Blowfly Is as Dirty as Ever on His Posthumous Album 77 Rusty Trombones

Blowfly is still making us laugh from the grave.
Blowfly is still making us laugh from the grave.
Photo by Ian Witlen

Will the Staples Center in L.A. be lit up tonight with 77 Rusty Trombones during the 2016 Grammy Awards? Will host L.L. Cool J. believe his dick can fly? Probably not. But Blowfly and Clarence Reid fans can be sure that the man’s legacy will live as long as soul and genital jokes exist within the shared subconscious of humanity.

Reid, AKA Blowfly, the world's most notorious parody artist, passed away on January 17 from complications of liver cancer. And his final album, 77 Rusty Trombones, has just been released posthumously.

“The classic parodies, the soul music, the great musicianship, the horns — we recorded all the music in one night," says Reid's drummer and manager Tom Bowker

77 Rusty Trombones brings Reid back to his old stomping grounds of parodic wit. While it is true that part of Reid's resurgence is owed to Bowker’s role as manager (he pulled him from semiretirement and into the forefront of a punk-rock-centric audience), Reid's talent shines through on his newest release. 

Reid would’ve been 77 years old yesterday, on Valentine’s Day. This album is a little shy of perfect, and I mean that only in regards to energy – heck, you can’t expect a septuagenarian to muster the, dare I say — virility — of his former self in those raucous albums of the '70s that made him a hushed household name, but good grief if he isn’t on point on songs like “She’s Got a Weiner” and “If You Don’t Blow Me by Now."

During the ’Fly’s final days, people like Snoop Dogg and KRS-One took to Twitter to pay respects to Reid. Though when it came time to fund his funeral, support from celebrities was mainly confined to 140 characters. 

The fact that Bowker and Reid’s sister Virginia B. Lawrence were able to rally his fans across the world to give him a decent sendoff is a testament to the power of Reid’s impact on the musical needs of the average man.

As Bowker, who co-ran the funeral effort with Lawrence, reveals, “Jurassic 5 wouldn’t give a penny. Snoop, not a penny."

This new album, though, is a solid marriage of classic Blowfly and post-Bowker Blowfly. There's a limited-edition blue vinyl version available at Saustex.com. 

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Bowker, who has been frustrated with the lack of financial support from a hip-hop community that has so heavily sampled Reid, sums it up like this: “Hip-hop obviously doesn't give a shit about Clarence. There are notable exceptions, but no one who has sampled anything Clarence did and had a hit did anything more than a ‘RIP Blowfly.’”

So the 58th-annual Grammy Awards might be too chickenshit to give Reid a shoutout too. Oh well, so’s life in the weird world of Blowfly, right? He didn't need their help while he was with us, and his legacy is strong enough to survive without them now. 


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