Blotto’s “Combo Akimbo” is an Album I Want To Be Buried With

I have great memories of this 1983 LP.  I was a student at Hamilton College at that time, and spent most of my academic life at the college radio station, WHCL.  We must have played this record to death, based on several of the LP’s powerful tracks.  And believe me, there were plenty of big hits from this LP to go around.

Right off the bat, you had the heavy metal spoof “Metal Head,” which featured a guitar solo from Buck Dharma of Blue Öyster Cult, and three – count ’em, THREE – false endings.

There was also the “this workplace sucks the life out of its employees, and I’m getting out before it’s too late” song, also better known as “I Quit.”  Note: this song was actually released as a single in Canada, when tracks from Combo Akimbo and Blotto’s two previous EP’s were released as one compilation LP.

Combo Akimbo also contained the Blotto 7″ single “When The Second Feature Starts,” which was produced by legendary producer Bob Clearmountain.

And finally, there was the spoof song that laid to waste all the James Bond motion picture themes.  In fact, five years ago some intrepid video editor combined clips from Bond films to create an ersatz music video for “Goodbye, Mr. Bond.”  Funny stuff.

Listen, folks, I enjoy me some Blotto.  Always have, always will.  And normally, I would have written today’s blog post at any time, on any day.

I’m writing it today in memory of someone who worked with Blotto, who recently passed away.

If you look at the album cover at the top of this blog post, you can see that the five members of Blotto at the time – clockwise from top left; Sarge, F Lee Harvey, Broadway, Bowtie and Cheese Blotto – have their collective heads poking through a large-scale drawing.  The artist who drew that cover art?  John Caldwell, the local cartoonist who also worked at MAD Magazine and who had a serialized Far Side-like single-panel comic strip in the Times Union.

Sadly, John Caldwell passed away last night at the age of 69.  Thoughts and prayers to his his family and friends and to all who knew him and who enjoyed his work.

And yes, this little touch of artwork to Albany’s legendary independent band.

Another great song to take with me on whatever future journeys I will take.

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