[Jandek] Dr. Demento

Joe Faust boddekker at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 8 17:29:16 PDT 2004

Got to see "Jandek On Corwood" over the weekend. 
Great stuff.  I took my 21 year-old son, who wonders
about his father listening to Jandek, and while he
wasn't taken with the film, he did say he was glad he
got to see it.  A couple of days later he said he was
glad I was going to order the DVD; he wants to see it
again already.

I've done my own mental percolating about the film in
the days since seeing it, mostly having to do with the
appearance of Dr. Demento.  Interesting choice on the
filmmakers' part, and interesting that Jankek sent the
good Doctor his albums in the early years.

But this made me wonder... Dr. Demento?  If he knew
the name enough to send him his music, surely he knew
that the Doc specialized in what are basically musical
jokes.  Why send your music in to such a venue?  Given
the deep and serious nature of the music (for the most
part), why send it somewhere where it would surely
become the target of ridicule?

(Which, apparently, it did.  I checked Dr. Demento's
website, including a Google domain search, and all I
came up with was one show where Jandek was played;
11/21/94, an excerpt from "House of the Rising Sun"
during a show themed "musical turkeys," which also
featured Leonard Nimoy croaking "Proud Mary" and an
excerpt from Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music."  Here's
the link: mypage.iu.edu/~jbmorris/FAQ/drd93.1121.html

So I'm wondering now about Jandek's motivation for
sending his stuff to Dr. D.  I've come up with a
couple of different scenarios:

1) Maybe he has never taken himself seriously, making
this the longest running, most elaborate practical
joke in history.

2) He wasn't taking himself seriously to begin with -
at least until others started to take him seriously.

3) He was so desperate to "move the units" that he
didn't care what venue he used to move them.

4) He had absolutely no clue that what Dr. Demento was
doing was for humor, which goes back to the reclusive
savant theory that is not likely the case.

Knowing what we know, option 3 is the most likely. 
But options 1 and 2 could turn a lot of current Jandek
thinking on its ear.

Or maybe I'm just reading into something that isn't
there.  We've all been there before.


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