This has to be one of the oddest music-related items to ever appear on eBay. It’s a painting called (and the title is just so perfect) Jesus Broke Out The Lamb Chop Puppet And Hired An Angel To Try And Cheer Up A Clinically Depressed Paul McCartney by US artist Kata Billups. Kata seems to have a bit of a thing about painting Jesus with The Beatles (and also various combinations of Jesus, Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger and pin-up queen Bettie Page) and her work is apparently owned by the likes of Julia Roberts, Sting, Tim Burton and Willie Nelson, as well as all four former members of REM.
Jesus Broke Out The Lamb Chop Puppet has been on eBay for around three years – that might be something to do with its Buy It Now price tag of $177,000 (roughly £110,000) – so you may have already seen it. If you haven’t, click here for the full listing and read Kata’s comments about the symbolism in the painting and her explanation of the cause of Paul McCartney’s suffering. There’s a clue in the fact that he has taken a red marker pen to the three pictures of Yoko Ono on the walls of his room, putting a big cross on one and drawing devil’s horns on the other two.
Kata doesn’t say much about Lamb Chop in her listing, which is a pity. But seeing the painting did make me Google Lamb Chop and I’m very pleased to report that, although the glove puppet’s creator Shari Lewis sadly died in 1998, her daughter Mallory Lewis continues to perform with the puppet to this day. Mallory and Lamb Chop’s website is here.
Shall we have some Flipron? They’ve just brought out a new album, “Firework Shoes”, so we should, shouldn’t we?
I have been a big fan of Flipron since Rat Scabies played me some of the demo tracks they recorded at The Arch, his studio under Kew Bridge in London, way back in, oh, I guess it must around 1998, and I am amazed more people haven’t cottoned on to what a good band they are. Maybe “Firework Shoes” will do the trick. It’s produced by Rat and has Neville Staples, ex-The Specials and The Fun Boy Three, on a tune called “The Comet Returns”, which sounds like the theme music for “The Magnificent Seven” given the 2-Tone treatment. Ride ’em, rude boy.
Elsewhere, there’s all the musical weirdosity I’ve come to expect from Flipron. There’s psychedelic honky-tonk and fairground rock ‘n’ roll and kaleidoscopic avant-jazz and neo-bubblegum blues. There’s so much colour you’d think they were sponsored by Dulux. There are lots of darkly twisted tales and esoteric musings too, with frontman Jesse Budd out-Tim Burtoning even Tim Burton. “Available for weddings, trials and beheadings / Sporting occasions, autopsies, immolations / We’re low-life seeking elevation,” he sings at one point.
Anyway, we were going to have some Flipron, right? So if you would kindly press the little orange button below, we can listen to “The Big Red Button Must Never Ever Ever Be Pressed”. Lovely.
Flipron photos by John Coles