Karl Beavis Tribute



Watch PING PONG - Song by Karl Beavis, puppets by Dusty and Max


Watch The Song "HOLD UP" by Karl Beavis performed by Karl and Dave


In December 2007 we lost our friend Karl Beavis. He was a unique being with all kinds of talents and attributes, and leaves behind his much loved son Darby, who right now is about 12. Among many other things,Karl was a tremendous writer of songs, many of which are absurd and comical. He was just as adept at performing his songs. On those rare occasions when he would be coaxed out of the shadows to do a few, he would leave the audience howling with delight. There was this fast paced, lighthearted jauntiness to the music as Karl chopped away at an acoustic guitar in a quick and precise -chuggaCHUGGAchuggaCHUGGA- while out came some of the silliest and funniest rhymes. His long-time musical compadre was our mutual friend Dave Evans, and when Karl's songs had Dave's rollicking accordion alongside, the happy energy was contagious.


Filmed by Jeanne Browne, the clip of Karl and Dave performing what I call "Hold-up" (I don't know its real title) is performed and filmed under terrible conditions at a pub in Melbourne in 2003. It wasn't a gig as such, rather an "open-mic" night run by Mick Varney, held on the floor of a pub amidst pub patrons. Karl, as usual, is disappearing into the shadows.



The movie PING PONG features a recording I made of Karl doing his great absurdist song at Dave Evan's 40th birthday party in 2001 at Dave and Kate and Dusty's backyard in Northcote. Most of the party seemed to be musicians, and it was a night of impromptu live acoustic performances. Karl was coaxed up, and did three numbers: "Ping Pong", "Fuckin Bloody Beach" and "Richest Guy In Town". A very merry Dave plays accordion, and I think it was Shannon Burchill on double bass. Luckily I got a recording of this magic combination, complete with raucous audience participation from many close friends. Some time later, maybe around 2002, I filmed Dave and Kate's daughter Dusty and her cousin Max performing a suitably silly puppet show to go with the song.



These two clips and other stuff can also be seen on our YouTube page (medusazoe) http://www.youtube.com/medusazoe


And now....................




Yeah, When your bat is broken

and the other player's chokin

during PING PONG

You might think that's hilarious

Yeah, and thats the thing that's scariest

in the SING SONG

And you do Murdoch a favour and you buy one of his papers

And you marry Phyllis Diller cos you look like a gorilla

That's called KING KONG


You wanna be a sherrif

Then go get your badge and wear it


And you wanna buy a Humber

And you keep dialling the number

got the RING WRONG

And Yogi just fucked Boo-Boo

cos you're really good at voodoo

And the hunchback got his lunch back

cos he only eats poo-poo



You desecrate the station

Cos your tired of the inflation


And they said you're feeling lonely

Cos you're taller than your pony

Hire a WIG WAM

And I think that you're a moron, cos you went and put a door on

With a sign that says "who is it?" when I'm dumb enough to visit



You go out for coffee

In your pink and brown jalopie


And you say you made your socks sick

Cos they smelt your breath, its toxic


And I'd better drop the topic, cos your brain is microscopic

But your eyes are telescopic, so you'll see me in the tropics




What I think it means

The above words are as close as I can get to the right ones, though I'm notl sure about the "big bond" bit. He could be heard bringing in substitute verses sometimes, and would clean up the ruder bits if small children were listening.

In this song, Karl seems to be directing a stream of absurd insults and criticisms at someone he doesnt like very much, but still occasionally visits. He suggests that this tall loner resembles King Kong, has bad breath (bad enough to make a sock sick), a small intellect, is a bully, drives an awful car with different colour panels, but wishes to also buy a Humber (a very old brand of car), and has telecopic vision. He cannot use a telephone properly, he has a sign on his front door which says "who is it?" , two clues indicating his microscopic brain. Karl does not like the way this individual laughs at his Ping-Pong opponent's misfortune. Apparently midway through a game, half of this oaf's bat has flown off and lodged itself in the other player's throat, but instead of showing concern, the rotter just laughs. Murdoch is the publisher of low-brow tabloids. Phyllis Diller is an American comedienne prominent in the 60s. The claim that this person actually married Phyllis Diller is most certainly false, and the reason for her being involved at all was because she complied with Karl's sense of internal rhyming. Yogi and BooBoo are cartoon characters. The Heironymous Bosch inspired antics of Yogi, BooBoo and the bell ringing hunchback is just an interesting side issue. The reason for his desecration of the station is a mystery. One theory is that perhaps as a protest about inflation, the Ning Nong graffittis on the railway station, but is caught and put on a good behaviour bond. A Ning Nong is a stupid person. Karl's wise piece of advice to this Ning Nong is "Hire a WIG WAM" This is indeed wise advice as it solves several of the problems raised. It gives the person extra headroom, it does away with the need for a door or a doorbell, it makes the person more of an Indian and less of a sherrif, it is a low-cost inflation-proof dwelling, it would match his pony, etc...


- Kim Devenish 22-Dec-2007