Local CD Review: John Bean

The Real LeRoy mercer: The Original Recordings of John Bean (Dualtone)

John Bean may have single-handedly invented the recorded prank phone call. He certainly practiced the form with more style and flair than the Jerky Boys or any of the sumbitches who have ripped off his name to unconscionable commercial reward. This remastered CD release hasn’t done much to improve the sound quality of the reel-to-reel tapes Bean made in the 1970s and ’80s, but it will give them their first widespread legal distribution in nearly a decade. The Real LeRoy Mercer collects the well-known provocations from the 1999 CD The Real Leroy Mercer Is John Bean—the aggressive classics “Eddie’s Auto,” “C&C Auto,” and “Thom McAn’s” and more high-concept takes like “Mrs. Galyon” and “Plots”—as well as the Eddie’s Auto and C&C callbacks. An essential local document and a portrait of underground comic genius.

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