disinHAIRited – 1969
As professional mourners lament its passing, scores of thousands of young people, unburdened by martini-soaked memories of “the good old days of Broadway,” are returning to the Theatre each week to see stages lit by open faces and unashamed bodies and to listen to music that throbs with the pulse of today’s new freedom. Hair belongs to the young. Its success is a phenomenon. Its significance is staggering. It is alive. Now miraculously refertilized by the potent seed informally and collectively dispensed by Jim Rado, Jerry Ragni and Galt MacDermot, new strands have begun to sprout not only in all directions but in all dimensions as well. Some of the offshoots, as evidenced by the specimens in DisinHAIRited, are spider-silk soft; some of them are as tough as spun steel; and some are decidedly kinky. All of them come from the same wildly soulful source that set off the explosion on the stage of the Off-Broadway Public Theatre in New York on October 29, 1967. The initial growth, as replanted on Broadway, is still proliferating on confetti-strewn stages in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin, Belgrade, Helsinki, São Paulo and Sydney, and about to erupt in Toronto, Boston, Amsterdam, Rome, Tel Aviv and the Moon. Its cultural impact has been revolutionary and its songs incredibly insistent. “Aquarius” has become the anthem of a generation; “Let the Sun Shine In” a moving and universal demand for a new way of living and thinking; the little girl in “Frank Mills” who doesn’t want her two dollars back is now a tragic and immortal folk heroine; and (as research depth indicates) “Sodomy” has also become quite popular. In addition to being a very special bonus trip, DisinHAIRited is an extension, an amplification and continuation of Hair. Some of its songs were first written or projected for the original New York Shakespeare Festival production, some for Broadway and some for this record. This is not an original-cast album (actually, we don’t know what it is). At the very least, however, you can be sure that it is drawn from the same outrageous, funny and powerful bag of wonders in which Hair took root. DisinHAIRited was recorded over a two-week period early in November, 1969 and features the authors in their original roles as Claude and Berger (among other things) and members of past and present tribes in fresh choral and solo guises. Through it all, Galt MacDermot arranged, conducted and played piano while sweet, straight folks from RCA wandered around wondering what the hell was going on in Studio C. They know now.
SINGERS and PERFORMERS Galt MacDermot, James Rado, Gerome Ragni John Aman, Obie Bray, Donnie Burks, Linda Compton, Lorrie Davis, Denise Delapenha, Leata Galloway, Pat Lambert, Clifford Lipson, Charles O. Lynch, Robin McNamara, Melba Moore, Susan Morse, Natalie Mosco, Allan Nicholls, Suzannah Norstrand, Sakinah, George Tipton, George Turner MUSICIANS Galt MacDermot – leader Neal Tate (10/21) – piano William Fontaine, Napoleon Allen (10/21), Charles Brown III (10/28-29, 11/4) – guitars Jimmy Lewis – bass Idris Muhammad – drums, conga Donald Leight, Edward Williams, Martin Banks – trumpets Zane Zacharoff – baritone sax, clarinet, flute Richard Landrum, Paul Alicea, Jr. – percussion Irving Spice, Harry Lookofsky, Louis Haber, Henri Aubert, Seymour Berman, Max Ellen, Stanley Karpienia, Ariana Bronne, Elliot Rosoff, Harry Cykman, David Sackson, Aaron Rosand – violins (11/4 session only) Arranged and Conducted by Galt MacDermot Book & Lyrics: Gerome Ragni and James Rado Music: Galt MacDermot Orchestra Conducted by Galt MacDermot A Ragni Rado MacDermot Production Production Coordinator: Nat Shapiro Publisher: United Artists Music Co., Inc. (ASCAP) All the songs on this album have been recorded complete and unexpurgated as written by Rado, Ragni and MacDermot Cover photo of Indians courtesy of Overground Art, New York Cover concept by Ragni and Rado Nude dances by Julie Arenal Recorded October 21, October 28–29 & November 4, 1969, at RCA Studio “C” in New York City Recording Engineer: Max Moran Produced for records by Andy Wiswell Assisted by Mike Lipskin Original album: LSO-1163, released December, 1969