Thursday, March 03, 2005


Although Dion McGregor had some success as a song lyricist (Barbra Streisand, Blossom Dearie) his greatest recorded legacy was a 1964 album called "The Dream World of Dion McGregor." Some people spend untold hours, if not years, trying to craft a classic album - McGregor could do it in his sleep. Literally. His roommate and songwriting partner tape-recorded McGregor talking in his sleep for an incredible seven years (1960-1967). Not the usual sleeptalking mumbles, these are full-fledged mini-dramas, with McGregor providing narration, dialogue, sound effects, and music, usually ending with him screaming. Decca, a major-label no less, released the first album, but McGregor, who died in 1994, would not live to see the release of a second collection, "Dion McGregor Dreams Again," or the recent release "The Further Somniloquies of Dion McGregor." Future release are a possibility.

Although the dreams are bizarre, surreal and frightning, the man was anything but. By all accounts he was a real-life incarnation of Jack from "Will and Grace." Never fully employed, always flirting with show-business but too much of a goof to seriously pursue it, McGregor crashed on friends couches or spare beds for years, getting away with it because he was so entertaining - his hilariously campy sense of humor comes through in the recordings. The net result is like Kafka performed by drag queens.

If you can survive "Food Roullette," watch out for the "Horseshoe Crabs."

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