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The band was writing from experience when they came up with this song about drug addiction. Signed to Warner Bros. Records, they had $750,000 to spend on the Psalm 69
album, which went "up our arms and up our noses" as their frontman Al Jourgensen told us. They managed to record one song: "Jesus Built My Hotrod
," which was released as a single and became a surprise hit, convincing the record label to finance the rest of the album.
The author William Burroughs, whose books include Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine and The Wild Boys, appears in the video for this song and performs some spoken dialogue. In our 2012 interview with Al Jourgensen, he told the story: "We did a video with him in Lawrence, Kansas. We walked to his house. I have this fear of flying on the 23rd of each month, you know, the old saying '23 skiddoo,' I don't travel on the 23rd. But on this day, I talked a friend into renting a car and we drove down to Lawrence, Kansas. We got his address and we showed up at his house and he opens the door and the first thing he said was, 'Are you holding?' We only had enough for ourselves to keep us for a few days, because my friend was a junkie, too, so we're like, no, and so he slams the door in my face.
So we did a drive back to Kansas City to score heroin to come into Bill Burroughs' house. So the next time he opens the door, he goes, 'Are you holding?' We're like, 'Yeah, we got it.' He's like, 'All right. Come in.' So we were allowed in.
So then I'm sitting there, and he pulls out this like 1950s Pulp Fiction kind of tool belt with needles in it. Like old school, 1950s, huge needles. And he meticulously took that out, found a vein - I don't know how you'd find a vein in a 70 year old guy, but he knew what he was doing. So we all shot up together and we're all stoned on his couch in his living room. And I notice there was a letter on his desk in front of me that was from the White House. Okay? And I'm like, Bill, it's not even opened. And I'm just like, 'Are you going to open this?' He goes, 'Nahhh, it's probably junk mail.' It's from the White House, and we're all completely stoned on heroin. So I go, 'Do you mind if I open it?' He's like, 'Man, I don't care.' So I open it and there's a letter from President Bill Clinton asking him to speak at the White House during some Naked Lunch excerpts or whatever. So I was like, 'Man, this is big.' And the only thing he said was, 'Who's president nowadays?' He didn't know. He didn't even know Bill Clinton was president. He was just so in his own world that he didn't even know who the President of the United States was, and he didn't open the envelope.
So then he starts going off about his petunia garden. That's all he cared about. He didn't care about who the President was. He cared about his petunia garden and how the raccoons were eating his petunias. And he tried to shoot the raccoons, but they were too fast. Obviously, not the William Tell story of his life in Mexico.
I knew he was on the methadone program, so I said, 'Why don't you put out some methadone wafers and slow the raccoons down?' And he told me, 'You're an astute young man.' So we immediately got along. He came in the video shoot the next day all happy. He came in early, which is rare for Bill Burroughs, man. He came in early and he was all happy and he was like, 'I finally got one of those bastards, thanks to your advice.' Apparently they'd eaten the methadone; they slowed down enough for Bill to shoot them. [Laughing] So he was totally happy and we became friends over the years until he died. And now I love that guy, man."
It wasn't just rappers who were sampling anything and everything in the late '80s/early '90s - Ministry was putting lots of movie clips in their songs. At the time, there was no legal precedent for clearing samples, so they dropped in bits of dialogue from movies wherever it fit. The line "Just One Fix" comes from Frank Sinatra in The Man With the Golden Arm. You can also hear the line "Never Trust A Junkie" from the movie Sid and Nancy, as well as short clips from Hellraiser II and The Trip (the 1967 one).
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