Dick’s Picks: Word around the office this week is that our resident ‘vinyl overlord’ has been seen on more than one occasion with a knowing, wry smile on his face, close inspection reveals that he’s been wiling away the hours, headphones on lockdown no less, listening to ‘A Blind Man’s Movie’, a truly bizarro LP by cult US comedian, and contemporary of Lenny Bruce, Murray Roman.
So….Murray Roman, who, what, where, why?
Like many in the late ’60s, Murray, who up until this point had been plying his trade as a ‘regular’ stand up comedian and supplier of material to several hit TV comedy shows, had his head, shall we say, swayed by the counter-cultural wind that was blowing across the US and beyond. It may come as no surprise that after developing a penchant for a heady brew of marijuana and LSD, his world view didn’t so much change as, err, shift completely, his language now peppered with the hip vernacular of the era; ‘cat’, ‘beat’, ‘far-out’ and indeed ‘groovy’. Needless to say at this point Murray left the regular ‘straight’ world of comedy behind and by 1968 he was to be found supporting the Doors and Country Joe & The Fish, in short, he’d arrived.
What About the LP?
After releasing one LP (You Can’t Beat People Up and Have Them Say I Love You ) on the Bill Cosby (yes really) part-owned Tetragrammaton label (home to early Deep Purple in the US), Murray went back into the studio and recorded ‘A Blind Man’s Movie’, fusing elements of his highly controversial expletive laden stand-up routine (Black Sambo Pancakes anyone?) with his other love; Soul Music, resulting in some surprisingly good takes on Otis Redding’s Shake and The Chambers Brothers’ Up Town to Harlem, alongside some of his (in)famous routines. With the Who regular visitors to the Sunset Strip (where Murray would often perform/hang out) their worlds would soon collide, with Keith Moon declaring Murray to be “his favourite comedian”, it’s no coincidence then that this LP, along with his debut, were both released in the UK on the Who’s newly established ‘Track Record’ label.
The counter cultural vibe extended beyond the material on the record, released in an all-black gate-fold sleeve, save for small white text along the spine, with accompanying all-black booklet (but of course), the ‘concept’ being this is exactly what a blind man’s movie would look like, yes it’s a bit of a protracted gag and pretty insensitive to boot, but, hey..them’s were the times man’….
To find out the full info on this album please click here
Here’s a short clip – enjoy!