One Time Only
"You can't beat people up and have them say, "I love you."
Just wanted to say this is a truly terrific lp. It represents a sort of '50s hipster take on hippies, but like his contemporary George Carlin, this is pot-smoking humor at its stoniest. This is actually a very weird cut-up album that includes a Roman stage performance collaged into a lot of stoney sounds and cool r&b. A real find, dig it.
You Can't Beat People Up was the first album to be released on the Tetragrammaton label, a wildly ambitious concern formed by the managerial minds behind Tiny Tim and Bill Cosby (and later to hit paydirt with early Deep Purple); and Murray Roman was Keith Moon's favorite comedian, a celebrity endorsement that his brand of rapid-fire rudeness was surely born to revel in. And it did.
Today, Roman's distinctly Lenny Bruce-esque dismantling of Vietnam-era Americana resonates more for its shock value than for its original humor. Revived for a modern audience, several of his routines would probably result in him getting stoned, and decidedly not in the manner that his own jokes proscribe. Sex, drugs, rock & roll, war, and schlock all fall into the Roman mill, to be ground up and rapid-fired back at the live onlookers and, if his topics do occasionally seem dated, at the time they slipped effortlessly into the countercultural milieu.