Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
In October of 2015, one of D.C.’s most recognizable landmarks—the Exorcist
Steps—finally got the recognition it’s always deserved: It was commemorated by the District government, with Exorcist
director William Friedkin and scribe William Peter Blatty joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser and other city officials for a big ceremony. Around the same time, the stairs were immortalized in a different way, by local punk legend Ian Svenonius in a song recorded under his latest solo project, Escape-ism. In it, Svenonius romanticizes the legendary steps, with a catchy, surf-y refrain: “I’ll take you there/ I’ll take you there/ Oh baby, the Exorcist
stairs.” Forget Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells,
someone should recut the opening of the film with Spiv’s song.