Authored by Dale Nickey:
The Roto-Rooter Good Time Christmas Band
Vanguard (1974) –VSD-79347
I first saw The Roto-Rooter Good Time Christmas Band in the mid 70’s while waiting to perform at a songwriters showcase at The Icehouse in Pasadena. They opened with a ‘balls of brass’ horn quintet version of Khachatkurian’s The Sabre Dance. One of the guys was dressed like an ape. Another like a glitter rocker. Another was wearing cowboy drag. You get the idea. The band’s music and presentation was an obvious homage to British outsiders, The Bonzo Dog Band. Their eponymous album finds a lounge lizard version of “Purple Haze” siting side by side with a squonky, poisoned goose arrangement of Stravinsky’s “Rite Of Spring”. They would later shorten their name to Roto and try to mine a more conventional Pop-Rock quarry. No dice. Musicologist and radio host Dr. Demento was their biggest fan and benefactor.