A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat
September 16, 2008 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Richard Myrle Buckley was too hip for the room. This most immaculately hip aristocrat translated the classics: Poe, Shakespeare, the Bible into Hip and left us all gassed, jonesing for more. Lord Buckley was a formative influence on monologists, poets, and performers from Whoopi Goldberg to Del Close (previously), and like the much anticipated movie about Close's life, 2009 should reveal the life of Lord Buckley through filmmaker Michael Monteleone's documentary, Too Hip For The Room: The Righteous Reign of Lord Buckley (.mov).

Oliver Trager's book + rare tracks CD, Dig Infinity includes classics tracks with previously unreleased material framed by a Studs Terkel interview with the self-proclaimed Professor of Hipology. My first exposure to Buckley was growing up in Chicago where precious vinyl of Buckley still circulated: Hipsters, Flipsters, Finger Poppin' Daddies, Knock Me Your Lobes from RCA in 1955 led to this classic exchange on You Bet Your Life (YT). The Terkel interviews reveal Lord Richard Buckley as a preacher of the Gospel of Love. A benediction from R. M. Buckley: May God swing you closely; may you always put it down solid.
posted by beelzbubba (24 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you for this. I love Lord Buckley, and he doesn't get near enough press.
posted by khaibit at 11:55 AM on September 16, 2008

Lord Buckley was indeed one of the great ones. His version of 'The Raven' still kills me.
posted by jonmc at 11:56 AM on September 16, 2008

Hipsters, flipsters, finger-poppin' MeFites, knock me a lobe...
posted by jonp72 at 11:58 AM on September 16, 2008

Was he hip or was he hep?
posted by GuyZero at 11:59 AM on September 16, 2008

jonmc, my favorite has always been Cabenza de Gasca, The Gasser.
posted by beelzbubba at 12:01 PM on September 16, 2008

I've heard of this guy but somehow never saw him in action or otherwise. Pretty awesome, thanks for the tip.
posted by DU at 12:05 PM on September 16, 2008

Excellent to see Lord Buckley on the blue! Thanks, beelzbubba!
posted by the dief at 12:14 PM on September 16, 2008

I was literally just talking him! Thanks for posting.
posted by Shanachie at 12:15 PM on September 16, 2008

There was a New York Press article on him a number of years back about him opening up for Sinatra, and most of the fur-lined crowd walking out until he literally started to saw his leg in half and everybody runs back in out of shock. Sounded apocryphal, but possibly true.
posted by destro at 12:19 PM on September 16, 2008

posted by not_on_display at 12:20 PM on September 16, 2008

Mr. Malenkov, Mr. Talenkov, Mr. Eisenhower, Mr. Whoozer-wheezer, Mr. Whiser-whooser, Mr. Woodhill, Mr. Beachhill, an' Mr. Churchill,
an all them other hills gon' get you straight,
and if they cain't getchu straight
they know a cat that knows a cat who'll straighten you.

But I'm gonna put a cat on you ... was the coolest, grooviest, swingin'est, wailin'est,
strumminest, swingin'est cat that ever stomped on this jumpin' green sphere.

And they called dis here cat ... Da Nazz!
(low) He was a ... He was a carpenter kittie.

Now, The Nazz was the kind of a cat that come on so cool and so groovy and so with-it that when he laid it down ...WA-BOM!!
... it ~stayed~ there.

posted by Killick at 12:49 PM on September 16, 2008

The George Harrison song "Crackerbox Palace" is about Buckley's home in Hollywood. Just a bit of Buckley trivia I happened to remember.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:33 PM on September 16, 2008

The Nazz commanded us to dig infinity. Dig we must.

I find that the Dig Infinity biography is OOP, lamentably. I picked it up second hand and miracles of miracles, it still had the CD in it. Must have been some supremely beatific convergence that allowed me to grab it.

Lord Buckley on the 1949 ABC show, The 7.
posted by beelzbubba at 1:52 PM on September 16, 2008

if you haven't heard it...you gotta hear The Train...(its on amazon mp3) he caricatures all of the people on a train, and the train itself, as it leaves the station...and promptly crashes. Hi-Larious!
posted by sexyrobot at 2:33 PM on September 16, 2008

also Murder is pretty damn good...in the yt link, he mentions writing for DIG magazine...copies on ebay from around then sure are expensive....
posted by sexyrobot at 2:51 PM on September 16, 2008

GuyZero asks: Was he hip or was he hep?

Just relax, baby, me and these other cats will straighten you out.
Man. . . .
o He was hep when it was hip to be hep.
o He was a wiggin' cat with a far-out wail.
o He was God's Own Drunk and a fearless man.
o He was so heavy, he didn't die. He just fell off the planet.

Rhino Records' The Beat Generation compilation includes Buckley's The Hip Gahn [Gandhi], along with some wonderful contemporaneous spoken word pieces by Babs Gonzales and Ken Nordine.

Here are the words (but not the 'music') to many of Buckley's routines on the official (?) Lord Buckley website.

Twentieth century American culture at it's finest.

I'm so hyped to lamp this flick, I might blow my cool.
posted by Herodios at 3:00 PM on September 16, 2008

Always something new one has never heard of, to my surprise.

And I had always thought that Steve Allen was being original, him and his Bop Fables

Many thanks, maybe.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:18 PM on September 16, 2008

And I had always thought that Steve Allen was being original

If this is anyone other than Lord Buckley, you're stealing my bit!
posted by DU at 4:45 PM on September 16, 2008

When it came to hipth, Steve Allen was about a molecule deep, but he gets some points for using the talents of Slim Galliard (macvoute'!) and Al "jazzbeaux" Collins on the LP Steve Allen's Hip Fables (1983), restraining himself to noodling on the 88s. Also, his wife isn't on it.
posted by Herodios at 5:02 PM on September 16, 2008

Whoopi Goldberg? WTF. Seriously. That's just a terrible terrible insult.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:10 PM on September 16, 2008

Great post, thanks a lot!
posted by Wolof at 8:43 PM on September 16, 2008

Richard Merle Buckley, Professor of Hip. knock him your lobes and orbs
posted by hortense at 9:12 PM on September 17, 2008

My apologies beelzbubba, exploring the post further I found your link. Great stuff gotta love the Lord!
posted by hortense at 9:19 PM on September 17, 2008

posted by kenko at 6:30 PM on September 18, 2008

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