Murray Roman

You Can't Beat People up and Have Them Say I Love You

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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.

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