Doug Westberg

Doug Westberg

BandAlternativeSinger/Songwriter

Keyboardist/singer/composer/satirist Doug Westberg performs an eclectic stew of Randy Newman, the Beatles, Scott Joplin, and Tin Pan Alley, anchored by his body of brilliant originals, which feature wickedly funny satire and virtuosic musicianship in styles ranging from ragtime to boogie rock.

Biography

Doug Westberg’s music has been an under-the-radar part of the Portland/Vancouver music scene for over 30 years. His projects have ranged from theatrical productions like the original cabaret musical comedy The Almost Has-Been And The Nearly Never-Was (with Carol Holden) to classical organ concerts to his two-hour Easter Vigil cantata for organ, piano, cantor, and choir. In 2004, he earned Songwriter Of The Year honors in the Portland Songwriters Association Showcase Series, and his song “You’re All The Woman I Need,” won Best Country Song in the PSA International Song Contest. His commissions have included pieces for the inaugurations of the Marylhurst University Pipe Organ and the Church of the Resurrection in Tualatin, Oregon.

Westberg’s current project, a solo cabaret show entitled Nicky DeVries And His Magical Keys, is an eclectic stew that includes equal parts Randy Newman, Tin Pan Alley, the Beatles, Billy Joel, and Scott Joplin, anchored by his body of brilliant originals. Featuring wickedly funny satire and virtuosic musicianship in a range of styles as versatile as his cover repertoire, Doug’s original songs draw from ragtime, blues, boogie rock, piano jazz, modern jazz-pop, and the Great American Songbook as it suits his purpose. Wildly inventive, brilliantly crafted, and scathingly funny, his lyrics skewer politicians on both sides of the fence, our inept educational system, TV evangelists, the perils of modern technology, and the vanity and vainglory of American popular culture in all its manifestations. He has also published a volume of poetry; his web site is www.dougwestberg.com.

A sampling of Westberg’s lyrical brilliance:

(from “You’re In The Palm Of My Hand”)
The DNA evidence is still at the lab, but I think you’re worth taking a chance for.
I pulled up your rap sheet on my wireless modem, and, yeah, I’ll meet you on the dance floor.
The Meyers-Briggs rating can wait ‘til the break.
You can fill out the quiz on my Palm.
And if you’re like me, an ESTP,
We’ll dance the Lambada ‘til dawn.

(from “The Big Lie”)
Sparky sat on a high bridge rail and dangled his feet over Chesapeake Bay.
He said, ‘I’ll come down when you can promise me the world I learned about in seventh grade,
Where spelling matters and music’s musical, matter is solid and light’s a wave,
And I before E except after C, and sounding like ay as in neighbor and weigh.
There’s caffeine, codeine, lutein and protein,
Surfeit, forfeit—counterfeit, isn’t it?....

Lyrics

You're All The Woman I Need

Written By: Doug Westberg

I want a woman I can wrap my arms around.
I want a girl who bites off more than she can chew.
I don't need some waify type whose taste for love and life
consists of Perrier and rabbit food.
I like my ladyfriends the way I like my cars--
Big and beautiful and hot beneath the hood.
I don't need no pencil-neck, my taste is Reubenesque
and boy, I think I'm onto something good.

You're all the woman I need.
Nothing but the finest will do.
I want all the living that this world has got to give
And I need all the woman in you.

I want a broad who's not afraid to go for broke.
I want a dame that Humphrey Bogart would admire.
Don't be playing hard to get,
I don't need no coquette,
I want someone to set my heart on fire.
I need a chick who wants to raise a little Cain,
Who doesn't have to be in bed by nine or ten.
Humor my addictiveness and love me to excess
and after that, we'll do it all again.

You're all the woman I need.
Nothing but the finest will do.
I want all the living that this world has got to give
And I need all the woman in you.

My love for you goes on forever like your skin,
I want to kiss it 'til my lips touch every pore.
I just want a hedonist to show me what I missed
before I learned to be a carnivore.
It's such a drag to lose your lover in the sheets,
The more there is of you the more I can adore.
I don't need no bony hips or mousy little lips
What do you think God made love handles for?

You're all the woman I need.
Nothing but the finest will do.
I want all the living that this world has got to give
And I need all the woman in you.

I Make The Livin'

Written By: Doug Westberg

My little woman never done a lick of work in her life.
My friends wonder how I put up with such a no-'count wife.
Well, I've got an answer that stops 'em in their tracks every time.
I say "I make the livin' but she makes the livin' fine."

Yes, I make the livin' and she makes the livin' fine.
Yes, I make the bread but she is the fruit of the vine.
When I get weary and I need some help,
I stop for a minute and I say to myself,
"I make the livin' but she makes the livin' fine."

My little woman, all she ever wanna do is dance.
If I let her in the kitchen I'd be takin' my life in my hands.
But if I go hungry, I sure go hungry in style,
'Cause I make the livin' but she makes the livin' worthwhile.

Yes, I make the livin' and she makes the livin' fine.
Yes, I make the bread but she is the fruit of the vine.
When I get weary and I need some help,
I stop for a minute and I say to myself,
"I make the livin' but she makes the livin' fine."

Yes, I make the livin' but she makes the livin'
I make the livin' but she makes the livin'
I make the livin' but she makes the livin'
I make the livin' but she makes the livin'
I make the livin' but she makes the livin' fine.

My little woman thinks the bathroom is her personal space.
It takes her an hour and a half just to put on her face.
But if I have to go use the gas station I don't mind,
'Cause I make the livin' but she makes the livin' fine.

Yes, I make the livin' and she makes the livin' fine.
Yes, I make the bread but she is the fruit of the vine.
When I get weary and I need some help,
I stop for a minute and I say to myself,
"I make the livin' but she makes the livin' fine."

My little woman never saw a store that she didn't like.
She spends my money like the world's gonna end tonight.
But if I have to go to the poorhouse, I'll go with a smile.
'Cause I make the livin' but she makes the livin' worthwhile.

Yes, I make the livin' and she makes the livin' fine.
Yes, I make the bread but she is the fruit of the vine.
When I get weary and I need some help,
I stop for a minute and I say to myself,
"I make the livin' but she makes the livin' fine."

You're In The Palm Of My Hand

Written By: Doug Westberg

You’re In The Palm Of My Hand

© Doug Westberg

The DNA evidence is still at the lab,
But I think you’re worth taking a chance for.
I pulled up your rap sheet on my wireless modem
And, yeah, I’ll meet you on the dance floor.
The Meyers-Briggs rating can wait ‘til the break.
You can fill out the quiz on my Palm.
And if you’re like me,
An ESTP,
We’ll dance the lambada ‘til dawn.
Dance the lambada ‘til dawn.

(Chorus:)
It’s not that I’m paranoid, picky or panicky,
It’s just the technology’s available.
It’s a leg up, you see,
For a nebbish like me,
There’s no woman who isn’t available.
I just hack into MasterCard, pull your account,
Find a hotel bill that’ blackmail-able.
The world’s at my fingertips—what a trip!
And you’re in the palm of my hand—I’m your pilot.
You’re in the palm of my hand.

My camera phone analyzed the shape of your face.
It went to HQ for comparison.
My buddy at Quantico gave me your file.
It better have nothing embarrassin’.
An illegal alien works as your maid.
I’ve got INS on the line.
But if you put out,
I’ll call off the roust,
And we’ll get together just fine.
We’ll get together just fine.

(Chorus)

A GPS satellite is tracking your car,
I can see every move that you make.
You know, silicone implants have serial numbers—
I’ll know if they’re real or they’re fake.
So go grab your $800 Versace
And get your sweet ass to my place.
We’ll be fartin’ through silk
‘Cause you’re one of my ilk,
And safe sex will really be safe.
Safe sex will really be safe.

(Chorus)
…And you’re in the palm of my hand—I’m your pilot.
You’re in the palm of my hand—Somebody give me a stylus!
You’re in the palm of my hand.

The Year We Had Nothing For Christmas

Written By: Doug Westberg

My Mom passed her favorite childhood doll down.
To make it more special, she sewed a new gown.
My Dad built a dollhouse from scraps that he found
The year we had nothing for Christmas.

My Dad made my brother a sailboat of oak
To float in the tub when he went for a soak.
He fashioned the mast from a bicycle spoke
The year we had nothing for Christmas.

My Dad wrote some poems and he put them in frames.
The first of each line spelled out each person's name.
My Mom made a turkey and everyone came
The year we had nothing for Christmas.

My Mom made up stories and wrote them all down
On fine handmade paper in books leather-bound,
All starring her children as sleuths of renown
The year we had nothing for Christmas.

I drew Mom a picture and colored it green,
Of Mommy and Daddy and Roger and me
As we're decorating the new Christmas tree,
The year we had nothing for Christmas.

To all of us Roger gave coupons galore,
Redeemable at Roger's own little store
For kisses and candies and maybe a chore
The year we had nothing for Christmas.

Now that my brother and I are all grown,
With spouses and houses and kids of our own,
The Christmases that I remember alone
Are the years we had nothing for Christmas.

The fancy new toys, I've forgotten them all,
But the poems and the pictures still hang from the wall.
And there on the bookshelf, the porcelain doll,
That taught me the meaning of Christmas
The year we had nothing for Christmas.

The Jerk Who Runs The Open Mike At Lucky Town

Written By: Doug Westberg

The jerk who runs the open mike at Lucky Town won’t let me sing my songs.
I sang there once and next week there’s brand new list of rules a mile long
And every single song I’ve ever written seems to have something wrong
Now feel free to grab a pen and paper and take notes as we go along.

People who come to bars don’t want to hear that alcoholism is bad
So if you sing about alcoholism just make sure the melody isn’t sad
But if it’s a good ol’ country song about a drunk doing something stupid, that’s OK
But if any of the patrons get depressed we have the right to yank you anyway.

The jerk who runs the open mike at Lucky Town won’t let me sing my songs.
I sang there once and next week there’s brand new list of rules a mile long
And every single song I’ve ever written seems to have something wrong
Not to mention every song by Dylan, Seeger, Waits or Neil Young.

Anti-war protest is what most folk songs ever sung were written for
So anti-war songs are OK as long as they protest a bygone war
But if you name a sitting politician you might make a customer sore
And if it even sounds like bashing—oh wait, he’s not the President anymore.

The jerk who runs the open mike at Lucky Town won’t let me sing my songs.
I sang there once and next week there’s brand new list of rules a mile long
And every single song I’ve ever written seems to have something wrong
It’s enough to make a songwriter go back to flipping burgers at McDon…alds.

The thing you need to understand about doing open mike nights up this way
You ain’t in that Sodom across the river, this is Vancouver, USA
The standard of good taste that’s represented by these rules is plain as day
Just ask yourself, would I sing this to my mother just before she passed away.

The jerk who runs the open mike at Lucky Town won’t let me sing my songs.
I sang there once and next week there’s brand new list of rules a mile long
And every single song I’ve ever written seems to have something wrong
I’m starting a petition, you can sign it after I finish up this song.
I’m starting a petition, you can sign it after I fi

He Wants To Be A Rock n Roll Star

Written By: Doug Westberg

Well, will you look at the kid singing at the piano,
Like he thinks it's the Met, and he's the soprano?
A drunk in the back is yelling "Change the channel!"
And he's the only other one in the bar.

Now he says he just came here direct from Las Vegas,
Then he belts out a B-side off of Dylan's "Back Pages."
I think he'd rather do Elton, but he can't handle the changes,
And he wants to be a rock 'n roll star.

Yes, he wants to make it big, don't you know,
And he thinks he's putting on quite a show.
Well, I've got my doubts, but what do I know?
But he sure as hell has got himself a long way to go from here.

Now he's telling a joke from Parade magazine,
And the drunk in the back is yelling "Shut up and sing!"
So he uses a comeback borrowed from Alan King,
And the drunk just cusses through his cigar.

Now here's an original, and he says that he wrote it
On top of a mountain, as if that makes him a poet,
And he's stolen the tune, but I don't think he knows it,
And he wants to be a rock 'n roll star.

Now he says he's gonna take a break,
As if I would've stood in his way.
All I wanted was a beer and a steak,
And now my poor head is beginning to ache like hell.

Now he tells me I look like Carlos Santana
And he asks for a tip so he can go to Atlanta.
So I give him a sawbuck, and he acts like I'm Santa
'Cause he hasn't got any gas in his car.

Now I ask him how he can live just on tips,
And he says he does dishes at a joint on the Strip,
But he reassures me it's just a temporary trip,
'Cause he wants to be a rock 'n roll star.

Well, I guess we're all entitled to dream.
Everybody wants to grab the brass ring.
Myself, I work in a factory,
And I hope to be the foreman when I'm fifty-three or so.

My TV's My One Pride and Joy

Written By: Doug Westberg

I come home and turn on the TV to chase all my demons away.
It’s a campfire deep in the wilderness keeping the wolves at bay.
I stare at the screen with my drink
So I don’t have to hear myself think.
I’m a king with his jester available 24 hours a day.

I get a vicarious visceral thrill from the Monday Night joint.
I’m Johnny Unitas on fourth down with Baltimore down by a point.
With seconds to go ‘til the gun,
I bust out a fifty-yard run.
A Spartacus in my recliner, I conquer the Lions in Detroit.

My TV’s my one pride and joy.
It doesn’t need flowers or milk-bones or toys.
My nineteen-inch universe revolves around me.
It’s better than sex every day of the week.
If I don’t like something I just turn it off.
So until they invent a remote for the boss,
Just give me a beer and an old La-Z-Boy
‘Cause my TV’s my one pride and joy.

Superstars beg for the privilege of making me chuckle or cry.
Victoria’s Secret sends lingerie models to get me to buy.
Everyone drives a new car.
For everything else there’s a card.
There’s a millionaire dream job and Donald Trump’s waiting for me to apply.

My TV’s my one pride and joy…

My wife’s in the bedroom composing an e-mail to her lover online.
My kid’s in the woods smoking Kools dipped in Nyquil and drinking peach wine.
My friends say I’ve gotten remote,
That my life’s gotten out of control.
But I can just watch Jerry Springer to see yokels with lives worse than mine.

My TV’s my one pride and joy.
It doesn’t need flowers or milk-bones or toys.
It doesn’t lay guilt trips or lectures on me,
‘Xcept when it wants me to sponsor a child overseas.
If I don’t like something I just turn it off.
It’s kind of like Knott’s Berry Farm in a box.
So give me a beer and an old La-Z-Boy
‘Cause my TV’s my one pride and joy.
‘Cause my TV is my only joy.

Discography

Phrenology (full length CD)
Il N'y A Pas De Quoi (single)

Set List

I have lots of very entertaining material and can do a whole concert of all originals. I also like to include Randy Newman and the Beatles and other neo-ragtime and satirical songs if licensing isn't an issue. For bars and festivals, I will tailor my presentation to the occasion and venue, mixing in covers of popular piano-based numbers by the likes of Billy Joel, Elton John, Mose Allison, and Steely Dan at a ratio to originals of about 1:1.