One Man Guy – Loudon Wainwright 111 – a song about speaking out.

If you want to be popular don’t mention politics or religion – if you want to change the world SPEAK OUT!!

I want to change the world and I like singers, songwriters, writers, artists and poets who say something about life, unfairness, injustice, tolerance, freedom and the destruction of the world. We’ve got enough love songs and trivia.

Loudon is one of those. He comments on things.

I first got in to Loudon in the 1970 after his first album came out. It was being played in a Guru Maharaji shop. You remember the good old guru? He was an incarnation of god. He asked all his followers to sell everything they owned, join the ashram and follow his teaching. He lived in a penthouse with a fleet of Rolls Royce’s. I used to see people go by carrying stereos and heaps of albums. I used to buy their albums.

The guy who ran the shop – selling all the worldly goods being brought in – had sold his house and given the proceeds to the guru!

Anyway – I was in there one day and they played Loudon’s album. It had just been released. It must have been a recent convert. I was smitten. I bought it.

I saw him play a number of times – best being in Los Angeles – and always liked him. His albums have been a bit patchy but there is always something to latch on to. He has this dark humour and pertinent lyrics.

I bet there’s a lot of us who feel that the lyrics of this song speak for them. I think anyone who reads my blog knows exactly what I stand for and against. I say what I think. Can’t see any point in being anything other – can you?

One Man Guy – Loudon Wainwright 111

People will know when they see this show
The kind of a guy I am
They’ll recognize just what I stand for and what I just can’t stand
They’ll perceive what I believe in
And what I know is true
And they’ll recognize I’m a one man guy
Always was through and through

People meditate
Hey that’s just great
Trying to find the inner you
People depend on family and friends
And other folks to pull them through

I don’t know why I’m a one man guy
Or why I’m a one man show
But these three cubic feet of bone and blood and meat are all I love and know

Cause I’m a one man guy in the morning
Same in the afternoon
One man guy when the sun goes down
I whistle me a one man tune

One man guy a one man guy
Only kind of guy to be
I’m a one man guy
I’m a one man guy
I’m a one man guy is me

I’m gonna bathe and shave
And dress myself and eat solo every night
Unplug the phone, sleep alone
Stay way out of sight
Sure it’s kind of lonely
Yeah it’s sort of sick
Being your own one and only
Is a dirty selfish trick

Cause I’m a one man guy in the morning
Same in the afternoon
One man guy when the sun goes down
I whistle me a one man tune
One man guy a one man guy
Only kind of guy to be
I’m a one man guy
I’m a one man guy
I’m a one man guy is me

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Rock Music

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22 thoughts on “One Man Guy – Loudon Wainwright 111 – a song about speaking out.

  1. That’s not strictly true as he made about 6 albums in a row with subject matter mainly all about his wife leaving him. Wore a bit thin after a while.

    1. While that is fairly true I always found something of interest on most of them. I’m a little selective what I play when I choose a Loudon. But I like some of his stuff a lot. It’s sorting out the good tracks.
      I noticed he’s playing in York next week. I might pop along.

      1. You’ll have to dig very deep and you’ll find the rewards are fairly scant, as after running dry with ex-wife songs, he moved onto those about what he perceived his children’s view on him were. It was relentless.

      2. No. I gave him a run of at least 10 albums. Too trite for me and as I say it all wore a bit thin after a while.

      3. Well I can see where you are coming from. There were a number of thin albums. It wore thin with me too and I don’t play a number of the later ones. But I still find some good tracks and I don’t think it’s that many. I’d have to have a look.
        The Charlie Poole project is well worth a listen though. I really enjoyed it – a lot different.

      1. I’ll give the son’s stuff a miss. Rather too “theatrical” and self abosrbed / obssessed – delete as appropriate.

    1. Each to his own, but I can’t do that theatrical showbizzy Broadway stuff. Perhaps songs like “Imaginary Love” tickle your fancy, but I really can’t stomach guys singing lonesome for other guys.
      Call me old fashioned…

      1. “I really can’t stomach guys singing lonesome for other guys.” Sounds more like you’re homophobic than old fashioned. Pathetic…

      2. With me it is not the gay thing just the Judy Garland style. I think he moved from some good solid songwriting and performing into an overblown overlytheatrical style. Too glitzy for me. I like my music more raw.

      3. Sounds like you’re on some supercilious pc correct ego trip.
        Music taste is a personal thing and may not be swayed by gender or race, at least there’s no evidence of that in my physical collection of some 6,000 albums.
        I simply can’t be bothered with that kind of song and the manner with which he sings them as they bore me to death.
        I also equally dislike the glitzy broadway melodrama of his stuff.
        I can listen to James Grant any day and do in fact buy his albums. His “Queen of Denmark” album is brilliant.
        So why don’t you keep your little bitch-fest for somewhere more appropriate.

  2. It maybe be prudent to appease JL and draw attention to the re-release of an underground 1962 classic, “For Adult Listeners Only” by Love Is A Drag.
    So, without a sequin in sight, here’s the blurb:

    A once shocking 1962 LP of love songs… by men, for men.
    The long lost treasure featuring the cool & sophisticated vocals of Gene Howard and a cast of prime studio jazz musicians, performing a set of standards sung to a male suitor. Ahead of its time in every way. Reissued for the first time ever for Record Store Day’s Black Friday!
    A fantastic, once-shocking album finally sees reissue – and brings with it the answer to a half-century mystery!
    Decades ago, JD Doyle, renowned LGBT music historian and archivist, happened upon a copy of Love Is A Drag. Doyle would often play cuts from it on his radio show, Queer Music Heritage. He remained intrigued by the lack of either artist or producer credited on the album. A vague line of jacket text ambiguously announced, “For Adult Listeners Only – Sultry Stylings by a Most Unusual Vocalist.”
    Out of the blue, Murray Garrett (Hollywood star-photographer through the late 1940s to the 1970s) contacted JD Doyle and wanted to talk about the album. According to Garrett, through his photography career, he had forged a friendship and partnership with prolific big band vocalist, Gene Howard. The two worked together on projects, eventually teaming with Jack Ames, founder of Edison International Records. When queried for ideas for a potential Edison International release, Garrett recalled a performance he had once seen in Greenwich Village – a performance of a man singing love songs to another man, in serious fashion, i.e., not at all campy or overly-dramatic.
    Gene Howard (straight and happily married!) agreed to sing on the record, accompanied by a who’s-who of Los Angeles A-list session men. Completed, the record was issued on a “surrogate” label named Lace Records – an imprint hastily-created in order to avoid any misinterpretation of the Edison International focus. Upon release, the record sold well in Hollywood, with Frank Sinatra, Liberace, and Bob Hope among its biggest advocates.
    With the masters proudly owned by Sundazed, Love Is A Drag is now set to make its long-overdue reappearance. Presented on our new Modern Harmonic imprint – we give you both a pristine gold vinyl RTI pressing and a handsome CD edition, including original artwork and notes, and insightful new liners from LGBT historian, JD Doyle!
    Available on CD and RTI pressed HQ gold vinyl!

  3. Lovely direct lyric, just your sort of thing, I’d imagine. Loudon was championed by John Peel, as I recall, as was Beefheart. Kevin Coyne too. Did Roy Harper get his support too? Didn’t always like Peel’s choice of music but without him a lot of alternative stuff wouldn’t have happened.

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