Sorry.

Beneath the mayhem and incompetence, this is a good song with a great hook in the chorus.  And the lyrics are as true as any.  According to Wikipedia, Terry Adams of NRBQ likened their melodies to Ornette Coleman.  I hear what he’s getting at.  The long melodic lines appear to meander, but then they resolve into a nutty coherence.  But I dunno that they remind me that much of Ornette Coleman.  Since none of you can throw a beer at me for being a pretentious ass (today, at least), I’ll go ahead and submit that their melodic lines remind me of Hector Berlioz.

Love ’em or hate ’em, the Shaggs are a genuine enigma, and those are always interesting.

If you happen to run across an original pressing (you won’t), snap it up.  They’e very rare and worth thousands.

Laurel Canyon

I’ve only seen the first of these, as recommended to us by Fat Elvis once upon a time. It’s great. A friend recently hipped me to Echo in the Canyon, and I noticed that there’s ANOTHER one out too.

I’m nostalgic for California, now that it’s burning up and falling into the ocean. I loved my time there. I may watch all of these. Maybe someone will tell us that Laurel Canyon gave birth to punk.

Don’t Watch After Eating

I hate the songs of Jimmy Webb.  He won a jillion Grammy’s, and he’s regularly named as a great songwriter by people who really should know better (Bruce Springteen and some others).  At his best, his songs are merely annoying, melodically vapid, and oozing with gooey sentimentality (his songs for Glen Campbell: Galveston, Wichita Lineman, By the Time I Get To Phoenix).  At his worst, they are also pretentious (McArthur Park) and stupid beyond all description (Up, Up and Away, McArthur Park again).  I once played Richard Harris’s original hit version of McArthur Park to my older son, who was certain I was playing him a comedy record.  If you’re so inclined, above you can watch him perform what could be the worst song ever written with such bone-headed earnestness that you may find yourself wanting Anton Chigurh to walk up and do his captive bolt stunner thing on him.  I didn’t even make it to the infamous “cake out in the rain” part (surely the dumbest metaphor ever devised).  In a way it’s funny, but mostly not.  My question to you bastards: am I incorrect?  If any of you are Jimmy Webb fans, can you clue me in as to what’s good about him?  Did he write some hidden gems I’ve never heard?  Because based on his biggest hits, I don’t get his reputation as one of the greats at all.

What’s Your Sign Girl?

Chilton was an underrated guitarist. Feeling nostalgic for the late Nineties today …

From 1999 performance at Memphis’ Cooper-Young Festival. With Ron Easley – bass & background vocals, and Richard Dworkin – drums. Video by David Julian Leonard.

The Absent-Minded Waiter

I have to believe this was inspired by actual events. From Wiki-wiki-wikipedia

The Absent-Minded Waiter is a 1977 American comedy short film starring Steve Martin, Buck Henry and Teri Garr. It was written by Martin and directed by Carl Gottlieb. The film was produced by William E. McEuen, who would go on to produce Steve Martin’s next six films.

The short was screened as part of “The Best of the Shorts” program at Filmex on March 26, 1977 and was also shown at Martin’s stand-up shows before he went on. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.

It’s a classic. By the way, Steve Martin is 75 now.

Goofy TV Gigs

I completely missed this one when it aired.  I don’t remember hearing about it at all.  A little sad, by ’79 the Ramones should have been too big for the Sha Na Na show.

But I did happen to be watching the tube in ’68 when psychedelic proto-punks The Seeds (as The Warts) mimed their biggest hit, the classic pushy-girlfriend-fuck-off song, “Pushin’ to Hard” on a now-forgotten sitcom called The Mothers-in-Law.  I bought the album soon after.  Oddly enough, that album had been released two years earlier, and they’d released another since, but they were still pushin’ this song on TV.  The second verse and guitar break were edited out.