Issue 6 Playlist Notes

Welcome back! People have griped about GFH being too slow; those who followed through will know it was all deliberate, leading to this explosive finale. The trade, which has no chapter breaks, is a purer read of the story – it wasn’t intended to be full of cliffhangers. This final issue of our first arc is fast-paced, desperate and claustrophobic; the songs reflect that energy. No comments on the sound effects, you’ll know why they’re here!

All tracks are added to the Overarching Gunning For Hits Playlist after the previous issue’s.

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Please start this issue’s playlist with:

101ers / Letsagetabitrockin

People said Joe Strummer was marble-mouthed on. A lot of Clash songs. I have no idea what the fuck he is singing here, but it works. Great kick-off song to get the energy flowing.

Tsar / Wanna Get Dead

Another high energy song with lyrics that resonate with Billy’s mental state, mentions of guns, etc. Tsar are the best – this is from their highly underrated second album, Band-Girls-Money – an angry pop confection that goes down like an umbrella drink full of razor blades. Please listen.

Joe Jackson / I’m The Man

Titular song from his second album, Joe outlines his gripes with the world of marketing from the standpoint of the marketeer. This is arguably everything that’s wrong with how pop culture is sold to you. I left out two entire subplots (about Brian Slade’s former manager and his wife) that would’ve addressed these grievances in greater detail. They’ll be in the TV show.

The Godfathers / Public Enemy

Pretty good live version of this classic punk instrumental. The best was by the Sid Presley Experience, a precursor band of The Godfathers that featured my friend Del Bartel who later went on to work at Ryko and is helping med out with some upcoming Supermegabot label releases. I think Del is on this recording, as he rejoined the band for a bit, but the original was produced by Vic Maile. It’s not here because it ain’t on Spotify, another reason you should have your own library of music and not rely on streaming.

David Bowie / Rebel Rebel (live)

David always kept this one in his back pocket for live shows (except from 1990-2002, when it had been excised from his repertoire). If I was Brian Slade, opening a concert that may change my fortunes, I’d open with this one. Shocked at how many live versions are derailed by Mike Garson piano noodling – there’s a time and a place, Mike.

Sugar / Needle Hits E

You don’t know this, but Martin has been trying to keep from murdering anyone for a long time. This song speaks to what a monster he really is – that he’s lost all perspective and is on a slippery slope, reverting to a pattern of behavior he’d hoped to put behind him.

Replacements / The Ledge

Billy. I want you to understand that while Billy has a drug problem, it’s not what drives him. The drug problem is a symptom of how he’s been treated all his life and exploited in these last few months. Scars are deep and while they can be cured with love and care, he’s been thrust into an environment that, despite its perceived upsides, is not going to help him heal

Manic Street Preachers / The Masses Against The Classes

This band roared back into my life with this turn of the century track that captured all the vitriol of their earliest days. The struggle, as they say, is real. It’s all very anti-fascistic corporations thinking, and the last line is a perfect capper.

Carpenters / Yesterday Once More

Martin’s mindset. He had a traumatic childhood, comforted by music. When everything works out to his satisfaction, this is the song playing in his head. The irony? It was also in Billy’s head as all this went down. Please note: the Carpenters are awesome.

Dramarama / Senseless Fun

Great band, they should’ve been huge. All about about trying to make it all work in the music business. The sadness, the gun references, the glad-handing and repetition – every bit rings true. I love that they called it Senseless Fun when it clearly should’ve been titled Disappointed. You think comics will break your heart? Try music.

Queen / One Vision

Where we’re going from here.

Jeff Whalen / The Alien Lanes

Jeff is the mastermind behind Tsar. Tsar were the last great rock band. Jeff is the last great rock star. His album is on my label, and this is a shameless plug for a record that’ll make the darkest day of winter feel like the happiest day of summer. Buy it here physically, or you can get it from any digital service. Three songs are streaming as a teaser, but that’s all that’ll ever be available for “free.”

Thanks for listening and reading. I always wanted the comic to have a soundtrack and thanks to the magic of streaming enriching labels while fucking over artists, here it is! If any of this is new to you and enriches your life, I urge you to buy something from the artists whose work was hijacked here by me, for my marketing purposes, without their explicit permission.

Issue 3 Playlist Notes

I wanted to go a little more period this time out, so more contemporaneous 80s tracks abound. Don’t worry, though, the first song is from the 60s, so we’re still ping-ponging across the decades for the finest and most appropriate material.

This issue has a lot of talking (whaaa!!!), so the first track is for haters who want more guns (they’re coming next issue, promise). I’ve thought long and hard about taking the right amount of time to get where we’re going and I think you’ll like where we end up, so enjoy the ride!

To a lesser extent, track one expresses my feelings about a lot of contemporary comics - they have little meat on them. It shouldn’t take me 3 minutes or less to consume a $4 comic. That’s why we try to pack as much as possible into GFH without it feeling claustrophobic, hence the backmatter (thanks for the kind words, by the way), this playlist, Martin’s twitter feed, etc. We want GFH to be worth your money and your time.

IMO too many contemporary comics feel like the Marvel Netflix shows – great 6 episode stories that are stretched out over 13 episodes. I don’t need an issue that’s a single chase scene, no matter how beautiful it is. 

Once again, all tracks are added to the Playlist after the previous issue’s. So we start with:

Elvis Presley / A Little Less Conversation

Anyway, back to the song; controversially, I’m also a fan of the heretical remix of this that was a minor hit in the 00’s.

Fleetwood Mac / Little Lies

This little 80s classic hits that note and, y’know, it’s all about lying and wanting to be lied to. So, perfect.

Undertones / It’s Going To Happen!

This is for the Joan / Martin scene. One of my twitter followers posted a pic of her morning song – an Undertones classic from their 1stor 2ndalbum, which reminded I need to listen to them more. The first two albums have all the punk hits, but their 3rdalbum is a totally amazing step forward and under appreciated. It was too jarring to go from them being silly kids to more mature craftsmen, I suppose, but the roots of a lot of the best 80s pop music can be found on this album, including the sublime “Julie Ocean,” surely an influence on shoegaze.

Sade / Smooth Operator

Again, getting to the period tone of this playlist, pretty much every yuppie douchebag had this in their car CD player. That doesn’t mean it’s not a gorgeous piece of work with sublime production, though. And it kinda speaks to how many of our main characters see themselves; smarter than the next guy.

Silver Sun / Scared

Another hugely underrated band, Silver Sun were a Britpop era act that came close. They never quite broke through, but should’ve. Their songs are amazingly hooky, crazily constructed and effervescent. Sooty Reeves is a British ex-pat who is barely hanging on in the business. He’s insecure, false bravado in a flesh suit; scared.

KISS / I Love It Loud

I love and hate Kiss, but since this issue has a tribute cover, I figured I should include something of theirs. This is big dumb and stupid, like Cutt Stryker would be, were they to exist. If you don’t like this track, just be glad I didn't' use “Crazy, Crazy Nights,” even dumber and far less energetic.

Motörhead / Ace Of Spades

One of the best songs ever. Like “Crazy Train,” another classic Melch theme song. God bless Lemmy.

Henson Cargill / Plastic People

This cat was an Oklahoma country act who had hits in the 60s and 70s. In this track I hear some of the same types of unconventional changes and vaudeville influences Bowie used and can almost imagine DB singing it (without the backing singers and far more dramatic music, natch). If Brian Slade had 10 minutes to write a theme song for his proposed “Plastic People” show, this is in the ballpark of what it’d sound like.


I wanted to convey that weird thing where you cross 59th into Central Park South and the noise of the city seems to go away.

Gary Numan / Down In The Park

This has an air of menace and yet not, too - kind of like the scene of Martin and Lucius talking, down in the park. I love a very specific era of Numan, falling in love with Replicas especially year after year.

Cheap Trick / Hello There

What you want to open your set with and is in Martin’s head as he’s putting on his show.

Generation X / Gimme Some Truth

Tony James again. Everyone in the penthouse scene seems to be in some sort of denial. That this is a Lennon cover is of some significance.

Crowded House / Something So Strong

This was one of the pure pleasures of 1987. There’s a real joy in this that’s hard to capture and the band on this tour was a thing of sheer happiness. Fun suggestion: try making out (or doing anything fun) to this song, it’ll only make it better.

New Order / Confusion

Every city feels some ownership of New Order but NYC really cracked Blue Monday and this track from around the same time was always a club favorite. Our main characters are all a little off-kilter.

Heart / Who Will You Run To

To speak to the era again, this is from Heart’s mid-80s renaissance period when they were omnipresent. It feels factory made, but the assembly-line production doesn’t diminish the quality songwriting. As this issue abruptly wraps, Martin is looking for his Hail Mary.


Melch appeared in another comic book I did, years ago. He had only one line, I think, which was “I shall speak of sheep and drink beer.” We frequently hung out in a rat-infested bar in the basement of a burned out building on Park Street in Hartford. The joints was untroubled by customers and the bartenders didn’t care for IDs. It had a name (I can’t recall), but we called it “Scuzz Bar.” New York used to be full of these places – they got tagged as “old man bars” in the 80s. They were great, grimy shitholes. Now they’re Chipotle’s.

Sex Pistols / Problems

That descending intro (Steve Jones again!) is the perfect outro for this issue. If GFH were a TV show, this would be played over the closing credits of this episode.

 See you next issue!


We have a playlist on Spotify - search Gunning For Hits Comic Soundtrack, or click here and there it is!

One request, PLEASE DON’T SHUFFLE. The list has been curated to create an effect that can only be achieved when played in sequence.

When issue 1 comes out, check here for background on all the songs and stay tuned as future issues will add more tracks, and accumulate more commentary!