Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Technically, Lawrence Welk was never part of the 1960s counter-culture. In fact, culturally-speaking, he was probably as close to a perfect square as was geometrically possible. He loved his polkas and played them tirelessly for his adoring fans in a galaxy of champagne bubbles.

Sometimes the champagne music wasn't enough. Those times Welk went searching the mean streets for something stronger, something wilder. For Kicks. We may never know what was actually going on behind that smile, the friendly demeanor, and the insistence that everything was "Wunnerful, Wunnerful!" All we have are these clues.

In this clip, the Lawrence Welk singers describe the disorienting effects of smoking too much marijuana in a train station. As the singers weave their haunting spell, the music builds in intensity, approximating the drug user's "high." Was Welk a closet hipster sending secret messages to fellow druggies? Or was this a desperate cry for help?

In the clip below, Welk has clearly turned into a hippie. Must have been all that grass. His friends hardly recognize him, and his aggressive behavior seems "out of character." Fortunately, an impromptu intervention sets him on the right path.


Dan said...

THAT was very strange and very funny.
The Blonde in the back was really workin' it...I think that she was underground for sure.

Anonymous said...

Very weird. Old Larry was a dope fiend.