Come-a come-a down Appellate Judge Dave Ryan-be doo down down...
"I was very fortunate. Between 1958 and 1963, I sold 40 million records around the world. And then in 1963, a new group came out—they were called the Beatles. Not good. I retired. I stopped singing for ten years. People came up to me and asked, 'Didn't you used to be Neil Sedaka?'"
Submitted by Chester Alan Looveldt, USMC (ret.)
You see, this is what's wrong with America. Once upon a time we had entertainment in this country. Mitch Miller—now that's good music. Benny Goodman. Enrico Caruso. But now all we have are these young punks running around, with their "Rock Enn Roll" or whatever the hell they call it, shaking their fannies in our faces like a bunch of perverts. It makes me sick, I tell you.
Take this whippersnapper Neil Sanka. Or Sedaka—whatever. A juvenile delinquent, that's what he is. Can you believe a young man actually chose to waste his life like this? He claims to be a "pop musician"—as if playing those jungle noises on the piano counts as "music." Pfft! I could play better "music" with just a can of beans and about six hours, if you catch my drift. Yet for some reason, here's this "DVD" thing—I don't get these newfangled devices the kids are into these days—that features over two hours of his filth. I'm telling you, I just don't know how parents can let their kids listen to this stuff.
First, all this "Rock" music is just plain filthy. I don't think our Lord and Savior died on the Cross so that Mr. Neil Sirocco could sing about having his way with our daughters. What's that dear? Sedaka. Whatever. Take, for example, the noise—I refuse to call it "music"—he calls "Calendar Girl." I think we all know the calendars he's talking about, and they're not something a gentleman discusses in public, especially in the presence of ladies. And it's quite clear that a number of ladies were inexplicably present in the Royal Albert Hall when Mr. Sirocc—er, Sedaka performed. Whores, the lot. I don't care if you love-a love-a love-a love your calendar slut, Sedaka—keep your pants zipped, punk!
And oooh, he hears laughter in the rain! Isn't that just precious! You know what I hear in the rain, Socorro? The death gurgles of the slant-eyed Nip bastard who caught the business end of my bayonet on Iwo while I was defending your FREEDOM to walk hand in hand with the one you love, that's what! If it weren't for real Americans like me, you'd be speaking Kraut or Jap, sissy boy! (What's that, dear? He does speak Jap? And records in several languages? Well then, the terrorists have already won, haven't they?)
And there's an entire "song" called "Queen of 1964" about "groupies," too! That's those women of ill repute who follow these "rock enn roll" bands around to service them like common prostitutes! Do you call this family entertainment? I sure don't. When this Binaca fellow sings "happy birthday sweet 16," I think we know what's coming next, don't we…
I think some of his has to do with this kid's background. First, he's from New York, and I just don't trust anyone from New York. I knew a guy from New York in the Service, Murray Lifkowicz. Didn't like him. Smelled like onions all the time. And wait, there's more. Turns out this Sedarka fellow is Turkish in descent. I think we know what that means. I suppose he's declaring jihad on our unsullied American ears, eh? Well I remember 9/11, dammit.
I'll admit there's one decent piece of music in this so-called concert. Macaca plays—Pippi Lou, I wish you'd stop interrupting me when I'm talking to these people. What? Sedaka? Fine, SEDAKA plays a Chopin piece entitled "Fantasy Impromptu" that's quite decent. But that makes it all the sadder that someone so talented chose to throw his life away on this jungle music.
I think I speak for all decent, God-fearing Americans when I tell you to avoid this Sedaka character at all costs. And for God's sake, keep him away from your daughters. God bless America.
By Mrs. Pippi Lou Looveldt, Housewife (ret.)
I'm so sorry—Chet always gets cranky when he hasn't had his pudding. I'm sure he doesn't really mean what he's saying. I saw his toe tapping.
Now I'm no expert in music, but I think this Neil Sedaka is a fine young man, and I'd…yes, dear, whatever you say. He's a punk. Anyhow, I expect we'll be hearing more from him in the future. I didn't know what to expect when that nice young Ryan boy from down the hall lent us this DVD—we've gotten so little use out of that DVD machine since my niece Leslie and her husband gave it to us for Christmas a few years ago, and it's such a shame to just let it sit there and collect dust, you know—but I really enjoyed this concert. I'm thinking of calling some of the girls and seeing if they might want to get some tickets to a show if Mr. Sedaka comes here to Boston. What? Yes dear, over your dead body. Whatever you say. (Chet's really a good man, he just gets a little ornery when he loses to me at Trivial Pursuit.)
You know, I was quite surprised when the Ryan boy brought the disc over, to be honest. He keeps to himself, and I thought he might be into the drugs or something. But lordy, did he go on and on about Neil Sedaka! I didn't catch a lot of it, to be honest—something about "Brill Building" and "musical legend" and "one of the greatest pop songwriters ever" and so on. He told me that Sedaka was a contemporary of Neil Diamond, Carole King, and Paul Simon. I vaguely recognize the names of the first two, but I like Paul Simon. Especially The Odd Couple. Chet's like Felix and Oscar combined, I swear! Oh, the stories I could tell…Anyhow, the Ryan boy also mentioned Elton John (yes dear, the fairy with the big sunglasses) and someone named Ben Folds. Oh wait, I did remember one thing, because I thought it might impress the grandchildren: Sedaka had a big comeback in the 1970s (good gracious, that seems like just yesterday), and his backing band later became something called "the 10cc." I think he said some of their members wound up directing some famous music videos—oh, the things the kids are into today! I'm still trying to catch up with that bouncing ball from the Hit Parade!
Now Chet will obviously tell you otherwise, but I think some of Sedaka's songs are capital-T terrific. There was a lovely song called "You," and another one called "The Hungry Years," and another called "The Immigrant." There's an interview with Sedaka on the disc, and he says that "The Immigrant" is actually about John Lennon of the Beatles! Even I know who they are! Yes dear, a bunch of Limey drug pushers. (Oh, that Chet!) He does a lovely duet with his beautiful daughter Dara, who appears via video. (I'm just amazed at what technology can do these days!) He also plays a catchy tune called "Is This the Way to Amarillo?" with someone named Tony Christie. I guess it was a big hit in England or something. There was another song that I immediately recognized, because that nice boy Clay Aiken sang it on that American Idol show—"Solitaire." And that's just a couple of the songs here. Why, I even got up and did a little "boogie" to some of them! (Yes dear, I'm sure we'll talk about that later.)
The Ryan boy said that anyone who claims to appreciate music should respect Sedaka's talent and recognize him as the legend he is. He also said that this Eagle Vision company who makes the DVD has a good track record of quality musical offerings, and that this is just another feather in their cap. I asked him if it was an eagle feather, but I don't think he got the joke. Or maybe he didn't even hear me—like I said, he did go on quite a bit about this disc…Well, like I said, I'm no music expert, but I enjoyed this little concert, thank you very much. I give it three Pippi Lou thumbs up.
Yes dear, the terrorists have really won now. Whatever you say, Grumpy Gus. Now let me get you a beer and we can watch The King of Queens together, okay?
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Eagle Vision
• Paul Gambaccini Interviews Neil Sedaka
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