This web page is dedicated to that stalwart of Lowestoft seventies chic, Mr Luke Drongo.
Who can forget the the water-drinking Wherry Hotel regular with his Juggling Pigs and Drongo Songbook; that dictionary-devouring wordsmith with his crazy stickers and omnipresent bugle?
Were you a victim of his many sticky label campaigns? - is your name Paul Martin?
Did you sign his "Save The Plankton" petition? Did you buy a Songbook?
Did you witness the ThunderBox Theatre show at the Lowestoft Rugby Club or Wherry Hotel Xmas Party?
Who was it that pushed his car onto the middle of the rugby pitch that fateful night?… and could he actually play that bugle? - He was rubbish on that unicycle of his as well…
Were you at the impromptu Station Square concert?
Where is he now?
Those of us fortunate enough to have witnessed his escapades in the Lowestoft of the late seventies and early eighties will surely wonder where he is now - the fact is we just don't know.
Who cares anyway?
Well I do for a start. I'm Jamer Murray and I had the glorious opportunity to be in charge of management and technical production on the Drongo Songbook - which for you non-Drongo followers was not a book at all, it was a cassette of poetry and songs - and it was an experience not to be forgotten.
I can't remember much about it actually except that not much work ever got done because Drongo was constantly larking about and he was such a perfectionist concerning the musicianship. If you know The Drongo Songbook, you'll surely appreciate what I'm saying.
Anyway there was a drummer with one arm in plaster and that caused a bit of a problem and the Juggling Pigs were totally under-rehearsed so that took forever to get right but of course it all came good eventually.
So what now then?
Well it just so happens that I've still got the Master Tape of the Songbook. It simply does not seem fair to deprive the current generation of the chance to listen to the greatest sounds of yesteryear, so I intend to re-release the Drongo Songbook in all it's glory.
When you scroll down the page a bit further you'll see I've included a few snippets, highlights and lyrics to really whet your appetites for this cultural milestone in the history of Lowestoft. MEANWHILE....... Let everyone know that you were / are a Luke Drongo fan.
If enough people rally round the Drongo bandwagon perhaps he'll get to know and come out of hiding. Or perhaps he'll just contact me for some royalties - to which you are quite welcome Mr Drongo if you are reading this.
THE DRONGO SONGBOOK - track listingWhose Pigs?
What a start to an album - the haunting vocal refrains of the hastily-assembled Drongo Choral Ensemble as they enquire "Whose pigs are these, whose pigs are these?…"
Ballard of Luke
Luke and his trusty guitar tell the story of his life.
"An artist of sorts I have been called, but I prefer to be an actor of life…"
More true-life revelations as Luke reveals his desires to leave the hurly-burly of commerce to further pursue his culinery skills. Poetic.
Luke Drongo never drank alcohol although to hear his vocal presence on this track you would never believe it. Here he sings the blues in traditional style, warning the populii of the dangers inherent in over-indulgence.
More pig-related poetry…truly porcine.
Art Blakey's Last Stand
No Drongo vocals on this track, because it's an instrumental. In fact it's a dirge - a fond tribute, complete with outstanding bugle solo - to that Master of The Blues, Art Blakey.
The Show-Stopping blockbuster from the hit ThunderBox Theatre show "Insane Love"
"A lad was lucky lusting for a lady, but when he got her home he was displeased...."
Look this word up in your dictionaries, folks.
More pigs. Ho-hum.
"A malingerer went to the doctor..." So begins this poem about - you guessed - a malingerer. The doctor's not fooled, though. Here we see how Drongo precipitates the current Health Service debate. Foresight.
There's no stoppin' the hoppin' boppin' and rockin' on this track. Featuring special guest Max Plankton with the Plankton Rock Band this song really had 'em reelin' in the aisles at the Loddon Youth Club open day.
"See them plankton rock, watch them jive down below."
My personal favourite. If you love jazz, then wait till you hear this! The 5-piece Drongo Jazz Band let rip into the semi-freeform world of one-take instrumental solos over a humungous back-beat. Such is Drongo's love of the art, he insisted that the solos were all played by people who had never played their alloted instruments beforehand.
It's amazing how many different pig-orientated items can appear on one album, yet still leave the listener gasping for more porky happenings!
This track is actually a live recording of the famous Drongo Juggling Pigs in action. Oh those naughty pigs!
"I know this crazy little man, I know this crazy little man, you know that I know this crazy little man, his name is Billy Monk"
Lyrically naive, but nonetheless a catchy little number. You'll be singing this one all day long.
Tribute To Luke
I know it sounds a bit twee, but the various guest artists and musicians on the album got together without Luke one day, and recorded this track as a lasting tribute to the recording sessions that everyone agreed had been without precedent in their musical experience.
There was a special edition of the Songbook released which had a 20-minute interview with Luke Drongo as a bonus track. The interview was fascinating as it revealed many aspects of the type of artist that he was.
Unfortunately I am unable to trace a copy of this interview, which is a shame because - Ta-ra! Claim to Fame! - I was that interviewer.
If you were one of the lucky folks who purchased a Bonus Edition Songbook - and have still got it - please could I borrow a copy?
Rare archive photographic evidence required...
Luke always wondered whether the famous Lowestoft beach horsemuck-eating stunt was such a good idea after all.....were you there?
When news that Luke Drongo was going to make his now-legendary recording became known in the Lowestoft area, there were many musicians desparate to be a part of it.
vast majority were rejected because they were just too glum.
Where are they now? Do they have a Web page dedicated to
them? I rather think not. Here is an exclusive, never-seen-before
picture of a dejected rejected musician.
Yes, it's 'Beefy' Francis, last heard of mixing wierd concoctions (supposedly for human consumption) for a meat processing company. DO NOT EAT THAT PIE.
There'll never be another...
People say to me, "Jamer, there'll never be another Elvis Presley."
To which I reply "you're wrong old mate, there's already thousands of other Elvis Presleys in pubs and Karaoke bars the world over." Then people say to me, "Jamer, there'll never be another Freddie Mercury."
I reply "If only that were true; but unfortunately it's only a matter of time before glam rock makes a comeback." Curiously enough, no-one has ever told me that there'll never be another Luke Drongo. That's good enough for me.