Devastatin’ Dave – The Turntable Slave

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Welcome to my first blog post where I take a closer look at a bad record cover.

First up is a classic that comes up on most searches for bad album art.

Zip, Zap Rap by Devastatin’ Dave The Turntable Slave. Released on Superstar international records, produced by Wayne Henderson and engineered by Dennis ‘deaf pea’ Parker.

Not much is known about Dave, the song is credited to D Cary so I am going to assume that is Dave. We do know that this was his only record unfortunately. What we don’t know is just how devastatin’ he really was or if he ever threw off the shackles of turntable slavery.

As for Wayne Henderson, it is unclear if this is the same Wayne Henderson of The Jazz Crusaders fame but I really like to think it is.

We do know about Dennis ‘deaf pea’ Parker though. He has been nominated for 7 Grammy awards winning 2 of them along with 3 Latin Grammy awards. His former band, Allmen Joy have shared the billing with greats such as Alice Cooper, Santana, The Doors and The Velvet Underground. Parker also played in world tours, backing David Cassidy, Tom Jones, and errrrr, errrrr, Johnny Mathis. His proudest achievement (apart from Zip, Zap, Rap) is probably being the recording engineer for four Ice-T albums.

This single was released in 1986 so that slightly excuses Dave’s dodgy attire of leather fingerless gloves skin tight leather/ plastic strides and a sleeveless top. Is he wearing 2 belts?

The strategic placement of the word “zap” does not go unnoticed, neither does the half arsed attempt at facial hair.

Despite the awful 1980s look the record actually has a message to deliver. It is an anti drugs song. The banner in the top left corner says “hear our message, say no to drugs” which reminds me of Zammo and his Grange Hill mates singing “just say no”. That Grange Hill song was also released in 1986 at the height of the Just Say No campaign which was an American advertising campaign to discourage children from partaking in recreational drugs.

It is not clear if Devastatin’ Dave’s record was released as part of this anti drugs movement or if he just had something to say and felt the need to say it in rap.

Onto the song itself, it is a mixture of scat, Mr T, St Winifred’s School Choir and inoffensive rap. Maybe Dave is speaking from personal experience of drug use. I like to think that Dave woke up after 30 days in hospital having spent his whole cheque on his cocaine habit. He looked at himself in the mirror, realised he had lost a lot of weight and decided to turn his life around. He set up a cocaine hotline and left the planet with this audio legacy. Perhaps not though.

You can hear it here. Or if you’d rather just read the lyrics, they are below.

Rip dibby zap, da zip dap du wap,
This is what I call the Zip Zap Rap
Hichichichy be back in a sec,
Zippy zippa zappa gonna spend your whole cheque,
Zip dip zap, a zip wit a wabbit,
Zippy dipa wippa got a cocaine habit,
Scooby dooby bip a zip bop blam,
It started with a quarter now it is a gram,
Zoom zoom with a scooby doo bop,
Buy yourself into projects you’re tryin to cop,
Rip and a rap I wrote with a rhyme,
I think you better call the cocaine hotline,
Zip dippa wip, you call them on the phone,
A zippa dippa wip but yo habit aint gone,
It’s been flip flop days and you haven’t ate,
I could see it in your face you were losin weight
Rip rap rop smoking back to back,
Zippa dip wip and you had a heart attack
From playin baseball like Willie Mays,
Had you in that hospital for thirty days,
Flip flop flam but now you’re back,
A zippa dippa wip in your new Cadillac,
Hah, chichicha, like choking on a bone,
Zippa rippa rap you gotta leave them drugs alone,
Don’t be a fool,
Stay in school!
Don’t get high and drive a car,
You will not get very far
Well bap boom bam you’ll be up on a pole
You got thirty people pushing but it still won’t roll
And it won’t start either cause the engine is bent
Next month you’ll be crying bout the money you spent
Kids against drugs now say it!
Don’t be a dope,
Don’t smoke that coke!
We’re talkin’ bout cocaine,
Its not good for your brain
Zoom zoom boom a zip goes your brain,
You know its only cause you’ve been smokin’ cocaine
Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta talent,
Everybody has it so use it gallant…ly
Maybe you’ll get over you will see,
That what I’m saying is really real
Like at the swap meet,
A serious deal…that could change the course of your life
It’s a lifetime contract,
Read it with caution,
Check out the small print,
You’ve got three options
The first one is to get your money
At the ‘spense of someone else’s grief
And you know that all that means good buddy,
Is that you’re a thief
Second option is a 9 to 5,
And 5 to 1 or the 1 to 9,
But if you read closely,
You’ll see you’ll be there for a long time
The third one is to go for it,
And try to get the crop of the cream,
When you get tired of drivin’,
You just hop in your limousine
Ha, a roll on
Don’t be no fool,
Drugs ain’t cool!
For me or you,
You know that this is true
A rip rap rollin’ with the pretty girls,
Zip da wip dippy with your fresh new curls,
Gooby doop bam a zoom zip wap,
Everybody to the beat let me hear a loud clap
Zip zap zoom a bop to the beat,
All the little frits put the boogie in your feet
Kids against drugs let me hear you gettin’ down,
While the rhythm of the boogie bass rocks the ground
(Asthmatic breathing solo)
(children) PARTY OVER HERE!
Hard times, y’all are getting harder,
Cash money is the only solution,
You gotta get hip to the system trip,
Become a soldier in the proper revolution,
Do it now baby, cause when you drop the bomb,
There won’t be nowhere for you to run,
Try to spend you last cash then you see a big flash and it’s
5 4 3 2 1

It is such a shame that the B-side of this classic is just an instrumental version of Zip Zap Rap. I was kind of hoping to hear Dave’s opinion on the economy of the 1980s.

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