"I'M NOT ANSWERIN' THE
PHONE" - When I recorded this in '84, things
were very bad financially.
This song was purely biographical.
I had just left a job as radio D.J. because
they started bouncing our paychecks, and I couldn't
continue supporting my wife and child under those
When I got rehired at the radio station I was
at before, I reacquainted myself with the production
facilities and equipment.
Writing, producing and performing this song
was a catharsis for me at the time, and I was glad
Dr. Demento played it.
Not only had it allowed me to deal with a
downer through the gift of humor (the way I deal
with most downers), but it opened a door to a whole
new land of creative outlets for me. One that would
end up changing my life in some small, but pivotal
instrumental music bed came from the flipside of
Eddy Grant's 12" single for "Romancin' The Stone."
"CHILLER (Local version)" - Chiller was first
written as a local parody, to convey my sheer hatred
I threw in a lot of local references so
people would know that it was done exclusively for a
Sioux Falls audience.
It was played on KELO-AM radio for a little
while. I also had the weather rap performed by local
KELO-TV weatherman and legend Dave Dedrick.
His presence on the song added a touch of
class to the effort.
"CHILLER (National version)"
- I liked
the idea of "Chiller" so much, that I wondered if
Dr. Demento might be interested in it, providing I
change the localization aspects of the song.
After all, his show was national and I was
positive that I wasn't the only Dementite in his
listening audience that was fed up with winter.
Plus I knew that Dr. D himself hailed from
snowy Minneapolis, MN! The complete instrumental
music bed was on the B side of a 12" single of
"Thriller" that was available to radio stations
"CHEAPEST TATTOO" - While some parodists try
and sound as much like the original recording as
possible, I've always liked the idea of expanding
the subject matter into other areas by using
I had been doing character voices since I was
a kid, and my introduction into radio at the age of
16 provided me with a perfect venue for my vocal
Though the smooth, sultry Sade sang the
original, I wanted to do a complete 180 on the song,
and have it sung by a nasally, obnoxious nerd who
was trying to be cool by having his body illustrated
with all sorts of low budget tattoos.
The instrumental bed was the B side of the
12" single which was another one of those "for radio
"TOO LATE TO GET FRIES"
For some strange reason, it
seems that people remember this song above all my
others (with the possible exception of "Adam West").
When I started working at Universal Studios
theme park in 1994, one of the other performers came
up to me at lunch, shook my hand and said he loved
that "Too Late To Get Fries" song.
I was flabbergasted beyond belief, and
touched that he even remembered!
Again, the song touched on my small-town
frustration, that some restaurants would actually
shut their fry machine down in the late evening.
Remember, that this song was recorded before
the proliferation of fast food chains on every
block! I built the instrumental bed from the
extended version of Julian Lennon's "Too Late For
Goodbyes," since a complete instrumental version
"HARDEES ALL THE TIME" - One of my favorite
fast food dining establishments in Sioux Falls was
I wrote this song as a concept piece, to get them to
buy advertising on the radio station I was working
nobody really "got it" (including the salesman at
the station!) so this is as far as it went.
But I still have fond memories of eating
those hot ham & cheese sandwiches! MMMMM! And I
don't believe they EVER turned their fry machine
"POTTY ALL THE TIME"
- Dr. Demento never played this
one, because he was overwhelmed with numerous potty
parodies of Eddie Murphy's "Party All The Time."
The idea started as a song I would sing to my
baby daughter as I was changing her diapers.
But since I didn't think a diaper parody
would be interesting for a national radio audience,
I changed it to a story about a dog who accidentally
ate a laxative.
It turned out to be not much more
I didn't own a dog at the time, and didn't
realize that chocolate was bad for dogs.
So please ignore that line about feeding my
dog chocolate. Do NOT feed your dog chocolate!
It's bad for them.
There. I feel better.
The instrumental bed was on the flipside of
the "Party All The Time" 45 that was sent to radio
"THE WORLD IS MINE"
- I liked Ronald Reagan, so I wanted to do something
where I could do an imitation of him in a parody
Again, I was able to use character voices in a
musical setting, which I truly loved.
But instead of Michael and Paul fighting over
a girl, I had Mikael and Ron fighting over the very
world in which we live!
My friend The Amazing Skippy laid down the
tracks; drums, bass, guitar (this guy could play it
all!) and then I did a sub-mix of the bed.
I added the background vocals and then set
about doing the character voices.
Nobody really knew what Gorbachev would sound
like speaking English, so I just did a traditional,
cartoony Russian voice.
I did one pass as Gorby, then went back and
recorded the Reagan part.
It got a lot of requests on the Dr. Demento
Show, and got me my first piece of Demento-related
press coverage in the local newspaper.
(My apologies for using the term "gook" in
this song, but I was trying to make a philosophical
point and at that time the "PC Police" hadn't been
"LOILA (Version A)"
- My friend The Amazing Skippy brought his guitar by
the radio station one night, and I recorded him
playing "Lola" on to the four-track recorder.
One of our Sioux Falls City Commissioners was
named Loila, and she was quite a piece of work.
She was very headstrong and driven.
She was responsible for snow removal, which
is always a tough job in "snow country" like Sioux
So I recorded my parody, mixed it down, and played
it for Harley my Program Director at the radio
He loved it, and he not only wanted to play it on
his morning show, but wanted to have it pressed to
45 to sell around town!
"LOILA (Version B)"
- Harley was no fan of Loila's, so he asked that I
do an alternate version that communicated a little
more disdain for the subject.
I changed a few of the lyrics, and recorded a
By now, the song was starting to get some
But Loila herself was starting to lean on the radio
station to stop playing it.
Soon the airplay, as well as all plans to
release it on 45, were scrapped.
But the funniest thing happened a few years
The former mayor of Sioux Falls (and Loila's former
boyfriend) was caught on video performing the song
in front of a huge crowd at a fundraiser!
"SNOWPLOWED" - The
Amazing Skippy was busy in the radio station's
production studio one night, playing guitar, kazoo,
and manipulating the speed of the multi-track
recorder to produce all kinds of cool musical
When he played me the finished product, I got the
idea of inserting little jabs about the city's snow
removal policy into the song. This was created as a
"B" side to the proposed "Loila" 45 single, which
ended up never being released due to political
pressure from Loila's office.
"MRS. PETERSON" -
This song was credited to Wally & Skipfunkel.
Mrs. Peterson was the wife of a Sioux Falls
It seems that Loila (remember her?) and
Commissioner Peterson had a rather combative
relationship on the Commission.
Sensing that Loila was the source of a great
deal of her husband's stress, Mrs. Peterson would
crank call Loila by not saying anything once she
answered, and then hanging up.
Loila had the local phone company put a trace
on her line, and it was soon discovered that
Commissioner Peterson's faithful wife was the
It ended up being a huge embarrassment for everyone
involved, but we were determined not to let the
scandal slide without putting our two cents in.
So, The Amazing Skippy (who plays guitar AND
sings on this one) and I set about to comment the
only way we knew how. (By the way, do you recognize
the tune that plays on the touch tone phone when our
singer is dialing up Loila??)
This would be my last politically-oriented parody
But I figured some things needed to be said about
the apartheid situation at the time.
That, and the fact that "Apartheid Lover" fit
so well to the tune of Stevie Wonder's "Part Time
But again, I was trying to make a serious point
through the gift of humor.
Dr. Demento played it several times.
The instrumental bed came from the 12"
"HIP TO BE BARE" -
This song was credited to Wally Wingert & The Nudes.
Writing this was probably the most fun I ever
had writing a parody.
It was challenging to walk right up to that
"line" without ever really crossing over it.
Most people commented that their favorite
part is when I worked in Jermaine Stewart's "You
Don't Have To Take Your Clothes Off" at the end.
I feel this song lent itself to enabling the
listener to visualize the scenario better than any
song since "Cheapest Tattoo."
Years later, when I worked with Huey Lewis on
"Just Shoot Me," I had thought about giving him a
copy of it on CD, but I chickened out at the last
I compiled the instrumental bed from an extended
version of Huey's "Hip to Be Square."
Dr. Demento played it a few times, but
stopped after receiving a Cease and Desist letter
from Huey Lewis' attorney. This was back in
the day before the courts established that parody
was a protected component of free speech.
"SUMP" - Sump pumps are things you need if
you live in an area where your basement can become
flooded when the winter snow melts in springtime.
Not really a national problem, but to Sioux
Falls residents, sump pumps were a necessity of
Van Halen's "Jump" had just been released so the
timing was perfect.
At the radio station, we aired a religious
show whose theme song was a knock-off of "Jump."
The bed was created using part of Van Halen's
recording, and part of the knock-off.
It all fit together rather seamlessly.
"A LEW TO A JILL" -
Cross-dressing has always made for great comedy
("Charlie's Aunt," "Tootsie," Uncle Miltie, Flip
Wilson, etc.), so why wouldn't sex-change operations
be equally as effective?
Especially when you find out that your new
bride had recently gotten one and you didn't know!
I don't believe Dr. Demento ever played this
instrumental bed was created by flip-flopping the
stereo tracks of the original recording, so the
center vocal would be "phased" out in the process.
This would be my last parody recorded in
Sioux Falls, South Dakota before my move to Los
Angeles in January of 1987.
"LADY IS DEAD"
the time this song came out, the karaoke phenomenon
was beginning to make it to the U.S.!
Stores specializing in instrumental versions
of popular songs were popping up all over, so
finding beds were becoming easier and easier.
I acquired the bed at one of those stores,
and took it down to the Wave radio station in L.A.,
where I had begun working in 1987.
They had very nice recording facilities, and
a talented staff of studio engineers that I could
talk into helping me with my mixes.
Apologies to Ogden Edsel for borrowing his
"Dead Puppies" riff at the end.
"ADAM WEST" (1989) - This song was credited
to Wally Wingert & The Caped Club.
Probably the biggest response I've ever had
to one of my parody songs!
It's an editorial written out of love,
admiration and desperation to see my childhood hero
back in action.
No other song I wrote garnered a mention in
"Rolling Stone," a TV interview on "A Current
Affair," an interview in a book about "Batman," and
airplay on radio stations all across the country,
and all around the world!
When I first finished it, I sent a copy to
Adam West, who had been a friend since 1980.
He said the only thing he would change was
the "conventions and shopping malls" line because he
thought it would appear as demeaning.
But the fact remained that he DID do
appearances at conventions and shopping malls, and
the resulting rapport he established with his fans
was a very positive thing.
Adam and I shared a manager at the time named
Hal was very adept at getting the song played
in conjunction with appearances and interviews that
he had arranged for Adam, so the song's exposure
widened tremendously while riding on Adam's
We even had the song pressed on to
collectible 45 records that we sent everywhere. Even
to this day, they'll show up on EBay.
But this is the updated version that sounds a
little fresher with the help of today's digital
technology, and this version is now in stereo.
The instrumental bed was compiled from an
extended version of The Escape Club's 12" single,
the horn stabs were put in via digital sampler, and
the guitar solos were performed by John
"Adam West" was the second most requested
song on the Dr. Demento Show in 1989.
"BAT TO THE FUTURE (Long Version)" - 1989 was
the year of the Bat! After the success of
"Adam West," many people were asking me to write
something else bat-related. I noticed one day
that many of the most popular songs from the 1950s
all fit in the "1-4-5" blues progression in which
the "Batman" TV theme song was written. So I started
thinking of ways to string together a medley of 50's
hits to the tune of the most popular TV theme song
of all time. I had even performed this song
live from time to time dressed as Batman, and doing
the famous Batusi during the instrumental break. A
few lyric changes here and there to make it more
bat-friendly and I was on my way. But the finished
product ended up being over six minutes long!
"BAT TO THE FUTURE (Short Version)"
Though some people like Dr. Demento were doing their
own cut-down versions of the song, I figured I'd do
my own, seeing as how this song was receiving a bit
of airplay. The long version was fun for live
performances, but was too darn lengthy for radio
"FACE" - I had been in L.A. long enough to
realize that sometimes it wasn't all about the
This was my commentary about some of the things I
was realizing about the show biz industry, and the
likelihood of succeeding in it.
Brian Talbot, one of the engineers at The
Wave, had digitally pitched my voice up, so the page
for "Dr. Skinner & Dr. Cutter" would sound like a
female. I thought that was so cool!
The instrumental bed came from the 12" single
of the George Michael hit.
"ADAM WEST - Bat Dance
Remix (2004)" - When I first contacted studio
engineer/friend Dick Schroder about digitally
remixing some of my old parody songs, I hadn't
planned on doing anything different with the "Adam
I had worked with Dick for many years at the
Cutler Comedy Network and the Premiere Radio Network
doing radio comedy and parody songs, and we had a
great working relationship.
When we started freshening up the sound of
the original "Adam West," I got the idea to update
its sound to an all-new remixed "Bat Dance" version.
I'm playing a synthesized techno beat from a
keyboard under the entire original track.
I also set about recording soundbites from
the original "Batman" TV series to pepper throughout
During the mixing process, I noticed that the
final verse was now very outdated.
So, instead of leaving it as the protest song
it was originally created to be in 1989, I wanted to
make the remixed version an overall celebration of
everything that Adam West means to popular culture.
But I still couldn't resist getting a dig in
at the more recent movie Batmen. Hearing this
remixed version, inspired Adam and his agent Fred
Westbrook to investigate the possibility of having
Adam do an album!
Funny...Adam inspires me, and through that
inspiration I create something that inspires Adam.
The circle is now complete.