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Suit Canon - Fugue of the A&R Staff

Written and performed by: Kevin Gilbert
Time: 2:38
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The Inside Story

- by Jon Rubin

When Kevin and I were on tour in '95, we stopped by a record store in Boulder CO. Pasted on the wall was a Gentle Giant poster. Kevin badgered the owner into letting him scrape it off and take it home. It was framed and hung in his studio until his death.

Contrary to rumor, this was not Kevin's last song. The Suit Canon, or Suit Fugue as it was sometimes called, is part of Kevin's concept album, The Shaming of the True. This is a story of a young man, Johnny Virgil, who is hell bent on success in the music business. The story follows him as he is chewed up and spit out by the very thing he coveted. The Suit Canon is the chorus of record execs (A&R, Promotion, etc.) as they seduce Johnny. All the voices are Kevin.

One more note. When I turned Kev's computer off for the last time, 90% of the email was Gentle Giant related. Kevin loved GG and was way into this project. I know he is proud and honored to be included.

For those of you who would like to hear more of this exceptional work, I hope to have it out in its entirety soon. Also in the works are a live album of Kevin's group, Thud, a compilation of unreleased singer/songwriter stuff, and a rerelease of both the Giraffe CDs.

- Jon Rubin, 27 March 1997

Visit the official Kevin Gilbert site


By Kevin Gilbert
Copyright 1996 The Estate of Kevin Gilbert

Hi, John, it's Mel from Megalophone
I've been listening to your tape for the 19th time
Oh that's another call - can I call you
          Back when I was in a band we used to sound like this
          And I loved your songs, they reminded me of myself
                You sound like Air Supply meets Gwar
                In a good way; Here's my other number
                        Can you wait for just a sec -
                        That's another call coming in
                        I'll get back to you -
                        Have my girl take your information

Hi, John, it's Guy from Groanophone
Heard some talk about the band and the way you sing
I really think it's great - Can we make a
        Deal with me, call me a friend, we'll be a family
        You're a talented individual
                If you sign here on the dotted line ... that's good
                And my nephew will be your producer

Yo, John, it's Bill from Biddybum
Word is travelling around that you've got some tunes
We will not be outbid -
        Radio is in the bag, we own the chart
        They will not add your song
        Without checking with our promotion staff

Hi, John, it's Shep from Shinola
We should really do a lunch
Quite a tape indeed - my secretary flipped
You're a genius

My name is Johnny Virgil
     (hammer hammer hammer hammer schmooze schmooze schmooze schmooze)
I play this here guitar
     (patronize patronize pass the buck pass the buck)
I play it for myself
     (wheedle wheedle wheedle wheedle sell sell sell sell)

Can we speak candidly?

Got hands that move like clockwork
     (hammer hammer hammer hammer schmooze schmooze schmooze schmooze)
Voice that carries far
     (patronize patronize pass the buck pass the buck)
Got a love for nothing else
     (wheedle wheedle wheedle wheedle sell sell sell sell)

Let's be spontaneous!

Hi Jack, it's Al from A&R
You don't really need the band, they are in the way
We only wanted you anyway so
        Dump the band, you are the face
        You better wise up fast
        This is not a game - we're professionals
                Did I mention that you won't be out this year?
                Cannot be helped - Go take a vacation
                        One more thing that you should know
                        We're all counting on you to be
                        Our new golden boy - Lots of lives and jobs
                        Hang in the balance here

Virgil, it's Pete your president
Calling to congratulate you on your fine choice
You must be very proud, so are we
        I'm sure your music is terrif although I must admit
        I don't listen to much of anything
                Did I mention that I used to have a band?
                I have to run, been great talking to you

Hi, Joe, about publicity
Thought about the photo op with the cripple
No, we need a sharper hook - like a scandal
        Maybe you could rape a nun
        Or better still a priest
        Some androgeny could be interesting

Hi, Jim, it's Val from Video
Who decided on your hair?
Can we cut it off?
We'd like to see a buzz bin rotation

My name is Johnny Virgil
     (weasel weasel weasel weasel lie lie lie lie)
I play this here guitar
     (pacify pacify jack you off jack you off)
...aahh fuck it....
     (shuffle shuffle shuffle shuffle yawn yawn yawn)

Are you a priority?

My name is Johnny Virgil
     (weasel weasel weasel weasel lie lie lie lie)
And I'm gonna be a star
     (pacify pacify jack you off jack you off)
This is how it's done
     (shuffle shuffle shuffle shuffle yawn yawn yawn)

Do you want a hit of this?

(Enter crazed drunken record company promotion men with loosened ties and powdered noses, accompanied by slattern women, wildly undulating and ululating the "Danse Recoupable" or "Recoupable Dance" where lots of money gets thrown in the air (Johnny's money) amidst primal though somewhat germanic chantings of "Hit Song....Hit Song")

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