I thought I come to you in the Christmas season with something different.
As far as I can tell, I’ve never posted any comedy records here at Iron Leg (aside from the Homer and Jethro 45 from a few years back).
The Credibility Gap were one of the more interesting comedy troupes of the late 60s and early to mid 70s, an incubator of talent that would produce Harry Shearer, Micheal McKean and David L Lander.
Shearer went on to be part of Spinal Tap (alongside McKean) and the Simpsons, with McKean and Lander making their mark as “Lenny and Squiggy”on ‘Laverne and Shirley’, with McKean going on to be a key member of Christopher Guest’s stock company.
The Credibility Gap (L-R) Micheal McKean, Harry Shearer, Richard Beebe, David L Lander
The Credibility Gap started out (with a bunch of different members) doing radio satire in late 1960s Los Angeles. The membership of the group evolved over the years to the point where the three members listed above – along with Richard Beebe – became the core.
They made a number of albums for a few different labels (all out of print) and a couple of rare shorter pieces, like today’s selection.
‘Something for Mary’ was recorded in 1973 and released as a promo-only 45, with the stereo mix on one side and the mono on the other.
It was a take-off on ‘rock operas’, whittling the pretentious construct down to its essence, clocking in a under five minutes, and telling the story of the birth of Jesus (VERY irreverently).
It bounces around between musical styles and references, tipping it’s hat to ‘Tommy’, Bob Dylan, the Three Stooges, musicals like HAIR and Godspell, and popular Christmas songs. There’s even a mock-funky drum break!
The vocals are supplied by McKean, Shearer, Lander and Renee Plant, with both Shearer and McKean contributing instrumentally.
It’s brilliantly weird, especially considering how compact the whole thing is, which also requires that you listen multiple times to pick up on all the references.
It’s very cool, and hopefully, some time in the New Year I’ll do a longer piece on the group on the Iron Leg Radio Show.
I hope you dig it, Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you all next week.