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The Not-so Early Singles

More early singles

Point Me at the Sky

When the group sang the song on their 14 Jan 1969 Top Gear performance, found on many RoIOs, they used a slightly different second verse. While the original goes: If you survive ’til two thousand and five I hope you’re exceedingly thin Because if you are stout you will have to breathe out > to let the people around you breathe in

on the Top Gear performance they sang:

> so the man next to you can breathe in
Not too big a difference, really, but it tends to surprise people when they first hear it…
Careful With That Axe, Eugene

Well, there used to be an interesting story that explained both the identity of the protagonist and how Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead lost his right-hand ring finger. However, it turns out that the story isn’t exactly true (Garcia is missing the finger, but his brother’s name is not Eugene, it’s Tiff.)

Here are two more possibilities:

“Careful with that Axe, Eugene” was the flip side of “Point Me at the Sky.” Some people believe that PMatS starts off with the line

Hey, Eugene
This is Henry McLean
And I’ve finished my beautiful flying machine

(which, BTW, is another debate, for another time). Anyway, Chris Coffman mentioned this:
I really don’t want to add more fuel to this thread, but I just played “Point Me at the Sky” (my roommate’s first ever exposure to this song). My roommate seems to remember a book from his childhood called “Eugene and His Flying Machine,” or something like that. He thinks it may have had another kid in it named Henry. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m setting this forth as fact, but does anyone know of such a book?
Well, this rings a bell for me, and so I’ve been trying to track it down, if it indeed exists. The closest I’ve come so far is a book called “Wizzard McBean [rhymes with McLean] and his Flying Machine,” which is out of print.
Also, R. Brigham Lampert uncovered the following:

In the early 1960’s there was a small serial killing spree in the area of London near the river Thames. After three or four murders, a suspect was caught. That suspect’s name was Eugene Craft. He was tried and found guilty. Hence, “Careful” might be a reference to that incident.

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