garrym6
SHARE THIS PAGE View Viral Dashboard ›
    • garrym6

      Lehrer was the poet laureate of the Fairfax High School (Los Angeles) Science Club. The teacher who was the club’s sponsor had a bowdlerized tape of the first LP, minus “Be Prepared,” but we knew it and gleefully sang it, much to her dismay. Interesting to learn that Lehrer himself bowdlerized “Be Prepared” before recording it. As a UCLA freshman, I had the special privilege of attending his performance at Royce Hall — this was prior to the release of his live album, so none of us had heard his introductory material. All 1,800 seats were filled with very happy students singing along and applauding wildly.  His comment about “the necrophiliac who achieved his life’s ambition by becoming County Coroner” got a big laugh, but the pretty young lady who accompanied me whispered, “I don’t get it.” When I explained, she refused to talk to me again. No loss… When my son was 10, I took him to see “Tomfoolery.” He was particularly taken by “I Hold Your Hand in Mine.” I was very proud of him! A year or two later, I came back from a trip to England with a newly published Tom Lehrer songbook for him, only to find that had bought a copy for me! I don’t remember when I heard a local college station broadcast an interview that a student had done with Lehrer. It was frustrating because the student was not particularly skilled, but Lehrer was very patient.  The student made a disparaging remark about Mark Russell’s political parody songs, and Lehrer said that he respected Russell’s work and that Russell had given him credit as an inspiration. One exchange was particularly memorable: the student asked him why he’d quit, and he responded that he’d enjoyed high school, too, but didn’t make a career of it. When asked if he might start writing again, he said he supposed he would if he got angry enough. It’s too bad he’s never become that angry…

    • garrym6

      Lehrer was the poet laureate of the Fairfax High School (Los Angeles) Science Club. The teacher who was the club’s sponsor had a bowdlerized tape of the first LP, minus “Be Prepared,” but we knew it and gleefully sang it, much to her dismay. Interesting to learn that Lehrer himself bowdlerized “Be Prepared” before recording it. As a UCLA freshman, I had the special privilege of attending his performance at Royce Hall — this was prior to the release of his live album, so none of us had heard his introductory material. All 1,800 seats were filled with very happy students singing along and applauding wildly.  His comment about “the necrophiliac who achieved his life’s ambition by becoming County Coroner” got a big laugh, but the pretty young lady who accompanied me whispered, “I don’t get it.” When I explained, she refused to talk to me again. No loss… When my son was 10, I took him to see “Tomfoolery.” He was particularly taken by “I Hold Your Hand in Mine.” I was very proud of him! A year or two later, I came back from a trip to England with a newly published Tom Lehrer songbook for him, only to find that had bought a copy for me! I don’t remember when I heard a local college station broadcast an interview that a student had done with Lehrer. It was frustrating because the student was not particularly skilled, but Lehrer was very patient.  The student made a disparaging remark about Mark Russell’s political parody songs, and Lehrer said that he respected Russell’s work and that Russell had given him credit as an inspiration. One exchange was particularly memorable: the student asked him why he’d quit, and he responded that he’d enjoyed high school, too, but didn’t make a career of it. When asked if he might start writing again, he said he supposed he would if he got angry enough. It’s too bad he’s never become that angry…