The last few weeks have seen a terrible rash of psychological and emotional meteors hitting my psyche at bombastic speed and with hyper-explosive repercussions.
What with the ‘hanging on much too long’ death of a loved one, a way overdue showdown/break-up of heroically epic proportions, a monumental birthday number come and gone without fanfare and a job environment that has gone from stable and employee friendly to listening to everyone who hasn’t already left in a frenzy consistently whispering about how the place just plain … well, is not so desirable anymore.
A cure! Someone a cure! Or, at least a salve that can temper the radiating heartbreaking burns. Save that, how about temporary refuge from the barbed wire of current reality?
Better yet – serve me up a heaping helping of Richard Pryor!
Few can make me laugh involuntarily, and as hard, as can Richard Pryor. He was just so openly honest in his assessments of human nature that one could not help but laugh. And it was his varied material that kept him popular and inspired countless others.
A big plus, for me, was that although he swore and cussed, he never made it a central point of his show. That is, you don’t know him mainly for his swearing and raunchy act. Unlike dozens who tried to build a stage show or reputation as toilet-mouthed comedians (and never stayed long in the spotlight) – Rudy Ray Moore, Red Fox, Andrew ‘Dice’ Clay or even Eddie Murphy are the quick ones that come to mind, he transcended that genre. Despite his language, it always had the comfortable feel of being in context of his material.
I can’t tell you how often I dug on Richard! I remember bring him on camping trips, to weekend getaways, listening in the dorms, playing his platters at parties (what other spoken word artist can you put on at a party and NOT have people groan?) and ever present in my car.
To this day, I have certain friends who will still quote R.P. in conversation. That’s how often we listened to this cat. This still never fails to bring a chuckle to the banter, and even more so when we go through the monologue for an uninitiated plebian. Hilarious.
It is so blatantly true concerning the black experience during death. The absolute wailing of your Aunt, the brutality of honesty about the weather – especially in winter, the overflow of food from everyone in creation from the neighborhood … Richard is right on about this in every way! He has a great story about how his Dad of 57 died while having sex with an eighteen year old!
“Nobody cried at his funeral. they said ‘Lucky mutherfucker!”
Pryor at some of his best! Exploring and talking about how men and women differ in bed – man getting his and the woman sometimes left a little wanting.
“And I just found out something like a few years ago man that blew my mind, I just found out sometimes women don’t have orgasms! That fucked me up! Cause I thought I was doing some serious fuckin’!”
Have Your Ass Home By 11:00
This is most likely my favorite short monologue by Pryor. Back in the 50’s he’s telling us men never got anything off the girls till ‘after 11:00’ – which is the time his father told him to be home by.
“The clock motherfucker! What’s the clock say?”
"I got one friend, he always orders biscuits. You got any biscuits back in there motherfucker?”
Enjoy and rediscover the genius of Richard Pryor and you too can get out of your nasty mood – even for a few hours!
Richard Pryor: Black Funerals (45)
Richard Pryor: Being Sensitive (47)
Richard Pryor: Have Your Ass Home By 11:00 (37)
Richard Pryor: Chinese Food (37)
From: ...And It's Deep, Too!- The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992)
Addendum: Let me (re)introduce you to a few online pleasures that have helped me along lately:
Soul-Sides has a great Hip-Hop cover that should remind you of something. Also, check out their V2 offering.
Echoes In The Wind continues to put out some little known tunes on a frequent basis. And get the Chi Coltrane album while you can – I am really grateful for that one!
If you haven’t heard of PostSecret, get there. Amazing collection of anonymous secrets that the site has parlayed into a few books and now they tour around sharing.
There are a lot more that I read on a frequent basis – they are my online rock. But, these provide great distractions!