Printer Friendly


Byline: Victor D. Infante


For some reason, it seems to make complete sense that Worcester writer, poet and all-around funny guy Joe Fusco Jr. is a Randy Newman fan.

"In 1970," says Fusco, "at the impressionable age of 16, I purchased `Randy Newman,' the debut album of my favorite singer-songwriter. I had heard `Davey the Fat Boy,' Randy's tale of exploiting his obese best friend as a circus act and found it fit perfectly as the soundtrack to a project my all-boys Catholic high school was doing on `brotherhood.'"

Of course, it's easy to see Newman's darkly satirical influence in Fusco's own offbeat tales of showing up a day late for First Night, his tale of a romantic weekend in Maine, which he characterizes as "the greatest 24 minutes of my life," or responding to random comments at his father's wake: "He looks so good." "You should have seen him five days ago, when he was breathing."

Fusco's droll sense of humor is definitely a good match for Newman's, whose satire sometimes pushes hard at boundaries, especially on later songs such as "Political Science" and "Rednecks." But Newman shows a lot of sides on that album, especially with the melancholy and poetic "I Think It's Going to Rain Today," a reminder that - as with any good funny man - there's usually something burbling underneath the surface.

"Forty-one years later, I'm still a Newman junkie," says Fusco, "catching him live at Berkley Performance Center a few years ago, assuring the next generation that the man behind the music of `Toy Story' has a somewhat darker, mordant side."
COPYRIGHT 2011 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Sep 29, 2011
Previous Article:`Even the Rain' an unforgettable drama.
Next Article:Holiday pops returns to DCU.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters