A few months ago I received The Holy Modal Rounders’ Live In 65 from ESP-Disk. The extremely funny liner notes, written by by John Kruth, are particularly explicative regarding the reaction caused by these songs in his father (and, one supposes, in many parents of that era), who called the duo of Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber with the names you see in the above title while whipping little John, sent home from school after being caught singing a depraved line from a tune (included here) named “Black Eyed Suzy”.
This is a fascinating, if lo-fi taste of a different response to pre-digested culture for someone like this poor man, grown in a mentally underdeveloped, mafia-ruled Mediterranean country where those who call themselves “satirists” are financed by the same government that they pretend to attack, “alternative” artists are politically connected and both “left” and “right” mean “thief”. Under a mask of American roots music, HMR hit very hard at the conventions of regular families, spitting out wicked lyrics with the attitude of stray cats meowing and snarling against each other on a palisade. It might not be an unforgettable record for my own life, but I can identify with Mr.Kruth’s excitement. Idiots and human failures always construct an imaginary world in their head to survive, which is not what this nice pair sang about. Not at all.