♫ Monster Mash ♫

Well, it IS Hallowe’en, after all … what did you expect, a sappy love song?

Bobby “Boris” Pickett was a nightclub entertainer who performed with a group called The Cordials. He wrote Monster Mash with his friend Lenny Capizzi. They were both big horror movie fans, and Pickett would do an impression of the actor Boris Karloff (known for playing the monster in many Frankenstein movies) during the speaking part of Little Darlin’ that went over well in his act. As Capizzi played the piano, he and Pickett put together this song with his Karloff impression in mind. They came up with the plot about Frankenstein’s monster starting a dance craze.

The lyrics are based on the story of Frankenstein, which started as a 1818 novel by Mary Shelley and evolved into various film adaptations. In the story, Dr. Frankenstein creates a creature who comes to life, but what he created is a monster. The book is sober tale of regret and unexpected consequences, but the story is often played for comedy. In this song, the monster throws a big dance party, which is enthusiastically attended by many other creatures of lore (Dracula, Wolfman).

Pickett and Lenny Capizzi wrote this song in about two hours. They recorded a demo to tape and brought it to Gary Paxton, lead singer of The Hollywood Argyles (“Alley Oop”). They recorded the song with Paxton and studio musicians Leon Russell, Johnny McCrae and Rickie Page, who were credited as “The Cryptkickers.” Paxton, who is credited as the song’s producer, also added the sound effects.

Paxton put the song out on his Garpax label and distributed it to radio stations around southern California. Response was overwhelming, as the stations saw their phone banks lighting up with requests for the song. A deal was struck with London Records, who distributed the song worldwide.

Released in 1962, this went to #1 in both the U.S. and Canada, but did not chart in the UK until 1973 when it was re-releeased and hit the #3 spot in the UK.

Monster Mash

Bobby “Boris” Pickett

I was working in the lab, late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab, began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

(He did the mash) he did the monster mash
(The monster mash) it was a graveyard smash
(He did the mash) it caught on in a flash
(He did the mash) he did the monster mash

(Wa-ooh) From my laboratory in the castle east
(Wa-ooh) To the master bedroom where the vampires feast
(Wa-wa-ooh) The ghouls all came from their humble abodes
(Wa-ooh) To get a jolt from my electrodes

(They did the mash) they did the monster mash
(The monster mash) it was a graveyard smash
(They did the mash) it caught on in a flash
(They did the mash) they did the monster mash

(Wa-ooh) The zombies were having fun
(Tennis shoe wa-ooh) The party had just begun
(Tennis shoe wa-ooh) The guests included Wolfman
(Tennis shoe wa-ooh) Dracula, and his son

(Wa-ooh) The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds
(Wa-ooh) Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds
(Wa-wa-ooh) The coffin-bangers were about to arrive
(Wa-ooh) With their vocal group, The Crypt-Kicker Five

(They played the mash) they played the monster mash
(The monster mash) it was a graveyard smash
(They played the mash) it caught on in a flash
(They played the mash) they played the monster mash

(Wa-ooh) out from his coffin’, Drac’s voice did ring
(Wa-ooh) seems he was troubled by just one thing
(Wa-wa-ooh) opened the lid and shook his fist and said
(Wa-ooh) “Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?

(It’s now the mash) it’s now the monster mash
(The monster mash) and it’s a graveyard smash
(It’s now the mash) it’s caught on in a flash
(It’s now the mash) it’s now the monster mash

(Wa-ooh) Now everything’s cool, Drac’s a part of the band
(Wa-ooh) And my Monster Mash is the hit of the land
(Wa-wa-ooh) For you, the living this mash was meant to
(Wa-ooh) When you get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

(Then you can mash) then you can monster mash
(The monster mash) and do my graveyard smash
(Then you can mash) you’ll catch on in a flash
(Then you can mash) then you can monster mash

(Wa-ooh, monster mash)
“Mash good” (Wa-ooh, monster mash)
“Easy, Igor, you impetuous young boy” (Wa-ooh, monster mash)
“Mash good, grr” (Wa-ooh, monster mash)
(Wa-ooh, monster mash)
(Wa-ooh, monster mash)

Writer/s: Bob Pickett, Leonard Capizzi
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

A Brit Defines Trump …

One of my biggest concerns when Trump was first elected was what he would do in the area of foreign policy, an area in which he had absolutely no experience.  It took only a couple of days for me to see the direction he would take, and he has only reinforced what I knew from the beginning, that he would destroy our alliances and make us a pariah in the rest of the world.  I was sent this piece by a friend today who saw it on Facebook, but when I went in search of the original source, I also found it on a number of other websites.  Someone posted a question on Quora in February 2019, and this response was written by a British copy writer who goes by the name of Nate White. It fairly well sums up, I think, the person in the Oval Office and how he is viewed by our friends across the pond.

“Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?”

A few things spring to mind…

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll.
And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.
And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff – the Queensberry rules of basic decency – and he breaks them all. He punches downwards – which a gentleman should, would, could never do – and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless – and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority – perhaps a third – of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think

‘Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’

is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:

Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.

You don’t need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form;

He is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit.
His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.
In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws – he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

‘My God… what… have… I… created?

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.”