Cartoon understanding: more Leigh Rubin

Today’s Rubin, which works or not depending on whether you get the cultural reference:


The title for the cartoon isn’t crucial to understanding. Nor is the exact year 1972. But chart topper and the ID badge without a name on it are essential ingredients.

(Hat tip to Chris Hansen.)

As with the Rubin cartoon in my 8/19/18 posting “Another puzzle in cartoon understanding”, if you don’t have crucial bits of cultural knowledge, the cartoon is just incomprehensible.  In this case, it’s a piece of (very) popular music. From Wikipedia:


“A Horse with No Name” is a song written by Dewey Bunnell, and originally recorded by the folk rock band America [Bunnell, Gerry Beckley, Dan Peek]. It was the band’s first and most successful single, released in late 1971 in Europe and early 1972 in the United States, and topped the charts in several countries.

The chorus:

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain

You can listen to the 1971/72 America recording here.

The style and content of the song were inspired by Neil Young (whose “Heart of Gold” was on the charts at the same time), and Bunnell’s vocal timbre on the lead  was strikingly similar to Young’s, so that many people — I am one — recall the song as being performed by Young.


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