[Jandek] Dr. Demento

Jason Nickey jnickey at sbcglobal.net
Sun Oct 10 14:09:42 PDT 2004

Haven't seen the movie yet, so I don't know what the good doctor has to 
say. But Dr. Demento is far more than a connoisseur of novelty music. 
He's a well-respected authority on all kinds of music. His LP collection 
is the stuff of legend and I've seen him referenced in all kinds of 
musical contexts, not just jokey music.

> Subject:
> [Jandek] Dr. Demento
> From:
> Joe Faust <boddekker at yahoo.com>
> Date:
> Fri, 8 Oct 2004 17:28:31 -0700 (PDT)
> To:
> jandek at mylist.net
>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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