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George Carlin, Bilabial Fricative Master

I’ve been reading tribute after tribute to George Carlin these last few days, some of them profane, a couple of them profound, Kevin Smith did it up right. I’m not going to put out a profanity laden tribute, its just not my style. I’ve been know to throw down a bleep here or there but anything more than a casual shit reference would be out of character for me.

I was introduced to my Carlin through my parents and the wonder of Vinyl. They had a copy of the re released version of George Carlin: Take Offs and Put Ons. Its a clean act, one of the few. But it is a full introduction to the deviant Carlin sense of Humor. I had a DMCA illegal copy of the album on a cassette tape I played almost daily during my commute to and from middle school, 6th grade specifically.  I wore two copies of that recording out. I have multiple video’s DVD’s and LP’s of his work and two of his three books.

I would not hesitate to say more than any other comedian or entertainer he gave voice to my thoughts on the world and brought to life the way i would have described the world if if could have. Everyone seems to remember him for his 7 dirty words or profanity laced tirades. I remember his works as examples of razor sharp wit, blinding intelligence and a cutting calculation of what he saw in front of him. I could quote probably 90% of his bits to you, and describe in detail the differences between the versions he used in specials. Looking at the entertainment i enjoy he is probably the closest thing going to an Idol or Hero i had in modern entertainment.

When I heard he passed right after i had finished recording the latest CaffiNation, I was stunned and two days later I still am. I don’t subscribe to the cult of celebrity, I am usually not affected deeply when they pass. But for some reason this has me shaken up. It could be that his observations have helped to shape the lens i view the world through, or it could just be the sadness for never having seen him preform live.

Last night I spent the late part of the night alone in my garage painting some trim for a project I’m working on at home listening to record after record on the only working record player in the house. I was a great way to pass the time. Thanks for the observations, and the laughs George. You will be missed.

CaffiNation.tumblr.com for a couple of video’s and a rambling

My Favorite early sketch… The Indian Sargent

Bilabial Fricative ? explanation at 3:20

3 replies on “George Carlin, Bilabial Fricative Master”

Yes, I too will miss the ‘Hippie Dippy Weatherman’ and remember spending lots of fun hours with him and ‘if you were Queenie for a day’. Rest in Peace George.

Also, Paul, thanks for the ‘Happy Anniversary’ plug!

Love from your mom.

I have just rediscovered my box set of cd’s. Toledo Window Box is just plain the most underrated album and material he ever did. I am a Carlin fan also from about the 6th grade, listening endlessly to Wally Lonzo, Class Clown, Window Box, and Place for My Stuff. The HBO would show reruns and more reruns of Carlin at Carnegie and Carlin on Campus. Those were the lazy days of youth, memorizing routines and having the style, wit, and substance of George forever part of my conscious adult mind.

At one amazing point in my life, I was able to attend my fourth live show and meet George back stage. The show was in about 1995 or 1996 at Mt. Airy Lodge in the Poconos. After thirty minutes or so talking about the world, music, and show business, I would say that George affirmed my feeling that he had always been a voice to me, a source of education, spirit, and folly.

I responded to this blog because I also recognize the importance that George Carlin has played in shaping much of who I have become while following him for 30 years. Some people might follow musicians in spirit, or actors and athletes, but there are those of us out here who understand the genius wit and unmatched performance and presentation for what it was and will always be. Love ya, George.

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