Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Boris The Spider” — The Who (1966)

Look, he’s crawling up my wall
Black and hairy, very small
Now he’s up above my head
Hanging by a little thread
Boris the spider…

So picture it: Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida, July of 1989, and your intrepid narrator is 18 years old and baked out of his gourd while attending a Who concert. All is entirely well and good (despite the SUPER odd positioning of the stage, in which maybe 80% of the crowd could only see 30% of the stage, but whatever) and my buddies and I are hearing one buttkickin’ classic rock song after another, while I’m pretty sure I’ve never been this high in my life. And loving it.

Then The Ox himself, bassist John Entwistle, takes the mic to belt out his 1966 signature tune Boris The Spider, and he just NAILS that gravely, demonic, “Where the eff did THAT come from?”, four octaves below contrabass vocals on the chorus, in which he just menacingly repeats the title of the song in such a growling manner that I’m pretty sure I saw God, or perhaps the angry, vindictive ghost of Dolfan Denny, and he hadn’t even DIED yet, which was so weird…

Boris The Spider is a great little tune. As legend has it, during album sessions for A Quick One, Entwistle was supposed to have a song ready and promptly forgot to write one. So he tossed this one off right as he was singing it, and it just took immediately. Apparently it impressed Pete Townshend enough, which is a feat in and of itself.

Anyway, this makes our Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs playlist just for that freakishly awesome chorus, but the crushing riffage, creepy vocal delivery on the verses, the falsettos on the “creepy, crawly” middle eight, and the overall delightful menace of the tune make Boris The Spider a no-brainer for any Halloween.

Creepy, crawly
Creepy, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly…

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