Riffs 2011

Drawn Nigh
James Mulcro Drew 1929 - 2010

His Grace, the lofty peak flautist Robert Dick has laid the very sad news on LBC that his friend the composer, performer and Lord Buckley accompanist, James Mulcro Drew, a true prince of the Royal Court, has made the move into the next emanation.

Composer, visionary and unrepentant seeker of the sublime and esoteric, Prince James, at one time, in the long, gone far out land of the Gigsville, found himself tickling the ivories behind the Swingin’ Master. He truly dug the lick.

An email exchange between Prince D. and LBC curator Michael Monteleone was a rich and yummy collage of making the impossible possible (and vice versa.) Dig this tiny taste from Drew talking about His Lordship:

“Think of the profound way he would hold in distain anything that had not to do with the Theatre and philosophical thumpings of de drums. So, in our tradition, I reminder you in your most dusty moments, that there is no Elegance outside of the realm of Art and Laughter. Thus, the Ancient speaks for the Never Departed.”

An interview with Drew had planned for the LB documentary “Too Hip For the Room” but, alas, it never happened.

We leave you with the words of the great cat himself:

“I aspire to incorporate spiritual immensities in my music through masses of sound which intensifies by the process of refraction or blurring, while allowing submerged melodic lines to appear and disappear. It’s like painting with a very large brush. Like those old fresco guys—or like Asian calligraphy on a massive scale—even with one tone. You know ... like a big swipe with a very loaded brush.” James Mulcro Drew.



A Pearl Of An Earl
Eldon Setterholm 1923 - 2011

It is sadly reported to Thee, Beloveds, that a gentle, vigorous and stalwart member of the Royal Court has taken his leave of us. Eldon Setterholm, dubbed the Earl of Eldon by His Lordship for his many efforts on behalf of the Royal Court, has died at the age of 87.

In an interview with LBC curator Michael Monteleone, Setterholm, described his first reluctant encounter in a bar with Lord Buckley. At the time Setterholm, a young Hollywood hipster working at the Technicolor lab, was far more interested in jazz music than hearing The Word.

“I didn't want to listen, you know. So, it wasn't my thing. It wasn't the type of stuff that - I wanted to hear good jazz players, you know. I was single minded about that. So, he wore on me gradually. And then I started hearing the wisdom, the greatness coming out and you have to go along with it, you know.”

The Earl also recalled an event he witnessed on the outskirts of Las Vegas in the Buckley family home known as “The Mattress Farm”. The story is rich in implication.

“Another incident that is fresh in my mind was - he had this old Chrysler sedan - I mean a convertible. And living out there in, in the sand dunes, or rather, as I say, the sagebrush in that two bedroom house, dirt road and everything. He said, "Richard!" Junior. "Get in the car and drive and get the mail." So, then Richard would fire up the Chrysler and he'd, you know, he had to peer under the - he was too little to be driving a great big old car. He was eight or nine years old, you know, just a little kid. But, he still had guts, you know, the kid did. He - there was no fear. And it was country roads and so he'd take off in that big old Chrysler and he'd make the turn. And I recall this one instance where Buckley runs out to the front porch and says, "Give her the gas, Richard!" You'd think a father would say, "Slow down, son." But, no.”

The Earl of Eldon had many adventures on this sphere. He was a good middleweight fighter on the Navy boxing team, a skilled surfer, a life guard and, for a time, Lord Buckley’s road manager. Though somewhat telling of the man, his adventures in the world only tell a bit of his story. The Earl was a philosopher without portfolio. He delved into the mysteries of the human wig with the same verve that took him confidently off the high platform on a beautiful dive into the shiny, clear and refracting waters of his local swimming pool.



Lady Dewitt Splits
Doi Dewitt 1912 - 2011

Just short of the C Note mark, Doreen Mary "Doi" Dewitt has split this globes material and gleefully headed out for another great adventure in the Outthereasphere. At 99 she had a great long run on the planet where she spread joy and set an example of self-sufficiency that many who put up billboards for their own prowess in that department would be wise to emulate.

Lady Dewitt was a member of Lord Buckley's Royal Court having first encountered him in Topanga Canyon at the restaurant that she and her husband Bob Dewit operated. Though not necessarily falling under his charm she did appreciate his talent and spoke of his imaginative language and "the delicious exagerration of what he was talking about." Doi was also witness to the legendary Church of the Living Swing performances that His Lordship performed at their Topanga Canyon restaurant.

In later years Doi and Bob could be found farming and making art at their marvelous ranch farm near Mariposa, California. They grew most of their own organic food and reveled in the time they had here on Terra Swingin' Firma. Doi was still at it until about a year and half before she died.

Though a year older than Bob, Doi outlived him by a handful of years and continued to charm people in her own unassuming way. If you were looking for a poster child for a person who was truly hip and not just acting the part, Lady Doi Dewitt is your base line hip kitty.