (Vancouver).
Some DJ. Official site, MySpace page.
Negro Knievel (Little Rock, California).
One-half of the comedic rock group Ju League. Here's his MySpace page.
Peaceful Knievel (Nashville).
A supergroup featuring the singer from the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, a couple guys from the Black Crowes, and Charley Drayton, who played in both Keith Richards's X- Pensive Winos and Paul Shaffer's Letterman show house band in the '80s. They have no official releases, but live bootlegs are available, and this video.
Shevel Knievel (Oakland, California).
Three-girl punk/metal band responsible for the CD Bull Wevel (Awful Knawful Productions, 2003). A "hidden track" at disc's end, "Skycycle," sounds something like a tribute, spoken-word poem, and band mission statement all rolled into one. It's also the best song on the disc... "Oh Evel/ Oh baby!" Order from the band.
Skycycle (Los Angeles).
"Imagine XTC hijacking a monorail to Liverpool to hold Obi Wan hostage," their promotional materials read, as they attempt to demonstrate on the seven-song cassette Siren (1997), the EP Breathing Water (1998) and the CD Ones and Zeroes (1999).
Snake River Conspiracy (San Francisco).
A goth/metal group so named because of founder Jason Slater's theory that Evel's Snake River Canyon jump was sabotaged.
Provides guitar and vocals for the Tombs.
Viva Knieval (Olympia, Washington).
Perhaps Evel was behind the riot-grrl movement, as this short-lived four-piece was led by Kathleen Hannah, later of the much-ballyhooed Bikini Kill, and currently of the much-ballyhooed Le Tigre. VK recorded four punky songs in 1990, which later appeared on a self-titled 7" EP (Ultrasound, 1994).
Viva Knievel (Los Angeles).
In a June 2001 interview with GirlMedia magazine, musician Jaye Barnes-Luckett explains how she came about her one-time stage name "Viva Knievel": "[Evel] once said, 'Man was put here to live, not just exist'... That's what I strive to do in my own life -- taking risks, experimenting, exploring possibilities... He did this really so-silly-it's-brilliant film called Viva Knievel!... I had started wearing a jumpsuit with a huge red, white and blue 'VK' on the back, and a patch on the arm with a wiped-out motorcyclist saying, 'I love to eat gravel'... I also used to sign letters 'Viva Knievel!'... Some people mistook it as a name and started calling me that, so I ran with it." Barnes-Luckett later emailed me, saying, "unfortunately, there were never any recordings specifically connected to my performance costumes, and I never got to do the live shows on skates and ramps." Here's Jaye's official site.
Viva Knievel (North Hollywood, California).
A band that played their first show in September 2006. MySpace page.
The Viva Knievils (Wales).
VJ, DJ, Matty and Ginge Knievel invite you to download their "Punk/Rock/Garage" songs from their official site.
Weevil Knievel (Bognor Regis, West Sussex, UK).
According to their bassist Doog, they're "the best surfy rocky poppy in the world ever to play in my garage." MySpace page.
Wevil Knievel (Locust Grove, Oklahoma).
A trio specializing in the most perplexing of musical genres, "Christian punk." Visit their official site.
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"Evel Knievel" by Arlin Harmon (label unknown, 1967).
The earliest known Evel song, with vaguely homoerotic lyrics: "He stands tall and straight, looks like a man you'd want to kiss/ To see him flirt with death is something you can't afford to miss."
"Evil, Evel Knievel" 7" by Eddie Carr & the Navajo's (Grand Canyon, 1968).
A sample of John Herring's lyrics: "You hear his name in every town/ Is he for real or just a clown?/ He's not a bird, he's not a plane/ Is he a fool who's gone insane?" The 45 originally came in the cool picture sleeve at left; it was later rereleased by A&M Records with the longer title "Evil, Evil Evel Knievel." The song also appeared on Carr's LP For a Real Trip, Fly with Eddie Carr (W.H.C. Records).
"Evel Knievel" 7" single by Rawhide (RCA, 1971).
The electrified, funky, C&W A-side was written by "Bob Stone-Stu Phillips," and the B-side ("Torrance") is an instrumental with no apparent connection to Evel.
"Evel Knievel" b/w "Boy from the Country" 7" single by George Hamilton (Universal City/ MCA, 1971).
The creepily bronzed star of the 1971 biopic Evel Knievel sings two songs about Evel, however, neither song is heard on the soundtrack. The A-side is a cover of the Rawhide song mentioned immediately above, and the B-side was written and later recorded by Michael Martin Murphey, best known for the lame '70s hit "Wildfire."
"Inside Outside" b/w "I Do What I Please" 7" single by Jim Sullivan (The Fanfare Corporation, 1971).
Two songs heard in the 1971 film Evel Knievel: the cowbell-heavy "I Do What I Please" plays over the opening and closing credits and during a montage of Evel's early stunts; "Inside Outside" is a '50s-style teen dance rocker that plays as a young Evel pines over high schooler Linda Bork, his future wife.
"The Fanfare Corporation Presents Evel Knievel" 7" (Fanfare, 1971).
A pair of radio spots -- one 25 seconds long, the other 55 seconds -- promoting the '71 Evel movie.
Song from the The Great American Dream Machine (PBS, 1971-72).
A regular feature on this series was its "Great American Hero" profile, and one time it was Evel. The title and performer of this honky-tonk song are unknown, but it played over sped-up footage of a wounded Evel being wheeled around a hospital: "Well first we take the arms and try to bend 'em in place/ Then we put a little plastic on the feet and the face/ We take the right leg and fix it so it fits on a bike/ And take the left one and do with it whatever we like/ Then we screw around a little with a plate in his hip/ Put a zipper in his bottom and we button his lip/ And things that we don't recognize go back in the bag/ And we mop him up all over with a surgical rag." A clip was later used in the 1998 BBC documentary Touch of Evel. Unavailable.
"Evel Knievel" 7" single by Brad and the Classics (self-released, 1974).
This video was posted on YouTube in December 2006 -- in case it isn't viewable, it's a newer 2:22 clip of this guy Russell B. Davis playing the song, a Chuck Berry-type number with fairly generic Evel-themed lyrics, on his electric guitar. When it was originally posted, it had this description: "This video is a remix of my original song, 'Evel Knievel' that I wrote in 1974. A 45 of the song was recorded by Brad and the Classics; it was our trademark piece. Only five 45s were created, most of which were lost or destroyed. The last remaining 45 was given to Evel Knievel in June of 1994, 20 years after its creation. This is my tribute to the legendary daredevil."
"Ride Evel Ride" 7" single by Chris Davis (NCK, 1974).
With insipid lyrics and atonal vocals set to surpisingly professional-sounding music, I suspect this track is a product of the era's popular song-poem phenomenon. Still, it's the first of many Evel songs to uses revving motorcycle sound effects, here opening the song. Then, like Ike and Tina Turner's "Proud Mary," a few slow, mellow verses suddenly explode into a fast, upbeat section, complete with funky guitars and blasting horns. Cycle revs are heard again as the song fades. The 2:59 tune is backed with a non-Evel song by some other guy.
"Evil Boll-Weevil" 7" single by Grand Canyon (Bang, 1974).
This Dr. Demento staple peaked at #72 on the Billboard charts in November 1974. It's a kind of "break-in" novelty record, a form first popularized by Dickie Goodman in the '50s with "The Flying Saucer," and later with "Mr. Jaws" and "Hey E.T." Goodman spawned dozens of imitators, including an outfit called Grand Canyon (Jeff McKee & Ed Brown). Here straight-laced reporter Ed Peachtree interviews Evil Boll-Weevil about his impending jump over the Snake Pit Canyon, and each response is a sample of a pop song of the day. To wit... Q: "How is that cycle powered?" A: "Jet!" (Wings)... Q: "What will affect your jump the most?" A: "Summer breeze" (Seals & Crofts)... Q: "When you were a child, what did you want to be?" A: "Rocket man" (Elton John)... Q: "What has your wife said about your stunts?" A: "You got to change your evil ways" (Santana).
"The Ballad of Evel Knievel" by John Culliton Mahoney, b/w "Why?" by Evel Knievel 7" single (Amherst, 1974).
Both tracks are taken from the Amherst album, reviewed above. On the B-side's label, "C. Setty" is given writing credits with Evel. Considering such lines as "I hear them laugh and I see them cry/ No matter what they all ask, 'Why?'," it makes one wonder how much sillier this might have been had Evel composed it alone. "Ballad" is played on a tavern jukebox in the 2004 made-for-cable movie Evel Knievel, but the label lists the single's B-side as a presumably fictional song called "Pulsebeat."
"Jumpin' the Gates of Heaven" 7" single by Marcus Terry (Ribet Records, 1974).
The B-site has an instrumental version of the A-side.
"Evel (Our Hero) Knievel (Part One)" b/w "Evel (Our Hero) Knievel" (Part Two) by Ryan Family Circus (The Ryan Label, probably 1974 or '75).
Side one opens with the sounds of a cheering crowd and revving cycle. A woman sings lead vocal on the plodding number, which I'm guessing was recorded not too long after Snake River: "With god your copilot and fear your companion/ Ride your Sky-Cycle high over Snake River Canyon/ You swore you could make and knew it was so/ But your gear shifted into the river below." Then the chorus goes: "Evel/ our hero Knievel/ Our daring dare-deevil/ With a star-studded life/ Evel/ our hero Knievel/ You'll be a hero through the Snake River Canyons of life." Side two is basically the same song with different verses. It seems to be a self-produced family project; the label's addess is in Long Beach, Mississippi.
Theme from Viva Knievel! by Charles Bernstein (Warner Brothers, 1977).
The irritatingly infectious, disco-inflected tune, heard over the film's credits but never released on its own. Robbie Knievel is heard singing it a couple different times on his 2005 A&E reality show, Knievel's Wild Ride... "When he gets in gear they stand and cheer... Viva! Viva Knievel!/ Viva! Viva Knievel!"
"Boogie Evel" by John K. Fitzpatrick (1983).
A short, spastic, homemade instrumental, sampling the Bee Gees's "Stayin' Alive" riff and Evel saying "kiss my ass!" Unavailable.
"Ridin' the Wind" by Michael Stanton, from the film Last of the Gladiators: Evel Knievel (Twin Tower Enterprises, 1986).
This feature-length, straight-to-video documentary includes Stanton's original country song, as well as four incidental instrumentals by Dennis Herring and David Faragher: "Bad Butte," "Hero's Theme," "Let's Rock," and "Premonition." These can still be heard on the abridged DVD version of the film, Evel Knievel's Spectacular Jumps (White Star, 2004).
"Maximum Dream for Evil Knievel" by The Flaming Lips, from the LP Oh My Gawd!!! The Flaming Lips (Restless, 1987).
An acid-drenched, 2:51 mini-epic, shifting through plodding lyrical passages, wild guitar freakouts, and gently sung lyrics: "Exploding butterflies hit and run/ Evel Knievel jumped the gun." (This is the first of several songs referring to dreams about Evel; read on for the others.) In 2005, Lips frontman Wayne Coyne still name-checks Evel. Explaining the giant plastic bubble that houses him as he rolls over concert audiences, "Even though people think I just descend from space and do it, you really have to work out the logistics. It's kind of like Evel Knievel planning the jump... Sometimes I kind of feel like Evel Knievel, seeing where the wind is blowing and how fast he's gonna have to go and what the hazards of the day are gonna bring"... Also in 2005, the Flaming Lips documentary Fearless Freaks featured old '70s home movies of some bandmembers as teens, doing wheelies and small ramp-to-ramp jumps on their bicycles, and one kid was even wearing a Knievel-style T-shirt.
"Evel Knievel" by the Chainsaws of Babylon, from the CD Electric #1 (1990).
Whiny-sounding verses about wanting to be Evel Knievel alternate with heavy choruses, later issued on the CD The Chainsaws of Babylon (Side Be Recordings, 1998).
"Evel Knievel" by the Didjits, from the LP Hornet Pi–ata (Touch and Go, 1990).
A midtempo, fairly intense tune with another Evel dream: "Evel Knievel comes into my bedroom late at night/ Evel Knievel jumps all my beds end to end... Evel Knievel rides on the road to nirvana/ Evel Knievel jumps all the skinheads and pushers."
"Evil Knievel" by the Neighborhoods, from the CD Hoodwinked (Roadrunner, 1990).
"Evel Knievel" by the Goatmen, from the cassette Destroyer (self-released, 1992).
An Evel soundbite from the Last of the Gladiators video opens this 55-second speed-punk blast: "Jumped over mountains/Jumped over fountains/ But the world knows you suck... Evel, Evel Knievel/ Brainless motherfucker." Download it here.
"Idaho Durt" by Red Red Meat, from the LP Red Red Meat (Perishable, 1992).
A bouncy organ keeps rhythm over a short blues progression, followed by the first of many a band's samples of Evel's '74 Amherst album (including the part where he hits that kid in the head, and a hilarious loop of Evel saying "I don't want to get hurt... I don't want to get hurt...). Then some weird guitar distortion leads into the breezily sung vocals, with the amusing couplet: "Evel Knievel can't feel his fractures/ 'Cause his brain's making voodoo from muscle relaxers."
"Evel Knievel" 7" single by Skullflower (Sympathy for the Record Industry, 1992).
A droning, feedback-laden industrial meltdown that amounts to little more than a single riff hammered into the ground for eight-plus minutes.
"Evil Primeval" by the Dwarves, from the CD Sugarfix (Sub Pop, 1993).
Evel isn't referred to outright but the alliterative title is likely a play on his name, especially when the chorus is sung real fast: "I'm evil/ I'm evil/ I'm evil primeval."
"Nitrous Burn Out" by Man or Astro-Man?, from the LP Is It...Man or Astro- Man? (Estrus, 1993).
Leading into this monstrous guitar instrumental is a sample of Evel's anti-drug spiel, delivered just before he cleared 13 trucks in Toronto. He explains how Indy 500 drivers often use nitro instead of gas to go faster, "and they do for five to ten laps, and then they blow all to hell!"
"Viva Knieval" by 2 Skinnee J's, from the cassette 6 Songs for 5 Bucks (self-released, 1993).
Apparently they also had an early demo called "Evel Does It," which might be the same song with a different title. In any case, they're unavailable, but here's their official site.
"Knievel" by Aphex Twin, from the CD EP Vol. 4 -- Analogue Bubblebath (EFA -- Caroline, 1994).
A 28-second sample from the Amherst record, with Evel's voice slightly distorted.
"Evel Knievel" by the Lilys, from the CD EP A Brief History of Amazing Letdowns (Spin Art, 1994).
The title is chanted mantra-like as sirens wail over distorted garbling and backward tape loops. Two false endings make this track three times as annoying.
"†bermensch" by Turbonegro, from the CD Never is Forever (Bitzcore, 1994).
The chorus on this garage rocker refers to Evel as "the white knight of the far right." Also, the disc has two "hidden" bonus tracks taken from the Amherst record, "The Ballad of Evel Knievel" and "Why?"
"Evil Kenevil" by Ammonia, from the CD-EP Sleepwalking (Epic/Murmur, 1995).
A brief, bass-heavy instrumental, which isn't all that bad.
"Evel an Avel" by Andarta, from the CD Abred (Keltia Musique, 1995).
This has likely nothing to do with Evel, but just his name appears along side a bunch of other foreign-sounding titles. For extremely anal completists only.
"Evel is the Best" by Barefoot Hockey Goalie, from the CD Darious: A Rock Opera (Accretions, 1995).
A dumb song about a guy wants to jump his souped-up Yamaha over a line of 47 RVs to break his idol Evel's record.
"Viva Kneval" by Dandelion, from the LP Dyslexicon (Ruff House/ Columbia/ Sony, 1995).
An energetic song marked by a weird flute interlude, the title sung about 20 consecutive times near its end, and stream-of-consciousness lyrics: "Screaming-piston-pop-a-wheelie-cheering-bellbottoms-flared-wide-star-spangled-helmet-shine."
"Viva Knievel" by Manxish Boys, from the various artists 10" compilation In Spelunca (Vesuvius, 1995).
Buy from Totem Records.
"Knievel" by Scud Mountain Boys 7" single (Sub Pop, 1995).
A slow, mostly acoustic piece punctuated by an electric guitar solo; it's sung from Evel's perspective: "I'm only free when I'm flying... I've got a bone in need of breaking." Available on the CD Massachusetts (Sub Pop, 1996).
"Evel Knievel" by Squirt, from the CD EP Pike St. Ball Bag (Jo Pescihead Records, 1995).
Chorus: "Evel Knievel broke his back riding his bike." Here's a video.
"Unsafe at Any Speed" by Agent Orange, from the CD Virtually Indestructible (Fearless, 1996).
This opens with a sample of Evel addressing London's Wembley Stadium after a brutal 1975 wipeout: "I will never, ever, ever jump again." Then the punk song ends with an announcer describing Gary Wells's 1980 attempt to clear the Caesar's Palace fountains: "Ninety miles an hour!... He's up!... He's down!... He's hurt!... My god, he's not even moving!!"
"Evil K." by Big Monster Fishhook, from the CD Collecting Bugs and Pieces (Milkcrate Records, 1996).
"Evil Knievel" by Buzzkill, from the CD Straight Up (Virus/ Alternative Tentacles, 1996).
A hardcore instrumental, augmented with germane sound effects: a cycle revving, screeching tires, crashes, and applause. A fake announcer calls the action of a hypothetical Knievel jump, and asks, "How can one man be so stupid?"
"Evel Knievel" by Chug, from the CD Sassafras (Alias, 1996).
A fairly decent toe-tapper with a girl singing cryptic lyrics: "I've never seen Mothers of Invention... Don't let Evel into your head... I can see the snakes in your hair."
"Evel Knievel" by Guppyboy, from the double-CD anthology Burlington Does Burlington (Good Citizen, 1996).
A slower, atmospheric cover of the Chainsaws of Bablylon original, as reviewed above. Out of print.
"Evel Knievel" by Little John, from the CD Derailer (EMI, 1996).
A weak pop number about Evel as some sort of self-help inspiration: "I've killed the fear inside my mind/ I've found my peace inside my head/ Evel Knievel/ Fly like an eagle."
"Evil Knevil" by Manchowder, from the various artists CD compilation Sasquatch: A Miranda Records Sampler (Miranda, 1996).
A snappy, upbeat ditty with all the key Knievel Rock elements: cycle revving sounds, dialogue sampled from the movie Viva Knievel!, and funny lyrics... "I cleared the launching ramp with ease/ But I think I'm off by a few degrees/ Not enough lift or endurance/ I hope I paid my health insurance... Ouch that hurt -- I want my mommy!/ I think I broke every bone in my body."
"Jump the Gorge" by Pachinko, from the CD Behind the Green Pachinko (Alternative Tentacles, 1996).
Loud and heavy with distorted vocals and a fake announcer, like in the Buzzkill song above: "He's alright... Let's see that again on instant replay." Download it here.
"Evel Knievel" by R. Mutt, from the CD Earth to Guy (Legend Records, 1996).
Yet another song with an Evel dream: "Every night in my dreams he rode." This sounds like the Minutemen, but it goes on way too long.
"Chiva Knieval" 7" single by Zeke (Scooch Pooch, 1996).
A punky punch-in-the-nose with cycle revving sounds and Blind Marky Felchtone's largely incomprehensible lyrics. It's pressed onto clear, swirly, red-and-blue vinyl and sleeved in an altered 1975 Harley-Davidson brochure, featuring Evel himself. Available on the CD Flat Tracker (Scooch Pooch, 1996).
"Original Stuntmaster" by Aim, from the 12" EP Loopdreams (Grand Central, 1997).
Another "dream" about Evel, with samples from both his Amherst LP and Ted Nugent's Cat Scratch Fever (Epic, 1977) mixed over a laid-back hip-hop beat. Not too original, considering that the Amherst record has already been sampled to death, and that five years earlier the Beastie Boys already sampled the same Nugent guitar riff from "Homebound" for "The Biz vs. the Nuge" on Check Your Head (Capitol, 1992). Still, the Aim track was used extensively in the 1998 BBC documentary Touch of Evel, later issued on the Aim anthology CD Means of Production: 1995-1998 the Early Years (Grand Central, 2003).
"Evel Knievel" by BMX Bandits, from the CD Theme Park (Big Deal Records, 1997).
Produced by legendary psycho Kim Fowley.
"Evil Knievel" by Hayride to Hell, from the CD Hayride to Hell (Nervous Records, 1997).
Some "psychobilly" number. Buy from the band.
"Evel Knievel Scream" by Unbelievable Jolly Machine, from the CD Anonymous (Mutagenic Records, 1997).
"It's almost like she's on American Bandstand/ Might as well jumped 50 cars, or shot her body across the old Grand Canyon/ Took me awhile to figure out you were lethal/ But when I did I saw your body scream like Evel Knievel." Buy from the band.
"Evel Knievel" CD single by Ceasefire vs. Deadly Avenger (Wall of Sound Recordings, 1998).
An instrumental dance music collaboration between two different DJs, which has since been remixed by Fatboy Slim and Afrika Bambaataa. Two versions appear on the three-track CD single.
"American Icon" by the Demonics, from the LP Formaldehyde Injection (Man's Ruin, 1998).
Starts with a sample from the documentary Last of the Gladiators: Evel Knievel, and then goes in to a somewhat wacky, Dead Milkmen-ish tune with some great lyrics: "A million pretty women have their fingers crossed/ Wheels up, the devil may care/ The man in white leather puts his helmet on/ While Linda's sayin' a prayer."
"Arctic Evel Knievels" by Mojo Nixon (1998).
Nixon wrote and recorded this tune as the unofficial anthem of the American doubles luge team, who won silver and bronze medals at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Nixon was named their honorary captain. Unavailable.
"Evil K" by Retriever, from the CD Greatest Moments of Doubt (Anisette, 1998).
Losta heavy noise here.
"What's So Evil (About Evel Knievel)" by Beluga, from the CD Sonar Baby (self-released, 1999).
Here's their official site. Unavailable.
"Evel" by Big Joe, from the CD Big Joe (Frisky, 1999).
Some country song.
"Viva Knevel" by the Bleeders, from the CD EP The Bleeders (Hostrabe Records, 1999).
"He's Evel Knievel" by Bubba the Love Sponge, from the CD Bubba Raw (self-released, 1999).
Bubba is a so-called "shock jock" from Florida, whose phone pranks resulted in Evel screaming: "This is Evel Knievel and if I ever see you, you motherfucker, I'll rip your fucking head off! Stop calling me on the phone, you motherfucker!" This sample was then put into parody song, set to the tune of White Zombie's "More Human Than Human": "He used to crash and fall/ Now he drowns sorrows in the alcohol, yeah... He lived his life hard and fast/ Don't call him up or he'll kick your ass, yeah... He's broken every bone/ But now all Knievel does is bitch and moan, yeah... Up the ramp he jumps the bus/ Now he's pissed listen to him cuss, yeah... He's Evel Knievel/ He's Evel Knievel/ He's Evel Knievel/ He's Evel Knievel."
"They Nicknamed Me Evil" 7" single by Cinema (Domino, 1999).
A dance instrumental with an eerily incessant tinkling piano, a creaking door and what sound like samples of scores from various horror/suspense films. The title comes from a sample of the Amherst LP, and the sleeve has an Evel pic. Download it here.
"Evil Knevil" by Depth Charge, from the CD Electro Boogie: Shape Generator (Studio K7, 1999).
A slow, slightly creepy instrumental.
"Evel Knievel" by Ed Haynes, from the various artists 2-CD compilation San Francisco Song Cycle Vol. 1 (Olde West/Innerstate, 1999).
A minor-key acoustic number: "Evel Knievel did not span the gorge/ Rather he and his rocketship plummeted to the canyon floor."
"Evel Knievel" by Lab-4, from the various artist 12" single The Mind of God vs. the Fallen Angel (One-Inch Records, 1999).
The label's site describes it as "A cheeky little number by Lab-4! It is a massively groovy break beat track, with funky little guitar samples!" Unavailable.
"Evel Knievel" by Plasticine, from the CD EP frank (Blah Blah Blah, 1999).
Midtempo power-pop, with the chorus: "I'm Evel Knievel/ I'm Evel Knievel/ I'm Evel Knievel/ I'm Evel Knievel."
"E. Knievel Interlude (The Perils of Keeping it Real)" by Grandaddy, from the CD The Sophtware Slump (V2, 2000).
Two minutes of noodling keyboard and ambient campfire noise.
"Evel" by Hot Rod Lunatics, from the CD EP Hemi 426/Evel (Mag Records, 2000).
Recorded by Jack Endino (Melvins, Mudhoney, Nirvana); has a painting of Evel on the cover. Download it here.
"Evil Knievil" by the Leftovers, from the CD 667 -- The Neighbour of the Beast (Necropolis/ Fueled Up Records, 2000).
Some punk song with an f-bomb.
"Evel" by Motochrist, from the CD 666 Pack (RAFR, 2000).
Another punk song.
"Viva Knievel" by Plastics Hi-Fi, from the CD Home Brewed Plastics (label unknown, 2000).
"Secret of the S.O.K.E.R." by Black Phantom Railroad, from the CD Black Phantom Railroad (self-released, 2001).
Son of Knievel's Evel Robot: "Got to jump this canyon/ Go to get away/ No time for a test run/ Kick the nitrous out and pray." Buy from the band.
"Evil Knievel" by the Bran Flakes, from the CD I Don't Have a Friend (Lomo, 2001).
Extensive samples of the Amherst record are combine with weird tape loops and generic, public domain crashing sounds.
"Evil Knievel" by Canyon, from the various artist CD Visibility: a Visible Noise Sampler (Visible Noise, 2001).
"The Ballad of Evel Knievel" by Karma, from the CD Thrillseekers (Spectrum, 2001).
"The Story of Evel K." by Lousy, from the CD Best Wishes (Knock Out Records, 2001).
The singer sounds like Lemmy belting out cool lyrics: "35 broken bones, Evel you rock/ Stuntman of the century with life you did quit/ Crushed bones for America, don't care about it... Evel Knievel, don't stab us in the back/ Evel Knievel, save us from this crap."
"Kinevil" by Rocketfield, from the CD Minitinfinity (Dolittle, 2001).
When this CD was on eBay, its genre was listed as "Dance." Unavailable.
"Evil Knievel" by Rollo Tomasi, from the CD EP He Who Holds You (Divot Records, 2001).
Sounds like Fugazi: "Evil is as evil does/ I found that evil in me."
"Evel Knievel" by Derek Sherinian, from the CD Inertia (InsideOut Music America, 2001).
A fast, heavy, guitar-driven instrumental that sounds like background music at an X-Games event. Sherinian is a keyboardist who toured with Alice Cooper and KISS, and this track's guitarist Zakk Wylde played with Ozzy.
"Evil Knievel" by Waterhouse, from the CD Reggae Sampler Volume 1 (Mijo's Choice Productions, 2001).
"Evel Knievel" by A1 People, from the CD Yellow Album (Hydrogen Dukebox, 2002).
A boring instrumental dance track.
"Viva Kneivel" by the Baldwin Brothers, from the CD Cooking with Lasers (TVT, 2002).
Some electronic dance track with scratching, but no pertinent lyrics or samples.
"The Knievel that Men Do" by Gimantis, from the CD Gimantis (self-released, 2002).
Punk rock song about imitating Evel to impress a girl. Download it here.
"Evil Knievel" by Ikey Mo, from the EP Beginner's Guide to Self Defence (MGM, 2002).
Power-pop with catchy hand claps, also released on the various-artist CD Pop Scenes from Perth (Zip, 2003). Unavailable, but here's the video.
"Evel" by Pistol Pete (self-released, 2002).
Some rap song, described as "A song of my man's e-dot and my n*** prime." I think the title is a hiphop variation of the word "evil," as the tune seems to have nothing to do with the stuntman. Listen or buy here.
"Evel Knievel" by Rake (self-released, 2002).
Download it here.
"Evel Knievel" by the Banzai 3 (self-released, 2003).
Download it here.
"Evel Kneivel of Heartbreak" by Chevy Ford Band, from the CD No Apologies (self-released, 2003).
Sounds like Steely Dan.
"Evil Knievel" by Chris Crockarell & Chris Brooks, from the CD Box O' Cadences (Rowloff Productions, 2003).
From a collection of various cadences for a marching band's drum-line. Listen and buy here.
"Cerebral Knevil" by Dirty Sanchez, from the CD Spooge Yourself (self-released, 2003).
A dumb, deliberately tasteless acoustic number sung to the tune of "Rocky Racoon," about a lame-legged, epileptic man with Down syndrome who got killed attempting to jump his wheelchair over 15 cars to impress an armless paraplegic woman. Download it here.
"Evel Knievel" by Eggbot, from the CD Autorock (self-released, 2003).
"See No Evel" by Enchant, from the album Tug of War (Inside Out Music, 2003).
"Evil Knievel" by Ferdinad Fox and the Woodland Pals, from the CD A Peppermint Gun That Shoots Rays of Hope (Quick N' Cheap, 2003).
"He's a fuckin' nut!"
"Evil Knievel" by Jenghizkhan, form the album The Noise of Experiments: Bacon (2003).
"The Motorcycle: A Prelude to Evel" and "Evel Knievel Can Fly" by Holiday and the Adventure Pop Collective, from the CD Good (Adventure Pop Records, 2003).
A short instrumental leading into a slow, ballady acoustic number: "If Evel Knievel can fly/ Why can't I?" Buy from Tower Records.
"Evel Knievel" by Jug McKenzie, from the CD Drive (Phantom, 2003).
Some rock song.
"Evelsong" CD single by King of Woolworths (Mantra, 2003).
Some kind of ambient electronic deal.
"Evel Rifaz" by Krux, from the CD Krux (Mascot, 2003).
A Scandinavian "Doom Metal" instrumental.
"Evil Knievel" by Overhall, from the album Balanced and Blueprinted (Overhall, 2003).
"Evil Can Evil" by Simple Kid, B-side from the single "The Average Man" (Pinnacle, 2003).
Say the title three times fast.
"Evel Knievel" by Stuffy/The Fuses 7" single (May Go O, 2003).
"Yes it's all in vain, pain on display/ I'm done for, words fail me/ Wicked on display, all I need's respect/ I'm Evel Knievel."
"Evil Knievel" by Leroy Justice, from the CD-EP Leroy Justice (Jason Gallager, 2003).
Sounds like the Black Crowes; it was re-recorded for LJ's 2006 self-released CD Revolution's Son.
"BlackAcidEvelKnievel" by the Spectremen, from the CD Rockin' the Dead (Shovel in Your Face Records, 2003).
Sounds like the Misfits. Listen here.
"King Knievel" by Threats, from the CD Back in Hell (Punknite, 2003).
Here are lyrics. Also available on Live at CBGB's (Dr. Strange, 2003).
"Mrs. Knievel" by Celeste Lear, from the CD The Echo Inside (self-released, 2003).
Written from the perspective of Evel's worried wife (presumably his ex-wife Linda, to whom he was married back when he was doing stunts).
"Evel Knievel" by AAAnus of SATAN, from the GratetSHits (self-released, 2004).
A rollicking 12-bar song; sounds like it was recorded at a house party. The chorus goes "Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!" View the video here; download the song here.
"Evel Knievel" by King Tears, from the EP Down in Luck (self-released, 2004).
Buy from the band.
"Evel Knievel" by Maskapone, from the CD Heroes, Beer, and Broken Hearts (Nasty Vinyl, 2004).
"Evel Knievel" by Mojo Apostles, from various artists CD compilation Bang in the Bay (Soma Records, 2004).
Another honky-tonker: "What in the wide wide world of sports/ Could match the life you've led/ The booze and the bitches/ Those under-the-cast itches/ The doctors just could not make go away... The king is on his throne/ Of bankruptcies and broken bones... Everybody said you were bent on suicide/ But you were having fun while they put pins in your thigh... So you hit that guy with a baseball bat/ I'm sure he had it coming anyway... 'Cross amber waves of barley/ I see you atop that Harley/ Evel Knievel you're all right."
"Medieval Knievel" by Moksha Ensemble, from the CD Lady Sun (Independent Label, 2004).
An exotic-sounding instrumental, as if Martin Denny went Middle-Eastern.
"I, Evil Knievel" by the Slurpees, from the CD The Flavors of Everyday Life (label unknown, 2004).
A heavy, plodding number: "I spit on the devil." Download or buy from InterPunk.com.
"Cerebral Knievel" by TISM, from the CD The White Albun (Madman Entertainment, 2004).
"Robbie Knievel Fox Action Special" by American Draft, from the CD Volumes II:III (Team AV, 2005).
A fast 1:20 instrumental with a screaming electric guitar, over-the-top drums, and... a xylophone? Read more about Robbie's rock 'n' roll connections farther down this page.
"Evel Knievel" by Benlovio (13 O'Clock Records, 2005).
An instrumental with lo-fi piano over a hiphop beat.
"Weasel Can Evil" by Caveman, from the CD Bedbugs (Caveman Recordings, 2005).
A funk rock instrumental.
"Pure Evel" by the Codenames, from the CD Spooka Lucha (self-released, 2005).
A silly acoustic song.
"The Greatest Asshole on Wheels" by Jon Durham, from the CD One in a Million (self-released, 2005).
Despite its title, this Dylaneqsue folk-rock number -- with acoustic guitar, harmonica, and tambourine -- is actually quite reverent. Order it here.
"The Legacy of Evel Knievel" by the Gasoline Holocaust, from the CD-EP Viva Jimmy Hoffa! (Union Records, 2005).
Read more here.
"The Ballad of Evel" by James Katz, from the CD Glow (self-relesed, 2005).
Sounds like some generic '90s Candlebox/Collective Soul/Seven Mary Three radio-friendly alternative crap. Order it here.
"Evel Knievel" by Milloy, from the CD More than a Machine (Crackle, 2005).
"The Axle of Evil Keneval" by the Soft Priest (demo, 2005).
"Evil Knievel" by Richard Bartz, from the CD Big (Kurbel, 2006).
A techno/electronic instrumental with no reference to Evel other than its title.
"Evil Knieval" by the Detonators, from the CD Bombshell (Black Market Music, 2006).
An upbeat blues-rock number.
"Evel Knievel Scratch" by DJ Rectangle, from the compilation CD Casino Royale Vol 2: For The Gangsters (By the People, 2006).
A hiphop instrumental.
"Evel Knievel" by Excommunicator, from the CD The Mouse that Roared (Greydawn Records, 2006).
The album's opening track.
"Evel Knievel" by Flicky, from the CD The Orphan, the Bastard and the Thief (self-released, 2006).
A reggae number.
"Stuntman" by Kasabian, from the CD Empire (RCA, 2006).
A snappy techno song inspired by Evel. "I've seen the documentary on Evel Knievel," said singer Tom Meighan, "and I thought it'd be cool to do something about him."
"Evil Knevil" by No Head on My Shoulders, from the album Caution Overload (Remedy, 2006).
"Evel Knievel" by Leif Olsen, from the album Disbelief (Leif Olsen, 2006).
"Evil Knievel" by Rencontrez L'Amour, from the CD Born of Punk and Reverb (Emma Records, 2006).
"Evel Knievel" by Silence the Foe, from the CD Shaking Hallelujah (label unknown, 2006).
Their official site lists this song's "lyrics" as "6667666766676667666766676667666."
"Evel Knievel" by the Vinyl Stash (self-released, 2006)."Evel Knievel" by bluenuts (2007).
A dumb funk-rock tune that samples an Ideal Evel toy commercial.
"Kinevil" by Rocketfield, from the album Mintinfinity (Do Little Digital, 2007).
"Evel Knievel" by Tommy Ross, from the album Fairly Twisted Logic (Tommy Ross, 2007).
"The Skycycle Blues" by B. Dolan, from the album The Failure (Strange Famous, 2008).
"Brunch at the Knievels" by Detachment Kit, from the album + (2008).
"Evil Knievel" by Dreze, from the album Attention Please (2008).
"Eval Knieval" by Hammercocks, from the album Lone Star Evil (Devils Shitburner, 2008).
"Libido Knievel" by Here Come the Mummies, from the album Single Entendre (2008).
"Evel Knievel" by Morbius, from the album Greatest Hits (Egress UK, 2008).
"Evil Knievel (Demo)" by Super 8, from the album Something Wicked (Lowspeak, 2008).
"Viva Knieval" by Closely Watched Trains, from the album Closely Watched Trains (Twin Lakes, 2009).
"Evel" by The Electric Experiment, from the album A New Reality (Grizztone Music, 2009).
"Evel" by King Cab, from the album Buses, Sharks and Streams (King Cab, 2009).
"Evil Knevil" by Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks, from the album 100% Pot Success (Robert Johnson Music, 2009).
"Action Figures (Lex Loofah's Evil Knievel Mix)" by Machine Boy, from the album Re-Building a Better Boy (Red Robot, 2009).
"Big Smack and Flies (Medievel Knievel Mix)" by Mungolian Jetset, from the album We Gave It All Away... And Now We Are Taking It Back (Smalltown Supersound, 2009).
"The Ballad of Evel Knievel" by Pat O'Connell, from the album On the Sunny Side of Ashland (Pat O' Connell, 2009).
"Evel Knievel" by Pheromones (2009).
"Evil Knievel" by Shattrd, from the album Best of the Best (Shattrd, 2009).
"Evel Knievel" by Los Stompers, from the album Animal, Vegetable, Miserable (Ventilador Music, 2009).
"Pee Wee Knievel" by Toy Surprise Inside!, from the album Replicas of the New Nostalgia (Catapult, 2009).
"I Wish I Was Evel Knievel and You Were Britney Spears" by Feedback, from the album Lessons Learned (2010).
"Evel Knievel" by Johnny Stage, from the album ...Unknown Album (Rip It Up, 2010).
"Evel Knievel RIP" by Laughon Bryant, from the album Aerial View (year unknown).
"Evel Knievel" by The Me-Thinks, from the album Rock and Roll Another (year unknown).
"The Ballad of Evil Knevil" by Lizzard Swift (Reptile Records, release year unknown).
Some band from Massachusetts.
"Evel Knievel" by the Me-Thinks, from the CD Rock and Roll Another (label, release year unknown).
Download it here.
"Evil Kanevil" by Godstar Experience (label, release year unknown).
Download it here.
"Evel as Knievel Kan B" by Electric Ghost Orchestra (self-released, year unknown).
A mellow electronica instrumental peppered with samples from Evel's Amherst album. Download it here.
"Evel, You Ain't So Evel" 7" by Gary Davis and Rex Blackwell (label, release year unknown).
A song supposedly recorded and released by a couple of Evel's cycle-jumping rivals in the early '70s, though I haven't actually heard this or confirm that it even exists.
"Evil Kenievel" by CrackMo (label, release year unknown).
A lame ska song. Download it here.
"Evil KnievelSong" by Don Ohman (self-released, year unknown).
Don visited Evel's Snake River jump site in 1973 and became inspired to write this song, which he didn't record until years later. It's kind of ominous and aggressive, with cycle revving sounds and crazy electronic drum fills. Proceeds from sales of his extremely lo-fi 30-minute tape (which also includes a few more songs, and him rambling on about Evel, other musical ventures, and his stroke) will go to the repair of a vandalized Vietnam vet memorial in Kennewick, WA. Email the artist to purchase.
"Evel Knievel" by Fifty Foot Spiders (self-released, year unknown).
A sort of surf/spaghetti-western instrumental. Listen here.
"Evel Knievel" by Garbage Dump (self-released, year unknown).
"Your Love is Indescribably Delicious" b/w "Evel Knievel" 7" by Eddie Carr (W.H.C. Records, release year unknown).
Described as "funky northern soul." This is likely the same recording as Eddie Carr & the Navajos's "Evil, Evil Evel Knievel," as listed above.
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"In My Day" CD single by BullTaco (Out of Step Records, 1995).
Publicity photo of a smiling Evel and Lauren Hutton from the movie Viva Knievel!.
"Backwards" by Lame, b/w "Em-C-For" by Bender split 7" single (Legitimate Businessman Records, 1995).
Cheap, hand-drawn, photocopied sleeve of a faceless Evel flashing devil's horns while doing a stand-up wheelie. The credits say "special thanks to Metal Knievel."
Keep America Beautiful CD by Skunkweed (Royalty, 1996).
Features an altered, green-tinted still from the 1977 movie Viva Knievel! Evel is flat on his face after a nasty spill, with panicked audience members rushing towards him. (Inside poop: "Evel" was actually motorcycle jumper Gary Davis in the film, 'cause Evel used a stunt double.) Lauren Hutton's head is cropped out (apparently to avoid litigation), and the arm on Evel's leathers reads "Skunkweed" in that all-capital Evel star font.
"Bad Idea" CD single by A (Tycoon/London, 1997).
The cardboard jacket has two great Sky-Cycle photos, and a smaller inner sleeve has a cool pic too. The title song, the name of which is juxtaposed above the Sky-Cycle on the cover, seems appropriate.
"Almost Good!" 7" single by the 1-4-5s (Twist Like This Records, 1998).
Live EP with a multiple-exposure cover photo taken from 1971 Evel Knievel movie. Buy from Motorcycho.
Switchblades & Sideburns CD by the Morning Shakes (Stiff Pole Records, 1998).
The Tony Millionaire cover depicts a drunken Uncle Gabby and Drinky Crow jumping a motorcycle off a cliff.
Ear-Bleeding Country: The Best of Dinosaur Jr. CD by Dinosaur Jr. (Rhino, 2001).
The cover, CD booklet, and CD itself has black-and-white sketches by Neil Blender of various motorcycle jumps and other cycle stunts performed before cheering onlookers.
Beautiful Night CD-EP by the Burden Brothers (Last Beat Records, 2003).
The same photo as the cover of my book. Unavailable.
Shallow 7" by Shallow (Nothing Ventured Records, year unknown).
The sleeve spoofs the Amherst album.
CD by Young Kim (title, label, year unknown).
Read more here.
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A 1990s advertisement for a British club in Brighton using Evel Knievel imagery. The figure in the pink costume is Ideal's Derry Daring, a spinoff Evel toy aimed at girls.
Satan's Pilgrims/ Gas Huffer/ Jr. High poster by Evel (1995).
A concert poster for a New Year's Eve show at Portland's La Luna, featuring a pair of angelic, Keane-eyed mod waifs spinning some discs. The enigmatic artist signed their name as "Evel," just below the left hand of the girl sitting on the right.
Wesley Willis/ The Shazam poster by Printmafia (2002).
That's not Evel in the photo. Rather, it's a photo of fellow motorcycle jumper Gary Wells, one of Evel's young imitators in the early '70s, with the face of Jesus transposed over his own. The unaltered photo originally appeared in the book The Cycle Jumpers by Marshall Spiegel (Scholastic Book Services, 1973). Unavailable.
Andrew WK/ The Beautiful Mistake poster by Printmafia (2004).
That's not Evel in the photo. Rather, it's a photo of Evel's Ideal Toys action figure, with skulls transposed over the stars on his costume. Unavailable.
Clutch poster by Printmafia (2005).
Printmafia's getting lots of mileage out of Evel's image with yet another poster; this one for a band who drops Evel's name in a song (see the lyrics section below). Order it here.
Sunset Tavern, Seattle.
The Ballard Avenue music venue used art from Evel's Ideal toy ads for May 2005 show listings.
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Both the King of the Stuntmen and the King of Rock 'n' Roll wore flashy, chest-baring jumpsuits (complete with gigantic collars, flared pantlegs, and capes) during their early-to-mid-'70s performances... But who copied whom? Evel claims he shared drinks with Elvis in his dressing room at the Vegas Hilton, and he once admitted, "I guess I thought I was Elvis Presley, but I'll tell ya something. All Elvis did was stand on a stage and play a guitar. He never fell off on that pavement at no 80 mph." Perhaps the influence was mutual -- compare Elvis's jumpsuits to Evel's jumpsuits, and draw your own conclusions...
Formerly of the Loudmouths and currently of Pineapple Princess, Beth Allen is the biggest Evel Knievel fan in rock 'n' roll. She's spoken of starting a band called "Rocket Man" and doing a punk version of John Culliton Mahoney's "Ballad of Evel Knievel." L-R: Her '04 Halloween costume; her custom denim vest; her tour stop at Evel's former home in Butte, Montana.
Bob Log III.
The one-man blues band performs wearing an Evel-inspired jumpsuit, topped off with a microphone built into his crash helmet.
The Seattle band, sometimes listed as "Chuck Yay-Grr" (presumably to avoid litigation) is seen here wearing costumes they sometimes perform in. Official site.
On April 2, 2006, the Tenacious D member hosted Nicelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, opening the show wearing an Evel suit and singing a Weird Al-style update of an Elton John song, "Saturday Night's Alright for Sliming"... He apparently wore the same suit when photographed by Annie Liebovitz for a two-page photo spread in the March 2004 Vanity Fair, as seen on the Knievel Style page.
Before playing a 2002 show at Atlanta's Starlight Drive-In, keyboardist Jett Bryant (in Evel costume) jumped a motor scooter over flaming buckets of popcorn. Order their self-titled CD through their official site.
Detroit's Sirens dress up in various themed costumes for various shows; they all wore Evel gear for four shows in 2004. See more photos on their official site.
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At Home with Girl Trouble VHS tape (self-released, 1994).
The two-song, 13-minute video fades to an end as it zooms in on a photo of Evel stuck on a fridge. Inquire about availability through Girl Trouble's official site.
"Self Esteem" by the Offspring, from the CD Smash (Epitaph, 1994).
This #1 MTV video has Snake River Canyon jump footage.
"Abuse Me" by Silverchair, from the CD Freak Show (Sony Music, 1997).
Has footage of Evel's Caesar's Palace crash, as seen in Silverchair: The Best of, Volume 1 -- Complete Videology.
"One Week" by the Barenaked Ladies, from the CD Stunt (WEA/Warner Brothers, 1998).
A chick in Evel's star-spangled leathers jumps over a school bus; rumor has it that the stunt double is Johnny Airtime. The video was directed, appropriately enough, by McG, who directed the Charlie's Angels movies and threatens to direct an big-screen Knievel biography.
"Bad Boy for Life" by P. Diddy & the Bad Boy Family, from the CD The Saga Continues (BMG/Arista/Bad Boy, 2001).
Puff Daddy jumps a motorcycle over some cars during a big house party in a suburban neighborhood.
"Out of My Mind" by GS Megaphone, from the CD Out of My Mind (Sony/Word, 2001).
Evel wannabe Bubba Blackwell jumps over a crappy Christian rock band.
"Touch the Sky" by Kanye West, from the CD Late Registration (Roc-a-Fella, 2005).
"Evel Kanyevel" attempts to jump the Grand Canyon in this hilariously astute re-creation of the 1974 Snake River Canyon stunt. The pre-release trailer on writer/director Chris Milk's site says that on on February 8, 1972, the "Performer of a Generation" attempted the "Stunt of a Lifetime." The actual video opens with West and Pam Anderson in a limo speeding across the desert while credits flash onscreen in the style of a '70s action movie. The couple arrives at the canyon rim and is greeted by a small media circus, audience, and marching band. Anderson, annoyed by West's daredevil antics, storms into his mobile trailer while he inspects his "Death Rocket" and gazes across the massive canyon. He then joins Anderson in the trailer and they argue -- she doesn't want him to attempt the deadly stunt. Outside the trailer a Wide World of Sports-like announcer interviews a young fan dressed up like Kanyevel (we later see him crash his minibike). Then the reporter asks West about "comments about President Nixon," a reference to West's real-life comment, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Then "mother-fucking Nia Long," an old lover of Kanyevel's, interrups the interview by confronting him about leaving her for Anderson. He repairs to his trailer and puts on his daredeviil costume while Lupe Fiasco raps along with the marching band outside. To a resigned Anderson's disappointment, he leaves her in the trailer and strides toward the rocket (an accurate replica, as is his costume), but she rushes out after him and gives him a passionate good-bye kiss anyhow. He gets in the rocket and, after giving a thumbs-up sign, he pushes the iginition button and blasts off. The rocket conks out in mid-flight and crashes nose-down on the far rim and explodes, much to Anderson's (and MF Long's) horror. Throughout the video we see shots of West rapping in the clouds, as if he's up in heaven reflecting on his climb to the top of the daredevil/hiphop game, getting to the point where he could finally "touch the sky"... In August 2006, West complained when his video wasn't nominated for an MTV Music Video Award. That November, when it didn't win the MTV Europe Best Video Award, he crashed the award-show stage. In a profanity-filled tirade, West claimed he should've won because the video "cost a million dollars, and Pamela Anderson was in it. I was jumping across canyons... If I don't win, the awards show loses credibility."
"Original Fire" by Audioslave, from the CD Revelations (Epic, 2006).
Describing the video, guitarist Tom Morello said it's "about the thread of music and cultural figures with integrity that were important parts of our history -- how all those streams flow together to where we are today. From the Clash to Malcolm X, from Evel Knievel to Shaq to Che Guevara to James Brown -- all are going to be in this video where we're rocking furiously." I couldn't spot Evel myself, but it was a bit of a jumble.
"Slow John Fairburn" by Burt Reynolds, from the LP Ask Me What I Am (Mercury, 1973).
Yes, that Burt Reynolds sings a song -- also recorded by Jimmy Dean -- about a cycle-riding codger: "That old man made Evel Knievel look like he needed training wheels." Listen to it here.
"Riding the Scree" by Genesis, from the CD The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Atlantic, 1974).
The prog-rock opera contains the line, "Evel Knievel, you got nothing on me."
"Bolivian Ragamuffin" by Aerosmith, from the LP Rock in a Hard Place (Columbia, 1982)
"Kickstand face looks so evil like Knievel/ Never make third base like a toilet bowl weevil."
"Johnny Yen" by James, from the CD Stutter (WEA, 1986).
"Watch Knievel hit the 17th bus/ You got crushed in the souvenir rush."
"Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever" by Corey Feldman and the Eradicators (Artisan, 1990).
I don't remember the exact lyric but Evel's name was sung in this movie's title song, played over its closing credits.
"Mini Toboggan" by Last Crack, from the CD Burning Time (Roadrunner, 1991).
About a kid on a sled: "Evel Knievel had nothing on him."
"Thanksgiving in Reno" by Too Much Joy, from the CD Cereal Killers (Giant/ Warner, 1991).
A twangy tale of gambling, buffet dining, and free drinks on Turkey Day, with a chorus referring to another Evel dream: "We got stoned/ We had sex/ I dreamt that I was Evel Knievel."
"If Only" by Das EFX, from the CD Dead Serious (Atlantic, 1992).
"So, umm, figgity-fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell blunts/ I gibbity-got lines like Evel Knievel got bitch stunts."
"Hot Rod Rally" by the Supersuckers, from the CD The Smoke of Hell (Sub Pop, 1992).
Cowpunk blast with the lyrical metaphor: "Got cajones like Evel Knievel." Bonus points for cover art by Daniel Clowes.
"Walking in the Great Shining Path of Monster Trucks" by Clutch, from the CD Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes & Undeniable Truths" (Atlantic, 1993).
This is hardcore: "Well I crashed a Cadillac through the gates of hell/ And returned with a fistful of dollars/ And Evel Knievel, like Virgil/ Was a gentleman as well as a scholar."
"Bring it On" by Ali Dee, from the CD Bring It On (EMI, 1993).
Part sung by Kool G Rap (again): "Send in the fire engines cause G Rap is startin' fires/ Rappers are jumpin like Evel Knievel/ You better believe it, I'm comin' like Michael Myers."
"View Master" by Ookla the Mok, from the CD The Rand and Adam Tape (self-released, 1993).
A nostalgic look at '70s-era childhood toys, with the lyric "A Shogun Warrior, a Weeble, and Evel Knievel."
"Homebrew" by 311, from the CD Grassroots (Volcano, 1994).
"Death defyin' like Knievel he weevil/ Words that will wobble awkward and evil."
"Necessary Evil" by Body Count, from the CD Born Dead (Virgin, 1994).
About a little kid on a bicycle that cop killer Ice-T shoved into a busy street: "When the fuckin' bus connected, he flew like Knievel/ I was just necessary evil."
"Who's the King?" by Dog Eat Dog, from the CD All Boro Kings (Roadrunner, 1994).
Rap metal about Elvis, Don King, Rodney King, and Evel: "Jumping high with pride in the red, white and blue/ Was it the thrills, the spills of the rocket-cycle dude/ The king daredevil took it to another level/ Evel Knievel, a well-paid rebel."
"Sing Along" by Grant Lee Buffalo, from the CD Mighty Joe Moon (Warner, 1994).
This is alt-country: "Man built a market for Muhammad Ali, Evel Knievel and the legacy of John Wayne Gacy."
"Dirty Mags" 7" single by Blueboy (Sarah Records, 1995).
This is Britpop: "Sex never bothered you/ Evel Knievel sniffing glue."
"Race Car Driver" by Jewel, from the promo-only CD Save the Linoleum (Atlantic, 1995).
The snaggletooth Alaskan sings: "I will be Evel Knievel, you can double my stunts." Unavailable.
"Tin Foil" by the Handsome Family, from the CD Milk and Scissors (Carrot Top, 1996).
"Evel Knievel shot up from dead grass/ I loved him better each time he crashed."
"Rhyme Tyme" by Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, from the CD Rated XXX (Cold Chillin, 1996).
"Some day you'll see my face on a US stamp/ Like Evel Knievel I jump and I ramp."
"Sell It and They Will Come" by Bruce Springsteen, from the bootleg CD Sell It and They Will Come (E Street Records, 1996).
The Boss was inspired by Evel's late-night informercial for this song he performed on his '96 Ghost of Tom Joad tour... "I switched the channels and there was Evel Knievel/ I thought that he was dead/ I found myself sitting there quietly, hanging on every word he said/ 'Now folks, the Stimulator removes all pain from your life/ And the best day of your life will be when you try this little thing out'/ The camera moved in as he said/ 'Now let me tell you ladies and gentlemen/ Pain is something old Evel knows a little about.'" Here's what it looks like.
"Step 2 This" by E-Roc, from the CD The Return (Phat Boy, 1998).
Christian hip-hop: "Shoobie doobie, the head cracker / The beat smacker, I battle Satan, the soul jacker / Bring your style, bring your style, steelo / I grab the mic and snap yo bones like Evel Knievel."
"Flossin' Season" by Juvenile, from the CD 400 Degreez (Cash Money, 1998).
And it don't stop: "My stuntin' name Evel Knievel, keep it real/ Let me pop a wheelie, hoes love stuntin cause I got love... It ain't no secret I'm a stunter/ Like Evel Knievel jumpin' out Lexus and Hummers."
"Darkside" by Crazy Town, from the CD Gift of Game (Sony, 1999).
Funk metal: "I'm evil like Knievel, kicking white trash/ Psycho cerebral palsy ballsy bad ass."
"Jesus in a Camper Van" by Robbie Williams, from the CD The Ego Has Landed (Capitol, 1999).
The British pop star instructs, "You're Evel Knievel so get down and pray."
"#1 Stunna" by Big Tymers, from the CD I Got That Work (Cash Money, 2000).
"I'm a hard stunnin' nigga like Evil Knievel."
"Take the Long Way Home" by the Bloodhound Gang, from the CD Hooray for Boobies (Interscope, 2000).
"You define what's death-defying/ Get the most out of life or at the least die trying/ Are you Evel Knievel jumping a train?/ Or running with scissors like Frasier Crane?"
"Recarved" by Dying Breed, from the CD Fleshflower (Bloodfart Music, 2000).
Death metal: "Evel Knievel and Bruce Lee/ Genetically speaking/ Babydoll, who's your daddy?" Unavailable.
"Push Me" by Slapshock, from the CD Headtrip (OctoArts, 2000).
Filipino rap metal: "I came face to face/ With the devil/ Like Evel Knievel/ I break bones yo/ Better than Steven Seagal." Buy from KabayaCentral.com.
"Gamma Ray" by Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, from the CD Global A Go- Go (Epitaph, 2001).
The late Clash frontman sings, "And there ain't no guest list tonight at the Memorial Hall/ Cher got in cos she's so thin/ And even Evel Knievel tried to wheedle." (TV note: Evel once appeared on the Sonny and Cher Show - see Knievel Comedy).
"I'm Alive" by DB3, from the CD Straight on Till Morning (Renaissance Boy Recordings, 2002).
Some dumb song: "I am fast as light/ I am outta sight/ I am Evel Knievel/ And I'm gonna take flight."
Download it here.
"Nineteen Somethin'" by Mark Wills, from the CD Greatest Hits (Universal, 2002).
The country singer takes a nostalgic look back at his late 20th century childhood: "Had a shoebox full of baseball cards/ And a couple of Evel Knievel scars."
"Why Couldn't We Blow Up Saddam?" by the Austin Lounge Lizards, from the CD Strange Noises in the Dark (Blue Corn Music, 2003).
"He's in a league with the devil, good lord he is evil/ He dances with death like old Evel Knievel/ He's tougher to crush than a Texas boll weevil."
"Times Table" by the Gospel Movement, from the CD Holy Culture (BEC, 2003).
Fire-and-brimstone Christian rap: "Despite what you think, to Christ there's no equal/ Choose eternal life or crash and burn like Knievel."
"Lucifer" by Jay Z, from the CD The Black Album (Def Jam, 2003).
"I leave you in somebody's cathedral/ For stuntin' like Evel Knievel."
"Data's Double Chin" by Lightyear, from the CD Chris's Gentleman's Hairdresser & Railway Bookshop (Household Name, 2003).
Ska: "Resident President Evil/ There's zombies in the White House/ Playing with their Scalextric/ And their clockwork Evel Knievel."
"Super Joe Ride" by Sautwater featuring Skunkweed, from the DVD Dare the Devil (Superstunts International Productions, 2004).
A lame metal song that accompanies footage of motorcycle jumpers Super Joe Einhorn and Super Joe Reed, with the chorus, "Super Joe ride/ Adrenaline pumping heart starts thumping/ Super Joe ride/ He fears no Evel or Robbie Knievel." It's unintentionally hilarious how the song blasts over clips of a brain-damaged Einhorn being pushed around in a wheelchair, with his neck in a brace and an arm in a sling. (This Skunkweed is from Texas, a different act from the California Skunkweed listed in the "Cover Art" section above.)
"The Show" by South Border, from the CD Episode III (2004).
Filipino R&B: "You can ride me just like Evel Knievel." Here's their official site.
"George Bush is a Terrorist Too" by the Tucson Mountain Bushwhackers, from the CD The Stupid President Album (Slowly the Ghost Records, 2004).
"When George Bush vowed to rid the world of evil/ I thought he was more reckless than Evel Knievel." Buy with PayPal here.
"Rapin" by STLOUISCREEP (2006).
"Call me evil, pulling more stunts than crazy fuck Knievel." Download it here.
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Evel meets the Strawberry Alarm Clock (ABC; May 25, 1968).
Both were guests on this episode of American Bandstand, where the psychedelic rock band performed "Sit with the Guru." Chances are that the segments were filmed separately, as that evening Evel was at the Beeline Dragway in Scottsdale, Arizona. He fractured his leg and foot while attempting to jump 13 Fords.
Evel sings the Doors (North Richland Hills, Texas; February 1974).
While trying to start his motorcycle before a jump of 11 Mack trucks at the Green Valley Raceway, Evel is filmed singing "Come on baby light my fire, come on baby light my fire." The clip is available on the 2005 History Channel documentary Absolute Evel: The Evel Knievel Story (buy it here)... Thirty-two years later, in his interview on the 2006 CMT television program True Grit: Evel Knievel, Evel wears a blue collared shirt with prints of Jim Morrison's face on it. An odd (possibly clueless) choice, considering Evel's disdain for drugs, hippies, and rock 'n' roll.
Evel meets the Banana Splits (Kings Island, Kings Mills, Ohio; October 25, 1975).
The Banana Splits were the bubblegum-rock mascots of the Kings Island amusement park, near Cincinnati. Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snork provided preliminary entertainment to the longest jump of Evel's career, over 14 Greyhound buses.
Evel meets Keith Moon (Wembley Stadium, London; May 26, 1975).
The Who's wildman drummer, sitting in the Wembley audience, was introduced to the crowd just before Evel's failed jump of 13 buses.
Evel meets Wayne Newton (1976).
Evel loves to risk his money as he risked his life, like the time he claimed he got drunk with Wayne Newton. As the story goes, Evel bet Newton $10,000 that Howard Hughes was dead. Hughes was indeed still alive when the wager was made, but Evel didn't realize it until months later, in April 1976, when Hughes's death made headlines. Oddly enough, the sickly Hughes expired in transit from Acapulco to Houston, on a Learjet Evel claimed as his own. Evel paid up, noting on his check written to Newton, "Air Freight."
London Calling double LP by the Clash (Epic, 1979).
The liner notes feature a candid photo of Joe Strummer playing Bally's Evel Knievel pinball machine... Speaking of which, according to writer Michael Azerrad, former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic once had an Evel pinball in the basement of his Seattle home.
"The Ballad of Robin Winter-Smith" by Nanci Griffith, from the CD Once in a Very Blue Moon (Rounder, 1984).
A tribute to the 29-year-old Brit, who in 1979 was killed trying to jump 30 Rolls-Royces. He landed on the 28th car.
"Fire Me Up" 12" single by Eddie Kidd (Warner, 1988).
Between breaking all of Evel's distance records as a teenager in the '70s and beating Robbie Knievel in a 1993 "Daredevil Duel," Kidd recorded a few pop songs in his native England, including this three-song picture disc.
Evel's motorcycle-jumping son Robbie is far more rock 'n' roll than his dad ever was. As a teenager he broke into a music store one time to steal some guitars, an act somewhat befitting of a boy who said in his 8th grade yearbook that he wanted to grow up to be a rock singer. He's since shared bills with Twisted Sister, REO Speedwagon, Styx, Smashmouth, Poison's Bret Michaels and the Monkees, and once before jumping a long line of Led Zeppelin IV LPs, his opening act was Bonham (led by the son of the late Led Zep drummer John Bonham). The 8750 Reggae Band ("The World's Highest Reggae Band") once opened for Robbie, he's hung out with Steppenwolf, and both Willie Nelson and former First Brother Roger Clinton have sung the National Anthem at his jumps. Robbie routinely plays KISS's "Detroit Rock City," Elton John's "Rocket Man" and Journey's "Wheel in the Sky" during his performances, and the theme song for his 2005 A&E reality show Knievel's Wild Ride was Twisted Sister's cover of "Born to Be Wild." One of his roadies on the program, Pete Mainzer, plays in the Seattle-based band Dysinformation, which also plays at some of Robbie's shows. Robbie's daughter Krysten, who also appeared on Wild Ride, said in June 2006 that she's working on an album of her own, and a pilot of her own reality show is in the works.
Jeff Buckley interview (Request, December 1994).
When the music magazine surveyed some musicians about the best holiday presents they ever received. Jeff Buckley replied: "Oh gee, it's gotta be a cross between the Memphis Les Paul copy I got for my 16th birthday and the Evel Knievel doll -- you know, the action figure that sits on the motorcycle, that I probably received maybe five years before. The Evel Knievel my grandmother gave to me, and it got me so deeply that I cried and I put my arms around her, 'cause I knew she loved me so much."
Evel meets Beck (The Grand, New York City; April 1, 1994).
After a concert by fledgling rock star/ Scientologist Beck (riding high on the success of his breakthrough single, "Loser"), came a screening of Evel Knievel's Greatest Hits. Then Evel himself strode onstage -- sporting a cape -- and jokingly admonishing the Gen-X crowd: "You young people stole all the Evel Knievel toys from K-Mart!" He gave a talk, recited "Why?", fielded some questions, and signed hundreds of autographs. The show was covered by both MTV and The New Yorker, declaring, "Evel is still cool." Surely a bootleg exists somewhere. (Evel/Beck photo © 1994 Spencer Tunick.)
The Classic Years CD by Fluf (Headhunter/Cargo, 1994).
Twenty silent minutes after the 12th track fades is Evel's poem "Why?", lifted from the Amherst LP.
"Daredevil Girl" by the Model Rockets, from the LP Hilux (Lucky Records, 1994).
A track likely inspired by one of Evel's many female cycle-jumping colleagues, be it Debbie Lawler, Janet Lee, Teri Kezar, Rena Hart, Linda Beckley, Fiona Beale, Jumpin' Jamie Pamintuan, or the fictitious Derry Daring. The song involves an ill-fated romance with stuntwoman: "And now you're talkin' crazy, about twenty trailer trucks/ I'm running out of patience and you're running out of luck."
"High and Dry" by Radiohead, from the CD The Bends (Capitol, 1995).
As Radiohead is a British group, they're probably addressing their countryman Eddie Kidd, whose own music is reviewed above: "Two jumps in a week/ I bet you think that's pretty clever/ Don't you boy/ Flying on your motorcycle/ Watching all the ground beneath you drop/ You'd kill yourself for recognition/ Kill yourself to never ever stop."
Skywriting by Word of Mouth by John Lennon (Perennial, 1986).
Though not necessarily musical in nature, this collection of writings by one of rock's most renowned tunesmiths includes the amusing line: "Yea, tho' I walk thru Rudy Vallee, I will fear no Evel Knievel."
Unchained: The Story of Mike Starr and His Rise and Fall in Alice In Chains by John Brandon (Xanadu Enterprises, 2001).
Charter Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr says he saw Evel Knievel perform at the Seattle Kingdome in 1976. A few years later, when Starr was attending junior high in the Seattle suburb of Burien, he and a friend ran into Evel at the local Honda dealership: "We saw these big trucks in a parking lot after hours, and a guy with a fur coat and all these diamond rings that were so huge. We went out to dinner with Evel Knievel at a place called Adair's right up the street. He bought us some french fries and talked for awhile."
"Ken Carter" by Ammonia, from the CD Mint 400 (Sony, 1996).
Not only did Ammonia record the song "Evil Kenevil" (as reviewed above), but they also recorded this tribute to this Canadian auto stuntman. Ken Carter once performed with Evel in 1976, and was the subject of 1981's insane documentary The Devil at Your Heels, in which Evel has a cameo.
Evel meets Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (Butte, Montana; August 3, 2002).
Jett and co. played at Butte's first annual Evel Knievel Week celebration. After Evel introduced the band at the Butte Civic Center, they opened with "Bad Reputation," and later dedicated "Love is Pain" to him. A KISS cover band played at the 2004 Knievel Week.
Guns n' Roses T-shirt (2002).
Axl's probably sitting on a whole heap of these leftovers from the ill-fated 2002 tour, which was cancelled halfway through. Buy it here.
Dashboard Confessional T-shirt (2003).
A red silkscreened image of Evel doing a wheelie is accompanied by the caption "Daredevils Don't Die." Unavailable.
Scott Weiland interview (Associated Press; February 10, 2005).
When asked if his new band, Velvet Revolver, will "drive rock to explosive new heights, or will they crash and explode?", lead singer Weiland responded, "That's what you call the Evel Knievel factor. People didn't pay big bucks just to watch him jump. If he never crashed and burned once in a while, he wouldn't have sold out those stadiums." Bassist Duff McKagan has also cited "a curiousity factor, the Evel Knievel factor."
Rob Zombie interview (Moviesonline.ca, 2005).
When the rock star/film director was asked, "Do you believe that messages in music videos, movies, or video games can encourage children to act violently?", he responded: "No. I think that any child that's going to do something violent is coming from a different place. That's kind of an ill-adjusted child. I mean, I think that anything can influence a child. When I was a kid I saw Evel Knievel, and what was the first thing I wanted to do? Jump my bike over something. Sure, kids are influenced by everything they see, but they need to be influenced by their parents. So if your child is more influenced by watching "Resident Evil, then yeah, you're a pretty shitty parent.
Evel meets the Devonshires (Butte, Montana; July 29, 2006).
Some oldies cover band that played at Butte's 2006 Evel Knievel Days.
CycleSonic Volume 3: Songs About Evel (Knievel).
Thanks to Norman the Knucklehead, editor of the biking fanzine Motorcycho, we have this legally dubious anthology tape filled with many of the tunes listed above. Buy from Motorcycho.
Evel Knievel: The Rock Opera.
In April 2003, plans were announced for a rock opera based on Evel, à la the Who's Tommy and Pink Floyd's The Wall. After hearing a seven-song demo by composer Jef Bek, Evel signed over the exclusive rights to his story. Now, 34 original songs have been recorded by multiple singers and musicians, and Bek hopes to soon stage the production on Broadway or, more fittingly, in Las Vegas. Read more at the official site, and read humorous responses to the idea at Fark.com.
The "God of Thunder" and "Legendary Rock Warrior," Thor also declares himself "the Evel Knievel of rock." Check out his official site.
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Last updated on January 13, 2011.
© 2004-2011 Steve Mandich