Theme from M.A.S.H. (Suicide Is Painless)


Checking social media in 2016 is our generations version of my dad sitting reading his newspapers from cover to cover seven days a week, every day of the year apart from Christmas Day. whilst perusing the overnight news this morning I came across the passing of American actor Wayne Rogers. You will certainly know him by the portrayal of Trapper in the US TV series M*A*S*H* that ran for a decade during the 70’s and 80’s. Even though my dad, on the surface, is a complete Ameriophobic, this programme was viewed in our house almost religiously when I was a kid.

I never knew the original theme to this was released as a single over here in 1980 and actually reached number one. It was credited to a band called The Mash who were made up of studio session singers.  Interestingly the co-writer was 14 year old Mike Altman, son of the films producer Robert Altman.  He ended up writing the lyrics when his father couldn’t write the lyrics for what he wanted to be “the stupidest song ever written”.  In turn the son made more money than his dad did from producing the 1970 movie.


My link to the track is again from my college days of the early 90’s when I mixed with fellow students who had more of an interest in the indie scene at the time and I briefly dabbled with New Musical Express magazine for a while.  Sitting on a bus with no iPod or anything was so boring and red top newspapers always seemed so cumbersome!

I was introduced to the first Manic Street Preachers album, Generation Terrorists, in class and I quite liked it.  It combined the glam rock sound with a punk attitude pretty well.  Suicide Is Painless was released as a charity single for the Spastics Society and the other track on the CD single was a cover of Bryan Adams’ (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, performed by The Fatima Mansions.  I know I don’t have this in my collection anymore as I stuck it on eBay some years ago and I think it sold for a pretty decent amount.



R.I.P. Wayne Rogers


(April 7, 1933 – December 31, 2015)


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