cabenza de gasca, the gasser

Consequently, the cat was short of change and he had to send over an expedition to the new world and knock up a little bullion. Cabenza De Gasca, the Gasser was the first lieutenant for Ferdinand and he had a bad scam in front because he got on a three ship lick and they had a square captain that ran into a short tilt and blew the whole gig on the beach in Florida in 1410…”


by lord buckley


Richard Myrle Buckley, aka His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley (1906 – 1960), was a non-conformist, heads-up, in-your-face belter of a comic whose routines entertained the likes of such divergent audiences as Chicago mobsters and the Beats. No beatnik mumbling bad poetry in the corner of an Expresso Bar, Lord Buckley wore his whackiness on his sleeve. A founding member of America’s first jazz religion, the Church of the Living Swing, he gained the notoriety of presiding over the only holy service ever to be raided by the vice squad. In short, he was up there with that weird assemblage of men and women who collect rocks, balls of twine and newspapers, wear strange hats, write letters to the editor, loudly chase ducks at the zoo, and yell a lot…in other words, independent thinkers. This is his take on the early conquest of North America. –Mike Morgan

Now you see all you cats I know heard about Vasco Da Gama, the island bummer. He’s the the cat who had the big fat publicity agent who’d say, “Vasco Da Gama bump island number one…Boom! Put it in the book; Vasco Da Gama bump island number two…Boom! Put it in the book.” But there was a cat jumping around at that time that had some bad press that cut this polecat to shreds. And his name was Cabenza De Gasca, the Gasser.

He was a warrior stud for Ferdinand the First. And Ferdinand the First was a bawlin’ king. He was a king that like to bawl up a breeze and put on a many a double-gala, swinging-headed Mardi Gras. He liked to ball all the time. He was one of them kinda cats that liked to say, “Get the peasants to move me to another castle.”

“We ain’t got no more castles, your Majesty.”

“Well builda one, don’t stand there like an idiot. What’s the matter with you?”

Consequently, the cat was short of change and he had to send over an expedition to the new world and knock up a little bullion. Cabenza De Gasca, the Gasser was the first lieutenant for Ferdinand and he had a bad scam in front because he got on a three ship lick and they had a square captain that ran into a short tilt and blew the whole gig on the beach in Florida in 1410.

And Florida in 1410 was Crocodile City. A cat couldn’t stomp, flip or step any which way dem crocodiles snap snap here and snap snap dere, and dem polecats duckin’ and dodgin’ dem crocodiles, and every bug in the jungle is hitchhiking a ride on dese polecats, and the mosquitoes in divebombing dese polecats, and there was Cabenza De Gasca, the Gasser and his buddycats and they was all in a panic. And the parrot had the best lick of all ‘cos he had that feather coat and them other poor studs didn’t even have a Union Oil map.

So they had to stomp on down the beach and Cabenza De Gasca’s buddycat didn’t move fast enough and the crocodiles snapped him up and they had to stick him in a hole. And they was ready to swoop the scene. ‘Cos they didn’t know where they was going, but they know they had to go, ‘cos they know where they was wasn’t it.

So Cabenza De Gasca, the Gasser stomped all the way to North Dakota, that showed the cat didn’t know where he was going in the first place. Then he turned around and stomped all the way down to Mexico City. When he got down to Mexico City, he sat down and wailed a note on Ferdinand the First to hip the cat that he’s still gigging for, wondering what he’s been doing all this time, only took him eight years…little Sunday afternoon groove.

He said, “You’re most royal, swinging Majesty. I’ve been on a lot of sad tours, I’ve been on a lot of mad-beat, bent-up, downgradin’ excursions. I’ve been on a lot of childrens’ picnics and a lot of double-unhung parties. He said, “I’ve suffered from pavement rash…I’ve been bent, twisted, spent, degigged, flipped, trapped and brought back. But I never was so dug in my whole life like I was with this here last gig you put me on.” He said, “It was rough…Brrr…it was doubly rough.”

Seemed like Cabenza De Gasca and the parrot and the other cats were all through with this stomping, duckin and divebombing from them mosquitoes and flipping and tapping from them crocodiles snipping and snapping at them. These polecats were in a such a bad strain and bind that breathing wasn’t enough to keep the pilot light lit.

But they went stomping on all the way through and boom!, finally bumped into an Indian village and the Gasser said, “Look we’ll get everything straightened out, I’ll go in there and hip the chief and get a couple of buckets of them acorns and boom!, we might not find out maybe who we is, but we might find out maybe where we is.”

But before he could take another sound out of his mouth, the chief begin to wail on him, “Hmmph, me know you, you big miracle head, me hear you by Indian grapevine, you come, many big him, ship he no sail water, he flap white wings, he sail sky, me know, me hear you, you plenty hip head, you cut ’em miracle whip. Good thing you come, me got buddycat, him have little difficulty seventeen crocodiles, little bit hung up, little bent, you straighten him, you put a magic lick on this boy, put him on feet, me give you coupla buckets of acorns, maybe two or three squaws, OK.”

He ain’t even handed the cat a Nabisco up until now and there’s the poor Gasser’s weavin’ and wailin’ and bent and spent. He was a up against a rough find, he knew he had to do something, he knew he had to wail someway, he knew that he had to go, he couldn’t stop there. And this polecat that wasn’t on his feet was in a very fatigued position indeed. He was right on the edge of the razor’s flip; he was on the theme of the beam of the invisible edge; he was laying there getting his wings (let me try that number seventeen again, I think this is a little tight for me, I like that seventeen-foot wing span straight in). He was on his way out.

Now the Gasser, if the chief had asked him to knock this cat off, he’d have made it, ‘cos that was the Gasser’s lick, he didn’t know nothing about bringing them in, he was busy taking them out. But he was on the end of the bind, and he knew he had to blow, and he was Cabenza Da Gasca, the Gasser.

So the Gasser fell down on one knee, and he held his head upward and he said, “Lord, this is Cabenza De Gasca, the Gasser wailing to you Lord. It ain’t no use looking for me in the book, Lord. You won’t find my name there, Lord. I’ve been wailing in another part of the field, Lord. But I’m in a terrible bind now. Oh, I know Lord that they’re sounding on you from all over the world – help me here, help me there, help me this way, help me that way. But this is the first time I ever put a sound on you, Lord. Like I told you before, we in a bad bind here, Lord. If you do me one little favor. There’s a buddycat, a friend of the chief, Lord. He’s in a sad condition. He had a terrible time with seventeen crocodiles, Lord. And Lord, I know it’s a big job, you gonna have to do him from stem to stern, Lord. But if you straighten this man, Lord, if you put this man on his feet, though I’ve been wailing for Ferdinand the First up to know, Lord, I’m going to hip you if you straighten this man for me, Lord…YOU’VE GOT YOURSELF A BOY!

He looked out the corner of his eye and he sees this cat he’s wailing for get up and stomp away. Whew! Well that gassed the Gasser. It also gassed the Indians. They dug up the rest of the acorns and straightened the Gasser with some scoff, and then knocked a few on the polecats and flipped three or four on the parrot. And everything was groovy.

But it seemed like in 1410 there was bad times in the country, and everywhere the Gasser and the parrot and them all swung forth to, all the villages didn’t have no scoff. They was scoffless. But they always had two or three cats there waiting for the Gasser to wail on his feet. Even had one poor stud was under the rug for four days. They put the Gasser down by his side and wailed him up. He wailed about one hundred and seventy-two straightline miracles right across the countryside, what they’ve been trying to explain away, even to this instant.

And the Gasser, in his note to Ferdinand the First, said to him at the end of it:

Your most royal, swinging highness. I found out, on this bad lick, that there is a great power within. That when it is used in beauty and unselfishness and clarity of devotion to love, can heal and cure and cause miracles.” –Cabenza De Gasca, the Gasser – 1410 A.D.


(Transcribed by Mike Morgan: “The album that I transcribed the riff from is called ‘His Royl Hipness Lord Buckley.’ Its a cd on Discover Records (1992). It was originally released as ‘The Best of Lord Buckley’ on Elektra records (EKS-74047)”)



Originally published:
Issue Sixteen
December 2001

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