Mad Men Special Edition: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — July 22, 2022


Yesterday, I played the Hellers’ “It’s 74 in San Francisco”, which was an actual — and great — pop psych song. Today, I play three brilliant fake advertising jingle send-ups of popular tunes that Hugh Heller put together as part of his zany private ’67 LP Creative Freakout: Advertising Protest Songs.

If there really was a Don Draper, he would have been Hugh Heller, and he would have put together the songs that I feature today. Don’t just take my word for it. Gripsweat says:

This is a rare privately pressed LP album produced by the Hellers Agency as a promotional tool to demonstrate the successful ad campaigns they had created to entice future potential clients to sign with their agency. This is a great 1967 psychedelic period piece which would fit in beautifully with the Mad Men TV show.

As Basic Hip further explains:

The Heller Corporation (Heller-Ferguson, Inc) was an advertising agency based in Los Angeles and produced highly creative commercials and thematic identification music for television and radio. Led by Hugh Heller, The Hellers released a number of promotional records to be given out to clients and were never intended for public sale. Talented writers like Jacques Wilson, who wrote the lyrics for “The Zodiac Cosmic Sounds” . . . created these slick productions that utilized top professional singers like The Norman Luboff Choir, The Clark Sisters and The Johnny Mann Singers. “Creative Freakout” features the narration of Johnny Spots (Ben Chandler) weaving in and out of several commercials for products from beer and Cornuts to Dial Soap. Like most Hellers promos, it is presented as a story, this time with the theme being a 1960’s protest march.

Radio King says:

Intended as a promotional giveaway to potential and existing advertising clients, Creative Freakout is a groovy two-sided trip involving orgies, crazy Mod threads and the avant garde. MOJO Magazine says: “Like a clash between Marshall McLuhan and Mike Sammes, Creative Freakout is a charming and very funny little record.”

Not all are so amused. Douglas is seriously put out:

“This record may sound like it must be great, but I hope it’s not something you’d actually want to listen to, cause “subversive” ad jingles from stoned, smug pseudo-counterculture ad men are still just dated-ass jingles at the end of the day. I’m not down with this record.

“Don’t know how it happened, but I found myself at a psychedelic freakout in a parking lot at a Bank of America.” . . . [Young woman:] “Just outside of Berkeley, there’s a town called San Francisco. A great place to protest.” . . . “‘You’re under arrest,’ the [cops] shouted. ‘You’re undersexed,’ the crowd answered.” . . . “Our battle cry is LSD — “Let’s Sell Descriptively.” . . . “Some kids started tearing up their draft cards. I got with it. I tore up my Signal Oil credit card.”

528) The Hellers — “Eve of Advertising Destruction”

“I’m an ad man, I know what I’m saying. Just look around and start [in praying?] All those so bads tell you you’re rotten and decaying. Everybody grabs those deodorizing cans and night and day they’re spraying. See all that hair prematurely graying. And you tell me over and over and over again my friend, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction. See all those noses, passages congested. See all those guts with food undigested. Look inside those cavity-ridden mouths of children who’ve been tested. See all those bug killers that tell us we’re infested. And look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy. And tell me over and over and over again my friend, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction. Everywhere you turn, someone’s blood isn’t working. Everyday you learn a new germ is lurking. You either have bursitis or suffer from a strain. Seems that all the world needs relief from pain. If you drive alone, your tires are bound to blow. Insurance companies tell you you haven’t long to go. Now tell me over and over and over again my friend, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction. I ain’t lying, situation’s bloody. Housewives are saying family’s clothes are filthy and muddy. In other words, mankind is cruddy. And when they drop the dirt bomb, that’s the end, old buddy. Then you’ll tell me over and over and over again my friend, that you believe we’re on the eve of destruction.”

526) The Hellers — “This Brand Is My Brand”

“This brand is your brand. This brand is my brand. From the famous no brand to the XRY brand. And thanks to this brand, and thanks to that brand, we have the wonders of TV. If it weren’t for your brand and it weren’t for my brand, there would be no Late Show or Gilligan’s Island. Holy competition, there’d be no Batman. That’s why we keep our television free. This brand is your brand. This brand is my brand. Aren’t you glad you live in a sell and buy land? Buy ’em in the lowland. Buy ’em in the highland. I’m trying to . . . stamp out pay TV. We have to keep our television free.”

527) The Hellers — “Sixteen Tongues”

“Some people say a man is made out of blood. But a man is made out of Burgie and Bud. Burgie and Bud, and foam and hops, a brew that’s light and a top that pops. You went sixteen tongues and what do you got, a sponsor that’s happy and a wife that is not. Into your mouth and out of your ears, you’re pretty stoned when you drink 16 beers. If you see me coming, better step aside. A lot of men didn’t and a lot of men died. Woman have run and men cried tears. Your breath is pretty strong after 16 beers. You went sixteen tongues and what do you got, a head that’s aching and a liver that’s shot. When 17 comes, put down that glass, cause when you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of gas. You take 16 tongues and what do you get . . . .”

Why wasn’t this a Mad Men episode???!!!

Check out the site’s new page: Stick It to the (Fish)Man: Feedback — the coolest comments I have received!

I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.

“Eve of Destruction” starts at 11:53:

“This Brand Is My Brand” starts at 1:08, “Sixteen Tongues” starts at 5:54:

Pay to Play! The Off the Charts Spotify Playlist! + Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock Merchandise

Please consider helping to supp

ort my website/blog by contributing $6 a month for access to the Off the Charts Spotify Playlist. Using a term familiar to denizens of Capitol Hill, you pay to play! (“relating to or denoting an unethical or illicit arrangement in which payment is made by those who want certain privileges or advantages in such arenas as business, politics, sports, and entertainment” —

The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

When subscribing, please send me an e-mail ( or a comment on this site letting me know an e-mail address/phone number/Facebook address, etc. to which I can send instructions on accessing the playlist and a physical address to which I can sent a magnet/t-shirt/baseball cap. If choosing a t-shirt, please let me know the gender and size you prefer.

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