Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"I Came Here To Blow The Roof Off This Sucker: The Sam Seventies Story"; Prologue

In my spare time, I've started work on what I hope will be the definitive biography of Samuel Gubnick, aka Sam Seventies, the 1970s singer and dancer who is all but forgotten now but was one of my heroes while I was growing up. I hope from time to time to post bits and pieces of the work in progress. I'd like to thank Ken Kayser for sharing his memories.


The few hours before the man who became Sam Seventies burst into the national consciousness, he was violently ill.
The NBC cafeteria was serving tuna casserole on Jan. 22, 1974, and 57 people who ate it that day had to be taken to the hospital with food poisoning. Sam was not one of them, but he probably should have been.
His manager, Stan Grumberg, later claimed that Sam was on the stretcher and ready to be transported when he suddenly exclaimed, "No, I have to do the show!" Then pulling the IV out of his arm, he bolted up and ran back to the dressing room. Grumberg, however, was well known for never missing an opportunity to embellish a tale, and no one else has ever corroborated this version.
What seems likely, though, is Sam realized that if he didn't perform that night, he would never get the opportunity again. So Sam, green around the gills and with more anti-nausea medication inside of him than a cruise ship full of Iowans, reported to makeup.
Ken Kayser, the announcer for "Happening!" remembers seeing Sam sitting in a molded plastic chair backstage right before his fateful number. He was alone, his head in his hands. His white jumpsuit was spotless.
"I knew he had to be nervous," Kayser says, "so I went over to give him the pep talk I'd been giving for years to kids getting ready for their national debut. How out of a million dreamers, it was quite an achievement to make it this far. How he should relax and have fun.
"You know what that schmuck did? He stood up, looked me in the eye and said as cool as anything, 'I didn't come here to have fun. I came here to blow the roof off this sucker.'
"And damned if that ain't what that boy did."

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stuff I've got lying around

Dirty Deeds
I like sex, I think it's great
That opinion, I've never hid it
The only problem I've ever had
Is thinking my parents did it


Ode To A Cotton Swab
"Don't stick Q-tips in your ears"
My mother's old refrain
I've done it for years and years
It's never caused me pain

Despite my mom's deepest fears
I never will abstain
My brain still works, it appears
Hmm ... what's my name again?


To the monster in my closet
I know you're in there
Get out here at once
You can't frighten me
I'm not just a dunce
Sure, you have fangs
And blood on your paw
An ax in one hand
In the other, a saw
You may rip off my arms
And use them as bats
Tear off my skull
And make it a hat
Slash open my midriff
Rip out all my guts
Grind them together
And make them cold cuts
But nothing can scare me
Yes, this you can bet
Like those dopes in the White House
(Is it '08 yet?)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I've lived in the East
I've lived in the West
But I gotta tell you
The West is the best

The East isn't bad
But I must confide
They've got their ocean
On the wrong side

Saturday, July 14, 2007

From the reject pile

I submitted these to McSweeney's Internet Tendency but they were rejected. I did get one list in, though, and I'll keep trying. But come on ... these aren't THAT bad, are they?

OK, they are. But let's see you do better.

Suggested names for the inevitable Panic! At the Disco cover bands
Ennui. at the Laundromat
Disappointment; at the DMV
Nausea! at the Kinko's
Self-Doubt? at the Checkout

Rejected Names For "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
Make Room For Dick
Leave It To Dick
I Love Dick
My Little Dick
The Beverly Dickbillies
Sally, The Man-Hungry Spinster

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Ignorance is Bliss

I know they say the world is round
And I'm sure their reasoning is sound
But I'd rather think the world is flat
Flatness is where it's really at

Because if I think the world is round
I'd have to think of thoughts profound
Of science, space and things like math
And I'd rather just avoid that path

It's easier just to go along
And think everybody else is wrong
And sit here with no thoughts at all
About living on a great big ball