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Subj:     Lord Buckley
                (Includes 2 jokes and articles, 14695b,1,cf,md4w,0)

Calvin cartoon
from
Josephs Free Stuff
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Buckley Swings - Lord Buckley, A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat

                                 by Walt Stempek

                  Copyright 1996 Walt Stempek. Used by Permission.
 
"Hipsters, flipsters and finger-poppin' daddies,
 Knock me your lobes!
 I came here to lay Caesar out,
 Not to hip you to him.
 The bad jazz that a cat blows
 Wails long after he's cut out,
 The groovy is often stashed with their frames.
 So don't put Caesar down...."
Buckley drawing vy Doug Allen
from WJMu at 91.1 fm

 What a gas!  Willie the Shake flipping wigs once again in this
 wild, crazy, "hipsemantic" translation of Marc Antony's funeral
 oration.  And what sweet, swingin' stud laid this beautiful jazz
 down?  None other than Lord Richard Buckley - a far out, wailin',
 nonstop, groovy gasser who stomped virtually unknown through the
 pages of comedic history.

 He came upon his title one day while visiting a bankrupt circus
 with a friend.  From one of the wardrobe trunks he pulled a
 rather large purple robe (it belonged to an elephant) complete
 with glass emeralds, rubies and sapphires. He draped it around
 his shoulders and proceeded to march through the streets of
 Chicago to his party pad, where he began celebrating his new
 title: Lord Buckley, hip English nobleman.  His followers became
 the Royal Court and were christened with nicknames such as
 Prince Owl Head, Lady Renaissance, Prince Hair Head, and
 Princess Water Lily.  His Lordship's graciousness was not
 reserved only for members of the Royal Court, but was extended to
 all, for he truly believed: "...people, yes people are the true
 flowers of life, and it has been a most precious pleasure to have
 temporarily strolled in your garden."

 Although his manner was that of an English nobleman, his language
 was the argot of the streets of black America: "Negroes spoke a
 language of such power, purity and beauty I found it irresistible.
 I could not resist this magical way of speaking, nor the great
 power it had for good in its purity and sweetness.  A power that
 said by hip-zig-zag-urmph, everything is understandable.  A voice
 spoke to me from within.  Doesn't it, to you?...  And this black
 riff-voice swung, grooved and gassed me - triple hipped my soul -
 launching the fabric of my very being into the outer realms of
 the FARGONASPHERE!!"

 The whole world truly was his stage, as his son Fred explains in
 the liner notes of Buckley's Best: "...his Lordship took every
opportunity to perform wherever he happened to
be.  In a private home or in a supermarket, in a
concert hall or standing on the desert at sunrise,
his Lordship was prepared to and most often did
perform for whoever was present."

Photo from It's a Hot'un

 One thing was for sure, His Majesty lived every day as if it were
 to be his last and he never let money get in the way of having
 fun.  He was always broke, and if you knew him, chances were he
 owed you money.  He once bought dinner for thirty people with money
 he borrowed from those he invited!  However, he was as generous
 with his own as he was with others'.  His generosity took many
 forms and was often extended to other performers.  Jazz singer
 Anita O'Day speaks fondly of Buckley in her autobiography High
 Times, Hard Times, noting that he took her under his wing early
 in her career and helped her develop as an artist.

 Richard Myrle Buckley was born on April 5, 1906, in Toulumne,
 California, a mining town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada
 mountains.  He was the youngest of eight children (some accounts
 say ten, some six), and as a boy he and his sister Nell would sing
 for the cowboys who passed through town in the hopes of earning
 some small change.  In his youth he worked as a dishwasher, truck
 driver and lumberjack.  In the mid-1920's he set off for Mexico to
 join a brother in an oil venture.  He got as far as Galveston where
 he met up with a Texas guitar player and began his show business
 career.  His first gig was at the Million Dollar Aztec Theater in
 San Antonio.  In a radio interview years later Buckley recalled
 that the manager of the Aztec called his "the lousiest act I ever
 played in my life."

 "And he was right!" exclaimed the Lord.

 The 1930's found Buckley working in Chicago.  He began the decade
 as a walkathon Master of Ceremonies and later gigged in speakeasies
 run by the mob.  During an engagement at the club Suzy Q Buckley
 hired a hearse to drive around the streets of Chicago.  Dressed in
 a tuxedo he would lie in a coffin in the back, and when cars pulled
 up alongside he would sit up holding a sign reading, "The body
 comes alive at the Suzy Q." Buckley eventually caught the eye of
 Al Capone, who set him up with his own nightclub, the Chez Buckley.
 His Lordship hired some of the best jazz musicians to blow at his
 club, and it was perhaps during this period that he developed his
 love of black dialect.  Eventually Chicago vice-squad pressure
 forced him to leave town.
 
 In the 1940's Buckley worked the vaudeville circuit
 and developed his "Amos 'n Andy" act, which was the
 precursor of the routines for which he is noted.
 Four audience members would be seated on stage with
 Buckley crouched behind them.  His Majesty would
 supply the black idiom while the participants would
 lip-snych and gesture when prodded by Buckley.  He
 used this skit on U.S.O. tours with Ed Sullivan
Photo from
It's a Hot'un
 during World War II, and Sullivan liked it so much he had Buckley
 on his show nine times in the 1940's and 50's.
 

 The 40's were a wild time for Buckley. Berle Adams, his manager in
 the latter part of the decade, recalled: "Dick was unpredictable
 even in those days.  These were his big drinking and womanizing
 days.  Many clubs wouldn't bring him back, especially hotels.  It
 was precarious to have him work(ing) the hotel or working the
 floor because you didn't know what was going to happen next."  He
 was known to ridicule an unhip audience, and was not adverse to
 doing his act with a joint dangling from his lips.

 After the war, while acting in a Broadway play called The Passing
 Show, he met and married one of the show's dancers, a beautiful
 20 year old blonde woman named Elizabeth Hanson.  The couple
 moved into a Manhattan apartment and spent the next few years
 entertaining anyone and everyone.  They had two children, Laurie
 and Richard Jr. (Buckley's son, Fred, was from a previous union)
 and were together until he died.  Lady Buckley: "I loved the man
 and I loved the artist, too.  I was just happy that he passed my
 way, because he looked at life differently than anyone else.  We
 always ate well and we always were warm and had shelter.  We
 lived in palaces and we lived in tiny places like the Crackerbox
 Palace.  It never seemed to make any difference - we were happy
 together..."

 In 1950 the Buckleys moved West to Los Angeles.  With two
 children money was tight and Buckley was hoping to break
 into films or at least find work in Las Vegas, Reno or San
 Francisco.  The film career never quite worked out, although he
 did have a bit part in the 20th Century Fox comedy We're Not
 Married (now available on video), starring Fred Allen, Ginger
 Rogers and Marilyn Monroe, and a walk-on in Stanley Kubrick's
 Spartacus.

 It was also during this time that Buckley began, according to
 Oliver Trager, Buckley's biographer, "...taking the persona of
 "His Lordship" both onstage and off.  At Lady Buckley's urging,
the four-way "Amos 'n Andy" bit was deemphasized
in the act.  In its place were the classic Lord
Buckley raps, recasting incidents from history
and mythology into a patois that blended scat-
singing, black jive talk, and the King's English."

Drawing from Columbia University

 In California Buckley found the perfect place to continue the
 free-spirited lifestlye he had pursued back East.  It made no
 difference whether he and his family lived in dilapidated places
 like the Chicken Coop or the Crakerbox Palace or in a mansion (The
 Castle) in the Hollywood Hills.  The latter, complete with moat,
 once belonged to the silent movie actress Barbara La Marr.  It was
 owned by an old widow and Buckley used his considerable charm to
 talk her into renting it to him for a song and a dance.  The
 Castle had its own throne from which His Lordship would hold court
 for the likes of Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Tony Curtis.  Also
 welcome were junkies, musicians and virtually anyone else who
 wanted to join the party.  It was at the Topanga Canyon art
 gallery owned by his friend Bob DeWitt that Lord Buckley started
 the first jazz church, which he christened "The Church of the
 Living Swing."  Said Lady Buckley, "All the people sat on railroad
 ties, and it was the first time they had a light show.  His
 Lordship would perform, and there would be music.  It only lasted
 four weeks but it was wonderful."

 From 1954-1962 Los Angeles psychiatrist Dr. Oscar Janiger
 conducted clinical research to study the effects of the then legal
 drug LSD on a cross-section of the population.  Lord Buckley, not
 one to pass up a possible mind-altering opportunity, agreed to
 participate in the project.  Those who took part were expected to
 write down their reactions to the experience shortly after taking
 the drug.  The following is an excerpt from His Majesty's encounter
 with the psychedelic drug:

   "LSD, first trip, by Richard Lord Buckley, ordinary seaman on
   the good ship lovely soul detonator, under the command of Fleet
   Admiral Oscar Janiger, head detonator and...head head. Intro-
   duction: I first felt a tenseness in my groin and chest, as if
   something big was there, something I knew was going to rise up
   to break through to something new.  My whole body was jingling
   with alert signals.  This is gonna be one mother of a takeoff!
   Hang on!  It felt like a soul pressure.  I felt strong.  I felt
   words shooting out of me like projectiles, acres of untapped
   sound were waiting to be put in the gun of expression!  And
   with the physical feelings of rising and breaking through, came
   a great sense of expanding freedom.  I knew I was there when I
   saw the high florescency of vivid colors..."
 
 It was also during the 1950's that Buckley made his
 recordings on the Vaya, World Pacific, hip, Straight
 and RCA labels (more on these later), did radio
 interviews in Chicago and San Francisco, and also
 made appearances on Steve Allen's Tonight Show,
 Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life, and The Milton
 Berle Show.

 In 1957, their fortunes on the wane in California,

Photo from
LordBuckley.com
 Buckley and his family moved to Las Vegas, where he was able to
 find some work in the nightclubs and casinos.  In 1960 they
 moved again, this time to the San Francisco Bay area.  Buckley
 soon found gigs in places like The Hungry i and the Purple
 Onion, clubs which were also featuring such talent as Mort
 Saul, Dick Gregory and Lenny Bruce.  That summer, after
 establishing residence in San Rafael, Buckley left his family
 behind and was on the move again, this time on his "Cosmic
 Tour," a cross-country jaunt in a red VW microbus.

 From late August until mid-September he was in Chicago where he
 worked the Gate of Horn (A short clip of one of his performances
 appears in an obscure BBC documentary, Chicago: First Impressions
 of a Great American City.)  He also did an interview with Studs
 Terkel on radio station WFMT.  His Lordship fell ill in Chicago
 but recovered adequately enough to move on to New York, where he
 was scheduled to work the Jazz Gallery in early October.  Novelist
 Harold Humes had also wanted Buckley to do the voice-over sound-
 track for Don Peyote, a film he was working on.

 On October 20, while working at the Jazz Gallery, the New York
 vice squad appeared and confiscated Buckley's cabaret card, a
 requirement of employment for all restaurant and club workers in
 New York.  The cabaret card law, which had been in effect since
 Prohibition, prevented anyone with a police record from working in
 a restaurant or club.  Buckley had been busted in Reno in 1941 for
 public drunkenness and was, according to the New York Post,
 "accused of having falsely stated on his (cabaret card) application
 that he had never been arrested."  His Lordship maintained that
 the questions on the application were confusing.  A Citizens
 Emergency Committee, composed mostly of writers and magazine and
 book editors, came to Buckley's defense.  The CEC's accusation
 that cabaret cards were not issued unless a bribe was paid to the
 Police Cabaret Bureau made front page news.  The committee was
 counting on Buckley to testify, but unfortunately, The Hip Messiah,
 as he was then being called, was not going to make the scene.

 On November 12, 1960 His Lordship called Harold Humes, explaining
 he was afraid, broke and hungry (Humes immediately arranged to get
 him some money), and that the daily rejections by the cabaret
 bureau were causing him great anxiety.  He told Humes he had the
 "bugbird" in him (a reference to Buckley's "hipsemantic"
 interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe's, "The Raven").  Later that day
 he became ill and was taken by ambulance to Columbus Hospital.  He
 died later that night.  The original cause of death was given as
 kidney failure, but the two attending physicians later said he
 died of a stroke caused by "extreme hypertension."  A friend later
commented that he died of a broken heart as much
as anything.  Buckley's friend, comedian Larry
Storch, upon hearing of his death, said, "You
know, we never really thought Lord Buckley would
die.  We thought he had it from his mouth to
God's ear."

Photo from LordBuckley.com

 Eventually, the Citizens Emergency Committee succeeded, through
 public pressure, in forcing New York City to abolish the cabaret
 card licensing requirement.

 A few weeks later a memorial service was held at the Village Gate
 to benefit the Buckley family.  Those in attendance grieved,
 eulogized, traded stories and toasted His Majesty, while Ornette
 Coleman and Dizzy Gillespie wailed into the night.

 Lord Buckley left behind a substantial, if generally unknown,
 legacy.  Honey Bruce in her autobiography says, "Lenny did
 vocal impressions of famous stars, but I believe he learned he
 could use his voice to create many comedy characters from his
 experiences with Lord Buckley. With Lenny's talents there was no
 problem coming up with the voices, but it was the dear Lord
 Buckley who did it first."  Larry Storch, Jonathan Winters, Whoopi
 Goldberg, and Robin Williams have acknowledged their debt to him.
 Henry Miller, Greer Garson, and Charlie Parker were some of his
 admirers.  Frank Sinatra was his friend, until His Lordship
 supposedly marched sixteen naked people through the lobby
 of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel where Sinatra was performing.

 George Harrison's 1977 hit song "Crackerbox Palace" was indeed
 named after Buckley's tiny Hollywood dwelling.  The Mr. Greif
 referred to in the song was once Buckley's manager, and "...the
 Lord is well inside of you..." refers to the earthly, not the
 heavenly, divinity.  Jimmy Buffett has recorded and performed an
 original Buckley number called "God's Own Drunk."  Bob Dylan fell
 in love with "Black Cross," the story of a black man who is
 lynched for his supposed lack of religious beliefs.  Written by a
 Cleveland poet named Joseph Newman, it was one of the few works
 Buckley recited in its original form.  Dylan performed "Black
 Cross" in concert and two bootleg recordings from 1961 and 1962 do
 exist.  If you look closely at the cover of Dylan's album, Bringing
 It All Back Home, you will see a copy of Buckley's album, The Best
 of Lord Buckley (Crestview), on the mantle over the fireplace.  And
 Frank Zappa edited His Lordship's LP, a most immaculately hip
 aristocrat, when he was sixteen years old.

 His Lordship lives on in other ways.  In 1983, English actor John
 Sinclair performed a one-man stage show called Lord Buckley's Finest
 Hour in Los Angeles and London.  A Santa Cruz jazz musician named
 Don McCaslin has produced a radio show called The Nazz: A Bebop
 Drama, based on Lord Buckley's work of the same name, and is
 currently working on a related venture called Lil' Nazz, the story
 of the birth of Christ.  In 1960, and again in 1980, City Lights
 Books in San Francisco published the lyrics to some of His Lord-
 ship's routines called Hiparama of the Classics. (It is currently
 out of print.)  Since 1988 an annual Lord Buckley Memorial
 Celebration has been held in the hills near Santa
 Barbara, California.  In addition to commemorating
 His Lordship, the non-profit event raises money for
 such causes as Amnesty International and Greenpeace.
 Oliver Trager, a New York writer, has been
 assiduously compiling a biography of Lord Buckley
 over the last few years. 
Photo from
The Catalog of Cool

 And let us not forget the legacy Lord Buckley left to his children.
 A tribute to His Lordship from his daughter, Laurie: "He kept my
 brother Richard and I separate from the crazy world he lived in.
 He always made sure we were well-spoken, led orderly lives, and
 got to bed at the right time.  He made us believe in goodness and
 honor.  I may've had my rude awakening later, but he tried to live
 on a level of graciousness.  He didn't want the past to be for-
 gotten.  He wasn't always understood.  In fact, you either loved
 him or hated him.  He gave his money away to anyone who needed it.
 I think he created the Royal Court to protect his own mind,
 because he was always so far ahead of everybody else.  He
 consumed people.  He digested their minds.  He was a magnificent
 spirit.  He made a great impression.  When you heard Lord Buckley,
 you were never the same again."

 In 1946 jazz bandleader Lyle Griffin (who later produced and
 played on Buckley records for the hip label) recorded a tune
 called "Flight of the Vout Bug" for his own label, Atomic.
 The song was reissued on IRRA and reissued again on hip.
 Buckley dubbed a vocal over Griffin's instrumental track in
 1956 resulting in "Flight of the Saucer", a far out audio
 exploration of the solar system.

 Two of Buckley's first known commercial recordings, Euphoria and
 Euphoria, Volume II, were made for the Vaya label.  Both were
 recorded in 1951; Euphoria was most likely released in 1955 with
 Euphoria, Volume II following in 1956.  Euphoria was released in
 three variations, all containing the same material.  There was a
 twelve inch version called Euphoria, Volume 1, and two 10"
 releases, both called Euphoria, but one pressed in black vinyl
 and one in red vinyl (with a different label and number).  This
 LP contains Buckley's most famous work, the story of Christ,
 otherwise known as "The Nazz":

 "...and I dig all you cats out there whippin' and whalin' and
 jumpin' up and down and suckin' up that fine juice, and pattin'
 each other on the back and tellin' each other who the greatest
 cat in the woild is.  Mr. Malenkoff, Mr. Dalenkoff, Mr. Eisenhower,
 Woozinweezin, Weisenwoozer, and Mr. Woodhill and Mr. Beechhill
 and Mr. Churchhill and all them Hills, they gonna get it straight.
 If they can't straighten it they know a cat that knows a cat
 that's gonna get it straight.  Well, I'm gonna put a cat on you
 was the sweetest, gonist, wailinest cat that ever stomped on
 this sweet swingin' sphere.  And they call this here cat...the
Nazz, that was the cat's name.  He was a carpenter
kitty.  Now the Nazz was the kind of a cat that
come on so wild, and so sweet, and so strong and
so with it, that when he laid it, it stayed there..."
Buckley on "You Bet Your Life" from The Airbrush Museum

 Also included on Euphoria are "Marc Antony's Funeral Oration,"
 an exercise in "hipsemantic"; "Nero," an outrageous account
 of the infamous Roman emperor; and "Murder," a crime we have all
 daydreamed about committing at one time or another.  The latter
 is a Buckley original and one of a number of routines which is
 done straight, that is, not translated into "hipsemantic."  This
 album is representative of the range of Buckley's passions.  It
 eloquently displays his sense of rhythm, his love of language
 and literature, his admiration for historical figures who did
 good for humankind, and his fascination with the dark side of
 the human soul.

 Euphoria, Volume II contains other popular Buckley numbers,
 including "Jonah and the Whale" (complete with a marijuana
 smoking Jonah), and his tribute to an obscure Spanish explorer,
 The Gasser, who landed in Florida in 1528 (not 1410) and
 "made a connection that shook the peninsula."  Interestingly
 enough, Buckley misnames this historical figure, calling him
 Cabenza De Gasca.  In a live version of "The Gasser" recorded in
 1959 he uses his correct name, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. "The
 Hip Gahn" recalls an incident in the life of another Buckley
 hero, the "all-hip" Mahatma Gandhi. The remainder of Euphoria,
 Volume II consists of Buckley's interpretation of four of Aesop's
 Fables: "The Dog and the Wolf"; "The Grasshopper and the Ant";
 "The Mouse and the Lion"; and "The Lion's Breath."  These
 routines do not appear on any other Buckley recording.

 In 1963 the Crestview label issued an album called The Best of
 Lord Buckley, which contained all the released Vaya material
 except the Aesop's Fables, "Murder," and "Cabenza De Gasca,
 The Gasser."  In 1969 Elektra released in the U. S. and England
 a duplicate of the Crestview album, also called The Best of
 Lord Buckley.  These recordings both include an additional cut,
 "Gettysburg Address," Buckley's hipsemantic translation of
 "Lanky Linc=B9s=B2 historic speech.  In 1992 the Discovery label
 reissued most of the Vaya material on a CD entitled His Royal
 Hipness, Lord Buckley.  All the routines from Euphoria, Volume I
 and Euphoria, Volume II are included, except the fables and
 "Murder."  Like the Crestview and Elektra vinyl it has the
 additional cut, "Gettysburg Address."
 
 A historic Buckley recording has surfaced
 recently which apparently was released only in
 England.  Issued by Nonesuch Records in the
 1960's, the album is entitled The Parabolic
 REVELATIONS of the Late Lord Buckley and was
 recorded in a Hollywood studio in front of a
 small audience in 1952.  It includes "The Nazz,"
Photo from
The Airbrush Museum
 "Jonah and the Whale" (minus the marijuana reference), and
 "Murder," plus His Lordship's version of the origin of the
 "Chasitiy Belt" (a live version of which appears on a later
 U. S. release, "Bad Rapping of the Marquis De Sade"). "Governor
 Gulpwell" is a straight Buckley story about a corrupt, greedy,
 hypocritical politician, and also appears on the U. S. album,
 a most immaculately hip aristocrat, under the title, "Governor
 Slugwell."  Here Buckley displays his remarkable voice by
 taking the parts of the musical instruments providing fanfare
 for the governor.  The real treasure on this album is "Georgia,
 Sweet and Kind," a cut until recently only rumored to exist.
 Buckley sings the standard "Georgia" a cappella, pausing
 occasionally throughout the song to tell the chilling story of a
 black man who is harassed by whites and eventually hanged - a
 story line identical to that of "Black Cross."

 In 1955 and 1956 Buckley released his only seven inch extended
 play recordings.  Nineteen fifty-five's Hipsters, Flipsters and
 Finger Poppin' Daddies Knock Me Your Lobes was issued on RCA in
 a two EP gatefold format (it was also released as a single ten-
 inch LP).  Lord Buckley himself wrote the liner notes; here is
 what he has to say about four of the EP's five cuts:

   "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" - "I lay the true story on you
   about Marc (Antony). He swung like nobody before him has
   ever swung. In fact, I spread the word like it has never been
   spread before."

   "To Swing or not to Swing?"- "Have you ever tried to decode
   what that cat (Shakespeare) was trying to say about the stud
   with the flipped lid, Hamlet?  For the first time in history
   the true story of Hamlet and his Number One chick, Ophelia
   (who, if you remember correctly, was a seven-ply gasser), is
   told."

   "Hip Hiawatha" - "He was a jumping, stomping, hopping hipster
   that really cut a mean groove. His was the tale that history
   was so easy on that you won't believe it until you've heard it."

   "Boston Tea Party" - "Do you realize (this fact never came out
   in history books) that those cats in Boston poured so much tea
   in the ocean that all the fishes in that area got hung on tea
   balls and the only way to catch fish in the next fifty years
   was to tie a tea ball on the end of a hook? Without it, man,
   they were dead."

 For some reason His Lordship makes no mention of the fifth cut,
 "Is this the Sticker?" which is his translation of the last half
 of Act II, Scene I of "Macbeth."
 
The three Shakespeare pieces are remarkable in
that Buckley's narrative is done in graduate level
"hipsemantic," perhaps as a tribute to The Bard.
By this I mean that most of his routines (e.g.
"The Nazz," "Jonah and the Whale") can be apprec-
iated and enjoyed even if one is not familiar with
many "hip" terms.  But unless one is very familiar
with Shakespeare, the Buckley excerpts, ironically,
Photo from FlickR.com
 have to be translated line by line in order to be understood.

 Buckley's other three seven-inch EP's were released in 1956 on
 the hip label.  "The Gettysburg Address" appears on both sides
 of one disc, Buckley giving his own rendition of the actual
 address on one side, and a "hip" translation on the other (this
 version is different than the one on The Best of Lord Buckley
 LP's).  The only known copies of this disc are in red vinyl,
 some of them even signed by Lord Buckley. "James Dean's Message
 to the Teenagers" describes Buckley's only meeting with the
 teen idol, which took place at Jazz City in Hollywood.  Buckley
 was very impressed with Dean, who had none of the affectations
 of the stereotypical Hollywood star.  Dean thought that the
 youth of America ("the brightest, strongest, and most intelligent
 of all the generations") were "looking for some kind of a cop-
 out in the face of the bad jazz of the atomic age."  He felt
 they were having "a ball before the blast," and that Buckley's
 hip translations of the works of Christ and Gandhi could help
 them understand the power of love.  "James Dean" is backed with
 "Speak for Yourself, John," Buckley's version of the love
 triangle in Plymouth Colony between Miles Standish, John Alden,
 and Priscilla.  The third EP, "Flight of the Saucer," Parts 1
 and 2, is a science fiction fantasy with a message.  It is the
 story of a spaceship from Jupiter which lands on Earth.  While
 stopping on Mars to refuel on its return voyage, a reporter
 from Earth interviews a Martian, who tells Earthlings not to
 "play the fool and lose the cool" with our Atomic and Hydrogen
 bombs.

 A most immaculately hip aristocrat was recorded in 1956 but was
 not released by Straight Records until 1970.  It was also
 reissued that same year by Reprise, which reissued a number of
 Straight and Bizarre recordings.  Although the sound quality
 is good, it is a somewhat amateurish recording with starts/
 stops, airplane noises in the background, and people talking.
 But it does contains some classic Buckley riffs.  Side one's
 "The Bad Rapping of the Marquis De Sade/The King of Bad Cats"
 is Buckley's defense of the historic villain (more about this
 routine later).  "Governor Slugwell" is virtually identical to
 "Governor Gulpwell" on Parabolic REVELATIONS.  Side two has
 three recordings found on no other commercial release.  "The
 Raven" ("so many times when you don't want the bird, when you
 don't need the bird, when you haven't got the first possible
 use for the bird, that's when you get it.") is a wonderful
 tribute in hip to that tortured soul, Edgar Allen Poe.  Buckley
 has another peek at the dark side in "The Train," the tale of
 a seemingly ordinary train ride that ends in disaster.  His
 voice is extraordinary on this track as he recreates the
 various sounds of a locomotive.  "The Hip Einie" could refer
 to none other than that "sphere gasser," Albert Einstein:

 "He became the king of all space-heads.  He goofed through
 the zonasphere and the voutasphere and the routasphere and
 the hipasphere and the flipasphere and the zipasphere and the
 gonasphere and the waygonasphere - he was way on out there."

 A most immaculately hip aristocrat was reissued twice in 1989,
 on vinyl by Demon Verbals in England and on CD and cassette
 by Enigma Retro in the U. S.
 
 In 1959 Buckley gave a series of concerts at the Ivar
 Theatre in Hollywood, California.  Hisperformance on
 February 12, 1959 (Lincoln's birthday) was recorded
 and released that year as Way Out Humor, the first of
 five LP's issued on World Pacific Records.  It is on
 stage where Lord Buckley's genius is most noticably
 in evidence, fueled by a rare synergism between
Photo from It's a Hot'un
 audience and performer.  His Lordship's performance is so
 natural and relaxed it seems as if he is having a dinner
 conversation with a close friend.  Indeed, he is so
 appreciative of his audience that at one point he asks them,
 "My Lords and My Ladies, Beloveds, would it embarass you very
 much if I were to tell you that I love you?"

 Way Out Humor contains a wonderful version of "The Nazz"; a
 moving "Black Cross"; a short tribute to Shakespeare ("Willie
 the Shake"); and four original routines which, interestingly
 enough, are not done in hip.  On "Supermarket" His Lordship
 excoriates the "greedheads" who own the supermarkets and
 expect us to do their work for them, "pushin' the mother
 cart."  "Lions" is a short take about some foul smelling
 beasts on a boat, possibly Noah's ark.  "My Own Railroad" is
 a fanciful, and supposedly autobiographical, sketch about
 getting away from it all by going for a drive and winding up
 cruising out of town on Chicago's State Street trolley tracks.
 The fourth original number is a "creative wig-bubble" about
 a man of temperance who watches over his brother-in-law's
 still and becomes "God's Own Drunk."

 What is particularly significant about Way Out Humor is that
 for the first time on record Buckley presents the philosophy
 which is a driving force in his life: "Laughter, it truly is
 religious; it gives off vibrations from the subconscious...
 when a person is laughing he's illuminated, he's illuminated
 the full beauty of a human being, and the womanhood, when
 she's happy and laughing is ooooh mother magnate...it's a
 prayer."  He demonstrates this with a selection from Joyce
 Cary's "Horse's Mouth."  In the last scene of the book the
 main character, Gulley Jimson, is brought, dying, into a
 Catholic hospital, but "he's swingin', he's leapin, he's
 jumpin', he's layin' it down." When a nun comments that at
 such a serious time it would be better for him to pray than
 to laugh, Jimson replies, "It's the same thing, madam."

 Way Out Humor was also reissued by World Pacific in 1964 as
 Lord Buckley In Concert.  The jacket cover photo of Buckley
 wearing his favorite pith helmet is the same on both albums,
 as are the liner notes and the material; however, "Lions"
 is not listed as a track on the In Concert LP.  Way Out Humor
 was also issued with an alternate jacket which says "Far Out
 Humor" on the back, with the words "High Fidelity Long
 Playing" near the upper left and right hand corners.  A
 British label, Demon Verbals (a subsidiary of Demon Records),
 re-released Lord Buckley In Concert in 1985.  The cover
 photo is identical to the World Pacific releases, and the
 inner sleeve has some interesting and amusing liner notes
 as well as rare Buckley photos taken at The Music Box, a
 club in Los Angeles.

 In 1966 World Pacific released Blowing His Mind (and yours,
 too).  Side one was recorded at the same Ivar Theatre concert
 (February 12, 1959) as Way Out Humor and includes "The Gasser"
 as well as four new tracks.  "Subconscious Mind" is the story
 of a beautiful daydream someone has while driving on a sunny
 afternoon.  "Fire Chief" is a short bit about a fireman who
 drops a woman he's trying to rescue.  "Let It Down" is a
 "commercial kick" about a farmer urging his reluctant cow to
 give milk.  The final live cut, "Murder," is a shortened
 version of the Vaya recording.  Side two was recorded at
 World Pacific Studios in 1960.  "Maharaja" is the story of
 "The Cop-out," a man who has done something so outrageous as
 to be unforgivable, yet manages to talk his way back into the
 maharaja's good graces.  "Scrooge" needs no explanation, "You
 can get with it if you want to - there's only one way straight
 to the road of love."  Blowing His Mind was also released in
 England (Fontana) and reissued by Demon Verbals in 1985.

 The fourth World Pacific album, Buckley's Best, was issued in
 1968.  Six of the seven selections are from the February 12,
 1959, Ivar Theatre date and are available on either Way Out
 Humor (Lord Buckley In Concert) or Blowing His Mind (and yours,
 too).  They are: "Supermarket," "The Naz," "The Gasser,"
 "Subconscious Mind," "Willie The Shake," and "God's Own Drunk."
 The only new cut, "Martin's Horse," was also recorded at the
 Ivar, most likely on the same date. It is another story of
 love, this time between a jockey and his horse.

 As great as the Ivar concert albums are, the quintessential
 Buckley disc is his last officially released recording, made
 in the year of his death.  The Bad Rapping of the Marquis de
 Sade (World Pacific, 1969; Demon Verbals, 1986), recorded live
 in Oakland in 1960 at "The Gold Nugget", is the culmination of
 a lifetime of work.  The club atmosphere is intimate, Buckley
 is at his funniest, his timing is impeccable, and he is one
 with his audience. He raps about his favorite subjects: history,
 literature, the outrageous, social concerns, and between cuts
he philosophizes about religion and the nature
of humor.  And yes, we have that marvelous
Buckley voice, sometimes singing, sometimes
imitating musical instruments, sometimes
stentorian, sometimes whispering, but always
stimulating.
Photo from SFGAte.com

 Side one opens with The Bad Rapping of the Marquis de Sade,
 which, as mentioned earlier, is Buckley's defense of the "hero
 in evil."  How can one defend the man whose actions gave us the
 word "sadism"?  Buckley's point is that de Sade never forced
 his desires on anyone, yet "they bad-rapped the poor cat every
 step of the way."  As he is about to translate one of de Sade's
 favorite stories, a hilarious tale about the cannibalistic
 Prince Minski (The King of Bad Cats), Buckley explains:

 "You know, there's a lot of times when you hear of something
 wild, something crazy, something insane, and you see the
 humorous thing will reach such a high altitude, that you say
 to yourself, 'Man, that's, that's no longer funny.' But, if it
 is humor, and you proceed further, instead of earning a negate
 under the license of humor, you'll find out there's a whole
 new strata up there.  'Cause humor goes in a complete circle,
 like the world.  Humor is the oil of the soul."

 We get a glimpse of Buckley's religious leanings in "Black
 Cross" (Way Out Humor; Lord Buckley in Concert), when main
 character, Hezekiah Jones, declares: "I believe that a man
 should be beholdin' to his neighbor without the reward of
 heaven or the fear of hellfire."  Here, he takes this
 philosophy a step further: "I'm a people worshiper. I think
 people should worship people, I really do."  He apologizes
 for offending anyone's religious beliefs, but his credo is:
 "I like to worship somethin' I can see, somethin' I can get
 my hands on, get my brains on. I don't know about that Jehovah
 cat, I can't reach him.  Seemed like every time I found myself
 in a bind nothing mystic came to help me, some man or some
 woman stepped up there..."  Indeed, he opens side two by
 informing his audience that they are not in a bar but in a
 modern chapel and welcomes them to high mass.

 The second, and last, cut on side one, "H-bomb," revisits a
 theme touched upon in other recordings, the fear of impending
 nuclear holocaust.  Buckley's antidote for such fear is, of
 course, humor.  Invoking British philosopher Lord Boothby and
 American humorist James Thurber, he contends that in times of
 urgency it is the responsibility of a nation's humor "to attack
 the catastrophe that faces it in such a manner as to cause the
 people to laugh at it in such a way that they do not die before
 they get killed."  Buckley's plan would be to spend a billion
 dollars on an advertising campaign to make people laugh at "The
 Bomb."

 Side two opens with perhaps Buckley's funniest routine, a
 fantasy on the origin of "The Chastity Belt," complete with a
 white duke, a black duke, the holy grail, and a golden belt
 with "little phallic figurines, each and every one of them
 engraved in virgin pearls."  His Lordship's love of literature
 is in evidence in "The Ballad of Dan McGroo," a "hipsemantic"
 treatment of the Robert Service poem, "The Shooting of Dan
 McGrew." In the finale, "His Majesty, the Policeman," he not
 only sings but plays the parts of an entire marching band.
 How ironic, given the circumstances of his death, that Buckley
 should pay tribute to the "draggiest job in the world" on the
 last song of his last recording.

 In 1991 Shambala Lion Editions (a division of Shambala
 Publications) released a cassette called Lord Buckley Live,
 produced by Buckley's son, Richard, Jr.  Most of the cuts are
 available on the World Pacific/Demon Verbals recordings,
 including "The Hip Ghan," "The Gettysburg Address," "God's
 Own Drunk," "The Nazz," "Scrooge," "The Gasser," and "Murder,"
 although some are slightly different versions, possibly
 unreleased hip label material. "Is This the Sticker?" and
 "James Dean" are available on the EP's, but these are very
 difficult to find.  Two of the tracks are not available on
 any other commercial recording.  "Baa Baa Black Sheep" is the
 allegorical tale of a large family of sheep, one pink (the
 mother), one blue (the father), nine white and one black.
 The black sheep is scoffed at until one day he helps out a
 small boy and girl in trouble by giving them not one, but
 three pounds of wool ("he turned out to be whiter than the
 rest of them").  In the story the song "Baa Baa Black Sheep"
 is sung by a young boy, most likely Richard, Jr.  In "Trouble"
 Buckley does a hip/scat interpretation, with piano accompaniment,
 of the standard "Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen."
 
 There are five known compilation albums with Buckley
 cuts.  In 1970 Reprise issued two Bizarre/Straight
 samplers called Zapped, each with a different cut
 from "a most immaculately hip aristocrat."  One has
 Frank Zappa on the cover and includes "Governor
 Slugwell."  The second has a collage cover with
 Zappa and other artists whose work appears on the
Photo from
LordBuckley.com
 album, including His Lordship; the Buckley cut is "The Train".
 Elektra released a three record comedy album called "Garden
 of Delights" with one Buckley track, The Nazz.  In 1972 RCA
 issued The Golden Age of Comedy, which includes "Friends,
 Romans, Countrymen".  And in 1991 Bizzare/Straight issued a
 promotional sampler with one Buckley cut, "The Train."

 Buckley did two public radio interviews, one with Bill Butler
 for KPFA in Berkeley, California on September 16, 1959, and
 one with Studs Terkel for WFMT, Chicago (August, 1960).  Prince
 Butler is unsettled, awed and mystified by His Lordship, yet is
 impressed by Buckley's intellectual, non-derogatory humor.  By
 the end of the interview he becomes a convert. Buckley talks of
 many things - his show business beginnings, the beauty of people,
 "the brotherhood of the Negro race," which has come up against
 the "granite walls of stupidity" in this country - and performs
 two bits, "The Gasser," and a hip translation of an excerpt from
 "The Pied Piper of Hamelin." Studs Terkel, being an experienced
 interviewer, is at ease with His Majesty and can be heard laughing
 in the background as Buckley does his bits, which include
 "Hipsters, Flipsters...," "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," "The
 Raven," the inimitable "His Majesty, The Policeman," and "His
 Majesty, The Pedestrian" (done to the same tune as "Policeman").
 Terkel is, of course, hip to the "jazz tempo," "the beat," and
 the "blues feeling" in Buckley's work and says he has "the mark
 of an old time Shakespearean actor." In discussing his translation
 of historic works into hip, Buckley notes: "When you start to
 fool with these classics, you have the tremulous stature of an
 amateur architect goofing in the Taj Mahal."  He also touches
 upon familiar themes: "We have to spread love...rehearse kindness
 and graciousness with other people...learn to give more.  Buckley
 closes by calling upon the gangs of America to "quit squaring up
 and get hip, which means to be wise, and make the people who love
 them proud of them."

 Both interviews should be available from the respective radio
 stations for a small fee.

 On December 16, 23, and 30, 1988 radio station KRCW-FM in Los
 Angeles ran three hour-long shows on Lord Buckley, hosted by
 Roger Steffens.  The first show included Dr. Oscar Janiger,
 Buckley friends Dr. James Macy and Doug Boyd, and actor John
 Hostedder.  Janiger, Macy and Boyd shared Buckley anecdotes
 and Hostedder performed some well-known Buckley riffs.  The
 second show, with Hostedder and actor Charlie Halahan (Hunter),
 centered on Buckley, the performer.  The cast of the first show
 returned for the finale, but this time the discussion focused
 on Buckley's acid trip.  All three shows featured tracks from
 Buckley recordings as well as readings of His Lordship's
 material by John Hostedder.

 Is there more Buckley material out there? Given His Majesty's
 prodigious propensity to perform, most certainly amateur
 recordings do exist.  Buckley is said to have made a recording
 with his friend, Jonathan Winters. On a Thanksgiving weekend
 in the late 1950's at the Lake Arrowhead cabin of Dr. Janiger,
 His Lordship delivered a non-stop discourse for upwards of
 eighteen hours.  Part of this performance was recorded but the
 tapes have since disappeared. Not long ago the National Public
 Radio station in Cleveland, WCPN, produced a documentary on
 Cleveland poet Joseph Newman ("Black Cross").  The program
 included Buckley reading an excerpt from a Newman poem called
 "The Shah's Embroidered Pants," which was recorded, along with
 several other numbers, when he visited Cleveland in 1957.
 Hopefully, this session will someday be released commercially.
 Finally, he is rumored to have recorded a redition of the
 childrens story Little Black Sambo under the name Richard or
 Dick Buckley; however, no copy of the recording has ever
 surfaced.

 Enigma Retro's a most immaculatey hip aristocrat (1989),
 Shambala Lion Editions' Lord Buckley Live (1991), and
 Discovery's His Royal Hipness, Lord Buckley (1992) are the
 only Lord Buckley albums still likely to be in print.  The
 World Pacific, Demon Verbals, Straight, Crestview, and Elektra
 releases are out there and can be found with a little effort.
 (There always seems to be a Buckley LP in Goldmine).  The
 Parabolic REVELATIONS of the Late Lord Buckley, the Vaya
 recordings and the seven inch EP's are very difficult to find.

 How does one classify Lord Buckley's work?  In the liner notes
 of Blowing His Mind (and yours, too) producer Jim Dickson
 offers this explanation: "When his first album was made, there
 was no category it could be filed under.  In a sense, he was a
 jazz comic.  Jazz in the sense of improvisation on a theme -
 comic in that he certainly made people laugh.  But his delight
 was that of dramatic storyteller, limited only by the audience's
 ability to stay with him." Add humorist and philosopher to jazz
 comic and dramatic storyteller and one begins to appreciate the
 complex nature of this comic genius's work.

 Buckley was at times incorrectly labeled as a satirical or even
 "sick" comedian by those unhip souls who thought his "hipsemantic"
 renderings of the classics were irreverent. As Dan James noted
 in the liner notes to Way Out Humor: "In an age worshipping the
 negation with a humor that is sick sick sick, Lord Buckley
 insists on being triumphant, joyous, positive, proclaiming himself
 the poet of the well well well."  Studs Terkel mentioned there was
 an element of compassion in his work, and Buckley himself insisted,
 "I am not a sick humorist."

 Let us not forget, too, that Buckley was a fabulous performer,
 and this is a side of his brilliance most fans will never get to
 experience. Oliver Trager: "In performance Lord Buckley was a most
 immaculately hip aristocrat, a mischievous twinkle in his eye,
 twirling his waxed Daliesque mustache and gracefully drawing on
 his omnipresent cigarette, his massive frame cloaked in a tuxedo,
 a fresh carnation attached smartly to the lapel."

 Lord Buckley's influence was perhaps best summed up by author
 Ken Kesey in a conversation with Oliver Trager: "Lord Buckley is
 a secret thing that people pass under the table. You ask writers
 who they think is the best writer, and they all mention someone
 above them. Gradually you get up at the top, and you get to Samuel
 Beckett and not many people have read him.  But a lot of people
 have been influenced by Beckett.  I think the same was true of
 Lord Buckley.  There were a lot of people influenced by Lord
 Buckley who never heard his material." Amen.
 
 The good Prince Walt can be
 reached at his email address:
 hipcat@teleport.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Royal Throne by Charles Pike
comes from LordBuckley.com web site.


Subj:     Short Lord Buckley Quotes

From: gibbz on 5/9/2010 (S695b)
 "If you get to it, and you cannot do it, then there
  you jolly well are, aren't you?" -- Lord Buckley

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