Or, I Was a Reindeer for the CIA
By Tom Warner (Baltimore Or Less)
On Christmas Eve our thoughts turn to legendary Baltimore musician Mark Linthicum (aka Mark Harp or “Harpo”), who passed away on this night in 2004 at age 47. Like Santa Claus, Mark was a Big Man, and his reputation has grown even bigger posthumously, as the recent formation of The Mark Harp All-Stars tribute band attests.
According to his ex-wife Amy Linthicum, Mark loved Christmas, so it’s not surprising that he and cohort Mike DeJong were drawn to providing live musical accompaniment to “Double ‘O’ Xmas (or, I Was a Reindeer for the CIA),” a James Bond spoof starring Towson State University grad Mark Redfield that was produced in 1995 by the Impossible Industrial Action theater company at the Theater Project.
Here’s J. Wynn Rousuck’s unwieldy-entitled theater review for the Baltimore Sun, “Secret agent Santa stars Bondage: The James Bond spoof now playing at Theatre Project owes a debt to ‘Saturday Night Live’ — both its golden age and its duller current incarnation.”
Mark Harp wrote and recorded the excellent theme song to this holiday extravaganza, which can be found on his Music for Theater and King of Peru CDs. The performers on this recording include Melissa Sharlat (lead vocals), Mo Pula and Felicia Carter (backing vocals), with Mark playing guitar (love that “You Only Live Twice” guitar riff!) and sampler.
“Harp, the Herald Angels Sing” (Baltimore Or Less)