Monday, October 18, 2010

Holy Smoke! (1980)

A personal favorite, this one. I found the cassette copy of this on Halloween of 1990 for two dollars at the Hill-Top Pawn Shop. I didn't go trick-or-treating or coke out on candy or watch any horror movies that night, I just put this one in and spent the evening with Richard.

Side one is mostly from P.J.'s in 1968. Richard is in a very silly mood on this recording, but obviously having fun onstage and with the audience, with whom he banters with throughout most of that set. He does one bit, like a Shakespearean-type "prove your love to me" scene, and compares it to what it would be like in the present day; he drops a small F-bomb during the bit, and laughs almost sheepishly about having even said it.

There's also another funny bit about trying to make a great speech, but finds that what he's trying to say turns into complete incoherent mush. After that is a short, poorly-recorded segment, mostly about TV commercials about toys, mouthwash and deodorant, which sound a lot like routines from George Carlin's Take-Offs And Put-Ons LP. Then we're back at P.J.'s, where Richard closes his set by making a speech, which again collapses into incoherent blabber, but then tries to start up a sing-along, sneaking in phrases like "up your ass" and "screw the world", which gets a lot of laughs, and it's over.

Side two is mostly from the Troubadour. After a small musing on the invention of the chair, he goes into "T.V. Panel Show" (re-named "Talk Show"), but this is pretty much the fullest and most uncut version out there (it runs about eleven minutes). Among the restored parts include when the host says, "But first, a word from our...No?...well, we begin the conversation!"; we also hear Miss Hazel Dumpwood's story about how she found God (sounds like she did a lot of drugs!) and at the end of the bit, when the host signs off, he says, "And remember our motto....". There is none, the show is now over, and so is the bit.

There's also another piece about some Whitey old-timers reminiscing about the year 1968, and the fun they had about giving blacks a hard time, and the subsequent Watts riots. The album side ends, somewhat stupidly, with Richard making a bunch of corny mouth-noises, sort of like the "Being Born" or "Frankenstein Taking LSD" bits, but then cuts into loud applause in the middle of it, and the album is finished.

The album cover drawing, with smoke shooting from Richard's ears while he has a surprised look on his face, is kind of corny, but doesn't seem to have anything to do with his movies. There was an album from Laff by Richard & Wille called Richard's Firecracker , with a drawing of a black man running down the street while on fire. I'm just glad that wasn't the cover for this one!

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