The Day-Glo Daddies of Sufjan Stevens?
August 1, 2006 4:47 PM   Subscribe

The Neon Philharmonic consisted of members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, a producer of country & western records named Don Gant (who produced Jimmy Buffett's first hit), and a jazz pianist named Tupper Saussy. Strangely enough, this odd combination produced an unexpected Top 20 hit, Morning Girl. The group was briefly mentioned as an obscure music hipster reference in a devastating indie-rock takedown of current critical darling Sufjan Stevens, but such a throwaway reference to the Neon Philharmonic does not do justice to the bizarre life of its founder, Tupper Saussy.(more inside)
posted by jonp72 (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Saussy made an album of swing jazz dedicated to Mary Poppins, ghost-wrote a Martin Luther King, Jr. conspiracy book for James Earl Ray, and invented Public Office Money Certificates that were used by the Montana Freemen and other militia groups as currency, before getting arrested in 1998 after spending ten years on the lam as a tax protester. Since paying his debt to society, Saussy has created his own paintings, wrote an orchestral arrangement of a "national anthem" based on Lord of the Rings, and published a book that Publishers Weekly called "an anti-Catholic version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Like Ezra Pound, Saussy had considerable artistic talent, but undermined his legacy due to his obsessive indulgence in religious bigotry and monetary reform.
posted by jonp72 at 4:47 PM on August 1, 2006

What? We have to have that awful hack hob of a review of Steven's collection of b-sides on the front page again? Just for that, I'm not following any of the other links. Harumph.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:42 PM on August 1, 2006 a devastating indie-rock takedown of current critical darling Sufjan Stevens

Wow, I've never seen such a perfectly engineered sentence.

Setting that aside, am I wrong to assume that "devastating indie-rock takedown" = argument among ninth graders waiting for the the next WoW level to load?
posted by Pastabagel at 6:23 PM on August 1, 2006

Imagine my surprise to learn that there's someone else on the planet who actually remembers The Neon Philharmonic.

Thanks for the update, however odd Tuppy's trip has been since those days.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:41 PM on August 1, 2006

My thanks too.. I had forgotten about "Morning girl", a great little song.

Downloaded... made my evening!

Now, someone send me a list of all the great songs from the 50's, 60's, and (although it went downhill from there), the 70's that I don't have loaded into iTunes yet....
posted by HuronBob at 7:45 PM on August 1, 2006

More lurve for "Morning Girl" -- I remember hearing this song from adolescence and thinking, "What a great way to express those ideas -- sexy but not sleazy." I'd wondered if it was a Brian Hyland song.
posted by pax digita at 5:14 AM on August 2, 2006

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