Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The LIFE of Riley

William BENDIX
on the air for MEAT

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

monorail, Monorail, MONORAIL!

This one's a certain classic from '93-- lyrics below if you want to sing along:

Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there's nothing on earth Like a genuine, Bona fide, Electrified, Six-car Monorail! What'd I say?

Ned Flanders: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: What's it called?

Patty+Selma: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail! [crowd chants `Monorail' softly and rhythmically]

Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud...

Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.

Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?

Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?

Lyle Lanley: You'll be given cushy jobs.

Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?

Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.

Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.

Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.

I swear it's Springfield's only choice... Throw up your hands and raise your voice!

All: Monorail! Lyle Lanley: What's it called? All: Monorail!

Lyle Lanley: Once again... All: Monorail!

Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...

Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!

All: Monorail! Monorail! Monorail! [big finish] Monorail!

Homer: Mono... D'oh!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Got Tu Go Disco

I couldn't stand 'Dees-ko' in the '70s when all you could hear between circa 1974-79
was this new marketing scheme abomination foisted on us by the record industry.
We had just emerged from the socially conscious '60s (and to a lesser extent the early activist '70s), and the 'powers that be' really didn't want a growing mass movement that would possibly affect their corporate 'bottom line'.

Just picture perhaps for a few minutes in the recesses of your mind, the alternate path society would have, should have, could have taken had Richard M. Nixon lost the '72 election to George McGovern, or if the manned Moon missions continued up to the
originally scheduled Apollo 20, with eventually a permanent moonbase with a Mars
landing between 1980-84, or anything that you could have envisioned which was
probably better instead of what we actually got- a revival of the early pre-Roosevelt
(Teddy not even Franklin Delano) 20th Century America.

Well the record industry had their share of problems too: no matter how much money they made they always cried the blues by saying that they were always seemingly 'in the red'.

These are the overpaid, overcompensated CEOs and shareholders I'm talking about, not the artistes- in fact unless they were a Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, etc., they were more than likely to be ripped-off by the shrewdies and sharpies at the record labels, RIAA and ASCAP accountants and lawyers.

Alright now, let's cry mucho tears for them, the pitiful CEOs & the poor shareholders of the record companies-
Boo hoo.

Countless 'Golden Age Oldies' Rock n' Roll acts were still trying to survive in the late '60s/early '70s and wound up performing in dives, or doing odd jobs- Harold Sakata need not apply -instead of living comfortably in their middle (soon to be old) age, while the record company execs bought themselves mansions, private jets, yachts, etc., countless prostitutes- both female & male -politicians, drugs- mostly cocaine -you name it.

Every day was a white Christmas!

You just know it that these guys were fucked up when Nixon signed a bill exclusively
on their behalf, he being a good bedfellow for corporate Amerika.

Hey, come to think of it...
even the biggest performers were ripped off by either their
(mis)management or their (dis)respective labels, or worst case by both.
Not so easily though, as these artists fought back with costly law$uit$.
That is of course until 'Dees-ko'. Let's go back to the beginning-
Well first there was a collision between two particles...
(okay, well not that far back)

Around 1941 or so a new French portmanteau word was coined from the
combination of 'disc' and bibliothèque (library) = Discothèque = record library.
No Dewey Decimal System though.

Previously, most bars and nightclubs used live bands as entertainment- until that is the occupation of France by the Nazis, as the 'jazz babies' and 'swing kids' lifestyle didn't exactly conform to Hitler's 'vision', as myopic as it was.

So these platter-spinning guys called 'Discaires' (Disc jockeys) would play these records
on makeshift PA systems, and so in the face of oppression a new lifestyle was born.
(How Col. Klink & Sgt. Schultz couldn't differenciate between LOUD live jazz music,
and LOUD recorded jazz music is beyond me- guess I'm dumb that way)
Dick's Caveat: the oppressed more often than not always becomes the oppressor-
(it's human nature)
as we'll soon see...
Now it's the 'Swingin' '60s: Stateside versions of discothèques start to catch on,
and with these trendy clubs, the demand for new dance steps such as
the Frug, the Merengue, and the Mule skyrocketed.
Record labels feverishly pushed out whole albums of music like sausages to
or limbo by, or else mimicked the discotheque effect by assembling compilations of everything from the foxtrot to the boogaloo.
Dance instructors got in on the act, releasing LPs such as
'Killer Joe Piro's International Discotheque.'
In the 1966 ABC Batman TV series, the pilot (and episode #1) Hi Diddle Riddle first broadcast on January 12, 1966 (repeated on August 24, 1966 and April 5, 1967) a discothèque features prominently in the story plotine after two of The Riddler's riddles lead Batman & Robin to the new "What A Way To Go-Go" disco in Gotham City. Batman dances the Batusi with The Riddler's assistant, Molly- Jill St. John

- while Robin being a minor stays in the Batmobile.
(which was later redone- sort of -by Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction with Uma Thurman and would you believe, >gulp< John Travolta!)

Again, in Batman episode #16, "He Meets His Match, The Grisly Ghoul", the school playing against Robin's school in the basketball game is named "Disko Tech".
(What, no "Sexolettes"?) the first King Tut two-parter episode #27: 'The Curse of Tut' & #28: The Pharaoh's in a Rut'- starring the hilarious Victor Buono -Batman is under Tut's control and forcibly dances the Batusi:

Stay Tuned...The Worst Is Yet To Come!

Okay so now it's the 1970's and the record industry looking for the latest marketing fad
hits upon selling the idea of 'Disco' music and its 'plastic' lifestyle- and plastic isn't just a descriptive term either as the disco outfits are undoubtedly made out of double-knit polyester.

Polyester, a plastic fabric- just perfect for Disco: commercial crap with it's snotty uptight exclusive asshole scene.
As a musician friend of mine once observed long ago, soon after the '60s and early '70s the
music industry was in a quandry: how to keep making obscene amounts of money off of the gullable public, keep the cash flowing -when people were developing a social consciousness and becoming wiser by the day, greed and conspicious consumption were less and less in vogue, so logically if this trend were to continue the abomination that was to be the 1980's would be vastly different in scope than the one that the societal planners had in mind.
Something had to be done.
Something was done.

After the Beatles demise as a functional group- a year or so after Richard Milhouse Nixon became President -various Rock 'clown acts' such as "Alice Cooper", "Gary Glitter", "Slade", etc., as 'Glam rock' (also known as 'glitter rock') was introduced- a sub-genre of rock music that developed in the UK in the post-hippie early 1970s that was "performed by singers and musicians wearing outrageous clothes, makeup, hairstyles, and platform-soled boots.'

The flamboyant lyrics, costumes, and visual styles of glam performers were a campy, theatrical blend of nostalgic references to science fiction and old movies, all over a guitar-driven hard rock sound.

Frivolousness was definitely cultivated to be 'IN'.

Mea culpa-- admittedly at that time I fell for it too.

Another of the trial balloons to be floated was '50s 'nostalgia- 'Sha Na Na' 'The Lords of Flatbush', 'Where were you in '62?', 'Grease' on Broadway, 'Happy Days' on TV. 'Remember when you greased your hair- and Nixon greased his too?'

So let's run it up the flagpole J.R. and see who salutes it, eh?

The emphasis on 'SCi-Fi' and 'Futurism' ala early 'David Bowie'- admitedly I liked his earlier incarnations immensely, as a cautionary -or Horror and S(c)h(l)ock via Alice Cooper, and then with retro '50s & early '60s, the direction the music business was steering the public in was clear- any era was OK as long as it wasn't about 'the present'.
What about relevancy? Relevancy schmelevancy.

So now that it was well demonstrated that the public could be steered- like cattle -towards frivolity and nostalgia.

Nostalgia for a decade largely silent- shhhhhhhhhhh -about societal conditions.

So the stage was set for the next big experiment...

The first Disco songs were released in 1973, though some claim Manu Dibango's 1972
Soul Makossa to be the first Disco record.
The first article about Disco was written in September 1973

In 1974 New York City's WPIX-FM premiered the first disco radio show.

And with all this came the inevitable 'Disco lifestyle'- popularised by a 1975 New York magazine article, 'Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night', by Brit writer Nik Cohn.
A work that purported to be 'a day in the life of an Italo-American
'woiking-class slob', and his friends in the Brooklyn, NY Disco scene'.
A fiction- a fraud.

Originally, the article was published as a piece of factual reporting. However, around the time of the twentieth anniversary of the article, Cohn revealed that the article was actually fabricated, a work of fiction. Assigned to write an article about the early 1970s 'Disco' scene in the United States, Cohn a newcomer to the US was totally unfamiliar with the American working-class subculture he was trying to cover.To overcome this problem, Mr. Cohn based his piece on a young man he knew in England. "My story was a fraud," he wrote. "I'd only recently arrived in New York. Far from being steeped in Brooklyn street life, I hardly knew the place. As for Vincent, my story's hero, he was largely inspired by a 'Shepherd's Bush' mod whom I'd known in the '60s, a one-time king of Goldhawk Road.'

The fraud was hugely successful because both '60s UK 'Mod' and '70s US 'Disco' subcultures were primarily working class and shared certain similarities emphasising fashion and music.
The article in fact was so successful that it was used as an effective indoctrination tool
in the form of a 1977 movie- no not Star Wars -Saturday Night Fever.

A HUGE commercial success, the movie significantly helped to popularize disco music around the world, and made the actor- John Travolta -who portrayed the lumpenprole hero renamed 'Tony Manero', a household name.

The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, featuring those 'wanna-Beatles'- the Aussie Bee Gees -is among the best selling soundtracks of all time, and why would it not be?
It was all engineered that way.

The words 'Saturday Night' were used over and over by the various PoP culture purveyors,
reinforcing it in the public consciousness looong before the existence of the movie:

'Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)'- Elton John released July 16, 1973
'Saturday Night'- the Bay City Rollers recorded an early version of their later to be hit song in the UK in 1973, but did not hit the charts.

On the first version Gordon 'Nobby' Clark was the lead singer of the band.

Better luck next time.

The Rocky Horror Show made its debut in 1973 as a West End theatrical musical combining SCi-Fi, Horror Movies- both particularly influenced by Ed Wood-and '50s style Rock n' Roll'.
Wait- Rocky Horror?

One number in particular in Act 1, 'Hot Patootie-- Bless My Soul' sung by the lobotomized
character 'Eddie' begins with the line, 'Whatever happened to Saturday night...'
So what, big deal right?

Ok then, when Rocky Horror was brought to the US a year later- 1974 -and played very successfully at the Roxy and the Original Roxy Cast Soundtrack was released,
'Hot Patootie-- Bless My Soul' was inexplicably retitled,
'Whatever Happened To Saturday Night?'
Say what?

The line 'whatever happened to Saturday night?' is only uttered once at the
beginning of the song, and the words 'Saturday' and 'night' are never again used in the song;
'Hot patootie, bless my soul, I really love that rock n' roll', however is repeated over and over and over again as the chorus/refrain.
So why the name change?

It was a case of being premature, letting the cat out of the bag, jumping the gun...

So it's even more interesting that when the filmed version, now known as The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released in 1975, the song's title was reinstated back to 'Hot Patootie...' again.

Guess Lou Adler- a prominent mover & shaker in the record industry, let's see- he was former manager of Jan & Dean, and was the producer of Sam Cooke, The Mamas and the Papas, Johnny Rivers, Barry McGuire, Scott McKenzie, Spirit, Carole King, etc. -didn't want to show the record industry's hand yet prematurely.
(to make a clumsy poker analogy)

In June 1967 Adler helped to produce the Monterey International Pop Festival, as well as the film version, Monterey Pop.

In 1974, he helped to produce the American stage version of The Rocky Horror Show as well as the film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show -anyway, he owned the US rights to Rocky Horror, as well as The Roxy.

So if there was anyone on this planet who knew musical trends and the way which things were going in the music biz, Lou was THE MAN.

Let me clarify one thing here for just one minute-- I have always enjoyed Lou Adler's taste and choice in representing or producing talent, and have nothing whatsoever bad to say about him, so if you think this is some sort of 'anti-Lou Adler diatribe', well frankly you're wrong.
Meanwhile...what about the Bee Gees?
They haven't had a successful record since 1971.
'How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?'

On May 31, 1975- an amazing 34 years ago -the Bee Gees released 'Jive Talkin',
their 1st hit record in 4 years, and a new direction for them for sure.

Instead of trying to sound Beatlesque, as they did since the beginning of their career,
they went for an pseudo-urban, quasi-Ebonic sound- in fact the song's original title,
'Drive Talkin', which was geared towards a 'teen market', the sound of the car's tires were making a 'Chicka, Chicka, Chicka,' sound, which was used vocally before the group sings the title of the song, which was then changed at the suggestion of the record producer to the phrase 'jive talkin', slang for 'telling lies', which was a popular colloquialism at the time.

Barry Gibb wrote the song and then had to fix the lyrics upon completion because he had assumed 'jive talkin' referred to 'speaking in jive', a then-popular term for
African-American Vernacular English.
All actual 'talking jive' references were fixed so they meant 'lying'.

In September 1975, 'Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell' along the lines of the old Ed Sullivan Show debuted on ABC-TV, as did NBC's Saturday Night, which after the Cosell show was cancelled assumed the name its been known by ever since-- Saturday Night Live.

Meanwhile, The Gay Shitty Rollers er, ah, Bay City Rollers, touted by none other than that music expert Howard Cosell as 'the next British phenomenon' re-recording was issued as a US single in late 1975- dovetailing not so coincidentally with their appearance on, you guessed it- 'Saturday Night' on 'Saturday Night' -and became a smash hit in early 1976, becoming the first Billboard #1 hit of the US Bicentennial year:
{Intro} S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y night  Gonna keep on dancing to the rock and roll On Saturday night, Saturday night Dancing to the rhythm in our heart and soul On Saturday night, Saturday night I-I-I-I just can't wait I-I-I-I got a date  {Refrain} At the good old rock and roll road show, I gotta go Saturday night, Saturday night Gonna rock it up, roll it up, do it all, have a ball Saturday night, Saturday night S-S-S-Saturday night S-S-S-Saturday night S-S-S-Saturday night  {Intro}  Gonna dance with my baby till the night is through On Saturday night, Saturday night Tell her all the little things I'm gonna do On Saturday night, Saturday night I-I-I-I love her so I-I-I, I'm gonna let her know  {Refrain, Intro}
Colgems - EMI
So is it any wonder or surprise that the movie version of the fictional New Yorker story was slated to be anything less than a massive commercial success, especially after all the subliminal advertising leading up to its release, and cross-media marketing, i.e.,
with the tie-in soundtrack's single being used to further help promote the film well before it's release and the film popularising the entire soundtrack after its release, the constant 'Disco-thump-thump-thump-propaganda' that would make Goebbels positively drool.

The character 'Tony Manero' and his friends as earlier stated were based on the early '60s Mods, a pre-Beatles English youth movement- as opposed to a bowel movement -that also placed GREAT IMPORTANCE on music, clothes, and dancing,
and the artificial subculture of the Disco era:
the symphony-orchestrated melodies, the haute-couture styles of clothing, the sexual promiscuity, the graceful choreography, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah...
All based on bullshit.

Ironically enough, the 'Jive Talkin' song was included on the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, and it never ceases to amaze me.

A 'Dees-ko' movie based on a bold-faced lie, a falsehood, is made and an old proto-Discoid song 'Jive Talkin'- about lying lies and the lying liars who lie them
-is included on the soundtrack.
The delicious irony.
You just can't make this stuff up!
Get down and boogie!
The artificial construct of Disco was also an added boon to those baboons who ran the record companies- the upstart Rock n' Roll headliner performers, now many of them millionaire$ despite efforts to rip them off kept making more and more demands in their contracts regarding compensation, perks, food, whatever- these guys knew that the record industry leeches were always ripping-off their talent, so when it came time to negotiate they really socked it to 'em making demands contractually on these parasites, or else no ca$h cow to milk as their services would be offered elsewhere.


Not so with Disco- these dance-floor masterpieces were usually performed by nameless, faceless, session musicians, much like the earlier Buddah Records 'bubblegum music' experiment in the late '60s, and through the wizardry of studio technology were made to sound like the equivalent of a 64 piece 'disco orchestra'.

What had the Beatles and their engineers inadvertentely wrought?

So if anyone was disatisfied with their situation or terms in their contract well it was either the record company exec's way- or the highway.
'Get yer kicks on Route 66...'
(BTW, anyone have a link to that buzz???)

Dispensible, easily replaced- like the soon to be labor force of the United States
(Uh, oh, getting ahead of the story- wait until the 1990's with the NAFTA & GATT treaties)
Don't think it can or has happened?

Well guess again- I'm certain you've heard of Howard The Duck, Captain America,
and the Man of Steel, Superman- who hasn't.

Jerry Siegal & Joe Shuster were Cleveland teens who created the first 'superhero' archetype, but after they wanted a percentage of the profits of their creation they were unceremoniously fired by National Periodicals (DC).

Joe Simon & Jack Kirby likewise created
Captain America- 'Living Legend of World War II',
and when they asked Timely (Marvel) their due they too were disposable.

Musn't affect corporate profits by paying the goose that lays the golden eggs.

In the 1970's Steve Gerber created his socio-satirical gem 'Howard The Duck'
which was mainstream comics attempt to co-opt underground 'comix' that existed since the late '60s being sold in every 'head shop' and on most college campuses.

Marvel tried once before with 'The Comix Book' but it wasn't until 'Howard' 'til all the ingredients for a good recipe were combined:
superficially a talking funny-animal 'trapped in a world he never made' that made observations about society and to whom nothing was sacred since he was an outsider from the get-go, and also interacting with other real-life as well as previously established characters in the Marvel Universe, both superheroes & supervillians, plus liberal dosages of vintage MAD magazine type satire.

It was a BIG hit and outsold all the 'superheroes' of both companies, Marvel & DC, of that time period- to the puzzlement and dismay of the four-color nerd-boys.

Howard had no superpowers or abilities far beyond those of normal men- or ducks.
Howard in reality wasn't a duck either- since he was a male he should be called
'Howard the Drake'.

But the 'Howard' stuff will have to wait for a future posting.

The point I'm trying to make is that Marvel tried to give Steve Gerber the ol' 'heave-ho' when he wanted to be financially recompensed and also have control over his creation, rather than be treated as a 'per diem' contingency writer, dispensible and disposable upon the employer's whim.

Steve fought back though, and his fight helped the elderly Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegal secure a long-due but woefully inadequate $50,000.00 a year stipend and formal creators credits shortly before their inevitable deaths from old age.

Steve's battle scared most of the major comic book and magazine publishers who always found sneaky ways to pay poorly- in some cases not at all -for writers and artists.

Jim Warren, publisher of CREEPY, EERIE, and VAMPIRELLA, was heard to comment after Gerber filed his suit against Marvel Comics:

'That'll be the day when a bunch of artists and writers are gonna tell me my business!'

Well the same mindset prevails, even more so, in the music biz.

Instead of PoP & Rock Stars that had to be nurtured, developed, and cultivated for stardom, with real or imagined bios and personnas, photo-ops, media soundbites, TV & Movies, tabloids, handlers, entourages, 'the hype machine', and all the rest with all that it entailed:
demands of payment, possible scandal, anti-war, political activism, anti-corporate stance,
etc, etc., and their followers and devotees with a similar mindset.

It was waaay easier to anonymously 'get up and boogie'- stand for nothing -and mindlessly dance, dance, dance, because while you're dancin' you've got no time or energy to effect any change.

Status quo remains the same, and the cash registers keep a ringing a 'purty' tune.

Population pacification accomplished.

So between the corporatization and co-opting of basically a fun concept- don't get me wrong, I'm certain that the original concept of discotechques were FUN, as witness the '60s -before it turning it into a empty kulture devoid of any ideas or conscience, other than the 'disco-lifestyle' of stimulant drugs and clubs, ever pervasive and oppressive as most of the 'progressive rock' FM stations succumbed, and TV too had the non-stop 'Dees-ko' beat ad nauseaum.
Yeah, I've read & heard the charges that the 'Disco Sucks' movement was basically motivated by a bunch of 'racist homophobes', and granted all types do indeed at times have ulterior motives and hidden agendas.
That being said though, the plain fact is that good old Rock n' Roll, and later Rock music, was and is all-inclusive.
There is no orthodoxy or litmus test, or loyalty oath, or some artificial barrier barring you whatever your race, color, or creed, or sexual orientation, from enjoying or participating in Rock, either as a consumer or creator.
Rock was always about different strokes for different folks.
So the 'racism' and 'homophobia' statements are kind of like the pot calling the kettle (ahem) black.
'Disco Sucks' was the long overdue backlash against nearly half a decade of snotty, uptight, elitist assholes monopolizing the pop-kulture and media with only their music, their culture, their p.o.v.-
at the exclusion of everyone else's.

Discothèques as earlier stated were around in Europe since WW II, and arrived here Stateside in the '60s, and there was no problem- you either liked to go dancing with all the lights and sound or didn't and would rather groove to your own private lightshow, but in either case participation or non-participation didn't make you any less hip, happening, or 'with it'.

Different strokes and all that.

So after about 1/2 a decade of this the public was just about fed up.
It seemed that any retard could just slap the 'disco' label unto anything and everything and as long as it was mindless it would sell: dubious DJ Rick Dees unashamedly and superficially ripped off the entire concept of Howard the Duck- the most happening PoP culture event in 1976 -without the permission of Steve Gerber (or Marvel), or even an acknowledgement for his 'Disco Duck' early on in the 'Dees-ko' craze:

Chicago even had a 'Disco Demolition Night'-

but why even bother since MAD did it all for YOU anyway?

They should've saved their energy...

So what are you waiting for? Get up and boogie!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Three Of A Kind- Sort Of...

Q: The Norman Lear sitcom 'All In The Family' theme song, the early 70s Stan Freberg written & directed Ann Miller tap-dancing 'Great American Soups' ad, and the opening theme song to 'Family Guy, what do they have in common?
(and the 'Family Guy' theme is presented backward to avoid copyright issues)<

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pillsbury's Funny Face Sequel

June 2 1967: The U.S.  release of the Beatles' iconic
and just shy of my 10th birthday, Pillsbury- 'nothing says lovin' like something from the oven' as well as the good folks who brought you

'Chinese Cherry'and 'Injun Orange'

delighting 3 year olds everywhere decided to go after a more mature market = 10 year olds! Actually it was marketed to a more 'adult' taste as evidenced by print ads
and like a good vintage 8mm 'stag movie' was touted as being 'tart n' tangy'.

My Mom who was preggers at the time with a difficult pregnancy- she was 6 mos. in-and-out of hospital during the 9 mos. -called it and all of the day-glo fluorescent drink mixes 'paint' and 'junk' and she was most probably right- Mom always knew best -but what was interesting is the new product that those soft-drink alchemists and marketing wizards had concocted:
The Thirst Fighters!

Coming after and definitely influenced by the cinema's recent

-both Sir Reginald Lime-Lime & Demon Thirst owe their appearances in part to Terry Thomas'

Those Magnificent Men.. & Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate in Great Race 

as well as the influence of pop culture trends as
'I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet'
vintage clothing store where hip Carnaby Street bound denizens would get their fix of Victoriana, Edwardian, and WW I stuff
Comic strips such as Peanuts where the lovable beagle/hound Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel fought the Red Baron, as well as music trends such as The New Vaudeville Band, Whistling Jack Smith with his hit

and The Royal Guardsmen- who got a lot of frequent flyer miles (or should I say kilometers) out of the previously mentioned Snoopy vs. The Red Baron

literally setting his adventures to song in several 45s and LPs, the stage was set to try to capitalize on these trends.
In fact the soon to be released Sergeant Pepper's LHCB
was heavily influenced by 'Lord Kitchener's Valet' as the art design of the album cover
and cut-outs included attest:

"Pepper was just another psychedelic image. Beatle haircuts and boots were just as big as flowered pants in their time.I never felt that when Pepper came out, Haight-Ashbury was a direct result.It always seemed to me that they were all happening at once. Kids were already wearing army jackets on King's Road--all we did is make them famous."-- John Lennon
Of course at that time I was in 4th Grade in Helen Morgan School in Sparta, NJ,
and was oblivious to all of this, all I knew was these little 25 cent semi-gloss stock booklets which were much better printed than the comic books of that time, and detailed the adventures of our 3 heroes, and were really FUN!
Used to go to the Lakeside Center Shop Rite (now a Path Mark) RT 15N Lake Hopatcong, NJ with my Dad to buy food staples such as soups, canned tuna fish, bread lots of bread, canned spaghetti and a new discovery (for me) jumbo sized canned ravioli (used to mix the two varieties together for an added taste treat), and while shopping for these would pester him each time x 3
to spend the 25¢ents to which he grudgingly agreed.
Wouldn't buy the drink mixes though.
The character names were clever too- Crash Orange was simply a scramble of
Orange Crush

while Sir Reginald Lime-Lime was an obvious reference to the British Naval surgeon James Lind's discovery in the 1700's that citrus fruits prevented scurvy, and as a result a slang term for the English- 'limeys'.
Even though the caricature template for Lime-Lime was Terry Thomas, I imagined him later to sound more like Frankie Avalon as 'Potato Bug' in the Beach Party movies,

although I don't know why...

*Yeah baby yeah!*
Baron Von Lemon too seemed to have a resemblance to John Banner's 'Sgt. Schultz'

on the popular sitcom 'Hogan's Heroes'.
The artist and writer Pete Bastiansen apparently operated on both levels as did the wildly popular Batman series a year earlier with a similar formula: superficially appeal to the kiddies with seemingly simple cartoons with a lots of color & sound effects, but razzle-dazzle the adults with slyly subversive humor.
A lot of it went over my head at the time as did Beany & Cecil, Rocky & Bullwinkle, and Soupy Sales, but the art and the vocabulary wowed me- I always was seeking out stuff that was outside my childish world, especially printed matter that I could linger over at length and ponder the meaning of- not that I would get it until years later.
Unfortunately I lost them all through the years, last seeing them in 1977 when I moved out of my parent's house.
Luckily- Eureka!
-I found them all online.

So instead of trying to recreate my 1967 experience with Pillsbury's The Thirst Fighters Messrs. Orange, Von Lemon, and Lime-Lime, I'll refer you to Ragnar's excellent Pete Bastiansen's Comicbooks

where you can read these little books for yourself and see just how clever they really are.
Too bad they don't make anything comparable to these
currently- even for 'adults' -as the emphasis seems on
'dumbing down' the populace...
*Frankie plays himself and mop-topped British pop idol the 'Potato Bug'- a not-so-sly reference to The Beatles, which were the happening thing in pop/rock music at that time. The character is a permutation of John Lennon, albeit with a persona based on British stereotypes as perceived by Americans.
Except that this was July 1964, the Beatles arrived for Ed Sullivan stateside February 1964, yet 'Potato Bug' had wire-rimmed spectacles and a moustache, a look which Lennon himself didn't adopt until 3 years later for 'Sgt. Pepper's'
Frankie Avalon = prophet.
The Rat Pack
motorcycle gang is largely a parody of The Wild One (1953); Harvey Lembeck's "Eric Von Zipper" spoofs Marlon Brando's (or as "Von Zipper" would say "Marlo Brandon") performance as the leader of the gang.
('The Beetles miss you Johnny...')
Has Little Stevie Wonder, Janos Prohaska, Timothy Carey (who appears June 1, 1967 on the "Sgt. Pepper's" cover, right behind George Harrison) Boris Karloff- and it even has Keenan Wynn from a year before 'The Great Race'--

Need I say more?

Dick Cavett: "So you're Jack Lemmon?"
John Lennon: "You're Fred Astaire...or is it Orson Welles?"