Back to FrameSet

Shakespeare's Lost Comedie


1982 - Shakespeare's Lost Comedie (Rhino Records RNLP 807)
To appreciate this masterpiece, one must first pronounce the title aptly:  "Shakespeare's Lost Come Die" 

A further examination of the title reveals patterns found within, because most characters, along with the listeners, become 'Lost' in the spider-like-Shakespearian-webbed presentation of the plot, prior to their orgasmic experiences (i.e. 'Come') with the lovely cous Maree (who would become a Queen, butt i digress) and certainly long before most of their eventual demise (a.o. 'Die')... all of witch is told in the grandiose alliteracy, unmistakeably identifiable, and verbosely arhythmic style of the greatest grand poet to have ever walked the earth!... tis 'Shakespeare', who, as we've been long told by all the great writers, wrote for his next meal... and he wrote the word... and, yes, brothers... we ate it...

Tis no more difficult to understand the lack of popular support for this piece than itis to follow Einstein's Theory of Relativity... after all, Brilliance IS.. as Brilliance does...

RC lemons... with a twist...


 Let's take the case of something like "ANYTHYNGE YOU WANT TO." I do not have the LodesTone version of this work and therefore cannot comment on it. But there are two other versions extant in the FST library: the version that makes up two-thirds of "NOT INSANE" and the version released by RHINO in the early '80s as "SHAKESPEARE'S LOST COMEDIE." I listened to the latter version in the car on the way to work this morning, and couldn't help but reflect on both it and the version of "ANYTHYNGE..." in "NOT INSANE."

In the "NOT INSANE" version, the work is undercut by it's placement in the larger context of that album, the idea of "Radio Prison" with its swirling masses of satellite transmissions, some guy named W.A.L.T.E.R ("Watching And Listening To Everything Robot"), Young Guy - Motor Detective and the National Surrealist Party convention. That said, the "ANYTHYNGE..." segment is very entertaining and greatly benefits from the interaction between the guys and the audience.

In the RHINO version, the work has been expanded to a point of critical mass - it seems they went to great pains to cram as many clever references to both Shakespeare and popular culture as they possibly could into the work. But to me the single biggest hurdle to overcome is the fact that, without an audience off of which to bounce this material, a very high degree of concentration is required for the listener to follow the thread of the plot - couched as it is in the arcane language of elizabethan drama and delivered at a shotgun pace. Clever as it is, I personally find this kind of work hard to take - I want to like it, but it requires too much of my concentration to follow and I miss a lot.

 Now, the question is, how can I classify this work as good or bad? To some, the more references the FST crams into things the better, and anyone who can't keep up is a wuss. To others, it is this kind of work that has kept the FST from getting the kind of recognition they deserve in the marketplace. What's a mother to do?