2003   MAY 28   #148

The Reverend Glen Armstrong - Even Squeaky Fromme Loves Christmas

Detroit hipsters remember Glen best as the leader of The Dirty Clergy, a loose configuration that would show up at bars, poetry slams and art galleries to deliver a most peculiar blend of beat poetry, free jazz and 60's soul music. I myself remember one night in the late 80's where Glen and band took the stage at a huge poetry gathering down at Detroit's Old Miami, played a raucous set that ended with Glen performing Hamlet's famous solioquy to the tune of "Land of 1,000 Dances" and a medley of Tom Waits's "Singapore" and The Beatles's "Helter Skelter," (with Armstrong playing banjo, no less. If this performance was ever released or bootlegged, please contact me!) I saw the band a number of times at Union Street and even the Majestic, but some time in the 90's Glen seemed to simply vanish.

It's speculated that the high pressure of his pending success drove him crazy, that he was living out a seven year mental breakdown somewhere in New England, singing a brand of Christian rock that would make Howard Finster sound mainstream. A crate of these 45's are the alleged fruits of him going fruit-loops. The story goes that these were purchased at his mom's garage sale in Waterford Michigan and that when serious collectors started nosing around, she gave one of them a tape of covers Glen had done that included renditions of "My Pal Foot Foot" by the Shaggs as well as material from Kurt Weill and Vernon Green and the Phantoms. Not much else is known about this recording

- The TOD

TT-3:22 / 3.9MB / 160kbps 44.1khz
from 7" Single (1994)

Tom 'Tearaway' Schulte writes:
Interestingly, Glen Armstrong was a guest on my show not long before he was featured in your 365 day project: http://musicsojourn.com/AR/Alt/page/a/ArmstrongGlen.htm

(Image courtesy of The TOD)