Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Robert Crumb and Music

Once upon a time, there was a horny young man.
His father was a Marine and his mother, some say,
was into amphetamines.

Like other young men back then, he was alienated.
More than anything, he wanted out of where
he grew
up and go make art.

Unlike many young men back then, he actually did
andas The Sixties started to swing, he was
in Cleveland
, designing greeting cards.

Then in 1967, he moved to San Francisco.

A year later, he published the first issue of Zap Comics
sold it on the streets of Haight-Ashbury, out of
a baby stroller pushed by his wife, Dana.

... I kinda knew Janis Joplin. She liked the underground comics.
She used to come around and hang out a little bit; she thought
the comics were funny and all that. And she was a nice person,
even though she drank too much.

When their record label rejected the idea of the band
in bed naked for the cover of their album
Cheap Thrillsin 1968, Big Brother and the Holding Company called Crumb,
offering him 600 bucks and a deadline from hell.

So I pulled an all-nighter.
             I took amphetamines and stayed up all night,
             and did the cover.
            And I had never heard any of the music!

Cheap Thrills was number one on the charts for 8 weeks
and within a year nearly a million people would welcome
Robert Crumb's cover into their homes.

In his first-ever try to bring music to the eye,
Crumb had hit a grand slam into the stands...
and he wasn't even listening.

When I listen to old music,
         it's one of the only times
        that I have any love for humanity.

Rock was raging all around him, but Crumb wasn't listening.

He was
a musical nerd, a freak, a geek. Like Harry Smith
and a handful of other artists, R. Crumb was weird 
for old country blues, hillbilly music and the primal jazz 
of what we now know as the Old Weird America.


Mr. Crumb had a deep and abiding lust in his heart for 78rpm recordings. In fact, for the right fat black shellac platters, he'd do you
an album cover - a fact that rising indie labels like Yazoo Records
Blue Goose would exploit, for the benefit of us all.

and so on...

take me to
R. Crumb and Music part II
right now!


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