Hey gang, life is tough ain't it? It's getting so's you can't find the time to write a demented record review anymore! In belated celebration of the recent Ogden Edsl CD release (Mower of the Ogden Edsl on Oglio Records, call 1-800-COOL-CDS or write P.O. Box 404, Redondo Beach, CA 90277), here's a get-acquainted review of their 1st LP, the home-y and hilarious Stuffed.

After becoming completely demented during 1978, I set out to acquire many of the songs I was hearing for the first time on the Dr Demento Show. At the time, the Demento Society was offering Stuffed via mail-order (for a figure that seems ridiculous today, like 6 bucks I think!) so I bit...hey, "Dead Puppies" on vinyl in my own house? Hey!......But I got a lot more good stuff in the bargain. Now, read on..........

These reviews are written and posted to rec.music.dementia as a service to those who do not have the reviewed recordings, as a means to acquaint those readers with the recorded material and the artists. Any quoted lyrics are included solely for enhancement, copyrights remain with the original owners, I make no claims. I am not affiliated with The Dr Demento Show, On The Radio Productions, etc. (except like, I was in the, like, Funny Five or something...uh huh huh huh)

The Ogden Edsl Wahalia Blues Ensemble Mondo Bizzario Band
Sunburn Records SB-LP-101 (1977)
reissued as Ogden Edsl Wahalia Blues Ensemble Mondo Bizzario Band
ALA Records 1985 (1979)

Side 1:

The Crocodile Song - Ft. Hemophilia Drive-In/Eight Lanes To Nowhere - Lube Job - Drive-In Welcome/G.W.F. Hegel Waltz/Pacific Ocean/Pig Pit/Jean Paul - Jamaican Holiday - Charnel House - Dead Puppies

Side 2:

Lackadaisical Cincinnati - Little Fairies/Sister City - F.M. Late Night D.J. - Black Beauty/139 Degrees/Hold On/Dial-a-Vibe/Holy Trinity - Russian Roulette Giveaway - Sweet Breeze - The World Is Gone

[ALA release substitutes "Daddy's Money" for "The Crocodile Song" and "Kinko The Clown" for "Lackadaisical Cincinnati", also deletes "Eight Lanes To Nowhere" and "Little Fairies/Sister City"]

[back cover photo]

Main personnel:

Bill Carey - guitars, pipe organ, vocals, arrangements
Bill Frenzer - vocals, harmonica, trumpet [solo on "The World Is Gone"]
Otis Twelve - turkey gobbler, vocals
Rich Theiman - bass, piano, vocals
Robert Ganey - drums, vocals
[many aux personnel listed]

While I usually in these reviews concentrate on the recorded sound therein, I have been requested to also describe to you the wacky cover of the album. A BBW (for you non-personal-ad readers, that's "big beautiful woman", although the middle word is debatable), resplendent in wide-brimmed 1910 hat, carnations, yellow kitchen gloves, and tattoo, is stuffing cheeseburgers into a half-roasted turkey upon a blue gingham tablecloth a la bistro...Stuffed indeed!

Now follow along as we take the LP's admonition to "Laugh at the Music and Dance to the Comedy"...The album starts out innocently enough, airy Arp strings and piano [Arp is a 70's brand of synthesizer] plus acoustic guitar building into an almost Styx-like fanfare...4 chunks on the electric guitar and we're off, into a bit'o'whimsy from Frenzer, singing about his little baby crocodile and taking Hottentots to tea: "And my crocodile lives in a crockpot, and the crockpot has a crack/So I keep my lox in a sock sack/Till my crocodile comes back".

The comedy begins with a commercial for a "dawn to dusk Mescalito marathon" at the Ft. Hemophilia drive-in theater, advertising the epic film "Swinging Lesbian Chairpersons" ("sexual equality was never like *this* beFORE!"). This segues into another ad for the big Eight Lanes to Nowhere race, in which families will learn to live together once again by becoming lost in the Mojave Desert, then having to decide which one of the kiddies to have for supper...

"Lube Job" could well have been a single, a spiffy country stomp advising all of a philosophy to keep yer tires inflated, scrape them bugs from yer teeth, don't drive over puppies, and "get yourself a lube job every now and again". Had one lately?

The next track actually takes us to the Drive-In, where we are welcomed by the friendly voice over the car speakers and reminded that uniformed security guards are waiting to check all cars for drugs and/or alcohol. "If ya don't have any o'course, they'll be glad to sell ya some."

A couple of wacky bits are then performed over a rock vamp courtesy of the band, culminating in the Waltz. After "Pacific Ocean" [a quick comedy bit which honestly I can't describe! COPOUT!!!] we have a return of the friendly drive-in voice asking that the person responsible for the roast pig pit in the 3rd row, to please report to the box office! Then a Cousteau wanna-be does a short discourse on a recent disastrous oceanic conquest!

"Jamaican Holiday" pits the workaday world against the idyllic getaway over a neat Caribbean-influenced beat: "Well I work so hard try to save all my money/Go to Jamaica for a holiday". Happier than 10cc's "Dreadlock Holiday", certainly more upbeat.

Next we hear from "the band that left England in ruins", that'd be Charnel House. Headlining a monster all-star concert featuring "the hottest blues band in Delaware" and "117 of the greatest lead guitarists on stage", we are treated to a selection from their latest Mutilated release "The Crucifixion of Howdy Doody at Hyperspace". The lead singer of Charnel House takes us out yelling about Hollywood vampires and ending over the last power chord with a nod to a fellow band member: "YEAH. YOU COAX THEM BLUES RIGHT OUTTA THAT HORN, YES INDEED. GOODBYE." [anyone get the reference to "Mame"?] Far out?

Rounding out Side One is "Dead Puppies", not much new to say here...a timeless Demented classic featuring the skewed and very funny words of Bill Frenzer and the guitars and pipe organ of Bill Carey. One longstanding mystery REVEALED!: in a late-80's interview on the Dr. Demento Show, Frenzer explained the shout at the end: "One more time for Roman Ruska!" Seems he was the governor of Nebraska or something at the time, and for reasons unknown to most everyone except the Ogden Edsl, this was uttered in the song. Not the same as "Rock on George for Ringo one time", but it gets the job done! This joke was reprised by Barnes & Barnes in their recording of "Touch Yourself" ("One more time for Dan Quayle!!!")

Over to Side Two, finds us back in a sort of lounge-y atmosphere..."Lackadaisical Cincinnati" is a nice swinger actually, with breathy sax section and more Arp strings. The words are a little more straight ahead *as a rule*, notwithstanding lines like "like a daisy chain abalone", but also we have "If you love me please don't tell me/Talkin' 'bout love won't make me happy/In Lackadaisical Cincinnati". Decent alto sax solo from extra player Reggie Shives, the track is......well, .....pleasant!

More goofiness on "Little Fairies/Sister City"...Strummed acoustic guitar is the backdrop for the little ones to hold forth...As for the little fairies, "they run and skip and jump and hop [POP!]/They own a little barber shop"...Lotsa use of flanging here on the vocals. "Sister City" is a fun little acoustic tune comparing Omaha, Nebraska to some unspellable Japanese town, this tune ends with what my guess is, is the infamous Turkey Gobbler, some sort of device making such a sound, and what a sound!

This cuts abruptly into what is probably my favorite track on the LP, a parody on FM of old, a low-key announcer intoning: "That was The Band with 'Music from Big Pink' closing out that set...just before that we heard 'All Along the Watchtower',...from the Monkees.....and before that the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir...and before that there was a disco commercial....and before that my mother from Wyoming called...and before that God said, uh, 'Let there be light', and before that.......before that.......before that.......before that.......before that"

"Black Beauty" starts out innocently enough with "typically corrupt" record producer Burt Betelgeuse talking about finding a nice pure country boy out in the sticks to bring purity back to rock 'n' roll ("Oh what a friend in Jesus/God Bless to them that sneezes"), but the end product is not what singer "Lightning" Rod McSpuen bargained for...the track is a down 'n' nasty Stones tribute along the lines of "Brown Sugar"! A quick cut to the ol' AM radio sound ("63 minutes before the hour, it's 139 degrees outside; We're gonna shove this next record down your throat 12 times an hour...it's Kim Cliche and the Clicks' 'Hold On'!"), this short song consists of every bad musical and lyrical pop cliche on the face of this earth!, all the "Hold on/Gotta get this thing together/Oh darlin' you mean the world to me" stuff - great parody...This fades into some random radio noise (which I've always been a big fan of, John & Yoko's "Radio Play" & all that...), then the sound of a dialing phone (ROTARY??) and Dial-a-Vibe connects: "Say, are you paralyzed from the neck up?", something of a predecessor to our modern "If you're really ticked off, press 3 now!" More radio noise takes us to a brief appearance by the Holy Trinity who remind us that television is furniture!

A very strange comedy sketch follows in "Russian Roulette Giveaway". Probably not a favorite of the NRA. Listen in as Mr. Ferdie Shump and Mr. Tonto Beluga "blow their minds for meaningless prizes!" Replete with bad game show organ and Jeopardy countdown music, Ferdie blasts away for the big prize, only to have to answer the final qualifying question after the bullet has torn through his skull: "Is it further to Kansas City, or by bus?" Needless to say, Ferdie is toast...will the host's dream of such mindless violence getting them higher ratings than "Gilligan's Island" come true? Only the comedy gods will know.........

Ogden goes tasteless in a hilarious parody of them good ol' feminine hygiene commercials in "Sweet Breeze", Big Sis has to console a sobbing Little Sis after her big date informed her that she smelled like......A WOMAN! ("He wanted me to smell like a Colgate-Palmolive factory in Schenec[sniff]tady, [snort] New York!!") You'll have to hunt down the recording to reveal the (eesh) slogan at the end!

Bringing it all back home, back to the bars, on the road again, it's lounge time for real on "The World Is Gone". Set against a backdrop of patrons, cash registers and "'ey maaan let's boogieeeeeeee", it sings of finality and despair at the end...but hey hey hey does it SWING! "And I believe it's a natch-ral fact/The world is gone and it ain't comin' back/Oh the world has gone awayyyy"...Peppy piano and trumpet solos give it a real club atmosphere, culminating in a real "flag waver" of an ending and a final "BYE BYE", the unsatisfied patrons yelling variously for more and also "LET'S BOOGIE NOW!!!!!" Fading into runout groove oblivion, so ends a real underground comedy classic, the Ogden Edsl's Stuffed.

So get on that mail order line and cop that new Ogden Edsl CD, and if you come across Stuffed, hope you enjoy it as much as I have for the last 15 years; and if you don't find it, hope this review got you a little closer to a fine comedy recording.

© 1995 Chris Mezzolesta [mezzolesta@mindspring.com - Comments/questions here also] / Email for permission before reposting, all reposts must be intact and include copyright notice and name of original author. Reviews are archived at: http://dmdb.org/

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