"Ziplock Bag" is a garage jam that can be found on One Foot In The Grave
. It mixes a little bit of punk rock with a little bit of the blues. The dueling slide guitar jam is hardly perfect, and frankly, I sort of find it annoying. Beck's vocals and harmonica are similarly distorted. I don't don't imagine that this song went through more than one take.
Thus, Beck most likely improvised the lyrics, which explains his reliance on standard blues lines ("Been so long since I've been gone") and his own favorite phrases ("Yellow cat laying flat on the road" also appears in "Corvette Bummer
"; "phony lady layin' flat on the road" is in "The Spirit Moves Me
It's probably not the most memorable song, but it's certainly got its charms.
Played live 6 times:
Earliest known live version: October 21, 1994
Latest known live version: July 2, 2000Fall 1994 Mellow Gold tour:
"Ziplock Bag" was a semi-regular song at the end of 1994, as the Mellow Gold
On November 28 1994, Beck enthusiastically introduced the song with, "This little song here is called 'Ziplock Bag.' It will tide you over for the next time you're feeling halfway...???... you'll feel like a good man!" The song was pretty rough, as is its tendency, though the song was led nicely by Chris Ballew's slide guitar. Beck shouted verses, using his distortion mike. (In 1994, he used two mikes, one for loud distorted shouting, the other for regular singing.) He began with the "Been so long. . .holding my comb" lines, before ad-libbing a verse: "All my days, my soul sucked dry
/ Stumble around giving all my ??" Beck mumbled some more lines about his soul being sucked dry before a harmonica solo was squeezed into the end of the song.
On December 5 1994, Beck again made up new lines to sing, including a long improvised ending, but the recording isn't clear enough to transcribe them (except for one part where he sang "make me some cookies!").
The song was then promptly forgotten. It did not appear in any sets past 1994 that I am aware of. Except for once:
This Ain't No Picnic July 2 2000
Beck was taking a short break from the Vultures
tour in July 2000. At the This Ain't No Picnic Festival during this break, Beck used the opportunity to play a bunch of rare songs, digging out a few from One Foot in the Grave
to play. "I don't think we've ever played this one live," he announced at the beginning of "Ziplock Bag." "Let's rock!" The band played down their considerable skills, sounding loose and disjointed on purpose, while Beck had a blast shouting like the old days:
Go back home, bury my load
Big old cat laying flat on the road, oh yea!
A ?? snake that you won't go
Hound dog baying, holding all of that time (?)
Unfortunately, the song ended fairly abruptly. It sounded like something they could have ridden a little longer, but that just isn't the way of "Ziplock Bag." It has not been played live again.