Butane Fumes & Bad Cologne

This is the first Big Rude Jake album, performed by Big Rude Jake & the Gentlemen Players.
Produced live off the floor in 1993 by Gordie Johnson and Pete Prelesnick. Executive Producer, Michael Johnson.
This recording has a raw, unprocessed sound, but I still hear back from lifelong fans who say that this CD remains their favourite.

- “In Jake’s mind, Traditional jazz, the music once played in whorehouses and opium dens, was the original punk rock. And he was sure that, with the right band, he could inject his music with a strong dose of that gritty, lusty whorehouse jazz, and that anyone with an open mind would surely come to love it. And so it was. In 90’s the Whorehouse Jazz sound of Big Rude Jake and His Gentlemen Players was captured…”


1. 7th Avenue

2. Front St. Belvedere

3. Hard Deep Junction Blues

4. Summer Haze

5. Chili Beans’ Final Carouse

6. Magpie

7. Three Wishes

8. Blue Jake Jump

9. Mad Palomino

10. Schiela’s Going Downtown

11. When My Number Comes In

12. Filthy Bastard Cabaret

Top of the world ma!!

Verse One
Wish I was back!
Wish I was back with all them cats!
Tearing it up, man, just like we used to do.
All decked out like the Devil’s own
On Butane fumes and Bad cologne
And fleecing sheep along the avenue.

When every wheel had a dame
And every dame looked so fine
With painted eyes, and smoky blue perfume
Grab your tailored drapes and your lucky dice,
‘Cause man we going out tonight
They waitin’ for us along the avenue

We could be down at the diner, eating red beans and rice
Could be at the Coliseum, sippin’ Champagne on ice,
I’m a telling you man, there was no better place to be,
Than right then and right there, standin’ next to me!

Ah! The fine saloons and drinkin’ holes
The marquee lights and burlesque shows
Would open like a soft nocturnal bloom
And the jazz would fill the air
And curl like smoke and lick your ear
As it drifted down old Seventh Avenue

And I say take me back
I say now won’t you take me back
Oh, take me back now,
Back to Seventh Avenue
And I say take me back
I say now won’t you take me back

(Verse Two)

‘Cause man, we never worked a single day in our lives,
We were the biggest sports that this town ever knew
We turned a dollar for the revelry,
A living out of lechery
Merchandise stigmatized with disrepute

We ran the sweetest operation
Had a piece of all the action
How the cops got wise, well, no one really knew
We stuck the books up in a toilet stall,
And let some sucker take the fall
Then disappeared down old Seventh Avenue

We could be down at the diner, eating red beans and rice
Could be at the Coliseum, sippin’ Champagne on ice,
Well, I’m a tellin’ you officer, there’s nothing you can pin on me!
I got witnesses that say, they was standin’ next to me!

And in the event of my demise,
Call up my favorite chorus line
Let my requiem be a music hall revue.
By one and all let it be said
That while alive I surely lived
Then lay bones to rest on Seventh Avenue


Call it business, call it criminal
Distinctions are political
You take your seat and you play the hand that’s dealt you
Lay your trump and take your trick
And know that only hypocrites
Will say they’re lookin’ out for number two

And while the cowards clung to Mama’s hem
And all the Statute laws of men
We breathe the musk of every last taboo
And with every single scandal spent
And nothing left to rebel against
We still holed up on Seventh Avenue

We could be down at the diner, eating red beans and rice
Could be at the Coliseum, sippin’ Champagne on ice,
I’m a telling you man, there was on better place to be,
Than right then and right there, and standin’ next to me!

And could it be that it was true
That this silent, awe-struck moon
That lit the night, shone for other mortals too?
Or could it be that we were blessed
And he existed just for us,
Transfixed on the spectacle of Seventh Avenue?


Lay me down on the Avenue!

Intro Well, it’s morning here on Front St and Dover,
And it feels like this whole town’s hung over
And the potholes look like they would rather just go back to bed.
Hunch-backed buildings with blood-shot windows,
And there’s a Buick passed out in my gutter
And the parking meter wishes he’d just called in sick instead.

Well, the crack in the sidewalk is yawning
And that storefront window’s head is pounding
And that hydrant’s waiting for the hair of the dog to come stumbling on by.
I prop my eyeballs on the front stoop
And I watch that chimney over there cough up some yellow soup —
And I recall that you’re mad at me… but, I can’t remember why…
Nope… Completely escapes me.

Verse one
Well, sometimes I drink and sometime I get drunk
And sometime I fall over.
And sometimes I’m staring down the sewer grate
Here on Front St. and Dover.

Yeah! And sometimes I get drunk and I get low down
And I’m needin’ some attention
But if you’re so inclined, just keep in mind,
No one asked for your opinion,
No one asked for your opinion, Babe

‘Cause I’m the Front St Belvedere my dear, tell ya,
I’m the liquor store cavalier,
Well there’s no one like me anywhere’s around here.
I’m the Muscatel Musketeer

I’m the Front St. Belvedere my dear, tell ya,
I’m the liquor store cavalier
I here that Burbank’s nice this time of year
You can do what you want,
I’m going to say right here

Verse Two
I keep my hard times in a grocery bag
I got a scrapbook full of blues
I keep my teardrops in a Mason jar
I got a crate full of bad attitude.
I got a 25-cent photo booth picture
Of girl that I once cared for
I think of our love and I get the sweetest heartache
That any fool could ask for
And you know just what I came for, babe


(Verse Three)
I love the asphalt gray
And the pop-bottle green
And the sky is clear and Aqua Velva blue
I love the tin can jingle,
Goes ding dang dingle
When I kick it down the avenue

Oh, yeah! I got everything I need
For to ease my burden
Mississippi blue notes
And straight Kentucky Bourbon.
You can do me a favour,
You can go your own way
You can mind your own business,
You can spare me the sermon

But a little baby, little baby,
Please don’t touch my misery, no
Don’t take it away from me
‘Cause if you do then I believe,
That will surely disappear
Please don’t touch my misery
Don’t take it away from me
‘Cause if you do then I will cease to be
The Front St. Belvedere my dear
Well, I’m the Front St. Belvedere my dear
I’m the… Aw, you know who I am!

Bop Bop!!

1. Flat on his back with his nose stuck up a chassis.
He got girlie tats and gabardine and a greased up pompadour.
Drives a ‘59 Saratoga on the weekends through the Junction,
Keeps a’ one eyed peeled for something that just ain’t there anymore.

Fell in love with a decal on his tail fin:
A glossy Vargas pinup on a beach in Malibu.
Took a leap of Blind Ambition at a retail fabrication,
Landed up in Knocks-ville with some Hard Deep Junction Blues.

Well Junk shops line the streets in the Junction,
And heaps of useless relics on the sidewalk by the store.
Piles of dusty furniture, appliances and curio,
Cash and carry cast-offs from the ceiling all the way down to the floor.

Well, they got eight-track tapes and busted lamps and dirty books,
And them fuzzy dice will get you a dollar off them worn-out walking shoes.
Got a sale on blemished wishes and abandoned expectation,
Trade in your cracked and peeling daydreams for some Hard Deep Junction Blues.

Mistress Odella says that there’s a spectre in the Junction,
Above the huddled rooftops and the smell of creosote.
She says the spirit of St. Jude has revealed himself to her,
Crying cherry teardrops with his arms stretched over the fold.

Well, Jude hauls off to work in the morning
He ducks the landlord when the rent is over-due,
He plays stickball in the alley, and he hoses down his driveway,
He loiters on the corner and he surveys the cherished multitude.

I say now, Merciful Jude of the Junction,
I’m on my knees and crying up to you:
Take this tangled writhing roll of my troubled twisted soul,
Turn it into a hymn of redemption in Hard Deep Junction Blues.

Well, I don’t care about the bugs on the vine
Or if the hay comes off the field in time
‘Till the cows come home, it would suit me fine
To rest with you, down here in the shade.
Well, the town is burning up in the humidity,
But the grass is cool beneath the willow tree.
And you can set your self down, if you’re good to me,
And we can spend together forever in the summer haze.

Well, when the days get too rough
I’ll throw a parade
When the times get you blue,
I’ll be your holiday,
I’ll make you breakfast,
Toast and marmalade
When the sun’s too hot,
I’ll be your shade.

Even when it’s hot, and sticky outside,
I know in my heart I will be satisfied,
If I could spend the rest of my life
Together with you in the summer haze.

It was a night in November,
When Roach finally surfaced,
Just like a World War Two U-boat submarine,
At a 24-hour
Mexican diner,
Talkin’ to a cat they call Chilli Bean.

Well, they got a reputation,
For lots of talk and no action:
Drinkin’ tequila and just flapping their jowls.
But they come over all quiet,
So I think tonight they just might do it.
They getting’ ready for the final carouse.

They got a plan that won’t work,
And an alibi that won’t stick,
They got a motive clear as a sun-shiny day.
But Bean, he don’t care,
‘Cause this is better than dying,
And beats the hell out of just wastin’ away.

So while Uncle and Rudy
Trade Hillbilly trivia,
With a cowgirl in a red chiffon blouse,
Roach and Chilli Bean,
Will be trading last instructions:
Getting ready for the final carouse.

So we’ll have one last drink
We’ll have one last toast
To all men who are good and civilized
We’ll have one last drink
Before we leave you all
To go and kick this world square between the eyes

And Bean is looking
Like a stone poker face
That’s peekin’ out from behind a full house
Just wait till they see,
When he throws down his cards
And he bets it all on the final carouse.

And when the employment counselor,
Asked little Chilli Bean,
Just exactly what it is he wanted to do,
He just shrugged his shoulders,
And looked down at his hands,
And couldn’t bring himself to tell her the truth.

That he wants to kick a hole
Right through the middle of Main street,
Wants to slaughter all them sacred cash cows.
He wants to feel this whole town tremble,
Like a wet frightened puppy,
In the wake of the final carouse.

Well circus carny pornographers
Sell distractions along the corners here,
But even the cheapest thrills are getting too expensive for me.
So clear across town to where the big shots live,
You’re gonna hear about the last alternative,
And the night they made a legend out of a man they call Chilli Bean.

And Bean is looking,
Like a stone poker face,
That’s peekin’ out from behind a full house.
Just wait till they see,
When he throws down his cards,
And bets it all on the final carouse.

Well, I can see Bogart,
Spitting lead from a pistol,
Holed up in a cottage on the coast of Key Largo.
And I can see Cagney,
Burnin’ in the White Heat,
Of a gas flare inferno.

And tonight Chilli Bean,
Will be his own Little Caesar,
No more bended knees or bashful bows:
He’ll cut a big slice of pie,
That come straight from Hell’s Kitchen,
And take it along for the final carouse.

1. North Wind
Blows ‘cross the street
And bites her face with hard relentless teeth.
And dampness
Creeps ‘cross her spine
And shakes her bones all the way down to her feet.

In the park there’s a strange and phantom mistress
Who keeps her treasures sealed in plastic bags
Reciting to herself her ribald secrets
And wraps her frame in old discarded bags

And Magpie
Seeks out precious things
Bangles, trinkets, flecks that catch the light
And Magpie
Guards her shiny dreams
And keeps them close and safely out of sight

Walks through the hordes
Of vain and shallow, trite and useless minds
And Magpie
Walks to and ‘fro
About the squandered wealth of affluent swine!

In the sky there’s a strange engraven image
Of a man who would be savior to her kind
A great balloon that in the wind bobs merrily
With golden ring and arm stretched open wide

But Magpie
Cares not for charity
Or the creepy cloistered feel of fond embrace
No Sir, Magpie
Finds her peace of mind
In the dark and dank and cold and secret place…


In the town there’s a strange and wond’rous temple
A crystal castle cut from chrome and steel
Its holds contain the bounty of the ages
So priceless that they almost seem surreal

But Magpie
has seen the truth
That lurks in shadows cast by tinted glass
Yes, and Magpie,
in all her righteousness
Knows just who is wallowing in trash

Ha Ha Ha Ha!

I don’t care much for chilly Monday mornings,
When the floor gets so dog-gone cold.
And I don’t care much for crowded trolley cars,
Or the slush on the side of the road.

No, I’d much rather be somewhere far away
From the aggravations and the pressures and the grief.
No, I’d rather sip coconut milk,
In the shade of a coconut tree.

If I had three wishes bequeathed to me,
Don’t you know exactly what they would be?
I don’t want no responsibilities;
Give me a hammer, a hammock and a coconut tree.

Well, I suppose that I could wish for an end
To all the bad things that people do.
But if folks don’t know wrong from right,
Well, how can I decide for you?
And so I figure, what can you do?
Except maybe come along with me.
And you can share my hammock and sip my milk,
In the shade of a coconut tree.

And if by some chance you can’t agree
I hope you will indulge my little fantasy.
Just three little things that you can do for me
Give me a hammer, a hammock and a coconut tree.

Driftin’ and dreamin’
Along the sandy shore.
Me and my baby
Who could ask for more?

Get up on your feet and do the Blue Jake Jump! Go!

Well, old Blind Blake was a bulk-rate beat flake
In a blue bow tie and a cool cut drop drape
Took it to the track with a tip on the take
Put a twenty on the pony in the number 9 gate.

Well, a ring tail rounder play the rule of thumb
And a sucker puts his money on a bow-backed frump.
But that bow-back long shot paid 50 to one
‘Cause that frumpy little pony did the Blue Jake Jump

Well, the world is diffused and confused it’s true
But there’s one thing that’s understood:
The high times never last for long,
So you better know to jump when the jumpin’s good!

Well, you’ve been haulin’ buckets of hard luck funk
While the joint’s been jumpin’ like a son of a gun!
Do yourself a favor: leave your pail by the pump
Get up on your feet and do the Blue Jake Jump!

Well, Old Blind Blake met a long leggy shimmy shake
And took her to a joint down on Cumberland Place
Whipped out a wad big as Washington State
And he stuck that dough in the gov’ners’ face.

He jumped on a table and he said, “Everyone:
My baby came here to have us some fun
So don’t sit like a bump on a dime store chump:
Get up on your feet and do the Blue Jake Jump!


This here’s a Mad Palomino with a blisterin’ rage, You best be ready for a hell of a ride…

Well, the cold rains came about a midnight past
Now the frost has turned the grass into a field of broken glass
Old Hannah pales when she sees it’s only me
And I’m a shakin’ like the DT’s all the way to the livery

‘Cause there’s a demon in the stable and he’s blowing like a bellows
Veins along the bridle pop like sausage on the griddle
He got the red-hot coal eyes an’ the big yellow teeth
He’s a standin’ in the darkness and he’s a waitin’ for me.

(Chorus one)
I ride a mad Palomino in the long dark hours,
When we’re alone and I am weak
I bite into his lip with a cold brass bit
But I can still make out what he’s saying to me;

This ain’t no old gray mule you ridin’, mister
This ain’t no carousel pony at your side
This here’s a Mad Palomino with a blisterin’ rage,
You best be ready for a hell of a ride

Well, cinch up the saddle ‘round a Mad Palomino
Cut yourself a long switch and beat him ‘cross the middle
Make the Palomino walk a long straight line
Make him dance like a gypsy, make him step in time

‘Cause he can rear like a rattle snake and kick you like a cannonball
So you tie him down and shoot him up and stick him a cramped stall
Hammer out the iron shoes and nail ‘em to his feet
And you pray to Sweet Jesus that he never breaks free

(Chorus one)

(Followed by a solo and then Chorus two)

I ride a mad Palomino in the long dark hours,
When we’re alone and I am weak
Clam-knuckle grip on a horse whip slips,
But I can still make out what he’s saying to me

He says there will come a time when you will get careless
And accidentally slacken the reins
And when that day comes I will show you the Berserker
That’s burnin’ up the blood in your veins

I got Sinatra on the jukebox,
And I got soda in my gin.
And I wore out a brand new pair of shoes
Looking for that baby of mine again.
I peeked into every crevice
Under every rock and every board
Looked across every bar stool
And every empty dance house floor.
But the people, they all shake their heads
Say ‘Your baby’s not around,’
They say the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,
Schiela’s going downtown.

Schiela’s going downtown
Swears that this will be the last time
Took another sacred vow
While riding in on the main-line
She say please don’t tell my baby,
And please don’t tell my man
Just give me the space to fabricate
An excuse they could understand.
And nobody wants to live forever,
So Schiela puts her money down
Buys a ticket to ride a rocket
Schiela’ going downtown.

Gonna take you out on Sunday,
Put a ribbon in your hair,
Put you in a great big car,
We’re gonna drive you away from here.
Gonna take you out to the Beaches,
Where the folks all take for granted,
Every little thing they got,
And every thing they ever wanted.
So hush now little darlin’,
Lay your head down.
Let your momma slip away,
Schiela’ going downtown.

Schiela’ going downtown
Schiela’ going downtown

I sweep the floor to pay for my ticket.
I stand in line at the lottery wicket.
Thinkin’ ‘bout the day that I’ll win,
And how I’ll spend my cash when my number comes in.

I’ll have people to see, and things to do
I’ve got an appointment with my haberdasher at 2:00
Like to stay and chat but I got no time to spare
I got a cozy little date at Le Club Très Chère
We got a box seat at the very best venue.
And I’ll get the waiter to read me the French menu.
We’ll start out with peaches and cream,
And tonight I got a taste for Alsatian cuisine.

And no one cares if you’re fat when you got bread
‘Cause if your looks won’t kill your cash will knock them dead!
I’ll have a sweet steady girl and two on the side
And every skirt I know will want to be my bride
I’ll be a man around town, a real V.I.P.
I’ll be the brand new toast of high society.
And I’ll take my buddies out drinkin’ and howlin’ at the moon.
And my mornin’ won’t start until well into the afternoon.
I’ll take breakfast in bed in my silk pajamas
Tangerines and red bananas
When I sweeten my java I’ll be feeling no pain,
I’ll have a sugar bowl full of pure cocaine
Yeah they’ll be callin’ me the Sultan of Sin.
When my number comes in.

Well, let me see:
I’ll have places to be, and people to see.
Must post-pone that business lunch until 3:00
There’s the man who makes my shirts and the boy who shines my shoes;
You know I gotta look my best when I’m on the six o’clock news
And so for the Rolls, best get a mechanic
And a dermatologist to make me look more photogenic,
And after all this, well, just to be sure,
There’s the shave, massage and haircut, and manicure!

And I’ll spend my money, honey, any which way I please!
‘Cause us upper-crust folks we got our expensive needs
I’ll have a different zoot-suit for every day of the year;
Hounds-tooth, herring-bone, sharkskin and cashmere,
A hundred pair of shoes that will never touch the ground!
A rolling jazz band just to follow me around!
And you don’t gotta take no shit when you got bread!
‘Cause you can hire some chump to take it for you instead!
Well, first I’ll quit my job, then I’ll tell the foreman off,
Then I’ll buy the whole company and fire my boss!
I’ll buy a little place down by the seashore
And I won’t have to live in this dump any more
They’ll be sorry they didn’t try to be my friend,
When my number comes in!

Open up them golden gates and let me in baby!

Now’s the time to say farewell to heroes.
To wholesome smiling virgins, pressed and clean.
Today, the pink and flaxen Saxon’s out of fickle fashions’ passion:
Folks finds that sort boring, it would seem.

Now everybody wants to be a villain
And everybody wants to be a rogue
We would rather our affections went to those of ill intentions
Like some mean and ruthless twisted toad

Everybody lives a shit disturber
The type whose birth is truly natures’ crime
Vain and shallow, egocentric,
Greedy, lying, parasitic,
Pompous belching lowly hunchbacked swine!

A wet and sticky, puck’ring little anus!
A misaligned and drooling sociopath!
A miserable, contemptible and wholly irredeemable,
Dirty rotten filthy stinking rat!

All the ladies love to love a scoundrel,
Their hearts go out to rebels and to cads!
To tasteless putrid malcontents,
Who prey upon the innocent.
To slimy stinking lurid seething scabs!

To snotty spotty rotten little weasels!
To cruel and vicious filthy little curs!
To selfish, vile and very wicked,
Lurching leaching, louse infected,
Motherfucking pock-faced little worms!

And when we’re basking in the Flames Eternal:
The Pit reserved for those who can’t be saved,
We’ll drink hot beer and liquid tar,
In a shabby mangy night club bar,
And watch a filthy bastard cabaret!

We’ll brag about our lack of moral fiber,
And Evil deeds performed before the fall!
For life is a stinking mound of pus,
And there’s no one left to blame but us!
And I’m the Rudest Bastard of them all!
Yes! I’m the Rudest Bastard of them all!

Produced by: Gordie Johnson
Engineered by: Peter Prilesnik
Mastered by: George Graves
Executive Producer: Michael Johnson


- Swing-revivalist impresario Big Rude Jake is a big man, but far from rude.
On Butane Fumes and Bad Cologne, he and his Gentleman Players serve up a smoky and sassy set of neo-swing tunes they proudly claim were recorded “live off the floor, just like the old cats did.” The band’s considerable chops and Jake’s charisma show in the seamless live sound, easily transporting listeners to a dark and swanky after-hours club in some big, rude city. 

Drawing on several traditions, including jump blues, Dixieland, and Tin Pan Alley, the music dips and dives through 12 lively tracks. Always energetic, and sometimes downright infectious, the musicianship should satisfy any fan of traditional music.
Featuring an overarching, lazy feel with tiptoeing basslines and sliding acoustic guitar, the tunes echo Leon Redbone and lazy Southern afternoons. But the band can definitely swing, as demonstrated on the lively “Blue Jake Jump.”

As the hammy frontman, Big Rude Jake creates larger-than-life tales of woe, seamy streets, and loud characters. Sometimes flexing his brassy baritone, sometimes speaking with a spoken-word drone, he usually operates in contrast to the loose vibes of the music, though he can ease back into that lazy groove, as evidenced by “Summer Haze” and “Three Wishes.” Giving a nod to old-school blues characters, he writes more in the vein of Tom Waits or Nick Cave, creating world-weary, witty characters who can’t resist commenting on the irony of their situations.

Like the best of the neo-swing outfits, Big Rude Jake takes the fine musical traditions of America’s best art form and expands the genre with contemporary lyrics and colorful stories.
Theresa E. LaVeck

- Hilarious, punchy, raw, authentic and sassy. When listening to BRJ you sometimes feel that he should have been born in the 50’s… Great album, great… Artist.

- Their most traditional album and a lot of fun… It is produced in a traditional way so the musicians sound like MUSICIANS and no goofy studio tricks or overpowering mixes to drown out the heart and soul of this album. My personal favorite is the infectious “Blue Jake Jump”, a traditional swing song we played at our wedding. They also have a great sense of humor with songs like “Filthy Bastard Cabaret” or “Front Street Belvedere”. And of course the classic all time favorite… “7th Avenue”. If you like neo-swing, rockabilly, this is a must-have album.

See discography for more streaming music.