Wednesday, August 23, 2017


John Trubee, God knows how many years ago.

This is as good of a Wacky Wednesday as any to celebrate the music of one of my offbeat heros, John Trubee.

He was born in Rapid City, South Dakota about 60 years ago. Raised in New Jersey, Trubee has lived for at least a couple of decades in California. He's a one-of a kind musician / songwriter / prankster.

Usually backed by a revolving-door group called The Ugly Janitors of America, Trubee plays wild funk, skewed pop, crazy noise  -- and sometimes even pretty acoustic music.

As writer Charlie Swanson wrote in a 2015 feature in

If Trubee had become a filmmaker, he might draw a comparison to horror director and American Movie documentary subject Mark Borchardt. Had he taken the author's route, he might be another Charles Bukowski. As it is, Trubee is a music man, and his dark, profane and subversively hilarious songs have offended the conservative and mystified even the most progressive listeners for 30 years.

Trubee described his approach to his music in the notes for Forgotten Afternoon, a 2015 acoustic album he recorded with singer Laurie Amat:

Once I record my songs, I no longer hear them in my head, and new songs supersede them to continue to drive me crazy. I strongly regret not possessing the time and resources to more frequently record my multitude of song ideas. This is the terrible struggle of my life--somehow getting all this music out of my head before I am dead while I am continually enervated and depleted from my full-time workaday job routine

Chances are you've never heard of Trubee. He's not the kind of guy who naturally cozies up with the music industry. I don't think he'd compromise his artistic principles if you stuck a gun to his head.

But enough of my blather. Let's get to the assortment of Trubee tunes I've assembled below. If you like what you hear check out Trubee's Bandcamp page and buy some of his work.

Let's start out with a funky one, "Cram The Plastic Down My Throat" in which Trubee reveals that "The CIA invented LSD to blow out the brains of idiots like you ... Goddam the Trilateral Commission, goddamn the Russians, goddamn the CIA ... They want to kill us .."

Here's a live performance of a song called "You Idiot I Don't Believe You"

On this one, Trubee observes that "Many Whores Copulate for Money"

Here's a tender little ditty called "Field of Corpses."

Besides music, Trubee also does surreal phone pranks

Finally, here's one you've heard many times on The Santa Fe Opry. I'm pretty sure there is a federal statute requiring anything published about John Trubee has to include "Blind Man's Penis." This is not quite a hit, but definitely his best known song. It's a song poem. which means Trubee wrote the lyrics and paid some fee for a company to write the melody and record it. The singer is Ramsey Kearney, a monster of song poem vocals.

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