Saturday, December 13, 2008

kink kong reduxe

"Now we'll have the Residents doing Frank Zappa's "King Kong",
with Snakefinger Lithman on guitar..."

Philip Charles Lithman: June 17th, 1949 - July 1st, 1987.

From Wiki:

"Lithman was born in Tooting, South London, and came from the British Blues scene. He moved to San Francisco in 1971 and became associated with the avant-garde group The Residents. It is said he was given the name 'Snakefinger' by The Residents themselves when they saw his proficiency with the guitar during their first live performance together. Another explanation for the name comes from a story concerning a party in San Francisco, at The Residents' collective, wherein all in attendance watched Lithman's fingers dart snake-like at the neck of his violin."

From the sleevenotes to "Eat Exuding Oinks!":

"300 copies of this 1 hour show were sent to radio stations. No artwork was included. Only printed sheets which contained track listings. In 1983 Ralph Record began to sell copies to the public. The first 100 copies came the same as the original. The second pressing of 700-800 copies listed the contents on a white card in the cassette box. The final edition of 1000 copies has a blue card listing the contents."

Originally released on cassette only.

THE RESIDENTS: KING KONG from "Eat Exuding Oinks! (Radio Special)" LP (Ralph) 1977 (US)



Empire Hancock said...

Thanks for posting this, ib. I've long wanted to hear it. I'll still have to wait until it downloads over my dial-up connection to do so, but still :)

I went thru a heavy Residents listening phase in 1998-99. I can't say I really listen to them anymore (not because I don't enjoy them, and not specifically because my 12" record collection is woefully neglected, either, but I digress), but I appreciate them a great deal. Hearing Meet the Residents for the first time around age 15 was a nice little mindwarp. And I played that album a lot. It fit in my life in an interesting way, while I was still listening somewhat to some of the popular "alternative rock" of the day, but also beginning to explore the much larger non-mainstream music world via random discoveries at a local used record shop, aided somewhat by the early 90s edition of the Trouser Press Record guide. It was another 2 or 3 years, I guess, before I got any further Residents albums, but when I got my hands on them, I just devoured them. Everything up The Commercial Album, I think (man, BRILLIANT fucking record.)

Anyway, I rattle on. But thanks for helping me finally get to hear this little slice of Residentia :)

ib said...

Glad you enjoyed this one, EH. Can't beat a healthy seasonal dose of senile Residentia. I love Snakefinger's take on this; it catapults my brain into strange condensed places.:)

Your driver said...

My friend's band got hired to play a dance at our high school. They mostly played blues and R and B. They were very popular at one guys' high school in New York, but there in suburbia they fell flat.

It so happens it was my 16th birthday. As the dwindling crowd still refused to dance, my friends dipped deeper and deeper into their repertoire. Finally they looked at each other and asked, "Should we?"

"Yeah, what the hell."

My friend, Bob, stepped forward and said, "We want to dedicate this song to Jon over there. It's his birthday tonight." Then they launched into an extended jam version of King Kong.

That pretty well emptied the room, but it was cool anyway. I've always had a soft spot for this song.

ib said...

Pretty cool recollection of a 16th birthday - in anybody's book. Be glad Zappa was in his prime, then; it could've been "Dancin' Fool" had you been born later down the road apiece.