The life and times of Gut-Rot McGee were never not that complicated (except when they were). Born into a life of crime and poverty, the working-class hero was a multi-millionaire by the time he was 23.
But drink, drugs, ham sandwiches, and instant noodles would prove to be his downfall.
In this tale of a have-a-go hero, we have love, loss, fine music, and everything in between! Join us as we celebrate the life and times of Gut-Rot McGee.
The Debut That Stole the Show
Legend has it when Frank Sinatra saw Gut-Rot McGee perform live for the first time he wanted McGee shot dead with a gun.
But no one shot McGee dead with a gun. He was just too gosh darned good at crooning, dagnabbit.
Born in 1930, Berkeley Aldo “Gut-Rot” McGee first cut his teeth on singing when but a teenager. He tripped and fell whilst serving hamburgers in his job to support his family. He told The New York Times in 1957:
“I were wailing in goddamn agony with my teeth shattered and bust up pretty bad, but the customers were all saying, ‘Damn, you’ve got a fine voice! You should go into showbiz!’ But I was in my, ‘Don’t you tell me what to goddamn do, old timer!’ faze and I yelled at them, ‘Don’t you tell me what to goddamn do, old timers!’ But I realised they were all, like, my age and still had acne and weren’t old at all.”
A riot ensued and McGee’s ribs and gut got busted bad by the local bully, Bob, who laughed at McGee and called him “Gut-Rot McGee!”
The name stuck and Gut-Rot continued flipping and serving burgers until 1948. After the war ended, he took to singing to bring in extra income.
He was talent spotted in 1949 and his first album, Gut-Rot McGee, launched in 1950. It was an instant smash hit, spending seven weeks at #1 in the US album charts with hits like:
- Harpoonin’ and Croonin’
- Fly Me to the Greasy Spoon
- It’s Not Really a Cold War During a Summer Heatwave
- Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Gut-Rot McGee
McGee and Sinatra began a serious rivalry from 1949 onward, with the pair taking a serious disliking to each other.
McGee later said in a ghostly séance from 1991:
“Sinatra was a piece of shit! I had my song. He had his songs. He didn’t like the fact that my songs, and his songs, were songs. I was like, ‘Frank! They’re songs!’ And he was like, ‘McGee! DIIIIEEEEEE!’ and out came the razor blades again, the sad old fart.”
However, Sinatra wouldn’t take “let it snow” for an answer and McGee was threatened with his life.
Ultimately, he had to flee the music scene right after the release of his most successful album: Gut-Rot McGee (ft. Marge the Microphone).
Quite who Marge was remains a mystery, but some put it down to McGee’s penchant for snorting Quiche Lorraine.
Just as he sprung into public life, McGee disappeared once again in and by 1955. His memory was like scurvy—itchy as all hell, but not over problematic (until you die due to death).
Faked Death and Reunion Tour
In 2017, it emerged McGee had faked his own death by scurvy and returned to the spotlight with Marge the Microphone.
The pair had married in 1983 and now 137 microphone-based children. McGee told the BBC:
“I have no idea how that worked physically, but the babies are there and they’re incredibly good at recording stuff.”
When quizzed about his disappearance, he told The Daily Disaster tabloid:
When informed he’d been missing from the public eye since 1955, McGee simply said:
“Oh, right. Well… It’s Not Really a Cold War During a Summer Heatwave!”
It was during the cold, steely silence that followed this statement that Gut-Rot McGee realised he was no longer welcome in society.
He’s since fully retired and is guarded by the FBI as a prime suspect of tomfoolery.