Indulge in bittersweet reverie, wading through the past with embittered vinyl freaks who have turned their proud backs on the pedestrian Digital Present. This two-volume survey is at its best when the creators of this diverse music speak for themselves as when moogmeister Jean-Jacques Perrey shares his life story and philosophy [translated from French]; Rusty Warren recounts her antics as a gorgonesque sex-lib comedienne of the cocktail era who made a fortune off of tit fetish humor [“knockers up, gals!!”]; Bebe Barron [co-composer of the Forbidden Planet soundtrack] recaptures the lost era when avant-garde and fun could be vaguely synonymous; Eartha Kitt reveals how she forged her Black-woman-as-human-sex-panther persona into a six-decades-long showbiz career and partied with the likes of Orson Welles, Ernest Hemingway, and Marlene Dietrich as part of the international jet set; and Mexican hi-fi-arranger-extraordinaire Esquivel brings back to life his flamboyant ‘60s floor show; not to mention interviews with the exotica demigods Martin Denny and the metaphysical, turbaned organist Korla Pandit.
Also figuring prominently are such contemporary collector/cult figures as Lypsinka, whose act could convert anyone into a show-tune queen; and the Cramps, who recount hilarious record-finding exploits in the basements and back rooms of overweight drunks and semiliterate crackers all over America. SS/MG
Paperback: 200 pages