Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DORY TOURETTE - Solo - Tape - 1999?

   Dory Tourette was yet another misunderstood and tortured musical genius who was taken from this world way too soon. He could pen a song that would have you singing for days (or in most cases, years) about the most vile topics, like dating a 9 year old or sperm coming from his eyes. I still find myself walking down 24th Street singing these songs out loud and thinking "What the fuck is wrong with me?" Nothing is wrong with me. Dory just knew how to expertly craft a classic, catchy song and happened to put the weirdest, most fucked up lyrics to them, but also figured out how to make it sound sincerely sweet.
   I only hung out with Dory a handful of times and never really knew him well enough to call him a friend, so I don't have a ton of stories about him, but one of my favorites is from the first time we met. I think it was 1999. I was in Oakland visiting some folks and Janelle was throwing a going away party for herself in Port Costa, a tiny, sleepy town by the bay that is known for a legendary brothel-turned-hotel where people have partied wildly for years. Janelle invited a bunch of friends out to party with her and asked Dory to play a solo set in her hotel room. When I showed up to the Punks With Presses warehouse, everyone was trying to figure out how to shove everyone else into a car in order to get to Port Costa. There was a slight argument about who was going to transport Dory to the party.
"I don't want to let him ride in my car. Last time, he tried to jump out while we were on the freeway."
"Well, he can't ride with me!"
"I mean, I could probably take him, but he can't drink 3 forties in the backseat again and ask me to pull over every five minutes so he can piss."
"You guys, he's gotta get there somehow...he's the entertainment!!"
   A few minutes later, this guy drinking a beer walked through the door who looked like the dictionary definition of  "weird, sketchy dude". Real thin. Wispy, little moustache. Unpredictable look on his face. Kinda drunk. "Hey Dory!" someone shouted from across the room. Well, everyone made it out there somehow and when it came time for Dory to play, he could barely even stand up. His speech was heavily slurred and he seemed cross-eyed. I kinda rolled my eyes and said, "Oh, this is gonna be great."
   Janelle looked at me totally serious and said, "It is. Just watch."
   Dory cleared his throat and started playing the first song. It was completely flawless and perfect, which is quite an accomplishment. Listen to his songs. None of them are easy. After the first song, he kinda fell to his knees, drank a shot, swigged a beer, took some pills and talked for a long time. Ten minutes later, as he drunkenly swayed, someone shouted "Play another song, Dory!" He looked surprised, as if he completely forgot that he was performing music in front of an audience. He looked at his guitar like it was an alien, shook his head and then played another flawless song. This same scenario kept happening after every song: more booze, more pills, more stories, but he kept playing every song with a tireless, focused ferocity that floored me. I no longer cared that all of his songs offended by PC sensibilities.. I was a convert for life. I locked myself in the closet with my friend Tony and shotgunned three beers in a row while listening to Dory captivate everyone there. I don't remember anything else that happened that night at all.
   These songs were recorded around the turn of the century somewhere in San Francisco. Initially, it was determined that these songs were recorded in the bathroom of the Hickey Hotel by John Clancy, but now there is some doubt. That might be the least important thing about this recording. All the songs are performed by Dory solo and sound spectacular. It takes me back to that one magical night in Port Costa and makes me miss Dory's music even more than I already do. He was taken from this world way too soon and still had a lot  more music to offer.

Download Dory Tourette

The beginning of the first song is slightly cut off because that's how the tape starts.

   Many thanks to Sarah T for digging up this tape and loaning it out for this.

   I also want to add this last thing, written by Dory's longtime friend Dan Abbott and swiped from a much maligned, forgotten social networking site. I think he does a better job of summing up what I was trying to say. Dory was " a singer-songwriter and rock-n-roll rebel par excellence. With a James Dean swagger, a pervert's moustache and a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, he sang simple, beautiful and frantic anthems that were part 50's rockabilly, part end of the millenium Mission District punk and part filthy nightclub comic act. His excesses were legendary but so were his songs, most of which were about malt liquor, amphetamines and pedophilia. Sure, he cultivated a partly-true image of the skinny, sketchy meth-head, but there was more going on there. He didn't blend in. It was like he was the only one in color in a black and white photo sometimes..."
   If you want to read more writings about Dory from John March Mink, please look here.
  If you'd like to order the outstanding and under-appreciated LP by DORY TOURETTE AND THE SKIRTHEADS, you can get it from Thrillhouse Records.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a ton for this. Dory never quite got his due, but those of us who knew him definitely miss him.

Blair Menace said...

Awesome, never heard this one. You're on a roll this week!

Anonymous said...

I can't help but to cry, even just reading about him. I miss him everyday.

Anonymous said...

Definitely.

Anonymous said...

I was a friend of Dory's. I recorded this stuff in my bedroom in Berkeley in 2005. We had plans to put all kinds of overdubs on it, but never did. Enjoy.

https://www.box.com/shared/ejg8imj865

Anonymous said...

Didn't post the whole thing....

So anyway..... I'm really glad we never went back and messed it up with effects or noodling. It turned out really beautiful. Many of Dory's songs, plus some covers. I miss that guy a lot.

Harvester said...

Thanks for sharing this.

Info Junkie said...

Thanks. Pretty interesting.

Lauren said...

Thanks for this. Brings back a lot of memories of the old days.

Anonymous said...

The download link for this is dead, and I'd just love to get my hands on it. Can you send me a new link? I am curatin' a Dory Tourette soundcloud page, and I'd like to add this file. please please email me at wandacrayola@gmail.com

Aaron Light said...

If there's any way you could send me these files (as has been mentioned, the link is dead), it would be greatly appreciated. Words cannot explain how much Dory's music has meant to me over the years (though he was a little before my time and I never got to meet him). Anyway, my email address is ligha750@newschool.edu and here is a link to my review of Rock Immortal, if you happen to be interested: http://zerpintheshade.blogspot.com/2012/10/dory-tourette-and-skirtheads.html

Harvester said...

I'm not re-posting this. I sent the files to "Wanda Crayola", whose email is in the comments section. You can get it from them.

Unknown said...

HEY. This download is no longer available. Can you dig out the tunes and repost again? Need this for the archives!

Harvester said...

No. Please see comments above or go here... https://soundcloud.com/dory-tourette

Ankur Garg said...

Can I get the lyrics somewhere?