Tomorrow, many of our fellow American citizens will celebrate our independence from England by blowing up their hands with fireworks. You’d better take advantage of the five-finger discount on this track from The Lollygags while you still have five fingers.
Earlier this Spring, Denver’s The Lollygags released a single called “Christian Laytner,” the bands first official release. This lead fans to speculate that the band was playing tribute to the NBA player Christian Laettner, though clearly not knowing how to spell his name. After all, Pearl Jam payed tribute to Mookie Blaylock with the original band name and debut album title, so there is some presidence. But the truth is much better.
Christian Laytner is a mute homeless man who would wander 16th Street Mall with a guitar. The only sounds he could make to express himself to the world were with the instrument. The Lollygags’ lead singer had a friend who helped out Laytner, who would often take the bus to South Broadway to go to Kolacny Music. When Laytner suddenly died in 2004, the friend was the only person to account for him.
It’s a sad story, really, but it’s not so sad of a song. It’s a pop-fueled rock song. Mostly, though, the song as a recording stands as perhaps the only record of a life, which is greater than the sum of lyrics and melody. Download it below, then check out The Lollygags at the Underground Music Showcase on Saturday, July 20 at 8pm at The Hornet.
Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.
If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration.
Josh Johnson is a Denver freelance writer and Reverb contributor. He is also a co-host/co-producer of the Denver podcast Denver Diatribe. He’s also a butcher. Seriously.