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).
Van references in:
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.
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."
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