1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Johnny Calls The Chemist – Falling Mirror

Johnny Calls The Chemist – Falling Mirror (Prescriptive and addictive)

Johnny Calls The Chemist by Falling Mirror

Johnny Calls The Chemist (single) by Falling Mirror

Ever wondered what Bob Dylan would have sounded like had he been South African? No, me neither, but on ‘Johnny Calls The Chemist’, Neilen Mirror gives you a feel for what that would sound like. Add to this some Dire Straits-y guitar from Alan Faull and you’ve got a sure fire hit.

‘Johnny’ quickly climbed to the top of the Radio 5 charts after its release in 1986 and the songs has remained in the nation’s psyche ever since. The reason for that it that it is a haunting, dark, twisted, hypnotic song that drills itself into your mind and clamps onto the walls of your brain, determined not to leave.

Yes, it’s about drugs, yes it’s about unrequited love, yes it’s about 4:48 long and yes, it is an integral part of the concept album of the same name, but it is also a brilliant stand alone track that will have you coming back for a repeat prescription.

Johnny Calls The Chemist by Falling Mirror

Johnny Calls The Chemist by Falling Mirror

Where to find it:

Johnny Calls The Chemist – Falling Mirror (LP: 1986, WEA, WBC 9029, CD: 2001, RetroFresh, FRESHCD 112)
Rocking Against The System – Various Artists (2002), RetroFresh, FRESH CD119

Cover version:

Rewind – Wonderboom (2001, David Gresham Records, CDDGR 1533 )
Lyrics:

Johnny calls the chemist, but the chemist doesn’t come.
Her mind is in the twilight and Johnny hears the hum
He wonders if she’ll hear him, in a night that’s full of sound
It could be that she loves him but the love is underground

Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
But the chemist doesn’t come.

He shoots a mental arrow from the bow of his mind
And piercing through her consciousness he wonders what he’ll find
She’s moving to her lover as he stretches on the bed
And pulling back the cover thinks of Johnny boy instead,

Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
But the chemist doesn’t come.

She’s making little headway, in a passage flicks a light
A lone car on the highway, calls for Johnny in the night,
She feels the silent offering that he’s making to the sky
And wonders if he’ll hear her ’cause she’s just about to die

Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
But the chemist doesn’t come.

Slipping to unconsciousness she meets him in the air
He’s burning her with fire, she overcomes the fear,
She sits quite still and takes it ’cause she knows it’s for her good
Even though she finds him wicked, she just stays there like she should

Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
But the chemist doesn’t come.

Johnny’s travelling faster, he’s spinning in her head
Make no mistake about it, their history will be read
Then Johnny calls the chemist but the chemist doesn’t come
She’s back inside the twilight and Johnny hears the hum…

Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
Johnny calls the chemist,
But the chemist doesn’t come.

(Written by Nielen Mirror & Allan Faull)

Video:

Website:

http://rock.co.za/fallingmirror

Facebook:

http://Facebook.com/FallingMirror

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6 thoughts on “Johnny Calls The Chemist – Falling Mirror

  1. Llewellyn on said:

    Hi john,I have a copy of johnny calls the chemist on tape that was produced for the band with a bonus track called “Fashion”which is nowhere else to be found.Llewellyn H.

  2. Great song. All the more personal to me as I used to walk past the very chemist in Wynberg for most of my schoolboy days.

    I don’t know how you are going to get to 1001, but I’ll be fun following you doing it.

    Great blog.

    • The song is also quite personal to me for a strange reason. A good friend of mine often called me Johnny Calls The Chemist. He passed away a good few years back, but I seldom hear the song without remembering him.

      John

  3. Brandon Platt on said:

    I remember this so well……haunting and melancholy, the mood of the time

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