The Secret Origin Of The Ghost Rider Song

Hello everyone! After battling the flu and an office move at my job, I’m back! With a new movie coming back and litigation involving its creator, Marvel’s Ghost Rider is back in the public eye. But today we’re going to talk about the song “Ghost Rider.”

I first heard “Ghost Rider” at some point between the end of high school/early college and just thought it was awesome that Henry Rollins was singing a song about Ghost Rider.

Oh, silly naive Chris.

It turns out that “Ghost Rider” wasn’t an original Rollins Band song. They were borrowing it from early industrial/synth band Suicide.

The proto punk rockers Suicide!

A few years ago I was introduced to the band, which loosely took its name from the title of a Ghost Rider story called “Satan’s Suicide.” The minimalist duo was one of the first–if not the first–acts to call themselves punk rock, and Suicide has been named as an influence to a wide variety of bands and musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead and Primal Scream. Rollins was clearly influenced them, just watch the two videos to see how much of his stage mannerisms (including the way he holds the microphone was borrowed from Suicide front man Alan Vega. You can hear a whole slew of covers of “Ghost Rider” by musicians of all different genres, and M.I.A. even samples the riff in her song “Born Free”.

 

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