Ee Boba Liba
So while I also listened to "Ee Boba Liba" by Johnny Wynn (which would later no doubt be on Uncle Frank's Radio Hour), at home I would spin a 45 on Wynne records by none other than Mark Damon, the actor
. I can't remember what the record sounded like though, it had a white label and I think it dropped on a spring day in 1959, but I showed this record to Frank a few years later to explain why I had joined the Mark Damon National Fan Club and who I met there (Sabu).
It's true, though, the movie industry had all these actors make records and sing in an attempt to weedle their way in to teenage pocketbooks or in the hopes the records would be played and get some free publicity for the movie that was coming out. Mark's too good for that sort of thing, I said to myself. He was an unstoppable optimist by all reports and very very bright and didn't need such a cheap gambit.
But "Ee" (in "Ee Boba Liba") reminded me of another poet whose books I was getting from the small store on Yale, so I'd retire to my room to read some Cummings. And "A Coney Island of the Mind", of course that's why Frank listed Ferlinghetti as an influence, because we'd have poetry readings aloud on the couch when I first got that ("Johnny Nolan has a patch on his ass" is the one Frank liked, but I liked 'elephantangelchildren"), and by 1963 I had actually met poet "Larry" as his friends called him, at City Lights. And, yes, Candy was right when she imparted Frank's wisdom to me just one year prior, that "Beatniks are conformists." Because all the beatnik poetry was streaming and one guy Alan Ginsberg was becoming the superstar of beatniks, like he was the only beatnik poet there ever was and had written it all, as that was the nature of how media stars are put together and written about in our culture.
As a kid, I would show and tell Frank some of the reasons I liked Mark Damon. First I'd hold it up as Frank sat across from me, eye level, and I would say something like, "Let's read the titles of the songs out loud in unison" and then I'd get down to "Party Crashers." Then, Frank and I would hold this record sleeve to the bathroom mirror for the full effect ... This is the actual print on the back side of the record sleeve. See, I'd say, somebody can be "hip" in Hollywood.