Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Have You Seen Me Lately
Genres: Special Interest, Pop
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Joanne K. (JerseyGirl-exit30) from SOMERS POINT, NJ
Reviewed on 8/15/2006...
Funny, funny, funny!!
There's nothing I enjoy more than anger mixed in irony
B. Holtzapple | Harrisburg, PA | 12/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was just barely a teen when this record came out, but I think it helped shape my attitude through to this day. When you're young, angry and rebellious, saying things you shouldn't... well, it just comes naturally.
And Sammy was like a guru for the disaffected of any age. That trademark wail bellowing from an otherwise-average little man was Ginsberg's "Howl" personified, Whitman's "Barbaric yalp," the vented frustrations of a generation of culturally-confused men.
I haven't listened to this record in a long time; but I can still remember many of these tracks vividly. Opening with an attack on the social responsibilities just coming into vogue in the late 80s. Sam revels in his ability to drink heavily and operate heavy machinery (much has been said of the irony of this bit, given his future struggle with sobriety, cut tragically short by a drunk-driver).
Then come the tracks which are for me the most satisfying and side-splitting, Sam's takes on religion. The former preacher rails against the excesses and abuses of modern Christianity from the "Pope mobile" to the PTL scandal, and tells some very humanist versions of classic bible tales. My friends and I quote and reference these bits to this day.
Feeding off the bitterness of his failed past relationships, Sam goes into several tracks on women, marraige, and the ways men can avoid them. Finally closing with the made-for-MTV promotional cover tune, Wild Thing.
This record is a little cultural time-capsule for the 80s. Along with Andrew Dice Clay, Sam Kinison was a high-profile icon and magnet for controversy. Looking back on some of the material, it was clearly misogynistic, homophobic, and spiteful. Some of it still makes me uncomfortable, grating on the few politcally-correct nerves I possess. I've seen other Kinison reviews on this site praising the man but panning his more hateful material. But how can you separate them?
Best only to put them into context. Think of how very weird the 1980s were: the re-definition of gender roles, the outbreak and panic of AIDS, the push of gay rights, unmitigated materialism, reaganomics, cocaine. All of this served to completely deconstruct the self-view of the American male. Men had come out of the machismo of the 50s and 60s, survived the sexual revolution and the softer/gentler man of the 70s, then crash-landed in the contradictions of the 80s. Sam was not only a product of the times, his comedy gave voice to the growing pains of that decade. Talk about your fire-in-the-belly.
And who can deny that Sam took his place among the great comedians and social satirists. In my opinion, ranking only behind the venerable Bill Hicks (both launching thier careers from Houston, TX) as the most influential comic of the 80s/90s, without whom Denis Leary, Louis Black, and many other of my favorites wouldn't have careers (much less material).
And besides all this, I will always have a warm place for this record. It was the exchange of this cassette tape back in Spring of 89 in 8th-grade homeroom that began a friendship lasting all these 16 years. Last year I stood as best man to my best friend at his wedding. Thanks, Sam."
A brilliant follow up...
Michael C. Barnes | Kernersville, NC USA | 10/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sam named this CD in response to Warner Brothers pulling his first CD 'Louder Than Hell' out of print. 'Have You Seen Me Lately' provides ample humor in an arena setting charged with a lively and animated crowd. Sam performs to the best of his god given ability, and the audience eats from his hand with an eagerness rarely captured on any recording. His subject matter ranges from the twisted to the almost sacreligious, but nobody but Sam could have discussed these in his act with the style and showmanship of an evangelical ex-preacher. Bad taste? Hardly! I think this recording is a look back into the prime of a great artist. Sam Kinison's death was a tragedy, and we lost him before he could reach his true potential. But recordings such as 'Have You Seen Me Lately' can remind us of how funny one man can be. It is well worth the investment for the laughs you'll experience over and over again."