I hear there’s a couple of versions of that song from my first album, ‘Death in Venice,’ going the rounds back home. I called it that after the Dirk Bogarde film to make it sound kinda classy, but folk also call it ‘Rose Tattoo’ these days. If they call it anything.
It’s nothing to do with the movie, of course. It was based on a real life killing that happened in Venice, California around the same time that film came out, but the L A Times picked up on the headline ahead of me. Most of the lyrics are just straight lifts from the report of the girl’s trial: she really was a hippy chick whose old man beat her up, and turned on him with a knife. Got off on self defence, like the song says.
I met her a couple of years later when she came backstage after one of my gigs. Well, she might’ve had flowers in her hair, but she was one tough broad. That’s all I’m saying on the subject.