Once again we'll have a special CD you can find nowhere else, LOADED with demented hits from the show. In addition to Basement Tapes No. 5 (also available on cassette) the package will include our customary assortment of other goodies -- a membership card, button, bumper sticker, press kit, and personally autographed photo, plus a discount coupon which can be used for future merchandise orders.
Bad News & Good News
The bad news is -- paper prices have increased a lot lately...some of the materials we use have almost doubled. We've held the line so far, but if they go up much more we'll have to raise the membership fee to cover that. The good news is -- anyone who renews their membership for 1997 by December 31, 1996 will get next year's membership including the new 1997 package for the current price of $16.95, postpaid.
Don't Miss Out...
If you haven't renewed for 1996, remember that this year's package including Basement Tapes No. 4 (with tracks like "Carrot Juice Is Murder," "Bulbous Bouffant," "Frontal Lobotomy" and songs by Tom Lehrer and "Weird Al" Yankovic that you won't find anywhere else) will be available only until the end of this year.
You can renew your membership for 1996 and/or 1997 at any time, regardless of whether your membership has expired or is about to expire. With each year's membership, you will receive four additional newsletters beyond what you're currently entitled to. (The little three-digit number in the upper right hand corner of your mailing label is the number of the last newsletter you're currently scheduled to receive).
Look for me in late 1996 or early '97 on a Disney Channel special on "Weird Al" Yankovic, currently in production. It will feature Weird Al in concert, plus some segments on the story of his career, including how I discovered him (and all that).
Once again I emceed a summertime classic rock concert in Glendale, California. This one featured Jefferson Starship, Lee Rocker (formerly of the Stray Cats) and blues-rocker Elvin Bishop. It was great to see Elvin again -- we hung out a lot together when I was a blues scholar and he was a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the late 1960s.
On November 10th I'll be emceeing the Love Ride, a benefit for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (the charity supported by Jerry Lewis' annual telethon). Some 20,000 motorcycles, with Jay Leno in the lead, will roll from the Glendale Harley-Davidson dealership to a park in the mountains north of L.A., where the bikers will hear a concert by Crosby, Still and Nash (open to Love Ride participants only).
Recent guests on the radio show have included Stan Freberg and Barnes & Barnes, each celebrating new CD's. Scheduled for a Sept. 29 visit is "Mawg", leader of The Toyes (of "Smoke Two Joints" and "Monster Hash" fame).
We have some exciting Dr. Demento personal appearances planned for 1997, including one at Cal Tech in Pasadena on February 8th. More details in our next newsletter!
After "Fish Heads" became a hit on the Dr. Demento show in 1978 (it went on to become our most requested song ever), Barnes & Barnes put together an LP which was released by Rhino Records in 1980. Many of the other songs on the LP also became very popular on the show: "Party In My Pants," "Cemetery Girls," "Linoleum," "Boogie Woogie Amputee" and "Something's In the Bag."
The CD edition includes the complete original LP plus nine bonus tracks. One of them is the very first tape Barnes & Barnes ever sent to the Dr. Demento show, before "Fish Heads" -- an item called "The Vomit Song," which Dr. Demento rejected at the time. It was finally aired when Barnes & Barnes (aka Robert Haimer and Bill Mumy) visited Dementia Central for an on-the-air interview recently.
The CD booklet has the whole Barnes & Barnes story as told by Bill Mumy, and some great vintage photos. It's available from OGLIO RECORDS, PO BOX 404, REDONDO BEACH, CA 90277 or at some of your more adventurous local record stores.
434 N Hollywood Way, Apt G
Burbank, CA 91505-3463
Lists Are Available - Please Write
Several years ago some listeners formed a Usenet newsgroup
devoted to the show. As with other newsgroups, anyone can
"post" a short "article." It can be a piece of information, a
request for information, a bit of opinion...anything relevant to
Dementia. Typical postings include factoids about artists heard
on the show (Stan Freberg's brief career as a film actor inspired
a lively dialogue recently), questions on where to get records,
and questions and answers about stations carrying the show.
The newsgroup's address is:
There are also several unofficial (we repeat: unofficial) World
Wide Web pages devoted to the show. The most
comprehensive is the so-called "rec.music.dementia
homepage," titled "The Doctor Is In" and maintained by Jeff
Morris with help from Annie Sattler and Keri Maijala. It has
tons of info about the show, including hundreds of playlists of
past shows in a database you can search to find when any
particular song or artist was played. Thanks to Keri, this page
also provides a quick and easy format for making requests on
the Net, which are speedily forwarded to Dementia Central.
The Internet address for this page is:
David Tanny maintains another interesting and helpful page
which covers the world of Dementia along with other subjects.
It offers transcripts of what I say and play on each week's show
(with David's occasional whimsical commentary) and lots of
other Demented info. Go to:
At least two stations carrying the show - The Flash (San Diego) and WMVP (Chicago) - are available nationwide on "RealAudio," the program which enables you to hear real-time radio through your computer's sound system. The sound quality leaves something to be desired, but this is a way that people living in places whose radio airwaves have been deprived of Dementia can enjoy the show again.
RENEW NOW and get the 1996 membership package -- with our best BASEMENT TAPES CD/cassette compilation ever...featuring the top three most requested songs and comedy bits of '95 ("Bulbous Bouffant," "Carrot Juice Is Murder" and "Everything Reminds Me Of My Therapist") plus unreleased songs by TOM LEHRER and "WEIRD AL" YANKOVIC! This package will only be available for a short time! It also includes a full-color personally autographed photo of Dr. Demento, plus a button, bumper sticker, press kit, membership card, a coupon good for 10% on a future purchase of CD's or other goodies, and four more issues of the News. Get another year of laughter for just $16.95!
FRANK ZAPPA: The Lost Episodes
A 30-track collection of previously unavailable odds and ends from Zappa's supremely fruitful career, selected by the man himself shortly before his death. It ranges from his earliest known recording (as a drummer in 1958) to the late 1970s, and from curious trifles to absolute masterworks. Zappa's serious and comic sides are both well represented. No other available CD reveals as much as this one does about how Zappa's musical style came together. RYKO - AVAILABLE IN STORES.
THE DEAD ALEWIVES: Take Down the Grand
An impressive, well-produced debut CD from this Milwaukee sketch group. Plenty of variety here, from silly talk show spoofs a la Monty Python to the pitch-dark, riveting "Answering Machine." "Dungeons and Dragons" (Where's the Mountain Dew?) is an early request favorite. Our thanks to The Great Luke Ski for turning us on to this. MONKEY PAW PRODUCTIONS, 2430 N. HUMBOLDT BLVD., MILWAUKEE, WI 53212.
HANNA-BARBERA'S PIC-A-NIC BASKET OF
Hanna-Barbera is the studio that had a near-monopoly on TV animation in the 1960s with The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Snagglepuss, The Jetsons and dozens of others. This 4-CD package has just about all the Hanna- Barbera audio one would ever need: theme songs, background music, musical numbers by Flinstones guests (from Hoagy Carmichael to The Beau Brummels) and authentic sound effects (you can cue up any of 97 different ones on your CD player). This material has already come out on individual CD's, but this box set (the "box" is a cute mockup of a picnic basket, with a moveable handle) is the definitive edition. Includes a historical note by your Doctor. KID RHINO - IN STORES.
This 4-CD set isn't hard to describe: it contains the original recordings of every song ever featured on the early-1970s TV series -- "Conjunction Junction," "I'm Just a Bill" and 48 more. The majority have never before been available in any home audio format. The quality of the songs (mostly by Bob Dorough, Lynn Ahrens and Dave Frishberg) towers above the TV wasteland today as always. The package is a real loose-leaf notebook, complete with liner paper. KID RHINO - IN STORES.
THE CAPITOL STEPS: Return to Center
Chapter Sixteen in the Steps' ongoing musical chronical of American politics and pop culture includes the best song we've heard yet about America's outlaw militia, "Glory, Glory, Paranoia," and the usual assortment of parodies, some fine, some forgettable. CAPITOL STEPS, 1505 KING ST., ALEXANDRIA, VA 22314 -- 1-800-733-STEP, OR IN STORES.
THE FOREMEN: What's Left
America's newest stars of political satire take a more serious turn on their second major-label release. The humor is still sharp, but it's more subtle and cerebral than before. Lyricist Roy Zimmerman makes good points and makes them well, but we do miss the simpler hilarities of earlier songs like "Firing the Surgeon General" and "Hell Froze Over Today." REPRISE - IN STORES.
SPIKE JONES: Radio Days
Spike Jones' numerous live radio and TV shows have provided material for nearly a dozen import CD's. This is one of the more widely available and less expensive ones, and worth having. Most of the pieces here were never on any of Spike's commercial recordings, and the few that were recorded for RCA are heard here in markedly different versions. Unfortunately there's no documentation of recording dates or personnel; the tracks date from 1945 to 1957 (not 1942 as the cover says). The sound quality is adequate; boost the treble to make it a little more lifelike. (Note: the back cover and the disc itself call the collection "Radio City.") REMEMBER (IMPORT) - IN STORES.
MIKE NICHOLS AND ELAINE MAY: In Retrospect
Bit by bit, the classics from the Golden Age of comedy LP's are trickling out on CD. This is the long-overdue digital debut of Nichols & May, who became best-sellers on records and on Broadway in the early 1960s before switching to cinema. This compilation, originally released as a 2-LP set in 1972, has most of their best stuff including "A Little More Gauze," "Physical" and "Telephone." MERCURY - IN STORES.
JACKIE GLEASON: And Awaaay We Go! The legendary TV comedian made dozens of best-selling albums of lush, seductive instrumentals...but the very rare 1954 10" LP reissued here was his only comedy album! It contains eight original songs, each sung by Gleason in one of the many different characters he played on early-Fifties TV. Not all of them are as attention-getting as his Ralph Kramden song, "One Of These Days - Pow!," but this is a touching souvenir of "The Great One." The CD adds nine bonus tracks, including instrumental themes heard on The Honeymooners and a 1965 single of "Casey at the Bat" recited by "Reggie Van Gleason III." SCAMP - IN STORES.
TOO LIVE NURSE: Ineffective Individual Coping
Intended for the amusement of doctors and nurses, this is accurately described on the cover as "a slightly twisted musical review of the 'sicker' side of health care" -- especially urology. Not for the squeamish! This is the CD with the marvelous "Doin' the Incontinence Rag" heard on the show. TOO LIVE NURSE PRODUCTIONS, PO BOX 201, CANAAN, NY 12029 ($15.00 + $3 shipping/handling).
HAPPY SCHNAPPS COMBO: Polka Power
The Schappsmeisters' fourth album is a good one, with "Pull My Finger," "You Can't Teach the Japanese to Polka" and "Barley Pop" among the hoppy brews served up by these veteran rock musicians turned demented polkateers. For a nice change of pace, they let their rock roots show through on a hot instrumental version of "Hava Nagila" complete with feedback guitar. ORDERS: VAN'S LIQUOR, MANITOWOC, WI - 414- 682-6911.
HARRY "THE HIPSTER" GIBSON: Who Put the
Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine
Harry the Hipster created a sensation in the 1940s with his super-energized boogie piano playing and his zesty lyrics laced with the latest jive talk and occasional drug references (remarkable for their time). He slowed down a bit in later years, but was still quite an entertainer, as the previously- unreleased 1970s-80s recordings of mostly newer material such as "Get Hip to Shirley MacLaine" and "Lowdown Slowdown Inflationary Blues" demonstrate. DELMARK RECORDS, 4121 N. ROCKWELL, CHICAGO, IL 60618.
CALI ROSE Gets Goofy
"It's A P.M.S. Kind of Day," "The Doggie-Doo Blues," "Pooey, Pooey, Pooey, It's Christmas" and other humorous songs about life in the 90s fill this sparkling collection, entertainingly written and sung and beautifully produced. SOUP TO NUTS MUSIC, PO BOX 4775, CULVER CITY, CA 90231.
LESTER McFWAP'S CARNIVAL OF VOMIT:
A mix of studio and live-on-stage tracks by this acidly satiric Los Angeles sketch group. Most of the live tracks are unbroadcastable (those nasty words again), but the studio stuff is neat ("The Three Jerrys," "Cheepok Dopra Relaxation Tape," "What If Bob [Dole] Was One of Us?") LESTER McFWAP, PO BOX 6026, SHERMAN OAKS, CA 91423. WEB: http://home.aol.com/TKONKLE
SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS: Hot
This six-piece band uses the musical patterns, textures and instruments of circa-1940 jazz (and on one standout track, 1940s calypso) to create new music of striking originality, beautifully played, sung and recorded. Despite those glorious old sounds, this music has a seriousness, an "angst" that's very much of the 1990s. That's OK, but I sometimes wish they'd loosen up a little more and get happy. Speaking of living in the 1990s, this CD is "enhanced" with a nifty 4 1/2-minute Quick Time video you can watch on your Mac or PC, plus other CD-ROM goodies. MAMMOTH RECORDS, BROAD ST. BLDG., 101 B. ST., CARRBORO, NC 27510.
WESLEY WILLIS: Fabian Road Warrior
By now you've probably heard, or heard about, this 300-pound Chicagoan who has recorded hundreds of songs on CD's which he sells, along with his artwork, on the streets of the Windy City. Despite the fact that 90% of them are sung to the same pre-programmed synthesizer backing (with slight variations in key and tempo) they're oddly captivating. This is Willis' major-label debut, but you'd never know: it's still just Wesley and his trusty synthesizer, singing about the bands he's seen and the times he's had. Good stuff...but if you're only planning on owning one Wesley Willis CD (everybody should own one) I'd suggest Wesley Willis' Greatest Hits (Alternative Tentacles) instead. AMERICAN RECORDINGS; IN STORES.
Also heard on the Dr. Demento show:
"Inbred Locals" by the POXY BOGGARDS, a hidden track on their CD Bawdy Parts (Vaccination Records, PO Box 3995, Long Beach, CA 90803)
"I'm White, I'm Straight, I'm Sorry" by LOCAL ANXIETY, from their CD Forgive Us, We're Canadian (Lynn Valley Records, 1493 Crown St., North Vancouver, BC V7J 1G4)
"Eddie's Apartment" and "Randolph Got a Haircut" by KENNY YOUNG AND THE EGGPLANTS, from their CD Even One Is Quite a Few (Coney Island Records, PO Box 3260, New York, NY 10185-0028).
"Yes, It's Nice to Own a Gun" by the COUPLA FAT GUYS BAND, from their CD The Wide Album (WEB: http://www.mcs.net/~star87).
"Job Interview" and "Happy Together" by THE GARRENS COMEDY TROUPE, from their self-titled CD (The Garrens Comedy Troupe, 2255 N. University Pkwy. #15-185, Provo, UT 84604-7506).
They've been quite popular. Many members, however, have asked us for one issue that wasn't listed, the very first one.
Supplies of Volume One, Number One (published in 1986) were exhausted long ago. Now we're happy to offer a complete re-print edition of our premiere issue. It features a full-page- plus "Profile In Dementia" devoted to "Weird Al" Yankovic, written by Dr. Demento and listing all of Al's releases up to that time along with an authoritative biography. Other features include Dr. Demento's Collector's Corner and an article about the radio network Dr. D was with at that time.
We've also re-printed Volume 3, Issue 2 from 1990, with a story about the day Dr. Demento moved his entire record collection (with a little help from some professional movers, of course).
Here's a list of back issues currently available:
Vol. 1 #1 (Profile of "Weird Al" Yankovic) (reprint) * Vol. 2 #2 (Monty Python, "Life with Dr. Demento" by "Mrs. Demento") * Vol. 3 #1 ("Collecting Cassettes," 1989 new releases) * Vol. 3 #2 (Moving Day in Dementia, 1990 new releases) (reprint) * Vol. 4 #1 (Dr D's 20th Anniversary Tour) * #101 (1991-92 new releases) * #102 (Who's Whimsical Will, 1993 new releases) * #103 (Frank Zappa 1940-1993, late 1993 releases) * #104 (Early '94 releases) * #105 (Late '94 releases) * #107 (mid-'95 releases) * #108 (late '95 releases)
Vol. 2 #2 (Monty Python, "Life with Dr. Demento" by "Mrs. Demento") * Vol. 3 #1 ("Collecting Cassettes," 1989 new releases) * Vol. 3 #2 (Moving Day in Dementia, 1990 new releases) (Reproduction) * Vol. 4 #1 (Dr D's 20th Anniversary Tour) * #101 (1991-92 new releases) * #102 (Who's Whimsical Will, 1993 new releases) * #103 (Frank Zappa 1940-1993, late 1993 releases) * #104 (Early '94 releases) * #105 (Late '94 releases) * #107 (mid-'95 releases) * #108 (late '95 releases)
Limited supply - $1.00 each