Richard Pryor . . . George Carlin . . .Sam Kinison . . . Dennis Miller . . . Chris Rock . . . Eric Bogosian . . . Karen Finley. And that's just a fraction of the comedians and performance artists whose artistic identities would have been significantly different--if, indeed, they achieved that identity in the first place--were it not for a revolutionary satirist named Lenny Bruce.
Bruce (1925-1966) was to humor as Picasso was to painting, or as Charlie Parker was to improvisational music. He changed the grammar, syntax, imagery, tone, idioms and, above all, the attitude of his art form. After him, the deluge.
Here for the first time on CD is Bruce's fabled 1961 concert at San Francisco's Curran Theater. He has abandoned his breakthrough routines in favor of stream-of-consciousness spritz, free-forming it all the way as he tackles such favorite topics as his multiple legal battles (which helped lead to his early death), organized religion, Las Vegas, and the hilarious differences between Jewish and goyishe.
Ladies and gentlemen, Lenny Bruce unbound.
Disc 1: In which the artist discusses critics, definitions, his San Francisco bust, courts, juries, cops, his Philadelphia bust, corruption, obscenity, and defines Jewish and goyishe; In which the artist discusses "The Lie," his courtroom fantasy, George Shearing and Guide Dogs for the Blind, Tropic of Cancer, cops and bad toilet training, and describes the Philadelphia hotel room raid; In which the artist describes his ride to jail in Philadelphia, jails in general, and the Philadelphia lower courts.
Disc 2: In which the artist fantasizes about the Shirley Beck letters and discusses blue suits, Bobby Kennedy, Russians, integration, juries, and humor; In which the artist recounts his fantasy with the judge, discusses Las Vegas, the paradox of obscenity, tits and ass, nuns, Paul Robeson, and Adolph Eichmann; In which the artist continues with the Eichmann theme, the Thomas Merton poem, Christ and Moses, legalization of pot, hillbillies, and ends with Judy Garland’s farewell.