This song took me on a merry police chase! My immediate association which began my song hunt  with Heaven’s Gate, (3 + hour western starring Kris Kristofferson). Duh. 

Another tangential link: Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” (and by the way, the name of  whiskey being produced in in his distillery).

I heard Eric Clapton’s version of “I Shot . . .” first, discovering the reggae version several years later. Part of that exploration included a concert/dance-fest featuring several reggae/ska artists including Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh.

But, as usual, I digress. Back to Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson. For reasons I won’t detail here, seeing Heaven’s Gate with a friend circa 1981/2 (at an indie theatre) resulted in a profound change in my life.

But that’s not the point here, either. (For how my mind digresses, see the lively art of distraction) I kept relating the song to something visual and not a music video or something on Youtube.

Playing around with search terms, I did locate a tangential, but relevant, link: Inner Circle’s “Bad Boys,” (theme song for the American television show, Cops), mentions the infamous Sheriff John Brown:

Bad boys
Whatcha want, watcha want
Whatcha gonna do
When sheriff John Brown come for you
Tell me
Whatcha wanna do, whatcha gonna dooo

Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do?
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

The Inner Circle is a Jamaican band, originally formed in 1968 and reformed in the 1980s. But, as it turns out, the key to this puzzle goes back to Jimmy Cliff and the plot to The Harder They Come, a cult classic about run ins with the law, among other issues within Jamaican society. Gritty, real, and the music is incredible. “The film is most famous for its reggae soundtrack that is said to have ‘brought reggae to the world.’”

Songs on the soundtrack include: “You Can Get It If You Really Want;” “The Harder They Come;” “Rivers of Babylon;” Many Rivers to Cross

So, while I didn’t shoot the sheriff or the deputy,  here are some other musical encounters with the law. Which reminds me of one of my favourite movies, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Ooopppss. Here I go again. . . 

For Friday Music: I Shot the Sheriff