When I got a missive from Metro Times asking me to write this piece, I had a Flounder-from-Animal House “Oh, boy, is this great!” moment — and then the reality of the daunting task at hand set in: With myriad and sundry candidates, who would be worthy of such a moniker as “The Raunchiest”?
Precluding my own endeavors, of course — which could rank in the pantheon of the putrid, the triumvirate of the trashy, with the regal eagles of raunch — we need not look too far for some also-rans to be singled out for some seminal moments of perverse panache or their complete body of bodacious bawdiness.
Bear in mind, what you are about to endure is one man’s take on some of the raunchiest tracks ever. But raunch is in the ear of the beholder, so go out and find your raunch and — whatever it is — play it loud, fuckers.
Las Vegas Grind, Vol. 4
To me, the word “raunchy” conjures images of slightly overweight “Bermuda Schwartz,” “Sella Fain” and “Anne Howe” trotting their jiggling and slightly cellulitic derrieres down the catwalk at the Troc in Philly in the early ’70s (when I managed to sneak in). At the time, it was one remaining vestige of those smoky burlesque dens of iniquity from the ’50s and ’60s, and always brimming with the ubiquitous cigar-chomping, middle-of-the-day-beer-guzzling, chrome-domed and armpit-stained plumpers, who stared with wide-eyed boyish wonder at the spent trollops of yesteryear, with hackneyed shouts of “Go, baby, go!” and other unimaginative bellicose bellows that they thought would inspire the fatties into the next dancing dimension. Those raunchy musical days of G-strings of yore are best captured on Las Vegas Grind, an anthology of no fewer than eight smokin’-hot long-playin’ platters featuring the likes of no-name after no-name, such as Roger & the Gypsies, the Escorts, Bud Grippah and the Noblemen, who pounded out drug-fueled accompaniments for every Sin Parlor from here to Dubuque. These recordings really laid down the soundtrack for those way-off-Main Street dives and the working girls therein. Honkin’ sax, tight snares and minimal vox, this collection is raunch personified, and a must-own for anyone who likes things low-rent.
How a flamboyantly gay black dude with makeup, piled-up coif, and songs about trannies ’n’ bonin’ and ballin’ (including and especially “Tutti Frutti”) ever made it past the ultra-strict 1950s censorship pricks is way beyond me! All I know is he was the original proto-punk and his raucous rock ’n’ roll rebellion is best captured on the minimalist classic “Lucille.” Anyone who doesn’t crank that puppy when it comes on is a total non-rock ’n’ roll-loving weenbag.
Live at the Fillmore East
To say these guys inspired me to make music would be … the truth. Tuli Kupferburg, Ed Sanders and the boys have been called the poor man’s Mothers of Invention, but shared little with their labelmates aside from a sick, twisted and very raunchy sense of humor. I’ve “borrowed” more than a couple lines from them over the years “On the stroboscope was a tiny push-up bra made from the eyelids of an elephant” or “covering herself with Reddi-wip in a spiraling flourish … drinking from her Aramaic chalice and thrilling herself with an onyx-handled tapir snout” (“The Belle of Avenue A”). Fucking genius! Normally live albums aren’t a band’s crowning achievement, but this one encapsulates the Fugs at their finest — belly-busting funny — and their bit about “the Lesbian Dwarfs of San Francisco” (introducing “I Couldn’t Get High”) is classic. And they have a song called “Coca Cola Douche.” I rest my case!
GG Allin & the
Brutality & Bloodshed For All
OK, I know, I know: This feces-encrusted, jockstrap-wearin’ stinkbag was just gross — but hear me out. He called himself a “rock ’n’ roll terrorist,” and he truly was. You were filled with fear and trepidation when you went to a GG Allin concert. But raunchy? In the clinical sense? I say yes. With happy little ditties like “Anal Cunt,” “Raw, Brutal, Rough and Bloody” and “Ass-Fuckin’, Butt-Suckin’, Cunt-Lickin’ Masturbation,” this guy pushed it to a level never before witnessed. He pushed the envelope so far up punk’s puckered starfish it hasn’t been seen since his OD in 1994 and will (thankfully) never be seen again. He used to say to me, ‘Tesco, compared to me you are just a poser.” My reply? “Guilty as charged, GG, guilty as charged.”
Blowfly, Rudy Ray Moore
and Redd Foxx
These cats all get lumped together as purveyors of sleaze whose countless recordings, live shows and cinematic triumphs carve their collective initials into the Mount Rushmore of lewd, crude and licentious. Two out of three proclaimed themselves as the original rapper, and to this day Blowfly continues his march toward rauncho magnifico with his forthcoming album on Patac Records (which I was fortunate enough to contribute some comedy bits to), with tracks like his ode to the Sam Cooke classic “That’s the Sound of the Men Buttfucking on the Chain Gang.”
Now that’s fucking funny.
The Mentors and El Duce
Karaoke King II
I always described the Mentors as the Meatmen with the brains kicked out of them (which some would say is oxymoronesque), but, hey, the Mentors hold the claim of being mentioned in Tipper Gore’s PMRC hearings, and I do not, god-fucking-dammit! With lowbrow opuses like “The 4F Song” (“find her, feel her, fuck her, forget her”) and “Goin’ Through Your Purse,” these guys always made me chuckle. A promoter in Florida told me the three of them got to the club at noon and by set time at 10 p.m. had drunk eight cases of beer. I believe it. If you think poop and farts are funny (when they no longer are, just kill yourself) like I do, the Mentors are for you. But Duce’s Karaoke cassettes were even dumber, a bunch of tapes of others’ tracks with Duce’s offensive lyrics laid over the top. El Duce eventually died cuz he was drinking on some train tracks and was too drunk to hear the train a-comin’. Yeah, that’s natural selection.
Tesco Vee is frontman of the Meatmen and an original co-editor of Touch and Go zine. He lives in outstate Michigan. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.