A rather grisly story this week from the 70's - the execution of a murderer and transplanted body parts...strange subject matter for a song but this was the Punk era which was full of surprises, a seemingly average punk song by British band The Adverts
transforms itself by the inclusion of a very catchy harmonised chorus...
"Gary Gilmore's Eyes" is an unusual song even for a punk record. Gary Mark Gilmore was born at Waco, Texas, in 1940, and graduated from delinquent teenager to small time career criminal. In 1964, he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison but was released in 1972 only to be rearrested for armed robbery within a month. In spite of his appalling criminal record and violent behavior in prison he was paroled in April 1976 and moved to Utah, where the following July he augmented two armed robberies with senseless murders, killing first a gas station employee and then a motel manager in quick succession.
As well as being extremely violent and totally ruthless, Gilmore was careless, and managed to shoot himself in the hand as he disposed of the murder weapon. This led to a speedy arrest, and after an equally speedy trial in what was essentially an open and shut case, he was convicted of the murder of the gas station employee, Max Jensen.
Gilmore's final act, conceivably the only noble thing he ever did in his life, was to donate his corneas for transplant. Two people received them within hours of his execution; some of his other organs were also used for transplants, and what was left of his body was cremated.