Sunday, 8 May 2016
I Might Be A Punk (But I Love You Baby)/Love Me Tender
Norman Gunston was a satirical TV character performed by Australian actor and comedian Garry McDonald. Norman Gunston was primarily well known in his native Australia, and to a lesser extent, the United States during the mid to late 1970s. He was the only Gold Logie winning fictional character on Australian Television, with McDonald collecting the award in character.
Gunston's single record releases sold sufficiently well to enter the Australian top 40 charts. Parody tributes included Punk rock (I might be a Punk but I love ya baby), Sherbet (Howzat), ABBA (Salute to ABBA), KISS (KISS Army), Boz Scaggs (Nylon Degrees), Billy Ray Cyrus (Achy Breaky Heart), and Peter Allen (I Go to Rio) (Allen was present when Gunston parodied him on ABC's pop show Countdown, and didn't seem amused, although he would have been aware of the character having previously appeared on Gunston's ABC show as a guest.)
In 1976, Gunston released an album titled The Popular Ballad Animal, which covered both contemporary and classic era compositions, several of which Norman had performed on his show, including his theme song, "I Who Have Nothing". In particular, notable tracks include Gunston's bizarre but inspired interpretations of Liza Minnelli's "Liza With a Z", David Gates' "If", Tom Jones' "Delilah", Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns", "Jailhouse Rock", "Piano Man", "Vesti La Giubba", "A little love and understanding", "Daddy what if?", and the Judy Garland classic "Over the Rainbow".
In 1978, Gunston released another covers album Nylon Degrees (sending up Boz Scaggs' Silk Degrees in both title and cover art). His next album, 1984's Join The Dots, included out-takes and previously unreleased rare recordings, title and cover art parodying Culture Club's Colour By Numbers.
Gunston appeared as a guest harmonica player at Frank Zappa's concert at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, Australia on 20 January 1976 which was later released as FZ:OZ (2002).