About

Russ Buchanan is a still-breathing refugee from the 70s, 80s and 90s pop-rock-country scene who has emerged as a multimedia political malcontent — proof positive that old musicos never die, they blog.

Buchanan was a member of Sugarloaf (“Green-eyed Lady”), Player (“Baby Come Back”) and the pies de resistance of über producer Mike Chapman (Blondie, Pat Benatar, Exile, the Knack, Suzi Quatro, Sweet, etc.), a rock and roll band called Thieves (you wouldn’t know any of their songs, but they did manage to put a few record companies out of business, including Chapman’s).

Buchanan has toured or recorded with Tanya Tucker, Gary Wright, Danny O’Keefe, Exile, Dolly Parton, Peter Ivers, Rare Earth, JJ Jackson, Bobby Sherman (Buchanan’s very first bigtime gig), Michael Landon, Doug McClure and so many others that your eyes would surely glaze over if they’re listed here.

His contributions to Hollywood are almost as eclectic as his musical résumé. From the voice of “Kingfisher,” the philosophical Cajun DJ from “Candyman, Farewell to the Flesh,” to the on-camera role of “Elgart Brunson,” the mucho-macho country singer in the so-bad-it’s…still awful “Rhinestone” with Sylvester Stalone and  the lovely Dolly Parton.

Stallone/Parton flick, “Rhinestone.”

In the movie, Buchanan sings “The Day My Baby Died” [try to ignore the godawful canned applause/laughter] — quite possibly the worst song ever written. “The Day my Baby Died” tells the story of the tragic demise of Elgart’s bride on the morning of their wedding day — a warning to us all to be careful around farm machinery when wearing flowing satin and lace. “Yes, the movie was met with mixed reviews,” says Buchanan. “Some critics thought it was bad and some thought it was worse. But, dammit, I was funny!”

WAIT! I just discovered that somebody posted the CLIP FROM THE MOVIE AT YOU TUBE. I don’t know how long it’s going to stay up (20th Century Fox has a habit of taking these clips down because the execs there want you to spend your hard-earned dough renting or buying the DVD). As of March 30, 2012 it was still there.

Buchanan is also the singing voice of “Jacob” in Dreamworks’ “Joseph, King of Dreams,” and does voice-overs for everything from A&E’s “Biography” series, to the “Don’t Pass Gas” secondhand-smoke PSAs on radio and TV, to Barack Obama’s campaign radio and TV ads, which Buchanan claims, “did the trick.”

“The Russ Buchanan EP” and the “Save the Institution EP” [shameless plug: available at itunes and just about everywhere else] are the first two salvos from his “Political Potshots With a Strong Backbeat” project, and are truly labors of love. As Buchanan puts it, “I know the market for political pop music is about as lucrative as Lithuanian disco these days, but God created ProTools (digital recording) so I could make fun of America’s corporatocracy. It would be a sin to do anything else.”

The first single from the Russ Buchanan EP, “Me and My SUV,” has become a favorite on comedy radio and is still being played by disc-jockeys who loathe those condominiums-on-wheels that suck up fuel like a 747 and make driving on America’s highways so, uh, challenging.

[Speaking of shameless plugs: Buchanan recently wrote “The Tiger Song” about a tiger he saw back in his touring days. “The poor thing was pent up in this tiny enclosure, pacing back and forth, wanting to be anywhere but where he was,” remembers Buchanan. “It’s been 25 years since I saw him, but I never shook the image. I just imagined what that beautiful, enormous cat might be daydreaming as he paced his day away, and turned it into a song. While writing about the tortured beast, I realized a caged tiger has a lot more in common with we “higher” life forms than we might care to admit.” The “The Tiger Song” is now available at itunes, CD Baby and all the usual places.]

Be sure to check out Buchanan’s homemade-but-passionate videos from the “Save the Institution! EP” – “Save the Institution! (A Gay Marriage Sing-Along)” and his ode to purchased politicians and health care reform, “All-American Suckers”

A lifelong politics hound, Buchanan has contributed opinion pieces/satire and just-the-facts journalism to the Houston Chronicle, The Motley Fool, The Daily Kos, Op/Ed News, Midnight Graffiti Magazine and many obscure-but-enthusiastic publications.

And now, eager to continue his grouse and carp — without having to worry about rhyming — Buchanan has launched Russ Buchanan: Craving Sense — to vent his spleen, vent others’ spleens — a regular spleen-venting party.  And you’re all invited. BYOS

Comments
  1. btchakir says:

    Russ…
    No new updates? You were off to such a good start. Come back with more!
    Under The LobsterScope

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hey Bill –
      You are so right — and I am ashamed — especially after visiting “Lobsterscope” again and witnessing your prolific output. I’ll say it again: you really do one heck of a job with that site, Bill. Anyway, time has been my enemy of late. I know – any excuse will do — but, this “blogus-interruptus” has gone on far too long and I am now suffering from acute blog withdrawal syndrome — if I don’t write some new stuff soon, I am absolutely sure my head will explode. Expect a few pieces in the very near future!

      And, thank you for the encouragement. It is much appreciated.

      Russ Buchanan

      Like

  2. Rosemary says:

    Hey Russ,
    I just found your website after doing a long search for info on that jerk Peter Hammond. I got one of those stupid emails about Islam, so I copied your comments to the sender… well said!!!

    I love your comments. You write well. Keep up the good job on your blog. I deleted the one I had about 6 months ago. Got tired after all the ugliness last couple of years.

    I also LOVED the great song you did on Youtube “Save the Institution”

    Right on!!

    Good luck with the job searches… I remember your songs from the good old days with Sugarloaf and Player that you mentioned. That was long ago and far away on another planet in another galaxy… we are getting old…
    Take care!

    Like

  3. Rosemary says:

    P.S. You’re cute too! 😉
    Dig the hat!

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hi Rosemary –

      You just made my day. Thank you for the kind, encouraging words.
      Yeah, I just came across a photo of Player at Facebook from a TV show we did back in the covered wagon days. I couldn’t possibly have been that young–ever.
      Really, your attaboy is very much appreciated. This blogging stuff is a fun-but-lonely business.

      Russ Buchanan

      Like

      • Rosemary says:

        Yeah, I understand… it seemed like not many people were “listening” and I guess that is true of most blogs. I just came across yours by accident. Glad I did. I really enjoyed your comments… very well written. REALLY. Very witty too.

        I got such a kick out of your comments about keeping Glenn Beck on the air… I agree… that is one of the best things about the First Amendment. I never agreed with the tactic of shouting people down. I figure it is better to let them spew their ignorance so they can show the world what @$$h…. they are.

        I sent an email to some folks to listen to your song and check out your posts. I am in a very conservative area ( a community in Tucson area) and I have to deal with scared old white bigots on a regular basis, so anytime I have contact with a kindred spirit, it gives me hope. Thanks for the lift!

        I tire of the silliness on most blogging or comment sites–the flaming, brainless ad hominim diatribes. I really appreciate your intelligent approach. I also appreciate what you said about the general population not having the intellectual curiosity to delve into issues and learn beyond sound bites, and what they emotionally “rapture” about. I complain about the same things… My comment is oft repeated– “People are sheep.”

        I have fought these ignorant emails until I could vomit. I am really tired of it. Especially since so many come from intelligent, sometimes educated people.
        Oh well… I could vent on and on. But you get my drift– or rather I get yours.
        I will enjoy reading your comments… so keep it up!!
        And keep writing songs and singing… 🙂 I enjoy that too!

        Rosemary
        “The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that’s the essence of inhumanity.” (George Bernard Shaw, The Devil’s Disciple)

        “Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” (E. B. White)

        Like

  4. Jerry Bonat says:

    I was searching for information on “Dr” Hammond’s rant and luckily found your site with amazing information on him and his writings.
    I have 2 friends who have to constantly be reminded of the need to verify before forwarding garbage that they’ve received and bought into without checking

    Thanks very much-
    Jerry Bonat

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hi Jerry –

      Yeah, there were just too many overtly odd things about Hammond’s anti-Muslim treatise to let it lie. In “Politics of Email…” I included just a tiny portion of Hammond’s world-class nuttiness.

      But, you’re right, the overall message I’m trying to convey in the piece is verify, verify, verify. It is so darned easy to do, there is no excuse to pass these things along as if they are gospel without checking first.

      Thanks for the atta-boy; it is much appreciated,

      Russ

      Like

  5. Rosemary says:

    C’mon Russ! Keep it coming!

    I need some fodder from my kindred spirit to help keep me sane. I need to know I am not alone in the darkness.

    Like

  6. Russ Buchanan says:

    Hi Rosemary –

    It’s that damned earning a living part of life that keeps sapping my time for ‘l’blog, but I am — as we speak — working on “Republican Lie #3 that should be completed shortly. I’m also dying to do a piece on the Politics of Sloganeering — I’m running out of time with the election-of-doom fast approaching.

    Kindred spirits, indeed,

    Russ

    Like

  7. […] Buchanan, who I’d never heard of until today but describes himself as “the music world’s premier political malcontent,” posted an entry on his blog […]

    Like

  8. I just got my monthly dose of Buchanan. This time it was “Saving the Institution”
    Last month it was “Me and My S.U.V.”
    There just isn’t enough Buchanan stuff out there.
    I’ll be in L.A. in the next couple of weeks working with G.C. Johnson.;
    It would be the stuff of magic to see you.
    Fondly,
    Mark

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hey Mark –

      “Stuff of magic,” indeed. I will send an emailI with my cell number so you can call me when you get in and we can frolic. I saw George on TV or on the Internet or somewhere recently and he looked great. I hope life has been treating you well.

      RB

      Like

  9. "mllenia" says:

    Loved this older article on NOAA tsunameters…looking for updates ! Thanks for the deets very intriquing…

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hiya Millenia –

      Thank you for the attaboy.
      I reread the piece and regained many of the “deets” my poor brain had forgotten.

      Thanks again,

      Russ

      Like

  10. John O'neil says:

    Hiya Rusty,

    John & Joline, still here, on top of the green, instead of under it. Man those Eightie’s with the Roomates were sure fun!!! Hope you are well.

    JohnO

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Holy mackerel, John and Jolene!

      I guess “long time no see” would be a bit of an understatement. Look for an email.

      RB

      Like

  11. Dear Mr. Buhanan,

    I have read with interest your piece on Peter Hammond.

    Though I cannot make heads nor tails about who you are or where you are truly coming from – I did want to say that you should consider yourself a mediocre tip of the iceberg spotter – especially regarding Petr Hammond.

    For more than 15 years I have tracked and confronted this individual – a master prevaricator – really more delusional – a pathological liar. He is a hoax, fraud and “Christian counterfeit” unworthy to even be described as “Christian.”

    I think you and I may have possibly diabolically opposed world views about politics, religion, morality and other issues – but my dear man, you have been far to kind and far too lazy in your research – you have given Peter Hammond a pass.

    Regards,
    James A. Howell
    Pastor and Founder
    Changing Directions Life-recovery Programs

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hello, James A. Howell, Pastor and Founder,

      I’m working on a hunch here, but I get the feeling you are not an admirer of Peter Hammond. In fact, if you believe, as you wrote, that my characterization of Pastor Hammond as a fanatical bigot is giving him “a pass,” I think your dislike of poor Peter may have crossed over into obsession territory. In fact, your inability to see that the subject of Peter Hammond was tangential to “The Politics of Email…,” a post about, uh, the politics of email — not an exposé on a nutty South African minister — suggests your issues with Hammond run deep.

      Regarding our “diabolically” opposing political views, I would hazard a guess that you are right — maybe even diametrically so.

      Thanks again,

      RB

      Like

  12. Anne says:

    I always loved “Green Eyed Lady” and “Baby Come Back”. Spent many years in radio, played “Baby Come Back” many many times. Saw “Rhinestone” and heard “Day my Baby Died”. Hilarious! (Kick it off. Wichita!)

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hi Anne –
      Thanks for the nice words. Also, seeing the titles “Green-Eyed Lady,” “Baby Come Back,” and “The Day my Baby Died” together reminded me of how, uh, eclectic my music career has been. What was your gig in radio — in Wichita, I’m assuming?

      Like

  13. Steven Kitnick says:

    To my old friend! It was nice talking with you today (2/14/2016) after 44 years! Steven Kitnick, Drummer, Brethren, 1968-69.

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hey Steve –

      It was terrific touching base with you yesterday, my old chum — after 700 years, more or less. The astounding thing is, you sound just like I remember.

      RB

      Like

    • John Oneil says:

      Hey Rusty,

      Joline and I (51st Anniversary) had a great Saturday night with the Roommates last weekend. Portuguese Lounge. Kojak was sitting next to me, advising me of some shots emphasis. 1984 session as I recall.

      That was so cool we were able to do that.

      Hope you are doing well.

      JohnO

      _____

      Like

      • Russ Buchanan says:

        Hey John – Happy 51st to you and your lovely Jolene. I’m so glad those tapes exist — with good, old Linda shaking the rafters of the Sheraton Universal. Have you converted them to digital?

        RB

        Like

  14. Dearest Russ, I just read your article on “Doing the Corporate Hustle, LA Style. When I read such articles and then make my phone calls and send my emails and await some response…. Never mind you know what responses such emails and phone calls get.
    And then there are these two more recent situation. It really is endemic.

    1. http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/02/12/video-indiana-workers-learn-jobs-going-mexico

    2. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/06/17/gov-mark-dayton-hails-medtronic-acquisition-for-keeping-jobs-in-minnesota

    I love what you do. It’s emotionally exhausting and miserably maddening. But you do it. And that says everything.

    Love,
    your friend.

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Drat. I just noticed I never approved this comment. I always forget this part. I am a rotten administrator, but a darned nice guy. I look forward to your arrival in this Valley of San Fernando. By the way, your last email made me brush up on Henry Wallace. Fascinating.

      Like

  15. Steve March-Tormé says:

    Hey you, it’s Steve March-Tormé. Drop me a line and let me know how you are.
    Much love,
    Me

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Steve – I just emailed you at the address you used to post this. The amazing thing is I was talking about you two nights ago. Then I find your message. Coincidence? I think not.

      Like

      • John Oneil says:

        Hey Rusty,

        Sittin’ here playin’ Roommates and readyin’ to go out to some of the beach cities (Crown Plaza, downtown, probably ‘86 – ‘ 87. Linda hasn’t told me yet.) Joel “Rock – breath” was just intro’d along with you guys……….. Man that was fun!!!

        Hope all is well with you and yours!!!

        JohnO’Neil, with Joline

        Like

      • John Oneil says:

        Rusty,

        “Wooley Bully” just came on! You guys were funny!

        Got a funny story and don’t know if I ever told you. When we first met you in 1981 at the Portuguese Lounge, I was a carpenter foreman out in the Balboa Basin building that big water treatment plant out there in the mid San Fernando Valley.

        Superintendent introduced me to a new hand that was to work with me, called out from “The Hall” (that’s how we do in in the Carpenters Union). This was on a Friday and Lee Maite became one of my guys.

        We all had radios out on the job for music and news, big wide muddy field, and along about mid – morning I had Lee doing a little welding job. I noticed he was pretty good at it and I sauntered over to give a little personal feel to our crew members.

        So I say, “Watcha doin’t this weekend, Lee?” He said, “Going to the Bluegrass Festival over in Bakersfield.” I said that sounds kind cool.

        A little later I walk back to see how the job is coming along, and as a conversational starter I said, “Bluegrass, huh? Do you play?” He said that he did and I thought that was cool.

        Lee wasn’t very talkative, kind of quiet to his bearded self. So when I passed him the next time I said “You ever play for pay?” “Yup.” He said…… “Record?” said I……… He came back with “yeah some of that too.” “Huh.” Says I, as I walked over to another worker.

        When I came around again, of all things, “Wooley Bully” was playing on his boom box KRTH I think. “Hear that O’Neil? That’s Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs. That’s me. I’m a Pharoah…….. Sammy’s muh CUZZIN.” Out there on that mud flat, I couldn’t help but ask how long he had been a Union Carpenter.

        He asked me what time it was. I said about 11:00 o’clock. He said, “Oh, then about five hours.” (We started at 6 in the morning).

        I cracked up! He was a darn good carpenter! He showed me some concert pix that he kept in his wallet. Fascinating!

        I always meant to tell you that one.

        JohnO

        Superintendent

        H.C. Olsen Construction

        From: John O’neil [mailto:joneil@hcolsen.net] Sent: Sunday, September 11, 2016 4:36 PM To: ‘Russ Buchanan’ Subject: RE: [New comment] About

        Hey Rusty,

        Sittin’ here playin’ Roommates and readyin’ to go out to some of the beach cities (Crown Plaza, downtown, probably ‘86 – ‘ 87. Linda hasn’t told me yet.) Joel “Rock – breath” was just intro’d along with you guys……….. Man that was fun!!!

        Hope all is well with you and yours!!!

        JohnO’Neil, with Joline

        Like

  16. Russ Buchanan says:

    Hey, John and Jolene – I forgot we even did Wooly Bully. Man, you guys merged me into memory lane. Those were some fun times. By the way, here’s some news — bad and good: Mark Bensi, the guy who replaced our drum machine (and my best friend… if an adult has a best friend, that is), won an Emmy last night. Best Sound (he was the music editor) for Limited Run Series or Movie. It was for an episode of “Fargo.”

    The bad news is Jerry Donahue had a serious stroke. He is undergoing therapy, but for the time being he is without speech and is paralyzed on his right side. I saw him Friday and he was in good spirits. Plus, he recently was able to move his right leg and hand. Pretty darned good, considering the event was just one month ago.

    And no, I hadn’t heard fledgling welder- Pharoah story. I swear, those damned musicians are everywhere.

    RB

    Like

    • John Oneil says:

      Hey Rusty,

      So so sad to hear of anything bad like Jerry is going through. Prayers for the man! He is one of the really GOOD guys!

      And good on Mark! Those awards are really career drivers!

      Back in 1984, our neighbor and very good friend, raising his 13 year old son (alone), and struggling to make ends meet like all of us, handsome trim colored guy named Darryl Phennessee, lived across the pool from us, there in Burbank behind Vons. One shiny evening he popped into the pool area in front of his apartment and in one hand he had a shiny trophy and in the other a check. “John!” he yells. “I GOT it!” A Grammy! For the best Male vocal quartet. (Two Plus Two). One week later, he was on Michael Jackson’s Bad Tour and toured with Michael for years (one of the four backup singer/dancers)

      He went on with Rod Stewart, James Brown, Neil Diamond and about everyone else! He was the male voice for Dancing With The Stars for years.

      Fun memories!

      JohnO

      Like

    • John Oneil says:

      Hey Rusty,

      Hearing about Jerry was so distressing. The announcement is on Google as well.

      So naturally I dive into the Magic Box to see what I can find. Let’s see what your comments might be on this one.

      The one that you would think might be the most thorough would be Wikipedia.

      And there were some other items as well.

      GREAT CREDITS! But one that surprised me was he and brother Mark wrote the score for the movie “The Final Option!” and both of ‘em had grand band parts in the movie. And there were no remarks concerning their credits, as far as I could find! Mark and Jerry looked so alike!

      Preceding the releasing of the film, at the Alex Theatre on Brand in Glendale, Jerry had told me that before they were allowed to release it in The U.S., the title had to be changed. Thus it became The Final Option! Over here! Don’t recall what it was.

      I remember Richard Widmark was a big name in the actor titles, but I can’t remember who the big player for the music theme was… Not Joe Cocker, but something like that.

      Rusty, we been to a billion film releases out here, but that is the ONLY ONE we ever went to, where the entire audience stood up and gave a massive applause!

      That movie played for three weeks and then it disappeared! All at once! This was 1982, ’83, maybe.’84 latest.

      There was rumors that the U.S. government banned that masterpiece!

      Do you recall anything about that? Lotsa conspiracies in those days!

      Loved that movie! I got one of the first VCR’s and video camera in January, 10th 1983… And sure I got bits and pieces The Final Option!

      JohnO

      Superintendent

      H.C. Olsen Construction

      Like

  17. John Turner says:

    Hey Rusty,
    Let’s see how good (or bad) your memory is.
    I was Deane Hagens’ protege of sorts.
    (In case you didn’t know, he passed several years ago).
    I subbed for him on a gig at the Marine Depot in Barstow you played at with Rick Johnston, and a lead singer whose name escapes me.
    I also played conga and percussion, sitting in occasionally in the band “Razzmatazz” With Lorna Wright.
    Another mutual encounter was a gig we did at a bowling alley bar in Palmdale, or was it Lancaster….lol!
    Another time, I ditched classes in high school to hang out with you and Deane at a recording session for “Mod Squad”, at Glen Glenn, at Sunset and Gower.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t remember me. 🙂

    Love and Peas,
    John Turner

    Like

    • Russ Buchanan says:

      Hey John – deep in the cobwebs of my increasingly feeble memory I think I do remember you. Now if I could only find my keys.
      Are you sure it was for “Mod Squad” and not the “Dirt Gang” movie that I sang on for Deane’s daddy. I don’t remember ever going to a “Mod Squad” session. But, then again….
      Yeah,I heard Deane died. Too darned early. RIP. Have you stayed in touch with Rick? I’d heard he became a computer wizard. I remember him as very bright so it would not surprise me. Plus he used to let me ride his horse all the time — which has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but there ya go.
      How the heck did you wind up in PA?
      By the way, I talk to good old Lorna every once in a while.

      Like

  18. John Turner says:

    I forgot to mention Beverly Wright (Garys’ OTHER sister)… She fronted that band Razzmatazz .

    Like

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