“To me you’re like the setting sun. You rise then you’re gone.” Richard Ashcroft wasn’t singing about the Dodge Charger in Gravity Grave, but the lyrics chime with the fate of the car following the release of the track in 1992.
Gravity Grave represents The Verve and Richard Ashcroft at their very best – a drug-fuelled, psychedelic slow-burner, complete with haunting harmonica and trippy baseline.
It’s a raw and undiluted Ashcroft and co, before their commercial success, although elements of Gravity Grave are present throughout the multi-million-selling Urban Hymns.
The video would suggest that, back in 1992, the drugs were still working for The Verve. It’s a glimpse into a dark and murky world, complete with a grim roadside cafe, derelict wastelands and band members looking slightly worse for wear.
Indeed, the only thing looking worse than the band is the 1973 Dodge Charger. It’s one of the stars of the four and a half minute video, but it’s clear that it wasn’t chosen for its concours-winning potential.
The near-side rear arch is mostly filler, there are holes in the bodywork, and the overall look is one of a Dodge Charger that’s been hand-painted. Presumably by Ashcroft fresh from taking a strange substance at The Brus Cafe.
VML 192S was registered in the UK in 1978, with the logbook last issued by the DVLA in May 1986. Six years later, it made a starring role in the Gravity Grave video.
As a piece of The Verve memorabilia, it would be of minor interest to car collectors in 2019, but the Charger has seen its last velvet morning. In fact, it’s history.
It was last taxed in 1990, but the Gravity Grave Charger isn’t lying dormant, waiting to be uncovered as a ‘barn-find’.
Instead, it was destroyed at the Heinegone banger race in Kings Lynn on the 13 June 2015. Here it is, pre-race, complete with references to The Verve and Gravity Grave. It’s not a pretty sight.
https://t.co/2NN0DbdGS3#Dodge #Charger #DodgeCharger #DukesOfHazard #GeneralLee #Fagass #LastRites #Heinegone #KingsLynn #Trackstar #TSR #73Charger #73Dodge #BangerRacing #DemoDerby #DemolitionDerby #WeCrash #NorthernBangers #TheVerve #GravityGrave #C… https://t.co/71KiV6Qq0T pic.twitter.com/hBqXEMygmP
— Paul Toward (@Toward27) February 22, 2019
Like the band in the video, the Dodge Charger was arguably too far gone to warrant a rescue attempt, but discovering its death is a bittersweet experience. It’s such a shame it didn’t make it into the new decade.
The following video shows the cars lining up for the Heinegone event in 2015. Viewers of a nervous disposition should look away now…