In the midst of the Halloween season when the 1960s novelty hit “Monster Mash” is annually revived, the song’s singer and co-author has rewritten its lyrics to protest President George W. Bush’s environmental policies. Bobby “Boris” Pickett reprises his infamous Boris Karloff imitation on “Monster Slash,” the soundtrack to a Flash-animated challenge to the administration’s plan to permit commercial exploitation of federal forests.
Residing at Monsterslash.org, the appeal is sponsored by the Campaign to Protect America’s Lands and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. It specifically encourages individuals to contact the U.S. Forest Service to speak out against a proposal to permit logging, mining and other activities in protected roadless areas before the public comment period ends on Nov. 14.
Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund president Rodger Schlickeisen says the song “gives people a chance to laugh, share something fun with their friends, and then get active to protest the Bush plan and restore some balance in our national forests.”
Featuring likenesses of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and others, the cartoon depicts the destruction of a forest and wildlife displaced by oil rigs as Pickett sings:
“We were hiking in the forest late one night / When our eyes beheld an eerie sight / Our president appeared and began to frown / Then he and his friends cut the forest down / (He did the slash) They did the forest slash / (He did the slash) It was brutally brash / (He did the slash) / Public opinion was mashed / (He did the slash) They did it for the cash.”
At the height of the “mashed potato” dance craze, Pickett recorded the original “Monster Mash” with the Cryptkeeper Five, which included storied musician Leon Russell. The enduring Halloween carol reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1962, and charted again in 1970 (No. 91) and 1972 (No. 10).
Of revamping the song that is his claim to fame, Pickett says simply, “I decided to do this new recording because, like millions of people, I think this president has the worst environmental record in the history of our great nation.”