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February 17, 2005

Comments

Dave the Spazz

Steve Allen is advising them from beyond the grave??? OK, I'm impressed.

mark

It wasn't dementia in Allen's case, more like part of a lifelong pattern. He railed against rock and roll from the start--I'm sure all FMU djs and most listeners have seen the clip from his show, when he made Elvis wear a tux and sing "Hound Dog" to....well, you know.

The guy was a crank to the end, writing editorials and in paid advertisements to promote anti-network letter campaigns. as always, it was only guys like him that knew the meaning of decency or family values--the rest of us great unwashed are unable to choose for ourselves. I say good riddance.

Dave the Spazz

What you say is true as far as Steverino's lifelong obsession with decency. I saw him speak at a Borders Books in the 90's where he inexplicably badmouthed Buddy Holly! However, Steve was truly a pop culture enigma who wasn't always at odds with anything that might possibly rock or countercultural. He was a big supporter of Jack Keroauc- had him on the Tonight Show and eventually produced and performed on an LP with him. Steve's record company released an Arch Hall, Jr. 45 in the early sixites ("Konga Joe" and "Monkey in My Hatband"). Most famously, Steve gave Jerry Lee Lewis his big break in show biz by featuring him on his TV show. The Killer was so indebted to Steve that he named his first born "Steve Allen Lewis." Forcing Elvis to wear a tuxedo and sing to a dog was an emasculating dig at the King, but probably was Steve's way to get ratings and set himself apart from the much hated Ed Sullivan.

I got the impression that Steve evolved into a bitter jerk in the latter part of his life and the PTC goons were the only ones who would give him a legitimate platform to spew from.

Gaylord Fields

I think Mark has misread and simplified the contradictory, complicated stances taken by the man we know as Steve Allen. Steverino was hardly a "family-values" moralist; he was more of an elitist snob who despised what he considered the dumbing-down of American culture as he defined it. He was one of the main proponents for the godless antireligion of Secular Humanism (of the 17,483 book he's penned, he wrote one criticizing the Bible from a rationalist standpoint) and a fellow at the scientific skeptical organization CSICOP (of which i'm also a member). Yes, he was an unabashed liberal but also a know-it-all blowhard, so it's odd but not inconceivable that he would align himself with the gaggle of simpleminded prigs at the PTC.

Drew

Have to agree with Gaylord regarding Steve Allen's (futile) attempts to putting the brakes to, what he perceived, as the downhill slide of American culture. I recently watched some old Allen clips of the first appearance of a young Bob Dylan. Steve spent several minutes, both before and after commercial breaks, talking glowingly about Dylan and reciting Bob's lyrics. I think he saw in Dylan a musician on the cusp of pop stardom who could also pen an intelligent lyric.

mark

misread AND simplified???!!! hey, I resemble that remark.

far be it from little ol' ME to argue with Dave and Gaylord. seriously. along with the blog generally, I appreciate the additional edumacation (sp?) and always enjoy the shows.

keep doing, um, whatever it is you do.

Gaylord Fields

Hi-ho, Markerino: Dave and i don't really know it all; we just both know way too much about Steve Allen. And our argument actually agrees with you up to a point: It's just more like "Yes, he was an rip-roaring blowhole, just not the kind of asshole you think he is, despite the rotten company he occasionally kept." Steve was too much of a [insert Wile E. Coyote voice here] super-genius for any of us little brains to comprehend the total picture of the great man, his myth and his legendary songwriting prolificness.

listener jon

He also had a terrible toup.

Dan

The PTC needs to shut down for good

Melchizedek

Christ died for our sins

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved

Mickey Mephistopheles

Believe on the Lord Armand Schaubroeck, and cast thy burdens upon the great, great House of Guitars. Jesus saves, but Armand Schaubroeck steals.

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