Track 28: “Spider Sabich”

Spider Sabich was a ski racer in the 1960s and ’70s. He was OK, nothing special, in the Olympics, but made a name for himself slaloming side by side with the likes of Billy Kidd and Jean-Claude Killy on the pro circuit. He was a free spirit and a playboy, and with his good looks and charisma, he had a lot to do with popularizing skiing in the U.S. This song isn’t about him, though. It’s about the woman who killed him, singer/actress Claudine Longet. She served 30 days in jail for what she claimed, somewhat unbelievably, was an accidental shooting. Then she married her lawyer. Her real punishment was karmic: She has never performed again, and she remains largely a recluse to this day. That’s 35 years of darkness, and counting.

One more thing about this one: We have a fetish for songs about real people, especially songs whose title is that person’s name and nothing more. A strange fetish, we know, but what fetish isn’t? Here’s a Spotify playlist we made of some of our faves. And here’s another.

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