In the early 1970s, when the Nuggets series of compilation
albums collected for the first time seminal '60s garage rock singles, the term
"Nuggets" became synonymous with the certain brand of trashy rock and
Twenty years later, the term "Golden Throats" has become synonymous
with a different brand of trashy music: pop song mutilations by non-singing
famous folks. September will see the release of the fourth Golden
Throats installment, subtitled Celebrities Butcher The Beatles.
Among the gems guaranteed to send shivers up Beatlephile spines: Telly
"Kojak" Savalas' 1974 recording of "Something," and Joe Pesci's version of "Got
To Get You Into My Life." (Those who are new to the Pesci phenomenon will not
remember the 1968 album by Little Joe Pesci called Little Joe Sure Can
Sing!) Also included on the 16-track album are Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Let
It Be," Bing Crosby's "Hey Jude," Mae West's "Day Tripper," and George Burns'
"With A Little Help From My Friends."
Golden Throats co-producer
Gary Peterson said, "I just love [the Golden Throats songs]. I listen to
it. I know people say this is bad music; I like to call them bizarre
recordings. They're very unusual. But I find them very
Peterson, along with partner in crime Pat Sierchio, have
assembled all four GT collections. The first, subtitled The Great
Celebrity Sing Off was released in 1989; its sequel followed two years
later. In 1994, the pair compiled the first Golden Throats theme
collection, a country affair known as Sweethearts of Rodeo Drive.
Securing the necessary licensing rights for each collection takes an average of
three years, says Peterson. While waiting for the rights to be negotiated, he
and Sierchio dig up prospective cuts for their next release.
The idea for a
Beatles theme album...
The idea for a Beatles theme album has been incubating for
years, according to the producer. "It was pretty obvious to us when we were
doing the first or second volume," says Peterson. "We realized that there were
so many covers of the Beatles--and we were coming up with really bizarre
versions back then--that eventually we'd like to do a volume dedicated just to
the Beatles. If this is successful, we hope to do one just on Dylan."
album cover to Celebrities Butcher The Beatles features an illustrated
parody of the infamous Beatles "butcher" cover to Yesterday And Today,
which was recalled for its depiction of the Fab Four in butcher clothes covered
in raw meat and bloody broken baby dolls.
Peterson recalls that the
Golden Throats series stemmed from mix tapes that he and Sierchio would
pipe through the Rhino building back when the reissue label was much smaller.
The tapes proved so popular that the pair decided to pursue an official
"We were trying to get something off the ground, and it was
suggested that maybe we do one on just the Star Trek personalities,"
says Peterson. William Shatner's "Mr. Tambourine Man" and Leonard Nimoy's
"Proud Mary" are widely praised by Golden Throats aficionados as the
best cuts on the first collection. Eventually the producers uncovered so many
other artists that they wanted to include on the inaugural album that the
Star Trek idea was shelved.
Might it one day be resurrected?
have discussed maybe doing a Star Trek themed package which would appeal
to Trekkies, but probably not a GoldenThroats release,'' says Peterson.
One of the criteria is that it's got to be recognizable pop songs and
recognizable celebrities. Some of the fringe actors on the series have not
recorded cover versions of rock songs. They've recorded things made especially
for them. And it's more novelty music.
"That's another thing: the humor in
the Golden Throats series, we try to make sure that it's
unintentional--not in your face campy music," he says. Right.