Glossary entry for

Jim Chiarelli sends the following explanation:
The slang term "gone" is roughly analogous to "hip," "crazy," or "outasight." It's from a late 40's/early 50's argot sometimes known as rebop (in parallel to the jazz style bebop created by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, and others -- the two were roughly contemporaneous.) Rebop arose among bebop musicians and fans as a way to confound outsiders -- some say the music itself (bebop) was meant to repell outsiders by virtue of it's difficulty and (at the time) harsh sounding harmonies, difficult chord changes, and the incredible speed at which it was played. There are not a lot of bebop vocal recordings but one can hear some elements of rebop or "jive talk" in the recordings of Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, and Louis Prima (Van and Shana cover Prima's version of "That Old Black Magic" on the "Days Like This" single).

From there the jargon found it's way into the beatnik and rockabilly cultures of the fifties. In the film "The Wild One" with Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin, two members of the motorcycle gang drum with their hands on a bar top and sing/speak in rebop to wild music on the jukebox, all to confuse the elderly bartender. Some of the dialog in the film includes jive talk as well.

Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and other beat writers were intense fans of bebop and appropriated the slang in their writings. Some of their poetry and spoken word recitations can be heard on the Rhino CD anthology The Beat Generation. More recently (80s?) The Stray Cats, a the nouveau rockabilly band, had a hit called "Stray Cat Blues" or "Stray Cat Stomp" or something like that, in which they refer to the stray cat as a "real gone cat."

Van references in:

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