Friday, December 4, 2009
VINYL POOPY PANTS: Steve Martin
When I was in High School, I was fortunate enough to attend a facility whose library had a periodicals section that reached way the hell back. Regardless of the topic I was researching, I could dig up a wealth of articles on the subject.
I told you that story, to tell you this one...
During the winter of 1987 I had, out of curiosity, purchased a cassette copy of Steve Martin's "Wild and Crazy Guy". It was one of those bargain copies where a hole was punched in the plastic side of the case, usually resulting in cracking and pesky residue falling in too near the tape.
$1.99. Where could I go wrong?
Before I listened to it, I checked out an ancient dead-sea scroll copy of Rolling Stone (back when they were completely oversized and printed on newspaper substrates, thusly with age, damaged and frequently repaired by the vehement librarians) in an effort to read a review of Mr. Martin's record.
This issue, needless to explain, was from the era when "Wild" was fresh and Steve Martin was all the stand-up comedy rage in the U.S. Back then I was a little too quick to take critical exposition seriously, naivete at it's finest indeed.
Rolling Stone had accused the album of being rambling and nearly incoherent with no real material, apparently as if Martin had no pre-rehearsed routine, but was just up there spouting off improvised non-sequitirs.
I myself thought the conversational nature of the record was it's charm, actually. Weird jokes about intellectualism , while displaying a staged obvious lack of articulation. I found that bit funny myself. Not Rolling Stone.
He shared a story about a vocal instructor who told a friend that was a student to "sing from her diaphragm", and then claimed to think the guy a pervert for proposing such a thing.
Where else can you hear someone shout to a massed audience, "Grandpa bought a rubber!!!"
He goes on to state that bad news is more easily absorbed when given whilst playing a banjo, and you know what? He's kinda right.
Let's not forget "King Tut".
Screw the critics, Steve Martin's "Wild and Crazy Guy" is a time capsule stand up comedy classic. A fond reminder of my early discoveries of live taped stand up performances.