Monday, July 06, 2009

Somehow, I Don't Think This is What Billy Joel Had in Mind

Q: What do you get when you cross a guy playing Bach riffs on a harpsichord faster than his fingers can safely move, a honking 50s sax section, crazed boogie woogie piano, a flanged bass solo and a twangy sitar plunking away vaguely out of tune?

A: The greatest, or at least the funniest, rock instrumental of the last several decades.

Ladies and germs, please enjoy "The Carlsberg Special (Pianos Demolished Phone 021 373 4472)", or as it's better known, the b-side of Wizzard's 1972 glam rock classic "Ball Park Incident."

Incidentally, that's the original 45 sleeve from the Israeli(!) single version. Now THERE's something you don't see every day, and I particularly like the spelling of "Spesial."

BTW, like most of Wizzard's B-sides of the period, this one was NOT written by group founder/genius Roy Wood. In this case, the song was the brainchild of one Bill Hunt, Wizzard's original keyboards and french horn maestro, who left the band shortly after the release of this and of whose work since then I can find no record. In any case, on the basis of this sole digital artifact, I think we can all agree that the guy deserves to be regarded as one of the immortals.

[Author's Note: Actually, I lied about that last bit about Bill Hunt. For lots more on his subsequent career, enjoy the interview with him HERE.]


Gummo said...

Wow, it's stuff like this that made punk rock a necessity.

And you didn't even mention the ham-fisted drumming. That was pretty darn funny, too.

Kid Charlemagne said...

I remember reading an interview with Woody and the phone number in the title was actually the telephone number of Bill Hunt!

DB said...

Now THAT'S fucked up. What a mess.

Mister Pleasant said...

This tune and the next Wizzard B-Side - "Bend over Beethoven" - are odd little treasures. Frankly I don't see much of a prog-rock basis to it. To me it was just some kick-ass musicians having fun with a different genre. Baroque in this case, modern jazz on "Bend".

steve simels said...

I think this is actually a hilarious satire of prog-rock excess.