Media Funhouse on Dreaming Like Mad

13 Dec
Media Funhouse TV Show

Media Funhouse TV Show

Ed Grant of Media Funhouse* has written a compelling and delightful article about Dreaming Like Mad with Dion McGregor.

* The blog for the cult Manhattan cable-access TV show that offers viewers the best in “everything from high art to low trash… and back again!” Find links to rare footage, original reviews, and reflections on pop culture and arthouse cinema.

An Announcement from McGregor Fan and TVR Supporter Michael Manasco

13 Dec

Thanks, Michael, for talking up Dreaming Like Mad and the newly remastered Dream World of Dion McGregor!

“The Man Who Wrote an Album in His Sleep”

13 Dec
Illustration by Andy J Miller

Illustration by Andy J Miller

Article on Dion McGregor by Lucas Reilly in Mental Floss.

“The Hate Song” by Michael Barr and Dion McGregor

8 Dec
Drssed to the Nines, featuring "The Hate Song" by Barr-McGregor

Drssed to the Nines, featuring “The Hate Song” by Barr-McGregor

Michael Barr’s dear friend Patrick Ramsey just tweeted this track from Mike’s MySpace page. “The Hate Song”—music by Michael Barr, words by Dion McGregor—is a song I love. Ceil Cabot and Bill Hinnant perform it brilliantly on the 1960 original off-Broadway cast recording of Dressed to the Nines (from Julius Monk’s revue Upstairs at the Downstairs). This came out early on in the somniloquy-recording era of Barr-McGregor, which likely began in 1959, contrary to previous reports.*

* I had stated that Barr’s recording of McGregor’s sleeptalking likely started in 1961. As I recall, Phil Milstein mentioned 1960 as a probably initiation of that phase. While listening yet again to the interview with Dion on the Long John Nebel Show, I heard him say that the recording of his dreams had already been going on for around five years prior to the 1964 release of the Dream World album and book. Mike Barr was never quite sure, during the last decade of his life, exactly when he began recording his roommate and songwriting partner; but given the fact that he and Dion were already sharing a space in the late fifties, it seems probably that the earlier date is closer to historical accuracy.

Gotye Boosts McGregor

6 Dec

After telling his fans that “Dion McGregor’s sleeptalkings are some of the funniest things I’ve heard!” the great Gotye* gave another thoughtful boost to the new Dreaming Like Mad album:


Rare Photo of Dion McGregor

1 Dec

Dion McGregor made a brief appearance in his friend Peter DeRome’s 1971 film Mumbo Jumbo. Here’s a detail from a still that came my way via Ed Grant of Media Funhouse. Ed’s friend David McGillvray happens to be the fellow behind the recent documentary about DeRome (who, as a roommate of Dion’s in the 1950s, was subjected to many noisy somniloquies). The new film is called Peter DeRome: Grandfather of Gay Porn. Thanks to both Ed and David for providing this image, to Mr. DeRome for capturing it, and to the producers of the acclaimed new flick. DeRome, it appears, is something of a cinematic and cultural pioneer. {I was unaware at the time of writing that Mr. DeRome had passed away on June 21 of this year. See obituary posted on 28 Dec. SV}

Dion McGregor in the Peter DeRome film Mumbo Jumbo (detail from a still)

Dion McGregor in the Peter DeRome film Mumbo Jumbo (detail from a still)

Uncropped still from Mumbo Jumbo

Uncropped still from Mumbo Jumbo

Dion McGregor on the Long John Nebel Show (1964)

1 Dec
Dion McGregor (1964); Long John Nebel (Life Magazine, 1969)

Dion McGregor (1964); Long John Nebel (Life Magazine, 1969)

Dion McGregor discusses his incredible sleeptalking talents on the Long John Nebel Show (WOR Radio, 1964), shortly after the publication of The Dream World of Dion McGregor (Bernard Geis Associates, 1964) and the Decca album of the same title (recently remastered by Torpor Vigil Industries, as seen in the previous post).

Dream World Remastered!

1 Dec
Dream World of Dion McGregor (Decca, 1962) Cover by Edward Gorey

Dream World of Dion McGregor (Decca, 1962)
Cover by Edward Gorey

Dear Dion McGregor fans and Torpor Vigil Supporters,

It gives me quite a charge to announce the return of one of the funniest and strangest albums of all time. The Dream World of Dion McGregor (He Talks in His Sleep)—first released as a vinyl LP by Decca in 1964—has been remastered from the original tapes by Torpor Vigil Records and is now being offered as a free download. To stream or download this sequence of classic recordings by the legendary sleeptalker, please visit this page:

Every download of the remastered Dream World album includes a markdown of 35% on Samuel Andreyev’s outstanding Tubular West album (both custom CD and download versions). Album details:
Thanks for your time—and, as always, all the best in dream and waking!


Over by the Freak Zone

13 Oct

The ever-adventurous Stuart Maconie has been playing Samuel Andreyev’s Tubular West again. His BBC6 Freak Zone  program aired “Over by the Mantle” from the album Maconie said he was “really getting into.” I’m really into it too—and I never want out!

Stuart Maconie of the FreakZone (BBC6)

Stuart Maconie of The Freak Zone (BBC6)

Gotye on Dreaming Like Mad

13 Sep

Here’s a tweet from the wonderful Gotye—a new but avid Dion McGregor fan:

USA Today on Dreaming Like Mad

5 Aug

DreamingLikeMadCover_KerryZentner_TorporVigilRecords_smallerSplendid article on the new Dion McGregor album by Whitney Matheson in her USA Today column Pop Candy.



30 Jul

TVR Tees and Tanks now available here:
and here:

Dion Inside Out

30 Jul


David De Meuter has curated a compilation of outsider tracks for the latest Musics in the Margin release from Sub Rosa. It includes two Dion McGregor tracks, together for the first time (one’s from The Further Somniloquies of Dion McGregor and the other has just come out on the new Dreaming Like Mad album).

Details about the Inside Out Music release can be found here:

The day after receiving my copies, I awoke to discover that the cover art had uncannily camouflaged itself against the August 2003 issue of Country Living.

Dreaming Like Mad Release

14 Jul

The official release date of the new Dion McGregor album is July 20th. Pre-orders have been filled—and it’s truly exciting to get some enthusiastic early reactions to the audio, the CD package, and the t-shirts/tank tops (featuring Kerry Zentner’s cover art).

To see related posts, kindly drop by the Dreaming Like Mad Facebook page:

I’d better start tweeting, too, now that I’m into the getting-it-out-there phase!

There’s still work to be done before the 20th, but everything’s up and running on the Dion McGregor Bandcamp site (with the possible exception of shirts and prints):

What have I got for a picture this time … ? How about the earliest known photo of Dion (photographer unknown):Young Dion McGregor

Best from Torpor Vigil HQ in Toronto,



The Time Has Come for Dreaming Like Mad!

19 Jun

Praise Morpheus, the god of dreams: the new Dion McGregor album is finished at last!

Preorders for the CD will be filled the first week of July. Meanwhile, I’ll be making the download version available not just to those who preordered it but to those who’ve been awaiting the disc and will have to wait a little longer for it to be shipped.

Each unavoidable delay presented an opportunity to improve upon the layout and design of the album. This new release will be a worthy offering on the golden anniversary of The Dream World of Dion McGregor.

New orders for the album, in CD and download forms, will be filled starting the second week of July–a month shy of the tenth anniversary of The Further Somniloquies of Dion McGregor (the first “dream world” compilation from Torpor Vigil).

I can guarantee you, this new Dion McGregor release will be nothing to thumb your nose at!*

Steve Venright

* You’ll know what I’m talking about when you hear the dreams.

Annie Paladino “Dreama”s Again

9 Apr
Annie Paladino's show inspired by the dreams of Dion McGregor

Annie Paladino’s show inspired by the dreams of Dion McGregor

Annie Paladino is remounting her wonderful solo show Dreama, in Seattle. The show was “written” by Dion McGregor in his sleep: Annie inhabits his dream world as she vocally recreates some of the great sleeptalker’s somniloquies. Here’s the Facebook page, and the link to tickets:

A Bit of Unreleased Vigilant Torpor

5 Apr

Composer James Blight is one of those rare beings who can combine a delirious spirit with rigorous craft. Here’s some unreleased audio from a 1998 collaboration, in which Jim does something astounding to my words. The texts are excerpts from glossary entries found in a couple of my early books, such as Straunge Wunder (Steve Venright; Tortoiseshell & Black, 1996)