the lombardo orchestra circa 1920
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Boo Hoo!
Londoners Who Hate Lombardo

compiled by Christopher Doty

Not every son and daughter of London shares Doty Docs' enthusiasm for Guy Lombardo. There are a (mercifully) small number of malcontents who have taken pot shots at the maestro and his boys over the years. This page is disrespectfully dedicated to them.

lombardo cartoonLombardo Performance Lacks Old Magic
April 1, 1974

Maybe I'm one of those weirdos who can't be overwhelmed by nostalgia enough to close my ears on what's going on now. Or maybe if I go to see Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians I can't blindfold my eyes, pretending I'm in the Roosevelt Grill where I danced to them or some other glamorous spot where I've seen them on TV.

Anyway, I was disappointed by them Saturday night when they played to a packed Alumni Hall - the 11 instrumentalists, Kenny Gardener who just sits when he isn't singing, and Guy who conducts with baton which he treats like a riding crop when the music stops. - L.C., London

An Imaginary Conversation with Guy Lombardo
January 30, 1973

Interviewer: I'm puzzled by some of the more technical aspects of your music. I've read in music magazines that your sax section plays out of tune. Is this true?

Lombardo: It is, but that's also part of the formula. You see, most people sing off key and we figure that we could capitalize on this phenomenon if we could give them a sound that was easy to identify with because of its basic out-of-tune nature.

Interviewer: What about the rhythm of your music? It seems you play everything in the same tempo and with the same choppy beat.

Lombardo: We played for years on the east coast and around New York and we found that most of our elderly followers were rich but couldn't dance. A lot of these older gentlemen were in the First World War and had a lot of military marching under their belt so they had no trouble at all adapting to our beat. The other day my brother Lebert hit a high C for the first time. Well, we can't have that sort of thing: people will think we are trying to copy Stan Kenton or something.

Interviewer: One more thing, Mr. Lombardo, have you had any regrets in your 40 or so years in the music business?

Lombardo: Yes, only one and that is that I have never won a Down Beat award. - M. R., London

Not a Lombardo Fan
December 31, 1974

New Year's Eve is like a difficult pregnancy which in this case occurs every 12 months. It is about this time each year that Londoners will be expounding the musical virtues of its favorite son, Guy Lombardo.

It will be a special event where sometime during the course of the evening Guy will be awarded an honorary degree for having completed his second lesson in music.

Also Guy will be given a copy of the book "A Conductor's Hand Guide" written and autographed by Lawrence Welk. The department of the interior will also be honoring Mr. Lombardo with a baton from the "petrified" forest. - D. C., London

Incognito Critic
May 17, 1972

The mother of my child, a 25-year-old, who digs Guy Lombardo's music, was astounded as I set out to review the bandleader's Royal Canadians in concert at Alumni Hall Tuesday night.

"You can't go to a Guy Lombardo concert dressed like that," she snapped. I was wearing a denim jacket and jeans purchased earlier in the day at a downtown department store. "It's just not appropriate. If I was going with you I'd be embarrassed to be seen with you."

I dredged up a more conventional suit and went out looking like an insurance agent. So there I was a Alumni Hall, a rock-folk music critic incognito, trying to be objective about an area of music I find bland.
J. M., London

Click here for Robert Fulford's churlish proposal for a Walk of Shame