Posts Tagged George Carlin

17 Million Fuck Offs

DominicFrisby-Edinburgh-headshot-3-sparkles-A4

17 Million Fuck Offs.  Written and performed by Dominic Frisby.  Music composed and played by Martin Wheatley (based on a traditional Devon folk song).  Video directed by Anon.   Audio mixed and recorded by Wayne McIntyre.  Assistant Director Mark “Yeti” Cribbs.  Available from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/17-Million-Fuck-Offs-Explicit/dp/B07PKY39CK/ref=sr_1_3_twi_mus_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1552953132&sr=8-3&keywords=dominic+frisby

INDIVIDUAL TRACK reviews for Counter Culture are like busses – you wait ages for them to arrive and then two come along at once!

Eagle-eyed readers may recall that – towards the end of last month – I reviewed a track called The Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right!  You can read the review here https://countercultureuk.com/2019/04/25/the-dirty-fucking-hippies-were-right/ and listen to the track here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKEZoY-TMG4 At the time (and to the best of my knowledge) I’d never reviewed an individual music track before.  Little did I know that I’d be at it again so quickly.

As with last months track, I can’t recall where (or when) I first became aware of 17 Million Fuck Offs but I somehow came across it on YouTube.  You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiUFPjulTW8

Remarkably, there are several similarities and differences between The Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right! and 17 Million Fuck Offs.  For instance, both deal with important subject matters.  The first was a track about an entire counter cultural movement – the Hippies – which had its origins in the 60s.  The second track is about a specific event, the EU referendum of 23rd June 2016.

Mystery surrounds those who wrote and performed The Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right! although it’s been attributed to George Carlin (1937 – 2008) the American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic.  However, there’s no mystery about 17 Million Fuck Offs which is the work of Dominic Frisby.  According to his web-site – https://dominicfrisby.com/ – Frisby is a libertarian and a ‘writer-performer’.  However, this brief description is very modest indeed, for he combines straight stand-up and character comedy with writing books about the economy as well as acting, presenting, voiceovers and public speaking.

So much for the differences between the two singles.  The one obvious similarity is the use of the Anglo-Saxon word, ‘Fuck’, in both titles.  Whilst it’s still considered a reasonably offensive swear word, many people seem to use it – maybe even unconsciously – in everyday speech.  To this extent, the word has become somewhat ‘normalised’.  However, I believe that it’s used on both tracks for description and emphasis.  The hippies were way, way before my time, and I’m far from an expert on them, but I believe that they were sometimes described as ‘dirty fucking hippies’.  That would explain its use on the first track.  On 17 Million Fuck Offs it’s used to great comedic effect – especially as it appears like a bolt out of the blue.  Based on a traditional Devon folk song, Frisby sets the scene at the start of the track and sings in a very authoritative manner:

‘On the 23rd of June, 2016
The people of the United Kingdom – and Gibraltar – went to vote
On an issue that for some had been burning for years
The question in full – and unaltered – was – I quote

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union
or leave the European Union?

It was the greatest democratic turnout in British history, I do not scoff
And when the time came to speak the British said fuck off.
Fuck off.’

I’ve shown the YouTube video to a few people and they’ve always reacted with a great big belly laugh when they first hear the words ‘fuck off’.  Have a listen to it yourself and you’ll know what I mean.

Dominic Frisby spends most of his time on the track ridiculing the warnings that the establishment made in the run up to the EU referendum.  Known as ‘Project Fear’ the electorate were warned, if they voted for Brexit, that ‘you’ll lose your job’, ‘you’ll lose yourhome’ and that there would be all manner of food shortages, no medicines, grounded planes and the stock market would collapse. However, most terrifying of all, there’d be ‘an outbreak of super gonorrhea. They seriously said that’. 

He also calls out various members of the establishment who promoted ‘Project Fear’.  They include politicians like David Cameron, Theresa May, George Osborne and Tony Blair – who, in my honest opinion, should be doing serious bird for war crimes – right the way through to ‘celebrities’ like Gary Lineker, JK Rowling and the deliberately (yet delightfully) misnamed Benedict Cumbertwat.  At the end of the list comes Labour’s Lord Adonis.  Frisby proves that he’s truly a great iconoclast when he asks the question on everyone’s lips:‘Who the fuck’s he anyway?’

Listening to the track, it struck me that this was the first time I’d heard a pro-Brexit comedy song.  Indeed, 17 Million Fuck Offs was only song in support of Brexit that I’d come across, no matter what genre it hailed from.

This is odd – to say the very least!  Brexit should’ve provided plenty of material for various mainstream artists & comedians to work with.  For instance, for three years now we’ve been in the ridiculous position of having those MPs who ‘represent’ their constituents in the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ trying to overturn the democratic will of those very same constituents.  It’s absolute comedy gold!  So where are all of the mainstream artists and comedians – shouldn’t they be calling out these MPs on their failure to carry out the express will of the people?  After all, we live in a democracy, don’t we?

Despite the reluctance of many ‘household names’ to point out the obvious – that representative democracy is no longer representative or democratic – Dominic Frisby has managed to do so using both gentle humour and biting satire.  This makes 17 Million Fuck Offsvery important as it reminds us why the electorate voted for Brexit and why the public is so frustrated with the current political stalemate.  To do so using music must be a nightmare for Remainers – that’s because music is universal and can cross so many barriers.  Indeed, music has the ability to touch everyone, no matter who they are.

Have a listen to both the original track – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiUFPjulTW8– or the Ramona Ricketts Mix –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD-Sz8S7bA0– which has a slight Irish lilt to it.  And don’t forget to let Counter Culture know what you think of  Dominic Frisby’s highly original work – both in terms of musical comedy and the message it conveys.

Reviewed by John Field.

• LOOK OUT for Dominic Frisby’s Libertarian Love Songs later this year at the Edinburgh Fringe.

 

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The Dirty Fucking Hippies were Right!

hippies

Were the Hippies right?

LAST MONTH I reviewed a children’s publication – https://countercultureuk.com/2019/03/20/peter-paula-and-the-pelican/ – for Counter Culture.  That was a first for me as it’d been years since I’d read a children’s book let alone review one.  This is another first because – to the best of my knowledge – I’ve never reviewed an individual music track before now.

I can’t recall exactly how I came across The Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right!

but as soon as I heard it I was absolutely hooked.  I’ve absolutely no musical talent whatsoever, but I was soon tapping my feet, nodding my head and playing both an imaginary guitar and drumming away at the same time.  Have a listen to it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKEZoY-TMG4 and I bet you’ll be doing the same!    

Whenever I come across an album (or a single) that really appeals to me I like to find out more about it.  I’m always interested in who wrote and performed on it – and particularly what inspired the track.  Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be too much information available relating to this single.  However, I’ve been told that it probably was the work of George Carlin.

For those who don’t know, George Carlin (1937 – 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic.  His website – https://georgecarlin.com/ – indicates that he did recordings, but I get the impression that they’re live recordings of his comedy gigs.  There’s nothing to say that he was (or wasn’t) involved in some way with this track.  (On saying that, I haven’t conducted too much in-depth research on him – indeed, until his name was mentioned to me I was only vaguely aware of Carlin.)

To some extent, it doesn’t matter who was involved with the track.  It’s remarkable for a couple of reasons.  

Firstly, it’s strangely hypnotic.  This is because of the ‘swirling’ sound of a the guitar throughout the entire track.  (Not being a musician I couldn’t tell you what sort of guitar it is or what the correct technical term name is for the ‘swirling’ sound it makes.)  This ‘swirling’ sound is very pronounced during the chorus, but I also like the way it continues in the background throughout the track. 

Secondly, there’s no singing on The Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right!   It just features the spoken word, which makes its message very, very clear indeed.  I also liked the way that it was simply impossible to categorise the track as it doesn’t really fit any genre or sub-genre of music that I know of.  (Don’t we just love to put individuals, bands and even single tracks into boxes?!!)

Much like 19 by Paul Hardcastle – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRJFvtvTGEk – The Dirty Fucking Hippies tells a story.  But whilst Hardcastle’s masterpiece just looked at Vietnam, this track covers a multitude of subjects.  War – and particularly Vietnam – is up there, but so is the environment, pollution, the power of multi-nationals, political corruption, Big-Pharma, the destruction of small town America, capitalism and so on.  Remarkably it provides quite a lot of information about each subject matter.  It’s also the first time I’ve heard the term ‘Banksters’ (a mixture of the words bankers and gangsters) on a track – but the term Banksters is a really great description of these vultures.  

Whist listening to the track I realised that I know next to nothing about hippies.  It made me want to find out about more about the origins and objectives of this counter-cultural movement from the 60s.  The Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right! also made specific references to the Vietnam war and also Abbie Hoffman who ‘baited’ the Banksters by throwing cash onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.  Again, it made me want to find out more about Vietnam – about which I know very little – and Abbie Hoffman – who I wouldn’t know, even if I pulled him out of my stew!

It’s not very often that listening to one track opens up so many other avenues of further study.  I’d highly recommend that you listen to the track and take in its core message.  At 6 mins 30 secs it’s longer than many tracks – but it’s well-worth the effort. 

  • Reviewed by John Field

 

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