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A King Is Dead. The World Mourns.

June 27, 2009



Bob Bogle, King Of The West Coast Guitar Sound Is Dead.

Nowadays, very few instrumental records are successful, but during the late Fifties and early Sixties there was a large following for instrumental groups. At first, they tended to feature saxophones (Johnny and the Hurricanes, the Champs), but then the classic beat group line-up of lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass and drums emerged. The bands that epitomised this were the Shadows in the UK and the Ventures in the US. Both had their biggest successes (“Apache” and “Walk, Don’t Run” respectively) in that golden year for rock’n’roll instrumentals, 1960.

Bob Bogle, who was born in Wagoner, Oklahoma in 1934 but raised in Portland, Oregon, enjoyed playing football and motorcycle racing, but was resigned to working as a bricklayer. While working on a building site in Tacoma, Washington in 1958, he gave a lift home to another worker, Don Wilson. Wilson noted the guitar on the back seat of his car, and soon they were playing together.

Unable to interest a record company, they started their own Blue Horizon label with help from Wilson’s mother, who named the group the Ventures. Their first single, “Cookies and Coke”, amounted to nothing, but the second was “Walk, Don’t Run”. The tune had been written and recorded by the jazz guitarist Johnny Smith, but Bogle had heard it on the Chet Atkins album Hi Fi in Focus (1957). Upping the tempo and adding a bright, punchy beat, Bogle played lead guitar, making use of his vibrato, which gave a crisp twang to the end of his phrases. The single opened with torrid drumming from Skip Moore, who unwisely chose a $25 session fee over a share in the royalties.

A radio station in Seattle used “Walk, Don’t Run” in the run-up to the news and it generated so much interest that it became a regional hit and was then distributed nationally by Liberty Records. “Walk, Don’t Run” climbed to No 2 on the US chart and sold two million copies.

At the same time, “Apache” was a UK No 1 for the Shadows, and their bass guitarist, Jet Harris, recalls, “I always felt that we were more gutsy than the Ventures as they were very clean-cut and very precise. We were at the London Palladium for a summer season when “Apache” was No 1. We were sent a copy of “Walk, Don’t Run” and were told it was coming out here in three weeks. If we were to cover it, we would have to do it straight away. We loved the tune, but we didn’t want to do it as “Apache” was selling so well.” In 1977, the Shadows did record “Walk, Don’t Run” and, indeed, there are over 50 titles that both bands have recorded.

The Ventures’ “Walk, Don’t Run” made the UK Top 10, but their biggest UK hit was with the follow-up, “Perfidia”, which made No 4. “Perfidia” had been a success for Xavier Cugat in 1941, but there was nothing Latin-American about their arrangement. It was effectively “Walk, Don’t Run” revisited. The Ventures had further success in 1961 with “Ram-Bunk-Shush” and “Lullaby of the Leaves”.

For many years, the band had a steady line-up. Bogle played lead guitar, Wilson played rhythm, Nokie Edwards was on bass and Howie Johnson, and later Mel Taylor, played the drums. As Bogle felt that Edwards was a more versatile guitarist, they swapped places, although Bogle returned to playing lead on The Ventures Latin Album (1979). Bogle wrote many instrumentals for the band, including seven on Super Psychedelics (1967), and he would label them as “Song One”, “Song Two” etc, until he saw something, a “No Trespassing” sign for example, to spark off a title.

The group’s policy must have been nothing ventured, nothing gained, because as soon as a trend was identified, the Ventures were on hand with an exploitative album. Their albums included Twist with the Ventures (1962), Surfing (1963), The Ventures in Space (1964), The Ventures A Go-Go (1965), Guitar Freakout (1967), Underground Fire (1968), Theme from Shaft (1972) and The Ventures Play the Classics (1972). They clearly welcomed imitators, as there are several albums in the series “Play Guitar Like the Ventures”.

Following a tour of Japan with Bobby Vee, they made the album, Bobby Vee Meets the Ventures (1963) and they had a US hit with a more relaxed, surfing treatment of “Walk, Don’t Run” the following year. In 1969, the Ventures had a US hit with the theme from the TV series Hawaii Five-O, which starred Jack Lord. There are so many musicians playing on the record, however, that it is hard to distinguish the Ventures’ contribution.

The Ventures released over 20 live albums, but the first, On Stage (1965), claimed to have been made in the US, Japan and England when they had never been to the UK. However, they were to capitalise on their Japanese following and they had astonishing success. Their sitar-led instrumental, “Kyoto Doll”, was a No 1 single, and they also topped the Japanese charts with “Hokkaido Skies” and “Reflections in a Palace Lake”. When Japanese singers performed lyrics over their backing tracks, they became hits over again. Through constant touring and a high profile, the Ventures sold 10 million albums in Japan.

In 1962, some years before Jimi Hendrix, the Ventures experimented with fuzz guitar on “The 2000 Pound Bee”. The record sold 50,000 in Chicago, but not elsewhere. However, it had one famous fan in the comedian John Belushi, and it was played at his funeral in 1982.

In 2008, John Fogerty inducted the Ventures into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Bogle, who was undergoing treatment for cancer, was unable to attend.

Robert Lenard Bogle, guitarist: born Wagoner, Oklahoma 16 January 1934; married Yumi (five sons, one daughter); died Vancouver, Washington 14 June 2009.

(orbituary lifted in its entirety and without permission from The Independent)

  1. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 2:33 AM

    Here’s what we’ll be missing.

    Check out Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter going wild on ‘Tequila’. Crazy, man!


  2. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 2:35 AM

    And who could forget this?

  3. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    June 27, 2009 8:05 AM

  4. June 27, 2009 9:00 AM

    Just heard from a friend that Sky Saxon of the Seeds died. Very sad.

  5. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 9:09 AM

    Another sad loss, XB (Fuck that Casey Kasem, the original pop waxwork, introducing The Seeds? I could never decide if he had hair that looked like a hat or wore a hat that looked like hair–Ed.).

    The passing of these important figures is being drowned out by an imbecilic and monomaniacal media. The fight-back starts here.

    King Of 60’s Psycho Garage Dies

    Sky Saxon, leader of Los Angeles 1960s garage-rock band the Seeds, died early Thursday morning in Austin, Texas. Born Richard Marsh, Saxon was hospitalized on Monday. His death was made public via a Facebook status update from his wife, Sabrina Saxon, and confirmed later in the day by his publicist. His exact age is unknown, but he is believed to be in his mid-‘60s.

    Saxon’s wife has been keeping fans updated on Saxon’s status via various social networking sites. He was hospitalized earlier this week for an undetermined internal infection and was reported to be in critical condition. A statement released last night revealed that Saxon ultimately died of heart and kidney failure due to the infection.

    Saxon had recently moved east to Austin, where he had continued to be an active musician. Saxon had performed just last Saturday at the Austin club Antone’s, where he appeared with local garage-rock band Shapes Have Fangs, and was planning to tour this summer with surviving members of Love and the Electric Prunes. The tour is expected to go on.

    The Seeds came together in the mid-’60s garage-rock boom, had a Top 40 hit in 1966 with “Pushing Too Hard,” marked by Saxon’s aggressive vocals and its dandified electric organ line. The Seeds came close to hitting the Top 40 again in 1967 with “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine,” which highlighted Saxon’s mewing scratch over a more traditional early rock ‘n’ roll groove, albeit one scorched with acid.

    Like many bands of the era, the Seeds took its sloppy blues rock cues from the Rolling Stones. Yet the Seeds were equally influenced by the flower-power generation, and the 1967 album “Future” saw the Seeds retreating into more psychedelic cult status.

    Saxon had been in the studio last year with the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, and was said to be working on a documentary on the Seeds.–from the LA Times


    …as XB already posted Pushin’ Too Hard, I thought I’d post a number by some contemporaries of The Seeds who also had a powerful effect on the great Lester Bangs:

  6. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 9:38 AM

    The King Of Pop Dogs Dies

    The drummer for the rock band My Chemical Romance is suing a dog trainer after the musician’s beloved German shepherd mix died in the trainer’s care – and was returned in the form of cremated remains, according to court papers.

    In a bizarre lawsuit filed in Burbank Superior Court, Bob Bryar alleges breach of contract, fraud, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Daniel Schaffer, described in the action as the self-proclaimed “dog trainer to the stars.”

    “I don’t even know what happened to my best friend and miss her more than anything in the world,” Bryar tells PEOPLE. “The devastation I feel is beyond words.”

    Acting on a referral, Bryar says he spent $7,500 in April to send his dog Dixie – “the most important thing in his life,” according to the lawsuit – to Schaffer’s kennel for intense training to help the emotionally fragile, formerly abused rescue dog adjust to a new dog in the household.

    About a week later, after previously telling Bryar that the dog had been “having a blast and partying all day,” Schaffer reported that Dixie was killed when a drunk driver struck the vehicle in which Schaffer was carrying Dixie and other dogs, according to the lawsuit.

    Later that evening, “Schaffer called (Bryar) again and informed him that he could not say goodbye to Dixie for she had been ‘cremated due to her condition,'” the lawsuit says. Two days later, the trainer “delivered an urn allegedly containing Dixie’s remains,” the suit says. After Schaffer failed to produce a police report documenting the crash, he changed his story and said Dixie died in her sleep, then changed that story to say she died under other circumstances, the suit says.

    Schaffer didn’t return messages seeking comment. No response has yet been filed to Bryar’s lawsuit.

  7. June 27, 2009 10:21 AM

    Next we’ll learn that Schaffer has rung Bryars to tell him he didn’t mean Dixie had died he meant Michael Jackson had died. Dixie is still at a party on Mulholland Drive and both Bryars and Scaffer are sueing ( or however you spell it ) the mobile phone company for faulty equipment.

  8. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 10:38 AM

    King Of Stooge Guitarists Dies

    Ron Asheton, guitarist and founding member of the Stooges, was reportedly found dead at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan this morning. He was 60. Official cause of death has not yet been announced but initial indications suggest Asheton had a heart attack. Police entered Asheton’s home and discovered his body on a couch after his personal assistant was unable to reach the rocker for days. Detective Bill Stanford told Michigan Live it appeared Asheton passed away several days ago.

    As the guitarist for the Stooges, Asheton crafted some of rock’s most memorable riffs, including “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “No Fun” and “TV Eye.” Guitarist Asheton, along with his brother Scott, Iggy Pop and original bassist Dave Alexander formed the Stooges in Detroit in 1967. The original lineup released two albums, The Stooges and Fun House, before Ron Asheton shifted over to bass guitar for 1973’s Raw Power. All three LPs made Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, ranking at Number 185, 191 and 125 respectively. Asheton was also Number 29 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

    After the Stooges initially split, Asheton went on to play with the New Order (not the U.K. one), Destroy All Monsters, New Race and the Wylde Ratttz, a supergroup featuring Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, Mudhoney’s Mark Arm, Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis and Mike Watt, who would eventually become Asheton’s bandmate when the Stooges reunited in 2003. For the band’s comeback album, 2007’s The Weirdness, Asheton was once again in his rightful place onstage as the Stooges’ guitarist as Watt picked up bass duties. Last year the Stooges played as Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; this year, the band was nominated for their own induction. –Rolling Stone, 6.1.2009

    (Apologies to Ron for belated acknowledgment–Ed.)

  9. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 10:55 AM

    King Of Zoo Elephants Dies


    Affie, a female African elephant about to turn 40 years old and to be feted at her annual birthday party on June 13, died Friday afternoon after Brookfield Zoo keepers arriving in the morning found her lying on her side, unable to stand.

    Though the sixth-oldest African elephant in any accredited American zoo and considered geriatric by elephant standards, Affie’s sudden, still undiagnosed death was a surprise to zoo officials, said Kim Smith, the zoo’s vice president of animal care.

    “At 4 a.m. today,” said a zoo statement released late Friday afternoon, “the night zookeeper checked on both of the zoo’s African elephants, Affie and Christy, and they were both fine.”

    After finding her on her side at 8 a.m., keepers could not get the 10,400-pound Affie back on her feet, Smith said, and she died about 2 p.m.

    Zoo veterinarians performed a necropsy after she died to try to determine the cause of death, but it could take days or weeks for the result of those tests to be reported.

    “She was a well-loved animal,” said Smith. “Hundreds of people would come to her birthday party to sing to her every year. We always had a special cake for her made from her favorite fruits and vegetables, using carrots as the candles, which she would very carefully pick off, one by one, and eat them.”

  10. June 27, 2009 1:59 PM

    Barbara Wright – the translator of a lot of Queneau’s books also died last month. She remained faithful to a few avant-garde aurthors and turned down more lucrative work in order to do so. I met someone who knew her – a real wag ( in the best sense of the word ) by all accounts.

  11. parallax permalink
    June 27, 2009 3:59 PM

    Hey cool, we’re doing dead people’s videos. Here’s a good one and another – overlapping eras old and new. Yeh but, there you go … and there’s one that’s still rocking

    So how’s it going guys?

  12. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 6:32 PM

    Hey, para…good to have you back. I hope all’s well with you and that you had an enjoyable break.

  13. Meltonian permalink
    June 27, 2009 6:35 PM

    Yes, not bad, para. The Prince is on the run from the Scientologists as well as Opus Dei, ExitB is in hiding in Berlin (oops-sorry, ExitB) and Alarming-well, the animal is still in therapy.

  14. Meltonian permalink
    June 27, 2009 6:40 PM

    Thank God I posted after the Guv’nor. That would have been an infringement of the Sidekick Regulations (1982).

    It was like reading Showbiz News opening the Guardian this am. Huge spread on Wacko followed by a page on S Baron Cohen.

  15. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 6:45 PM

    Yes, that Mowbray does like to live dangerously. I nearly would have almost had to speak quite severely to him had he so forgotten himself so as to transgress the Pathetic Little Sidekick Code. (how’s that for a clumsy sentence?)

    Bit of a close call there, man.

  16. Meltonian permalink
    June 27, 2009 6:53 PM

    Woman thrown out of shop for speaking Welsh

    Abhinav Ramnarayan, Friday 26 June 2009 20.15 BST

    They have put up with countless jokes about leeks and have suffered Anne Robinson’s constant description of them as irritating. But now it seems the Welsh have something to be truly angry about.

    Simply speaking in their native tongue, it seems, can get them into trouble. Rosemary Dean claims that she was kicked out of a gift shop on the Isle of Wight for speaking in Welsh. The shopowner, she says, was offended by the language.

    Dean was celebrating her 60th birthday with her sister in Shanklin when she stopped by Grange Gifts to buy a present for her granddaughter. She claimed yesterday that she was was talking in her native tongue to her sister, discussing what to buy, when the owner asked her to speak in English.

    The argument that followed led to Dean and her sister being asked to leave the store. But she was determined not to leave it at that, and has reported the incident to the Welsh equality and human rights commission.

    She explained: “It was unbelievable. We were just talking in Welsh about the goods in the shop and the woman behind the counter shouted at us to stop.

    “There was no warning, she just launched into us. She got really angry and admitted she was discriminating against the Welsh.

    “I was not even talking to her and if I was I would have spoken English – it would have been rude otherwise.”

    Sue Pratley, the shopowner, said: “I made a comment to them that I wished they would speak English but she took issue with that. I do not want to go into detail about what happened. I did not ban them from the shop but I did ask them to leave.”

    Hope you caught this in the G. Good on you, Sue!

  17. Captain Ned permalink
    June 27, 2009 7:03 PM

    Unbelievable. This is almost enough to make me want to gather together a bunch of rowdy, rugby-playing boyos and lay waste to that accursed Isle of Wight. But then I understand it’s effectively a wasteland anyway.

    Seriously, though – can you imagine the (justifiable) fuss that would have kicked up if the woman had been speaking Arabic?

  18. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 7:07 PM

    Just for that, Ned, I shall make it a point to speak nothing but Arabic to Welshmen and women henceforward. Anyway, it wouldn’t have been a problem on the Isle of Wight (or Isle of Mishari as it’s been called since I bought it). Everyone now speaks Arabic. It’s the Law, innit? It was for their own good. You could hardly call the gibberish they spoke ‘English’.

  19. Meltonian permalink
    June 27, 2009 7:19 PM

    There’s always been some strange attitudes among the caulkheads. I had to fire my milkman a few years back when he started referring to black players as niggers during the discussions we had about football when he came round for his money. He seemed surprised that I found it unacceptable. The fucker, or his fuckwit sons, egged my house in revenge.

    My daughter was on the ferry last week sitting next to two middle-aged Island women. There was a young chap nearby talking into his mobile in Italian.
    ‘I don’t even understand what he’s saying,’ one muttered disapprovingly, ‘What language is that anyway?’
    ‘Oooh, you just don’t know these days, do you?’ her friend replied.

    Everyone in the world should speak English.

  20. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 7:26 PM

    IOW stories. The last time was in Ventnor (a few years ago now) I attempted to pay for a purchase with a £50 note. The woman pointed at a hand-lettered sign over the till that read ‘We Do Not Accept £50 Notes’. Why not, I asked. Because, she said, they saw so few of them that they had no way of telling if it was real or not.

    On the front page of the local paper was a story about someone who’d had a few gallons of petrol siphoned from their car.

    In a local pub, two old bags overheard me speaking French into my mobile. “What language is that?”, I heard one say. “No idea,” said the other, “but he’s not from around here.” “Hmphh,” replied her companion, “at least he could have combed his hair.”

  21. Captain Ned permalink
    June 27, 2009 7:52 PM

    What kind of pathetic, pea-brained moron is it that finds the sound of an unfamiliar language quite so distressing anyway? I assume this Sue Pratley is a Daily Mail reader; it wouldn’t surprise me if the reason for her unease is that she simply mistook Welsh for Arabic, or rather whatever-horrid- language-those-nasty-terrorist-Muslim-asylum-seeker-hook-handed-suicide-bombers speak. Did you remember this story from three years back?

    Sometimes the sheer idiocy to be found in the world is too much for any response beyond a despairing shake of the head.

  22. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 8:21 PM

    Well, frankly, Ned, when I’m on a flight in the US, I expect everyone to be consuming apple pie, fondly talking about Mom or baseball and wearing an American flag prominently displayed on their person.

    Any deviation is fishy and needs to be stepped on, but quick. To live in the ‘Land of the Free’ means eternal vigilance. Ditto the Isle of Wight.

    I certainly won’t make the mistake of speaking a foreign language on the IOW again without ensuring that I’m immaculately coiffed first.
    I mean…fair’s fair…

  23. June 27, 2009 10:03 PM

    Thanks for the videos, Para, at least the necrology was restrained.

    I knew Sky Saxon a bit, if it’s possible to “know” someone for five minutes while the shades are drawing over the night of the mind, again… in 1967. Nice enough bloke. Not much to say. A mop of blond hair that was apparently his. Extremely, er… what’s the nice word for not tall… well, short. (All these body image problems Polly is citing were not invented until 1970.)

    BTW, has anybody on this chain ever… dare one ask.. surfed? (No, net doesn’t count.)

    As this appears to be Death Week, I’m doing Mayan Mortal Combat and the Disappearance of Night at

    Wax up those long boards and come on over dudes and dudesses..

  24. Meltonian permalink
    June 27, 2009 10:20 PM

    Let’s give a shriek and a grab at the crutch
    to the memory of Michael Jackson,
    you wonder why someone given so much
    would want to become an Anglo-Saxon.

    I suppose we ought to be quite flattered
    an Adonis should take himself apart
    and retool as though it really mattered:
    table d’hote is as good as a la carte.

    Why anyone would want our pasty mugs,
    in texture like a slice of vintage Brie,
    to the touch very similar to slugs,
    is a total mystery to me.

    Now he’s gone we can give that stuff the flick
    and stick to what’s important: the music.

  25. Meltonian permalink
    June 27, 2009 10:23 PM

    Not really accurate but couldn’t resist the Jackson/Saxon rhyme.

    I thought you were totally bald, Chief.

  26. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 10:28 PM

    Tom, I think the polite term for someone short is ‘discretely tall’.

    I surf. I was traveling around Sri Lanka in the early 70’s and met these charming Hawaiian vagabonds. We got stoned together and hit it off and they said, what are doing? Just roaming, I said. Come back to Hikadua with us. What cooks in Hikadua, I said. Surf, dude, they said. I’ve never surfed, I said. You ski, water-ski, anything like that? Sure, I said. No sweat, dude, we’ll teach you to surf. And they did. Rudy and Pete. Lovely fellows.

    We lived in a palm-thatch hut on the beach and lived on fresh-caught sea-food. The place was virtually unknown except to a small bunch of Aussie and American surf bums. All changed now, though the waves still look just as good, rolling in after a clear, unobstructed run from the Southern Ocean and the Roaring Forties. Bitchin’, dude.

  27. June 27, 2009 11:47 PM

    Ah, surfing. I lived in Southern California for four years and haunted the beach (avoiding my first wife, a six-foot tall, Aryan anorexic) but can’t recall ever seeing one of those bronzed dudes semi-vertical on a moving board for longer than half a second.

    What I miss from those days was being able to spend the morning baking on a beach and then make the two-hour drive to a chum’s place in the San Jacinto mountains… and trudge about in bear-infested woods in a snow storm… then come inside to a roaring hearth, Mexican cocoa and winsome remembrances of college flings, by Gawd. I’d be there in So Cal, still, but for the fact that I found myself dying of boredom. Pity I never learned to surf. Or swim.

  28. June 27, 2009 11:55 PM

    “I’d be there in So Cal, still, but for the fact that I found myself dying of boredom.”

    (“Boredom”? With that teacup-flinging psycho on your case 24/7, wincing when you schtupped her and screaming when you wouldn’t? *Boredom*?)

  29. mishari permalink*
    June 27, 2009 11:59 PM

    Seriously, dude…I’m always astonished when I hear someone say they can’t swim. I can’t remember not being able to swim. I mean, it’s an indispensable ability, what with rising sea levels, melting glaciers, vanishing polar caps. Man, you’d better learn.

    Then again, the old song says that ‘God sent a rainbow as a sign, it won’t be water but the fire next time’, so maybe we’d all be better off dumping the Speedos and getting ourselves fire-proofed…

  30. June 28, 2009 12:00 AM

    “Seriously, dude…I’m always astonished when I hear someone say they can’t swim.”

    I know, I know. Fear of snapping turtles and giant clams, innit?

  31. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2009 12:06 AM

    Here’s me aged 5, in over-sized Speedos. Surf’s up, dude! (cue Dick Dale and The Deltones, who used to pop up from behind a dune in all those Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello movies, guitars presumably plugged into the beach)

  32. June 28, 2009 12:18 AM

    Christ, M, might be nice to cover “Cat Lady” with a tarp before inviting people in for a look at your photos…

    Otherwise (overmastering his rising gorge)…. (gulp)…. cute kid. Obviously planning nefarious things (involving magnifying glasses and red ants? table salt and garden slugs?), though.

    Re: Frankie and Annette: I imagine I must be old if I remember watching those flicks, eh? Much preferred Dobie Gillis.

  33. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2009 12:21 AM

    Oh, those Frankie and Annette movies were drive-in fodder, brainless to the nth degree. One of them, however, depressed me deeply. Was it Beach Blanket Bingo, Muscle Beach Party, How To Stuff A Wild Bikini? No matter…I used to watch them on hung over Sunday afernoons. In one of them, Buster Keaton appears and is made the butt of the gang’s witless japes.

    I think it might actually have been his last film appearance. The sight of those charmless meatheads making sport of a certified genius of film, a giant of early cinema, a pioneer and creator of many of the conventions they were using, was incredibly saddening. I suspect they had no idea who Keaton was. The schmucks…

    Ah, The Life and Loves of Dobie Gillis. Remember his best pal? Beatnik Maynard J. Krebs, was it? Played by Bob Denver (Gilligan)…
    Jesus, it worries me that I know this stuff…

  34. June 28, 2009 12:36 AM

    Didn’t that show indulge in some pretty postmodern fourth-wall-breaking? I seem to remember Dobie (Dwayne Hickman? I swear I didn’t just Google that) addressing the audience through the screen, from time to time.

  35. June 28, 2009 12:39 AM

    Yes, I *saw* that Buster Keaton-meets-Moondoggie installment. Wasn’t Keaton in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” about that time, too?

  36. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2009 12:42 AM

    He did, all the time. I actually, as a teenager, read the book (of the same name) by Max Shulmann (sp?) who was a hugely popular author of comic novels in the 50’s and 60’s. In the book, which is told episodically, Gillis is the narrator and adopts a confidential pally tone (this is from ancient memory, mind you). Each episode (chapter) is about the disasterous pursuit of some dish or other. I found it hilarious as a 13-14 year-old…

    According to wiki, Keaton’s last films were:

    # It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
    # Pajama Party (1964)
    # Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
    # How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965)
    # Sergeant Deadhead (1965)
    # A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)
    # Due Marines e un Generale/War Italian Style (1966)

  37. June 28, 2009 12:50 AM

    Erm… don’t much remember “Sergeant Deadhead”…

  38. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2009 12:54 AM

    I’ve never heard of it until today. But according to imdb, it starred Frankie Avalon, Cesar Romero and Eve Arden, who I think was Our Miss Brooks…

    Jesus…wiki yells me that Eve Arden’s first film was in 1929 and her last was Grease 2 in 1982. Quite a career…

  39. June 28, 2009 12:56 AM

    Eve Arden? Know her from her co-lead in “The Mother-in-Laws” (I think)

  40. June 28, 2009 12:58 AM


  41. June 28, 2009 12:59 AM

    Better crawl off to Nodville before I start excavating The Smothers Brothers or somesuch…

  42. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2009 1:05 AM

    …or Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In…’Say goodnight, Dick…’

  43. pinkroom permalink
    June 28, 2009 1:32 AM

    Seriously impressed btp knew sky saxon… the most wigged out of all wigged out psych. guitarists who left my ears ringing at that impressionable age… if a mash of teen hormones, lsd and uncontrolled paranoid/homicidal madness ever had a sound it would be a saxon solo… So funny he was a short-arse… explains all that wild fury… as Randy Newman put it “… no reason to live”.

    To be honest though I thought he was already long dead… those fellas (Rocky Erikson(?), Brian Jones, Jimi )didn’t seem to hang around long did they.

    Ventures always too vanilla for me I’m afraid. Curiously enough though I found Jacko’s music, in its time, around Off the Wall, an absolutely buttock twitching rush down the various Cinderellarockafella style discos Gasworks Green way. Pinkroom… the Polyester Years. Funky!

  44. pinkroom permalink
    June 28, 2009 1:37 AM

    Just wikied Roky Erikson… still alive apparently. Just went mad around 1969. Shame… his solos were pretty good too.

  45. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2009 2:52 AM

    When you call The Ventures ‘vanilla’, I take it you mean they were un-dark, un-edgy, un-erotic, un-threatening, etc. etc. Fair enough, but does absolutely fucking everything have to be dark, edgy, blahblahblah?

    Take vintage Capra-corn like It’s A Wonderful Life or better yet Hawks’ Bringing Up Baby. Are they not ‘vanilla’? Cary Grant was sexy but Kate Hepburn? With that lock-jawed East Coast Brahmin accent and delivery? I found her more irritating than anything else. But it’s still a delightful film.

    Isn’t the Wind in the Willows ‘vanilla’? And what could be more vanilla than Jacko, the ersatz white-man in white socks singing about love and sex with all the dirty urgency of a Disney cartoon?

    Personally, I got a kick out of The Ventures. They were what they were. I’m not going to slate them for not being something else.

    Anyway, here’s some un-vanilla (I think):

  46. June 28, 2009 9:27 AM

    Roky Ericsson, as I understand it, didn’t so much go lsd crazy as take a mental health dive to get off a Texas dope bust and spent the next few months having his sanity ECT’d away (could be wrong, though). Julian Cope recorded an album (Droolian) to raise money to help with his legal funds for another court case c1990.

    Here they are; this one matches (tops?) I Can Only Give You Everything for beat nirvana chops. And, yes, that is Roky’s dealer playing the jug.

  47. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2009 10:46 AM

    In the same spirit, here’s an old pal of mine, Jeff ‘Monoman’ Connolly and his band The Lyres, a Boston institution from the late 70’s on. Pure garage.(Jeff’s the one in shades and long blonde hair, playing that wonderfully cheesy Farfisa organ with one hand while the other brutalises a tambourine).Great stuff:


  48. June 28, 2009 10:20 PM

    Mish re: your Flickr photostream – the photo of the art dealer/ alley cat with big hair looks uncannily like Mickey O’Rourke. that’s the problem with plastic surgery – everyone starts to look the same and permanently surprised at the same time. Perhaps they are surprised that they look the same as every other plastic surgery patient.

    I can’t swim and am not a fan of beaches. Being near them is no problem but the idea of sitting around doing nothing for hours on end on sand is not appealing. Odd as I love UK seaside towns, especially the ones that have been overlooked – Bexhill with the magnificent De La Warr Pavilion or Morecambe with its superb art deco hotel.

  49. June 28, 2009 10:35 PM

    “Personally, I got a kick out of The Ventures.”

    The Ventures were great but I’m more of a Joe Meek partisan. I wouldn’t mind having a hillside lab replete with deathray and telescope and “Telstar” on the Magnavox… that and the proto-Proclaimers zither-monsterpiece “Have I the Right?” Whenever I hear this retro-avant music I want to have sex with a bee-hived marionette in a flying submarine (which is why I only listen once a year). Failing that, a nice girl with vertical lines on either side of her mouth and knees that never quite go straight is also nice.

    The Ventures are more of a real-world, bronze-limbed, Woody-driving surf-dude kind of thing, yes? (Not being able to swim even effects one’s choice in music, clearly).

  50. June 28, 2009 10:45 PM

    Mickey O’Rourke?????? Mickey Rourke surely? I’ll go quietly and won’t return for several weeks. Work in Portugal calls.

  51. mishari permalink*
    June 28, 2009 10:47 PM

    Portugal’s lovely, Al (as I’m sure you know). Whereabouts are you going?

  52. June 29, 2009 8:39 AM

    2 days in Tavira on the Algarve ( never been to that bit before ) , two days in Pinhal Novo near Lisbon at the intriguingly named Festival Internacional de Gigantes – us and I’m imagining dozens of those big figures they have in Spanish fiestas, perhaps they will be our audience? Who knows?.

    I love Portugal – the food is always the same, very simple but completely delicious.

  53. June 29, 2009 1:32 PM

    Alarming, we stayed in the Morecambe art deco hotel – The Midland – it was superb. A fusion of art deco and modern design (sort of like very posh Ikea, being not rich enough I wouldn’t know what that would be – Habitat maybe?) and some interesting features, like the fact that the toilet was in a cupboard, which opened out to completely close off the bathroom and the bedroom. Rather impressive I thought, until the husband decided to close the cupboard on me – not fun. Also the wardrobe had a receeding decker hanging rail which was too high to reach but it had a handle attached so it pulled down, however I didn’t realise that and ended up standing on one of the posh chairs to hang my stuff up. Such intricate designs are wasted on us plebs! I later found a discrete little leaflet introducing me to the “features” of the room. I can imagine them getting loads of calls from people who can’t find the toilet and deciding they’d better spell it out.

  54. June 29, 2009 9:27 PM

    Mishari, just read this line from Nat Lee and thought it might serve as an epigram for PH:

    Turn then, who e’er thou art that canst write well
    Thy ink to gall, and in Lampoons excell

  55. mishari permalink*
    June 29, 2009 10:28 PM

    Is that Nathaniel Lee, the mad dramatist, XB? I’ve always liked an extempore couplet he came up with when he was visited in Bedlam by his friend, the author and pamphleteer Roger L’Estrange:

    Fortunes often falter, positions sometimes change;
    I am strange Lee altered, you are unaltered L’Estrange.

    (the couplet is from memory and is not quite accurate. I can’t find it online)

  56. June 29, 2009 10:49 PM

    I found the quote on this strange site:

    Read through some of the articles and comments, but wouldn’t recommend it.

  57. mishari permalink*
    June 29, 2009 10:57 PM

    What a wag you are…

  58. June 30, 2009 9:01 AM

    The same Nathaniel Lee, Mishari.

    It’s strange, when I was younger all these hot-houses of sudden creative energy – renaissance London theatre, be-bop New York, etc, seemed to be inhabited by ancient giants, all-knowing with extraordinary powers. I would look at a picture of, say, John Lennon, and see an unreachable genius. Now I see a rather awkward near-boy. They dwindle to reckless, young, talented if disasterously self-destructive and, usually, either dead, mad or religious (or all three) within a few years. The casualty rate for talent in these once-an-era conditions seems extrordinarily high. Like the rock god’s mass cull of 1969-71.

  59. June 30, 2009 11:29 AM

    I was just going back to add a more considered opinion about Hebden Bridge to Ben’s post on the Guardian and it’s shut already. So things are only kept open for a week as a general rule? How unfortunate – it takes me at least a week to form an opinion and put my words in order. Oh well, I’ll say here instead that all the Yorkshiremen I know only have one shed, and I come from a family of Yorkshire folk, although strangely my father seems to have developed a second shed since moving further up north to County Durham – go figure that one Al.

    Also I thought it an interesting point that the Hebden of nowadays was not the same place at all which Ted Hughes grew up in, and probably wasn’t like it when he and Sylvia lived in Heptonstall as well. Now it’s got a huge emphasis on the arts, its a hippy town (shops don’t give out plastic bags and they have various recycling schemes and community projects. Plus not a single chain store, except the Spar), and it has a large community of intellectual types, such as writers and also commuters which has been pushing the locals out to surrounding areas where the housing is cheaper. Mytholmroyd itself isn’t part of Hebden Bridge. It pretends it is. It’s more like what Ted Hughes would have known. It’s the run down little brother down the road. The clog factory is derelict and lots of areas have seen better days.

    The views are still spectacular and inspiring. There is something about the valley which makes a person feel incredibly small and insignificant, but also like they are part of something special and important. But like I’ve said earlier here somewhere it’s much more Wuthering Heights in my opinion (Haworth is just up the road over the top of the moor). The sort of place where people could get lost on the moor and never found again.

    Sorry for barging in on your be-bop…

    p.s. you’ll find that it’s only blow-ins who move to a place and then start praising it to all and sundry, the rest of us will be willing them to shut up so they don’t drive the house prices up (it really does have an effect – I witnessed it – the Times years ago did a feature saying it’s the second best place to live outside London *Bam* I can’t afford a house anymore)

    … but we love it here really.

  60. mishari permalink*
    June 30, 2009 1:01 PM

    Mowbray finally makes the Grauniad…front page, no less.

  61. June 30, 2009 1:18 PM

    Fabulous! Something worth reading about definitely!!!

  62. Meltonian permalink
    June 30, 2009 2:10 PM

    ‘… eloquence, intelligence and absence of self-pity…’ – doesn’t sound like the me I know. Looks a bit like James Nesbit, poor bloke.

  63. June 30, 2009 2:22 PM

    I keep on meaning to buy a t-shirt from your site, although I’m not sure where I’d wear it, as pointed out in the comments to the piece Bum means something very different here and wearing a slogan asking people to pimp my bum would probably lead to some unwanted situations…

  64. mishari permalink*
    June 30, 2009 3:00 PM

    No need to bother with the site, Polly. I am authorised to offer genuine Mowbray t-shirts to the general public. Every t-shirt comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Mowbray (well, not actually signed by Mowbray but by someone he knows who can read and write) and guaranteed to have been worn by MM for a week and not laundered.

    These attractive tops are a must for any fashion-conscious wardrobe and are encrusted with food and Mowbray bodily-fluids and stained with genuine Kwik-Save Super Strength Apple-Flavoured Drink (%16 by volume) and Patel’s Olde English Sherry-Type Beverage (%28 by volume).

    Yours for only £49.99. Don’t delay because supplies are limited.

  65. June 30, 2009 3:10 PM

    How do you know I don’t have a stack of those types of t-shirts already?

  66. Meltonian permalink
    June 30, 2009 3:48 PM

    I never wash anything inside a week. Including my skin. I recommend that the Prince retains a few shirts for those days he sashays down the High Street to Waitrose. A loss leader rather than a Special Offer.

  67. mishari permalink*
    June 30, 2009 10:13 PM

    I recommend that everyone take Steven’s richly amusing, clear-eyed, skewering pop-quiz. A fine example of what Americans call ‘kidding-on-the-level’. Great stuff

  68. June 30, 2009 10:55 PM


    I’m fairly sure no *real* MJ fans follow Pol Hom, so, I suppose your mention is no threat to my security at all.

    (Packs bags, dyes hair and wakes his child in the night…)

  69. mishari permalink*
    June 30, 2009 11:06 PM

    I listened to that idiot Jesse Jackson on Newsnight last night retailing the party line about Jackson’s ‘skin disease’ (you know, the one that straightens your hair, thins your lips and gives you a nose like Audrey Hepburn…well, a damaged Audrey Hepburn).

    I despair. Jackson, Sharpton and the rest of these so-called ‘black activists’ are conspiring with the white power structure to keep the fantasy of ‘egalitarian America’ alive. Bah.

  70. June 30, 2009 11:21 PM

    ‘Kin awful. Sharpton at his very, very best is deeply embarrassing and a big chunk of the ballast that has pulled a once-buoyant movement straight back down into the slough of despond. The real true sign that one is capable of effective leadership of The People is a critical bullet in a ballroom or on a balcony. If They let you grow fat and sassy, be assured that They like what you’re doing.

  71. July 1, 2009 12:21 AM

    Lovely thread since whene’er…

    Eve Arden as Our Miss Brooks was a blinder, beautiful dry humor and timing, her laugh lines as Our Miss Brooks perennially impaling the stuffy blustering failed authoritarian Osgood Conklin (Gale Gordon), her nominal superior in the high school where the comedy played out.

    And ah, thank you Mr. Pink for remembering Roky E., whose work now shines out as perhaps the salient prescient symbolic indication and decisive symptom of the death throes of an Empire that tried over a period of time to shut him up if not kill him off (though as Exitb correctly hints cops and electroshocks and thorazine were variously employed). Apparently he survived all that due to the inhabitation of his body by aliens, or maybe it was by his inhabiting theirs. Eight years after the two dead-on genius albums he made with 13 FE as a teenager he was still raging in Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer), here he was perhaps the spokesman of something larger than himself, and not a cuddly thing, it was…

    But must be cautious here because this is a chain on which bent apocalyptic lyric savants may be held suspect.

    Should anyone on the chaingang wish a swift first encounter with the brilliant music of RE, check out the 1990 tribute album Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye, I wore out my copy so long ago it’s only a memory–but that memory sometime oddly drifts to put a caption on what I see on the New Depression streets o’nights. No one but Rocky was ever “out there” far enough and also strong enough to bring back some indication of the sheer scale of the enormity of the madness of the american dream.

    (Speaking of saving the homeless, Melton, was I not right about your uncanny resemblance to a bioluminescent marine organism?)

  72. mishari permalink*
    July 1, 2009 12:46 AM

    Just for a brief change of pace from raucous electric visionaries and lunatics, I found this lovely tribute to Django by David Grisman. Georgeous:

  73. Pollyanna permalink
    July 1, 2009 8:28 AM

    What a wonderfully mellow and joyful version of a very annoying song.

  74. July 1, 2009 9:21 AM


    I first encountered RE through When the Pyramid Meets the Eye. Don’t think they sold it in the town I grew up in but I found it second hand (cassette) and then only because it had an REM song on it – they were my fave rave at the time. A great album. Where else could you find ZZ Top and Jesus & Mary Chain covering the same song? I’m listening to it now.

    Same for I’m Your Fan, the Cohen tribute that came out around the same time. I was familiar with those recording long before I heard any of the originals (still prefer many of them).

    When are covers better than the originals?

  75. July 1, 2009 9:27 AM

    Sheer bloody genius, SA.

  76. mishari permalink*
    July 1, 2009 11:49 AM

    Once again Politely Homicidal in association with Completely Baffling Productions is proud to present another selection of mystifying search terms that brought people here:

    banana bank robbery banana

    having sex and sticking your penis in the

    mickey hitler

    sheep pie

    how to pickpocket youtube

    “horsefeathers swathed in mink

    little girls pregnant in brazil

    sheep with helicopter

    nervous system of a sheep

    i have offended god and mankind because

    senile boss stuffed animals

    tickle feet little girl

    we’ll be friends senile

    a cartoon little girl with a heart

    forest path cartoon+ sheep

    waffles bjork

    three rich little girls from last century

    english comic kebab hats in taxi

    what formal hair style disguise a droopy

    militant sheep illustrations

    “looks like we’re in a tight spot” movie

    out in the night… glaring eyes in dark

    obama pickpocket president

    the who mods

    j t edson fascist

    i had an almost apocalyptic vision that

    muscular system of sheep

    sheep autumn web template

    waiting for something feels like eternity

    angel in the rain

    freep’s fashion

    naked boys in arab films

    chariots of the gods by erich von heineken

    face masks transvestites u yube

    dear sky shameless hussy press

    “interstellar overdrive” jazz guitar wes

    feeding in and tailing out timber required

    picture of marilyn monroe eating a hot dog

    exploded sheep

    girl rubs boy cartoon

    “marilyn monroe” drunk

    alas, regardless of their doom the little girl

    leni riefenstahl pretty swastika

    wild west for little girls

    marilyn monroe’s corpse

    rothbury 2009 t-shirt

    cool ford escape mods

    mean little girls

    william tell overture mum’s lament utube

  77. freep permalink
    July 1, 2009 2:06 PM

    Good to see the sheep still prominent. They seem to have infested search engines in a clever way, though ‘sheep pie’ is particularly puzzling. I can’t work out what kind of impulse might drive a person to google ‘sheep pie’:
    ‘I have a whole sheep in the freezer, which I rustled last year in the Dales. I wonder how I might prepare it for saturday’s dinner party? Perhaps there is a recipe like Desperate Dan’s Cow Pie …?’ Do sheep have umbles?

  78. July 1, 2009 2:20 PM

    Nowt like a good bit of mutton pie, lad.

    When did you set up freep’s fashion house?

  79. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    July 1, 2009 3:10 PM

    For the amusement of stray surfers:

    I’m off to see the Dave Matthews Band tonight. You’ll probably be glad I didn’t post one of their musical vignettes instead…

  80. July 1, 2009 3:42 PM

    The Dave Matthews Band are a bit like very old mutton, aren’t they?

  81. freep permalink
    July 1, 2009 3:46 PM

    Thanks for the sheep sounds, HLM. I played the mildest of the lamb sounds to my faithful dogg, and he scurried out of the room, tail down.
    Glad you noted freep’s fashion house, St. Polly; we don’t advertise much, as our discerning clients find it vulgar. Our speciality is in 2nd Empire anklewear and bejewelled dog leads. Our accessories lines seem to be recession-proof, as witness the growth in sales of castellated wooden hats, and of his ‘n’ hers soft towelling tow ropes for Land Rovers.

  82. July 1, 2009 4:44 PM

    Wooden hats are a fine idea. Do these come with or without butterflies?

  83. freep permalink
    July 1, 2009 4:59 PM

    £765.00 for woodworm-treated teak topper with Round tower Windsor decorations. Butterflies are extra. Balsa Homburg with Ludwig II schloss additions £1080.00, lined with mahogany shavings. There is a downmarket option of walnut effect chipboard double crown (two-person) dunce hat, £150.00; ideal for twins with learning difficulties.

  84. mishari permalink*
    July 1, 2009 5:27 PM

    MM, this should amuse you. I got an e-mail asking me, in all seriousness, if you were really the homeless guy on the Pimp This Bum website. Obviously, I had to tell the truth and I said I wasn’t quite sure…

  85. July 1, 2009 6:05 PM

    A wise response… you never can be too sure!

  86. Meltonian permalink
    July 1, 2009 6:12 PM

    Phew… a close call. As I wander the streets with my laptop, car and semi-detached house I’m always wondering if I’ll encounter someone from my former life.

    I have the Mills book on order. I’m hoping to find some tasty juvenilia.

    How can I
    hide this rash
    I know!
    I’ll grow a ‘tache.

  87. mishari permalink*
    July 1, 2009 6:36 PM

    I was going to order it too, MM, but I gathered it’s not actually been published yet. Has it now?

    Mills: The Peach-Fuzz Years

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    Quite keen to be a poet
    I floated and I mused aloud:
    I’ll start a ‘tache and grow it.

  88. Meltonian permalink
    July 1, 2009 9:06 PM

    No, but you can pre-order from the Online Catalogue section at Shearsman. I got a personal email from the MD thanking me for my order, which was unexpected. Took me back to the mid-90s, when I suppose companies were only getting 3 emails a day.

  89. Captain Ned permalink
    July 1, 2009 9:13 PM

    Those search terms are amazing. How about we pick one each and write a poem around it?

  90. July 1, 2009 9:21 PM

    waffles bjork
    ran a cafe up my road
    he never sang

  91. July 1, 2009 11:19 PM

    My level of poetry, at least:

    I have offended god and mankind because,
    having sex and sticking your penis in the
    nervous system of a sheep,
    freep’s fashion,
    waiting for something, feels like eternity.

  92. July 2, 2009 7:53 AM

    A stanza in the style of ee cummings:

    what formal hair style disguise a droopy
    pote lying beneath it;
    droopy pomes droopy hair
    to the people best bequeath it

    The book is pretty much available; my own copies were posted a couple of days ago.

  93. July 2, 2009 9:45 AM


    You know my dear there is only one place where you can get hats with butterflies.

  94. July 2, 2009 11:08 AM

    BTP I was just pondering the durability of the wooden hat option and also that the butterflies might prefer to perch there, not being so cold on their little feet as a stove pipe, but yes I can see how I came across as a fickle customer!

  95. July 2, 2009 11:10 AM

    EEEUUUURRRRGGGGHHHH I juust drank yesterday’s coffee. Bleurgh… I should clear up more!

Comments are closed.