Riffs 2009


All These Miles On My Puss

LBC, ever in search of that new mug and that new riff that brings us closer to The Lord, is pleased, flipped and grooved to lay on you some fresh intelligence. There's a new cat on the scene that is turning more than a few wigs, heating a few lobes and popping more than a few peepers with his gasser of an interpretation of The Great Cat.

Rod Harrison, whips and wails up his Lord Buckley tribute in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a trained person of the theatre, with lots of acting, dance, clowning and stand up comedic skills in his bag of riffs. He has done stints with Theater Grottesco, Dandelion Dance Theater, and Joseph Papp Theater in New York City.

His interpretation of Lord Buckley is filled with equal parts of power and nuance. He's got the chops, beloveds, so dig him deeply.

Please dig the links to the left.


Photos of Rod Harrsion as Lord Buckley Snap, Snap, Snap'n

Jonah and The Whale


The Nazz

Rod Harrison's website



Like Thee and Thine

His Lordship was sighted last night on the good ship PBS on a new series dedicated to the fine and elusive art of comedy titled "MAKE 'EM LAUGH". Comedic writer and actor Gary Marshall waxed poetic on The Lord. And the greatest of all television madcap meetings was screened as the mighty rivers of humor that were Lord Buckley and Groucho Marx created a marvelous confluence as the hippest two cats that ever stomped the vaudeville stage traded lines on Groucho's show "You Bet Your Life."

A number of LBC cats and kitties swung forth with field reports to lay the good news on the Riffs section. We thank Thee all for your swingin' efforts.

And remember shows like this are made possible by the generous contributions of swingin' cats and kitties like Thee and Thine.


MAKE 'EM LAUGH website



Swingin' Cat in the Hat

When one thinks of Lord Buckley in a hat the wig probably goes straight (so to speak) to the cashiered colonel style image of His Lordship in a pith helmet. There are accounts of His Lordship enjoying the pleasures of various wig coverings but I think until now none of them has ever been named for Our Noble Master. The "Lord Buckley" is a dark brown, felt fedora men's hat. It is the creation of Chez Murdoch, 28 Racine Est Chicoutimi, Que. Canada.

LBC recently ran across one on ebay (see the link on the left.) It is a lovely creation with a dash of flair and a guarantee stamped on the inside rim, "Lord Buckley processed for longer wear." Would that had been true of the original.

If any of you lovely cats or kitties has one of these in your stash please report in.


Lord Buckley Hat guarantee

La Chapeau

Lord Buckley hat on ebay [not an active link]



Lovers and Madmen

Rod Harrison, one of the Lord's swingin'est invocators, will be performing his show "Lord Buckley's Cautionary Tales of Lovers and Madmen" on Valentine's day in the Cabaret Space at The Lodge in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Of the event, Rod says, "When the moon sets on a Friday the 13th and the sun rises on Saint Valentine's day, something wonderful and dark and lovely swings forth. On the bed of High Sensuous Consequence, we'll cut on down the pike and we just might happen to pass a Birch and Rod store."

The venue featuring Harrison's hour long performance and a circle of very hip DJs spinnng and riffing like madmen, will be jumpin' high and mighty starting at 7PM. Dance moves will be observed well into the night.

Those deeply digging The Lord and the Cupid scene will not want to miss this action.

The Lodge at Santa Fe
750 N. St. Francis Dr.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
P: 505-992-5800
F: 505-992-5865
Toll Free: 1-888-LODGESF (563-4373)
E-mail: sflodge@hhandr.com


Event Poster 1 [not an active link]

The Lodge website

The Nazz

Jonah And The Whale

Moaning For Life

The Bad Rapping - Part 1

The Bad Rapping - Part 2




Lady Renaissance Swings On Out
Millie Vernon 1924 - 2009

Millie Vernon, a beautiful singer of jazz and show tunes, mother, wife, and friend of Lord Buckley's swung on out of our hearing range on Monday night, February 16, 2009 at the Actor's Home in Englewood, New Jersey. She first experienced the power of His Lordship's art in Brooklyn in 1939 when she was fourteen years old at The Strand movie and vaudeville house. Of this first experience she said,

"And he did his Amos and Andy thing. I never saw anything like this man in my life. You know, he was in the tails and I flipped! And I went backstage and I just waited at the stage entrance until he came out and I just, you know, I'm a fourteen year old kid. And I said, "Oh, Lord Buckley, I love you. I'm a singer and I'm going to be in show business. And I just - you're the greatest thing I've seen since I don't know what and - I just love you." And [he said] "Well, my dear, welcome to the club, aye."

Eventually Millie, now a club singer, found herself in Hollywood and ran into Lord Buckley again. Buckley's Hollywood scene was a movable dream with a huge cast of intriguing characters, one of which was young drummer Dick Zalud. His Lordship sized the two up, introduced them, dubbed them Lady Renaissance and Prince Owlhead, and they made the legal move. Their son David Zalud, a very swingin' professional trumpet player, has Buckley for his middle name.

Millie and Dick played countless club dates in their fifty plus years together. They traveled the world on cruise ships and played up and down the east coast. They had a ball and had steamer trucks full of momentos, photos and stories. Millie counted amongst her close friends Billie Holiday and, of course, Lord and Lady Buckley. Dick produced a number of Millie's albums and backed her up on drums and was her straight man on countless occaisons. Eventually they settled in New York at an apartment building reserved for performing artists.

Millie had a beautiful voice and stage presence whether she was doing her own material or charming audiences with her uncanny tributes to other famous singers. She had a smile that swept the cold and darkness out of any room she entered. Her laugh made you forget you had any troubles at all. Wherever Lady Renaissance is tonight we should be thankful for the gift that she was to us all.


Lady R & Prince O interview at LBC



LB 103 - The Lord Rises !

Buckley biographer Oliver Trager has clarion called the finest of the Lord Buckley channelers and aficionados and these fine studs will be gathering, appropriately enough, on Easter Sunday evening to lay The Riffs that End All Riffs on the faithfully assembled cats and kitties at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.

The cast for this gasser of an event features some heavy weight defenders of the faith: the Living Theatre's Steven Ben Israel, world class composer and Buckley confidante David Amram, Grand Master and national treasure Buckley interpreter Tom Calagna, the reigning avant flute maestro Robert Dick, journalist/author and "Banshee Mandolin" master musician John Kruth, and a stunning newcomer from Santa Fe, New Mexico actor Rod Harrison.

Hosted by Oliver Trager the evening will be filled to overflowing with fine performances of Lord Buckley's routines as well as a few stories of The Lord and, no doubt, lively music to rev the hip souls of those in attendance.

Of the event Trager says, "These cats will invoke the spirit of Lord Buckley in a celebration of the meta jazz comedian's art & life. Words, music & dance will merge with shamanism and séance as Willie the Shake, the Hip Gahn, Lanky Linc, Jonah and the Whale stomp the stage and this sweet swingin' sphere one mo' time."

This sassiest of worship services is scheduled to begin at 7PM but the hippest know that they need to make the scene earlier to get a chance at a drink and good seat.

Beloveds, be there or be nowhere.

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
(Between Houston and Bleecker)
F train to 2nd Ave, 6 to Bleecker


The Bowery Poetry Club website




Sisters and Brothers and Children of the Flip, cast your peepers on this riff. Rod Harrison, newly home from his Gotham City triumph at LB 103, will pass the Collection Plate of Joy at Corazón, a hip and elegant little joint in Santa Fe, New Mexico every Saturday in May. Produced by Clark LeCompte the "Church of the Living Swing" will present Harrison in his Long-Lean-Main-Circus-Day-Delicate Pony-Whip role as Lord Buckley, the gonest pulpit stud that ever laid The True Hip Word on the populance.

Accompanied sweetly on the 88s by Her Ladyship Lydia Clark , Harrison will lead the assembled faithful in a series of religous exercises guaranteed to bring forth that sometimes elusive but always welcome Holy Sound of Laughter.


Corazón website [not an active link]




His Lordship Hits the Beach

Sweet Hipsters, the Beat surely do go on. Buckley diviner Rod Harrison lately of Oliver Trager's famed annual Buckley Bash is gracing the boards at the groovey and with it Beat Museum in San Francisco's North Beach district on Thursday, June 18th at 7 PM.

Set unsquarely in the heart of the Beat nexus, The Beat Museum hosts a marvelous collection of items related to the Beats of yesteryore. Hip artifacts from Keoruac, Burroughs, Ginsberg and many others are on display in a gentle and convival atmosphere that just begs for a little performance from The Master.

His Grooveship Rod Harrison, accompanied by multi-intrumentalists Paul Mehling and Michael Stocker will make ever mother move there is to make as they swing, jump, flap, lift and separate the populance with their mad, mad, mad semantics and air born riffs.

If you are near the scene and you do not make the scene then there you jolly well are not there, aren't you?

Rod Harrison as Lord Buckley at The Beat Museum

Thursday, June 18th at 7 PM.

The Beat Museum
540 Broadway (at Columbus)
San Francisco, CA 94133

(1-800-537-6822 or 1-831-372-4911)

E-mail: info@kerouac.com


The Beat Museum




Naked au Pareé - CP Lee Does The Channel

Those of you cats and kitties that dig The Lee (His Most Extreme Grace CP Lee) will be jazzed to know that he is making every mother move there is to make on the Burgundy side of the The Channel in the not too distant.

In a splendid event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of sweet William Burrough's ode to poppy dreams "Naked Lunch", the hippest of the hip will congregate in Paris and New York and Lawrence, Kansas (if you have to ask why then you ain't gonna make it.), San Francisco and London.

The Lee is going to sally forth to conjure Our Sweet Lord somewhere in that out there City of Lights on July 1st, 2009. You just know his riff is going to flip the populance way on out beyond the limits of their practiced credulity. The Lee is advertised as "Standup Hipster Routines by CP Lee" and those cats and kitties will not know what hit them.

Please check out the link to the event to your left, beloveds.

Naked Lunch @50 1959 - 2009

in Paris June 20 - July 3, 2009


The Naked Details [not an active link]



Prince Lewis Packs Up
Lewis Foremaster 1932 - 2006

His Lordship's last aide de camp, has packed up the van and taken off to his final gig. Details are very sketchy at the time of this Riffs annoucement. Prince Lewis as Lord Buckley dubbed him, and everyone called him, struggled along life's path with a dicey ticker for many years prior to his passing. This news comes to us with a maddening digital delay of nearly three years as the good Prince left us on December 20, 2006.

A high school football star and budding Hollywood player, Lewis met Lord Buckley in Las Vegas in 1959 and the two just never look backed. In a 2001 interview with Roger Mexico and Michael Monteleone Lewis recalled,

"I was a theatrical agent down in Hollywood. And that's where I heard his album. And I was aware of him. And then I met him at The El Rancho when he was in Vegas. And he, you know, he needed a chauffeur. He had a driver's license but I don't think he had a car. So, I was - I volunteered because I was looking for some action, pretty bored with the scene. My main motive for being with Lord Buckley was belly laughs all day long. We were having a good time. We were having a fun time, you know, it was a gas."

It was Lewis and his bright red VW van that accompanied His Lordship to Cleveland and Chicago and eventually on to New York City in the fall of 1960 on what turned out to the final adventure of Lord Buckley's life. Buckley had declared this "The Cosmic Tour", and we now know that the Good Lord was prophetic as well as profound. But they nonetheless had great success on the gigs they did and Buckley seemed to be at the top of his game. In New York City it was the police department and their soon to be discredited Cabaret Card licensing policy that proved Buckley's undoing. His card was taken away he could not work. Somehow this lead to Buckley falling victim to The Bugbird. Though it proved to be too late, Lewis was the person that called Ed Sullivan when Lord Buckley took sick. Ed Sulivan arranged for an ambulance to take Buckley to Columbus Hospital just a few block away from where Buckley and Lewis were staying at the Gramercy Arms apartments. Lewis was also one of the last people who knew Buckley to see him alive.

After Buckley died, Lewis made his way back to California via Nevada and spent the rest of his life in pursuit of the truth and more belly laughs. He assisted Hollywood movie star Scott Brady. He spent time working the boards doing his own tribute to Lord Buckley. He did a stint as a Yogic guru (doing headstands in front of crowds in Las Vegas casinos.) He got deeply into various Indian philosophical treatsie. His last stand was at the Klondike Hotel on the petticoats of Las Vegas. He was a one of kind hipster, good natured and always ready for one more belly laugh.



Grief For George
George Grief 1923 - 2007

Word has reached LBC of the stage left exit of one of Lord Buckley's favorite managers, George Grief on December 10, 2007 in Palm Desert, California. George Grief was a fascinating stud who knew the high and mighty of show business and the music business but he never lost his wonder and appreciation of art, fine wine and the divinely eccentric personalities that he encountered during his nearly 85 years on the sphere.

It was a young, recently returned WWII war veteran George Grief that encountered Lord Buckley in a hotel room in New York City,

"I was staying, I think, in the Essex House or the Hampshire House and I was sitting in my room, which was a single room, and I had the window open. When he walked in he said hello and he leaped over the bed like he was going right out the window. And landed between the bed and the window-and that was his way of saying hello, which shocked me. He was that kind of guy."

Buckley and Grief took to each other and Grief tried his best to get Lord Buckley gigs in better and better places. But it was a challenge.

Many years after Buckley's death Grief encountered George Harrison in the south of France. According to Grief they sat up all night discussing Lord Buckley as George Harrison was a big fan. The result of that meeting was a hit record for Harrison, "Crackerbox Palace".



Carl Ballantine And The Doctor Of Mirth
Carl Ballantine 1922 - 2009

Carl Ballentine has folded up his velvet trick cloth, collapsed his magic wand and waved a fond farewelll to all his fans this day as he exited the sphere through the wings. Veteran Vaudevillian, stage, film and television actor, magician and unrepentent Cuban cigar smoker Ballantine is probably most recognizable for his role as Lester Gruber on the hit TV show "McHale's Navy".

But he also known, by those in the know, as The Great Ballantine, a unique magican that never could finish a trick. It became his stock and trade when he performed his magic act.

In a June 2000 interview with Roger Mexico and Michael Monteleone he talked of his days as a young perfomer in Chicago in the early 1940's where he encountered a brilliant if unorthodoxed comedian named Dick Buckley.

"I was playing those toilets around Chicago, on the same street with Sir Richard. And those other guys, which I'll never forget: the three snozolas. Three guys doing Durante. Amazing act. Buckley was nervy. Nobody could understand how he got away with the stuff he did."

And he spoke fondly of Buckley's 4 Chairs bit.

"It's audience participation the way it should be. Good audience participation. See, and again the audience knows what he's doing, otherwise he'd get no laughs. As long as they know what he's doing. Gonna get laughs."

And he told an anecdote of a time when his wife, actress Ceil Cabot, was in the hospital in New York City.

"The wife was very fond of Dick too. I think Dick must have liked her also. She came down with an appendectomy in New York. And I met him on the street and we spoke about Ceil. And he said, 'Where is she?' In a hospital up here on 57th Street. Hospital's still there. He said, 'I'm gonna go visit her.' Now I don't know where I was; I might have been over at the Paramount doing six shows a day, at the time-first show's at 9:45. Those were the good days. So he went to visit Ceil and they wouldn't let him in. They said, 'You can't come in here, this is doctors only.' He say, 'I'm a doctor of mirth, where is she? Let me in, I want to visit Ceil.' He got in and they visited and she recovered. And I remember that very well."

Carl Ballantine was a gracious interview subject and one of the last of the gentleman Vaudevillians. Given his love of illusion and his mastery of the Art of the Confoundment of Expectations we at LBC would not be surprised to hear that he had pulled himself out of a hat and returned to make us all laugh one more time.

Thanks to Roger Mexico for letting LBC know of Carl's passing.






We're Still Not Married

The last time His Lordship got within hailing distance of the good ship Marilyn Monroe was nearly sixty years ago when they both appeared in a 1952 film titled "We're Not Married". Lord Buckley, at the time, was dipping his toe into the Hollywood acting pool and Ms. Monroe was in the inital stages of her ascent into the stratosphere of fame and pain. "We're Not Married" did not make it onto the A lists of either the critics or the public but it worth watching for it's unintended historical value. It is one of the few celluloid records of His Lordship in action albeit not in the character of His Royal Hipness.

Flip to the right now. Renaissance stud Richmond Shepard teams up with Leslie E. Hughes to present "Lord Buckley and Marilyn", two one act plays at the Richmond Shepard Theatre in New York City during the month of November 2009.

Shepard, actor, mime, producer, playwright, and painter will portray Lord Richard Buckley in a 25 minute piece that will give the audience a taste of the wit and brilliance of His Royal Hipness and his Hip Semantic. Shepard actually knew His Lordship in Los Angeles in the late '50s and was privy to many special moments with The Lord of Flip Manor.

Broadway, television and film actress Leslie E. Hughes will conjure the sweet, fallen platinum angel in Willard Manus' play "Marilyn's 2nd Chance". The play is built on the premise that Marilyn survived long enough to out live her fame and comes out of obscurity to audition for the lead in Tennessee William's Broadway production of "Orpheus Descending".

Richmond Shepard Theatre
309 E. 26th St. at 2nd Ave.
$18, Stud/Sen $10

Playdates are
Nov 4,5,11,12, 13.14.17,18,19,20,27,28 at 8 PM


Richmond Shepard Theatre [not an active link]

Leslie E. Hughes website [not an active link]



Dash For The Stash

You cats and kitties that dig stashing the word of The Lord cache style will want to make your way to that virtual Boulevard of Vinyl Dreams: ebay.com. Long time Buckley collector Jeff Hughson has laid his whole Lord Buckley collection of recordings and memorabilia on the line for Thee and Thine to dig, rig and swig.

Jeff offers free shipping on any order and a 10% discount if you buy directly from him and mention LordBuckley.com.

If you are interested turn the large charge to Jeff's ebay store called "buymymusic" - there is a link below and to the left.


buymymusic at ebay [not an active link]

view the list of Jeff Hughson's Buckley items



Too Smart For the Room

Beloveds, polish Thy antennae as the large charge is about to come down. Lobeheads Jon Kalish and Marty Goldensohn have made the scene with a new 30 minute audio documentary about The Lord Himself called "Too Smart for the Room: The Lord Buckley Story."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 is the do not be late date for this swingin' new opus d'hip on KCRW-Santa Monica at 89.9 FM in the Los Angeles area and streaming live at www.kcrw.com. You Podheads will want get with this acton: kcrw.com/poc or iTunes)

LBC has not been privy to this super super super secret project but veteran NPR reporter Jon Kalish is known to be fond of The Lord and will no doubt deliver the goods. So, Cats and Kitties get with this scene!


KCRW Santa Monica