Review Coming Soon!
|Liner notes transcribed by Gary Arnold|
|Nothing connected with Dave Gardner is
simple, but the most difficult thing to understand about his arrival as
a humorist is why he did not appear sooner.
In the manner of novelist Faulkner or playwright Tennessee Williams, Dave Gardner uses his own selection of Southern history, custom, and language to force access to unexplored areas of the mind. But his subject matter somewhat transcends the Mason-Dixon line.
As all Gardner fans know, Brother Dave is a truly loyal Southern boy who holds that the earth is a Southern planet and that the only reason anyone lives in the North is because "they got jobs up there." The delivery too is in pure Southernese with overtones of a radio evangelist. But the subject matter is something else.
"Some people fear the darkness and others run from the light. It is the thing that sustains the two concepts that we are searching for."
Or: "I believe the mind is beautiful, beloved. And you can think about a whole lots more than you can get. (pause) Naw! It ain't on that plane!"
But to quote Dave Gardner is, in part, to misrepresent him. The words, without the man who delivers them, can never mean the same - or nearly as much.
As Brother Dave would say, "How you going to explain anything to anybody who hadn't ever?" If you "hadn't ever" heard Brother Dave Gardner, it is certain that no one could tell you what the experience is like.
"Two heads are better than one," may be just a saying to most of us, but to Dave Gardner it is a way of life. Considering the big bomb, he reassured one audience that "we would all go together and maintain our same relative position." When asked the best place to be when the bomb dropped, he answered, "Anywhere you can say, 'What was that?'"
The source of Dave Gardner's material is a method that would horrify almost any comedian working today. He walks on stage to "think". His explanation of the process is a characteristically straightforward enigma. "If I had to go out on a stage and try to be Dave Gardner, I couldn't. I just have to be myself and think." From the first brush with an audience he erupts in a mixture of anecdote and observation punctuated with everything from one line refrains such as "Joy to the world," to the totally unrelated question, "What will the Preachers do when the Devil is saved?" The result of the process is another performance by Dave Gardner.
Today, Brother Dave Gardner lives, with wife "Miss Millie," son Dave, 10, and daughter Candy, 12, in a 23-room, 8-bath mansion located in a section of Hollywood, California, which still preserves the grandeur that accompanied the era of the Dusenberg limousine and the pet cheetah.
Creature comforts and aids to divertissement of maison Gardner include: four sun decks, a solarium, boomerang-shaped swimming pool, grotto with a rivulet, fish pond, gymnasium-sized library joined to a living room that dwarfs the library and has a full pipe organ tucked away in one corner of the room. Sandwiched between a regulation bowling alley and a wine cellar is a basement compartment larger than most living rooms which is required to house the machinery operating the pipe organ.
A guest wing larger than most homes is occupied solely by a myna bird named William who earns his keep by announcing callers on the servants' day off.
Brother Dave's deep love of all things living becomes most apparent when he shows the grounds - six tiers of landscaped gardening now being personally refurbished by the master of the house. One small isolated lawn occupying its own level seems a special favorite. Dave gets a faraway look when he points to the plot and vows that when he has finished cultivation of same it will "look like a pool table."
In his first Capitol album, Brother Dave chuckles over the thought of Norman Vincent Peale having to give serious though to the Tem Commandments; takes us behind the scene at 1700 Pennsylvania Avenue where J.F.K. shouts "Bobbee!" and Bobby says. "huh?"; speculates on the acoustical implausibility of the Sermon on the Mount being delivered from a mountain top; ponders the equity of the "Guvmint" requiring up to 90% of personal income while 10% is said to be adequate for the Lord; and covers names in the news from Barry Goldwater to Jacqueline Kennedy. There is never a need to comment on what might come across a Dave Gardner's best. Brother Dave works from one source and always gives his best. Hooper Fowler
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