Rear View: The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders

Moray Eels Holy Modal Rounders.jpg

I don't know how many copies of The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders have been sold world-wide, but you can put Hughesy for at least three of them, three to me, and an unknown number to friends and acquaintances who've been subjected to it over the past forty years. I doubt that there was a single instance around the dinner table at The Verandah Bistro and MacWine Bar where someone like Buckwheat Zydeco and the Ils Sont Partis Band had produced a comment along the lines of Where do you find this weird shit, Hughesy? wouldn't have seen me hurtling towards the stereo.

Weird? That's not weird! This is weird! would have been the comment as whatever was playing was replaced by The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders. There may have been someone who was so impressed by Stampfel and Weber's anarchistic feral yelp to have chased down their own copy, but I doubt it.

It's not, after all, as if this is the sort of album that's going to attract a tag like Belongs in every discerning listener's collection the way that Elektra stablemates Forever Changes, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter and East-West would.

Much as I love The Holy Modal Rounders there's no denying that they're an acquired taste, and individual mileages are going to vary substantially even among dedicated fans. Indian War Whoop was one of my very first purchases from the iTunes store, but to date I haven't managed to listen to both sides at one sitting (the album comprises two side-long tracks) and I'm careful not to try if Madam's within earshot. 

Having experienced an extreme reaction to Robyn Hitchcock, there's no way I'm going to risk playing Jimmy and Crash Survey the Universe or The Second Hand-Watch while she's nearby. I mean, if I can't get through both at one sitting...


B© Ian Hughes 2012