© Warner Bros.
"Leader Of The Banned"
April 29 - 05, 2018
Year of Release: 1990
Shopping For Pets/
Sex Videotape And
Jerry's Bastard Kid/
Lenny Bruce's Mom/
Casual Users Of
Old People Must Die/
Grilled Cheese Sandwich/
Phone Call From Hell
Gonna Raise Hell
Under My Thumb
Highway To Hell
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Comedian Sam Kinison was with us in popularity from 1978 to 1992. Sadly, he died in a car accident on April 10, 1992, at the young age of 38.
An accomplished comedian, his loud, obnoxious humor made him a household name. His appearance as a ghost on the Christmas episode of the TV show
Married With Children was a classic. It was entitled "It's A Bundyful Life," based on the classic movie "It's A Wonderful Life."
It was in two parts, of which Kinison appeared in the second part as the "Clarence" type character, telling Al Bundy how it would be, if Al was never
born. He released a total of four albums, and numerous club performances. HIs third album released in 1990, Leader Of The Banned features a
half-hour sketch of numerous topics, and Sam's take on Rock & Roll songs.
The half-hour sketch was from a standup comedy recorded at Bally's In Las Vegas. It features (1) Detox This, (2) Shopping
For Pets, (3) Sex, Videotape And Zoo Animals, (4) Jerry's Bastard Kid (Jerry Lewis), (5) Lenny Bruce's Mom,
(6) Casual Users Of Terrorism, (7) Old People Must Die, (8) Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and (9) Phone Call
From Hell. During the sketch, Sam brings out Doug Bady, a member of the "Outlaws of Comedy" entourage, most notably on "Jerry's Bastard Kid,"
as they critize Lewis' annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethons, throughout the past 30 years. "Casual Users Of Terrorism" has tantalizing political
remarks (of which any comedian would cover political events/issues). "Phone Call From Hell" places a real call from an audience member, and telling
Sam how his now ex-girlfriend was unfaithful to him. (I remember this particular part of the sketch, as I remember watching him perform it on television.
Kinison had recorded his own version of The Troggs' "Wild Thing" from his previous album, Have You Seen Me Lately. TO close out the
album, Kinison recorded his own takes on Rock & Roll songs: "Gonna Raise Hell," (Cheap Trick), "Mississippi Queen" (Mountain) [the lyrics
were altered, making it more of a novelty song], making it more noticeable and in his loud and screaming style. "Under My Thumb" (Rolling
Stones, and "Highway To Hell" (AC/DC). All these songs showcases Sam Kinison as the "rock & roll comic"; and giving these songs the 1980s
Hair Band Rock style. Although the Mountain song was novelty, the other three were "serious" covers. Hard Rock in sound, Kinison does well on the Cheap
Trick tune. Likewise on the Mountain track. (Possibly the best of the four.) "Under My Thumb" starts out different than the original by the
Stones, then it kicks into what we are used to, and quite frankly, this song is as "serious" as it comes. Kinison does well on his version here.
AC/DC's "Highway To Hell" should easily fit Sam's loudness style, and it does. Again, another "serious" side of his singing, and it is done quite
Where most reviews of this album were negative, I disagree; his comedy sketch I remember watching, and his singing was done well, and these songs
did fit his comedic side, as he was known as the "rock & roll comic." His humor was not everyone, of course, but there were those who did enjoy him.
His "anger and loudness" of his style was from his childhood. His father was a preacher, and although his parents divorced, he, and along with his
two older brothers, Richard and Bill, Bill went to live with his father, while Sam and the rest of the family moved elsewhere, against his wishes.
His mother remarried another preacher, and when Sam was 17, he became a preacher himself, using his "fire and brimstone" style, which would make him
famous in his career as a comedian. He was not very successful as a preacher, so after Sam's first marriage and divorce, he decided to become a comedian,
making this as his goal and profession.
Kinison had everything going for him. Success as a comedian, comedy shows, television and movie appearances. But on April 10, 1992, he, and with his
third wife Malika, they were involved in a head-on car collision. The other vehicle was a pickup truck, driven by 17-year-old Troy Pierson. Pierson was
driving uner the influence of alcohol. Pierson's truck crossed the center line, and crashed into Kinison's car, head-on. Kinison was still alive
after the crash, but the story told was that Sam was talking to someone, saying he didn't want to die. After a pause, Sam replied, "But why?" and after
another pause, he kept saying "Okay, okay, okay." As he said the last "Okay" he lost consciousness, and after efforts to revive him, Kinison died at
the scene from internal injuries. The autopsy results concluded that he had suffered tramatic injuries, including a dislocated neck, a torn aorta, and
torn blood vessels in his abdonimal cavity, which caused his death within minutes of the crash. His wife Malika, survived the crash, with a mild concussion.
Pierson pled guilty, and was sentenced to one year of probation and 300 hours of community service. His driver's license was suspended for two years.
Sam Kinison was taken away from us, way too soon. His career was in full swing. His death was the result of drunken driving, which could have been
prevented. Kinison himself had his own demons, as he battled a cocaine habit during his life. His death was tragic. Yet he has left behind his unique
comedic humor to enjoy, and would become an influence to future comedians. It's been 26 years since Sam has been gone now. He was known as the loudmouth
comic, with his piercing screams, and if you really look back on it, it was different, unique, and funny. He had his own style, humor and wit. Long live
Sam Kinison... It was great to know him when he was alive. His recordings, TV/movie and club appearances will always live on. Thanks Sam, for the
memories, and making us laugh, the unique way you did for us.
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