When it was that Wyoming-born and Wales-based musician Jeb Loy Nichols was in Duluth, and why he’s never coming back, are anyone’s guesses, but it’s apparently related to someone named Christopher.
As near as can be determined through web searches, “The Couple from Duluth” was composed by acclaimed bassist Jay Leonhart and was originally released on his 1984 album with Joe Beck titled There’s Gonna Be Trouble. The version above is a live recording from Leonhart’s 2015 album The Bass Lesson.
The punk rock band Meat Puppets released “Lake of Fire” on the 1984 album Meat Puppets II. It also appears as a hidden track on the 1994 album Too High to Die.
The Duluth reference goes a little something like this:
I knew a lady who came from Duluth
She got bit by a dog with a rabid tooth
This Duluth song doesn’t actually have the word “Duluth” in its lyrics, but is loaded with Duluth references. It’s from the self-titled 2005 album by Duluth band Swimming with Nancy.
From the album Yust Try to Sing-a-long in Swedish with Doug Setterberg & Stan Boreson, Golden Crest Records, undated (circa 1962).
Local music fans will recognize this tune as the inspiration for the Hoot Owls song “Scandinavian Hot Rod.”
Ray Pirkola’s 1936 Ford Coupe debuted at the Million Dollar Motorcade car show at the Duluth Armory in 1955. Featuring 1940 Ford fenders and a hood grafted to a chopped and channeled 1936 five-window body, it was the first “full custom” car in the region. The song “Scandanavian Hot Rod” by the Hoot Owls celebrates the car and the self-determination of Ray Pirkola, father of the Hoot Owls singer and guitar player Barry Pirkola. The song is from the band’s 2010 album Alien Scrapyard.