The cowboy years as contemporary music

This article is based on the e-mail "Delta Green: The Cowboy Years: Various Ops Between 1970 and 1994 as Allegorical Representations of Infamous Protopunk, Punk Rock and Post-punk Songs" by Jon Nyx, DGML message 13497.

Table of Contents


"New Age" and "Lonesome Cowboy Bill", The Velvet Underground

Also "Rock & Roll", "Sweet Jane" and "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'"
- Loaded (1970, September)

Perhaps a former DG Agent experiences a solitary horror? Something involving hallucinogenics and the Hastur Mythos, I would think.

"Changes", David Bowie

- Hunky Dory (1971)

The first "official" (and disastrous) post-sanction DG op was also nearly the last…

"Five Years", David Bowie

- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972, June 6)

A plot to trigger the End Times is uncovered; doomsday will be June 6th, 1977, unless something can be done. YAGC (Yet Another Globetrotting Campaign).

Events that might be used for that:

  • On January 4th 1977, the "Revolutionäre Zellen" ( RZ ) did a bomb attack on a US fuel and nuclear weapons depot in Giessen, Germany.
  • May 23rd 1977 - a train is hijacked in the Netherlands by South-Molluccans. After 19 days there is a violent intervention. Two hostages and six terrorists die.
  • January 2nd 1976: in the San-Lorenzo-Basilika in Florence Italy unkown Frescoes are discovered that may have been created by Michelangelo
  • 1976: The Maltese order is reestablished on Rhodes.
  • 1976 - July 10th: Dixon-Desaster at Seveso

"Search and Destroy", The Stooges

Also "Gimmie Danger", "Raw Power" and "Death Trip"
- Raw Power (1973, February)

Vietnam mayhem; the influence of something involved in the 1969 Cambodia disaster is spreading, possibly into Laos as well. And Thailand. And China. And Myanmar/Burma. And…

"Land", Patti Smith

- Horses (1975, November)

I'm thinking of something similar to Millennium's "The Time Is Now" episode (the season two finale), only without the suckage. Toss in bits of Se7en, mass murder and mayhem in Seattle & Vancouver, some Mythos artifacts and maybe even an ebola-like virus. This would be a good set-up for a DG agent gone bad.

"Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World", The Ramones

(original title "I'm a Nazi, Baby")
Also "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement" and "53rd & 3rd"
- Ramones (1976, April 23)

Galt and the Fate in NYC? And something in the basement of 53rd and 3rd, of course. Maybe ghouls with something to trade from the Dreamlands. Don't forget to pack your chainsaw.

You might also include the "Son of Sam" murders of 1976.

"Anarchy in the U.K.", The Sex Pistols

- s/t 7" single (1976, November 21)

Uninfested PISCES agents realize that Something Is Very Wrong and begin to quietly investigate their own agency; perhaps Players should take the roles of Shan.

"London's Burning", "Police & Thieves" and "48 Hours", The Clash

Also "Hate & War" and "Remote Control"
- The Clash (1977, April 8)

An IRA cell in London to carry out a terrorist bombing stumbles across something horrific; will they attempt to alert the authorities? (Yeah, right. How exactly would they do that, and what would they say? Much fun if they go this route and talk to someone Shan-infested.) Or will they possibly attempt to use what they find for a really BIG terrorist act? Perhaps the cell is divided on what to do; very, very divided…

"Heart of Glass" and "Hanging on the Telephone", Blondie

- Parallel Lines (1978, September 23)

A young hacker/phone phreak known as "Andrea" pokes her nose where it doesn't belong and gets way more than she bargained for. She manages to keep her body and mind intact where several experienced agents failed. The DG Old Boys Club somewhat reluctantly brings her into the fold; they very quickly learn to never, ever call her "Blondie" (at least not to her face).

"Night of the Living Dead", The Misfits

- s/t 7" single (1979, October)

Failed resurrection spells and a whole hell of a lot of Ye Liveliest Awfulness. BRAAAAAAAAAAAAINS!

Right after the invasion Soviet officers in Afghanistan experiment with ressurection spells. US agents training the Aghans stumble upon the mess - DG is called in.


"Holiday in Cambodia", The Dead Kennedys

- Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)

Fun with Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge, the Killing Fields - perhaps the local ghouls and Tcho-Tcho are engaged in a spirited disagreement over the proper way to prepare and serve Long Pig; insert your favorite "food fight" jokes here. Setting it in December of 1978, right before the Vietnamese Army invaded, would probably be best.

"Zombie Dance" and "What's Behind The Mask", The Cramps

- Songs The Lord Taught Us (1980)

Fun and adventures with variant resurrection spells leading to a manifestation of the King in Yellow.

"We're Desperate", maybe "Beyond and Back" and "White Girl", X

- Wild Gift (1981, March)

DG Agents in LA are on the run from an op that went very very wrong. Possible Dreamlands connections. Andrea may have her first clean-up job.

Every song on the album The Record, Fear

Played with the volume cranked to 11.
- The Record (1981, December)

Something big and nasty and incredibly violent, with loads of shockingly dark humor, set in LA. Agents from San Francisco, New York City and/or New Jersey should have an especially rough time. I'm thinking corrupt cops, skinheads and lots of stolen military hardware should be involved.

"The Hungry Wolf" and "Under the Big Black Sun", X

- Under the Big Black Sun (1982, July)

A Hound of Tindolos leaves a trail of destruction. What attracted it? Also, a trip to Carcosa.

"Frank's Wild Years", Tom Waits

- Swordfishtrombones (1983, September)

Frank seems to be guilty of a surreal murder and an act of arson in the San Fernando Valley (Los Angles, CA). Watch out for the blind Chihuahua with some sort of skin disease.

Remember, the San Fernando Valley (you know, the place behind the Hollywood sign) is the world capital of porn. Don't forget to have a cameo by a young Nicholas Cage when he was still going by Nicholas Coppola. And Moon Unit Zappa.

"16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six", Tom Waits

- Swordfishtrombones (1983, September)

Used 'em all and Frank's still coming at the Agents, wielding a couple of broken Mickey's Big Mouth bottles; he looks *really* pissed about those big holes in his new plaid jacket…

"When the Shit Hits the Fan" (lounge version), The Circle Jerks

- 'Repo Man' soundtrack (1984, March 2)

A not-quite-sane Agent with a drinking problem has something very dead and very dangerous in the trunk of his classic muscle car, which he hasn't made a payment on in six months. He calls some other agents for assistance in disposing of the, um, thing; special equipment is needed. He gets drunk while waiting on the other agents and passes out. A repo man who has been staking out the Agent's apartment snags the car and drives off. The repo man stops for gas (because the car is riding on empty) and smokes at a nearby Circle-K. A gang of street punks steals the car while the repo man is inside paying the cashier. MJ-12 and Scientologists get involved. And then things get complicated as *everyone* goes after the vehicle.

Plates o' Shrimp and pine car fresheners abound as everyone gets dumber the more they drive. The DG Cowboys fight crippling ennui resulting from a MJ-12 meme bomb that makes them believe John Wayne was gay.

"Tracking the Dog", The Screaming Blue Messiahs

- The Peel Sessions (1984, July 24)

That pesky Hound again. Might be related to the op from July, 1982. Or perhaps events here, in 1984, led to the events of 1982 (at least from the Hound's non-linear point of view). Time travel makes our heads hurt.

"Death Valley '69" and "Halloween", Sonic Youth

Also possibly "Ghost Bitch", "I'm Insane" and "Echo Canyon"
- Bad Moon Rising + various BMR EPs and 7" singles (1984, Halloween)

Something leftover from the Manson years is still active in the Death Valley National Park area. Agents will be back in ~20 years for Future Perfect/pt01.

"Beach Party Vietnam" and "The Thing that Only Eats Hippies", The Dead Milkmen

- Eat Your Paisley (1986)

Vietnam has a lot of beaches (so does the USA's West Coast). And extreme mayhem inflicted upon hippies is always fun. A 'Nam vet is going after radical members of the Vietnam-era anti-war movement (think "Weatherman Underground"), who have possibly been living under assumed identities for the last fifteen years.

"Killer Born Man", The Screaming Blue Messiahs

- Gun Shy (1986)

Got Cancer? 'Nam vet and local business owner John H. Travis does. He just found out. The docs want him to quit smoking and start chemo. NOW. They say it may prolong his life six to eight months. Screw that. Agent Travis has decided that if he's gotta go, he'll take some of the Devil's minions with him. He's gonna stand up to the darkness, just like his hero DeNiro did in "Taxi Driver". He's gonna do something big, something the other ex-DG fucks no longer have the balls for. He may even take out some of the human filth who promote the moral decay of American society. He'll show them all what one motivated Marine and his gun shop can do. Semper Fi!

"Anger", "Operation Solitaire", fIREHOSE

Also "Soon" and "Thunder Child"
- If'n (1987)

A DG agent feels very very wronged. He is going to destroy DG.

"Mirror People" and "The Light", Love and Rockets

- Earth, Sun, Moon (1987, September)

Doppelgangers and stolen memories. A compromised agent, betrayal, rot from within.

"Fire" and "Backwoods", The Red Hot Chili Peppers

- The Abbey Road E.P. (1988)

Fast and furious flammable action in the Appalachian coal-town boonies. DG Agents should stick out like sore thumbs.

"Golden Dawn", "Deity" and "Destruction", Ministry

Also "Stigmata" and "The Missing"
- The Land of Rape and Honey (1988)

Inner city urban decay; a worm gnaws at the Big Apple's rotten core. The Fate, missing and exploited children, ritual torture and the destruction of a holy artifact.


"Warlock", "Hexonxonx" and "Tin Omen", Skinny Puppy

The rest of the album is good for atmosphere
- Rabies (1989) (get the 1993 Nettwerk release for better sound quality)

A warlock in Kingsport. Dreams are used to spy upon and torment agents. Extended Dreamlands segues.

"UFO's Are Real", MC 900 Ft. Jesus (with DJ Zero)

Also "Truth is Out of Style", "Spaceman" and screw it, the whole album works
- Hell With the Lid Off (1990)

DG and MJ12 clash. New Age UFO cult wackos are involved, as are crazy street people, and a serial murderer/stalker. NYC, Boston (MIT) and DC.

"Losers, Boozers And Heroes", fIREHOSE

- Flyin' the Flannel (1991)

Desert action in the American Southwest. Nevada, nukes, snake cults and Serpent People in Sin City. Plenty of Fear and Loathing for everyone.

"The City Sleeps", MC 900 Ft. Jesus

Also "Killer Inside Me (Meat Beat Manifestation Mix #2)" and "Hearing Voices in One's Head"
- Welcome to My Dream (1991)

Frank returns. He's gotten real friendly with Cthugha, Flame Creatures and Fire Vampires. Dallas or Houston. Hmm, Houston refineries and oil reserves…

"Earth Died Screaming", Tom Waits

- Bone Machine (1992, September)

Apocalypse. Madness. Visions of the End Times. Waco.

Every song on the albums Up Evil and Off, Front 242

- 06:21:03:11 Up Evil (1993, May 25)
- 05:22:09:12 Off (1993, November 2)

A sprawling epic in two parts, finally prompting MJ12 to assassinate Gen. Fairfield on February 25th, 1994. Dr. Joseph Camp reorganizes Delta Green into its current cell structure.

External links

The Men Who Killed Delta Green by The Man in Black

The intellectual property known as Delta Green is ™ and © the Delta Green Partnership. The contents of this document are © their respective authors, excepting those elements that are components of the Delta Green intellectual property.