I found this gem of a vinyl in the antique shop by Cool Hand Luc’s, and I’ve been sitting on it for awhile. I was going to record it for you, but as it turns out, somebody already deemed it YouTube worthy, so bully for saved effort. The hokey title track “Shell Factory Billboard Blues” tells his tale of escaping a gambling debt by leaving Hialeah and heading up the Tamiami Trail towards “ol’ Fort Myers”. Really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (why are police chasing him for running from what sounds like a gambling debt to the mob?), but what I love is that the guy must have spent some time here, since the breakdown of the song features a bunch of clever jabs at the entire Lee County area…that still apply. Some things haven’t changed much since 1981. Here’s the funny bits if you’re at work and can’t blast this timeless tune:
“If I coulda made it to Cape Coral, they never woulda found me over there…cuz all you’d have to do is get between two o’ those canals, and you just can’t get there from here”
“There’s a few places around here I’d like to visit. For example, I’d like to go to Immokalee…but I’m afraid to. And I’d like to go to LaBelle…but I don’t like swamp cabbage. And I’d like to go to Sanibel…but say I don’t have $3 to get across the bridge. And I’d like to go to Bonita…but I’m sure I’d just go to the dogs.”
“Another place I’d like to go is Lehigh Acres…but I’d feel out of place over there, because I don’t have a three wheel bicycle to ride around on.”
And yes, the canned laughter makes it just that much more aw(ful)esome. Here’s the track.