April 18th, 2011 / 8:46 pm

Snail Time: The Dreams of Dion McGregor

OK, so my buddy Jim turned me on to these (occasionally foul-mouthed) recordings of Dion McGregor. A while back McGregor wrote some songs, but was far better, it turns out, at talking in his sleep.

Thank god someone recorded him. I can’t stop listening to the things.

From the liner notes of McGregor’s first collected slumber recordings, “The Dream World of Dion McGregor”, which Ink Mathmatics wrote up a bit ago:

At a moment like this I wish that I were a writer so that I could properly explain what you will hear when you play the record inside this cover. Perhaps it would also help if I were a psychiatrist, a psychoanalyst, a clinical psychologist, a hypnotherapist, etc…etc… But since I am none of the above, i think it best that I simply report to you what I know about this record as the result of my work in connection with it.

About March of 1963 my wife, Nancy, came rushing into my office to tell me that she had just heard some tape recordings of a man by the name of Dion McGregor, who has a habit of “talking in his sleep”. Naturally I said, “go away wife, I’ve word to do.” She didn’t go away so I had to listen to her tell me all about McGregor’s “sleep talking habits…he tells crazy stories that are funny, terrify, serious and pathetic”, she said, “and he does this 3 and 4 times a week”. When she told me that Mike Barr, McGregor’s roommate, got up every morning (at 7:00) to turn on the tape recorder I was really upset, as obviously McGregor’s “talking habits” played havoc with Barr’s health. Then, to top it all, when she told me the “dreams” were coherent, naturally I had to agree to listen for myself. I listened and couldn’t believe my ears, and 150 tapes later I was still amazed. I found the subject matter fascinating, exciting, and with a touch of genius.

You can hear a bunch more on Grooveshark, too. Suggestions: “The Wagon”, “Snail Time”, “All Over Evelyn”.




  1. Matthew Simmons
  2. Joe H

      “she went to one of those damn serpent farms.”

  3. JimR

      “Saturday is the suck wagon.” !!!

  4. STaugustine

      This guy was the Truman Capote of the Night Mind (or the Edgar Cayce of starch?); funny as hell, of course (the uncle one; food roulette: both of these incapacitate me every time I hear them), but there are also some astonishingly beautiful texts in there. Charlie Kaufman needs to get involved; Philip Seymour Hoffman was born to play Dion…

  5. lauren

      Fuck yeah, Mike Scalise! Nice to see your byline around here…xo

  6. Mike

      Howdy, LT. Hope stuff’s good.