The Klowns, 1970
if the whole circus thing wasn't enough for Ringing Bros. & Barnum
& Bailey, in 1970 they thought they would get their fingers in rock
and roll. What they did was get six "young people," dress them as clowns
with a slight hippie edge (here's the inside cover
band photo), replace the "C" with a "K" in clowns, and there you have
it--a ringside attraction that could also be cross-promoted on American
Bandstand. Well, they never made the Billboard charts, but they left us
with one very strange album. You would expect a band called the Klowns
to do songs like "Send in the Clowns" or "Be a Clown" or some other circus
or clown-focused tunes. Nope, not them. What you do get is an Up-With-People/Brady
Kids/Age of Aquarius/Love Is The Answer/Touchy-Feely/60's Free Love monster.
Cuts on the album include: "Love Is The Answer" (go figure), "If You Can't
Be A Clown" (their personal anthem and the first cut on side one), "Yellow
Sunglasses" (two minutes and nineteen seconds of bright, sunny horror),
and "Honey Bunny Day" (don't ask). One of the best song on the album is
the final one, called "Be A Kid." Of course it's a turn on the old song
"Be A Clown," but is also includes the refrain, "Whoever told you that
life was meant to be a drag/ you've got to carry your little dreams around
inside a very candy paper bag," or something like that. You really can't
make out the words with all the saccharine sweet male and female harmonies.
If you've never been scared by clowns, now's the time to start.