Riffs 2010


D'Lugoff - The Gate of The Gate
Art D'Lugoff [1924 - 2010]

The sad and drug word of the ultimate flip of the grand swinger Art D'Lugoff has reached LBC five weeks after the fact. Best known for his legendary New York nightclub the Village Gate, D'Lugoff was also a strident champion of artists and artistic expression and a unoffical spokesman for the West Village. And among his countless other projects he was involved in kickstarting the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of D'Luggof to New York's art and cultural scene. So many headline artists worked the Gate: John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Woody Allen, Jimi Hendrix, Thelonious Monk , Nina Simone, Dick Gregory, Pete Seeger. He even had once and future theatre and film princes waiting tables: Dustin Hoffman and Sam Shepard.

He is important to Buckleyphiles for his giving Lord Buckley a place to perform just prior to Buckley's star crossed appearance at the Jazz Gallery. And D'Lugoff also took up the cause of the Cabaret Card in an attempt to get His Lordship's precious bit of cardboard permission reinstated. You know how the neighbors are.

In a November 2000 interview in Seattle with Michael Monteleone, D'Lugoff recalled hiring Buckley for the Village Gate.

"Well, let's see. I had found out from a friend of mine that he was in New York. I knew about his recordings and his reputation as, not being just a comedian but being someone who was doing something unusual. And doing things in so called, what then would be negro - I wouldn't call it dialect but "black talk" "jive" things like that. And that it was very funny. And it was satiric and I heard a few of the things and I said, "Oh, boy, this, this guy sounds interesting. And I was thinking maybe we could book him at the Village Gate, which I had just started at that time.
Well, he was an imposing character. I remember, I think he had, pretty much a flushed red face, if I remember. And I remember he had grey hair. I believe he had a moustache. He looked like somebody very military. Like some officer in the British Army, something like that. He gave that impression. I mean, you know, he had that look, like the authoritative look. And he really commanded the audience. He really took charge once he got on that stage and you just paid attention."

LBC salutes The Gate of The Gate, the late great Art D'Lugoff.



Ode Is The Mode, Dad!

He is approaching the 80th celebration of his natal day swing but, let me hip Thee, this mother is not spending his money - he is blowing his gold!! David Amram, last of the true beats, hippest of the hipsters, musical statesman, composer of both the serious and sassy, has just released the first movement of his composition "Ode to Lord Buckley" Concerto for Saxophone on YouTube. If that is not truely on the beam then you hip me!

Dr. Noah Getz solos with the Loudoun Symphony under the swingin' baton of conductor Mark McCoy. Use the link on the left to dig "Ode to Lord Buckley".

David accompanied Lord Buckley on his very last gig at one of George Plimpton's chi chi literary soirees on the upper Eastside of New York. Of that gig David remembers:

"The party was being given so that Lord Buckley would have an opportunity to perform in New York City. Because of the Cabaret Card law he was not able to perform in any nightclub or bar which were the venue of what people that did what he did were able to perform at at the time. I think George Plimpton hoped that perhaps some of the literary people would be able to hear how someone, doing something spontaneously or a routine that had been worked out, could create a level of prose poetry that was unparalleled in any writing at the time. And then even some of the major writers there would say, “Man, this guy is a stone genius. Let’s help him to be appreciated by America at large.”
So, Lord Buckley first was standing off on the side, sort of like a eccentric, multi-millionaire, polo playing English lord going to seed. And people were kind of realizing that this was some kind of far out cat, although they wouldn’t have used that terminology. But no one knew who he was and everybody was kind of socializing, drinking and hanging out in the quality lit style of the day. And George Plimpton got up and made a speech introducing him saying
“This is Lord Buckley, a marvelous writer, extraordinary talent and his improvising abilities are really ‘san pari’ Please let’s listen to this amazing person.”
Lord Buckley turned and said,
“My Lords and Ladies, welcome to the court of King George.”
Meaning King George Plimpton. And then he turned to me and said,
“Play me some Shakespeare in the Park.”
And he began to do Julius Caesar, Hipster Flipsters and Finger Poppin Mamas and people were completely blown away. Then instead of stopping, not realizing that the 7 minutes was more attention than most people who came to those events had, he continued. He did about 45 minutes and it was phenomenal and people grew increasingly restless because really were impressed enough and they figure well if George wants us to do something this guy is obviously brilliant we can put him in some show. We can put him in something. But Lord Buckley wasn't thinking in that way. To him that was another Lord Buckley moment where he could share his magical stuff. And he saw people were responding. Meanwhile, Norman Mailer began to heckle him. Saying well you know we've got a lot of very intelligent, literate people here we'd like to kind of have a conversation too. I think this is kind of dominating the scene for the evening a little bit. And Lord Buckley who had worked for Al Capone gangsters could have handled any heckler in the world. Said well, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Court of Lord Plimpton we must bid you adieu. Then he said to me "Let's spilt and get out of here, man."



Flora Galora

One of the great semi-sung graphic talents of the 1950's was Jim Flora. His unique artwork graced many an album cover. His humor and the subtle inclusions of sometimes wiggy imagery made him a prime candidate to design an album cover for His Lordship. Flora's "Hipster's, Flipsters and Finger Poppin' Daddies" is argueably the most striking cover Buckley album jacket.

Wth that preamble let me hip thee to a little flip in the webosphere. Jim Flora's offical website is offering up a grand bit of graphic history updated and over the fence of the pounce of the Now. The "Hipsters" album cover art is beginning offered in a very limited edition (only ten prints are being made on this the celebrated initial run.) Painstakingly refurbished to it's orignal Rolls Royce bonnet shine, the prints are xxx and xxx and xxx.

So you graphic headed hipsters who can handle the taste for the flip and the ship are in for a treat, Jim Flora style.


Jim Flora's Website



The Root Boot
by David Simerley

A documentary film on Lord Buckley’s childhood in Tuolumne, along with reenactments of Buckley’s early vaudeville routines, will be presented at the Tuolumne City Memorial Museum, April 24, 2010.

The film focuses on the humorist’s birth and early childhood in turn of the century Tuolumne. Buckley’s account of a run in with a bear during his years in Tuolumne became the classic “God’s Own Drunk,“ which is featured in the film.

Born April 5, 1906, the home on Birch Street in Tuolumne where Buckley grew up housed quite a brood. With eight brothers and sisters, the family struggled to make ends meet after his father died of miner’s consumption and his oldest brother was killed in a mining accident.

Buckley worked in the forests with his Uncle, a Westside Crew Chief. It is said that young Dick not only did a fine job topping trees, but also did a fine job spitting tobacco juice on anyone he could hit from his lofty perch.

He eventually left Tuolumne to join the vaudeville stage.

After the documentary, there will be reenactments of some of Buckley’s early vaudeville routines, including the Jersey hat switch and a demonstration of his mass pantomiminism.

In his early years as an entertainer, Buckley worked the “cooler circuit“ (stage acts between reels of a movie), was a master of ceremonies during the marathon craze of the Depression era and toured with Ed Sullivan for the USO during World War II.

From using audience members to build human pyramids in the 1930‘s to his Royal Court in the 1950’s, he developed a form of performance art where audience and performer, being on stage and off, disappeared.

So be prepared to participate.



It's the Vinyl, Lionel
by David Simerley

With the advent of downloadable music and I-pods, CD sales have dropped by half. Yet, at the same time, the demand for vinyl discs has grown.

Vintage record buffs say that part of the appeal is the art on the cover of the album.

The album cover was a packaging idea that not only changed the way the recording industry marketed their product, but became an unique American Art Form, as well.

“Stompin’ Thru Time, a History of Lord Buckley Cover Art,“ now showing through April 2010 at the Tuolumne City Memorial Museum, examines the evolution of the art form using a collection of Lord Buckley comedy albums.

Before 1940, records were sold in brown paper sleeves with a hole in the wrapper so you could read the label. In 1939, Columbia Records created a poster cover for a recording of Beethoven’s music. The record had an 800% increase in sales.

Album cover art sold records, but over the years ended up depicting the changes in our popular culture, including our values, fashions and lifestyles.

Recordings of Tuolumne native and cult comic Lord Buckley are still available on CD and for download, but what is missing is the art on the jackets of the early releases.

Lord Buckley’s groundbreaking “Euphoria,” first released in 1954, created the genre of the modern comedy album which was followed by the likes of Bob Newhart, Bill Cosby and George Carlin.

Hand drawn, the two color cartoon abstract on the jacket has a decidedly “beatnik” appeal and is signed “Andi.”

Buckley’s “Hipsters, Flipsters and Finger Poppin’ Daddies,“ released the next year, features artwork by Jim Flora, who designed covers for the jazz titles at Columbia and RCA Victor during the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Buckley’s albums were included in the Jazz stacks because there was no comedy category at that time.

One cover features a photograph of Buckley taken by Jim Marshall, who later became famous for his pictures of 1960’s rock stars. Edited by Frank Zappa, “A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat,” has a bizarre and outlandish cover, while “The Best of Buckley” on Electra is pure “psychedelica‘.”



Dig And Be Dug

The word is out on the streets of Gotham, beloveds, that Lord Buckley is indeed a reincarantion cat. Broadway performer Ryan Knowles is kindly hosting His Lordship in a romp and terra stomp that you cats and kitties in the vicinity need to check out. Knowles' show titled "Dig and Be Dug - the Gospel of Lord Buckley", produced by Interprod Theatre and directed by David Kraft, is currently playing at the Gene Frankel Theatre as part of the 2nd Annual Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.

So put out the clarion call for the Lord is back in town, babies!!

Performance Dates
Thursday, 6/3 at 5:00PM
Sunday, 6/6 at 1:3PM
Monday, 6/7 at 7:15PM
Saturday, 6/12 at 9:30PM
Tuesday, 6/15 at 7:00PM

tickets are $18 and can be purchase online at:


More Info

Plannet Connections Festivity [not an active link]



Drew Draws, Daddy-o!

Magic comes in many forms, beloveds. Some riffs, like Our Lord's, linger long in the lobes. Others hip the taste buds or tweak the wig. And yet others come when the touch of some cat or kitty, you dig the most, sends you straight to endsville. And then there are those magic forms aimed directly at the peepers. And that is what we have on tap today, Lords and Ladies.

Artist Drew Friedman, well known for his sly and delightful treatments of some of the Cherryland's greatest comedians has tipped his paint brush and laid it on real coolwise with his swingin' new fine art, limited edition print of Lord Buckley.

The nibble on the left is just too small to do Drew's grand depiction justice. The actual image area of the print is 13 3/4" high by 10" wide on a 17" by 11" sheet of really gone, heavyweight paper.

The link on the left will take you directly to Drew's website and a few more details that you will want to know.

So, get with the chart, beloveds and just imagine having His Lordship gracing the walls of your pad sweet pad.


Drew Friedman's website



A Lincoln Cat - Rod Harrison To Hip The Populance

Lincoln Center, in His Lordship's beloved city of New York, represents to many the Up There strata at the very Heart of Acoustics. It's a jumpin' pad of mad, talented artists that swing up the greatest in jazz and classics, in theatre and dance. You do not get to hit the boards at the LC unless you have made it, Jude.

So, with that preamble in your wig, let me hip thee to the greatest ticker tape jazz to come out of that way gone brass and glass bell jar called The News.

Rod Harrison, the Buckley interpreter who wowed the Buckleyscenti at Oliver Trager's most recent Buckley Bash has been invited by Lincoln Center to perform as Lord Buckley at this summer's Lincoln Center Festival.

Decked out in his swallow tail threads, slyly curled moustache and with the ghost of His Lordship in tow, Harrison will treat the beloveds, old and young, to a beautiful program of three Buckley routines at the Damrosch Park bandshell, Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 6PM.

And dig this jazz, the festival is free!!! So, take the B Train to get with The Lord this summer.



Facebook Event Description [not an active link]

Lincoln Center Festival link [not an active link]



The Bendin' End: A Celebratory Tribute to the Art & Legacy of Lord Buckley
by Oliver Trager

Lords And Ladies of the Royal Court!

This autumn marks a half century since the great American jazz comedian and freedom lovin' American comedian and jazz storyteller Lord Buckley swooped the mortal coil and departed our sweet green swingin' sphere to parts of the omniverse still uncharted.

To commemorate this hallowed advent, you are invited to revel with the Royal Court in honor of Lord Buckley and his high artistic, spiritual and philosophical achievement.

Friday October 29
8 PM
Theatre 80
80 St. Marks Place
(212) 388-0388


Tickets: $20

We plan a varied evening of words, music and images brought to you by an extremely talented wandering tribe of performing artists:

David Amram
Steven Ben Israel
Tom Calagna
Jason Eisenberg
John Kruth
The New York Don
Marc Greene
Oliver Trager

and assorted other stompin' studs, stallions, cats & kitties.

We are also proud to present a special excerpt from "Doc," Immy Humes' acclaimed documentary film about her father, the late Harold L. Humes that features a segment on His Lordship's final days.

Many of Lord Buckley hip classics (including "The Nazz," "The Hip Gahn," "The Gasser," "Black Cross," and "The Raven") will be presented and we hear from beyond the veil that Lord Buckley himself is considering rising from the other end of the cosmic flip to make an appearance that will correct all karmic imbalances.

Please join us for this very special, never to be forgotten shamanistic evening. Tell them the Nazz sent you.


Theatre 80



The Jake's Progress

The Magic Castle is transformed into the hippest nightclub in town for ‘An Evening with His Royal Hipness, Lord Buckley’. The politically topical, Jake Broder, star and co-writer of the acclaimed “Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara” takes off on a sonic adventure of spoken word and music, celebrating the life of the iconic, subversive, ultra hipster.

Tuesday, Nov 2 8:00p

at Cabaret at the Castle, Los Angeles, CA

Price: $20

Phone: 323-851-3313 x303

Age Suitability: 21 and up




Lobesters dig the call, composer and Buckley buddy cat David Amram's crazy quilt love fest "Ode to Lord Buckley" will waft wiggily through the air at the Plaza Theatre with El Paso Symphony Orchestra. Virtuoso saxophonist Kenneth Radnofsky will take the chair and lay the sweet liquid of Amram's music on the populance. And HRH Amram will be in attendance to help celebrate his recent 80th birthday.)

So, shave those corners off your frame and get with the action.

November 19 & 20, 2010
7:30 pm at the
Plaza Theatre
El Paso, Texas

Sarah Ioannides, Conductor
Kenneth Radnofsky, Saxophone


Tickets prices: $11, $17, $28, $32 and $37 (plus applicable fees)
10% Active Military Discount Available
Student tickets: $6 and $8 (plus applicable fees)
Tickets available online at www.epso.org, (915) 532-3776
or at www.ticketmaster.com


El Paso Symphony Orchestra [not an active link]