Macallan, Muppets and Groucho Marx
My father always made sure that I had a steady intake of Marx Brothers films when I was a wee lad. Perhaps he realized that I a "wuss-bag sensitive-artist-in-training" and there was no point in trying to teach me how to throw a football, asthma notwithstanding. Perhaps he realized that I would wind up angry at everything after puberty and my only saving graces would be punchlines, an arched eyebrow and an audiographic recall of every Bill Hicks recording known to man. Or maybe he simply understood that life is one giant, fucking joke and if you don't teach your children how to laugh, sing and honk a horn to express their emotions, they'll wind up an emotionally crippled skidmark on the boxer-briefs of higher consciousness.
Regardless, those Marx boys understood satori... well, maybe not Zeppo, but I can't afford to digress just yet.
Younger readers might anchor this song with The Fisher King, but I first heard Lydia The Tattooed Lady when I saw "Day At The Races" (original song here) back in the era of black and white radio, at my father's urging. The song had always stuck with me and, as I begin the work on my next two albums, it stood out as a tune worth a session of proper fuckery in my ghetto-fabulous home studio.
It also didn't help when I discovered that Kermit covered the tune on the 2nd episode of the Muppet Show back in '76, singing to a redheaded circus freak, not unlike our dear hostess.
When you have a bootlegged copy of ProTools, buddies that work in the Food and Beverage industry who keep your bar stocked with 12 year-old scotch and your apartment looks like Guitar Center purged its bowels in an opium den, you have free reign to record songs at 3am. And with that, I leave you with my own shanty-town, sailor-saloon, carny-barker version of Lydia...
Brian Grosz - Lydia the Tattooed Lady