Black Funk Rex

by Clive James and Pete Atkin

I wanna talk about some guys with glitter on their eyes and cute lips
It's an all-purpose noise that's already put the boys in the chips
If you're talkin' about pre-teen sex your talkin' 'bout Black Funk Rex

Black Funk Rex are cuddly as rabbits
They drone about elves and they drool about hobbits
But their warmed-over whimsicality hardly inhibits
Their wide repertoire of nauseating habits

And when the amplifiers roar
They sound like fairies waging atomic war
They got one riff to their name
Which isn't to their shame
'Cause the secret of their fame
And the basis of the game
Is that every song's the same
And when the bass booms down there
Like a constipated bear
Breaking wind inside its lair
Perspiration fills your hair
And the lead shrieks up here
Till it fills your mind with fear
That an electronic spear
Being hammered up your rear
Is coming out your ear
But the rhythm's got one lick
So flatulently slick
It's guaranteed to make you sick
And the drummer's got one stick
But he hits you like a kick
In the stomach from a hick
Serving ten years in the nick
And the singer is a prick
With a breath-bereaving trick
Of twitching like a chick
Who gives her bum a flick
Like a giant facial tick
And you couldn't call 'em quick
In fact they're thicker than a brick
But when they all turn up the wick
It brings the tots
Screaming up out of their prams and cots
"If you're talkin' about pre-teen sex your talkin' 'bout Black Funk Rex"

In the early days of Smash Flops, in the mid-'90s, I discovered that the site (then hosted on my business server at rwt.co.uk) was experiencing a disproportionate number of hits to the 'Black Funk Rex' lyrics page. This page was showing up in the server's log file perhaps 100 times more frequently than all the other pages on my site put together. Was I doing something right? Checking the referrers and IP addresses of the visitors, I saw they were all from search engine results, and with a global distribution, and what's more they didn't stick around to explore other parts of the site.

Evidently these visitors were expecting something we weren't offering! Phrases such as 'pre-teen sex' were attracting clients with no interest whatsoever in my digital radio and TV tuners, nor indeed in Clive James' humorous song lyric poking fun at the wilder excesses of the heavy metal / glam-rock brigade of the 1970s.

In those days, search engine crawls of low-traffic sites were less frequent than they are today, and any remedy based on simply blocking 'robots' from scanning the page would take a while to trickle through. So I also changed the page address of the lyric, and created a new page at the old address explaining what we weren't, and requesting legitimate visitors to click a link which took them to the actual lyric.

No dice. The hungry midnight hunters were clicking straight through onto the lyric page without bothering to read the message. So I changed the redirection page to make the on-screen link point invisibly to a warning page at FBI.com, while requiring the Atkin/James fans to enter the true address manually. Peace at last!

Stephen J Birkill (Webmaster, Smash Flops), August 2016

Black Funk Rex is the music of tomorrow
Say it with pride though you hear it with sorrow
They're the Middle Earth between L.A. and EC4
And your middle ear has never suffered like this before

I'm talkin' 'bout some guys with glitter on their eyes and cute lips
It's an all-purpose noise that's already put the boys in the chips
If you're talkin' about pre-teen sex your talkin' 'bout Black Funk Rex

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