The Politically Incorrect Show - 21/12/2000
[Music - Die Fledermaus]
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Thursday December 21, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
Two dear friends & loyal listeners from Christchurch, Trevor & Mama Cassie, sent me some Christmas cheer of a liquid red variety - already consumed, alas - & a little volume called Quotations from the World of Music. It contains such gems as:
"A friend said to Chopin
It would be topin
If only yude
Write an etude."
That's anonymous. Then:
"It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had been dead a year." - Tom Lehrer.
"Clarinet, n. An instrument of torture operated by a person with cotton in his ears. There are two instruments worse than a clarinet - two clarinets." - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1906.
"The Detroit Quartet played Brahms last night. Brahms lost." - Anonymous critic.
"Please write music like Wagner, only louder." - Samuel Goldwyn instructing a movie composer.
"I occasionally play works by contemporary composers, & for two reasons. First, to discourage the composer from writing any more, & second, to remind myself how much I appreciate Beethoven." - Jascha Heifetz.
"There's only two ways to sum up music: either it's good or it's bad. If it's good you don't mess about with it, you just enjoy it." - Louis Armstrong.
"God tells me how he wants this music played - & you get in the way." Toscanini at rehearsal.
"Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors & several miles away." - Sir Thomas Beecham.
Some of Sir Thomas' best bons mots are not included here, such as, when asked his opinion of Stockhausen: "I think I trod in some the other day." Of a famous violinist Sir Thomas once said, "As a violinist he has a certain defect." What is that?, he was asked. "He can't play the violin." To a wayward player during rehearsal: "We do not expect you to follow us all the time, but if you would have the goodness to keep up with us occasionally ..." To a Wagnerian tenor in rehearsal: "Have you ever made love?" "Yes, Sir Thomas." "Do you consider yours a suitable way of making love to Eva?" "Well, there are different ways of making love." "Observing your grave, deliberate motions, I was reminded of that estimable quadruped, the hedgehog." To a trombonist in rehearsal: "Are you producing as much sound as possible from that quaint & antique drainage system you are applying to your face?" And, my favourite: "The English people are not educated enough to appreciate opera. They are the most commonplace, uncultured race in Europe."
Not to compare myself to any of the foregoing luminaries, but if I've made any contribution myself to musical humour I would like to think it's been to put the expression "nanny-goat tenor" into the vernacular, referring to that unnerving constipated sound beloved of New Zealand tenors that reminds one of Caruso's description of tenor-singing as "defecating upwards." Perhaps that's what Mario had in mind when he did the following spoof, murdering one of his own hits in the process.
(Mario, Be My Love)
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