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Farewell, Boots

Boots Randolph, who died in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday aged 80, was the tenor saxophonist who made and co-composed the maddeningly catchy hit record Yakety Sax; after its first burst of pop success, the piece enjoyed a long second life as accompanying music to the manic chase routines in The Benny Hill Show.

Any guesses what they’ll play at the funeral?


Comment from Shuko
Time: July 5, 2007, 11:28 am

Too bad he had to go, but at least he had a good, long run. :p The royalties he must have gotten for that theme! It got used everywhere, lol.

I don’t have any strong stuff handy, so I’ll raise my orange soda in his honor. May the weasels bear him gently to that great unattended chicken coop in the sky.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 5, 2007, 11:30 am

Via the Daily Telegraph’s Obituary section is one of my favorite reads. British obits are different. For one thing, they often don’t mention what the deceased die of. For another, they don’t mind saying stuff like this:

George Melly the jazz singer, author and raconteur who has died aged 80, leched, drank and blasphemed his way around the clubs and pubs of the British Isles and provided pleasure to the public for five decades.


Melly went through periods of colossal excess. When he and John Chilton began their annual Christmas season at Ronnie Scott’s in 1973 – the first of a series of Christmas bookings that ran for more than a quarter of a century – Melly’s performances had a uniquely erratic quality.

“The captain is no longer in command of the ship” was one of John Chilton’s more diplomatic announcements as Melly, one night, slumped down the microphone stand on to the deck.”

Along with his drinking, his sexuality (about which he was remarkably candid) became inseparable from his public image. Beginning with mutually satisfactory fondlings beneath the desks at prep school, he proceeded at Stowe, and in the lower decks of the Royal Navy, to a life of enthusiastic homosexuality; though when the former editor of The Sunday Telegraph, Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, claimed to have been seduced by Melly on the Stowe art room sofa, Melly denied the charge: “I seduced many young men,” he conceded, “but he was years older, so I wouldn’t have dared.”

Sir Peregrine Worsthorne! Dang. Give the boy half a chance to be heterosexual, why don’t you?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 5, 2007, 11:36 am

And then there’s this guy:

Count Gottfried von Bismarck, who was found dead on Monday aged 44, was a louche German aristocrat with a multi-faceted history as a pleasure-seeking heroin addict, hell-raising alcoholic, flamboyant waster and a reckless and extravagant host of homosexual orgies.

The great-great-grandson of Prince Otto, Germany’s Iron Chancellor and architect of the modern German state, the young von Bismarck showed early promise as a brilliant scholar, but led an exotic life of gilded aimlessness that attracted the attention of the gossip columns from the moment he arrived in Oxford in 1983 and hosted a dinner at which the severed heads of two pigs were placed at either end of the table.

When not clad in the lederhosen of his homeland, he cultivated an air of sophisticated complexity by appearing in women’s clothes, set off by lipstick and fishnet stockings. This aura of dangerous “glamour” charmed a large circle of friends and acquaintances drawn from the jeunesse dorée of the age; many of them knew him at Oxford, where he made friends such as Darius Guppy and Viscount Althorp and became an enthusiastic, rubber-clad member of the Piers Gaveston Society and the drink-fuelled Bullingdon and Loders clubs.

Darius Guppy and Viscount Althorp. Honest to god, it’s like they make this shit up to tickle Americans.

Comment from Dawn
Time: July 5, 2007, 12:00 pm

he cultivated an air of sophisticated complexity by appearing in women’s clothes, set off by lipstick and fishnet stockings.

Really, An air of sophisticated complexity? Just plain old buggery to me.

Comment from whitishrabbit
Time: July 5, 2007, 12:18 pm

I donno about Melee’s funeral, but they could play J.S. Bach’s ‘Air on a G String’ for von Bismarck’s ceremony.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: July 5, 2007, 1:45 pm

Last seen the pallbearers with the coffin were being chased around the cemetary by two police officers, a house painter, a former bycicle rider, a nun, a fisherman, a car mechanic, an outraged elderly couple, and a gaggle of pretty young women in various stages of undress.

Comment from jwpaine
Time: July 5, 2007, 1:51 pm

Hate to go off-topic (particularly because I sense an impending deluge of poetry), but it looks like Islamic Rage Boy has been interviewed.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 5, 2007, 2:03 pm

Oh, lordy, JW — where’d you find that? It’s beautiful!

Apart from drawing ridicule from bloggers, Bhat has even inspired one American neoconservative website to push “Rage Boy” merchandise — including T-shirts, beer mugs, mouse pads.

“I don’t believe this! I have no knowledge about all this. Why do they do it?” demanded Bhat, who says he has no idea how to use a computer and the Internet.

Comment from Lokki
Time: July 5, 2007, 2:15 pm

Anyone care to write Rage Boy’s obit, British style?

Comment from Brandon
Time: July 5, 2007, 2:23 pm

I think they will certainly play Muskrat Love. It is only fitting for one who blessed us with such a wonderful tune. One of my favorite movie moments is when the lyrics to Muskrat Love are quoted at a funeral by the Vice President in “My Fellow Americans”. I looked for the video of that but couldn’t find it. It was hilarious. We watch it every election-day.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 5, 2007, 2:24 pm

Oh, god. Now you did it.

“My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.” – Headly Lamarr, in “Blazing Saddles”


Comment from Gnus
Time: July 5, 2007, 2:44 pm

IRB is described in the article as a full-time demonstrator. He gets paid for it?

That job isn’t on the minion career development path, surely.

Well, it’s not, is it?

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 5, 2007, 3:08 pm

Well, yes it is, Gnus.

Isn’t Weasel paying you too?

I was gonna post something (I don’t remember what) but it went away. Rats.

So IRB’s name is Bhat?

I sense a disturbance in the poetry-force. Pity – him having a name that rhymes with so many conveniently useful words.

Yes – a real pity.



Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 5, 2007, 3:21 pm

With all the advertising residuals he’s getting from the merchandising, He’s no-doubt sitting Bhat and happy.

As big as his mouth is, it’s no wonder he’s got Bhat breath.

Each night, when he crawls into bed with his favorite dromedary, he whispers in its’ ear, ” Bhat’er up!”

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 5, 2007, 3:28 pm

There. Bhat has his own thread now. Chew on that while I make him a graphic for it…

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