dick campbell

Beyond a Shadow of Usher - Dick Campbell on Gary Usher

BEYOND A SHADOW OF USHER
by Dick Campbell

In 1971, the year Gary Usher gave this interview, his musical tastes were continuing to evolve from his hot rod/surfing roots of the early 60's. He had an idea for a concept album entitled "Beyond A Shadow Of Doubt" which would reflect his developing philosophical views on metaphysics, and he asked me to write the music to his lyrics. We had written some other tunes, such as "Good Ole Rock & Roll Song" recorded by the Cowsills, and had become great friends in the process. Gary had taken me under his wing since I'd come out from the Midwest where my "Dick Campbell Sings Where It's At" LP had been released on Mercury Records in 1966. He signed me as a writer to his L.A. label, Together Records, and later I moved with him to RCA, and then to Rip Music (BMI), a publishing company owned by Danny Thomas.

For the next couple of years we recorded several demos for the "Shadow" project in various L.A. studios, and Gary wrote a book to be included with the proposed album. But, for several reasons, the album never went beyond the demo stage and snuggled into hibernation for thirty years until it was revived by Gary's son in 2001. Gary Usher, Jr. dusted off the old reel-to-reel demos and released them, along with the book, as a "work in progress" on Dreamsville Records. Although the songs were in demo form, the excellent Usher production touch gave them a very finished polish considering that they consisted mostly of my acoustic guitar parts, lead vocals by Gary, and background vocals provided by Gary, Curt Boettcher, and myself. As Gary's latest release, some dozen years since his death, "Beyond A Shadow Of Doubt" presents an excellent indication of the direction in which he was heading, as well as proof of his enduring popularity among Usher aficionados.

As for why this project took so long to see the light of day, my opinion is that Gary was beginning to weary of all the perceived crapola he had endured through his first decade in the record industry. He was definitely tired of the commercial-vs.-artistic aspect of the business, and was exploring Eastern philosophy in his personal life. Then there was the horrific blow he suffered in early 1974 when his wife Bonnie died suddenly in her sleep from an apparent epileptic seizure. Bonnie's death was hard on us all, as my family and Gary's were quite close on a social level. After that, the wind just went out of Gary's sails for a year or two and he eventually ended up going to an island off the coast of Washington. Gary later remarried (to Sue Cypher, daughter of actor Jon Cypher of "Major Dad" TV-fame) and also dabbled again in music production, but he never returned to the level of interest in music that he had enjoyed in the beginning when his songs like "409" helped kick off the hot rod record craze.

Although Gary's name was not as well known to the general public as that of the man who's career he helped launch (Brian Wilson), his vast recorded repertoire continues to be collected by his fans. In addition, CD reissues of Gary's early productions and new CDs of previously unreleased material, such as the "Shadow" project, are becoming more available. The advent of the internet, and it's auction sites like eBay, are also a good way to find rare Usher nuggets. Recently I saw an acetate demo of a song we'd written, "California Way," sell for $241 to an unknown collector. This would have amused Gary since it's probably more money than we ever got paid for that particular song. Another interesting aspect of the internet is the proliferation of message groups on various subjects. There's one on Yahoo hosted by Ron Weekes which is dedicated to discussions of Gary Usher, and in the area of books an excellent five-volume biography on Gary has been written by author Stephen J. McParland.

When Gary died of lung cancer in 1990, his reputation in the record industry had long been secured. Even more importantly, his personal influence on his many friends is still felt to this day. He had a great sense of humor, but knew when to get to work; he was successful without being overbearing; and he was competitive without being unkind. Time and space does not permit me to relate the dozens of anecdotes which would illustrate these attributes, but I can leave you with at least one. When I first arrived in California, Gary and I would play a board game called Stratego in which each side would have forty army pieces. These pieces, of various ranks, were lined up against each other in such a manner as to conceal their ranks from the opponent with the object being to capture each other's flag. Since both Gary and I considered ourselves military buffs, the competition to achieve "the thrill of victory" was raised to a level usually reserved for important things like the Super Bowl.

While Bonnie worked on making us lunches, the battles would rage for hours. Every time we played Gary would whip me, and after half a dozen losses I was beginning to experience "the agony of defeat." But, like Gary, I'm competitive too--just not as kind. I bought my own Stratego game and studied it for hours. Finally I arrived upon a "corner strategy" of encasing my flag in a layer of bombs backed up by majors, so that when Gary's miners broke through the bombs they'd be killed before reaching my flag. The next time Gary and I played I beat him. Then I beat him again. Now here comes good part. On the third game he had become so unglued that he actually attempted to distract my attention so he could switch his flag, an unmovable piece, to a less vulnerable location. I caught him, we had a good laugh, and never had to play Stratego again--the novice apprentice "just off the boat from the Midwest" (as Gary used to kid me), had beaten the master, thus gaining a certain degree of parity.

In closing, let me just say that Gary usually acted calm and cool under fire, whether it was a game or a big budget recording session for a major label. One day in 1971, we were set to go into a studio for a song demo session, so I stayed overnight at his house for an early morning start. At 6:01 A.M., I was awakened by the sound of rumbling, the vision of window blinds flipping up and down, and the feeling of my bed violently shaking. Even "just off the boat" and without prior experience with earthquakes, I was immediately able to deduce the nature of this event. It went on for what I claim is 60 seconds before ceasing. I, and the Usher children, then beat it into Gary's room and up on his large bed where we joined him and Bonnie for assurance. The Sylmar earthquake had been 6.6 magnitude, killed 65 people, and caused 500 million dollars damage, but that morning the "Master" was in the studio without fail--and the "sorcerer's apprentice" was right there with him. One can live through an act of God, but not beyond the shadow of Usher.

The All-Time Top 10 ‘Next Dylans’

The All-Time Top 10 ‘Next Dylans’: Monkee, Punkers, Bubblegum King: They Wished That For Just One Time They Could Stand Inside His Shoes by Gene Sculatti

A funny thing about revolutions: Once they're won, it's hard to find anyone who opposed them.  Paris, 1789: "Mais oui!  My servants will tell you: for me, it was always liberté, egalité, fraternité!" Seattle, 1991: "I always dug flannel.  That spandex belongs to my sister.”  Few cultural traditions are more time-honored than bandwagon-jumping, as P.  Edwin Letcher's piece on faux Beatles (Scram 12) proved.  Thirty-five summers ago, perhaps the most cataclysmic "arrival" in pop—Bob Dylan's, as reshaper of American song, world's unlikeliest rock ‘n' roll star and irresistible force—set off a wondrous flood of fakery and imitation.  Over the years, few musicians have remained untouched by his influence: Lennon, Prince, Jagger-Richards, Motown, Springsteen, V.U. Lou, Sheryl Crow imitating Stealer's Wheel imitating Dylan, etc.  But the real fun was the gate-storming party-crash that occurred when they first opened up that new stretch of Highway 61.  Once he roared past, it seemed like everybody wanted to be Bob Dylan, especially the 10 heroic aspirants revved up here on Simulation Row.

10.  MICHAEL BLESSING (NESMITH)
As the early-‘60s headquarters of TV-pop (Shelley Fabares, Paul Petersen, James Darren), it's perhaps not surprising that Colpix Records was the future Monkee's first label-stop.  The surprise is his 1965 single, "What Seems To Be The Trouble, Officer," an outright sendup of Dylan's version of "Baby Let Me Follow You Down.”  It's all there: thick-strummed 12-string, rudimentary harmonica and MN talk-singing his way through a series of non sequitirs in a voice somewhere between early Dyl and very late Walter Brennan.  The song climaxes with the hippie equivalent of a standup's rim-shot: "First hard time I ever had was a po-liceman stopped me," drawls Nesmith.  "He asked me if he could see some papers.  I said, ‘What you want, man, Bambu or Zigzag?'"

9.  JOEY VINE (LEVINE)
On the single "The Out Of Towner," the lead singer of the Ohio Express/Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus wraps his eternally adenoidal cords around an early-Dylan-style "protest" number.  A jagged guitar riff plays tag with the vocal as J.V. inveighs against a hypocritical suburbanite who seeks sinful pleasures in the big city; "skyscrapers" and "tranquilizers" figure prominently in this gem of an outlaw blues from ‘65.  (4 Seasons arranger Charlie Calello produced; hear that group's superb Dyl-crib, "Everybody Knows My Name," on their Working My Way Back To You album.)

8.  TIE: THE TRASHMEN and THE LOVE SOCIETY
Thank heaven the Surfin' Birdmen never bowed to sacred cows.  Otherwise, they might not have given us "(Why Do You Give Me) The Same Lines," a ‘66 rocker that mocks their famous fellow Minnesotan to a "D.”  Talk about colliding visions of youth culture!  The T-men cop the vocal kinks of the Poet Of The ‘60s to tell what's basically a ‘50s teen tale: the singer's upset with a girl who won't hang with him at the malt shop.  Only advanced voice-print technology could prove that the singer of the Love Society's "You Know How I Feel" isn't his Bobness; an amazing resemblance, courtesy of this Wisconsin band's one-off RCA single from ‘68.

7.  BUTCH HANCOCK
The gifted Austin songwriter and founder (with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Joe Ely) of early alt-folkers the Flatlanders went delirious from the Dyl heat in ‘77, offering the fevered solo set The Wind's Dominion.  The sprawling double-album resembles a hot-wired “Blood on the Tracks”: endless verses breathlessly sung, vacuum-packed with shadow figures (Cockroach Man, the Shrimpboat Captain, "the queen's daughter's lover," etc.).  A solid hoot, even, it seems, for its creator.


6.  MOUSE & THE TRAPS

From the same Nugget-y ranks as the Trashmen, Ronnie "Mouse" Weiss and his East Texas Traps are easily the hardest-rockin' exponents of faux Dylanism.  The near-hit "A Public Execution" and the scorching "Maid of Sugar, Maid of Spice" burn Highway 61 rubber, while "Nobody Cares" brandishes Blonde roots.  

Medium Image


 

5.  SONNY BONO

Newsweek anointed Donovan "Dylan's work-shirted, cloth-capped English counterpart,” but the early period's most profound pretender was the Son-king.   Adapting the Tambourine Man's vocal mannerisms to his own restricted range, he begat a pop-protest style of great power and stupidity in 1965's "(I'm Not) The Revolution Kind.”  Its predecessor, "Laugh At Me," poignantly dramatized the plight of an oppressed minority (the bellbottomed, bobcat-vested ex-promotion man—Sonny—who'd been hooted out of an industry watering-hole by promo men in suits); it also set in motion the bizarre double-helix that found Ian Hunter borrowing Sonny's Dylan adaptation to forge Mott the Hoople's even more Dylanesque style five years later.



4.  P.F. SLOAN and BARRY McGUIRE

"‘Eve Of Destruction' author P.F. Sloan, 19, allows that his inspiration comes from being ‘bugged most of the time,'" Time reported in 1965.  Something made the composer of Jan & Dean's "Theme From The T.A.M.I Show" and "One-Piece Topless Bathing Suit" swap his baggies for a Hans Brinker cap and life as a sim-Zim.  Not so much a sound-alike as a write-alike, P.F. aped every Dylan song-style, from apocalyptic anthems ("Upon A Painted Ocean" = "When The Ship Comes In") and declarations of independence (“Let Me Be” = “It Ain’t Me, Babe”) to Burroughsian cut-and-paste ("Patterns, Seg. 4" = "Subterranean Homesick Blues").  His second LP, 12 More Times, contains the great "Halloween Mary," whose witchy, wig-hatted protagonist is "riding on a sports-broom, actin' like nothin' is real.”  Sloan penned much of Barry McGuire’s Eve Of Destruction and This Precious Time LPs—most notably the Dylan dreamscape “Mr. Man On The Street– Act One” and the probing “Don’t You Ever Wonder Where It’s At.”



3.  THE CHANGIN' TIMES
Despite a limited output (four Philips singles), former Brill Bldg. scribes Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld ("Deadman's Curve," tunes for the Turtles and Lesley Gore) snag the "show" spot by virtue of the sheer crassness of their work.  The duo's late-'65 "Pied Piper" (Crispian St. Peters’ cover version went top five) is deliriously Dyl-derivative: an overcooked stew of deliberately flat vocals, clattering drums and reedy harp intrusions.  True "babe magnets," Steve and Artie repeat Dylan's stock gal-phrase some 18 times over the course of "Piper" and its flip, "Thank You, Babe.”  Self-plagiaristic follow-ups like "Aladdin" and the fuzzed-out, prom-queen putdown "How Is The Air Up There" almost best the team’s debut.  "It didn't come from the Dylan song," the boys assured Song Hits magazine.  "We chose ‘Changin' Times' because it seemed to signify the present atmosphere of society.”  Whew!


2.  DAVID BLUE

The heavyweights start here.  One of Dylan’s early Greenwich Village cronies, Blue was among the first to express his devotion on a full-length album.  Looking on the cover of David Blue (Elektra, 1966) like Mickey Rourke playing some Dickensian scalawag in an off-Broadway Oliver!, on disc he slurs his way across a littered imagistic landscape, taffy-pulling syllables to the accompaniment of Dylan sidemen.  “If Your Monkey Can’t Get It” is “From A Buick 6” sideways, with sawing Velvets guitars, eagles in the hallway and Superman at the window.  “Arcade Love Machine” tilts vertiginously, loaded as it is with dreaming streetlights, bleeding automats and the “hot-dog underground.”  On the fade, Blue gives one of those trademark Dylan cries of anguish: “Whoooahhh!!” Catch the late DB in the opening scenes of BD’s marathon movie Renaldo & Clara, nattering nervously as he plays (what else) a pinball machine.


1.  DICK CAMPBELL

More bugged than Sloan, with better diction than Blue, this intense Chicagoan produced the sole masterpiece of the fake-Dylan field, Dick Campbell Sings Where It’s At (Mercury, 1966).  Modest talent and immodest ambitions provide the fuel for Dick to build a fire on Main Street and shoot it full of holes; Dylan readymades (word choice, chord changes) form the DNA of the entire album, which, Dick’s liner notes explain, is heavily informed by his volatile relationship with his girlfriend, Sandi.  Cases in point: the cringe-worthy “Blues Peddlers” (“I won’t be capitulating/ You’re going to lose a few points in your ratings”) and the “Rolling Stone”-washed “Approximately Four Minutes Of Feeling Sorry For D.C.”  (world-class line cramming, plus appearances by Judas, blind men and the farmer’s daughter).   The whole LP, from “Despair’s Cafeteria" to “Girls Named Misery,” glints like cubic zirconium.*  But the high point—the veritable Apex of Appropriation to which all below Dick aspire in vain—is “The People Planners (proudly waving their propaganda banners).”  Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield and support staff kick up an electrical storm as DC spits fire at the enemies of us all:

 Hey there, don’t you scream
‘Cause I didn’t eat up all my ice cream
Or turn off the light when I came downstairs
Forgot to burn the rubbish or comb my hair
Just shut up!

Out of print?  Yes.  Hard to find?  Natch.  Likely to be reissued on CD?  Never.  But Sings Where It’s At is worth any effort it takes to find. Never has thievery sounded so sweet.  

*  It might also, thanks to the crisp vocals and unrelenting tunefulness, invite comparisons to Harvey Sid Fisher’s work.

*                      *               *               *               *   

Available on CD:
Joey Vine: Immediate Records: The Singles Collection (Sequel box set)
Trashmen: Bird Call: The Twin City Stomp Of The Trashmen (Sundazed)
Butch Hancock: The Wind’s Dominion (Rainlight)
Mouse & The Traps: The Fraternity Years (Big Beat)
Sonny Bono: The Beat Goes On: The Best Of Sonny & Cher (Atlantic Remasters)
P.F. Sloan: Anthology (One Way) (out of print)
Barry McGuire: Anthology (One Way) (out of print)

Special thanks to Ken Barnes, Chris Morris and Alec Palao

Gene Sculatti's Top 10 "Next Dylans"

The All-Time Top 10 'Next Dylans': Monkee, Punkers, Bubblegum King: They Wished That For Just One Time They Could Stand Inside His Shoes

A funny thing about revolutions: Once they're won, it's hard to find anyone who opposed them. Paris, 1789: "Mais oui! My servants will tell you: for me, it was always liberte, egalite, fraternite!" Seattle, 1991: "I always dug flannel. That spandex belongs to my sister." Few cultural traditions are more time-honored than bandwagon-jumping, as P. Edwin Letcher's piece on faux Beatles (Scram #12) proved. Thirty-five summers ago, perhaps the most cataclysmic "arrival" in pop – Bob Dylan's, as reshaper of American song, world's unlikeliest rock 'n' roll star and irresistible force – set off a wondrous flood of fakery and imitation. Over the years, few musicians have remained untouched by his influence: Lennon, Prince, Jagger-Richards, Motown, Springsteen, V.U. Lou, Sheryl Crow imitating Stealer's Wheel imitating Dylan, etc. But the real fun was the gate-storming party-crash that occurred when they first opened up that new stretch of Highway 61. Once he roared past, it seemed like everybody wanted to be Bob Dylan, especially the 10 heroic aspirants revved up here on Simulation Row.
 

10. MICHAEL BLESSING (NESMITH)
As the early-'60s headquarters of TV-pop (Shelley Fabares, Paul Petersen, James Darren), it's perhaps not surprising that Colpix Records was the future Monkee's first label-stop. The surprise is his 1965 single, 'What Seems To Be The Trouble, Officer', an outright sendup of Dylan's version of 'Baby Let Me Follow You Down'. It's all there: thick-strummed 12-string, rudimentary harmonica and MN talk-singing his way through a series of non sequitirs in a voice somewhere between early Dyl and very late Walter Brennan. The song climaxes with the hippie equivalent of a standup's rim-shot: "First hard time I ever had was a policeman stopped me," drawls Nesmith. "He asked me if he could see some papers. I said, 'What you want, man, Bambu or Zigzag?' "

9. JOEY VINE (LEVINE)
On the single 'The Out Of Towner', the lead singer of the Ohio Express/Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus wraps his eternally adenoidal cords around an early-Dylan-style "protest" number. A jagged guitar riff plays tag with the vocal as J.V. inveighs against a hypocritical suburbanite who seeks sinful pleasures in the big city; "skyscrapers" and "tranquilizers" figure prominently in this gem of an outlaw blues from '65. (4 Seasons arranger Charlie Calello produced; hear that group's superb Dyl-crib, 'Everybody Knows My Name', on their Working My Way Back To You album.)

8. TIE: THE TRASHMEN and THE LOVE SOCIETY
Thank heaven the Surfin' Birdmen never bowed to sacred cows. Otherwise, they might not have given us '(Why Do You Give Me) The Same Lines', a '66 rocker that mocks their famous fellow Minnesotan to a "D." Talk about colliding visions of youth culture! The T-men cop the vocal kinks of the Poet Of The '60s to tell what's basically a '50s teen tale: the singer's upset with a girl who won't hang with him at the malt shop. Only advanced voice-print technology could prove that the singer of the Love Society's 'You Know How I Feel' isn't his Bobness; an amazing resemblance, courtesy of this Wisconsin band's one-off RCA single from '68.

7. BUTCH HANCOCK
The gifted Austin songwriter and founder (with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Joe Ely) of early alt-folkers the Flatlanders went delirious from the Dyl heat in '77, offering the fevered solo set The Wind's Dominion. The sprawling double-album resembles a hot-wired Blood on the Tracks: endless verses breathlessly sung, vacuum-packed with shadow figures (Cockroach Man, the Shrimpboat Captain, "the queen's daughter's lover," etc.). A solid hoot, even, it seems, for its creator.

6. MOUSE & THE TRAPS
From the same Nugget-y ranks as the Trashmen, Ronnie "Mouse" Weiss and his East Texas Traps are easily the hardest-rockin' exponents of faux Dylanism. The near-hit 'A Public Execution' and the scorching 'Maid of Sugar, Maid of Spice' burn Highway 61 rubber, while 'Nobody Cares' brandishes Blonde roots.

5. SONNY BONO
Newsweek anointed Donovan "Dylan's work-shirted, cloth-capped English counterpart," but the early period's most profound pretender was the Son-king. Adapting the Tambourine Man's vocal mannerisms to his own restricted range, he begat a pop-protest style of great power and stupidity in 1965's '(I'm Not) The Revolution Kind'. Its predecessor, 'Laugh At Me', poignantly dramatized the plight of an oppressed minority (the bellbottomed, bobcat-vested ex-promotion man – Sonny – who'd been hooted out of an industry watering-hole by promo men in suits); it also set in motion the bizarre double-helix that found Ian Hunter borrowing Sonny's Dylan adaptation to forge Mott the Hoople's even more Dylanesque style five years later.

4. P.F. SLOAN and BARRY McGUIRE
"'Eve of Destruction' author P.F. Sloan, 19, allows that his inspiration comes from being 'bugged most of the time'," Time reported in 1965. Something made the composer of Jan & Dean's 'Theme From The T.A.M.I. Show' and 'One-Piece Topless Bathing Suit' swap his baggies for a Hans Brinker cap and life as a sim-Zim. Not so much a sound-alike as a write-alike, P.F. aped every Dylan song-style, from apocalyptic anthems ('Upon A Painted Ocean' = 'When The Ship Comes In') and declarations of independence ('Let Me Be' = 'It Ain't Me, Babe') to Burroughsian cut-and-paste ('Patterns, Seg. 4' = 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'). His second LP, 12 More Times, contains the great 'Halloween Mary', whose witchy, wig-hatted protagonist is "riding on a sports-broom, actin' like nothin' is real." Sloan penned much of Barry McGuire's Eve Of Destruction and This Precious Time LPs – most notably the Dylan dreamscape 'Mr. Man On The Street – Act One' and the probing 'Don't You Ever Wonder Where It's At'.

3. THE CHANGIN' TIMES
Despite a limited output (four Philips singles), former Brill Bldg. scribes Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld ('Deadman's Curve', tunes for the Turtles and Lesley Gore) snag the "show" spot by virtue of the sheer crassness of their work. The duo's late-'65 'Pied Piper' (Crispian St. Peters' cover version went top five) is deliriously Dyl-derivative: an overcooked stew of deliberately flat vocals, clattering drums and reedy harp intrusions. True "babe magnets," Steve and Artie repeat Dylan's stock gal-phrase some 18 times over the course of 'Piper' and its flip, 'Thank You, Babe'. Self-plagiaristic follow-ups like 'Aladdin' and the fuzzed-out, prom-queen putdown 'How Is The Air Up There' almost best the team's debut. "It didn't come from the Dylan song," the boys assured Song Hits magazine. "We chose 'Changin' Times' because it seemed to signify the present atmosphere of society." Whew!

2. DAVID BLUE
The heavyweights start here. One of Dylan's early Greenwich Village cronies, Blue was among the first to express his devotion on a full-length album. Looking on the cover of David Blue (Elektra, 1966) like Mickey Rourke playing some Dickensian scalawag in an off-Broadway Oliver!, on disc he slurs his way across a littered imagistic landscape, taffy-pulling syllables to the accompaniment of Dylan sidemen. 'If Your Monkey Can't Get It' is 'From A Buick 6' sideways, with sawing Velvets guitars, eagles in the hallway and Superman at the window. 'Arcade Love Machine' tilts vertiginously, loaded as it is with dreaming streetlights, bleeding automats and the "hot-dog underground." On the fade, Blue gives one of those trademark Dylan cries of anguish: "Whoooahhh!!" Catch the late DB in the opening scenes of BD's marathon movie Renaldo & Clara, nattering nervously as he plays (what else) a pinball machine.

1. DICK CAMPBELL
More bugged than Sloan, with better diction than Blue, this intense Chicagoan produced the sole masterpiece of the fake-Dylan field, Dick Campbell Sings Where It's At (Mercury, 1966). Modest talent and immodest ambitions provide the fuel for Dick to build a fire on Main Street and shoot it full of holes; Dylan readymades (word choice, chord changes) form the DNA of the entire album, which, Dick's liner notes explain, is heavily informed by his volatile relationship with his girlfriend, Sandi. Cases in point: the cringe-worthy 'Blues Peddlers' ("I won't be capitulating/ You're going to lose a few points in your ratings") and the 'Rolling Stone'-washed 'Approximately Four Minutes Of Feeling Sorry For D.C.' (world-class line cramming, plus appearances by Judas, blind men and the farmer's daughter). The whole LP, from 'Despair's Cafeteria' to 'Girls Named Misery', glints like cubic zirconium. But the high point – the veritable Apex of Appropriation to which all below Dick aspire in vain – is 'The People Planners (proudly waving their propaganda banners)'. Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield and support staff kick up an electrical storm as DC spits fire at the enemies of us all:

Hey there, don't you scream
'Cause I didn't eat up all my ice cream
Or turn off the light when I came downstairs
Forgot to burn the rubbish or comb my hair
Just shut up!

Out of print? Yes. Hard to find? Natch. Likely to be reissued on CD? Never. But Sings Where It's At is worth any effort it takes to find. Never has thievery sounded so sweet.

© Gene Sculatti, 2000

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