This faux-dialect phrase is the name of a song on a “Design Records” (Pickwick International) compilation album I just got. In true Pickwick style it is a hodgepodge of miscellany, including two songs each by Johnny Rivers, Neil Sedaka, and the Four Seasons. Each side is filled out by two tunes credited to the “J Brothers,” which is the Pickwick house band that Lou Reed played in when he wasn’t too stoned to stand up.
Even at that, the two sides together clock in at less than 25 minutes. Chintzy, but then again, what do you want for 99 cents? The spiel on the back of the album explains why it is actually a fantastic deal; I’m going to share the whole thing with you here because it is an absolute masterpiece of Long Plastic Hallway horseshit:
In creating the Design Catalog we have succeeded in bringing you many of America’s leading recording artists performing tunes which have made them famous. It is these individual performer’s [sic] talents which add so much to your perennial favorite songs, making them so enjoyable that you want the opportunity of hearing them over and over again.
Leaf through our catalog of albums and you will find up-to-the-minute top artists like Johnny Rivers, Ronnie Dove, Roy Orbison, Nat “King” Cole and Gloria Lynne, etc…. Great orchestras like Dorsey Brothers, Ray McKinley and Frankie Yankovic….1 Outstanding instrumentalists like Pete Fountain and Stan Getz… Country music favorites like Patsy Cline, Carl Belew, etc.
Design, using equipment among the most modern in the industry for recording and record manufacture, has assembled a roster of artists who are truly tops in their chosen fields. The last thing to go on this album was the price — a not inconsiderable factor which makes it possible for you to select the albums of two or three of your favorite artists for about the same price you’d expect to pay for a single LP. The record you hold in your hands, made to standards as critical as any in the industry, consists of pure vinyl.
It’s pure something, alright.
“Ya Running, but I’ll Getcha” is the only one of the four J Brothers numbers that we know for sure Lou was involved with; he is credited as a songwriter, again along with Terry Philips, Jimmie Sims, and Jerry Vance. In his book Dirty Blvd., Aidan Levy calls it a “cloying rockabilly tune with a heartbroken lyric,” adding that it “perhaps conjures Shelley, who was still at Syracuse, and engaged to another man.”
I don’t think you would want to be the woman this song was written for. It’s not quite as sinister as The Beatles’ “Run for Your Life” (still about a year in the future at this point), but there is a definite stalkerish quality that belies the jauntiness of the tune:
I think I detect Lou’s voice among the backing vocals there, though it could be my imagination. One day soon we’ll get to some songs he actually sang lead on; then John Cale will come into the picture; and then it’s off to the races. I appreciate your patience as we navigate the tepid waters of this important, if not always inspired, period. Now go and have yourself a great weekend.