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Solo & Live with Some Urgency

by Vernon Tonges

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Mess O’Chicken I can eat of mess o’chicken I am a mighty man I can eat of mess o’chicken I am a mighty man Storms may blow. Winds may wail Lesser men may sicken But I have never realized my capacity for chicken Waitress I been sweet on her name’s Clara Or was her name Sarah? Anyway her last name was O’Hara Or maybe McNamara? Got the hips likes ships She got the honeydew tits Got the smile white as light If I catch her in a week or more I’m gonna ask her to be my … I am a mighty man I can eat of mess o’chicken I am a mighty man Does he steal the moon from the night Yes I do Yes I do Yes I do Does he steal every heart in sight Yes I do Yes I do Yes I do Who’s that sneakin’ out the back door around midnight last night Well it look like the Chicken Man Weren’t no ‘coon or possum, woman He was carryin’ a frying Pan Don’t give me that crap about the gas man Clara Don’t’ tell me you was alone I poked my head under the bed and found a mess of chicken bones I am a mighty man I can eat of mess o’chicken I am a mighty man Boil it Roast it Broil it Broast it Barbeque or fry it Let me get my greasy fingers around your giblets honey Let’s try to keep this quiet
4.
Bokar 02:54
Bokar There’s a town in Wisconsin that you gotta go see The women all stand and salute when they pee Men all eat their hamburgers raw The butcher’s well over three feet tall in Bokar I went to a restaurant. Who did I see At the next table over throwing breadsticks at me? Jimmy Hoffa, Amelia Earhart, and half the staff of the local Kmart in Bokar Nothing here makes any sense There’s a Masonic Temple with a barbed wire fence City Counsel praise the Pagan Gods Stir their martinis with divining rods in Bokar People here they’re out of their gourds They’re stirrin’ up Kool-Aid with water from Lourdes Someone tried to sell me a piece of the cross And a bottle of the Virgin Mary’s Barbeque Sauce in Bokar
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Guilty 05:04
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Bete Noir 05:38
Bete Noir I’m tired of chintz and Vivaldi. Water color on the wall. Your talk is lousy with references to Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, and Chagall. There’s just so much grief that one man can take who’s living in a gilded cage Find yourself another noble savage Maybe one who’s not so crazy with rage. When I’m loose, won’t do you no good being rich I’m a free fucking whiskey dribblin’ son-of-a-bitch Cutting through town like a cross-cut saw Defoliating chicken. Inhaling coleslaw Lurching Loud Lascivious Lude A monster of the moral turpitude A McCormick Reaper of illicit glee Unheedful of what the consequences be Hear the cacophony of drunken ravings Behold the orgy of unnatural cravings Appetite devoid of mitigating factor An ambulating thermonuclear reactor I’ll smoke you up and throw you away like a twenty cent cigar Babe I wanna be your Bete Noir. Turn down the CD player, hon. I believe it’s time we spoke You’re smug. You’re annoying, You’re ugly. You’re self-centered, and you cannot take a joke Your family are inbred morons. Your friends a bunch of stupid goddamn cows Now I’m gonna do you the favor of busting up your goddamned house When the building starts shaking, hon, it’s time to get out Better prepare the evacuation route Cutting through town like a cross-cut saw Defoliating chicken. Inhaling coleslaw Lurching Loud Lascivious Lude A monster of the moral turpitude A McCormick Reaper of illicit glee Unheedful of what the consequences be Hear the cacophony of drunken ravings Behold the orgy of unnatural cravings Appetite devoid of mitigating factor An ambulating thermonuclear reactor I’ll smoke you up and throw you a way like a twenty cent cigar I wanna be your Bete Noir.
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The Ranch 03:41
The Ranch Oooooh Ay mi cabeza My tears drops are making a flood My bathroom faucet is leaking out drops of my blood From the window of my condo I witness the darkening sky I’ll plunder their coffers of silver and westward I’ll ride To a desert plateau I will go to my stucco hacienda Feeding my needs with my illegally gained legal tender My saddlebags are light. They yearn for the heft of your loot The back of your head will soon wear the tread of my boot Buff my two-toned wingtips and I’m on my way My sawed-off fits so snuggly in my attaché I’ll make my big withdrawal from the downtown branch And hightail it back to The Ranch I’ll head for Baja Bay I’m gonna steal away A senorita from the first cantina that I see And run like a rabbit for The Ranch I’ll cross the Texas sands I’ll ford the Rio Grande Shout “Howdy!” to those refugees a-heading the other way And run like hell for The Ranch I hope they come for me I’ve got more guns then the artillery I’m coked up to the gills and hopping like a jumping bean Come and see me at The Ranch

about

This very early Vernon Tonges performance was at The Roxy, a long since defunct nightclub on Fullerton Avenue, just east of Ashland Avenue, on January 25, 1989. Vernon was opening for Cardiff Giant.

Cardiff Giant was an improvisational comedy troop, which did a cabaret entitled Avante-Garfielde, held weekly at Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap, The University of Chicago’s main Campus Bar. These cabarets involved an opening act, usually musical, followed by CGs improv comedy set. I began performing as an opening act for these evenings, and began writing songs to have songs to play (CG wanted original material).

Eventually I became essentially the stage manager/opening act booker for The Cardiff Giant Comedy Sideshow, which was a Northside version of their Southside cabaret. I immediately booked my newly found friend Vernon to play for these shows. This show was his second time opening for CG at The Roxy.

Eventually Cardiff Giant would go on to write full-length plays developed in improvisation. I wrote music for a couple of these shows. Vernon also wrote “The Ranch” (track ten here) for one of their plays entitled “Rancho Obscuro”. And of course Vernon and I eventually would go on to form a band, The Dysfunctionells

From Cardiff Giant and its fans and hangers on eventually sprung performers in the Neo-Futurists in Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, and The Second City, and of course Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis (this shows MC) who would write the Tony award winning “Urinetown The Musical”. Life is pretty amazing sometimes, huh? -Rich Krueger

credits

released December 11, 2020

Recorded Live at The Roxy in Chicago January 25, 1989
Recorded direct to DAT by John Bowin
Produced by RIch Krueger and Vernon Tonges
Mastered in 2020 by John Abbey

RKMSmoof2020-2
Copyright 2020 RockinK Music® All Rights Reserved. BMI.

Vernon Tonges' website is www.spoowilloughby.com & is on facebook at .https://www.facebook.com/therealspoowilloughby

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Rich Krueger Chicago, Illinois

A literary songwriter of the first rank. It’s his quavering, compassionate, observant, imaginative, sometimes overstuffed, always eloquent songwriting that his crack bands are there to put across, as they do, unfailingly.... the kind of miracle that keeps me checking out thousands of albums a year so I can grade a couple hundred for posterity.
- Robert Christgau, Dean of American Rock Critics
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