Agony Shorthand

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
COME WITH THE GENTLE PEOPLE…..No rock and roll/comedy/sexploitation film ever touched as deep a nerve for me as the hilarious “BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS” did the first half dozen times I saw it, and to this day I think I would drop everything to watch it should it ever come on TV (which it won’t, but there is a cheap DVD out now that I need to get). I not only instantly fell for Kelly MacNamera and thrilled to Z-Man, Lance Rocke/Jungle Lad and all the brilliant one-liners this film had to offer, I actually really enjoyed the fake music of Kelly’s fake band the CARRIE NATIONS (nee the much superior moniker THE KELLY AFFAIR). Somehow their songs in this Russ Meyer film transcend novelty and end up being terrific, brassy 60s pop, even when divorced from the context of the on-screen action. Now you can get the expanded soundtrack on a new 2003 edition from Harkit Records. It has all the corkers from the film: “Find It”, “Look On Up At The Bottom” (later covered by RED CROSS!), “Sweet Talkin’ Candy Man”, “In The Long Run” and of course “Come With The Gentle People” (“….they’re the only ones who understand…”). It even tosses in (inferior) original versions with a different (inferior, over-emotive) vocalist, along with all the original instrumental soundtrack music, the two ditties from hairy hippies the STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK (which are actually pretty good), and the devastatingly bad muzak of a title track from “The Sandpipers”. Yeah, I know that it’s schlock, but it’s my schlock and it freaks me out!