Thursday, April 19, 2012


Let's be honest about human nature. When Davy Jones of The Monkees died, most of you thought: "Who'll be next? Peter, Mickey or Mike?" Before this, morbid fans were wondering: "Who will be the first of the gang to die." Who knows, some fan newsgroups even have a "death pool" and bet on this kind of thing. Some even voice their opinions on who should be the first to go, based on which one isn't as essential or lovable as the others.

Ruminating on God's heavenly blender and the final frappe…is Mr. Tork, surviving health problems over the years, and now covering an existential and oddball Martin Briley song. Martin, whom some critics consider a master of misanthropy and misogyny (a matched set) always threw a novelty song onto each album...a fast paced and sardonic piece with comic imagery. "I Feel Like a Milkshake" (title reduced to "Milkshake" by Tork) appears on Martin's first lp, the one that includes some very dire cuts, including one that imagines him terminal and "lying in a bed of piss and crumbs."

Peter thought enough of Martin's song to cover it twice. The version on the "Tao" CD is faithful to the original in tempo and lyrics. The version below is, well, more Torky. The song is about a Brit visiting a typical greasy spoon Smokey Joe diner and getting involved with the chef's wife. "I tipped heavy so he wouldn't think the English were mean," sings Martin. In this cover, Tork changes "the English" to "the Yankees." And in the original and Tork's "Tao" version, the line is: "I'm not a gannet but she had me eating out of her hand." Which had me asking Mr. B. what a "gannet" was, as I thought this was British slang. Tork, figuring his fans ain't ornithologists, changed the species to one more common in America, the pigeon.

Other Peter Tork obscurities are available at the usual places, like eMucous and SpottyPie, where the artist might get a fraction of a penny per streaming play or download. In other words, a royalty check from all of these places, combined, might be enough to get the singer a milkshake at Applebees. Maybe even a hansburger to go with it, and some Dutch fries…but not much more. Eventually, as artists find themselves fed up, but not fed, thanks to Spotify's stingy royalty rates (abetted by more people pirating than buying), they'll feel like a milkshake. Or, shaking up the complacent music industry via a massive lawsuit. Sweet!

Feel Like a Milkshake Check out the fast Tork on this download. No capcha code or extortion to open a premium account.


Anonymous said...

This captures the very essence of daily american life. Right on Peter.

Ill Folks said...

...and I hope everyone noticed Martin's image floating in Tork's milkshake!

Sparkina said...

Martin's version blows peter's out of the water