RIFFS 2008
Published April 2, 2008
Triple Hip

The Tuolumne City Memorial Museum presents “Triple Hip My Soul,” an afternoon of commemorating the birthday of Humorist Lord Richard Myrle Buckley on Saturday April 5th, 2008 from one to four pm at 18663 on Carter Street and Bay Avenue, in Tuolumne. Refreshments will be served.

The afternoon will include live music and performances of Buckley’s work, an exhibit about his life and showings of rare documentary footage projected on a large screen.

Buckley, who was born in Tuolumne CA at the Tuolumne Rancheria on April 5, 1906, went from working as a lumberman to become what Los Angeles Magazine called “a cult hero, atomic-age high priest and founding father of the modern comedy scene.”

The exhibit features the original album cover of Buckley’s landmark 10” LP, Euphoria, released in 1954 on the Vaya label.

Vaya founder Jim Dickson (whom later became the manager of the folk rock band The Byrd’s) said that “retailers didn’t know where to put it in the store because there were no comedy records back then.”

Buckley’s approach to humor influenced the whole generation of comedians who came after him; people like George Carlin and Robin Williams. Ed Sullivan called Buckley “a significant figure in American entertainment.”

“It was his hipness, it was his style, his timing,” said radio personality Wolfman Jack. “You know, man. I think Lord Buckley came from the future.”

Designed by famed illustrator Jim Flora, the cover for the RCA Victor album, “Hipsters, Flipsters and Finger popping Daddies,” will be included in the collection on display as well as Buckley’s City Lights Chapbook, “Hiporama of the Classics.”

1954 also marked the formation of Buckley’s "The Church of the Living Swing,” which became the template for The Merry Prankster’s “Acid Tests” a decade later, which makes Buckley, as actor Stuart Whitman described him, “the first Flower Child.”

“Services” were held in a Topanga canyon health food restaurant owned by Bob and Doi DeWitt, complete with live music, belly dancers, light shows and crates of a hallucinogenic cactus called Peyote.

The Dewitt’s created the first psychedelic light shows using overhead projectors and colored inks between sheets of glass. Woody Guthrie lived on the DeWitt Topanga CA ranch and was part of this scene.

Buckley’s “Rebellious Duke of Topanga,” Bob DeWitt, died last fall in neighboring Mariposa County where he had lived for many years. The DeWitt family has played the Patron of the Arts in Mariposa for a long time and was instrumental in forming the Mariposa Arts Council.

Music for the Museum Saturday afternoon event will be performed by local musicians The Wandering Bishops. Known for their nouveau cosmopolitan sound, they will perform originals, jazzy standards and bossa novas throughout the afternoon.

For further information, view the Tuolumne City Memorial Museum Website at www.TuolumneMuseum.org