Luke Haines’ Tributes to Kendo!

Singer-songwriter Luke Haines has written an album celebrating the glory days of British wrestling, which features a Kendo Plasticine caricature on the front cover, and 3 humorous songs dedicated to Kendo and George!

The album is snappily entitled “9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s and Early ‘80s”, a name which sets the tone for the material on it (which is characteristically tongue-in-cheek), but despite this humorous take on some of the clichés of those times, it’s evident that Luke is a genuine fan of Kendo.

In a Radio 2 interview in October 2011, Haines spoke at length about his inspiration for the album, referring at length to Kendo. He says that Kendo was his favourite wrestler – and still is – due in no small part to the mystique surrounding him.

Many of these details are gently parodied in the song called “Rock Opera”, where there are some golden phrases in the lyrics, including “…Japanese eyes…”, “…esoteric practitioner…”, “…occult discipline…”, and “…psychic journey…”!

Gorgeous George is also mentioned, and in fact has a complete song dedicated to him, celebrating his flamboyance. References are made to things arguably not untypical of George , such as a feather boa and velvet gown, and he’s also referred to as the “Mincing Buddha of the Mecca”, which is nothing short of surreal.

The third song dedicated to Kendo is the one which is the “half” in the album title – it’s a spoken-word re-imagining of a comedic episode, where a plumber called to Kendo’s bungalow suddenly realises whose house he’s in, and rushes off to be indiscreet with what he’s seen!

In the song “Rock Opera”, Haines self-effacingly concedes that he’s no Leonard Cohen, but he has put together a collection of songs which pays a gently mocking tribute to a time and events which remain fond memories for many people, and it’s clear that he does admire his subjects, particularly Kendo and George.

With a Kendo caricature on the album cover, the album will instantly grab the public’s attention, and whilst Kendo cannot endorse it, he’s unlikely to make Haines “pound the floor in dumb submission” either! We wish him – and his unique tribute album – all the best.


PS: Thank you to the anonymous fan who sent us the link to this player!

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