So -- a few weeks ago, I was freaking out trying to remember an album that crossed my desk very early in my tenure at the Magazine Formerly Known as Stereo Review. And by early I figured 1973 or thereabouts.
Try as I might, I couldn't remember the name of the LP or the band that made it. And I wasn't even particularly sure that it was by a band -- it might, I thought, have been by a comedy troupe that also did music. All I knew, however, or at least thought I knew, was one song in particular -- a hilarious blues parody which finished with a Robert Plant-esque lead singer yowling "Now wait a minute!". At which point, the track stopped cold except for a clock ticking.
Anyway, a Google search proved unavailing, so I e-mailed an old bud, longtime L.A. music writer and scenester Todd Everett. It didn't ring any bells for him, but he promised to forward my query to some folks he knew from the record business back in the day. And sure enough, a few hours later came the answer.
Turns out the culprits (and yes, it was a real band, not a bunch of comedians) were Wilderness Road, who seem to have been a sort of American equivalent of Brit wiseguys The Bonzo Dog Band. And the album (indeed, from 1973) was Sold For the Prevention of Disease Only. Hey -- I'm a sucker for condom jokes.
As it happened, the song that had haunted me all these years was the appropriately titled "The Authentic British Blues." And I was pleased to discover that it was as funny as I remembered...I particularly like the ersatz Gilbert and Sullivan intro, and the bit where the harmonica player, in the voice of an old Jewish man, goes "Oish...my lips!"
Plus this inspirational verse:
I've got just the thing...to liberate your mind.
Some asshole on a sitar...playing "My Darling Clementine."
Anyway, neither song nor album has ever been on CD, but thanks to the miracle of the Intertubes, you can download the former, in all its over the top glory, here.
And if the authorization has run out, you can download the entire album, which behooves behearing, here.