When in the Course of Human Events…

Something appropriately revolutionary for the Fourth of July.

The band, of course, is the Nairobi Quartet.

36 Responses to “When in the Course of Human Events…”

  1. Elayne Riggs Says:

    Hang on, you’re telling me Paul was in another band before Wings, whatever that was?

    Thanks Steve, a little bit o’ Fab Four always makes my day.

    • Pen-Elayne (you know it’s gonna be all right)
  2. J. Alexander Says:

    Hmmm. Give me the Rutles anytime.

  3. Bgztl (Jack Holt) Says:


    I always though they came from Liverpool?

    Boy am I dumb.

    PBS’ History Detectives series and CBS Sunday Morning had stories about the real American Revolution that are worth remembering in modern times — where all semblance of reality and real living human beings seems to have been forgotten.

    CBS Sunday Morning: George Washington, Patriot, President, Distiller of Fine Whiskey. 😀 I knew I loved this guy for a reason.

    History Detectives: (1) The Continental Congress promised people Spanish Milled Dollars they did not have. (2) Liberty Bell was altered in the 1800’s so it could ring and the copper used for tiny medallions given to civic leaders for the resumption of commerce with the South after the Civil War. No mention of lynching.

    Among the reasons I love this country is that : U.S. Army forts actually protected Native Americans from the encroachment of settlers in many areas. The KKK had to wear masks because they knew what they were doing was wrong. The Japanese internees weren’t gassed. American Muslims weren’t all rounded up and killed afer 9-11. We don’t behead people, even when they piss us off.

    It ain’t much, some days, but it’s something.

    The sad thing is Churchill’s assessment is still right. Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.

    Anyway, corporations may control us now, but there is a back bone to America in there somewhere. Happy Fourth everyone!! Live Free — Just to SPITE Con Agra and Halliburton, if nothing else!! 😀

  4. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    I loved the part where Ringo did a drum solo on George’s head.

    More seriously, I wonder how much of this video was “synching”. George was clearly playing rhythm guitar (didn’t see too much of John, but he appeared to be playing rhythm as well (although he did a few flourishes that MIGHT have been lead; hard to tell from the picture quality). And the keyboards were definitely John’s style, but where the hell were they?

    So, maybe it wasn’t the monkeys, but it might have been the Monkees…

  5. Micah Says:

    aah…the Beatles….I like it when George and Paul share the backing vocals on one mic. This is only cool when the Beatles do it.

    Nicky Hopkins played keyboard on the original recording. He played keys on a lot of Stones songs too.

  6. Steve Gerber Says:

    It looks like they’re playing to a pre-recorded instrumental track. The vocals are clearly “live.”

  7. Brian Spence Says:

    You lost the picture of you on the left and your “Buttons To Nowhere” Steve.

  8. Steve Gerber Says:

    Brian: Thanks for calling it to my attention. They must’ve gotten lost when I updated the blog software the other day.

  9. beau Says:

    Thread-shift: Essential Defenders 3 came out this week, chock-full of wonderful SG stories. (uh, that’s SG as in “Steve Gerber”, not “Suicide Girls”.) I’m about half-way through and realize now why I was such a fan of that mag at a certain point in history.

    Speaking of history, I’ve had folks try to turn me on to “Firesign Theater,” but somehow their whole “We’re All Bozos On This Bus” theme struck me as annoyingly derivative—but I could never quite articulate what they seemed derivative of. I suspect that’s because I had read Steve’s work at a young and impressionable age long before anyone tried to turn me on the Firesign. Maybe Steve will open a thread on the new collection and share some thoughts on possible relationship of his work to other movements of the time?

    Peace, and back now to this thread’s previously scheduled Beatle worship. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeaaahhhh.

  10. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    SG: “It looks like they’re playing to a pre-recorded instrumental track. The vocals are clearly “live.””

    Bart: As was the case, mostly, with the Monkees (although Mike Nesmith did a bunch of the production work and some of the studio musician work, and Peter Tork doubled quite competently as one of the studio musicians).

  11. Steve Gerber Says:

    Beau: Never mind the Defenders — where do I get the Suicide Girls comic?

    Bart: Except that the Beatles would’ve been singing to their own instrumental track, with or without other studio musicians. (It’s not as if they claimed to have played the strings on “Yesterday” or the horns on “Penny Lane”, after all.)

    Come to think of it, if I recall correctly, the Monkees played their own instruments on all of their tracks beginning with their third album.

    I’ll probably be hung out to dry as turkey jerky for admitting this, but I actually liked a number of the Monkees’ records. They had some very good people writing for them on the first two albums, and they wrote a couple of pretty decent songs themselves later on.

  12. Charles Bryan Says:

    I must have gotten into Firesign Theater at about the same time as those Defenders issues were coming out, or just slightly before, since it seems that I recognized “We’re all bozos on this bus” when I saw the title.

    Some freeform FM station played “Nick Danger” one night, and I had to go find that record, and that led to most of the rest. The Firesign Theater made me laugh and creeped me out at the same time. Their “Everything You Know is Wrong” is possibly the scariest comedy record ever made.

    I’ll join the turkey jerky legion; any act, pre-fab or not, that can turn out “Daydream Believer”, “Last Train to Clarksville”, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” can’t be all bad. The TV series was a hoot, but I’ll be just fine if I never again see the movie “Head”.

  13. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    Hey, Mike Nesmith wrote the classic, “Different Drum”. They WERE talented, make no mistake about that. Nesmith was a talented singer/songwriter/producer, Tork was a very skilled musician, Davy Jones was a Broadway musical star, and Mickey Dolenz had a suprisingly good rock voice. And Don Kirshner had a talent for spotting hits; if he thought it would be a hit, it would be (although the inverse was not necessarily true).

  14. Forrest Says:


    I don’t know about derivative of, but the Firesign Theater was influenced by the Goon Show (one could search for ‘goon’ on shoutcast.com if so inclined).

  15. Micah Says:

    …I thought we were talking about the Beatles…
    I’m always amazed at how there are things in Beatles songs I never noticed. I was just listening to Sexy Sadie and I just realized the line, “she came along to turn on everyone” could have two meanings.

  16. beau Says:

    Steve, if there was a Suicide Girls mag I’d have to buy it. Props to you for getting the allusion, but I’m not surprised; you’ve been ahead of the curve as long as I’ve known of you.

    Bart and others spoke kindly of Mr. Nesmith. His son, Christian, is my sister’s producer/co-habitant, so I’ll take a risk and give her a plug here (even though I’m persona non grata with sis at present): http://www.myspace.com/circelink

    The Fab Four just get better and better in my eyes/ears. Revolver may be the best album of all time.

    And, no exaggeration, Steve’s writing primed me for so much that came later, I’m only now beginning to dig the depths of the cultural debt I owe ‘im.


  17. beau Says:

    Forrest: I’m peripherally acqainted with the Goons, “It was a war of nutrition” being the punch line that stuck from my early 80s high school exposure.

    Charles: I will track down “Everything You Know is Wrong.”

    Anyone wanna wrangle with the “Magical Mystery Tour” influences on Cleese and Palin and crew? And does “Death Cab For Cutie” tie in anywhere here?

    What a world, what a world!

    Finished the SG bits in Essential Defenders 3. I wasn’t savvy enough to think the writers made a difference in my comics when I was in Middle School and High School. But I remember thinking something important had changed…and I stopped collecting after that “Ringer” story. Go figure.


  18. J. Alexander Says:

    Hmmm. Well, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band recorded “Death Cab.” They appeared in MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR. Their biggest hit was “Urban Spaceman” produced by Paul. The Bonzos were also regulars on a British TV series called DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET (available on dvd) which included many future members of Monty Python. Further, after the Bonzos disbanded, one of its members, Neil Innes, joined up with the Pythons for their last season and appeared in many of the movies. Neil was the ministrel in HOLY GRAIL.

    And of course, besides producing some of the Python movies, George Harrison appeared in Eric Idle and Neil Innes’ follow-up to Python, RUTLAND WEEKEND TELEVISION which spun-off into the classic RUTLES movie ALL YOU NEED IS CASH that included an appearance by George Harrison.

    It is all interconnected, isn’t it?

  19. Steve Gerber Says:

    Beau: “…if there was a Suicide Girls mag I’d have to buy it.”

    And I don’t think you’re alone.

    This deserves further consideration.

    Hmmm. (The sound of considering further.)

  20. Robert W. Getz Says:

    Christ, I thought my blog was depressing. Way to bum me out, Gerbs. They’ve got me going in for a cardiac cath thing next week and the doctors are talking to me very solicitously, as if they think I will only understand very tiny words.

    I think a very good case could be made for The Goon Show being a bigger influence on The Beatles than Firesign, though.

    And there’s no shame in liking The Monkees. In fact, there was something of a controversy recently concerning Jann Wenner’s concerted efforts to keep them out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and there’s surely no greater compliment than that.


  21. Steve Gerber Says:

    Robert: “They’ve got me going in for a cardiac cath thing next week and the doctors are talking to me very solicitously, as if they think I will only understand very tiny words.”

    I was in L.A. Monday talking with a social worker at UCLA about the lung transplant. He asked if I “understood” the operation. I said, “I think so. They saw you open, take out your lungs, and put in somebody else’s, right?” Sometimes a little blunt language can facilitate the rest of the communication.

    If it’s any consolation, the cardiac catheterization procedure itself isn’t painful or even very scary. They keep you in a state of semi-consciousness throughout; I actually found it rather pleasant. Hopefully, they won’t find anything unusual, and you can go home the same day.

  22. beau Says:

    J. Alexander,

    Yes it is indeed. You saw my allusion and raised me a bevy of references. Thanks! 😉

  23. Robert W. Getz Says:

    Thanks, Steve.

    Believe it or not, it actually helps to hear that. It sounded very invasive to me and I didn’t relish the idea of them fooling around so close to the motor, let alone being awake while they did it. I do understand that I’ll be “twilighted,” as it were, but it doesn’t take much to push me into panic mode.

    If they decide to put in a stent, I’m in overnight. Otherwise, fingers crossed, same day.

    I appreciate the encouragement. I’m just going to try and lie back and think of England. Or, perhaps, Inga.



  24. Steve Gerber Says:

    Well, it is invasive, but if your experience is anything like mine, you may never even be aware of it. The only sensations I felt during either of my two cardiac caths were a little scratch when the incision was made and a very slight tightening in the chest — not even enough to be called discomfort — when the stents, five in all, were inserted.

    Try to relax. You’ll come through it just fine.

  25. Charles Bryan Says:

    I had a cardiac cath, too. It was one of the least painful things that I’ve ever had done. Not even hangnail painful. Not even really big passing of flatulence painful. It’s the anticipation of it that’s painful.

    But you get some Valium (or Valium like chemical), so it is, as the kids say, all good.

  26. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    I was just listening to Sexy Sadie and I just realized the line, “she came
    along to turn on everyone” could have two meanings.

    Let me put it this way: “Sexy Sadie” was a “don’t sue”donymn for the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and was originally much more to the point. It was a reaction to a rumor, which the Maharishi did not deny, that he had tried to force himself on Mia Farrow (Mia Farrow herself neither confirms nor denies it). Note that the name, “Sexy Sadie” has the same shape as “Maharishi”.

    This is not a rumor, by the way; John Lennon was quite open about it.

  27. Neil C. Says:

    I also picked up Essential Defenders 3. My college roomie and I used to do the B-O-Z-O chant from those issues. 🙂 I’m just curious, was the Elf story ever finished, like why he was shooting people? If so, did you write it or did someone else?

  28. Robert W. Getz Says:

    Thanks, Mssrs. B & G. I’m going to go into this a lot less anxious, I think, thanks to your generous comments.

    Make Mine Ativan!


  29. Bob Kennedy Says:

    My favorite Beatle was (and remains) Shemp.

  30. Forrest Says:

    People don’t like Shemp cos he had a successful second career with Shem and the BBBBBBBBBBBs.

  31. Bart Lidofsky Says:

    My grandmother DATED Shemp. No kidding.

  32. beau Says:

    Neil C.,

    Google is your friend,


    Seems your blogware won’t let me post links?

  33. Neil C Says:

    OK, wise Beau, do I type “Elf” and “Defenders.” Please give me guidance.

  34. beau Says:

    Sorry Neil, actually tried to post a link, but failed. I googled for “elf with a gun” and got plenty o’ hits…


  35. Forrest Says:

    “Who is it?” said Voldemort, grumpily opening the door in his rabbit slippers made of real rabbits.
    “Your worst nightmare,” said Dobby. “A house elf with a gun.”

  36. beau Says:


    no, really, like, the cat is looking at me funny now

    a bit of an “inside” joke, but, well, just what the doctor ordered!