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“The Naked Man”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 11, 2012

Disclaimer: There are no actual naked men in this post.  Considering the song is by Randy Newman, that’s probably a good thing.

They announced the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees for 2013 today.  I am sorry to say The Meters did not make it.  Oh sure, Rush and Heart and Public Enemy got in.  They were the shoo-ins as far as I was concerned.  Albert King and Donna Summer were both borderline, but they don’t surprise me much.  And it’s not the least bit surprising Lou Adler and Quincy Jones made it in the non-performer category.  But no love for The Meters. *sigh*

Of course, I didn’t really think Randy Newman stood a chance.  He obviously deserves it, because he is absolutely brilliant, but come on, look how long it took the Academy to give him an Oscar.  I figured he was just a little too esoteric, a little too acerbic, to be inducted any time soon.  People just don’t get Randy Newman.  His music is very often satirical, but he delivers his songs so earnestly, a lot of people think he’s serious.  These are the same people who think Jonathan Swift really thought people should eat babies to reduce famine in Ireland; they just don’t get it.  Luckily, enough people understood Randy Newman this year.  I, for one, am really looking forward to his speech.  He’s not just funny in his songs.  I remember an interview in Rolling Stone, where he was talking about his struggles with Epstein-Barr.  He had commented to his manager, who would call him daily to try and get him moving, and he said to the man “If I was a potato. . . would you put me on the bench and say ‘Sing, potato, sing!'” (a quote I’m pretty sure is close to accurate; I definitely remember “Sing, potato, sing!”).  It’s been my catchphrase upon hearing or seeing Newman ever since.

“The Naked Man” got a little attention a few years ago when it was used in an episode of Monk (for which Newman wrote and performed the theme).  It’s pretty typical Randy Newman–absurd and cynical, with just the slightest hint of sweetness.  I’m not sure who he’s poking fun at here, but only Randy Newman could make a purse-snatching, incestuous nudist seem sympathetic.

Sing, potato, sing!

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One Response to ““The Naked Man””

  1. I like the tune a lot

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