Mar 14, 2010


I don't remember most of my elementary school classmates' names. I barely remember my teachers. I do, however, remember about five minutes of an early evening in the fall three decades or so ago.

I was walking down the darkened hall, hurrying to the safety of my bedroom.
The radio in the room next to mine was turned on. Passing the doorway, I heard a peculiar, tinny voice. I stopped.
It was this song:

I was hypnotized. I sat down in front of the radio, and drifted off to some other world, the 1940s through a disco prism.

I got up and didn't know what to do. No one announced the name of the song. It was gone. No matter how often I listened to the radio, I never heard it again. There was no one to tell about this discovery. I wouldn't have known what to say even if there had been.
My peers would have thought me weirder than they already must have.
The song was stuck in the back of my head, however.

Sometime, about eight years ago, I found out the artist's name (Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band), and in the intervening years I've found out more about them. I've found a couple of interesting articles about them, like this one. I learned how some of the members eventually split off to become Kid Creole. I've even listened to some of Cory Daye's own music.
(I see that a number of artists, most famously: M.I.A. Ghostface Killah, Miss Kittin, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, were somehow or another influenced. )

Anyway, when, thanks to the internet, I found the song again, I remember being surprised. It was not nearly as "different" as I remembered it being. If I'm honest, I didn't really even like it much any more.The other night, however, I found this video and bookmarked it. Since then I've kept replaying it. It's a glimpse of a lost world, maybe several lost worlds...nostalgia built upon nostalgia built on more nostalgia.
I think I've finally grown to love the song for real now, where I once just had a childish infatuation.

Anyway, finally, this past week I got a copy of the cd in the mail, and have been playing it every day to work, and fallen in love with this:

(thanks to the fabulous michael guy for prompting this rerun)


Margaret said...

Tommy Mottola lives on the road
He lost his lady, two months ago
mabye he'll find her, mabye he won't
Oh no, never, no, no
He sleeps in the back of his grey cadillac
Oh my honey
Blowin' his mind on cheap grass and wine
oh ain't it crazy baby, yeah
Guess you could say, hey hey, this man has learnt his lesson, oh-oh, hey, hey
now he's alone he's got no women and no home
for misery oh- ho, cherchez la femme

Minnie Bonicha's very upset
she's sick and tired of livin' in debt
tired of roaches
tired of rats
I know she is
so her noble man says "baby I understand" oh my honey
now he's working two jobs at 6th Avenue bars
Oh ain't it crazy
now she complains
that her man is never present
so she goes next door, I know she's just playing the whore
for misery, my friend, cherchez la femme

they'll tell you a lie with a colgate smile
hey baby
love you one second and hate you the next
oh ain't it crazy, yeah
all I can say
of one thing I am certain
theyr'e all the same
all the sluts and the saints
for misery,
cherchez la femme

Interesting lyrics...does anyone know why the reference to Tommy Mottolla?

Michael said...

I need to find my Dr Buzzard CD.

Michael Guy said...

Glad you could join me for a trip down memory lane!

Anonymous said...

Miggie Bonilla!

mrpeenee said...

Darling, I remember this, it was big in certain gay bars back in the day and I'm pretty sure Bette Midler covered it somewhere down the line.

Margaret said...

All I know is MJ said "Tommy Mottola's the devil!" and Gloria Estefan covered it, and it's got a beat the kids can dance to.

Ur-spo said...

Mercifully I don't remember much of school mates either; I suspect they were nasty.

the cajun said...

Danced to this with my Ex at 12West, Flamingo, and others when it first came out and we were newly together. Our own song became "I'll Play the Fool" for over 30 years, then he dumped me. I guess I did play the fool.
Can't listen to the music anymore. Maybe one day.

FelixInHollywood said...


Mottola was Dr. Buzzard's manager as well as Hall and Oates and others.

I love this whole record. Danced to it and bought it new, and still play it sometimes. Maybe I'm nuts but the whole CD still sounds fresh to me.

Anonymous said...

Tommy Mottola--the first Mr. Mariah Carey?