Tuesday, August 04, 2009

the point

Harry Nilsson’s The Point is the soundtrack of my childhood. Its acid-tripping kaleidoscope colored liner notes and long playing vinyl spun out the story of a misfit round headed boy named Oblio banished from a pointed headed world with his little dog Arrow to the Land of Point where everybody was just as different as he was. The Point gave me all the fuel I needed to disappear for as many hours as it took to lift the needle and play it again; disappear from everything going wrong around me into a world where justice won every time and adventure paid off in spades (when it didn’t nearly kill you) and at the end everyone got to come home again.

When we were kids we named our dog Arrow. My brother got me the vinyl one year not too long ago for Christmas. He found a copy for all four of us kids. I also procured the CD and the Video.

I sang Think About Your Troubles to my grandmother when I sat by her bedside and my internal songbook ran dry.

Very few folks seem to know about The Point; for a while I ran a sole proprietorship in Seattle that derived its name from the story -- only once did anyone say “hey! The Point!” when they heard the name. At Grama's funeral my college aged cousin told me he’s turned all his friends onto it -- after I turned him onto it over a decade ago. They’d never heard of it either.

I’ve been meaning to do a macro photo series of the animated book that came with the album forever, but I always stop short because I know I can’t capture everything that’s miraculous about it.

I’m blogging this in a gush because I just tripped across a link from Devotchka, my favorite Indie band of the last little while, who has covered one of the tracks on the Point as part of a larger cover album released by Amano Recordings.

Just starting to listen to it now. Over the moon that anyone would take the trouble to do this. Even if it’s only halfway good I’ll be all the way in.

Although the original will always have my heart.

Video: Think about your troubles from The Point


Decrepit Telephone said...

I knew about The Point - I found out about it as I tracked down the composer of the soundtrack to Skidoo - a film roughly contemporary with The Point, in which Carol Channing does a striptease and Groucho Marx plays a character named "God" and Jackie Gleason goes on an LSD trip where he sees Groucho Marx's head on the head of a screw. I'm not making this up. Nilsson wrote the soundtrack to the film - and I've always been fond of a song that is heard roughly mid-point in the film called I Will Take You There.

Decrepit Telephone said...

I came back to say that my FAVORITE song from Skidoo, is the Garbage Can Ballet. I love that song for some silly reason.

suttonhoo said...

very cool -- never heard of Skidoo -- I'll check it out. thanks.

MacEwen M Patterson said...

My son and I love the Point. Once you know about it, you can never grow out of it. Ringo as the narrator. So good.

I, Rodius said...

Sounds right up the boy's and my alley. It's not on iTunes, so I guess I'll have to actually work to find it.

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