After he was shot, Swingin’ Joe reportedly whispered to an onlooker “it’s all in the last song” before dying of blood loss. The lead singer of the popular 60s band The Water Waves, Swingin’ Joe had recently been hard at work on a solo album, using studio musicians instead of his usual The Water Waves bandmates. And, upon his death, those same bandmates as well as the record company were shocked to find that Swingin’ Joe had hidden most of his assets, including millions of dollars in gold, in an undisclosed location.

“The last song” is thought by many to be the enigmatic final ballad of Swingin’ Joe’s posthumous record, which was completed and released by The Water Waves as their ninth and final studio album. Ostensibly this was done in their slain frontman’s memory, but in reality it was an injection of much-needed cash. The final song consists of vocals by Swingin’ Joe, singing lyrics he wrote, accompanied by studio musicians on piano and tambourine with The Water Waves adding in bass, rhythm guitar, and percussion in post.

Small rocky islands floating in a sky of lemons
Pinch me now because I think I’m in heaven
Golden circles showering down upon the earth
If you have to ask me then you know what it is worth

This final refrain, repeated three times while faded out via an echoplex, is often cited as a treasure map of sorts. With its description of yellow circles, rocky islands, and lemon sky, it has led many treasure seekers to search and illegally dig in Thailand’s Phang Nga Bay and Palau, where the rock star owned island homes.

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