Oh my, you are in for a treat.
Gone are the lyrics songs from the Splotchy jukebox.
Now, we focus on Celebrities At Their Worst.
The sound clips I include here are from Nick Bougas’ collection Celebrities At Their Worst, Volumes 1 and 2. Many of these sound clips have been passed on from generation to generation (my dad has the Orson Welles bit on reel-to-reel) but this collection assembles all these golden boners on a handful of compact discs.
I have cherry-picked my favorites. Look for the jukebox on the right side of me blog to play.
I am including Bougas’ liner notes regarding each track, with occasional additional comments by yours truly.
01 – John Wayne – The Duke was well in his cups when he lazily addressed the college R.O.T.C. group on the subject of patriotism. Even if you find Wayne’s “Kill the hippies to save the country” stance unpalatable, I’ll bet you’ll be using his clever phrase “It’s regoddamnediculuous” as soon as opportunity arises [Splotchy notes: Luke Wilson’s character said this very phrase at the end of Anchorman]
02 – Col. Harland Sanders – It’s late in his career and the Ol’ Kentucky gentleman’s brain, like his chicken, is fried… here he bumbles his way through take after take of a KFC promo spot. [Splotchy notes: Negativland would use this same sound sample in the wonderful Happy Heroes EP, a companion piece to their brilliant record Dispepsi]
03 – Orson Welles – It’s three decades down the road and the creative genius who once brought the world the cinematic epic Citizen Kane is now hawking frozen battered codfish… No wonder he’s so cranky! In this voice-over session, Orson angrily fixates on grammatical usage, fusses over sentence structure and easily establishes himself as the foremost menace to audio engineers everywhere. [Splotchy notes: This sound sample also made it onto the Negativland Happy Heroes EP]
04 – Mickey Rooney – Sure, Mickey may be small in physical stature, but as this string of outtakes illustrates, his distaste for recording local promo spots looms large.
05 and 06 – William Shatner – If you thought his vocal rendition of “Mr. Tambourine Man” was pretentious, wait ’til you hear this authentic slice of studio life… If a simple bit of direction as to how to render a line of dialogue truly “sickens” Bill (as he states here), he can always whip off that curly dish-shaped “tailor topper” he sports to serve as a nifty makeshift barf bag. [Splotchy notes: A homage to both sound clips appears in the film Mystery Men]
07 – Rich “Goose” Gossage – Why are sports people so hyper? They pull down tons of cash for participating in what is generally considered healthy, leisure-styled activity yet they’re so often bitter, vile malcontents… wait ’til you hear “Goose” Gossage squawking at a roomful of reporters that have apparently ruffled his feathers.
08 – The Troggs – This is it folks! And what a “Wild Thing” it is, too… the very tape that provided the inspiration for the brilliant movie satire This Is Spinal Tap… In fact, it now sounds incredibly like a deleted scene from the film… listen as a group of just-past-their-prime Rock Stars bicker and harangue one another over a simple musical passage any chimp could handily master.
09 – Linda McCartney – Q: What do you call a dog with Wings? Yeah, yeah, we all know the answer is Linda Mac, but after hearing this cut you’ll have to reconsider that reply… Let’s face it, a dog can occasionally howl on key. Here, prima donna hubby Paul is performing a live version of the Beatle classic “Hey Jude” while tone-deaf vegetarian Linda supplies back-up vocals. The clever technician who circulated this tape has isolated Linda’s sluggish droning so we can fully savor and properly reflect on her unique contribution to the world of musical entertainment.
10 – The Beach Boys – Good ‘Ol Murray, father of the sun-worshipping Wilson brothers, Brian, Carl and Dennis, served as their producer in more ways than one… He aided immeasurably to their early success by driving them like a plantation overseer (even causing permanent damage to Brian’s hearing with a cuff to the head). However, once the lads mastered the hitmaking formula, Dad’s role was diminished (much to his consternation) as is evidenced by this remarkable session tape. Murray barges in while the group is laying down the vocal track to one of their biggest sellers. In no time at all, he manages to reek havoc upon everyone’s morale, disrupt their progress with lousy suggestions and offer countless unwelcome criticisms. One highlight features a tasty retort from Brian about only “having one good ear left” when Murray starts bellowing directions at his rebellious and inattentive brood.