the first album i ever bought: monty python – monty python sings!

riotfest chicago: peelander-z

The First Album I Ever Bought is an occasional guest post series where friends, family, and strangers talk about, well, the first album they ever bought. A new piece runs every Wednesday, and sometimes more often. If you’d like to submit, please see the guidelines here.

Long before I was a music geek, I was a comedy geek. I grew up listening to my father’s Bob Newhart albums and tapes of Jack Benny radio shows. So when I finally took my first trip to the local Sam Goody, I made a beeline to the tiny “COMEDY” section. I was eight years old, and could only afford a cheap cassette. My eyes were immediately drawn to a set of Monty Python albums – I was a fan of the TV show, and couldn’t believe that these existed. I placed a safe bet and went with the “musical” one. As I took it up to the register, my mom joined me. The clerk looked at the cover, gave me a smile, and said “So – who’s going to be listening to this?” My mom laughed and said “Both of us.”

Oh, mom. She was protecting me. For on this album, among the tunes I knew from the BBC series (Lumberjack Song, etc) were tracks from their films and other records. The Penis Song! Every Sperm is Sacred! There was an extended cut of “Medical Love Song” that was even more offensive than the one they released originally. And….”Sit On My Face”. I, of course, adored it. I blasted it like a grumpy teen drowning out his parents with Nirvana. And my Mom and Dad? Well, they just let it go. I think they understood the jokes and thought they weren’t offensive. (Not to mention that they had a nice subversive streak that served me well as a child.)

I still own the cassette, and play it every so often. My current favorite song is one that I used to despise – “Oliver Cromwell”. A previously unreleased track that had been written pre-Python, it seemed to defeat the entire purpose of the record. It was slow, barely musical, and irritating. And I had to fast forward through it each time. Looking back, I realize now that those damn Pythons did it on purpose, just to piss off their listeners. And I love them for it.

Christopher Busch and I went to high school together, which means we both survived the same four miserable years and lived to talk about records. You can follow him on Twitter at @mstcambot.

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