Combining avant garde jazzy beats with an underlying spoken word performance - and some dude singing "Detachable penis" over and over again - you get really the only hit song by King Missile in their Happy Hour album. The album was released by Atlantic Records in 1992. John S. Hall is the New York City-based poet and spoken word artist who is calmly reciting the lines of the song in Detachable Penis. He also happens to be a lawyer at a firm called Heraty Hall ( that specializes in "serving the needs of small businesses and professionals in the music, entertainment, and fashion industries."

Having this song get a lot of radioplay and selling a good number of copies of Happy Hour was, at first, a very good thing for King Missile. However, there are always downfalls to having only the one hit song.

John S. Hall on Detachable Penis in 2003:

The second KM explosion (the first being the Mystical CD) came with Happy Hour (1992). This was the first Atlantic record (and one of only a very few at the time) to debut #1 at CMJ, and that was basically because of "Detachable." "Martin Scorsese" also got play, as did "It's Saturday," and a few others. But it was basically "Detachable." And after that CD, we didn't really get a lot of airplay. A few stations continued to be supportive, but I think that the success of "Detachable" resulted in a lot of people getting pretty tired of what we were doing. That is one of the bad things about having a "hit."

Detachable Penis is more than just a song, though. It is the story of a man with an unusual attribute who suffers tremendous loss (talk to any man who has ever lost his penis) and a period of profound depression because of it. He loses one of his best friends, part of his manhood, maybe a part of his soul, you might say, when he gets inebriated at a party. He awakes the next morning nursing a hangover and discovers that a very important part of him is missing. His penile member is gone, one that he can conveniently detach and reattach when needed (he can leave it at home when it might get him into trouble or rent it out when he does not need it). Frantically he searches his apartment and calls the place that held the party and some of his fellow partygoers. Nobody has seen it. He experiences depression and anxiousness, not one to enjoy going without his penis for very long (sitting down to pee is not something he finds enjoyable).

But there is a happy ending to this tale of a misplaced sexual organ. As he walks down an area in his city where one is likely to find people selling used items, he spies his little buddy lying on a blanket next to a toaster oven. After talking the seller down to 17 from $22, he is happily reunited with his penis, ending hours of painful wondering if he would ever see it again. He is once again whole and the world is right again.

Despite this incident, though, he is not ready to have it permanently attached. Even though it can be quite a pain sometimes, he likes it detachable.


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