Sunday, 17 January 2010

My Shameful Novelty Record Past

Its a fine line between comedy and genius. My Ding a ling, comedy. Johnny B. Goode, genius. Maxwells Silver Hammer, comedy, Blackbird, genius. Killing In The Name, comedy...well you get the idea of that.
I have a checkered history with the comedic, the novelty, the rather embarrassing side of recorded music, we all have, haven't we?
I have close friends that owned, or indeed own Chalk Dust by The Brat, this friend buries this part of his life deep down when professing his love for Morrissey. We have all shameful pasts.
My first dalliance with novelty pop was Keith Michell and his tale of Captain Beaky, as a 9 year old this was incendiary stuff that the big kids wouldn't, or couldn't understand. Maybe they were more preoccupied with The Ramones who in January 1980 were just a few places lower than Michell on that weeks hit parade. I adored Captain Beaky, it was hilarious but also it had pathos, that cursed Hissing Sid. Oddly Captain Beaky and His Band had an effect on more than just me, someone has dedicated a website to them st

Captain Beaky and His Bandy by Keith Michell

From Capatain Beaky, perhaps the shame of that sent my novelty record passions underground for a number of years, during 1987 when my indie leanings were coming more and more to the fore. You would think I would have some form of quality control, no, it will become apparent that I had no quality control. I bought a single that haunts me to this day, I bought a single by The Firm. I know what you are thinking, Peter that is nothing to be ashamed of, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, thats something to be proud of. No, not that The Firm, OK, OK, perhaps the NAZ fronted Hip Hop supergroup, Dr Dre produced that joint, be proud Peter, thats the mother flipping H bomb. No. No. No. The Firm single I bought was the follow up to Arthur Daley, He's Alright, that didnt float my boat, I found that rather pedestrian, the follow up though, that made me part with my 75p at Our Price, that was Star Trekkin. Peter what were you bloody thinking. I have no idea. At least I didnt record a parody of a novelty record, some one did though, someone and I want to say DLT or Steve Wright parodied it in 1987, but as a kind of Beastie Boys act and the track was Start Wreckin. You see what they did there.

Star Trekkin by The Firm

You would think that would be the end of it all, I was entering adulthood, my music taste was getting more and more discerning, 2 stinkers in a lifetime of record buying, thats not so bad. Let me be frank, those two exmaples are just two that I have elaborated on, add to that list World Cup Willie by Lonnie Donegan, I wasnt even born in 66!!!!, The Streak by Ray Stevens and D.I.V.O.R.C.E by Billy Connolly, to name but a few. Its a curse, trust me it is.
So fast forward to 1998, I am in my late twenties, indier than thou, and for some inexplicable reason Isaac Hayes' Chocolate Salty Balls from South Park seemed like the most hilarious thing ever recorded. That should have been it, that should have been the end of it and I should have laughed and then pulled on my duffle coat and went off to buy a fanzine. No. Common sense didnt prevail and for some reason last over time I owned a CD single of Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls. I blame it on Eric Cartmans take on Styx's Come Sail Away that graced the B-Side, that could be the only reason.

Come Sail Away by Eric Cartman

So thats an insight into my novelty record buying, add to all of that Ghostbusters, Captain Sensibles One Christmas Catalogue and Donald Where's Your Trousers. Enough though I have to pop out and buy Hale and Pace's The Stonk.

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