Episode 232: Murray Christmas It's time once again to gather around the fire, sip a hot toddy and listen to a bunch of jackasses play Christmas music. Murray Christmas everybody!! From December 24, 2015
With your hosts:
Pat, Murray, and Mike welcome us to the show. Murray Christmas everybody! Murray himself can't tell you how many times he heard that nickname as a kid. His other nickname? Bucky Beaver. He had huge buck teeth as a boy; that was until he broke them off on an old rotary telephone in his parent's bedroom. Then it was so long buck teeth and hello jaded comedian! Pat and Murray are sick and Mike is stuck in the middle. Kyle isn't here, he's with his lady friend. He'll be around for actual Christmas, though. A time where Kyle's grandparents will yell at each other endlessly, according to Pat. They're not hard of hearing, they just hate one another. "60 years of marriage, 10 years of wedded bliss," as Pat describes.
Murray's religious family always went to Christmas Eve service. Pat used to be an altar boy until senior year of high school. "Until you were old enough to talk," corrects Murray. No no, Pat's childhood priests were good. No shenanigans going on there. Speaking of Murray Christmas, Murray saw the Netflix Bill Murray special A Very Murray Christmas. It's not good. "Torturous," describes Murray. Last year was Merry Christymas and the boys wanted to make sure they didn't cross-pollinate songs from last year's yuletide extravaganza. Pat plugs Rock Solid live at San Francisco Sketchfest. Curiously, Mike and Murray's tickets got lost in the mail. The episode will be Pat, David Wild, Kyle, and special guest SAMMY HAGAR!!! It's a very special guest for Pat because, as he relates to Murray and Mike, he won a Sammy Hagar lip sync contest in college. You can hear the vaginas salivating from miles away.
Murray has an intro clip to get us into the Christmas spirit. It's "Santa Claus and His Old Lady" by Cheech and Chong.
Pat and Mike are not fans of Cheech and Chong. Yes, they smoke weed, we get it. Murray, meanwhile, was giggling up a storm. Pat's first pick is by his perennial favorites Cheap Trick. The song is "Christmas Christmas" off the charity EP Gift.
Murray hates the Eagles. He also hates when the Eagles do his favorite song. He plays "Please Come Home for Christmas" off the album The Very Best Of. It's a good version of the song, it's just sung by an asshole. Murray was watching Don Henley on Austin City Limits. He did a classic song, then a new song, then a classic song, then a new song. Murray decided to watch a song, fast-forward, watch a song, fast-forward.
"I like this version."
- Pat, referring to the Eagles covering "Please Come Home for Christmas"
"So do I, it's my favorite. I just hate them."
Mike recently took a quick walk to see Nick Lowe perform. When he got there, the door guy just handed him a ticket. Ya see what dashing good looks will get you in life? It was a good concert. Mike plays his first pick, "Christmas at the Airport" by Lowe off his album Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family.
The gang remembers the horrors of being snowed in someplace. Murray was snowed in for three days at Penn State, plus was snowed in for four days in his childhood home in Indiana. Mike was once snowed in at a Denver airport on the outskirts of town. Pat's car once needed a jump on Christmas in Chicago. A taxi cab came by and offered a jump... for 100 bucks. Six months later, Pat was driving around in the pouring rain and came across a family whose car had broken down. He gave them a jump. That's the kind of guy Pat Francis is; and he only asked for 50 bucks, the kindhearted soul.
Pretentiousness, thy name is Sting. "If anybody could take the fun out of Christmas..." grumbles Murray. Pat plays "Soul Cake" off of Sting's Christmas album If on a Winter's Night....
Murray plays a selection from the charity album A Very Special Christmas. It's the great Run-D.M.C. with "Christmas in Hollis". Wrap in Peace, Jam Master Jay.
Mike's next pick is a cover of "What's This?" from the The Nightmare Before Christmas (2006 Re-issue) by Fall Out Boy.
Murray is not a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas. He prefers The Grinch, which he's seen a million times thanks to his son Frank. Murray's life has become an endless carousel of Christmas movies including Rudolph, The Grinch, Charlie Brown, and Frosty the Snowman. "Frosty blows," spouts Murray. This leads to Pat's dirty Jimmy Durante impression. "And then Frosty stuck his carrot penis into Karen. Ah-cha-cha-cha." Something like that.
And now this: "Merry Christmas, Mama" by Bill Cosby. Yup, Pat played that. Cosby impressions are inbound. "Drink some of this eggnog," says Mike Cosby.
Murray looks back on fond memories of David Letterman and the tradition of his next pick, Darlene Love singing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" originally off the album A Christmas Gift for You.
Mike now has a song that Pat originally played on the Happy Father's Day episode. Off the album Devil's Playground, it's Billy Idol with "Yellin' at the Xmas Tree". The song was played in honor of Pat's dad. A reminder: It wasn't exactly played out of fondness. Pat's brother Kirk doesn't like the public knowing Pat's dad is a jerk. But Pat's parents are luddites to the nth degree, so they'll never know. They think you use the internet to catch fish....... I'll see myself out, make sure you tip your waitress.
Pat gives us a present from Jimmy Pardo. It's an instance when a classic rock artist retools their big song for Christmas. And oh boy, is it a doozy. It's Randy Bachman with "Takin' Care of Christmas" off the album Takin' Care of Christmas. Just let that one sink in.
"Turner and Overdrive must be pulling their hair out."
"What's left of their hair."
Murray brings a little bit more class to the program. He plays the Elvis Presley classic "Blue Christmas" off of Elvis' Christmas Album.
The three marvel about how many Christmas songs there are and how much longevity so many of them have. All you need is one Christmas hit and you're set, it seems. Mike plays a newer Christmas song called "Ain't No Chimneys in the Projects" by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings off the album Soul Time! Both Mike and Murray have seen Sharon Jones in concert. Murray's experience had Sharon open for Feist. An energetic soulful R&B act opening for a slight Canadian woman with a candle and some hemp. It did not bode well for Feist, as Murray explains.
This reminds Pat of a Steve Perry interview where he reminisces on AC/DC opening for Journey. AC/DC were impossible to follow. Yeah, it's a little hard to follow "Let There Be Rock" and "Touch Too Much" with "Lights" and "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'." It would also be hard to follow AC/DC with Pat's next song, which is his wife Pilar's favorite Christmas song. Off the album You Sleigh Me!, it's Tori Amos with "Little Drummer Boy". "I just picture her singing this while she's nursing a pig," says Murray.
Murray whips out his magic hat with his next pick. Off of A Christmas Gift for You, it's "Frosty the Snowman" by The Ronettes.
Mike plays "(It's Gonna Be a) Punk Rock Christmas" by The Ravers. Reactions are mixed. "That's fun," says Pat. "No it's not," replies Murray.
Pat's next pick is a 2014 version of "2000 Miles" by Chrissie Hynde. Well I. would. walk. two. thou. sand. mi-- oh wait, wrong song.
Guzzle down your whiskey (and a few buckets of nails while you're at it), because Murray's next song is by Tom Waits. He plays "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" off the album Blue Valentine.
Murray likes the scotch, not the whiskey. He can't handle whiskey or bourbon. A few years ago Mike was on a rafting trip with some Kentuckians and a Scotsman. The Kentuckians gave the Scotsman some of their bourbon, which he found to be too sweet. Then the Scotsman gave the Kentuckians and Mike some of his liquor. This stuff could kill cartoon characters. Thankfully Mike's next (and last) pick isn't as harsh a spirit. It's No Doubt with "Oi to the World" off of A Very Special Christmas 3.
Prog rock bullshit. You wanted it, you got it! Okay, well I wanted it, but you still got it! Pat plays "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer off the album Works Volume 2. This brings back dear memories for Murray: Driving around drunk as a wayward youth on Christmas Eve, looking for fun and frivolity. This brings back some painful memories for Mike because his mother had two Emerson, Lake & Palmer albums. He's still hurting.
While Pat brought his prog rock bullshit, Murray brought his Celtic punk malarkey. Off the album If I Should Fall from Grace with God, it's "Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl.
The Pogues worked on this song for two years. First they brought it to Elvis Costello, then to Steve Lillywhite, who was married to MacColl. MacColl recorded some lyrics in her house, Lillywhite meshed that with the Pogues and a song was born. Murray once worked at a bar and had to kick out Shane McGowan for being too drunk and loud. Murray didn't want to do it (it's like kicking the Pope out of the Vatican) but his boss made him. As Shane shuffled out of the bar and into a limo, he looked back and gave Murray the two-finger salute (the UK equivalent to the middle finger), concluding with a hearty "Fuck off." The Pogues wanted this song to go to number one, but they were left at number two thanks to the Pet Shop Boys. As one member of the Pogues once said, "We lost to two poofs and a drum machine."
Growing up in Pennsylvania, there were three black and white Christmas music videos that would play on TV at 5 in the afternoon: "Frosty the Snowman", "Suzy Snowflake", and "Hardrock, Coco, and Joe". They all feature Rosemary Clooney singing. Pat plays the audio from all three.
Not one to be upstaged by Christmas classics, Murray plays "The Heat Miser Song" by George S. Irving from the special The Year Without a Santa Claus.
A lot of praise is heaped on ol' Heat Miser. At first the guys think Dick Shawn voiced Heat Miser, but he was actually Snow Miser. Murray wants me to put in the weird dance scene with Dick Shawn from It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. Ask and you shall receive, Valeriano.
Well that was weird. Anyway, Murray plays "Come All Ye Faithful Surfer Girls" by The Chevelles off the album Christmas A Go-Go.
Now it's time for Pat to play a song from A Christmas Gift for You. It's Darlene Love with "Winter Wonderland".
Up next for Murray are his fellow surfing enthusiasts The Beach Boys. It's "Little Saint Nick" off of The Beach Boys Christmas Album. Pat asks if The Beach Boys are in the same league as The Beatles. Mike says no, but they are near the top of American 60s groups. Who else would be there? The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Byrds. The Brits really cornered the market on 60s rock bands. Mike posits that Americans prefer solo acts to bands.
We've had some punk, we've had some prog, we've had some soul, and we've had some Celtic. Now is the time... for soft rock to rise to the Yuletide occasion! Pat plays "Celebrate Me Home" by Kenny Loggins off the album Celebrate Me Home.
Rock in Peace to Scott Weiland. Murray plays "Winter Wonderland" off of Scott's Christmas album The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. A sad story but, like many rock star lives, not an unpredictable one.
We go from one rocker to another, as Pat plays another selection from Billy Idol. Off of Happy Holidays, it's "White Christmas".
Pat follows this up with a real classic, "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt.
If you guessed that this song would lead Mike and Murray to do Eartha Kitt as Catwoman impressions, congratulations! You won a prize. Discussion turns to Frank Sinatra, him bumping uglies with Ava Gardner, and Brad Garrett. Oh, and Smokey Robinson once hit on Mike's girlfriend.
Murray travels to America's hat for his next pick. Off the album The Great White North, it's the Canadian duo Bob & Doug McKenzie with "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
Up next for Pat is James Taylor. He has a Christmas album called James Taylor at Christmas. Pat plays Taylor's cover of Joni Mitchell's "River". Mike likes the Joni version, but this version bores him. We play a little of the original, which prompts buzzkill Murray to point out that rivers don't freeze.
Murray's next pick is by a band called The Chesterfield Kings. Off the album Christmas A Go-Go, it's "Hey, Santa Claus".
Pat's next song is another Christmas classic, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" by The Jackson 5 off the album Jackson 5 Christmas Album. "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, then Joe beat us," adds Murray. Mike and Murray then start laughing hard about Richard Pryor's switch joke.
Pat goes back-to-back with another song, the third instance of "Winter Wonderland". This time it's done by Eurythmics, off the album A Very Special Christmas. A mom at Pat's daughter's school has short hair, so Pat constantly refers to her as Annie Lennox to another mom. "Yeah," chimes in Murray. "I hate moms at school. It's like Mean Girls grew up."
Wait a minute, Pat now goes back-to-back-to-BACK! He plays "Christmas Lights" by Coldplay. Murray enjoys Coldplay, so much so that he doesn't even think Chris Martin is the douchiest member of the band.
"Remember when I said I like my fair share of shitty music? I like Coldplay."
Murray's last pick is Dean Martin. It's "Marshmallow World" off of The Dean Martin Christmas Album. Plugs time. Mike is in the Caribbean during Christmas and New Year's Eve. He's on a cruise ship, making his fellow passengers chuckle and guffaw. Thanks to the power of technology, Mike will be here next week for the 2015 Year in Review episode!
Throw on another log and enjoy the holiday season. This show is done. Pat takes us out with "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole off the album The Christmas Song. Merry Christmas!
Santa Claus and His Old Lady
Cheech and Chong
Please Come Home for Christmas
The Very Best Of
Christmas at the Airport
Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family
If on a Winter’s Night…
Christmas in Hollis
A Very Special Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas (2006 Re-issue)
Fall Out Boy
Merry Christmas, Mama
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
A Christmas Gift for You
Yellin’ at the Xmas Tree
Takin’ Care of Christmas
Takin’ Care of Christmas
Elvis’ Christmas Album
Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Little Drummer Boy
You Sleigh Me!
Frosty the Snowman
A Christmas Gift for You
(It’s Gonna Be a) Punk Rock Christmas
Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis
Oi to the World
A Very Special Christmas 3
I Believe in Father Christmas
Works Volume 2
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Fairytale of New York
If I Should Fall from Grace with God
The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl
Frosty the Snowman / Suzy Snowflake / Hardrock, Coco, and Joe