Christopher Milk – EP


Please welcome back Collin with this fine review. Please note that the views and opinions represented by this review should NOT be mistaken for those of the owner and operators of this blog…

Christopher Milk –EP – UA SP -66 (1971 US)

I think by-far the best description I’ve ever read of this marginal piece of fluff was the GEMM listing that convinced me to buy it in the first place:

‘Rock scribe (John Mendelsohn) wants to be a rock star – insider joke band makes nice early glam, pre-punk sound’.

For those not in the also-ran know, John Mendelsohn was perhaps the ultimate early 70’s Anglophile (Muswell top-ranking!). All pop, no style, John’s strictly roots journey to superstar writer-DUMB began with a notable stint beating-skins with the embryonic Halfnelson (soon to become Sparks) before graduating to out-and-out skin-(flute)-suckling with his own hype L.A. fashion band, Christopher Milk (whom he promoted ceaselessly in nearly every record review he scribed). Brendan Mullen tried to pass them off as ‘proto-punk’ in the pages of his poor-poor-very-poor, We’ve Got The Neutron Bomb, which, like most everything else contained in said narrative, failed to hold enough water to drown a newborn kitten or enough substance to fill a pot-hole. Not even known good-guy Gregory Shaw had much positive to say about ‘em (even though he did allow Mendelsohn liberty in 1977 to turn in a truly horrific EP as The Pits which was so embarrassing most BOMP discographies today will not even acknowledge its existence or shouldn’t anyway!). So…on the threshold of such a dreamy ‘n’ positive introduction, what – really – are we left with?

Well, the Warners album Some People Will Drink Anything may suck righteously, but the United Artists EP (that’s EXTENDED PLAYER) that preceded it is as alright with me as Jesus is/was with the Doobies! Over-bearing and not wholly successful attempt at reconciling the style/sound of Arthur/Village Green-era Kinks with the sardonic sartorialness of the Bros. Mael, Mendelsohn and Milk here unveil four fun-fun-fun laugh-fests that I can see appealing to fans of everyone from the Bonzo Dog Band to The Who. Semi-ridiculous lyric themes – There’s A Broken Heart For Every Rock And Roll Star On Laurel Canyon Boulevard, To You He’s Just A Cop, But To Me He’s Mr. Right, nice grumbling bass sound, EXTREMELY UNDERPRIVILEGED orphan-pledge-drive vocal range, a price tag of zero dollars (free to anyone back then through the pages of Phonograph Record Magazine) – yup, all things bright and beautiful, Christopher Milk had them all. …then I guess they forgot the basic difference between tragedy and comedy is measured in equal parts sympathy and fear. And while I may fear for Mendelsohn’s ego following Christopher Milk’s inevitable curdling expiration , sympathy I have none. Too bad too. Everybody loses! You, me and even Mike Saunders, who had his own reasons for wanting to see Mendelsohn make it:

“And just think: if C. Milk become stars, maybe Mendelsohn will quit writing. Now that’d be something to look forward to!”

Pick To Click: ‘Hey, Heavyweight!

Click on title for the 3 minute mono edit of Hey, Heavyweight!

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