Friday, November 17, 2006
William R. Strickland - William R. Strickland Is Only The Name (1969)
William R. Strickland is the name of the singer-songwriter-performer who put out this odd record on London/Deram records back in 1969. He plays guitar, sometimes accompanied by the London Philharmonic, and sings about World War 3 (1/2) and computer love (long before internet dating). I guess you would call him a folk singer--he certainly has the Dylan-style sneer down--but the general weirdness of the songs (which he says were largely improvised) lends a certain psychedelic quality to the whole affair. I guess if I had to suggest a point of comparison (and an obscure one at that) I'd say he reminds me of Peter Grudzien without the gay subtext and with a wider range of instruments (there's even a Jew's harp on one track). There is a recent article about him online from the Santa Cruz Sentinal that refers to an older (1976) review that said he was like "a kinky cross between Mark Twain and Lenny Bruce" and that Strickland calls himself "a mix of Willie Nelson and Pink Floyd." Strickland is still performing and you can even hear a recent (March 8, 2006) radio performance and interview on KUSP by him online.
Here's a tracklist for this release:
Side 1: You Can Know My Body (But You'll Never Know My Soul) / Computer Lover / Romeo De La Route / Touch
Side 2: If I Stand Here Much Longer / Opps That's Me!! / World War 31/2
You can grab it online here.