Tag Archives: Punch Magazine

Rocks In The Attic #759: John Bird – ‘The Collected Broadcasts Of Idi Amin’ (1975)

RITA#759This parody LP by John Bird – later of Bremner, Bird & Fortune – treads a fine line between satire and racism. Based on columns Bird wrote for Punch magazine, the record pokes fun at the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the guise of radio broadcasts by the man himself.

Given that Amin killed hundreds of thousands of people, the lampooning seems innocent enough. But then, just before the bouncy pop song Amazin’ Man, Bird (as Amin) has trouble counting the song in – “One…two…oh no, what come after two…….[very long pause]……..five” – and then it loses me. It suddenly becomes a white man, pretending to be a black man, having difficulty counting.

RITA#759aWhile I’m sure John Bird would defend this as a reference to Amin’s poor education (he left school after only four years), it seems a cheap, low blow for a man who ultimately become a high-brow political satirist.

Hit: Amazin’ Man

Hidden Gem: Gunboat Dipperlomacy