Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Of Course, It's Also True That the Word "Duck" is 3/4 Obscene

An interesting and alarming postscript to last week's tribute to the artistry of Stephen Friedland, AKA Brute Force:

From an Apple Corps. press release, also last week:
Come and Get It: The Best Of Apple Records, a 21-track compilation of singles, ranging from the folk-rooted tunes of Mary Hopkin and James Taylor, to the energetic rock of Badfinger (also The Iveys) and Jackie Lomax, to the deep soul of Doris Troy and Billy Preston, will also be released in the physical and digital marketplace on October 25th 2010. Among the tracks will be "King Of Fuh" by Brute Force. Brute Force is a New York songwriter and this single was championed by John Lennon and George Harrison, but ‘Fuh’ rhymes with ‘Uh’, and "The Fuh King’ was therefore banned back in 1969....

Brute Force - King of Fuh .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine
And yes, this was a real record. Really released (sort of) on Apple.

But here's Mr, uh, Force himself with the backstory (from an interview over at his website):
I had a girlfriend, Joanna. We were both at Monmouth College (now University) in West Long Branch, NJ. Around 1965, I moved to NYC. Joanna also moved to NYC, and by that time had met and hooked up with Tom Dawes. He was a member of The Cyrkle, who toured with the Beatles in the mid sixties, and were managed by Nat Weiss, a friend of Brian Epstein. I wrote a poem which turned into the lyrics, then composed a melody around 1967. Through Joanna I met her then-husband, Tom. Tom and I got to be friends and he said some good words about me to John Simon, who had been recording The Cyrkle for Columbia. I went to Columbia, played some songs live for John and that led to the, I, Brute Force, Confections of Love album. When I recorded “King of Fuh,” late ’68, I got the idea to bring a tape to him and see if he could get it to Nat and, who knows, maybe the Beatles. Well, that’s just what happened. A 1/4″ mix of the multitrack session of “King of Fuh,” recorded at Olmstead Recording Studios, was given to Tom. He brought it to Nat, who, I have learned, played it for George Harrison. George thought it was great, and he added strings from the London Philharmonic and kicked up the drums a bit. They released Apple 8 in May 1969, but Capitol/EMI censored it.
Words fail me.