Song Of The Day 7/16/2013: National Lampoon feat. Tony Hendra - "Magical Misery Tour"

(Parental Advisory: Explicit language up the yang) I just finished reading Bob Spitz's huge biography of the Beatles, memorably titled The Beatles: A Biography. It took four months. But it wasn't in one sitting. Anyway, the book stops right at the moment of their breakup, so it doesn't go into John Lennon's primal scream therapy with Dr. Arthur Janov, the cathartic and painful John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album, or his blistering "Lennon Remembers" interview with Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner. He went nuclear in that conversation, jumping on the Beatles, Mick Jagger, sycophants, happily subordinate hippies, Hare Krishnas, and everything else that he had to endure during 1970-71. It's perhaps the most famous rock interview ever given.

And it also resulted in one of the greatest satirical records of all time. Radio Dinner was the first album issued through the auspices of National Lampoon magazine. The project was co-created by Lampoon editor Tony Hendra and Michael O'Donoghue. Hendra -- who cult movie freaks will recognize as manager and cricket bat-wielder Ian Faith from This Is Spinal Tap -- made "Magical Misery Tour" for the record. That's indeed Hendra doing the spooky, spot-on imitation of Lennon. He pokes holes all over  (or, depending on your viewpoint, improves) the Lennon myth by quoting actual lines from the "Lennon Remembers" interview, setting them to Plastic Ono Band style music, and ending in some hardcore Janovian shrieking. I gave you the lyric video version of this because I think it's effective.

Interesting side note: The track was arranged by Lampoon's music guru Christopher Guest, who played Nigel Tufnel in Spinal Tap and This Is Spinal Tap. And playing piano and the brief part of Yoko Ono on this track is none other than Melissa Manchester, known for her hit "Don't Cry Out Loud" (or, "Primal Scream Therapy's Very Expensive, So Shut Up").




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