To me, he has always been louche--borderline icky, even. That is part of his guilty appeal.
I see him as a man transported from an earlier, less enlightened, yet no less gifted era. Les came along 10 years too late to have been with Sinatra Live at the Sands in 1961, but his ethos is firmly rooted there. Les has that slightly gross, early-60s-style, cluelessness that allows him to write a song like "Lose The Bra", but he combines it with 10 times more (stand-up-when-a-lady-comes-to-the-table) respect for women than guys have today.
Sure, Les never learned that it's rude to stare at a woman, but he also cares enough to intervene to try and keep a stranger from having a stroke (his Beatles Diet song for example). Les is like the bad dog that saves Timmy from the well. If he kills a few chickens, so what?
Les is like a few people I know who I sometimes want to shake by the lapels and slap sense into, until, out of the blue they do something so beautiful and daring and noble and good that I have to throw up my hands and say, "Hallelujah, walk on, you glorious sonuvabitch."
Les is out having drinks and in a fist fight with David Mamet and Ricky Jay, while your Modern Man is home in bed with an iPad watching "Orange Is the New Black." I hear he is called “Polyester Les” because he won’t wear cotton clothing (or anything post-Watergate). That’s ok, he is probably saving the earth by refusing to iron, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t his first motivation.
David Culp/CD - THE RICHARDS GROUP