Riffs 2013

Winter Fades
Jonathan Winters [1925 - 2013]

Jonathan Winters, one of the greatest comedic minds to ever bop, skip and jump his way through this sweet swingin’ sphere has called it quits. The world is not so much a sadder place for his absence as it is just plain ol’ not as funny as it used to be. From his Ohio roots to his conquering of the known comedic universe Prince Jon (as His Lordship dubbed him) gifted the world with his extraordinary ability to turn the mundane, the ordinary and overlooked into magical moments of human insight. Nobody is even certain that he ever told a proper joke but once he got going Winters was an unstoppable juggernaut of mirth that could, even conservatively, be declared equal parts genius and lunacy.

We here at LBC can only take comfort in the notion that perhaps Prince Jon and The Lord are once again trading gentle and loving observations about all those little mortals they left behind.

Jonathan Winters was in Las Vegas when he first encountered The Lord. In a 2001 interview with Roger Mexico and Michael Monteleone he recalled how the meeting went:

I met Lord Buckley one time in Vegas. And I'd really - and when I did see him I was most of the time in an audience. So I didn't get that personal touch that I wanted. This time I met Lord Buckley in the flesh and taking some time off and he said to me [imitating Lord Buckley] "Prince Jon, I'm calling you Prince because I'm making you a Prince now, you understand?" [normal voice] And I said, "Yes, I do, Lord Buckley. What's happening?" [Buckley voice] "Well, I see that you are playing in one of these bistros, one of these gin mills. Get the money and run, my friend!" [normal voice] "Well," I said, "What's happening? Where can we go?" I said, "I've hung up on the sauce now. I'm not drinking anymore funny water. Can I meet you someplace? Can we go to have a sandwich or dinner or whatever?" [Buckley voice] "You come to the desert. In one of my little surroundings I have a kind of a paper maché castle out there. With some of the princes and the princes. You must come out. Please do that. Do that - come now as a matter of fact." [normal voice] So we jumped into a truck or a car, I forget what it was. It had four wheels on it and we drove out there. And he had mattresses in a complete circle. [Buckley voice] "Sit down on the mattress. Lord - Prince Jon. Sit down." [normal voice} And I sat down and he held court. Well, outside of a few dignitaries, a pope, Queen Elizabeth, the President, maybe in somebody in Tibet like the Dali Lama, I thought, boy, this is the world of comedy. Hey, this is the high potentate here. This is Lord Buckley. And he was holding court. And God it was just great. And I thought,"Whew, listening this! I don't know who's smoking what or what's going on. I know that I'm straight here and this is a true happening." And it was a great afternoon. I spent at least that afternoon with him and I - People say, well, did you really get to know this man? Well, there are a lot of people that you have to say in life, "Did I really get to know him?" But, sometimes an hour with a man or a woman or a child can be like a lifetime. And it was so awarding to me because I think at a time he had no way of knowing. I was kind of feeling sorry for myself. I was going through a kind of - like we're all going through, different phases, you know, dark periods in our life. And he really lightened it up. And he was the best therapy I can ever remember. That's all I can tell you."



The Infinite Dug - Trager Style

Beloveds and seekers of the Intangibly Sublime, intrepid and bull dogged playwright, primo Buckley scholar and evangelist Oliver Trager, is in the center groove once again with a Big Apple staged reading of his Lord Buckley play “Dig Infinity!”. The play will be part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and Gotham will be deeply shook on Thursday June 13th when Oliver and his fellow board stompers make the scene at The Gene Frankel Theater at 11AM.

Prince O has been hard at work spit polishing the play since a recent reading at the India Café in Harlem last November 4th. “Dig Infinity!” is a work inspired by Cascading Love: Trager’s Love of His Lordship’s Love of language, storytelling and music. Prince O freely mixes ancient classical myth and legend with American history to produce a work that takes the listener rocket ship style into the Waygonesphere of the imagination. Orpheus leads the charge and The Day of the Dead provides a suitable backdrop for this exploration of one of the hippest cats to ever blip our big blue green ball.

Under the links on the left you will find a connection to an Indiegogo campaign to help the goodly Prince raise the kale to tame the whale.

If Your Grace is looking for a little way to lay a treat on your own wig then make it to this main day circus flip of Buckleyesque proportions.

“Dig Infinity!”
11 AM, Thursday June 13, 2013
The Gene Frankel Theater
24 Bond Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 777-1767



OT Shakes the Pennisula
Oliver Trager at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity

Author and swingin' multi-hyphenate Oliver Trager has been a busy stud of late. First off, June 13, 2013 found Oliver and his assorted motleys stomping, strumming, whistling and humming on the boards of The Gene Frankel Theater when he presented "Dig Infinity!" his grand theatrical vision of Lord Buckley exploring the whys and whens, whos and whats, wheres and WTFs of His own terrestrial existance and the Waybeyondosphere where He might just now be goofing. Trager took on the task of channeling His Lordship and there is video footage to give you a tasty morsel of the event:

And nextly, he did an extensive interview with Kirpal Gordon for the blog at Giant Steps Press. Do not forget to lay your peepers on his swingin' semantic units:

And who knows what's next? King freaks in 3D? Offbeat Mothers?


Planet Connections Theatre Festivity Info

India Cafe reading [not an active link]

http://giantstepspress.blogspot.com [not an active link]

Video Link

Video Link [not an active link]

Video Link [not an active link]



Beautiful Prince Owlhead
Dick Zalud [1927 - 2013]

Drummer, manager, painter, a card carrying, memory laden true member of His Lordship's inner circle of the inner circle of the inner circle has flown the coop. Dick Zalud, whom Lord Buckley named Prince Owlhead (take a wild guess why) died Monday June 24, 2013 in New York City. He had been residing for sometime at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale in the Bronx.

As a young musician Dick was introduced to Lord Buckley one night when, well, I'll let Dick tell the story:

Where did I meet him? I met him on Seventy-First Street [in New York City], on the West Side when he had a little apartment with his wife and two children and the baby sitter was a dwarf named Lenny. He had a little dwarf baby sitter, yes sir. Yeah, it was there that I first met him. I was with Larry Storch and a great hoofer Ray Malone. And he [Buckley] enjoyed us so much that he said, "Gentlemen, I've enjoyed your company immensely." He says, "I would like to give you a special treat." He said, "I want you beggars to stand up and face the wall. And when I tell you to turn around you'll turn around and my darling wife Lady Buckley, Lady Elizabeth will do some poses for you."
So, he says, "I would like to share with you my wife's body." [Prince Owlhead laughs] and he made us face the wall. And she laid on the couch and was doing art poses. I mean no sex involved, no sexy things, just art poses. And we were facing the wall and he was at the light switch and he [said], "All right you beggars, turn around." And he'd turn on the light for two seconds and turn it off. And he'd say, "OK, Elizabeth, another pose!" And she would get into another pose. And we'd face the wall and he'd say, "All right you beggars turn around." And he'd turn the light switch on and she'd be in another pose. And that went on for about five or six minutes and that was the end of that and we left."

Dick says that he helped Lord Buckley write "The Boston Tea Party" routine. And valiently attempted to manage His Lordship's career at one point. Needless to say it was a challenge.

His royal swingin' partner in life was the jazz singer Millie Vernon whom His Lordship dubbed Lady Renaissance. In fact it was The Lord himself who introduced the future royal couple in the '50s at one of His grand party pads in Hollywood.

Dick and Millie had a really swingin' run of it. The had a couple of kids (one with the middle name of "Buckley") and toured the world playing music. Millie died several years ago and it just about broke Prince Owlhead's heart. He never had quite the bounce in his step or the roar in his laughter again.

On a personal note I loved Prince Owlhead for his spirit and a sense of humor and his friendship wtih me. He would call sometimes and ask if the UFOs had been spotted over my neck of the woods. I always told him, "of course, and they await your command."

Keep swingin', Prince, wherever your roost is now.



The Large Charge: Broder and Buckley

Swingin' Ami, sometimes the purposeful mixing of substances yields predictable and reassuring results such adding a tea bag to a cup of hot water or chasing a jigger of ignorant oil with some happy hops. But sometimes the results are delightfully more than one could hope for. Such a thing is the Large Charge we anticipate from Jake Broder's latest theatrical offering "His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley" a charming and gutsy Bebop romp through the pages of the Once Upon A Swingin' Time riff played in the augmented key of Hip.

Broder, a veteran of both Broadway and London's West End presents his homage to The Lord at 9 PM 54 Below October 22, 2013 in New York City. Backed by a with-it jazz trio and ably assisted by his very hip but not so straight man Michael Lanahan, Broder swings through some of Buckley's greatest routines and adds the salt 'n' pepper spices of the glorious '50s.

You cats and kitties that can make it to Gotham need to make it all the way to 54 Below to dig the scene when Broder meets Buckley.

His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley

starring Jake Broder

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
9PM, door open at 8:45 PM

Cover Charge: $25-$35
Food & Beverage Minimum: $25
General Information
purchase tickets at TicketWeb.com
or call 866.468.7619

more of the skinny:

Created by Jake Broder, Arranged and Music Directed by Mark Hartman


ENSEMBLE – Michael Lanahan
PIANO- Mark Hartman
BASS- Bradley Russell
DRUMS- Jimmie E. Young
Producer- Julia Broder
Associate Producers- Abby Armstrong, Ellyn Getz and Nikki MacCallum


Get the Skinny Here