A Bit Like You And Me Radio

July 24, 2013

The Asylum Choir - Welcome to Hollywood (1968)

In 1967, studio musicians Leon Russell and Marc Benno got together and created this band. They recorded two albums together. The first, Look Inside the Asylum Choir, was released on Smash Records in 1968, and only reached number 201 on the US charts.. Their second and last album, Asylum Choir II, was recorded February through April 1969, but due to contract disputes, didn't get released until November 1971 after the band had already broken up. By the time of that second album’s release, Leon Russell had gone back to being a session musician, making a very strong name for himself working with famous names such as George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and numerous others. This solo stardom brought an interest in his earlier work when it was finally released and Asylum Choir II reached number 70 on the charts.

When the band’s first album was initially released in 1968, the cover art was a prominent picture of a roll of toilet paper against a tiled bathroom wall. Creating a minor controversy, Smash records decided that they ought to replace the image, and a much more innocuous cover, featuring Russell and Benno against a psychedelic background, replaced it. The song heard below was featured as the opening track of their debut album, mocking the seedier side of Hollwood, California. If you enjoy it, check out the album’s seventh track, which I almost featured instead, titled “Thieves In The Choir”.

album art

The Asylum Choir - Welcome to Hollywood (1968)

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Lyrics:

Drive the golden sunset drip
And the golden sunset children skip
Along the path that’s called The Strip
And they’re looking for a bird to flip
And a hole to hide from the tourists’ eyes watching

Tourist car come into town
And the black policeman’s cars go down
Inspecting all the players’ rounds
The places where the jokers found
And waiting for his chance to be the dealer

(Welcome to Hollywood)
(You Midwest sons and daughters)
Oh, welcome to Hollywood
Say, man, can you spare a quarter?

Vested eyes so calmly heard
Astounded by the city assured
That come so quickly off a herd
The golden sunset children fled
With ways to still be young and not be crying

The network showed its Color War
I watched the shorthead heroes stor’
Red crimson on green army corps
And his last scene is too bizarre
To think that he won’t get a check from AFTRA

(Welcome to Hollywood)
(You Midwest sons and daughters)
Oh, welcome to Hollywood
Say, man, can you spare a quarter?

I’m feelin’ good in Hollywood
I know where in Hollywood
Oh, I’m Hollywood, now, now
Oh, Hollywood
Oh, Hollywood

(Hollywood, yes I’m talkin’ ‘bout Hollywood)
Oh, I’m feelin’ fine
(Hollywood, I’m talkin’ ‘bout Hollywood)
(Hollywood, yes I’m talkin’ ‘bout Hollywood)
(Hollywood, I’m talkin’ ‘bout Hollywood)
(Hollywood, yes I’m talkin’ ‘bout Hollywood)
(Hollywood, I’m talkin’ ‘bout Hollywood)…

2 comments:

  1. AFTRA - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

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