Conversations With Robin Page 3

August 20, 2009

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Conversations With Robin, Page 3

Conversations between R.E. Prindle And Robin Mark


     Well, well, well.   Robert Goulet.  I should have known that filthy bastard would be mixed up in there somewhere.  What amazes me is that Guralnik could write two fat volumes on Elvis and never mention the Mob once.  I think we can begin to integrate Elvis’ Mob conflicts pretty clearly now, although research will have to establish the connections for sure.

     For starters, entertainment is a Mob industry both records and movies; that includes both Jews and Sicilians.  If you haven’t read Gus Russo’s Supermob yet, do so.  The Sidney Korshak role at MCA is crucial.

     Anent shooting out TVs remember that Sinatra had a plane he called Superwop or something to that effect so it is clear he bore a grudge against the Anglo world.   The plane was a small ‘Lear’ if I remember correctly.  Elvis went out and bought a 707.  Big plane, big penis; little plane little penis.  Not exactly true in Frank’s case, but you get the point.  So at least Goulet and Sinatra.  I can understand why Dean Martin tried to distance himself from those creeps.

     Parker must have had the business dealings with the Outfit.  As he ran into gambling problems the only commodity he had to barter was Presley.  Thus he would have had to ‘sell’ Presley to keep both his legs under him.  Elvis’ rapid deterioration could have been because of his realization that he was ‘caught in a trap.  I can’t get out.’  Devastating awareness.  One could only retreat into booze and/or drugs.

     Now, Leiber said that he and Stoller at one time worked for the Mafia.  This wouldn’t be unusual nor should it  be held against them because if you’re in entertainment you’re involved, like it or not.  The question is when were they involved, for how long, and for what purpose.

     We all know Fabian was a Mob creation.  Why not others?  If you haven’t seen and studied The Girl Can’t Help It, do so.  The movie is an alegory of the record business.  Everything you see in the movie is the Outfit in action.  In the fifties every Juke Box in America was stocked by the Outfit.  You didn’t get your record stocked unless you were Mobbed up somewhere along the line.  Someone recently told me that the girls on the Dick Clark Show were prostitutes and Bandstand was used to showcase them for Johns.  Don’t know that it’s true but I wouldn’t be surprised.

     Leiber and Stoller could have been co-opted to write songs for, say, The Coasters.  A Black act with interchangeable personnel.  Kind of an early Back Street Boys.  I don’t know but I’d like to hear Leiber talk about it.  Might prove enlightening.

     So, let us assume that the Colonel was drawn into the Mob scene from the beginning of Presley’s movie career.  That might explain some of his stupid decisions and those dumb movies.  Perhaps Parker didn’t have a free hand but was ‘wise’ enough to figure out that something is better than nothing.

     Then after Vegas Presley was increasingly drawn into orbit until he learned the horrifying truth.  Guralnik seems to have his head up his ass as far as I’m concerned.

     As Presley learned the truth looking forward to forty more years of slavery he found drugs more comfortable than reality.  Possible, it would make things make sense.




98 Responses to “Conversations With Robin Page 3”

  1. R M Says:

    Wow! You really let your imagination go kinda wild in some of those posts, but I don’t think Bob OR Greil “knew” of 9/11 before it happened ’cause I DO think that there may be a “friendliness” firmly demonstrated between Dubya and the Saudi Bin Ladin family, who were flown out of the country even when HIS OWN FATHER, the ex-prexy, couldn’t fly! If you don’t have the family to interrogate, you’ll probably have a “cold case,” which it what it quickly became. Even the ’04 “tape” of the terrorist talkin’ seems to be a fraud: this was just uncovered, and it’s not any strange conspiracy stuff, either. Now, I’m not saying that Dubya didn’t have “deniability” because I think he did, and I don’t even thing ANYBODY thought the buildings would just dissolve {although there is the “implosion” theory, and when I saw it, it looked like it, but who knows for sure}. What I mean to say is that you gotta maintain credibility, and frankly Greil Marcus is NOTHING anymore, and while he had a little teensy bit of music biz power in the late 60s and early ’70s in the music biz, rock critics just don’t even matter anymore. If they’re lucky they’ve found something to do. Marsh hitched his wagon to Bruce. Compromises Bruce, totally. Greil writes unreadable books that reflect his own fantasy life. If you HAVE read ALL of Lipstick Traces, by the way, that little girl, Ladonna Jones IS WHITE. And now that she’s an adult, I hope I never run into the selfish brat after what just happened. Now THAT WAS a “conspiracy.” Seriously, to take a letter like that and blow it up to DESTROY a black artist who didn’t keep to his place, and push to CNN, and all whatnot, and after seeing the long-suppressed film of “the burning” I am PISSED OFF. I’d like to knock her on her can along with the Dallas Morning News, Marsh, Marcus, maybe CNN, and that whole crowd. Only Mikal Gilmore stuck up for him. You know who I’m talking about: it’s IN Lipstick Traces. It’s like they just got together and said “how do we get rid of the little {expletives and racial epithets deleted}??” And they come up with this poor and pitiful little girl {who turned out to be white, and seemed confused about the whole thing}, and all of a sudden, he has to give away, and I’m quoting the artist in question: “all my money.” He did the damn tour not only for free, with whatever proceeds were left to charity, but settled all the damn lawsuits. And this is what they wanted. Then Marsh writes “Trapped” which was one of the meanest biz hatchet jobs I have EVER seen. It was disgusting. Gilmore caught them talking amongst themselves and realized what they were doing. It was published in a black “teen” mag, for safety, really, but man, he showed that bunch for the hypocrites they are. Now, that’s not to say that Marcus doesn’t have interesting stuff now and again. But that whole crap about the Situationists and everything, well, I went to a panel in New York, and brought up a case in the news regarding a child abuse death. I said, ok, the woman never DID pick up the phone, but what about all the ones who DO, and you don’t know it, and isn’t that a HELL OF A LOT MORE “courageous” than a buncha overage college boys annoying Charlie Chaplin for reasons unknown? I mean, exactly what did they accomplished with those stunts? And what did they have to lose? NOTHING. He had no answer for me. He knew he was all smoke and mirrors with that crap. He wanted to be “accepted by academia” when in fact, he got dumped before his dissertation.
    But to use whatever rage was going on in him to try to destroy a black artist who went further than any other was disgusting, and Gilmore exposed them. Now, 9/11?? Naw, I don’t think so. If you want to get into that stuff, fine – it’s protected speech, but more important to me is American cultural history of our time, and who tried to hijack it and why. It has some degree of “ethnicity” to it, but its mostly a race and class thing. Which is why they always damn Elvis with faint praise. Despite everything, he comes out, in their accounts, as DUMB. Until, of course, they felt even more threatened by a black artist.
    It’s all so damned stupid: this elbowing for the GRAND PRIZE. Hell, it’s music!!!!!!! It’s sick to “rank” them. And that does lead to the cultural politics of destruction. And then everybody’s throwin’ rocks at everybody else. And the only ones who really pay are the artists themselves. {Well, Bruce knew where his bread was buttered, so he hooked up with the critics and let them run his life, his mind, even.) Dylan doesn’t really like these people, even if they like him. I’m serious. It’s why he plays with them in interviews. And he won’t be interviewed by the “old guard” anymore, ’cause it’s boring.
    He and Greil, are not “in on” anything, in my opinion. But I don’t understand why he wrote that blurb on Guralnick’s book. It has got to be the MOST BORING. And also the most “fictional” about the earliest days in Memphis, and he tries to slide around the facts about Tupelo, but more is coming out, and it can’t be stopped. Two men who were boys when Elvis and they were 11, 12, and 13 described, and in some detail their friendship and musical goings on with Elvis in Tupelo. He was with them in some kind of little “string band.” Guralnick could only miss this by not wanting to interview any black people in Tupelo. Dundy didn’t try hard enough, and she should have. Staten’s book is racist, yeah, BUT we do have Dewey in Elvis’s life before he cut his first professional record: quite before. So, for some of the bluesmen to say “I met him through Dewey Phillips” means next to nothing. Believe me, a kid who would beat up a fellow movie usher {right near Beale!!!!!}, is not a kid staying home in the humid, hot Memphis nights. In Tupelo one of the former children {kinda akward, I know}, said that Elvis would entice them out “very late” to “peek” at the juke joints where “real low down” stuff was going on, musically and otherwise. And about gospel, he would have to enter the “white” entrance for an all day, all night sing, but ran to be with his friends: “he SURE didn’t want to sit over there with THEM.” They acted like he was another black kid who just LOOKED white. And they said, about the gospel music, as we should know, “he was FANATICAL” about it. Much more than they, but they went along. They sounded like the gospel obsession bored them somewhat. He was a real leader at that age, and when not in school, which he absolutely HATED. Always. If something doesn’t fit Guralnick’s idea, he either abandons it, says the people must be mis-remembering {excepting THE ORACLE: Dixie Locke, and he puts whole experiences that NEVER HAPPENED into her mouth to bolster his claims: in this, he’s no better than either Goldman or Vince Staten, who at least has some interesting info, even if his agenda is bad news to me). June Juanico is much more interesting, but he changes her story to fit what he thinks is right. She says that it was Elvis who leveled the guy in the fairgrounds, while Guralnick, who WAS NOT THERE, says it was Red, and that’s why Vernon fired him at that time {he got fired, rehired, quit, rehired, and then finally fired and wrote that mean-spirited book}. Vernon wanted to believe his son’s story: ‘RED DID IT!!’ But, the Good Son lied ’cause he was, uh, human, and June was there. He was being a brat and a liar, and she was open about that in her book, but Guralnick won’t accept that. And all this crap about his supposed “patriotism,” is sooooo silly. He was a STREET KID: he pulled the biggest hustle any street kid ever did. And that’s all. I mean, dressing Lisa in red, white and blue for the “wholesome family photos” with a little flag pin on his lapel {Priscilla wouldn’t play along} showed how over-the-top it all was. He LOVED “Dr. Strangelove” and must have seen the film like 500 times {ok, some exaggeration, but A LOT}, and he knew EXACTLY what he was pulling. When they write these biographies, they forget that the rest of the world is happening at the VERY SAME TIME!!!!!! When Janis and Jimi died, after the paternity suit against Elvis, especially, and Vernon, who like his son, watched TV A LOT, knew that rock stars were dropping like flies, and his son was lying and dodging his questions about certain “B-12 Shots” and other things. So he hired the P-I as a double agent, and he got paid by BOTH of them. O’Grady is a scuzbag, and Alana Nash called him, nicely, “unctious.” To put it mildly. Elvis played him like a violin. And Nixon actually gave him the damn badge. AFTER a Titanic fight with his father, which he clearly lost. I mean, don’t be as goofus as Jerry Hopkins in his second book {out of print, as it probably should be}. It’s so freakin’ obvious. The exact time EP went off the rails started when Jimi died, and then was sealed when Janis went a few DAYS later! Instead of backing off, he took a LOT more drugs. And thought these guys, these narc guys could help him gain “respectability.” So he could, uh, “Rip It Up,” meaning, HIS LIFE.
    In late ’70, in August, when That’s The Way It Is was shot, you see such tenderness and youth: you see playfulness and joy. Cut to just a little over two years later, to the ALOHA special, and that person has disapeared. Completely. And he’s in some kind of rage in the “after-sessions” when he could be “himself.” It was horrible to see the change. Until the Aloha thing was brought to him, he kept up the hope that he could really one day soon see the world: Europe, Asia, India, Japan {home of Karate!}, Australia, and yes, Africa. He was not kidding when in ’57, he said he would like to escape there. One place they wouldn’t call him all kinda names. Anyway, he wanted, at the very least, to do what he saw Dylan and friends doing in “Don’t Look Back”: “ooooing and ahhhhing” over the instruments in London. The instruments were different then, in London, and Elvis, mail-ordered a single-necked electric twelve string. He was a musician, dammit!
    But you’re right about the mob. They not only had a piece of him, but they were supplying coke. It’s in his FBI file, and corroborated in several Parker books. And Parker even contacted the 60’s version of the Miss. Klan to scare the bejeezus out of his easily frightened client. He didn’t WANT him recording real music in the ’60s, ’cause Sam Cooke annoyed RCA quite a bit, not to mention the mob, and the Klan, and all their various connections {Marcello is mentioned frequently}. The films were a way to keep Elvis occupied instead of, like, ALIVE, in the ’60s. And he SO wanted to be!! You gotta read ALL the books, really, to see the actual story make sense.
    Like with Lisa, I’ve got ALL the interviews from “the marriage,” etc., and some really freaky stuff from her childhood in Memphis comes out. She was on the phone with MJ as an 8-year-old!! And maybe even a little after her dad died, ’cause Priscilla sent Lisa AWAY to Europe, thinking she would “avoid the press” which was ridiculous. Apparently, he contacted her there, and tried to cheer her on the phone. Greil and company tried to make MJ into a monster back in ’84, but back in ’77, he was concerned about a kid who just lost her beloved dad, and never tried to hurt her in any way, and she remembered that years later. Which is why she’s tore up right now. They keep changing the date of the REAL funeral: now it’s Sep. 3: maybe they want her to come or something. Gotta be a reason for keeping the dates changing. They’re not dodging the public, ’cause they can’t. I hope she can, privately, be there. At the very last of it. In a private, quiet moment. I think that would be good. Despite all the sturm and drang of growing up in sheer madness {her father abandoned her, really, and then her mom first sends her AWAY when grieving, then kicks her out at about 15. Talk about neglect.}
    Anyway, I generally detest Greil for reasons other than your own, but I detest him nevertheless. Not that he isn’t sometimes useful as a reference. But he, like a lot of the Rock Critical Establishment of their time, did some really dirty deeds.
    I guess he knows now that Michael Jackson is not “a black Johnny Ray to Prince’s Black Elvis.” I almost got arrested because of that, back in ’84!!!! In NY City. I was reading the article in Penn Station and became so furious that I almost just walked out with the mag without paying. Stopped just inside the door. I felt like looking for the nearest bar! Johnnie Freakin’ Ray!!!!!!!! I mean, no harm intended, but Johnnie Freakin’ Ray!!!!!!!! I wanted to punch SOMEBODY! Seriously. I knew this was like planned or something, ’cause the other critics were joining in. Mikal Gilmore exposed the whole underbelly. He’s the only critic who wrote an appreciation in any Rolling Stone. Can you imagine them ignoring such a cultural watershed? The Internet crashed that day!!!!! And not for Johnnie Freakin’ Ray!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And then, all of a sudden, they come up with this “Ladonna Jones” idea, and Greil doesn’t even bother to LOOK at the TV of the girl, and she’s not BLACK! And she looked like she didn’t know why she was involved in this. They used a kid to deliberately ruin somebody. Ok, so he wasn’t actually “ruined,” but it kinda makes you think. I’m no fool: I don’t think he’s innocent as a new born babe, but he was an “innocent” in that he never meant any harm. He hurt. It’s not something THEY can understand: this concept of real people who HURT, and screw up, and have problems, and people all over the whole freakin’ world can relate to someone who speaks their hurt through music, through those Roy Brown moans he caught through Jackie Wilson without knowing it. He was the last of a vital tradition. These idiots missed it, and its too damn bad for them. The CRITICS, I mean. You should read what Ralph Gleason once wrote: it’s nauseating. And they worked hard to make it all come true. Album Oriented Rock, remember that? Well, it’s dead, and MJ killed it, thank God. NOT Prince. He killed all that narrrowcasting BS. And the very real hurts of very real people can take center stage now, because real people give a damn about their OWN hurts. He helped to do that, too. I could say a little more, but I’ll save it for . . . well, I’ll save it.
    But Greil lives in his head. Guralnick, too, in a way. To dismiss B.B. King for Dixie Locke is brain-damaged! I’m sorry. And I love all these music-makers, the great ones, I mean. I know why Bob had such a “mad on” when he was younger. He came from a “house of Stone” and it’s hard to blame him. He lived through it, and I’m glad. But people should know he still plays some interesting head games. I’m glad he gave EP the credit of being able to “play with {the Beatles} heads.” A decent thing to do, even if he had to do it in a dodgy way. These young “kids” {not anymore, really} today, I think some of ’em worship people like Greil, and Bob knows the truth about ’em: he remembers what they did with Self-Portrait. Was it really necessary to commission a firing squad? ’cause he wanted to sing some sentimental ballads just to see what it was like? He wanted to stretch out a bit. So he could change and move on.
    There may be a reason he’s mad at Cash, but I don’t know what it is. We’ll know, some day. Me, I think so much goes back to his teen years. And the things that happened. Cash had a “prison fixation” remember. That’s gotta be a big thing for Bob. Don’t forget. Maybe Johnny told something he shouldn’t have . . . who knows.
    Yeah, Goulet: “that guy’s got no heart.” Well, musically speaking. Sinatra, I think, really did develop a soft spot for Elvis. He had a domineering mom, too, of course, but Elvis didn’t know himself, and Frankie knew a lot more about both of ’em. And he saw the Death Fixation in a young man, and didn’t want him to die. I think that’s kinda decent. He went out of his way to drag that songwriter to the show to tell him that his “Softly” story was just that: a story, and to stop this Death Thing. It was scary.
    As for Dino, yeah, he did distance himself, big time. But Gosh, when he saw his dressing room in 1968, after returning, he must have wanted to skin Elvis alive.
    For now,

  2. reprindle Says:

    …it’s protected speech… Well, I sure wouldn’t want to stray beyond the line into unprotected speech, would I? What kind and whose concept is ‘protected speech?’

    9/11 is going to take some time to clear up. As for the Gummint knowing in advance of the attack it is possible but I can’t quite see it allowing the possible destruction of the Pentagon and White House, not to mention the WTC. As nutty as people in authority have become I can’t see that. If we allow that the planes didn’t bring the towers down why did the Gummint have charges in place and waiting to finish the job? If nobody thought it would happen why be ready to make it look like they did?

    The third building requires some explaining. Why was that allowed to burn down and why was the fire so evenly distributed. As to the Arabs planning the whole escapade I find that hard to believe too. There are sufficient tracks leading back to Chicago to give plausibility for that scumbag Ayers being involved on some level.

    One asks why Sarkozy just after being elected called in the opertives to be given awards. Dylan is the least implausible, Marcus seems unlikely while Lynch sems incredible. So what did this trio who are connected do to receive this recognition, not from the Franch, but Sarkozy and hence the Jews?

    Marcus isn’t quite as slight as you seem to think. Using Dylan for plausibility his Old Weird America, which corresponds to pre-Obama America, has received a whole hearted reception by the generation. Yhe term Old Weird America takes its place up there with The Ugly American as derogatory to America and Americans in general. I’m part of the old weird America and I didn’t think it that weird. I do think Marcus is weird.

    Critical Theory and the SI of which Marcus is a contributing element fulfills a Jewish program. I know you’re Jewish, Robin, but facts are just facts.

    Remember Marcus is virtually the only person that Dylan names in Chronicles other than a few intimates and unavoidables. If you read Ayers, Dylan, Marcus etc. then some remarkable coincidences need explaining. Not denial. Denial is easy. Once again Ayers is the key. If you want to consider Marcus and Dylan as dupes that’s fine with me.

    Lipstick Traces is coming up for a 40th issuance celebration and edition here where Marcus’ history of American Literature published by Harvard is due too. As far as I’m concerned not only is Rock dead but music is too. Back to backyard strumming.

    Still, Marcus was able to morph into what passes for a serious scholar while earning a very comfortable livelihood by campus lecturing. Campus lecturing is only for the in crowd. How well his trashy books actually sell I don’t know but Lipstick seems to have been his high water mark.

    As far as my own credibility goes, not that anybody has to but if they want to they have to argue the facts. I stand ready.

  3. reprindle Says:

    …more important to me is American cultural history of our time, ,,,It has some degree of “ethnicity” to it, but its motly a race or class thing.

    Could you supply a little more detail on the above.

    Critics and artists are natural enemies. Critics want to be artists so out of envy they tell artists how to do it right. As a critic I have no desire to be friends. Being friends would destroy that critical distance. One’s criticism would become debased and meaningless.

    Dylan is quite right to belittle his critics. He should. They can’t tell him anything while if he listened too closely it would destroy his integrity. If Springsteen allowed critics to invade his creative space he was foolish. As a writer I examine criticism for anything of value that might save me from excesses however I don’t think ‘Fuck you, you idiot’ is valid criticism but many think it is. Mostly comments I’ve received are benign but, you know…

    As far as Dylan and Self-Portrait goes it was quite clear what was happening. In two years ’64-’66 he took his mystical style as far as it could go- it was fully developed with Blonde On Blonde. Even the musical style was fully exploited. The next LP in the same style would have begun to become boring as he would have done the same thing. Dylan imitating himself. I realized that at the time and expected a change in style.

    Whether there was a motorcycle accident or not Dylan’s mind broke. He had a nervous breakdown or whatever- he threw it all away.

    Oddly enough he produced some excellent songs coming down. If he had taken the best of the basement tapes he would have had a hell of a fresh sound. A retreat perhaps but a very good record. A smooth transition into a future.

    He apparently hae other things on his mind putting them into the cornball John Wesley Harding. Barf.

    Then it became clear that he was trying to distance himself from his halcyon years. I forget what came next whether Nashville Skyline or Self-Portrait. Anyway in Skyline as the cover clearly states he is reintroducing himslef as Texas Bob Dylan the Country singer. People just went, huh?

    And then, or just before, he did Self-Portrait which I and others interpreted as an attempt to burn Bob Dylan down and build a new image from scratch. Thus the next one was, maybe, I wasn’t paying much attention, New Morning which following Self-Portrait was self-explanatory.

    If the title Self-Portrait was sincere then Dylan was letting the music describe who he really was, or wanted to be. I don’t remember the album much, I don’t have a copy, but it was sort of a collection of songs and styles before he became THE Bob Dylan.

    There’s one interpretation. There are others.

  4. R M Says:

    Let’s not get into it, but Dubya was a dangerous force, in my view, more than any of ’em. Everyone likes a dim puppet. Anyone could do anything with him. Anyone. I am talking specifically about a specific powerful Saudi family, not “the Arabs.” I am not a knee-jerk zionist by any means. I calls ’em as I sees ’em. That’s all. To me there are not “the Arabs” or “the indiginous Scots-Irish Americans” {I am assuming you fit in there somewhere; Scots-Irish is NOT Irish! These were folks who merely stopped off at Ireland for a period of time before continuing the journey to the New World.} And there was nothing “weird” about them any more than anyone else. Oh, you’d be surprised who he considers “old, weird.” Very inclusive-exclusive: typical Greil. He recently made a snide comment in the wake of MJ’s death about “he even married Elvis’s daughter” as if it was the traditional “assault on Southern Womanhood” thing. Elvis would’ve kicked the crud out of the weirdo {Greil, I mean}. He WANTED his daughter to met the young fellow, and under very specific circumstances so she’d get his idea of what is “ok.” He and both Jerry and Myrna were very, very close. And he told them everything to do and say. Her interest later did NOT happen by accident, ok? If you don’t dig that, cool. But he did. If people were right for each other, he felt that was the right thing to do. And she just said “I loved him desperately.” But all Greil see is her as an anonymous object of the equally anonymous traditional African Sex Beast. He’s got sheets in his closet, boy. Better that people come right out and say whatever is on their minds, and then folks can talk it over. But it’s the “goody-goodies” like Greil who can be dangerous. Truly. Besides, it wasn’t even a BOOK: a bunch of his Artforum and California piecees stitched together. Kinda fraudulent. Remember about that magazine “incident.” Well, it appeared in “Traces.” UNCORRECTED! Not that I give a damn about that Ladonna brat one way or the other. But it goes back to the punk-disco wars. I did a panel as a review of his book! I really toasted him. And then when he showed up in NYC, I showed up, too. As far as the SI, it was just adolescent B.S. and to take it seriously, you’re trying to make yourself look oh, so, smart. I mean Greil, of course. And that was my point to him. He was making something out of nothing and ignoring the real courage of ordinary courageous people in this not so weird America who go totally unsung. That’s why he’ll never really get it about Elvis or Dylan or any of the people he thinks he understands better than anyone else. Like the “Nixon letter” was just about “dope”: that’s how he explains it when it was profoundly complex, despite the dope. {Damn good speller that Elvis.} Anyway, there’s a line in there that is just brilliantly evasive and sort of a wonder. Because he was really into spirituality and read the Bible through and through, and saw Jesus more as a prophet, but the most significant one. And “love your enemies,” see. It was kind of saying what he knew he needed to say, BUT not going against anything he’d said or believed to that point. And I think the incident with Nixon talking to the kids on the Lincoln Memorial happened AFTER Elvis’s “visit”????? Dunno, but if so, that is quite profound. And the letter: it’s just kinda brilliant, I think. It’s so very craftily worded, but he makes his MAIN point: “I will be here as long as takes” to get those “credentials” he craved. He threatened the Prez, and like totally got away with it!! And if you’ve seen Strangelove and really paid attention, the whole affair gets a little scary, but this was someone who thought people like Marcus thought he was “weird” or a “freak” and not just in the fashionable sense of the time. He felt desperate during those times: he wanted to tour the world so very much, and well, I’ve written about it elsewhere and that will appear, I feel sure. It involves a lot about the America real people really live and struggle and die in. Hell, I got it right back ’84, and he crapped out is how I see it now. Back then, he had still been “my idol” but now, blech! {No, that’s not Yiddish or anything; it’s just a kind of a yucky thing to say.} But if I read anything else he says about MJ, in the wake of the poor guy’s HOMICIDE {which is how it was ruled}, I might use some REALLY “unprotected” speech myself! He just should keep his damn trap SHUT about it, now. You said enough, Greilly, baby. You wanted him buried; fine, they will in about a week. {“You” meaning Greil.} That scarifying black necrotic infection on the poor guy’s leg that they showed haunts my nightmares. How could a human being be treated so inhumanely? And he had this thump in his head constantly; a neurological problem. Thanks to Daddy Deareast, of course. Greil doesn’t even give a flip; to quote EP: “that guy’s got no heart.” For real. And Lisa’s late husband, like her dad, was in with wolves. Lisa saw it, but of course she was helpless to do anything about it.
    Some of Greil’s Elvis stuff is interesting for reference purposes. And some of it is SOOOO condescending. I don’t believe he actually likes Dylan; I’m serious. He’s obsessed to an extent, but there’s something else there. See, ’cause Dylan really KNOWS this world he thinks is “weird.” {And the title helps sell a book and a documentary!} I think he’s jealous of Dylan, and Elvis, and certainly he can only be described as, uh, racially insensitive {so nobody gets sued}. Man, I was there and a guy got up to ask about rap, and he said “that’s not in my area of my work . . .” The guy was just blown away: I’ll tell ya! I thought he was gonna get maybe violent, ’cause Greil was so flatly cold. He can be COLD in person. Seriously. I think the guy has suffered on account of his WEIRD NAME!!!! HA!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe you wrote SOOOOO much that you’re wondering if I’ll read ALL of it, so you hid a “Robin’s got a big butt” in there somewhere. {giggle} {Seriously, I have NO butt; I generally buy guy-slacks in wild colors. Nobody ever knows.
    And Redford’s company was selling “Beale Street Boots” last X-mas, and I asked Santa, and they were MONDO expensive, but it had been a HORRIBLE year, and Santa was kind.} Now I want to walk them boots down Beale! As I continue my research.
    Ever get the bootleg “Cut Me and I Bleed”? It’s only the profane stuff, so it’s not a fair picture, but shoot, can’t people see that the profanity was a defense mechanism. Anytime he’d get a hankering to express himself, he’d dirty it up, so it couldn’t be released. But he was a warm, compassionate human being. Greil just thinks he’s smarter than everybody else, especially thinks he’s smarter than Bob. Get my drift?

  5. reprindle Says:

    Clinton, Bush and Obama are and were merely employees of the Global Money Trust. The only difference is you have to go through the charade of electing them rather than just appointing them. Clinton played his cards in office, Bush shuffled his deck, Obama’s doing the same but the money is going into the same pockets. No reason to get into it. Where’s the money as Dan Hicks said?

    You sure are tender on Jackson. Sure, tough childhood but great opportunities. On the ticket scandal: I happened to be back East for my mother’s funeral when the ‘Godfather’ died. As it happened I watched the whole Negro Minstrel Show on TV. I would have missed it otherwise. It was an interesting prelude to the Obamanation.

    James laid out there in his coffin and everything, the arm wrestling for precedence and all and then at the critical moment Jackson and his thugs arrived. This was a very thuggy proceeding. Jackson makes the Grand Entrance, walking like a man, mounts the podium and announces that he’s the new Godfather. Dead silence if I remember. That was the critical moment in Jackson’s career and it terminated it. MJ was not the Man.

    So, I wouldn’t blame anyone else for the ticket fiasco on the tour that was to eclipse Presley, the Beatles, the Stones and everyone else. This was the moment of Black Power. Black Power is thuggism in action so they grossly overplayed their hand. Fuck Love as they say, they went for the juggler to crush da White Boys. Whatever backstage maneuvering there may have been to embarrass Jackson this La Donna woman may have been part of it. Anyway the tour was brought down in the most humiliating manner. I doubt that Jackson was the innocent victim however. Compare the power play of the tour with the power play of Brown’s funeral. There might be some similarities.

    Jackson made an unbroken succession of terrible career moves after Thriller. Thriller was just a lucky break, good timing, anyway. There wasn’t that much there. Marrying Elvis’ daughter was a major error in my estimation whether they were old friends or not. In the first place, right or wrong, everyone thought he was queer. No surprise at the quickie divorce.

    Here’s a guy with hundreds of millions, who couldn’t control his spending and died near broke.

    Everything about the guy was wrong and was the result of his own very poor business decisions. Luckily he bought all those copyrights. It’s true I never had any use for Jackson but boy, did he ever throw it all away. Dylan’s got cash in the bank.

  6. R M Says:

    Well, I never heard about MJ crashing the Brown funeral and annointing himself “Godfather,” but if that happened, it’s clearly drug paranoia run amock. As for “Victory,” I think I did much, much, much more than my share of research {well, I had too, in a way}, and if you read my work on it, you might see it differently. First of all “The Man” has a variety of meanings {giggle}, but I too thought Thriller was NOT his best, most coherent album, although the highest lights are absolutely forever things. See, he had much better, tougher stuff that Quincy vetoed. Some has come out legit, some you could once get to hear on the ‘net, and other places. Quincy had him ALL WRONG. And, yeah, he was not the “fawn” people took him for, but he was NEVER a “shrewd businessman,” but liked the flattery. CBS, then when it became Sony, then Sony-BMG had a plan about that catalog, and they’ve almost got it all back. Look, there are some things we see a bit differently, and that will not change, nor really need it change. Divergent views produce new ideas. Or at least more insightful ideas. But I much prefered “Dangerous” as an album, but NOT necessarily the so-called “New Jack” cuts. “Who Is It?” is incredible, and “Give In To Me” is everything Quincy would not permit “Beat It” to have been. And the thinking on the very last one is all wrong, in my view. There are some masterpieces on their that dwarf a whole lot of the Thriller stuff. Too much grunting through clenched teeth on the loud stuff, but the softer stuff runs deeper than he probably ever went, except on cuts that were not permitted to be released.
    Anyway, no point going over all that. We come from a different place vis-a-vis MJ, but Victory was something that simply done to him by absolutely everyone involved. Yeah, I know about the kids and everything, but hey: what about Jerry Lee, Chuck Berry, and even Elvis?? And others! And it was NOT all boys, but he was totally cool with Lisa, ’cause he had always REALLY liked her. Maybe it’s because of the way they were sort of “fixed up,” really, or whatever, but it was different than with Tatum. No matter who you believe, or what, it went from bad to worse. And she made NO statement, interestingly enough.
    Look, I’m willing to listen to what you have to say, so, well . . . you know what I mean.
    Several weeks ago, I started to realize that “the kids” were more of a “cover” for dope than the other way around. Everyone was hoodwinked with the oldest trick in the book: “clean living” which I should have known was B.S. There was a story where his two closest sisters found black tar heroin, but the authorities more or less rejected it because they don’t want to interfere with the case. And I’m cool with that in a way, ’cause those Vegas pushers in Lab Coats must be stopped. And, yeah, “thugs” began to gather ’round him, strictly on account of the drugs. He had that typical junkie attitude of “get out of my f’ing face!”
    But he was a part of my life since I was little, and I loved the “mania” thing, and it was SUCH a joy, and I knew that other people were absolutely in joy, too, so let that stand, I figure.
    But young kids with talent should watch that scene in that “Chatauqua” {sp?} picture that EP made in late ’68 and was released throughout ’69. There’s “Buffy” {you know, from that “Family Affair”}, and a boy about MJ’s age and ethnicity, and he’s “studying to be a dancer.” Elvis is wearing a white suit, a white fedora, and the EXACT color of shirt you see in “Smooth Criminal” in the ’20s scene. MJ had to have seen the picture as a little kid, I swear, even if he didn’t know who the star was. {Elvis was cuttin’ a rug in that picture, by the way. He did NOT move or dance like a “white” person, if you know what I mean: like Springsteen and that idiotic dance; I can’t remember the name except it was hilarious.} Anyway, the train stops, and there’s EP, absolutely radiant. The boy speaks first: “white folks still ahead.” Elvis kneels to the kids level, and pins a blue ribbon on the young boy. Then he hands him a gleaming silver dollar, and says: “that’s the fee, baby.”
    I can say no more than that, ’cause that says it all, really. ‘You really want it ALL, kid, huh? Well, there’s a BIG “fee” for it.’
    And what galls me about bleecher dwellers like Marcus is that they have never had to pay any “fee” in their entire lives. While looking down on others.
    That’s where I stand. You can stand where you wish.

  7. reprindle Says:

    Hostility equates insecurity. I don’t stand; I lounge. I drape reality with my grace, if you know what I mean.

    I’m one of those hillbilly boys you mentioned, on my father’s side, of course. De old folks come down from those Kentucky hills and settle in Bowling Green. Before I was born, for sure. Never seen Bowling Green. Pennsylvania Dutch and Polish on my mother’s side. The family denies it of course but my great grand parents who came from Galicia were Jewish. Chased down the street as a kid for being a yid.

    Do I feel Jewish? Get serious. That stuff is not in the blood it’s in the education. I ain’t got that education. I was educated at the orphanage. Never saw a Jew or Goy who wouldn’t kick an orphan for sport. So how OK are Jews? Ask yourself that question. So, that’s creds for the religious part.

    If Elvis ever danced like a White guy I never saw him do it. I never saw anybody move like him. James Brown could have taken lessons from Elvis. Probably did. Actually dance turns me off. Never understood it. Don’t still.

    Elvis and Jerry Lee had short eyes? Hard to believe. What would Satana think?

    These Dr. Feelgood’s have certainly had their day haven’t they? Max Jacob’s turning JFK and Lyndon on was too much. Imagine Jack up speeding a week in a row when the Cuban missile crisis was in progress. I read of one guy Jacob’s zapped who was completely conked for a week and literally blind for three days. Potent stuff compared to what Leary had to offer, eh what? JFk was supposed to have been in on that too.

    So anyway Elvis, Jackson and drugs? Yawn. I knew my psychological limitations and stayed straight. Jesus, the things I’ve seen. And what I haven’t seen I’ve heard or read about. I’ve been around without gettin’ around. Street creds. Lose credibility? Dylan it was who said: When you got nothin’ you got nothin’ to lose. Of course he was quoting the street. Whole street corners said it before he did.

    Musically I’m all hillbilly. If it ain’t got that twang it don’t mean a thang. All my heroes wore Suits Of Lights back when country was real. When the boys came down from the hills and wore Brooks Bros. they lost it. So, I like all that country rock. Burritos, later Byrds- early Byrds for that matter, Webb Pierce in spangles. Do I like soul music? NO! The only dance I ever learned was the Trouser Press.

    As for Marcus you probably have him right. More annoying than anything else, but Dylan does or did look up to him. 2+2=Chicago. That’s enough Ramblin’ with Ron for today.

    Well, I’ve rocked over Africa
    And I’ve rolled over Spain…

    Warren Smith- Rockabilly at its finest.

  8. R M Says:

    Been a while, ole buddy. I had my reasons, I guess. First of all, when I look at the date on top, it doesn’t seem so long ago anyway. There was something I wanted to say a while back about “all-American” but it’s more complex than that, and anyway, I had other reasons.
    See, we had this memorial to do for my mom in Jersey, and we stayed on the Long Island that looks like a fish {I always loved Whitman, both the poet, and the shopping mall: my mom mainly loved to window shop the mall and go to the five and dimes they used to have. It’s an historical place now ’cause at least 2 young people died in fires there – 2 of ’em in the ’80s. One was in the “basement” level of one of my mom’s favorite stores. The kids who work there now: they weren’t even born, and don’t know why the Whitman poem is etched on the outer wall exactly where the fires were. And where the people die. It was so perfect: it honored the young people with the poet who was born across the street, and for me, it honored my mom’s life. When we got to the . . . well, cemetary {amazing that I can even say that now, but boy, it still hurts anyway}, we found out that there were a glut of funerals and a big military one for a teenager, so there was no preacherman. {Uh, Rabbi.} Thank goodness: I had prepared a series of quotations from various poets and lyricists {I actually ended it with Elvis’s line: “That’s Someone You’ll Never Forget”; Red took the “‘ll” out for whatever reason, but Elvis sang as he wished to: he also tricked him on the melody. By changing the “arrangement,” he also completely took the melody in his own direction: he wanted it mournful. Also, there’s like a sort of “rule” in songwriting that is the opposite of printed poetry: songs end on an upswswing, almost always, even the saddest. Just at the end: you don’t droop them at the end. Elvis did. Red has recently commented: “that song has a WEIRD melody.” No joke.
    Anyway, before each bit of verse {I gave Bob only one line, ’cause I said he’s a very “wordy” sorta guy}, but it’s from his most beautiful love song: “Love Minus Zero”: the last line, the one that ends “like some raven with a broken wing.” Because my mom never could go anywhere on her own: she couldn’t drive, and her world sort of got smaller and smaller, until, well, there it is now.
    But it was ME in command of the ceremony, not some dude, expecting a tip or something to say a prayer, who didn’t know her, who probably wouldn’t have let me read my verses, with some explanation. These were our relatives, my relatives, and I think for the very first time, they got to know her. It was good. My uncle knew the prayer anyhow, and my dad tried to keep up: I merely babbled, and said the amen’s. They pronouce it weird, and I went along, but at the end of the prayer, I whispered to myself, but a little – just a little – aloud, the “a-men” from The Impressions. Just sort of under my breath. Not the day before, but the day before that, my dad, to my shock-horror, told them that my mom was half-Christian. I swear to God, or whomever, I thought I heard him say “her father was Romulan.” {giggle, but really, I did think I heard for a bit} I thought was gonna get dizzy and pass out or something, ’cause I know my uncle, he knows everything, I think, but my aunt by marriage had NO idea. And she’s not the most open minded person {I can sorta relate to some of Bob’s angst, in a way}, and I swear, I was so in shock, I thought, for a moment, he said “Romulan.” You know: the shoulder-padded meanies from Star Trek with the green glowing vehicles. It was cool, though, because when I did my thing and read my verses, none of it mattered any more. I broke through all of that B.S. and they saw HER, finally.
    In any case, when we got back, after two plane rides, within a day, I came down with the flu. The doc said it was NOT “swine” but it was bad. My dad had a stomach thing, so we did not have the same thing.
    Anyhow, while in NYC, I gave in to the Beatles-hype because I needed a verse from “In My Life.” I think, now, that it WAS about his mum, Julia. It felt that way in a way it never did before. It’s his best song. Nothing else comes close. Most of the Beatles stuff I find to be bluster. Elvis, in ’69, was walking around before the show with a British journalist from NME, and he saw a telegram on his door: it was from “The Beatles and Mal.” He was a guy with them, and he was with them when they “met” in ’65 in that wrenching, horrible publicity stunt. The writer said {in 2009!! after all that Nixon silliness where he plays the Legion of Decency about the Beatles, which nobody takes seriously anymore: nobody with any brains, anyhow} that Elvis seemed deeply touched, especially about Mal. He said “I remember him, and he’s the guy swimming in ‘Help,’ right? Yeah. I like Mal.” And he talked about the Beatles, and that he thought it was great that they were so “experimental,” but that he still liked that song that goes “she was just 17, you know what I mean.” {“I Saw Her Standing There”} For some reason, as they discussed the Beatles, he kept repeating that line, seemed to be digging more an more as he said/sang it. I got the impression that it he kept it up, it was gonna get on their nerves {the writer had a pal with him, apparently}. Dunno how they got past the Col., but somehow they wrangled it. He just kept getting hotter over “she was just seventeen, you KNOW what mean!” They couldn’t quite grasp it at the time. In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense, I think. Besides, it was ’69, and he was feelin’ groovy, you might say: after the show, he exclaimed “I’m human again!”
    Which brings me to the other CD I picked up. I’ve had the Basement Tapes on Vinyl {and maybe some bootlegs: I have a LOT of records from those times, but I got them later, of course, because I was too young at the time} since it came out, but I guess I didn’t pay it much mind. And the damn LPs are so heavy, I haven’t bothered lately. I thought the “bootleg series” had taken care of the important stuff. It has not. “Goin’ To Acupulco” . . . ohmigod! Dylan knew. I mean, he really KNEW. It’s not like that stupid Rolling Stone interview he gave recently. Doesn’t give him a break, but he does seem to FEEL the pain of it. He has said he “hustled” in NYC when he first got there, and so this is clearly symbolism, BUT it is also true. You can feel the pain. If they didn’t meet in person during the movie years, you KNOW they talked on the phone. And when he says “get my meat,” it through me back. See, when I said Elvis had — before he said the “my mouth feels so dry, it feels like Bob Dylan slept in it all night” which was kinda creepy and has creepy sexual overtones, because virtually ALL of his lines had sexual overtones in ’69, and early ’70. But before he even came up with that one, he said something else which the hotel found “dirty.” I left it out, ’cause it sounded kinda dirty to me too, but now I cannot. “I got a frog in my throat,” he cautions the audience about “Vegas Throat,” and then says “only meat I had all day.” Now, “Goin’ To Acupulco,” according to Marcus’s liner notes from ’75, was a song that was “not even a rumor” before the official release. Now that may seem strange, but what it means is that Bob DID have control over the tapes and which songs made it out to the public, bootleg, or not. And this song is about prostitution and uses Elvis’s movie-years {which he was still in, in 1967!} as symbolism for male prostitution. And the guy sings about going to “Rose Marie” {Marie was the name of Col. Parker’s wife at the time}. This woman likes “big places” {the travelogue films} and “waits for me to come.” That’s at the end, and is overtly sexual. Especially in light of the bootlegged “All-American Boy” which is ad-libbed smut, and which Dylan jumps into with relish, imagining Elvis being forced into, well, certain acts with Parker and “Marie.” Or, well, not that name, but . . . in “Acupulco” it IS that name. I don’t know if “The All-American Boy” was out early. But Elvis knew a several of the songs were about him when he sang the verses of “I Shall Be Released” and said “Dylan” with such respect and, as I said before I read Marcus write it, “finality.” A kind of strength that you have to hear for yourself. He wasn’t angry about “The All-American Boy” stuff, if he had heard it. Because the whole lot of it was true. But describing “putting bread on the table” as, instead, “have to get my meat” after hearing Elvis say “only meat I had all day” is powerful. I believe he this comes from a conversation. It sounds like the stuff EP would say in the mid-sixties, making excuses for what he knew he hated doing. In ’72, he blew up in a painful rage: “I would get physically ill.” The interviewers tried to move away from the topice, but he wouldn’t, “I would get violently ill!” Finally, he said, “you couldn’t have paid me NO amount of money that would have give me any kind of self-satisfaction.” Re: the movies.
    Well, hell, “Goin’ To Acupulco {sp?}” pretty much says almost the same thing, but it’s filled with the excuses EP was making during the movie years: “you don’t get many chances in this business, jack.” He says you might be successful if you “changed,” “but you might not. YOU MIGHT NOT.” In the song, he has him drinking “rum.” Elvis drank rum and cokes when he was “social drinking” and straight Vodka before going on stage in Vegas: it’s in the 2000 cut of “That’s The Way It Is.” “Good for ya!” Yeah, right. Drank bloody Marys, too, but I think in the sixties, he stuck with rum and cokes. Later he’d drink Tequila ’till he passed out, for about a week a year. Weird thing. Never, ever beer. His mom, ya know. And, oh, he smoked actual cigarettes, not just the cigarillos, and tiparillos {less often}. And he DID inhale. Liked to blow the smoke out of his nostrils: on film, you can see it.
    But “meat” as the “staple” he needed to survive, and drinking “rum” and “Marie” . . . dammit, they talked. The persona of the male hustler who goes to “big places” to “have some fun” which Marcus, to his credit, correctly hears as “crawl in a hole and die” is dead-on. Admits it is a “wicked life” but he’s just like anyone else: has to “get his meat.” Sometimes, he has to “pump the well” a bit to keep things going. “Well, well, well.” Dylan was very excited when the journalist found him during a phone call with Grossman in ’69, “did he do “Mystery Train”? Did he do “That’s All Right Mama?” And so on. He did not attend the opening, although I’m sure he was, like just about everyone in the biz, invited. But this was just opening night. He seemed to know EXACTLY what it felt like, IN PERSON, “in Las Vegas” in “Gypsy.” Elvis told a LOT of people NOT to come opening night. And Dylan, nor Lennon, etc. were not seen. But with Bob, well, he’s a sneaky one. He even said “he can bring you from the rear.” Said where he WAS when he DID catch the show. You can bet he was hiding. Phil Ochs was practically on the stage opening night! Dylan would not have wanted to run into him: too uncomfortable. But Elvis, at some point in the first show, went over to Phil’s table, by ALL accounts, and sang to Phil. Not Michael, with his “archives” and such, but Phil.
    And as I said, nobody turned him on to Bob but him, himself. I saw him in the snap cap, WAY early, jutting his jawbone out to sorta look like him. He always bought out whatever was new and intriguing. And “Highway 51 Blues” had to be an attention grabber. Where the hell would he find a song about the OTHER highway? In the Folklore Center, of course, but he would have had to look for it. “runs right by my baby’s door.” Hmmm. Indeed. It was early, and maybe Bob expected a better fate during the earlier sixties. That first real album is a GREAT album. But the stupid movie album outsold it. And the next one outsold everything on the market, just about. And so anybody who cared, and Bob damn well cared, were “Goin’ To Acupulco” whether they liked it or not. Especaially including the “star.” “I tried to tell it like it is,” Bob sings, and he did try, but had to say “no thanks.” The past tense in “tried” is VERY easy to hear. It’s not just about “selling out,” it’s about KNOWING you’re selling out and getting “violently ill” on account of it. He even literally copied Bob in ’67, by creating the conditions for what could have been a fatal accident to get out of “Clambake.” He ended up with a huge “strawberry” on his forehead, a concussion, but no release on the horizon at the time. He had taken an iron and cord and stretched it across the floor just enough that he would surely trip over at some point during the night: too stoned to remember that he’d put it there. He knew what to do. But Bob had freed himself with his accident; this one didn’t work out quite so well. Not yet. And when it did, it didn’t last long at all. After Bob’s accident, he only did what he wanted to do {well, maybe except for what Johnston was trying to put together: Johnston calls it “my biggest regret” of his life in music}. And Bob sings about THAT many years later in “Born In Time.” Beautifully on “Tell Tale Signs.” He can go on about Chuck Berry all he wants, but it’s just a smoke screen. IF he had said Little Richard, I might have believed him.
    Interestingly, he no longer mentions Guthrie that I know of. I mean, there’s the odd documentary, etc., but you know what I mean. He KNOWS who it is when they say “will the REAL folk singer please stand up.” And he KNOWS that Chuck probably NEVER heard of “Froggy Went-A-Courtin.'” Or a number of others. And Chuck was strictly rhythm ‘n’ blues, not blues. EP was ALL of it. Sometimes all at once. Which is why turned over the tables. And Dylan knows this. He’s not much for the glitz and glamour of James Brown style R&B {actually, Jackie Wilson has him beat by a mile: James’ stuff is mostly athletic: not that much grace at all. He gets a 10 all around [‘cept for the East German judge], but that’s about it. If it weren’t for Jackie, and others, Michael Jackson might still be alive now, because if James was the only influence, forget it. And he was not.
    I know “rock death” seems kinda boring nowadays to those used to it from the old days, but to younger people today, well, they’re used to this “Betty Ford Clinic” stuff. And, though it ain’t cool to die, MJ rejected it, except once. And nobody believed him!
    See, that’s what EP never understood: all you gotta do is tell a bunch of lies, and then no one will believe you if you tell the truth. He tried that, but totally wrong, and screwed it up worse. You know: “Desert Storm” and that s–t. Sounded like a raving fool. Which he was at that point.
    What’s really sad is that you cannot say what story in music history is the saddest. There are just too many, and they all go off the meter.
    So, I guess, to me: my own tragedy is saddest. I mean, I’d like to forget about the world like that, but I can never do it. When I see a lost soul, I get all wrapped up. I know I shouldn’t. You CAN’T. But Bob got himself wrapped up about a lotta folks. I can see that.
    You, too. We may disagree about things, but I can tell you have this “care” thing inside you. Don’t ask me how I can tell: I can tell. You may not want that, but it shows. Which is what draws me back.
    More later,

  9. reprindle Says:

    I’m proud of your putting the older mourners in their place. Who but a son or daughter is most qualified to offer the eulogy for their mother. I’m sure your mother would cherish whatever words you used to ssy coming from your own heart rather than some pompous common places of ‘a man of god.’ Such hypocrisy no matter what religion, they’re all the same. Anyone claiming to faith of that nature in this day and age is a poseur and fake. So you did the right thing.

    That said, now you should let go. Take the gifts your mother gave you and live the life she would have wanted you to live.

    Moving on: by some horrible twist of fate I seem to be writing reviews of groupie autobiographies. I have no explanation. I’ve written reviews of Catherine James and Chris O’ Dell. My next along those lines will be Marianne Faithfull’s first auto. Interestingly they all have Dylan stories. Faithfull was of couse not only there but involved so her Dylan story has solid details and is more credible. Besides she was so in awe of Dylan in his presence that she missed her cue and was shooed away for not being responsive to the Little Man’s presence. Rather than fixing the seductive eye on her and complementing her big boobs he ambled on about himself. Well, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Anyway we know she was there, we’ve got pictures.

    She also provides some good background on nutcake Allen Ginsberg. He actually believed that most of Dylan’s songs were about him. Amazing. What a minor character.

    Faithfull is well worth reading if you haven’t as yet.

    I did read Al Kooper. Good, but like his music a little too labored. Those guys were all such flakes and disorganized I’m surprised they ever got anything done.

    Red is a piece of envious doggy doo doo. He could never get over that the ring wasn’t grabbed by a real cool guy like himself but the school joke, Elvis, got it instead. I wouldn’t even comment on the bastard except where necessary.

    I’m coming the the opinion that Dylan is a dink too. He’s getting panned for his Christmas album but I think it’s straight. I think he reveres his past, roots in garbage talk, and wants to recapture the feeling much as he did with Self-Portrait. Oddly enough his croak works pretty well in a bizarre kind of way. Sounds like some street junkie trying to give his best and on that level works pretty well for me. Not that I’m getting a copy or will ever listen to it.

    Don’t know anyting about this fire.

    Faithfull’s book pretty accurately captures the period, the feel, the attitude. Worth it.

    Revere you mom, Robin, but move on. Time and the tides wait for no one. Tough, but true.

  10. reprindle Says:

    Robin: I was watching AJ Weberman get mauled on the Phoenix News site and some things became a little more clear. Some guy suggested that ‘Chrome horse’ was slang for a motorcycle and that clarified things. My email to Weberman follows:

    A.J. Sorry to see you get roughed up like that by the Phoenix News. Gotta be a little more careful. That ‘chrome’ bit was a real stretcher.

    Far be it from me to offer tips to a Dylanologist but Dylan is an ego-maniac, you know, it’s all about him. Look there first.

    In Chronicles, I believe, Dylan suggested that the place to look for a subject of Like A Rolling Stone was his mother. The ‘chrome horse’ places the locale in Hibbing. Possibly her diplomat is Father Abram who she discovered wasn’t where it was at after she married him. My correspondent, Robin Mark, pointed out that his mother’s maiden name was Stone which would fit it. I didn’t know what to do with the suggestion at the time.

    Remember Abe bought this woman some very expensive jewelry for a Hibbing girl. How much did she have to badger him for that? And how much of his soul did he have to mortgage to do it? The store did go out of business immediately after Abe died in 1968, perhaps after he had bled the store dry. So, Abe wasn’t where it was at but in an incestuous way maybe Little Bobby was. After all, by the time he wrote the song he could probably have afforded to buy a few items from Liz Tayor’s collection for her. Did her collection grow after Abe’s death?

    Think about it. There may be secondary or tertiary meanings to his ‘poetry’ but I don’t think the little bastard thinks like that; on the other hand he’s a devious one, both the Joker and the Thief.

    Maybe I’ll write something up on Rolling Stone.


    Might be time to look at Rolling Stone again.

  11. Ray Says:

    Before you tagged him with being in on the Twin Tower conspiracy. Now he’s a devious bastard, incestuous, and an ego-maniac. You even go after his poor late ma. Like your alter-ego A.J., I think you are masochistically spoiling for your own beat down. If only you could be said to be so worthy! And you, R.E., who decries the ad hominem attack, using such pejorative language without foundation…It’s a gosh darn shame. Any performer needs a healthy ego to go on stage time and again, but maniac? Why so harsh? What did this particular Jew ever do to you? Or was it the marriage to a black that got your nose out of round? You need to examine your own motives here. These anti-zimmerman ravings have little to do with the subject and everything to do with you. Dig a little deeper.

  12. R M Says:

    Hmm. Too much for now, so I’ll be back. But, Ray: all biography contains autobiography, or it’s quite worthless. I do not mean literally, but in some way. I do not think he’s “anti-Bob” but you cannot understand an artist without looking at their early years and its impact.
    I’ve always hated bios that have a few pages on the early years. Useless.

    Now, to our discussion.
    “Move on.” Easier said than done. I guess I am, in my own way, working on it. But it’s not easy. I used to look into her eyes, near the end, and say “I’m not gonna let them hurt you none: you can be sure of that!”
    I guess I feel I let her down in so many ways. Maybe when I was 21 or 22, I should have called a driving school for her. I dunno. There are so many things you look back at. Can’t be helped. Just cannot.
    But thank you for complimenting me on one of toughest things I ever did in my life: the ceremony that I more or less commandered.
    I thought my dad was cool in telling them “the secret.” By God, of whomever, I swear I actually heard “her father was Romulan.” Still tickles me.
    I just always calls ’em as I sees ’em. More to say on that, of course.
    In any case, I cannot think of anyone else who could, musically, stretch across the barrier{s} from glitzy R&B, which he really did dig, to mountain music like singing “Barbara Allen” as young child. {I cannot even PICTURE a child singing that song!} MJ’s musical horizons were profoundly curtailed by that bag of sleaze he had for a “father.” He LIKED the country music his mom sang to the children when they were very little. Always did. But it was forbidden to him. I really think he had to have seen that movie in ’69: Elvis’s 30th picture. Dumb title: it was supposed to be called “Chatauqua” and has some interesting history, and he was smoking SOMETHING of intert, more than just those cigarillos during the picture, but he took it as a lark, and had fun, and sang gospel, and cut a rug a bit {nice swirls! Very fast: gotta use the slow, or even pause button to catch the actual moves, but WHAT a dancer’s line he had!! Better than MJ’s ’cause Michael had chronic chest problems, probably caused by his father. But Elvis, before the drugs utterly ravaged him, just had it ALL. The new book “Elvis ’69” about the opening that they taped NONE of is really cool. But he should have had the chance to play Carnegie Hall, and have roses thrown at his feet, instead of people dirty napkins, with which he was expected to wipe his face and throw back.
    How degrading to such a great artist.
    And about Red, well, when EP bought those TWO tape recorders, he clearly wanted to get into writing himself. Red just took possession of BOTH recorders, making it clear what the deal was. Elvis was so insecure and doubtful that he just wouldn’t fight. Gosh, someone might LAUGH at him!
    It’s just so sad.

  13. R M Says:

    About the alleged “anti-Zimmerman” ravings, how can you understand Dylan without trying to understand how he got to BE Dylan, or why? I mean, it’s absolutely central.
    In our culture, I think their is still some kind of longing for people to try to think of family life as “Ward, June, Wally, and the Beav.” {Ok, so Elvis sometimes did a GREAT “Eddie Haskell,” but that’s about it for real life and this utopian fantasy that people feel a need to impose especially on the artists they admire most.} It was just NEVER like that: in fact, their utopia was the exception that proved the rule.
    I grew up in so many different settings that it’s just so clear to me. High school and college kids who didn’t want to go home for Christmas, which kinda freaked me out, but it WAS the norm. I guess that puzzlement kind of set me on a jouney of sorts.
    Heck, I LIKED those sit-coms. But I think I always knew they were silly lies about real life. Lies that millions must have really needed: the shows remained so popular, even long after their initial runs.
    Now, real life is also not quite like an Appalachian murder ballad, but the truth is quite in between, and different for different people. And you must look at it, or understanding cannot begin.
    Best to all,

  14. reprindle Says:

    Robin: The only reason I left Ray’s post up was because he threatened me with bodily harm. I wanted anyone who checked in to know what kind of guy he really is. If you want to see his picture he’s on facebook.

    I’m probably pretty callous because I wasn’t fond of my parents. Still, we all go sometime. It has to be accepted. At 72 I wouldn’t be surprised if I got the call any day now. Not to worry, live, live, live until you die. See, I get all my comfort from C&W.

    I agree with you that most bios and autos skimp over the formative and most important years. I don’t have to worry about it but I’m sure I would be very unhappy with somebody’s bio of my early years. I’ve written my life out up to about age 20- 2000 pages- and I’m sure there are those who would say ‘that didn’t happen’ or ‘it didn’t happen that way.’

    The only recourse for Dylan is to write his youth without flinching and let it go from there. No fantasy, just straight forward narrative, then, let the chips fall where they may.

    The more I read, Dylan was kind of a James Dean/Marlon Brando wild child. The Eldot Duluth newspaper article has been changed since I first read it but Eldot, a fellow Jew, is censorious of Dylan’s beatnik persona. I think there’s a letter appended from a girl who asked her mother if she knew Dylan. The reply was that the was one of here cousin Jim’s dirt bag friends. Not to be taken without a grain of salt but in character. So, all the bios except Scaduto’s gloss over his real character and Scaduto doesn’t make it clear. I’ve just ordered Spitz’s bio.

    As you say the child is father to the man; the early life is key. Just because someone is your hero doesn’t mean critical bio notes shouldn’t be written. Heck, this is America where debunking rules. After everyone from the past has been debunked Greil Marcus has taken to ‘debunking’ weird old America as he puts it. Where does this guy live anyway except in his head? Then when his vision of what was is ‘debunked’ the guy goes off the deep end. There are no sacred cows except the sacred cows I guess.

    By the way, I know you don’t care but I am getting more frequent hits on Lipstick Traces IX and Conversations pp. 1 and 2. There must be something of interest there. Of course you’ve got a couple hundred thousand words on Dylan and Presley so there’s plenty of interest to read.

    I find it difficult to discuss Presley with you because I have a fairly modest foundation on him. Besides in addition to reading a ream of books and articles I’d have to study the movies closely which means probing deeply into the Colonel. I would also be interested to know if there was any backroom communication between Washington and Hollywood. Somthing tells me Elvis was closely watched. Has anyone gone through his FBI file?

  15. R M Says:

    Yeah, the threat jumped out at me, too. Right or wrong, I thought in America, weird or not {giggle}, you were supposed to fight for the right of the other guy or gal to SAY IT, whether you agree or not. I mean, FIGHT FOR THAT RIGHT. It is the most important right: the right to think and share, without being threatened with a “beat-down.” Good Gawd!
    If anyone can’t understand that fundamental principle, which Greil Marcus would agree with as well, by the way, and Dylan, and anyone else I can think of who knows they can’t see Russia from the U.S. {giggle: my RIGHT!}!!!!! NO THREATS OF VIOLENCE in the savage time. With teddy bears bearing a bible verse and the president’s name, with the clear message that some ordinary person, IN THE NAME OF GOD, should kill someone else, no one should sit still for threats of violence. Period. You have as much right not to be threatened as Obama or Ray. Period. Or me. I am writing a tough little book about Presley and this weird Western concept of “song writing” which is basically unknown in most of the world throughout history. I am finding out the most AMAZING things. I thought I knew all about Elvis, but after all of it, I realized I wasn’t thinking hard enough. He was no “saint in the city” either, but you gotta deal with the good and the bad, always. Guralnick and the music guy {forget his name: Ernst something} BOTH know about the fatal auto accident of September, ’67, but they breeze over it, and believe the official story as if the death of a man were NOTHING. It interrupted a recording session! Like THAT was the tragedy! Some of those biographers are, excuse my French, a–holes!!!!!!! A man was run over and killed, in the morning. Richard Davis, an Elvis “guy” was blamed: he was sober, and Parker made sure he was alone there and didn’t “leave the scene.” While he sent EVERYBODY to Vegas IMMEDIATELY, and then on to Memphis, and then Nashville. Sounded too goddamn “O.J.” to ME! Now, I’m not accusing Elvis, ok? No evidence, BUT: read, if you can find it, Jerry Hopkin’s first bio of Elvis. The incident was completely unknown at the time. Davis was fired in early ’68, and was back on the job before the book went to press in ’70/’71. Richard cried during the interview: “he’d give you the shirt off his back,” he moaned of his friend Elvis. But, he got in a dig that meant nothing at the time: “I was with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.” Excusing the hyperbole {Elvis made a baby in that time!}, he meant that when HE was in a car, cruising about, SO WAS ELVIS. This is from Richard, the guy who is said to have committed the excused killing via motor vehicle. It was ruled an accident caused by poor visibility and the gardener was blamedd for jumping in front of the car.
    Except that Richard, like all the guys, had his OWN car, most of Elvis’s cars were cared for in Memphis by Alan Fortas at that time, and this was Elvis’s car, not Richard’s. I still have no right to accuse Elvis of murder {you know HE was stoned that night, and he fled the scene, IF he was in the car, let alone driving it, which he usually did, but not always}. And I am not. But I am saying that it was more serious than the “biographers” want to make it: much, much more. And they should have re-interviewed Davis or family. Just researched the incident. What? It didn’t MATTER????????? Like hell it didn’t. It matters to me, and I’ll bet good money it accounts for Elvis’s insane behavior at the January recording session where he got off only 2 film songs that he has to do, and somehow finished two real sons IN TWO DAYS. For him, that is ridiculous. And he was profane in a way that shocked everyone. Asked for a trial separation from Priscilla in like her 8th month or closer!! And, in December, Johnny Bragg reports a bizarre motorcycle visit from his old friend. Things seemed to be VERY HORRIBLE at the time for Elvis, all taken together. The TV special saved his LIFE. I think he was absolutely suicidally depressed, and yet the dope was making him A MANIAC {whoops: might get a “beat-down”}. Like I said, I cannot accuse, but I can chastise the biographers for not giving a damn at all about the incident. That man had as much right to live as Elvis or anyone else. And, of all people, EP knew THAT. Lord knows, money might have been involved, and it might have been astronomical. Which gave Parker tremendous power. But the career was dead in the water. Without the TV special, he was DONE. If the incident had come to light AT ALL, the special would not have even been offered at all. It is CONNECTED. I am suggesting something far more horrendous than Bob could EVER come near, but he wants to beat YOU up? I don’t mean “suggesting,” but I am saying it should be reinvestigated, particularly because it gave Parker extraordinary blackmail power over Elvis.
    Yes, I have see the file. The early complaints about him shaking his ass, the whacked-out hustle for THE BADGE, and this: Elvis had a VERY, VERY expensive dope habit, directly from the mob: 1973. That fact stands out above all. We’re not talking prescriptions or doctors or anything. We’re talking real mob drugs, period.
    He got in deeper and deeper and deeper into sheer horror: Apocalypse Now territory. Where Bobby had never gone before, believe me. Bob was supposed to be the “runaway.” He wasn’t. He was supposed to have been a REAL delinquent: maybe some adults thought he was, but Elvis apparently got into REAL hot water as a teen, and both the governer and his SON, TODAY {will tell anyone who asks}, Parker knew everything, and the records were swept under, but Parker had everything. That was nothing, though, compared to the auto wreck in ’67. Richard hinted SOMETHING in that book, and he was crying. Not for himself, but for his friend!! For EP. God only knows Vernon’s reaction: we know for a fact that in February, just as Elvis became a father, Vernon got him to give his father FULL durable power of attorney over him. Legal actions often are involved in this, and Vernon was in California in April. Could have been the unrest in Memphis. OR it could have been the “unrest” in his son’s life. Bob never had to deal with anything so monumentally horrific. But I think he knew, somehow. All those “Basement” songs. Listen again. Not just to the obvious “Goin’ To Acupulco” or the mention in the train song {I think it’s that one}, but “Tears of Rage” itself. Greil thinks it’s about the founding OF OUR GREAT NATION and it’s TORN FABRIC in the latter ’60’s. Bullshit. That seems silly to me, especially with what seemed to be bothering Dylan in “Acupulco” his dirty version of “The All-American Boy” {Bobby Bare/Parsons}, the mention of “save my money, then rip it up” and “gonna go down to Tennessee and get me a truck or somethin.'” YOU may not previously have been ultra Presley-informedd, by Bob seemed utterly obsessed to the point that his songs in the basement kept returning to his adolescent inspiration in music. Bob was no fan of “the age of aquarious,” I’ll put it that way. He couldn’t give s–t, frankly. But he cared deeply about that guy who was NOT having “fun in Acupulco.” It seemed to be ripping and tearing at him that a human being could leave those he inpired “so alone” and make an ass of himself. Dylan still seems pissed, and then sad, and then pissed, etc. Remember, Elvis did “Tommorow Is A Long Time” and in ’69, post-comeback, Dylan said, famously, that it was “the recording I treasure the most.” There are many other mentions along those lines . . . See, I don’t think Dylan would have been at all surprised if on an early September morning, due to drugs and irresponsibility, and loss of caring ABOUT ANYTHING, that a catastrophe struck. I don’t know what actually happened in the wreck, but “Tears of Rage” would be its soundtrack if it had gotten out. Any of it. Including Parker making him LOOK GUILTY by spiriting him out of state PDQ. It was quited for around 30 years: NOTHING. Then, when they found out, they treated it like a big nothing. God.
    THAT, whatever happened: even if it was Richard, as stated, seemed to be the turning point: the hitting bottom. He now realized what he had become: what Bob said he was in the basement: a whore for Parker and the other old businessmen who were tone-deaf. “Come to me, now, we’re so alone. And life is brief.” Marcus didn’t somehow “get it.” He thought Bob was thinking in national-world-historical terms, when Bob’s life was so immersed in the rock ‘n’ roll that saved his mortal soul as a teen. And with the Leader of the Pack and how he had become a zombie: LOST. A lost soul who would whore himself to anyone because he didn’t seem to care: “come to me now, WE’RE SO ALONE,” Bob pleads, “AND LIFE IS BRIEF.” Anyone who hears “Goin’ To Acupulco” with even a shred of brain realizes that Bob KNEW that Elvis was on the verge of suicide, and this seemed to scare the piss out of Bob. He’d had his own moment of truth in the motorpsycho nightmare, but you get the impression that he KNEW his teen inspiration was in much deeper trouble. And he was ANGRY, and helpless, and disgusted with the way the world treats people how something like that could possibly happen to ANY human being! Bob was not insensitive. He has many strange character traits: he’s a liar and a thief, and he knows it, and he hates it but he knows there’s not much he can do about it, but he saw someone else {later, he heard a song go: “the Jester stole his thorny crown.” Wow! SOMEBODY heard “Tears of Rage” the way I heard it. STOLE the thorny crown.
    He saw no “comeback,” only horror on the horizon. And really, that’s what happened. The comeback bought a decade of “life” most of it NOT alive, actually. It bought really, about two years of life, and then everything went all completely to hell. Even in ’69, things were very bad. If, as in “Gypsy” my own direct sources were truthful {and I have no reason to doubt them; they were NOT Dylan fans}, then he saw the dichotomy between the freaky, Gypsy who lived in a bat-like environment, in darkness, surrounded by flunkies and groupies, was terrified, insecure, impossibly immature and ya know “what if they LAUGH AT ME?!”, well, Bob would have felt even worse because on stage he was wild again, but off-stage, he would have done what is described “The All American Boy {Dylan’s DIRTY VERSION}.” And it killed Bob.
    By now,

  16. ray Says:

    Robin: He keeps deleting me so this is my last try(really). I don’t advocate violence for me or anyone else. He wasn’t talking about my mother.(If he was it would be up to me to be the bigger man and not take the bait) I was referencing Bob and Weberman. Bob punched Weberman for going thru his trash and Weberman was happy about it: a badge of honor.
    Read “Race War: Dateline Denver” by R.E. if you wanna see who is promoting violence around here. Feel free to contact me. Prindle published my e-mail without permission a few months ago to punish me. He called it “Ray Comes Out of the Closet”. Good bye and Good Luck.

  17. ray Says:

    Correction: It is called “Ray Steps out of the Closet” from 6 months ago and it is still up as of now. I asked him several times(nicely) to remove it. Now that it has a useful purpose, maybe he will just to spite me.

  18. reprindle Says:

    If you want to check it out I was involved in a discussion about Dylan including Weberman at the Phoenix News (link above.) Very nice discussion, civilized, no threats, no name calling. Actually very little namecalling,ad hominems seems to be a way of life on the internet.

    Your book sounds interesting. If you’re going to wait around for a publisher I’ll buy a copy two or three years from now if I’m still around. If you want to self publish try Blurb or Lulu where all the set up is free. Lulu might be best. In the latter way you at least get it out where it can be seen and purchased now. I used iUniverse for my Sonderman Constellation at 1000.00 but that was before I learned you could do it for free. Now I have to find time to prepare another.

    Personally I don’t care what Presley did, the guy saved my life. Everything I have of value was because of him. I was going down for the third time at 16 when he materialized on the Sullivan show; I saw the chimes of freedom flashing and pulled myself out of the hole I was in. I’m sure there were thousands and tens of thousands just like me. If Elvis ran over somebody, and there is no proof that he was driving, accidents do happen and what’s one life lost compared to multitudes saved. Besides in Hollywood they actually sacrifice people. It happens.

    I am impressed with the Presley/Dylan connection you’re building up. But, you know, I don’t think you fully realize how badly Presley was beaten down. The hatred of the so-called Greatest Generation was genetic. They were the most repressive older generation in some time. They started hammering Presley early and hard and they never let up. I thought they would murder him for sure in the army; I didn’t think he would be coming back.

    His personality was fragile too. He grew up in Darktown Tupelo which meant that he was shunned at his school while being isolated at home. He was cut off from normal development and reactions much as you were by your constant changing of schools and I, in the orphanage. Hell, I don’t even know what people are talking about half the time. All their reactions are absurd to me while mine are absurd to them. What ‘normal’ people believe is complete nonsense to me. So, imagine how Presley felt, how much he was hurt by being labeled ‘the Squirrel’ by a bunch of dudheads, Red for instance. I mean the guy, Elvis, dressed like a freak in high school and thought it was cool.

    So, he was lucky to get out of the army alive. And then, not particularly wise in the ways of the entertainment world he was victimized by Parker and the Hollywood creeps. Being victimized by your manager is par for the course. Frampton sells ten million records and comes out with 1.95. Bowie was cheated bigtime. Klein cleaned out the Beatles and shook down the Stones. Even Dylan believes Grossman cheated him which may be true, haven’t made up my mind yet, but he did Dylan more good than harm.

    Look at Kirk Douglas and Doris Day. I wouldn’t say Elvis ‘whored’ for anybody, I would say he was looted, plundered and robbed by thieves posing as ‘honest’ businessmen who betrayed his trust. Even then he was able to buy and maintain a 707.

    If Elvis was buying big dope from the Mob, the guy was prepared for the impending drug shortage of 2314. I saw a picture of what purported to be his drug closet and there amongst the shelves of various concoctions in multiple jars were six quart bottles of pharmaceutical liquid cocaine. I’m amazed those drugs weren’t lifted by his associates at his death. Makes one suspicous.

    So, I owe my life to Elvis, the feather will always tip in his favor if I’m the judge.

    That being said, an accurate history is always desirable. But that means the emphasis is placed on what was done to him and how he reacted. The first goal of your enemies is to unman you. That means you are constantly demeaned and treated as an inferior and ineffectual. Elvis was.

    In high school I envied a football player who appeared to be idolized. I mentioned it to him once and with sincere chagrin he told me that things weren’t as they seemed.

    A few decades later when I was a celebrity in this town in a small way compared to Elvis in the wide world but bigger than the football player I learned the bitter truth of his words. So, as far as I’m concerned Elvis was a saint. Not strong enough but then the forces arrayed against him were much stronger than those against Dylan. What you can say about Dylan is that he had the courage to throw it all down and start over again on his own terms.

    Life ain’t easy down here and it’s a lot harder up there.

  19. R M Says:

    Great reply! Look, I haven’t read the “race war” thing, but my gut tells me that you are “seeing” violence, rather than wanting it. My God, it’s all out there: that “teddy bear with a death threat” IN THE NAME OF GOD is terrifying, and the so-called “security detail” called the “Secret Service” lets two fraudes waltz right into the White House on a bet! There is danger all over. That was just a test. Obama should be peeing his pants in such a terrifying world, but he remains cool as a mountain lake, wasting time and lives and money on a search for a killer who is probably already dead, anyway. He’s becoming LBJ!! Is THAT “change”? He seems confused and scared and insecure, much as Clinton was in ’94 in the secretly taped phone call when he doubts everything he ever believed in and at that point, decided he believed in nothing at all, but wanted to, and seemed to be going mad. {Duh. Monica was symptom, only. He was losing his mind. I wouldn’t want that damn job, and I think anyone who does is out of their mind. Or is a megalomaniac. Or stupid. Or, {clearing throat} WAS RAISED IN DISNEYLAND {uh, I mean Hawaii}. There is a CONSTANT “race war” in this country, and there always has been. Elvis put himself and his physical person in the middle of it. He WAS just a kid then, but he also felt he was “making a contribution” because he said “if I give just ONE kid some hope . . .” You were one. Bob was another. Janis Joplin, another. Even Michael Jackson, who couldn’t quite admit it, of course, but he was profoundly moved by what he saw on a TV in Spain {on tour as a teen} when women, and maybe some men, too, THREW THEMSELVES ON ELVIS’S HEARSE IN SHEER LOVE! If you were a loveless teen, living in terror and wanting love, you’d damn sure remember that charming kid of his. And he did. He simply wanted to join what seemed to be a loving family. And he was mostly right. But Lisa was neglected a lot, and he wrote a LOT about child NEGLECT at this time, and I think he meant her. I really do. The kid was perceptive. Well, duh. He DID join the family, whether mother-in-law liked it or not, and now Mom is in England keeping watch over her disintegrating daughter, going absolutely insane, it is very clear. For the photo shoot {it is claimed that current hubby TOOK THE PHOTOS: what a stupid crock}, SHE REMOVED HER WEDDING BAND FROM HER CURRENT HUSBAND. Duh-uh-uh. In Elvis’s mind, he saw a better world, with NO “race war” and imparted this dream to his child. But the world is mean, and not made of Elvis Presley’s dreams, sad to say. Or even all of ours, the “rock generation” or whatever that means. I was kinda late, but we all listened to ’60s, then ’50s rock, almost exclusively. It’s a fact. The ’70s were mostly shit. John Denver, Manilow, and worse: AIR SUPPLY {what an apt name!}, and god help us all, KANSAS, the group. Dylan felt that from the basement era on, because he was, well, Dylan. He WAS a freakin’ genius on a level that very few can even comprehend: that is of no question, and I’ll fight for that one, you bet. I JUST listened, AGAIN, 3 times in a row, ONLY, to the basemen “Tears of Rage” and he’s f’king CRYING in his singing. I think it is his greatest performance, period. But, golly Greil, it is NOT about “OUR GREAT COUNTRY AND ITS TEARING FABRIC” and the founding fathers, and mountain ballads, and all whatnot.
    Look, what made Bob saddest? He had a nervous breakdown and shunned all contact with people for a week when EP died. What recording did he “treasure most”? His unrecorded song on a yucky movie album. He said it was “Kismet.” Intriguing “mistake.” Kismet was a play and film that Dylan knew. Elvis’s costumes came from the film, but the DUMB ELVIS MOVIE was called “Harum Scarum.” {I recently forced myself to get through the whole thing for the first time like last week or something: sheer torture.} So Dylan either saw the film, or listened to the album. Period. He had to know damn well what album “the recording I treasure the most” was actually on, but got in a little dig {this was post-comeback, so it was an in-joke, too, probably} that all the films are THE SAME.
    Anyway, he had dealt with his feelings about Mom and Dad already, and sure wasn’t seeing himself through their eyes in “Tears of Rage” as many think. Bullshit. “Independence Day” was what Dylan has said: “hearing Elvis for the first time was like busting out of jail.” Independence Day. Plus, everyone knows that according to most accounts, “That’s All Right Mama” was cut on July 5, 1954. The day immediately following Independence Day. Elvis was also 21, just, when he hit TV in January, ’56. That is also, symbolically, “Independence Day.” That Marcus misses this in “Tears of Rage” but hears all the many other Elvis refs in the many Basement songs is WEIRD. Proper choice of word, I think. WEIRD. It’s OBVIOUS. Even Don Mclean {sp?} heard it!!!!!!!!! “The Jester ‘stole’ his ‘thorny crown.” “Why must I always be the one to be the theif?” Dylan mourning cries out. What if the telephone calls Jerry speaks of continued AFTER the motorphycho nightmare? What if Elvis actually told what he did with smashing his skull on the bathtub, to “change things.” What would he have said. Easy, that one: “I copied you, godammit, and things only WENT FROM BAD TO WORSE!” Dylan would definitely have talked of “love” and all of that. And in the mid-60s, pre-comeback, Elvis was always making excuses, but just dying inside, as he later said in ’72: “I would get physically ill . . . VIOLENTLY ill!” Making the films. Dylan knew. I have NO doubt. The song is a sketch of Dylan’s feelings throughout the whole ordeal as he watched unfold with “Tears of Rage” and tears of grief. But a deeply, profoundly FELT “sketch.” He got sick of the excuses Elvis made in the mid-sixties about success being a crapshoot, so you really shouldn’t mess with it . . . “the heart was filled with gold, as if it were a purse.” Elvis said that if you changed in mid-stream, you might be successful, but YOU MIGHT NOT. But in Dylan’s song, the “man” who is the child of the “father”: Dylan and Elvis’s millions of rocking fans. THEY carried Elvis in THEIR arms, trying to protect him from the forces of evil, who this time came at him with scissors, like in school, but they GOT HIM. And Elvis listened, in the Army, in the propaganda classes, standing up against the classroom wall, one foot against it. He would not take his chair. And he told his Lt. {who pronounces his name like “Lootenet Dan” in Forrest Gump: I am not kidding!!} that “most folks I know don’t want any more of those Korean-type things: people going all over the world, gettin’ killed so some politician can ‘sound tough.'” He was adamant. When the first ate together, the Sarge made a toast: “Victory of Death.” Elvis lifted his glass, and then blanched: “Or WHAT!!???!!!!!” It was their slogan in the company. “False Instruction which WE never did believe.” Elvis was among that we, for absolute sure. I know what he went through. God almighty, you gotta get the new video “Return To Tupelo.” Heck, I always knew, but now the black people of “in town” have NAMES. Sam Bell’s grandpa own a lotta land in town, and noticed and opened some of it up to whites. Today, he says “mixed,” but that’s a 21st century idea: in reality, the Presleys were pretty much alone. The paintings are lovely, though. I mean it. There is no reason this research was never done except for the most rank racism. YOU are hardly the big racist in all this: hell, if nobody talks about what people are really thinking in this country, then we are all “too blind to see” and that freakin’ dangerous. Guralnick is a “love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal.” Period. Only reason he talked to that Buzzy buffoon for the umpteenth time, but not to Sam Bell!!!!!! And Dixie is always “The Oracle.” This is bullshit piled on top of bullshit, but if a “bad man” like Goldman says these lies, Greil condemns and shows otherwise, but Guralnick: he treats him like he was writing The Gospels. And most everyone else. And what Alana Nash dug up about the Col. is from Govt. documents, dammit. Fred Goldman calls the murder situation in Holland “coincidence” and points out that it was at least “50 years in the past.” More actually, but I didn’t think that was supposed to matter in MURDER!! I mean, if Elvis screwed up big time that night, it was “just a childish thing to do,” but Parker quite probably, in his total inhumanity that he so often demonstrated, actually DID it. Sure, she cannot “prove” it. The case was botched worse that Jon Benet Ramsey!!!!! But he left MONEY behind, not just assorted stuff, clothing and birthday presents. Immediately after the murder. Right around the corner. Now, how MANY “constitutional psychopaths” {U.S. Govt. records} you reckon lived so near, huh? And just coincincidentally fled that night? Huh? Goodman, like a lot of people, for some unfathomable reason want protect a man with the morality of Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot, combined. I mean, Parker was THAT bad. Geller saw the guys dunking Elvis’s head in a bucket of ice water near the end, and the Col. came in to check. He pounded his elephant head cane, and demanded that Elvis be “on that stage” that night, and that was “the only thing that matters.” Even today, Geller seems to shudder as he says “where’s the humanity?!?” Well, he had NONE.
    Elvis DID. If he WAS the real responsible party in that wreck, he would have gone as crazy as you hear on the January recording sessions, and in Johnny Braggs account of the strange visit. He didn’t seem to know what Elvis wanted: “what’s eatin’ you?” Between the lines, you can tell that Bragg felt he was being hit up for a loan. And in ’71, he told – I think it was Escott – that he wanted to get in touch with Elvis regarding “a loan.” The writer just thinks wants money for nothin.’ But I can see what happened in ’67 so clearly. The baby was coming due, the undoudted settlement was on the way {why Vernon took durable power of attorney in Cali., without any doubt: it may have been Richard Davis, but it was Elvis car, his car fender, and his keys which killed the man, and you know the family was not just gonna walk away from somebody who DIED, accident or whatever: Jesus, look at Mr. Squeaky Clean, Tiger Woods!! Thanksgiving Night. Hits a pump AND and tree. Seems he was fooling around, and his wife had cut his face with a golf club or something . . . I mean, the road’ll make a bum out of the best of ’em, as is the old saying.} Anyway, if it happened, Elvis would have done so much drugs to just numb himself. He sand “It Is No Secret” on Granny Parthenia’s old player piano when he saw Johnny. You know the lyrics: “He’ll pardon you/It is no secret, what god can do.” He wasn’t talking about Johnny, in my view. But as for the actual incident, even if it WAS Richard, Elvis bore much of the blame for being out all night clubbing on the Strip, as he did at that very time, often, and almost always loaded to the gills. Dodi Fayed was not driving, but it was HIS FAULT. The whole world knows that! Elvis knew, too, and he may have saved many of our lives {hey, when my mom, well, when she went to be with Elvis, ok, I can say that: I can’t say the word, well, it was Elvis’s singing that I think saved my life. “I Will Be True” and the other just voice and piano songs from those ’71 sessions. All night I’d play those songs and cry, but it was cathartic, and nothing else could help me. Nothing. I know that Elvis knew the pain I had. And he expressed it. And he was a “lonely only,” terrified of the lonliness that he knew lay ahead. He didn’t want to bury his Daddy or even Dodger. I KNOW how he felt, and the music hits in the chest and smashes on your heart.
    In “Tears of Rage,” you can hear Bob’s broken heart. Betrayal, grief, helplessness, but in the end, a welcome: “come to me now, you know we’re so alone, and LIFE IS BRIEF.” With all the anger over it all, he still opens his arms wide in welcome.
    He didn’t know that Elvis was against Vietnam {or whatever the hell he knew they were planning} four years before JFK really saw the light clearly. The GOT HIM, after all: they destroyed his cousin Junior, who he knew would soon die, and in 1960, Junior OD’d. Korea-shell shock. Both Elvis and his mom and dad knew of Junior, but vernon felt his son wouldn’t get killed or crazed or anything. He was wrong: one night, while pulling guard on the frozen Czech border, the jeep had “an electrical fault” and filled with carbon monoxide. He didn’t wake up on his own. They had to get him oxygen and suchlike. He almost died. His mother was right. And so was he. The Lt. once saw a guy in “peacetime,” get rolled over and flattened by a tank. He shared this happy morsel with Elvis, but why, I can’t imagine. The kid didn’t need any more horror. God, his whole life was a horror story. Of course I know what he went through. The other kids in school didn’t want to even accidentally brush against lest they be contaminated. They KNEW where he lived. They saw his “overhauls.” It was all DISGUSTING to them. The tormented him: cut his guitar strings {which would truly be mended until Steve Binder did so in ’68, kinda forcing him to display his prowess on the instrument to the world, not just in his secret jam sessions. God, you gotta hear the rehearsal tape: blows your mind. “500 songs,” Elvis complains of “popular music” of the ’50s era, with “the SAME CHORD PROGRESSION.” He demonstrates it! It’s brilliant. He then blisters “When It Rains, It Really Pours.” Its writer, Billy Emerson, said he and Elvis made demos after the station went down at night. Elvis was about 18, or even 19 at the time, but also, 18. I have suspicions about “Blue Suede Shoes.” Too many ridiculous stories about how it was written and they conflict. And some make NO sense. Plus, it is a known fact that Cash bought songs. For a price. Wanna bet he shared this morsel of gold to his “hillbilly” friend, Carl? On the Cash show in the early ’70s, Carl came on to do “Blue Suede.” When Cash said “the man REALLY responsible for Blue Suede Shoes,” Elvis, according to at least three different people who were there, exploded in rage: “why that jealous son-of-a-bitch!” Besides, Elvis’s version of “Hands Off” that he did in ’71 is a unique version. There’s a great book of “original version of Elvis covers” and for this song, there is NONE. He says “Birthday Cake” comes closest, but is NOT the same. Elvis’s is new.
    There is copious evidence of his songwriting ability, but yeah, he was scared of the reaction. But truly, he was screwed, blued, and tatooed from Sun on. Even the magnificent blues he made from that crappy “I’m Left . . .” {A Campbell’s Soup jingle for a melody! With a stomach-turning happy ending. Elvis trashed it, and made a new song. Adding verses, words, and cutting out the crap. And it’s a blues, so he completely tossed the “melody” such as it was: stolen from a jingle. And many more. Lots of defense-mechanism profanity. I’m not claiming he could have been “another Dylan”: but he needed to be his OWN SELF. The just kept squashing him, and over and over and over. It’s amazing he held out, both artistically and in terms of just staying alive for the short time he did. Amazing. A lot of kids would have been dead by 21 or 22. On the Jailhouse Rock set, and during that time, he was getting mondo depressed. He somehow survived it. I wonder if he really was “sleepwalking” when Junior tackled him just as he was about to walk out a 12-story window in Hollywood. He was so miserable at the time that you never know. His mother’s problems, the crushing “prison” theme bringing back horrible early memories, and Junior’s frightening presence as he awaited his own “Greeting” notice.
    He left to face Nixon exactly 13 years after getting the notice.
    He told “Bud” Krogh: “I am just a poor boy from Tennessee, and I want to pay back for everything my country has DONE FOR ME.”
    With hairspray dripping over uncombed hair, a supposed allergy making jump around in the seat, a story that “Bud” said sounded “like a script” and red, bloodshot eyes that even freaked out Nixon himself. He ordered the president around! “They got wives, ya know!” Elvis was insulted and corrected him when Nixon said of Jerry and Sonny, “you’ve got a couple of big ones there.” Elvis told him they were his friends, not “bodyguards.” Nixon sort of sheepishly said “oh.” I don’t think he even believed that. Lamar said at the very end it almost started to get ugly. I don’t believe Lamar, but he said that Elvis said “I guess that’s why they call you Tricky Dick,” whereupon Nixon allegedly replied, “I guess that’s why they call you Elvis the Pelvis.” Lamar said it, so I doubt it, but you never know.
    Elvis was far more complex that most people have any idea. But his life was almost all misery. Only swimming in the music truly relieved his pain.
    “Tears of Rage” is powerful ONLY because Dylan is singing about what he really gave a damn about. And he frankly gave up on Abe, etc. a while back with no regrets. He changed his name, voice, and life story. That person was gone.
    He didn’t want the person who “freed him” to throw “us all aside.” But then it gets so personal: “come to ME now . . .”
    I think he heard the rumbling on the railroad tracks. That Long Black Train with its 16 coaches was coming, and it was gonna take his “baby” and no joyous triumph this time around, as in the song. You had to paying NO attention not to feel the vibrations on the track, and Bob, one of the few at the time, DID pay attention. “The recording I treasure the most.” “Like busting out of jail.” “I had a breakdown!” God, is Greil THAT stupid? There are so many OTHER references in the basement stuff! I guess he IS that stupid. One person DOES matter, see. And that’s why Bob cared. What he saw was the person who freed him, who kinda seemed to make promises, but who was know this lost soul with heart full “gold, as if it were a purse.”
    Dylan had money, sure. But Grossman took more than money from Bob: he used the incident at Newport, which tore young Bobby’s heart out, really, and USED IT, Parker-style AS A GIMMICK to sell tickets. He took more than money. He was trying to get his soul. Bob told him that HIS own dreams were out of his manager’s control.
    What he wished for the one-time teenager on the Hayride who was “all geared-up” to fly into “That’s All Right Mama.”
    1967: “with a blanket underneath his arm, and a coat of solid gold.” Guthrie? Your choice.
    Like I said, “will the real folk singer please stand up.”
    Oh, and yes, you WILL live for my book. Honest.
    I write my stuff long-hand, though. Need a typist and a few interviews, and I’m done. My uncle was jazzed and SAID he’d get me a proper agent or something. This means more to me now than exploiting Lisa’s late husband. I know money is important, but dammit, I have some tough stuff here, and Elvis always sells. Because people care so damn much.
    That youngish rapper 50-cent recently said “Elvis had BLING!” Indeed. He’ll always be cool. Michael’s story is almost too ugly for people to tolerate, actually. Most folks don’t understand that. It’s so beyond horrible that people don’t want to take it. Elvis had a horrible time, but God, how he tried, and when he did, boy, you stood aside, and Bob knew that. Knows that.
    Bye now,
    P.S. Oh, Ray: look, I know what you mean, but if he broke the rules, just say so: don’t do him one better. Stop the flame war, please. I dig the ‘net because it IS or was civil. I think they used to call this a “boyfight.” And some of us should get out of the way when that happens. I’m serious: a fellow female friend once warned me about “boyfights.” Just get out of their way and let them get it out of their systems.

  20. R M Says:

    Guys, what I have to say is important, historically to “Tears of Rage” and what I said before. It is now UNDENIABLE. Dylan says his songs change their meanings over the years. Yeah, sure, but wait. The Steve Allen horror took place on Sunday night, July 1, without ANY WARNING. The picketing started the following day, and then the reviews were read. The kids who Elvis would later serenade with what he called “The Hound Dog National Anthem” because he made them stand up and prepare for The National Anthem, and then he sang “Hound Dog” and nearly demolished several stadiums were out IN FORCE, in his defense. “We WANT THE REAL ELVIS,” many signs said. These pictures made papers all over the country, and news of them would have reached Bob on about July 3rd, along with news of Elvis’s July 4th concert at Russwood Park in Memphis. Elvis was raging and defiant: “You’re gonna see the REAL ELVIS TONIGHT!” They were now a “Nation.” And Elvis and every “kid” knew WHO they were: they were not part of “the greatest generation,” much less older folks than that. Or the college kids who condemned him as low-class, etc. They were his people. Period. And a picture Wertheimer took just after the Allen show is startling: several white kids, female and male are joined by three absolutely DESPERATE-looking black girls reaching for Elvis as if he were a life-preserver. This had to enrage a whole lotta protectors of society-as-they-knew-it. They were after him, out to GET him. He was under assault, by Allen, by the press, by individual parents in their homes, and etc. Bob was part of that Nation, and he knew he was almost already “in” the business as far as HE was concerned. There was a real war on, and it fell right on, guess what? INDEPENDENCE DAY! And Elvis took a stand, and it was reported, too, in newspapers all over. The whole episode truly divided the country, and unbeknownst to many, parts of the world outside the country. But especially in the U.S.A. “Independence Day” was the day someone Dylan with whom Bobby could truly relate, TOOK A STAND against those “frustrated old types,” as he once sneeringly put it.
    Do you think Bob forgot, as he paged through the record racks, searching for “Tommorrow Is A Long Time” in ’66, or even ’67, because he was racked up for a while. Maybe THAT SONG, that performance of that song, sort of gave him courage to get moving again: to REALLY recover. Because to see such sublime beauty called a “bonus song” on a trashy album whose title {“Spinout,” and it was a spinout} he could not even spit out of his mouth in ’69, it so disgusted him, so he said he thought it was “Kismet.” Which had a little class: not Harum Scarum, but the actual Kismet. It was easier to even say. And seeing it all come together in this way: his song, sung more beautifully than he could have ever imagined, by the guy who created a new “Nation” of new kinds of people, KNOWINGLY, back on Independence Day, 1956, and hearing this beauty submerged in amongst whore-songs had to be absolutely crushing: almost killing. Dylan had ears: Sgt. Pepper was crap unless you were flying on acid or some kind of whopper of mind-bending substance. And other “acid-rock,” Dylan knew, was ephemeral crap. He had to feel “so alone.” Was he the only one who realized what had become of the young people who rejected their elders at a time when you weren’t supposed to even THINK of doing so? No, he knew there were some others. But not many. Most younger people than himself: the “boomers” had only transient memories of Hound Dog Nation. For Bob, a new world had been born. And then, now . . . THIS. A song sung with such chillingly sublime beauty, thrown onto a piece of garbage, as if IT, too, were garbage, as if the song were garbage, as if the leader of the Hound Dog Nation was CERTAINLY human garbage, because what else could they think of him to do this to this performance? And to Bob’s song, sung as no one could or would ever sing it. He was now immersed in the whoring process!! There it was: his song, sung so gorgeously, with rotten meat thrown all over it, and his one-time “leader” LET THEM DO THIS TO HIM AND TO THEM!! “Independence Day.” What did it mean now, anyway? THEY seemed to have really won. A war Elvis himself {Dylan could never have know this: I only found out by actually reading one of the stacks of books I have that I haven’t yet plumbed, assuming it was all bullshit, but it wasn’t: Elvis knew the Lt. wanted to hear “Victory Or Death” – not “no more Korean-type things, gettin’ people killed just so some politician can ‘sound tough'”} raging, people gettin’ killed for said politicians, those three black girls feeling betrayed by a lie written in a white-owned “colored” magazine that printed a “man-in-the-street” Memphis “interview” with a man with no name about a “rumored crack made after a Boston appearance” that said bad things about black people and “shoe shining.” Elvis couldn’t shine his shoes at the time, first of all: he wore only bucks, white, and by that time with cool buckles. He never appeared in Boston until 1972, nor on the galloping rumor’s other “venue”: the Edward R. Murrow Show, on which Elvis NEVER appeared. He was on some guy called “Hy Gardner,” and said nothing like that, or even close. He DID duck a question about smoking marihuana {sp?}, and laughed and said “that one really takes the cake” when Gardener asked, absurdly, “is it true you once shot your mother?” Elvis never shot any living creature, ever. Never went hunting, not even as a boy with his dad on an invitation. He refused. And he never hunted, never shot anyone. He simply liked the popping sounds, he said, and this was the plain truth. He lived for sound.
    But not the sounds Bob heard surrounding the beautiful rendition of a song he wrote, and never DREAMED at the time that the Leader of the Pack would record it, and so beautifully, to boot.
    “Tears of rage, tears of grief . . .” What ELSE could he feel? And that memory of the pimply youngster with a backbone of apparent steel who, on Independence Day said THEY would not change him, and that they would get their wish: “you’re gonna see the REAL Elvis tonight!!” They “carried him in their arms, on Indepence Day,” and now he had sent them all on their way. Dylan was now some kind of “King of Rock,” “Why must I always be the one to be the thief?” This is ONE “theft” he did NOT want. He did not want to be the “rock king” as Joanie called him, not even KNOWING, apparently about Hound Dog Nation, and how there would be NO BOB DYLAN without that particular “Independence Day” and the ordeal that his hero survived and over which his pimply hero triumphed. “Back then,” a mere kid of just 21 years had told the older generation that they old news and had better get out of the way, ’cause, well, the times were a’changin and Bob felt this to his toes. But in ’67, himself recoiling from his own fans, from a rock culture that seemed lost and unfocused, filled with middle-class college-loving kids {so unlike Bob, who resented “college” almost as much as Elvis himself} who were against a war THEY would never have to worry about. A draft they could dodge at will, at the time. While Elvis was dragged off and “shorn” as the headline announced later in ’56, as they promised Elvis they would {after he stupidly endorsed a candidate who had already lost once, and then said “there should be no draft”: what do you think “Tricky Dick” said to THAT? Simple: “draft the punk.” It’s not complex at all. 13 years later, Elvis looked him in the eye. Maybe he just HAD to. “I am just a poor boy from Tennessee, and I want to PAY BACK for everything MY COUNTRY HAS DONE FOR ME.” Grinding poverty, living in dangerous boarding houses in Memphis, where anything could have happened to a little boy from the countryside, and then on to a fame that was also a kind of repeat of Jr. High and High School: ridicule, scorn, and then, finally, physical attack: the draft. His mother’s death, which could be traced directly to the draft: she was out of her mind with worry, not just over missing him, but with thoughts of Junior Smith, a war that could pop up any moment, anywhere . . . she was not a dumb woman. Nor even ignorant. Neither was her son. He’d go over to Disc Jockey Eddie Fadal’s house when he didn’t know his parents could be “dependents” who could help him live off-base with him, for months . . . Fadal remembers the phone calls: “Mama. Elvis., then just crying and moaning for like a solid hour. Stone cold fact. Not deniable: this is what actually took place. Then she succumed to liver disease in her attempts to drown her miseries and terrors for her only child, who had been brutally assaulted by the powers-that-were{are?}, his almost psychotic grief reaction at her death, and then the frozen Czech border, a brush with death {the ELECTRICAL system involving the heater had been the culprit: don’t believe Esposito: he’s lying — and Elvis always remember the basics of how to wire stuff: he do it on stage, waving off the roadies. Honest: he did this! So, if the heater was “faulty,” you have to wonder exactly how it got that way, just a little. Either way, it was a close call} in the Army and utter misery as well, and then when he returned “home” his mother was not there. He was a motherless child: he HAD “no home” as he saw it. Just, I guess, “a place for {him} to stand.” “G.I.Blues”: he knew it was crap, but he just did it. He no longer cared about his “contribution” to the youth of “Hound Dog Nation.” He just no longer cared at all. He said he cared so much he got sick, but by then it was too late. “I’m not there; I’m Gone.” With a parenthetical addition to the title written on it: “{1956}” The bootlegs give you titles as written. And that’s what they wrote on “I’m Not There {1956}.” You can check the bootlegs for yourself, if you have them: this is just a fact. But not an unimportant one. Elvis’s living ghost seemed to haunt that “basement.” Because it haunted Bob, period. HIS SONG. So lovely, and thrown in with garbage as if Elvis, the song, and Bob, too, were ALL garbage together. How would YOU feel if YOU’RE song, recorded so lovingly by Elvis were treated as a “bonus song” on “Spinout”? Me, I think I’d throw up or something. Go crazy. Or if I could, which I can’t, write “Tears of Rage.”
    “Come to me now, you know we’re SO alone. And life is brief.” The Band’s version is NOTHING compared to the one on the legal Basement tapes release. Dylan really does sound like he’s crying.
    On the MTV Video Music Awards this year, Madonna chastised herself and the audience for “abondon”ing another vital force in the rivulets and streams and rivers of American music, but perhaps she got it backwards. Sure seemed that way to me. But maybe it always works both ways, this “abandonment” thingy.
    Did Dylan and his felow compatriots in “Hound Dog Nation” “abandon” Elvis, or was it the other way around.
    In “Tears of Rage,” at the end, it doesn’t matter: Dylan says “come to me now, you know we’re so alone, and life is brief.” Dylan, no matter what bullshit he tells some cub intern reporter for Rolling Stone, a sort of dead magazine now, clearly did not abandon that Hound Dog Leader. But he cried tears of rage, of grief, before opening his arms wide with almost desperate welcome. His song SOUNDS like those three black girls LOOKED just before the Independence Day “stand”: desperate. They didn’t want sexual contact, I don’t think: it was somehow much deeper. They wanted to “touch the hem of his garment.” So what did Dylan do after Elvis died? Yes, he made an album, which was uneven, but all during this, he was going through serious changes. He became a Christian and wrote new “spirituals.” I wonder why {sarcasm}? It would have been too obvious if he had simply recorded the usual songs. He knew he could not top the dead guy’s performances on them, anyway. So he did the next best thing. I think he went as crazy as Elvis when HIS mother died. “The child is the father of the man.” If the Hound Dog Man was the symbolic “child” in what he did and in WHO PROTECTED HIM – or tried to, it was the “father” {his real fans, who cared} – whose lives he changed, and sometimes saved, and they “carried him in {their} arms, symbolically. Scratched his name in various glass objects {sand is glass, I believe}, etc. And when under assault, stood up to protect this “child” they “fathered” by BEING his fans, and protectors. But they were teens, mostly, and if “the child is the father” of “the man,” Dylan had to wonder what kind of young man the pimply young leader had become. Garbage? A whore for the old men who hated him? HOW could something like that happen? If you were Dylan, a musician in his soul even as a very young child, but especially by ’56-’58, when he started in earnest, and you couldn’t give a shit about “Woodstock Nation” and its total self-involvement {how can I avoid the draft? Whereas Elvis seemed to genuinely care about the OTHER kids when he spoke to his “Lootenet” as the guy spells out the pronounciation, ad nauseum. He figured he’d live {by that time, with his mother in her grave, who knows if he even cared if HE lived or not}, but what about what they PLANNED to do in the near future? “Most folks I know don’t want any of those Korean-type things, gettin’ people killed just because some politician wants to ‘sound tough.'” He called Ali “The People’s Champion.” By “the people,” he meant those who WOULD be drafted, as he was: those who couldn’t go to college, who didn’t know the dodges, etc. Those who maybe thought they were doing something for their country {in 1970, as a prank, Elvis told a Vegas crowd: “The Vietnamese Army is IN THE BALCONY!” The people dove for cover! I swear! He then said “hey, you hear rumors; I just work here.” And giggled. And that grin, of course, with a shoulder shrug. He was no “dummy” no matter what people called him. He copped the joke from Bobby Kennedy: “when they cross the Rockies, I’ll get worried.” Elvis was for him: he cared about the poor and hopeless. He was NOT for “Clean Gene,” for SURE. And his mockiing of LBJ on the set of the ’68 comeback special is really funny. You gotta hear it for yourself: it’s a little complex, dealing with “an all lady topless band” called “The Lady Birds” he jokingly says are staying in “the Presidential Suite” in Vegas, where such a band actually performed. “Yeah, in Vegas: they got ’em.” Then he mimicks {sp?} The President at the time: “Mah Fellah Uhmercans.” You gotta hear it for yourself. He saw it all coming, but he knew that not all “war protesters” as he was asked by a reporter once, were the same. Some were spoiled middle-class brats, and some were poor folk like himself, who WOULD BE DRAFTED, AND MANY WOULD BE KILLED. He knew this when he still had “terminal acne” {gosh, he even has a big zit on the ’68 special; you can see it grow day by day, as he was obviously squeezing at it, making it worse}. He had been so young, so wise, so scorned as an idiot . . . but he was not, and Dylan KNEW he knew better about the films, first hand, or not: he knew that Elvis knew he had sold his whole soul, and now his heart was “filled with gold, as if it were a purse.” “You might not!” Elvis warned of tempting “success” in those days. Made excuses. But he was clearly goin’ nuts by the time he cut “Tommorrow Is a Long Time.” And then they trashed it by sticking it on “Spinout” where almost no one could find it! Bob was the one who told the world about it in ’69! “The recording I treasure the most.” But he would not say the correct album. Maybe he wasnted the fans to pour through the ocean of sewage in looking for it! So they’d somehow know that Bob had to be some kinda fan to even have found the thing. And they’d know, in ’69, what Elvis had gone through, put himself through, too, in those hideous years of self-abnegation. Why did it mean so much to Bob? Well, now he had a leader other than his cold, stony home. Now he had someone, so close in age, too, to who he could look up for inspiration and the courage to DO IT! And with all of that, with the cry of defiance on “Independence Day” when Hound Dog Nation carried EP in their arms on July 4, 1956, picket signs and all, he seemed to have said “screw you, too.” I mean, it had to HURT. Bob was now in this business, and he had suffered many slings and arrows himself on this account. He felt betrayed, yet he opened his arms wide in welcome, almost begging. He could see this was a lost person, a soul ripped up, a body in danger of actual death. “Tears of Rage,” tears of grief. I think he expected NO comeback AT ALL; he expected a headline in the newspapers: “Elvis Presley Kills Self in Mysterious Circumstances.” Or something on that order.
    In 1977, it did happen. No, not an actual, well-planned suicide, but he did himself in. He knew that he’d HAD his comeback, that he somehow couldn’t get away from the Col., and that he’d never see the inside of a British instrument shop. He’d never act again in any film. That dream was totally trashed. His mother, who should have been a grandma in her 60s, and still active and involved, was long dead, and he so longed for her. His Daddy had one heart attack already. And now, the first “guy”: Red West, along with his cousin, had destroyed his reputation, and made him look like a lying fool. He felt his daughter would hate him for the “evil” things he’d done. Be ASHAMED of him. She is not, but how could he know, then? 42 isn’t all that mature, really: WE know that now. It’s a confusing time. And Elvis was a junkie, and so confusion was utterly normal, and most confusing. He hurt in his gut from real pain, and from phychological pain that went back to childhood. He just couldn’t hurt any further, I think. Enough. But people would be hurt, and he had no idea how much. Bob was just one of the millions who hurt, and of the many thousands who STILL hurt because of all the good things of life that he missed. Both before and after his death. His daughter needs him now: that is clear. But, uh, he’d really like to help her, but “I’m not there; I’m gone.” 2009. Bob is still angry: that much is clear. But he still remembers how good it had been on that Independence Day, 1956.
    The interviews should never be taken literally, and anyone who does, doesn’t know beans about Dylan. Maybe he felt like EP seemed still “lost” even after the comeback: if they had met in ’69, he would have known for sure. And I think it’s clear that he knew for sure.
    For Dylan, it is not necessarily a world-historical tragedy, though he knows it is that too, but a personal one. I just know, from the songs alone, that he felt he could have helped. He would have been wrong, I think, but it’s survivor’s guilt. Kinda universal. It’s easier to cling to the older Chuck Berry, older than Elvis by quite a bit {quite more than Elvis and Dylan!}. It’s easier. There’s undoubtedly still a lot of pain in it all. He bet his life on what the guy pointed toward. Really. Threw everything in his past away to be something totally new, himself. And the feelings of betrayal and loss and all whatnot, well, there you have “Tears of Rage.”
    Sorry, Bob, but some songs have a particular meaning. You an apply it elsewhere, of course, but in ’67, it meant nothing else. And, in a way, everything else. It meant so much to him. Which is why the performance is so moving. Duh, Greil. Amazing how blind some people can allow themselves to be to the obvious. Or it was embarrssing to him to say it, or I dunno.
    But I DO KNOW what was eating at Bob in that basement. “Why must I always be the one who is the thief?”
    “Watchtower”: a lotta people think the War: I guess so, but whatever. You can talk about a bunch of songs, but “Tears of Rage” is very clear to me now. Too clear because the guy still is troubled, somehow, by what happened to “the deliverer” on “Independence Day.”

    Now you two fellas can keep fighting if you like, or you can listen to “Tears of Rage,” but only after listening to it on the original “Spinout” album, and throw in Harum Scarum: hell, try to get through the movie! And then look at Alfred Wertheimer’s photos and essay of the actual “Independence Day” of ’56.
    I mean, it’s almost too easy at this point.

    Bye now,

  21. ray Says:

    Robin: I just read all this and it has been very educational. I think your theory makes sense and I’d love to read your book. I listened to Basement Tapes over and over when it came out on vinyl but that’s been 20 years or more since I heard it. Luckily I have a phonographic memory. 🙂 “What poor daughter ‘neath the sun would treat a father so? To wait upon him hand and foot and always tell him, No.” What do you make of that line? Who is the daughter, the father and if one was waiting hand and foot, would not the answer always be Yes? I have no theory of my own, just curious. I kinda hear both Bob and Richard Manuel singing the song in my head. I think it was Richard who sang it at the concerts as recorded in Before the Flood(1974).
    I do know that I’m Not There was left off of the official Basement Tapes for some strange reason. I did not hear it until the movie came out. I have the movie soundtrack. I’ll go check to see if (1956) in in the title…No it’s not. Thanks to you I now know the historical significance of that year. About the R.S. interview: I was surprised that Bob discounted the later Cash recordings. I remember some jewels there. Hurt and The Man Comes Around are a couple off the top of my head. I do sense a hint of a slight rift there. Or maybe they just lost touch. Bob tends to do that with his relentless schedule and Gemini ways. I talked to Ramblin’ Jack Elliot recently. I don’t think he’s spoken to his old friend in 20 years or more. And it does not make alot of sense that Bob would turn down a meeting with Elvis. He made time for the Pope, why not the King? You may be onto something. Maybe it was just too private, like you said. As for R.E.P: I’m done with trying to change his mind. It is like getting stuck in the mud: the more you gun it, the stucker you get. I tried logic, humour, friendliness, insults, friendly insults. He doesn’t seem to get my humour or my logic, so I will just Let It Be (as the Beatles say). E-mail me. I need to get out of this forum for my own mental health.

  22. reprindle Says:

    Reconstructing Presley’s year 1956. Sounds interesting. As I understand it in July of ’56 Presley had the audience stand up and sing Hound Dotg as the national anthem. How long after that was it before his draft notice arrived?

    Also, when did Parker sign the movie contract with Hall Wallis? Here the plot thickens. If you want to destroy someone short of a very suspicious death how do you do it? One way would be to destroy his career. I think it odd that they would put someone they detested in the movies which would further his success had unless they had an ulterior motive. In 1932 MGM signed the rights to Tarzan away from Edgar Rice Burroughs with the intent of making Tarzan ridiculous. Backfired, of course.

    So, let us assume that Hound Dog Nation was taken as a defiant declaration of war. Essentially the opening shots on Fort Sumter. For a war between youth and the ‘Greatest Generation.’ I certainly felt there was a war against young people at the time. What then? The most obvious counter move was the draft. Powerful tool in the hands of the Generation. Get him out of the way for a couple years and let the fickle kids forget about him. Parker was able to successfully counter that move. That was the Goys vs. Elvis. This was a multi-cultural society even back then.

    Now, it’s important that you read Gus Russo’s The Outfit and his Super Mob because the entertainment industry was locked up by the Jews and Sicilians. Forget NYC, Chicago is the metropolis of the country, certainly West of Appalachia. Chicago is where the fate of the country is determined as witness Jack Kennedy and Barack Obama.

    You should also study the 1958 film The Girl Can’t Help It. The industry in a nutshell. The Mob, both NYC and Chicago, had a tight lock on the music business except for the Hillbilly music of the South which Js and Ss despised but that is where the challenge to their lock came from. Not only came from but in dollar numbers that exceeded their wildest imaginations.

    In November of ’56 I went into the Navy. At that time the lid was blown off S&J music control. In Philly, Top 40 radio was playing Ferlin Husky’s Gone, Carl Perkin’s Matchbox. Pure Hillbilly. This was pre-Fabian and Frankie Avalon which were Mob counter moves to regain control. In ’56 they moved Tommy Sands up to the front line. Sands was no Fabian. Fabian was no Fabian either but the all out promotion succeeded.

    Elvis already in the clutches of the draft, Wallis hurried a movie through. Elvis was no actor but it didn’t matter although I mourned his passing. The movie ‘Love Me Tender’ was appropriately a civil war film. Wallis got two other Jews, Leiber and Stoller, to write the lyrics. That duo had written Hound Dog thus making a bundle off Presley’s million seller. The song wasn’t that good, a loser for Thornton and Bell, but Presley knew the inner meaning of the song and made it fly. Up to this time Elvis was known as a raucus rocker, a dangerous man. ‘That’s all right, Mama, that’s all right for you.’ It was now time to pull his teeth.

    Leiber and Stoller now penned the draggiest ballad imaginable with the most insipid lyrics. Love Me Tender was also lifted from a civil war song. They killed Elvis symbolically in the movie and Love Me Tender should have killed him musically. I thought it had but I wasn’t paying enough attention to those little girls.

    So Elvis pulled off the impossible, made a successful entry into movies even though he couldn’t act and showed he could make hits out of Hound Dog or Love Me Tender which one hopes was the worst L&S could do.

    These are the guys who found writing insipid songs for Elvis too demeaning but who would later pen such challenging lines as ‘Take out the trash and bring in the cat. Yakkety yak, yakkety yak, don’t talk back.’ Well, maybe they didn’t do their worst by Elvis. Beyond ’56 they had the once defiant and aggressive Presley sobbing lines like: ‘Treat me mean and cruel, treat me like a fool…’ And they did too. Elvis went from dying in Love Me Tender to become a petty thief in King Creole to becoming a jail bird in Jailhouse Rock on to a job as a carnival Roustabout.

    Nothing could destroy his hold on the generation.

    But in recreating ’56 I’d really be interested to see what you come up with. How Elvis escaped that planned demolition. I mean, there was not a lot of enthusiasm in that theatre in which I watched the movie. But then, maybe everyone realized they were watching an attempted hatchet job and were all forgiveness.

    One other movie you should really be familiar with to understand the period is Dr. Strangelove. Left wing but it fairly accurately reflects the majority mind set.

  23. R M Says:

    Ok, fellas {if you’re not here for me, Ray, then, well, I dunno. I like to make peace; boyfights are silly and these are serious times: we can find common ground because I tend to have a sense about people. I have taught THOUSANDS of students from age 5 to 88, but mostly between 14 and the twenties and thirties, so give me a little credit. I have had students treated badly and terribly misunderstood. Before I do my Elvis/Dylan thing, I must tell you a scary story. A young fellow of about 19 years was in my class. “Social Change.” Most of the kids wanted to “stope child abuse” or “stop war” or “stop animal cruelty” or “stop ALL BAD THINGS IN THE WORLD,” etc. This one boy, not long after the Ohklahom {sp?} City bombing, blurted, and I mean BLURTED out “the government.” And then he REALLY started in with gestures: he kept opening and closing his jacket, a jacket worn on a hot summer’s day. The girls in the back were dropping any class he was in. He DID seem frightening on a number of levels. So they marched up to the chairperson’s office and demanded SOMETHING BE DONE ABOUT HIM. At the same time, another prof., who said she had been a cop in an earlier incarnation {clearly not deeply read in psychology or psychopathology, or even autism-disorders} ran to the chair and said “he’s gonna BLOW.” I was called, and told they were going to have campus police “pick him up.” I suggested some caution, but the call had already been made, and the chair trusted the supposed former cop over someone {me} who had studied for my orals {unlike her, I WAS a Ph.D. for a few years by then, and had MUCH experience with young people since I worked with learning disabled youth at FIFTEEN: I had been professional taught and certified. My double minors in college were phychology and “speech communication and theater.” But a cop, well . . . So they picked him up and said he was potentially violent, especially since he “expressed views” to a woman interrogator that were “hostile to women.” Well, he turned in his first paper, and I found out he was a BRILLIANT young man, who did not harbor hatred for “the government” or “women” or any of that, but spoke with some anguish about people who are misunderstood. I returned to class with his A+ paper, which it WAS, and observed him closely. It was so obvious: he had Tourrett’s Syndrome. He couldn’t help either the “contrary” things that his mouth blurted out, depending on the setting, or his movements that were compulsive and tick-like. By now, he had a campus “record” with the campus police as “dangerous” and the poor kid had a problem with this tick disorder which also incorporates obssessive-compulsive disorder. One of the ticks so common is to say the wrong words in a given context: often curses and racial slurs. I felt from the start that he was misunderstood, but they had the torches burning for him. And yet, he was a masterful writer, sensitive to people of all kinds in his writing, and just damn brilliant. His disorder needed addressing, sure, but he felt my trust in him, and even completed his oral report, fighting the vocal and physical ticks as best as he could. It was about people who are misunderstood. But he had broad social and political knowledge, and was NOT Tim McVeigh, AT ALL. And he would NOT “blow.” Ever. And he did not. He graduated with all “A”s in the classes where the profs realized his brilliance. He became an honor student. But he still struggled, and was never properly diagnosed. He struggled alone, exept maybe for profs who had the brains to see HIM. What right did they have to haul him off because of ANYTHING he just said that was NOT threatening? It was despicable and stupid.
    I do not think you have any “disorder,” please understand, R.E., of course not, but the point is that people judge too harshly and don’t look at people and what they might really feel and why. You hate religions and groupishness: people who reject “outsiders.” Or what they THINK are “outsiders.” Your early life in an orphanage makes this understandable. I prefer to use the term “early 20th century urban immigrants.” Hollywood came from Pittsburgh, and there were greeks along with Jews. It was something they could do away from a then-hostile culture. Jewish film writers wrote some of the worst anti-semitic film stuff EVER!!!!!!! Life is full of “gray”: no human being is actually black or white, not even poor, late MJ. That’s impossible. And so on. There WAS a tendency of WWII Gen {especiallly the older vets!} to want to be “goyishah.” To blend in so much that they wanted to literally put up those “lace curtains” to cover the mammoth insecurity. Which was very real for them, but NOT for their children!! Bob and Elvis had fathers who felt they did not belong to “America.” Elvis felt his “Daddy’s” suffering so forcefully that if you look at the Nixon letter, it is that word that you really cannot even READ. They have typed it up, so you know, but on a first reading of the handwriting, it is a tiny, tiny unreadable smudge. He writes the then-V.P.’s name as “agnew.” Yes, with a samll “a.” And there’s a lot of interesting things in that letter, including a bold threat to Nixon: “I will be here as long as it takes to get the federal credentials.” A one-man sit-in!! Ok, laugh, but Elvis was in tears that day, before the call came that he could be squeed in on the “open hour” btw. the Girl Scouts. Joy, joy!!!!!!!! He would get his “Federal Agent At-Large” badge at last! But he didn’t: it only said “Special Consultant” which meant nothing. They now admit it was “honorary.” He was told it was “real.” He wanted to believe this, but was disappointed that it didn’t say “Agent-At-Large.” He was thinking of international travel and blowing right by customs {ok, no cocaine jokes necessary; I have heard ’em all from people I’ve spoken to}. He came not to praise “America” but to flee it!!!!!!!! It’s just a stone, cold fact and even “Bud” sorta saw it, but had gotten in way too deep to get out. And he was stupid: his book shows that much. And for Jerry Hopkins, the Jim Morrison-loving “liberal” to think that Elvis was truly “sincere” and call him a “conservative” based on this crazy caped crusade is moronic, in my view. Hopkins, and I hope he don’t sue me {don’t worry, I’ll take the rap: for real}: but maybe he belonged with Nixon’s ship of fools who got themselves kicked out of the West Wing for a “third-rate burglary.” Because only a fool could take that letter seriously: Nixon didn’t, even Hoover didn’t take HIS over-the-top letter seriously, and Finlator bought NONE of it: he was a real cop, a detective, and he knew Elvis was trying pull a hustle, and would NOT bite. Elvis called him a son of a bitch. Through tears, at first. Elvis tried even to bribe him! 50,000 bucks! “For your drug drive.” Finlator told him to just put those words back where they came from, and he did. I know it was lunacy to really believe some “badge” was gonna save your ass from arrest on an international basis, but Elvis wanted to tour the world so badly, he was going freakin’ nuts. What had HE done wrong? He tried to placate the “proper people” by condemning “the freaks”: and he knew he was one of the latter. Even a girlfriend felt he was acting when he got all worked up over a televised flag-burning. She told him he could drop it now, that she “trusted” him, BUT . . . there were other matters of “trust” that she wished more to discuss, like having about 4 or 5 chicks going at once . . . See, he found this chick who worked in the House Defense Sub-Committee {or whatever: it was “defense”}. “agnew” lived a few doors away, so Elvis availed himself of this anthropological foray into Republicanland. He even asked a Sen. Murphy to “check” his letter to Nixon to see if he had said the “right” things {literally and figuratively} on the final flight to D.C.
    Hopkins, wishy-washy liberal that he is/was, didn’t even KNOW that Elvis was obsessed with “Dr. Stranglove” and that he “liberally” you might say, borrowed lines and tactics in his Caped Crusade from the film. Read the letters, etc., and then, WATCH THE FILM. And lord only knows what “agnew” said in “anew”‘s living room!
    Anyway, you got the order of the films wrong, and Lieber-Stoller had nothing to do with the soundtrack to Love Me Tender. They handled the next three. And “Love Me” {treat me mean and cruel, treal me like a fool} was written previously, and Elvis picked it up, first “doo-woping” it, then bluesifying it in ’68. “The Ken Darby Trio” recording backing tracks and sent over sheet music for the other three songs in Elvis’s first film. Elvis did “Love Me Tender” virtually alone: just voice and guitar. Look, the lyrics suggest themselves from the title chosen by RCA/HillandRange: it’s a DEMAND. A demand to be “true” and “tender” and to “fulfill dreams” and so on. It ain’t that much, but it’s pretty, and Elvis told both Sammy and Sinatra {who told Tony Bennett} that he came up with the lyrics on the studio back lot, with a piano and guitar for his only assistance. He’d been given the old melody, and kinda told: “do something with it.” And the TITLE, which gave little elbow room, because it’s a demand. He wasn’t sure it was any good, so he sang it on the phone to his girlfriend, who said it was not just a “pretty good song” as Elvis had said, not telling her he put down the words, but clearly insinuating it, especially in his reactions, but that it was “a beautiful song”! Elvis replied “you really think so?” He wasn’t satisfied, and I can come up with many more examples of his OWN lyric composition that way, way tops this simple little ditty. But his acting in the first film, Love Me Tender, was boyish and not refined, but by Jailhouse Rock, he had created a campy classic. King Creole was the last of the ’50s four films, and I think he was brilliant. It had been intended for James Dean, but shelved when he got killed. The moved it to New Orleans for the music. I’m sorry, but DO NOT judge Elvis by those mid-sixties films!! Good Gawd! In King Creole, he got raves, and deserved them. Dean would have, as he usually did, with face contorted and all, over-acted. Elvis watched Brando carefully, and is careful about his gesturs, which he allows to flow normally, but his eyes dance with the fury of the adolescent charcter. Notice, I said his eyes. Dean would get all rolled up in a ball, practically. Brando was so much better, it’s ridiculous, and Elvis knew it. Both director Curtiz {Casablanca!} and fellow actor Walter Mathau {sp?} thought Elvis was a genius: Mathau {sp?} was very careful about what he said: “when I say he was a “natural actor,” I DO NOT MEAN like a “dumb animal” because Mathau {damn that spelling} thought that Elvis was very bright and was a wonderful very young actor who he thought would have a fantastic future in film. After Elvis’s death, he spoke with bitterness and deep sadness as to what they did to him immediately on his return from his “lockup” in Germany. In “Flaming Star,” he mostly broods, and doesn’t speak too much, but when he does, he rather explodes. He was thinking of the people of East Tupelo who refused to visit Gladys on Sam Bell’s land “in town,” I’m sure, when he shouted “I guess these are what we call our *white friends*!!” He exploded in a fury at being that “Sranger in {his} Own Hometown,” and at his mother’s literal loss of faith. She mostly stopped going to church at that time, she was so hurt. And at school, he was tortured. ‘Till the end. In “Flaming Star” we get to see some of it. It was NOT a box office failure, but compared to the crappy “light comdedies” of ’60 and ’61, it could not financially compete, box-office-wise. His acting career was essentially over. Remember that people like Newman and Redford STARTED their careers, doing “youth roles” when they were 33-34 years old, the exact time when Elvis was given his final pictures. The last two aren’t horrible, but they are not much to work with. The one with the white suit {I won’t repeat that stupid title} is, for the first time EVER in an Elvis comedy, actually FUNNY! In a good way. Elvis was spiking those cigarillos he chain-smoked throughout the film, though. Almost fell backwards once while crooning the tune to “Love Me Tender” as it is the NYU “school song” {Violet, Flower of NYU}. He starts to beautifully lift his lovely eyes and sing, then the camera pulls back, and he suddenly, and even shocking himself, suddendly loses all balance and grabs tight to the piano to which he is parrallel. They left it in. Maybe for his family back home to see. I dunno. But he takes the picture as a lark, has fun with football and fireworks and cigarillos, and REAL bellylaughs, and it’s ok.
    The final film, “Change of Habit” has a weird premise about nuns working with a ghetto doctor {Elvis as “John Carpenter”}, and Elvis seemingly tortures a child actress whose character is said to be “autistic” and in need of “rage reduction” therapy, supervised by a quack who later lost his licence. But what it became was a feature-length music video for “In the Ghetto.” Whatever. He seems detached. He knew that, just that year, Parker had turned down terrific roles. Dylan brags that it was himself who they wanted for “the Cowboy.” Another slight fib: they wanted him to do the song, but he turned it in too late. Elvis was first thought for the Cowboy, and he was, I swear it: this is fact: to sing “Lay, Lady, Lay,” or later that other song: Harry Nillson, or somebody wrote it. It was HIS life, after all, and even for the time, it wasn’t “X-rated” or should not have been. Col. turned it down immediately. Everything, including the singing. I think Elvis could have picked up an Oscar for it: I think it was such a good piece of material that he would have outclassed Dustin Hoffman, and walked away with the Oscar. Col. DID NOT WANT SUCH A THING TO HAPPEN TO ELVIS. He’d start feeling confident about himself. He was also offered first dibs on “West Side Story” earlier. Turned straight down.
    Elvis was shockingly good actor, especially considering that he’d never even been in a school play! But no qualifiers: he had the gift. Another gift for them to crush, especially Parker.
    I wanted to get that straight.
    As to who the “daughter ‘neath the Sun,” well, “she” was HIM! The KIDS were “the father. First, he did wait upon them literally hand and foot {his great R&B dancing, which was called “wiggling” ridiculously}, but later, the Leader of the Pack “always answer no.” No to every opportunity. No to life itself after a while in the sixties, it seemed. It was just a device, the “gender flip” because how could you say “what son ‘neath the Sun?” Sun is, of course, Sun Records. {giggle} Gender flips are sometimes necessary in songwriting, and especially in this complex song. Many singers screwed it up, but Dylan, it being his creation, did it correctly. It was reversed, see. The “Hound Dog Nation” of youth “fathered” and protected their ‘child.’ He was always called “the boy” as in “you cannot blame the boy, but . . .” So, he was an offspring. Of his own fans, who rose to his defense. And the “Hound Dog National Anthem” I think, the prank itself, was more of a ’57 action, though I’m sure Elvis thought it up in ’56. In September, Elvis made that “foolish move” that he would always regret. Parker handed out “Presley for President” signs outside the Sullivan theater, and after a show, a reporter for the NY Daily News asked him about it: she mentioned that it was his very first year he could vote, so who was he for? Like the silly kid he was, he answered directly. A Democrat for Stevenson. Explained a lot about his ideas behind his decision. And then, unbelievably, said this: “there should be NO DRAFT!” In October, Billboard ran a bold headline: “Presley to Be Shorn.” Of his sideburns and hair. They came at him with scissors again. And this time, no one could protect him. They made have carried him in their arms on “Independence Day” in ’56, and DID engage in protests of the Billboard threat/warning, but no one could stop it. Col. said he “knew” Sen. Johnson, and could make it go away. Well, jeez, you know that LBJ didn’t WANT to stop it! I think all the old farts were in agreement in Washington: “draft the punk.” Teach him some manners! {Kill him mother! Well, they didn’t know that would happen, but weren’t they just jolly that they had really, really stabbed him through the heart.} Parker could not possibly have wanted “his boy” so close to the Netherlands. But he had no real “power”: he was always a fraud. He could only harm the weak and frightened. Anyone else: he shooed them away from “his boy.” Vernon, Elvis’s “Daddy,” was especially frightened of the Col. “Don’t cross the Col.” he always warned. He saw him as a plantation owner with a grudge. Like when he was sent to prison for a grand total of 8 bucks, tops. Excuse me, not “prison,” but worse: a CHAIN GANG. Elvis was a “knee baby” of two when his Daddy was dragged off, and had turned 4 by the time he returned. After six months, Elvis saw him twice a month in the course of “family/conjugal visits” and Bukka White, who was there at the time, sometimes entertained the visisting families.
    Have you ever heard Elvis’s “lining out” version of “Father Along.” And ancient form of black spiritual dating back to slavery times. The Sweet Inspirations were thrown off beat, totally, at first, and then caught up. Then, after a roaring “Oh Happy Day” the Crouch hit gospel tune, Elvis says “scared ’em.” It was in a “rehearsal” but you would never believe it! Wow! Chilling, absolutely chilling. To know this, and bluegrass fast-picking {which he did himself!}, and Jackson-style R&B glitter {I’ve actually seen him shudder into a real “moonwalk” without even know what he had just done: it’s real fast, but when you slow it down, you feel a kind of electric shock: it’s the perfect heal to toe motion! It’s REAL.} And Ranchero music, and every kind of gospel and spiritual music. And operetta/Italian folk songs. His mom had two records, only: “Corrina, Corrina” by The Singing Breakman, Jimmie Rodgers, and “O Sole Mio” by Enrico Caruso. He did “Now or Never” for her, after her death, in tribute, I guess. But he also picked out, by ear, Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” bothered by only one chord, which Billy Goldenberg from the ’68 special showed him. He was delighted. But he didn’t want some of the guys to know. I mean that: he’d lift his hands off the piano, PDQ, and one time they caught him, and somebody said: “what are doing that shit for?”
    So, you see.
    You stomp on a planted as it is budding, and it can’t grow to its full flower. It can even die.
    The soundtrack to this tragedy: “Tears of Rage.”
    Bye now,

  24. R M Says:

    Boy, did I screw up Oklahoma {sp?}!!

  25. R M Says:

    Oh, uh, just checked out the actual film “Fun In Acupulco.” One of the songs? “You Can’t Say No In Aculpulco.” At one point, he sings, “you always answer yes.”
    But “yes” to whom? To those who sent him to the fake sets of “Aculpulco” {to which he never went; Col. said it would cause “unrest.” Elvis had just gone over all his Berlitz stuff, freshening up his Spanish!! He was looking forward to SOME kinda change . . . anyway, his Jackie Wilson style moves aren’t bad at all, but that’s about it: the rest was for Dylan to sink his teeth into}. Look, what does a “father” or parent WANT for their “daughter” or son? Their child? The one they “raised,” protected, fought battles for . . .? They hope the child grows into a fine young person, of which they could be proud. Dylan was not just a “fan” but serious about music BECAUSE of that pimply young guy who stood up to the oldsters. That “child” “raised” – even “fathered” in a sense by his fans. And the young man Elvis had grown into from the wild, pimply leader of “Hound Dog Nation” was more than a dispointment. He was lost. He let the evil old men to which he had bravely stood up at just barely 21 years take away his dignity as a human being. And for Bob to find his song, sung so sublimely on the “Spinout” soundtrack meant that he had not only been let down, but was IMPLICATED: HE, himself, was ON THAT ALBUM. UGH!!!!!!!! It was wonderful and horrible all at once. Why do you think, really, that Bob Johnston wanted to bring them together? He knew, clearly, that Dylan wanted it: not just to “meet” like that stupid publicity stunt in ’65 with the Beatles, but to WORK, now as peers. Don’t “parents” wish to be friends with their kids when they are both “grown”? Yeah, it’s “reversed” in a way, but those kids were Elvis’s “protectors.” They felt a parental feeling about what people like Steve Allen were doing to him. And the draft was something even Elvis’s own REAL parents could not protect him from! Let alone his other fans. {Who were his biggest fans of all? Gladys and Vernon, of course. “What’s your favorite song of his?” they asked his mother at the Tupelo concert of ’56. “Baby Play House,” she answered, without missing a beat. Damn good taste! Dylan could hardly do better.} So, it’s so clear to me. Especially when you hear a lot of the other “basement” stuff. And then “Tears of Rage.” It’s the summit, really of all that work and emotion discharged in that basement. If people want to believe it’s about his “real” parents, then I think they don’t understand Bob at all: he still says “it was like I was born to the wrong parents or something.” “‘neath The Sun.” “I saw that Sun come shining . . . ” {“Went to See the Gypsy”} “You knew. And I knew, The Sun would always shine . . .” {“Baby, Stop Cryin'” a 1978 song where he starts out by imagining himself consoling another, and ends realizing he, himself is the one who can’t stop crying, but needs to “’cause it’s tearin’ UP MY MIND!” Elvis band member {bass player} Jerry Scheff {sp?} plays the bass on it. What do you think HE was thinking of, or rather, “who”?}
    That’s all for today.
    Bye now,
    P.S. — Hey, Bobert: if you’re peeking, you know what I’m talkin’ about, friend.

  26. R M Says:

    Oh, fellas, or just R.E., or Bob, or whomever: whoops.
    Obviously, “Tears of Rage” is NOT “on the origianl Spinout album.” That is “Tomorrow Is A Long Time.” That’s what I had meant. Listen to “Tears” on the legal basement release, then to the Spinout album, and for good measure, force yourself through “Harum Scarum,” if humanly possible. Just to FEEL it. Then get Wortheimer’s original book and essays, and it’s all clearer than a bell.
    Bye again and sorry for any confusion.

  27. R M Says:

    Hmmm. I suppose you’re actually taking my advice and DOING the listening/watching session to see if you feel what is so blantaly clear to me. Whatever: I’ve done a google search, and few people have listened to enough of the Dylan-basement bootlegs {or even checked the NOTES to Invisible Repulblic which is handy as a reference even though Greil is looking for something in his OWN head that Bob and friends really weren’t into doing: a critique of THE TEARING AND TORN FABRIC OF OUR GREAT NATION. Ridiculous. Dylan was getting back on his feet, both physically and psychologically, knowing he could only “fire” the man who, in essence, shoved him on “that bad motorcycle” {I can’t remember the title, but it was an 80s album with a really frightening version of country-spiritual “Rank Srangers.” Unfortunately, I have been neglectful and haven’t heard an original or several alternative older versions, which is deserves a slap on the wrist for any critic, of course, but I was moved by Bob’s lonely song, and coming after his being “saved,” listening to him end the song by boldly declaring that he WAS going to hell, where everyone, JUST LIKE IN LIFE will STILL be “rank strangers to me.” Now, perhaps how it goes, but country spirituals usually tout the benefits of HEAVEN, and how you won’t be alone, and everyone will be your friend, and so on. If not, if “heaven” is not that way, if your worldly miseries follow you into the beyond, and now you are ETERNALLY ALONE, well, then, you are in Hell. Which I think maybe Bob believes in — perhaps. In any case, whether it be the way the song is, or what Dylan made of it with just a change of a couple words. I must find out. Perhaps you know, or I could just look up the lyrics. I found it absolutely wonderful work: I hate to mention HIM again, but you ever hear the censored version of EP’s “Bosom of Abraham,”? Well, previously censored; it has come out legally. The song is meant for poor people to sing, and Elvis truly believes that he is and will die a “rich” man, which of course, he did not. He died pretty deep in the hole. To the IRS, which allegedly “did his taxes” every year. I always thought this was Parker’s bluster, because I thought it absurd, but perhaps it was true, ’cause they sure set it up so he owed them anywhere from a million to several millions of bucks or more {Priscilla says that whatever you have read, no matter HOW MUCH, she says, simply: “triple it.” She claims regretting the child support claimed that caused Vernon to take a lien out on Graceland to pay it {Elvis simply did not involve himself in any money matters unless it involved a betrayal of some sort, or in one case where he was ripped off on perhaps his Daddy’s only foray into “investment” when FBI agents came to the house to interview them both about the transaction. Elvis, naturally, was bored with all this boring business-talk, but when they left, he shouted: “wow! REAL G-MEN: IN MY HOUSE!!!” Hopping about like a little kid who’d just watched a re-run of the Elliot Ness TV thing, and then these “real G-Men” from like the 20s or 30s came in the door, right out of the TV set. If you get my point, he figured money was ephemeral, and you could always make more by doing a show or something. His father was at the very least “distressed” at his childish behavior and attitude, because they had been victims of wide-ranging celebrity-grabbing fraud. Duh.}
    Anyway, from his gospel music, he learned the folowing: “well, the rich man lives/he lives so well/children, when he dies/he’ll have a home in hell.” In the version the Felton k’o’d, he says “I’ve a home in hell.” Much as Dylan apparently did with “Rank Strangers.” The 80s were a confusing time for Dylan, coming off so much sadness, loss, and confusion througout the seventies. I think the songs he intended for first Lanois album, and many of those songs, especially in the versions we now can hear on “Tell Tale Signs” are magnificent. And his “offer” to send “explanations” of the songs on “Under the Blood Red Sky” was a cool prank. Anyone who didn’t know what he was singing about had to be an idiot: that was his point. And so why would he bother trying to explain it to them?
    Check out this quote I found: you’ve heard it from me, partially before:

    Oh sure. You’d be surprised. I was in Elvis’s hometown – Tupelo. And I was trying to feel what Elvis would have felt back when he was growing up.

    Did you feel all the music Elvis must have heard?

    No, but I’ll tell you what I did feel. I felt the ghosts from the bloody battle that Sherman fought against Forrest and drove him out. There’s an eeriness to the town. A sadness that lingers. Elvis must have felt it too.
    As I have said, maybe he should have dropped the notion of jumping over “the wall to the place where teardrops fall,” and taken one of the earlier tours, when ALL the horses were named and explained thoroughly. A fine-looking black stallion was named “Yankee Revenge” by Elvis in a spirit of great, good fun. No “lingering sadness” over something even his great-great unlce, or grandpa, or something like that, was not only “not sad” about, but in a show of defiance, named his sons after several major Yankee Generals, including GRANT! No confederates AT ALL. This was on his mother’s side, where there was quite a bit, say, not going too far outside the family for mates {I do NOT mean they were all first cousins, lord no! That did happen with his mom’s parents, but the young lady was moving into, heaven forbib, her post-25s, and the family panicked and got her to marry her first cousin. Handsome, very handsome young man in the photo! Black hair, truly “swarthy” complexion,” and a gorgeous face. Well, anyhoo . . . ). My point is that Dylan went to Tupelo with ideas in his head that seemed already made up. Nick Cave’s “Tupelo” which focuses on the ’36 twister/flood which killed way over 220 people, and wrecked and ravaged the town, and East Tupelo both {the church just across from the Presley home, where they were not taking shelter, anyway, but this church was tore up. Their little shotgun house was virtually untouched. Not that it mattered. In a little over a year, Orville Bean would throw Vernon in jail, then the prison farm, and they lost it to him. They built it, but never owned it: it was a rental, at as far as Bean was concerned.
    If Bob, you wish to “feel” what Elvis felt, go to some holiness and sanctified churches in the general area. Listen to the gospel music of the time, and earlier times, and to Bukka White, who Baby Elvis heard live-in-person with his Mama and Daddy {dressed in prison stripes}! Then maybe you’ll start to get what he “must have felt.” Go to the prison farm {I’m not sure if Parchman is what it was anymore, but you can get a book: pictures and all. And I know Bob reads BOOKS!} Read Elaine Dundy’s account {and then read mine: I may try to interview the little stinker, really. I think he would like to be interviewed by a Ph.D. instead of a cub reporter, possibly an intern, at what is still call “Rolling Stone.” I would not let him get away with a lot of bullshit, even if I had to bring Jerry Schilling down there, and see if he can call him a liar. And I think Schilling might want to face a man who called him a liar in print: Jerry says Bob “called every few months or so” during that time: the exact time of which Bob spoke: the bottom of the film years. And what about Elvis’s personal “gift” to Bob: “Lamar,” a human being who was given to Dyaln and his two buddies as, well, a gift. At around the same time, a Triumph motorcycle appeared at Rocca Place, and Elvis loved it so much that he bought Truimphs for a bunch of the guys: Marty doesn’t do bikes, so he got him a Triumph car. Little bitty car. See you couldn’t GIVE Elvis a gift, really: he wanted to buy friendship, so Dylan got Lamar for a while in Nashville. Everyone knew that Nashville wasn’t yet ready for their hair and clothing . . . Elvis didn’t want him to get hurt, clearly.
    But, in the book {the interview tries to separate things, and also clean them up: “platonic” friend, this girl . . . um hmmm, but as he did NOT say in the book, he says “but they never met.” BUT Jerry left Elvis in ’68 after a big fight over a stopped-up toilet {?), returning only sporadically until late ’70-’72 when he was slowly returning to full-time duty. There is no way on Earth HE can swear that Elvis didn’t meet Dylan ’cause he just wasn’t there enough. Doesn’t matter if Elvis denied it {but it would have to have been in private: he made no comment on “Gypsy” when anyone else, I think, would felt quite used by that song. It would have been easy for him to say that it was a “funny” song, but no, it didn’t happen. Elvis never mentioned the song, and by that time he listened rather obsessively to Dylan’s albums. Hodge remembers that he nearly wore out “Nashville Skyline.” It’s no leap to “New Morning” from there! You better beleive he heard it.}
    I think Dylan, even today, had kept a vow of secrecy made back in the day. I mean, Col. is dead, but I guess a promise is a promise. Because I had two apparently independent sources who saw the first meeting, and it was “outside” where the “lights were shining on the river of tears.” Dylan describes seeing him, apparently outside {if the room was so dark, he couldn’t have seen in!}. “I watched him from the distance, with the music in my ears.” Elvis could only really talk with either a guitar or bass in his hands. Honestly. Otherwise, he’d start stuttering, or just look down at his hands. You bet he’d have heard “music.” A clarion call, you might say: ‘over here!’ That would be all it meant. All of a sudden we go from dark, dark night to “nearly early dawn” with the hours between simply not in the song. Just “the {pretty dancing} girl, of whom Jerry SPOKE!! Again, Elvis DID make the first “move,” if you will. There was a girl they both, uh, knew {excuse me, “platonically” — whatever}, and she was the intermediary, giving Dylan the hotline. And Elvis did have a hotline. The Beatles even called the set of the ’68 special, but Binder didn’t say which Beatle, but did say Elvis didn’t take the calls. He was nervous enough. Now he knew The Beatles knew what he was doing. Talk about pressure.
    Back to Bob. “I Went Back to See the Gypsy.” Sounds more like a second meeting than going upstairs. Clearly. I mean, why? If he’d seen him out there, and etc., then why go back up to that room, where it was only to let the Gypsy know the Bobster was there. And then, disappointment. The song was recorded three times that year. I’d love to hear the first and second versions! Anyway, In August, I SAW with my own eyes, Elvis signal a “harmonica player” in the darkness of the wings, grin knowingly even letting his tongue jut out a bit on the side – playfully, and read a note, hand it to Charlie, and say “thank you Charlie,” as if to say: “be careful with this one!” I think THAT is where it all completely ended, even if Dylan completed the song already {I’ll have to re-check those recording dates}. I am sure Gypsy blamed Col. This was always so handy. When careerist songwriting team Lieber-Stoller heard Elvis ask them “how do you guys write all those great songs?” they must have felt a chill. The chill of their careers ending when rockers didn’t need them anymore. The “Jailhouse Rock” songs were done by them real quick: a few hours, and they were only words and melody. I don’t even know, judging by the many outakes available, if they had all the chord progressions finished – don’t think so. I do know, from D.J. Fontana himself the following: Elvis himself wrote the bass part to “Baby, I Don’t Care” which L/ST. have always said was just an “intro” that he played, and that THEY wrote the bass chart. D.J. told Max Weinberg {“turn off your tape recorder,” D.J. said, for some reason, afraid: Bill was dead, but his wife is NOT, and she fights for him a lot – and his son} and Bill had his little tantrum over the Fender bass guitar {hand-held, so you really had to be able to PLAY}. Well, there they were: stuck. No bass player. Elvis, D.J. said, on numerous times since, simply put his foot on the chair, and he told Max, “played that bass part through.” He had to overdub his vocal the next day, and there is a picture, and there is SOUND. “Too late in the day for this kind of sh. . . aw.” He wouldn’t say “shit.” Still his mama’s good little boy: well, not really, but he tried.
    But when they told him “you don’t need to write: you’re Elvis!” Elvis got an “aw shucks” attitude, which they claim they found charming in such a big star, and said “I guess I’m just not much of a writer.” So charmingly humble: BUT. Before they could look around, the room was cleared. Game of pool, over. A guy came in to say that Col. Parker didn’t want them to get too friendly with Elvis. Well, hell, they co-produced the tracks! D.J. came up with the sound, beat, and with Elvis, the tempo of “Jailhouse Rock” by remembering something called “The Anvil Chorus.” Worked it in, and Elvis said “hurry up, man, my tongue be hangin’ out soon.” It was quite the shouter, and his voice did not yet have the depth it would have in ’68: it was still very high and boyish. But he pulled out all the stops: his aim was to compete with Little Richard, and he wanted to win this one. Friendly-like, but he wanted to win. By ’68, he was WAY beyond Richard, let’s face it. Just listen to “Lawdy, Miss Clawdy” the Lloyd Price thing that Elvis refashioned {get the sheet music! In ’58, Price re-recorded it, and used Elvis’s lyrics: originally, there was no “Tornelle, darlin'” but simply “little darlin’.”} Elvis named a girl! A girl we know nothing about. In Greil’s book, before Saint Peter {Guralnick} made his thick tomes, he said that if you went to Memphis and just casually asked all around, and he did do this, the old men {this was very close to Elvis’s time on Earth, and he died a young man, while many of the bluesmen were quite old: the early-1980s}, anyway, he said that if you just asked a bit, you’d find out that “Elvis had sex with black girls” on and around Beale. He had NO girlfriend in high school: only rejection of his crushes. I don’t think a kid like that would go to prostitutes. I think he would get friendly. He did so with an American ex-patriot woman singer {black} in Paris, which is why he went BACK on his second extended leave, instead of exploring somewhere else. He was wanting to meet up with this lady again.
    But Saint Peter said NO! So, that was that. Marcus had gone to the trouble, in the wake of Goldman’s attack-job, fired up with anger, and actually left that house in the Bay Area, and went to Memphis to check for HIMSELF! And now he doesn’t believe the people he spoke to because of Saint Peter! And they call YOU racist!! The both of them should be ashamed of themselves. And several others “Elvis and Dewey,” where Elvis actually played the Chicsa basement, BEFORE “That’s All Right Mama” and Dewey came downstairs, and went back up. The writer says the guy who ran the shows thinks Dewey didn’t pay the “act” {Elvis} any mind at all. Well, then, why did he introduce him at the Eagle’s Nest in ’53 as “the Poor Man’s Liberace” in of all places, Vince Staten’s “Good Old Boy” book which claims Sam Phillips taught Elvis everything he knew about the blues and that there is “no evidence” that he had heard them or liked them before meeting Sam. Now, from the research of even St. Peter, and especially the new documentary, narrated by Kris Kristorferson, we know the “evidence,” clearly. Why wouldn’t a very rebellious {against his mother’s forcing him to finish his senior year of high school to get a “Testimonial to Good Character”: he skipped school so much, it’s hard to imagine it was actually a “Diploma.”} But they thought so, and so what. Bob had his own hideous senioritis of a more serious nature. Also fell OFF the honor roll before that. Elvis loved English class and the library, since Tupelo. Loved to make up stories and investigate words. No stutter in Tupelo. What happened to that kid? St. Peter denies “The Christine School” as being part of his life, even though his aunt Lillian insisted to Dundy that he was sent there. Either that school did something bad to him, maybe the stigma of “Special Ed.” for arguing with the music teacher, or the brand-new stutter . . . who knows? St. Peter didn’t want to know. Or worse, the Boarding Houses which didn’t want “children.” St. Peter would never even THINK about such a thing! Vernon finally found one. An absolutely hellish place. The truth, as Nash says of something else, is buried in the cold, dark, folds of death. And the others who do know, ain’t gonna talk.
    I had thought Michael Jackson’s story held unknowns. I was wrong. Me and my friends got it right from the beginning, and you will hear even more horror stories, even worse than what Rabbi Schmuck, uh Schmooley [who Jackson called “Smooley”] taped and just RELEASED in September. The dude who wrote the unctions “Kosher Sex.” And released these tapes only after MJ’s death, claiming that it was “ok”: “we were writing a book.” But you left, and there was no book: you creep! No, not you, R.E.: I mean the Man of God, who would violate the privacy of a recently dead son of a grieving mother so soon. “He should have gone back to The Church,” Smooley asserts. Meaning, saints preserve us, the Jehovah’s Witnesses!!!!!!!!
    Got off track, but discharged my fury there. This world is full of “vampires” as Lisa put it. She tried to warn him: she KNEW. Didn’t listen to her. And now she’s married to a guy who’s wedding ring she won’t wear in “family pictures” taken to show the world. Some “lucky litle girl.” Why do I take on the pain of so many people, known and unknown? I know I always only get hurt. Lennon said not to believe in any icons: “I don’t believe in Elvis, Don’t believe in Dylan/Don’t believe in BEATLES . . . just believe in me, Yoko and me, and that’s reality.” But it’s more than icons. I used to feed a homeless guy who slept on a heating grate outside Penn. Sta. by the bus stop. Get my Chinese food lunch, and buy him some rice and chicken and veggies, with hot tea and soup. Drop off the bag as discretely as I could, and then wait for the bus. I know he didn’t want conversation with me: he was humiliated enough by his condition, but I knew he needed that lunch. It was so cold. He had his cup or whatever for change. I knew he could have been a drunk, but so what? He needed the food, even more, then. And boy, he ate it! I didn’t do this to make myself feel better, ’cause I didn’t feel better. I wanted him to get up and get cleaned up, find some clothes and get a job. But I was no case worker: he didn’t have one, apparently. I just felt compelled not to walk on by. I mean, I saw this guy all the time! With his change thingy. Maybe I could have invited him to eat in the resturant, but he might have lost his spot. The shelters were extremely dangerous. So, I did this thing. I almost feel guilty about the whole thing, but it seems so, I dunno, so nothing. But I have always felt that one person mattered: Lisa Presley’s empty ring finger matters the same to me as that man on the grate. Why? I can’t tell you. I guess I was raised up that way. And I’m not ashamed of that!
    I care about young Bobby Zimmerman, even though Bob Dylan killed him off.
    I care much too much. It can kill you to do that. Leaving fresh pizza on top of the garbage cans in winter {the flat tops of them} and walk away, knowing that in the cold, they’d be snapped up by any of the many homeless in Penn. Station. Just an extra piece of pizza, but that’s just it: that’s not systemic. And I didn’t feel “good” about it, but I just couldn’t see them grabbing the crust, or whatever was left over of what I didn’t eat. It didn’t kill me financially, so why not? But, no, I did not and do not want to be a “love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal.” I don’t know WHAT I wanted, except that I knew I had to do it, even if it meant not much. And I didn’t get satisfaction from it: if anything, I felt worse because it was spittin’ in the ocean, and I didn’t like people thinking I was a “love me, love me.” God, NO!
    But it’s just that people are people to me. I ain’t better than ’em, and they ain’t better than me. But I didn’t become “a community organizer.” I just did my own thing, and when I stumbled on something, I guess it was like a knee-jerk reaction. I did NOT feel better. I don’t feel good now talking about it. Almost like I want to apologize to . . . I dunno. Everybody got on MLK,Jr.’s ass when he sent his Lt.’s out to get peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and milk enough for all the kids THAT ONE DAY. He had no apologies to make.
    I feel weird about all this, ya know? And what about Karma? Was this SO wrong that the Karma got me by taking my mom? Dave Letterman’s still got his mom, as far as I know. And God knows, that lizard-creature Joseph Jackson is still alive, kicking, and forcing his remaining sons into “a reality show.” {Weren’t they ALREADY the FIRST “reality show”? Jeez!} The females would not participate, as I can see. Good on ’em.
    Anyway, why did he bury his son, with apparent glee! And I had to bury my . . . well, you know, and go crazy inside for so long? And hurt so bad. Hurt so very bad. What did I do so wrong? I guess there maybe is no Karma. Or maybe I WAS wrong. I was NOT trying to show off! It was only the smallest things. I don’t feel good about it. I feel stupid, or something. Maybe that’s why this happened to me. It was a conceit, and I deserved pain for doing it, and certainly now, for telling of it.
    But I can’t help giving a damn: about Bobby, that gardener, YOU, Elvis and his son-in-law, and whomever. There are people I detest, but mostly I try to look through their eyes. I just dunno.

    Ah, forget it for now!
    Think more later,
    P.S. — Gonna take one more listen to “Tears of Rage” now, and hit the hay.

  28. R M Says:

    R.E.: Dr. Strangelove was not only Elvis’s favorite movie, but from the documentation of just ONE week of film-watching of the period, and from what EVERYONE, including St. Peter has said, he was OBSESSED with it. You gotta look at all the details, both verbal and visual. The showing of the gun. The attempt to contact The President. “General Funny”‘s “communist brainwashing techniques” {you know: flouride in the water, etc.: the whole bit; I remember they gave him an hilarious real name, but it escapes me now}. And in the “Hoover Letter,” Elvis lifts a line directly, but reverses it, intriguingly: FOR HOOVER TO THINK ABOUT! He says that Fonda, the Smothers, “and their ilk” {You ever catch Elvis saying something like “and their ILK?” I think he picked it up listening to “agnew” who lived a few doors down in Palm Springs, or the Private Eye who was right of Attila the Hun {actually, I don’t know anything about Attila the Hun, but it’s an expression}: makes you look red as a beet, ok? When he called Elvis’s friend Jerry a “communist,” Elvis finally had it: he got really mad, and basically said that Jerry or whomever had a right to their beliefs, just as P.I. O’Grady did, without being labelled like it was still the early ’50s. He lost it when he was trying to be “secret agent cool.” That was too much for him.} Ok, so if, as Elvis said in a ’50s telegram regarding a flood of false rumors about him that were now driving him crazy, ’cause he didn’t know where they were coming from {we know more now: check out the documentary “Return To Tupelo.” It’s new}, “God created everybody equal.” Whatever you may think about that {it’s not scientifically “true” in that we are all exactly the same, which is silly, but you know what he meant}, if he said that, and demonstrated on numerous occasions that he MEANT IT {“Lootenet, why do people put other people down?” he asked one borning afternoon in the service), then HOOVER was going to have to “answer for what I’ve done” in “the hereafter” {in the film, I believe he said “an afterlife}, but the first part of the quote is lifted straight from the film. If THEY had to “answer, in the hereafter,” for what THEY had done, then SO WOULD HOOVER. They also forget Elvis’s wry, continuous sense of humor: “The Greatest Living American.” LIVING. Now he was a super-conspiracy theorist regarding all three murders: Kennedys and King. And Sam Cooke, too. {“I got it from the horse’s mouth.” This refers to Col. Parker’s invation of someone from the “Mississippi Sovereignty {sp?} Committee” to a film set {probably “Harum Scarum”} with Mary Ann Mobley, Mississippi’s won Miss America. The three of them were sitting at a table {this is in two different books!}, whe Col. summoned someone to summone “the boy.” Well, possibly as he did in “Stay Away Joe,” when he came RUNNING when the Col. had him summoned {it’s disgusting to watch: to watch him run like that — makes my skin crawl}, he may have jogged over. He sat down, and they said how proud they were over Miss Mobley, and how proud they were of him, a Mississippi boy made good and all, and serving his nation proudly, and doing these delightful comedies and all. Why, what a fine credit to the state. BUT. They had a “little something” they wanted to clear up. “Your ‘associations.'” He spent as much time as possible with Jackie Wilson, and James came to Graceland after seeing him at a Wilson show backstage, and they sang “Old Blind Barnabus,” an old spiritual, and probably better known ones. He wasn’t a fan of Brown’s voice, because singing was not his main thing, but he knew he gospel as any southerner would . . . Anyway, this man was disturbed by such associations {there were others: football players in his films, players he liked like Rafer Johnson, and Graceland is actually in a predominantly black area! You go a few blocks west, and before Elvis died, you just had to pass the barbecue joints {which he frequented often}, and there were the familiar shotgun shacks of his childhood. Recently some young rappers who grew up practically opposite Graceland said their Moms and Grannys “loved” and quite clearly knew him. All of this, plus the wild “law-breaking” he did in 56-57 {the segration laws: at least four different times pushing himself into all-black events where it was illegal for him to go: he invited an entire black “ice capades-type troupe” who were performing in town for some coffee and cake at Graceland: the orchestra included. Recently, Billy Smith described his mother’s reaction {no blood relation to Elvis}: “why don’t you just go over to Beale Street and LIVE WITH ‘EM!” She had gotten him alone and was furious. Billy doesn’t report his cousin’s reaction to his {possibly late} mother.
    All of this, piled up, distrissed this man from this “committee” {I believe they once called it The Klan}. They strongly mentioned the unfortunate end of Sam Cooke. “Shame what happened with that boy.” ’nuff said.
    When he told Larry Geller about this, he said “Lawrence, this is a f–king dangerous world.” He felt surely that Cooke was murdered for reasons other than the official story, which not only killed the man, but trashed his reputation. Elvis was said, in several accounts of finding out about Cooke “from the horse’s mouth” {Geller thought it was the Col., alone, but it was not: though he brought the guy there, and maybe it was a staged thing, but Elvis believed the guy was the real thing: a Klansmen involved in Cooke’s murder — I mean he REALLY believed this, totally, without reservation). If he made excuses to the Beatles, in some interviews at the time, perhaps to Bob on the phone, etc., well, wouldn’t YOU make excuses? If you had been threatened with death and ruination? He was now imprisoned, but he still saw Jackie every chance he got, and they spent hours backstage. There is, though a shortage of photos. On one of them from a film lot {and Parker was watching, you better believe it!}, Elvis wrote the following: “Jackie, you got you a friend for life.” Jackie Wilson kept this inscribed photo in his wallet until his on-stage collapse put him into a comatose state in late ’75 {some accounts say 76, but lately I’ve heard it was definitely late ’75. In 1974, not only were they pictured again, but the stage outfit that Elvis’s female cousin had made for him, for her cousin Elvis, can then be seen being worn by Jackie Wilson. Elvis talks about the outfit onstage, and his girlfriend wore an almost identical one at the time {a Sheila Ryan}, but he simply GAVE Jackie his own stage suit!!!!! This WAS years later, of course. In the sixties, I don’t think he would have done so. He was more careful with photographs after that. In the mid-sixties. He was, frankly, scared to death. Well, almost to death. He did NOT want to go out like Cooke. See, Cooke had a large teen white audience, and then he popped out with “A Change Is Gonna Come” and some folks from Mississippi, etc. freaked out. And then he was shot dead, a woman claiming she was protecting a young lady from “rape.” The whole thing has ALWAYS smelled like a set-up, and St. Peter seems to know, but he’s careful, as is Geller, to an extent. Those other books: about Parker, pull no punches. They agree with Elvis that it was a set-up, and a hit. Elvis did NOT want to go out LIKE THAT. Accused of rape, and then shot to death. What a way for a man of Cooke’s dignity and clear decency to go. I know what you’re thinking: “well, look at squeaky clean Tiger Woods, etc.” But Cooke was different, somehow. Very, very strong and independent: the opposite of Tiger {Daddy’s little boy, now on his own, and trying to prove he really is A GROWNUP, and then freaking out when he pushed it way too far: the young man has issues, and everyone has always known he’d either burnout, or something: well, this was the something}. Cooke wasn’t about that. He bucked RCA, started a small label of his own, and then, most alarmingly, useed that song to speak out about civil rights. Now, in 1968, after King had been killed in Memphis {not far from where Elvis grew up as a teen and made his first music}, and then Bobby, right there with Steve Binder, Bones Howe, and hey, guess what? Two writers for the “Smothers’ Brothers Comedy Hour”! I have the rehearsal tapes with them in it. Elvis gets along just fine with these fellows who “will have to answer” for what they’ve done in the hereafter! I guess he felt they could answer just fine, but Hoover would have to ask himself that question. Elvis was good with words: buttering Hoover’s bread, sure, but, greatest LIVING American. Which means the others are dead. And with Elvis’s wry, dry wit, I can just hear him interjecting: “yeah, sure you are: after you done kee-illed all the rest of ’em!” {silly grin and bellylaugh, like with the LBJ impersonation!} I mean, he did believe it, anyway. So why not lift the line from the film, and then add some relish. Hoover read it, and I think it made him shudder a little. Way too over the top, or he actually saw the film. Elvis came to the tour believing he would get a meeting with Hoover as he had with the Prez. The director was said to be “out.” {Well, he wasn’t “out” YET, but he would be soon enough: I mean “outed.” He was a closet case, as everyone knows. His bidness, but he had so many RULES for his agents: no affairs, etc. . . Holy Hypocrisy, Batman.} Elvis never knew what Hoover said about him: “the Director would not want to meet such a person: he has taken to wearing all sorts of exotic dress and has shoulder length hair.” Holy “Walk A Mile In My Shoes,” Batman!! After the lines about “because I don’t think, I don’t think I wear my hair the same way you do-oo,” the song says this: “well, I may be COMMON PEOPLE, but I’m your brother, and when you strike out and try to hurt me, it’s a-hurtin’ you-oo.” On that day, Elvis, expecting to have a face-to-face with Hoover, entered the FBI building, armed. A gun fell out in the bathroom. Odd, too, ’cause Elvis didn’t wear laces, normally, but he did for this. He entered a stall {please forget Goldman’s nonsese about THAT}, and came out, “noticing” his shoe was untied. He bent over to tie it. A gun fell out of his belt. The agents acted like they had seen a “little green man” and were like “did you see that? Naw, didn’t see that . . .” He won that baby, for sure. But he had fully intended to see Hoover, and when he and his guys were asked to removed all weapons, they all did, except that Elvis kept one: right in his belt, and not even strapped to a waist holster, which he had and used. Why he wanted it to fall out in front of them? I guess a test of his “power.” Or something. But, anyway, he wanted to face Hoover, armed. I do not believe he had any intention of pulling any triggers. He just wanted to bend over to tie his shoe, and the gun would fall out right in front of Hoover. Just to see the fear in his eyes. The fear he put in the eyes of Bobby and Dr. King. And they were, “sore afraid” of him. Elvis, with the help of some dope, was not by this time.
    But in ’65, he was also “sore afraid.” The Cooke thing, and the subsequent “meeting” made him shake. He told Larry Geller: “Lawrence, you know you can only go so far. This is a f—ing dangerous world.”
    Did he say this on the phone to Bob Dylan? If they talked, you BET he did! Maybe this wasn’t the fearless adolescent he idolized on “Independence Day,” and Bob must have thought him hopelessly paranoid and scared of his own shadow, which would have been the ultimate betrayal, after all. “We pointed you the way to go, and scratched your name in sand.” This is NOT on a “beach” as Greil absurdly thinks. When teenagers see wet cement, what do they do? In ’81, at the so-called “new diner” in Huntington, Long Island, Jim Morrison had this big resurgance, and still today, it says “Morrison Rules.” And “Morrison Lives!” “Jim Morrison Will Never Die,” etc. I may be wrong, but if I remember correctly, there is some sand in concrete? Well, even if there isn’t, a young person might think so, so that’s all that matters. What do I know? What did Bob know? He only knew, he “scratched your name in sand” and “did you think it was just another place for you to stand?” The words spit out with bitter tears.
    ‘Nuff said. For now.

  29. R M Says:

    From Wikipedia: “Concrete: Sand is often a principal component of this critical construction material.”

    What is usually called, colloquially, “cement” is actually just a component of concrete. Cement is a component, only. Oddly, iron ore is sometimes involved in the process!!!!!!! IRON ORE!!!!! Iron Ore gives it the gray color. But it is mostly sand, with the actual cement as something that binds it all. But sand is the crucial component because it contains much of what is needed.
    Bob would know this better than most people for obvious reasons.

    Yup, Greil imagines “a beach. “Beach”???? “Naming ceremony on a BEACH??????” And if they scratched the “baby”‘s name on a “beach” then how would it be a “place for you {the baby} to STAND”? By the time the baby could “stand” on the name, it would be washed to sea. Does Greil do a lot of drugs or something? Acid flashbacks? Or was he like that Travolta movie: the boy in the bubble?????? I mean, didn’t he ever write something in wet concrete or “cement”? Cement is not identical to sand, but is mixed with it to make the final mixture. Sand is mixed with the other ingredients like 10 parts sand to the other ingredients – that’s what it says. Importantly, concrete, which is often called “cement” though it is not identical, is “often used around pool areas, for sidewalks, roads . . .” The “cement” stuff is like 1/10th of the mixture that you’ll see in your average sidewalk that they want to last. There is, they say, “no such thing” as a “cement sidewalk”: it is concrete, which uses mostly sand. Also, since sand is a good source for the ingredients of cement itselt, it is often used in the making of what is called “Portland Cement.” Your average sidewalk. That’s why “Jim Morrison” is still living in the sidewalk of the “new” diner there on The Island.

    But a BEACH?????????? You’d think Greil could go to A LITTLE trouble just to look this up!!!!!!!


  30. R M Says:

    One little thought to add.
    You know, all these years, most “thoughtful” people have assumed that “Went To See the Gypsy” was just a flight of Bob’s imagination at the time.

    After going over it all: “Spinout,” the album with “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” on it, and Bob seeing it, and then bursting with apparent “pride and joy” in ’69: “the recording I treasure most . . .” and hearing Bob in ’67, his voice full with true “tears of rage,” “come to me, you know we’re SO alone. AND LIFE IS BRIEF.” Bob had almost died, and if they indeed spoke on the phone after, or even if only Jerry told him about “the accident” with Elvis and the bathtub and the concussion, well, life sure felt so fragile to Bob at the time. His father had a heart attack, about which he had mixed feelings: after all, before the first heart attack, in ’66, his parents, both father AND mother, had plenty of time before that unexpected event: the heart attack, to fly out IMMEDIATELY to see their son: 1966, 25 years old, and they did not do so. Not even “Mom.” Bob was “SO alone.” Life and connections that MEANT SOMETHING seemed to be turning to dust. Or worse. And now, he happens upon a rare song he did not record, recorded by the real “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and it’s on what? “Spinout”? Or was it the “mistake, “Kismet,” which was a song on “Harum Scarum,” and for which the film “Kismet” provided the sets and costumes for what is almost surely the WORST “Elvis Presley Film,” and perhaps had dibs on the worst film EVER MADE by ANYONE. And, yet, the mere word that smacked of some class “Kismet,” was the title he chose to call the album on which he song appeared. A flight of fancy on Bob’s part, because the reality was so horrible.
    Bob does that in his interviews all the time. One can ONLY listen to the music to find any reliable “truth.” It is not in anything he babbles about when interviewed. Not that he deliberately lies anymore, or even then: it’s just that he cannot deal with certain realities. So re-reading his long “Elvis Paragraph” in Rolling Stone, you realize that he doesn’t MEAN to call anyone a liar about him calling every few months, “wanting to set up a meeting.” We know that Schilling is telling the truth as he knows it, and he KNOWS for sure that the calls came in, and whether he evesdropped or not, he also knew that Bob wanted to set up a meeting. Then, in early ’68, as he left to try a career in film editing, starting as a “cutter,” his contact with Elvis was extremely sporadic. There is no way he could ever know, during that time, if they met or not {he even said, perhaps in the book and/or interview “I’ve learned never to say never.” Hmmm. Anyway, see if Elvis didn’t want someone with ANY possible contact with Parker {and Schilling DID spar with Esposito for “rank” which meant also getting close to Parker: that was necessary to “rank” ’cause Col. was IN CHARGE of Elvis, and more chillingly, of his father, Vernon, and his wife, too . . . even before she WAS his wife. Col. made sure they were married. That meant a lot.}, to KNOW about any contacts with the sorts of people that Parker would definitely NOT want around, well, he damn sure would tell Jerry “we never met.” Or perhaps, he’d never get to meet anyone of interest ever again. The chilling tale of Steve Binder, director and producer of the ’68 special is instructive. Parker hated him, and mangled his name for sport: “Bindle.” {It’s actually a long “a,” not as in “bin” but as in “in a bind.”} But that was nothing compared to what happened on opening night in Vegas in ’69. Steve was invited, by Elvis, and saw the show. He seemed to have credentials for backstage, but was turned away, strongly. He got real frustrated and left the inside of the hotel, and found the back door leading to the construction area of the showroom, which had a security man. He showed him his ID, his credentials, pass, etc., and said PLEASE get to ELVIS and tell him that STEVE BINDER wants to come backstage to congratulate him. Guy goes in, apparently is under orders NOT to see Elvis about anything, but to always check with Esposito. Of that there can be no doubt, because in 2003, Alana Nash found out from some “non-Col.” people: everyone, if fact, who was “non-Col.” agree on this: Elvis kept saying “where’s Steve? Where’s Steve? Where’s Steve?” Over and over, looking and looking. I guess they both sort of knew Parker was behind it, but they also might have thought that each didn’t want to see the other. A little doubt. The Col.’s “man on the TV Special, the middle-aged Bob Finkel,” was given a private elevator ride much later that night, with his wife to Elvis’s suite. The elevator doors opened directly to the suite, apparently, or close to it. Finkel and wife entered the room. This info did not appear until oh, over fourty years after “Went To See the Gypsy”: “his room was dark and crowded; lights were low and dim.” Well, in this case, the only “crowding” came from the people inside the TV set {which Bob, in his jabbing little way, might have called “crowded” as a tiny little “dig” at the isolation he saw, perhaps}. Outside of the television glow, the room was PITCH BLACK. You can pretty well bet that in ’71, 51-52 year-old Finkel didn’t pay much attention to Bob Dylan albums!!!!!! I mean, I doubt it seriously. Not his cup of tea: he couldn’t work with Elvis at all and told someone “I MUST get someone around Elvis’s age because we’re NOT going to get the show made! Elvis Presley {he used his full name, which says a lot} keeps calling me “Mr. Finkel” and it’s driving me crazy and we cannot relate to each other at all.” So he recalled “Binder-Howe Productions and the T.A.M.I. Show, among Binder’s other credits {a recent brouhaha over Harry Belafonte TOUCHING Petula Clark’s ARM on a recent special had the sponsors all in a lather about “the South” and “the South” got themselves all in a lather when it aired, as is. So, he had credits {dating back to what today would be called “an internship,” but was then described as an apprenticeship with “Steve Allen’s Variety Show.” He met with Elvis before anyone else, and lied about his age {and continued lying until finally this year, revealed that he was the same age as . . . get this: Bob Dylan! Maybe a few months older, but basically the same age.} He went through 4 years of college, “apprenticed” with “The Steve Allen Variety Show” as he recalls the show {this would precede the Tonight Show, so do some timing math! Uh oh. Elvis told Steve about the Allen Show and how it still stuck in his craw, and he didn’t like to hate ANYBODY, but if he did, it would be Steve Allen. After “Mr. Berle” had been so nice, and continued to be nice in the 60s! Why, “Mr. Berle” would come over to whatever set Elvis was on, and when told Elvis was depressed, and all the guys agree on this, Uncle Miltie {sorry, Elvis, but “you’re not HERE [2009] to talk about Milton Berle,” who died at, I believe it was 99 years old, so I’ll call him what everyone else did} would go alone into Elvis’s trailer: no “Miltie Friends” with him, and as a one man personal comedy act, do skits, alone, to make Elvis laugh. That’s what I call a man-and-a-half.
    But Allen, well, Elvis, in 1968, spoke of him still in anger and hurt. He didn’t like to “hate” anyone, but Allen, if he hated anyone, it would surely be Allen: the self-appointed “taste-maker” and says he wrote, what is it, 100s or thousands of songs? That nobody ever heard, or wanted to! Anyway, Allen claimed he did this songwriting, but there’s precious little evidence. Whatever. It had to be crapola, anyway. So when Steve hears Elvis’s still roiling rage and hurt, he gets WAY paranoid, and tells Elvis, and then later, the world, that he was, even after doing the T.A.M.I. show in 1964, 21 years old in ’68! He lied, of course, and it was a whopper, considering the “age-inflation” of the times and the virtual impossibility of it, considering what he had already accomplished: the Allen Show, Jazz Scene USA, the show and post-production in ’64 of the “T.A.M.I. Show,” the formation of “Binder-Howe Productions” {Howe had engineered several of Elvis’s earliest Hollywood recording sessions – he was just a bit older {since Elvis will always be 42, it’s hard to say “was” or “is” when one party is still very much alive: my apologies for any confusion: I have not even heard that Finkel croaked, despite having the 90th anniversary of his birth last year: no news of his death, so I cannot say that he did die: he may be still very much alive: was so in 2003, and VERY talkative. I’m not even sure about what Binder says in 2009: “I was 28 at the time.” On another set of liner notes last year, he didn’t give an “age number,” but said Elvis didn’t act “the star” even one day on the set {but he did act like a brat on the last day, because I don’t think he wanted to “decamp” Dean Martin’s dressing room, in which the guys all slept together like it was summer camp. He actually grabbed D.J. Fontana’s arm, as D.J. announced: “Ok, time to go home.” Elvis grabbed his arm, and said, with force: “why go home?!” He and Scotty stayed, I guess about 3-5 days: perhaps a little more, but I don’t think so.

    To be absolutely clear, after saying “Elvis didn’t act the star one day on the set,” in 2008, Steve said he was “just another guy MY age.” {My emphasis on that last word.} Now, in hindsight, in th 21st century, maybe he considered the puported “age difference” rather meaningless in the long run, but I think he slipped on that interview for the ’08 audio set, and told the stone cold truth. He did NOT have to be exactly 33 to have worked the Allen show in ’56, with his resume.

    I beleive, according to his resume, especially since he did 4 years of college first, and then did Allen’s VARIETY SHOW, not the Tonight Show, that before a stint on “Jazz Scene USA,” he may actually have been a writer or “gopher” for Allen when Elvis, just 21, and who would have been between his Junior and Senior years in college, if he could have gone when he shot the Allen show on July 1, 1956. I am not saying he was, but it does explain his motivations: even the fans despise Allen: every damn one or ’em, I think. Binder had a secret, and he damn well kept it, but it never made sense to me, and then finally, something like the truth comes out. Binder was a bright and talented young fellow – always mature beyond his years {you should see the box of outtakes! He’s described as a “whip and chair director” but that at least describes it: on a TV “set,” he did not permit the use of profanity: on the last day, he’d had enough of Elvis’s frequent use of it and when Elvis went “hard to move on that Goddamn song, Steve pushed his control booth button and said, with acidity in his voice: “pardon me, Elvis?” — another time, he said the noises were annoying him again on the last day: the tinkling, the “applause,” and “the goddammits!”: Elvis responded by not only continuing to bat about the microphone, which was pestering Steve’s ears in his headphones, but rapped a couple times HARD on the microphone and said “that don’t bother you too much, Steve?” — he wasn’t “playing the star,” but he WAS being a bit bratty that whole day — Steve turned off the sound and cameras at one point, and all we have are stills: in one he’s got his mouth wide open and in Elvis’s face with his own hands on his hips, while Elvis looks away, his hands fingering the guitar, and in another shot, he shoots his index finger towards Off-stage, and with almost 100 dancers behind Elvis, I assume he was addressing Charlie and Co.: the guys}, and it’s hard to believe that he would only be a “gopher,” even at 21.
    Either way, if he was there at that time, he had good reason to lie about his age, especially to Elvis. Even THE FANS detest Steve Allen, as I said. {Doors fans don’t exactly love Ed Sullivan, but they defeated him. Allen defeated Elvis. And his fans came around with picket signs “we want the real Elvis” and that is exactly what Elvis told them, ON INDEPENDENCE DAY, what they were gonna get. They did, indeed, carry him in their arms. And MANY teens “scratched his name ‘in sand'” right around that time, exactly.
    Well, Steve Binder’s age at the time has been increasing, lately. Soon, he was saying he was “23,” then finally in ’08, he said “just another guy my age” of Elvis, which could mean between 28 and 33, or if he was 31 or 32, or 33, well, then he could have worked ON THE SHOW! At 28, that would just barely let him off the hook, with a bit of a cushion. Just a wee bit of a cushion. He, unlike Elvis would have been – had he been able to spend the standard time {which people actually did until the ’90s}, was DONE with college by the time he worked on Allen’s “Variety Show.” Then Jazz Scene USA, then the “T.A.M.I.” show, and oh, I forgot, “Hullabaloo”: gotta check the dates for that one!! And only then, as “Binder-Howe Productions,” began doing TV specials. He calls them a “trilogy,” but the truth is that after “Elvis,” despite its greatness, he never did another as far as I know, other than the Elvis uncut special on HBO, which he directed. Col. was close with the William Morris agency {even though almost everyone there hated his guts! But they, like almost everyone, feared him}, and he could have strangled Steve’s career. I don’t know, but he’s not known for anything much AFTER “Elvis.”
    Anyway, Bob Finkel, who kept the Col. “busy” with his idiotic and nasty pranks all the time, was taken personally by Esposito to see Elvis, and took his wife up that elevator to the dark, dark room, with the TV glowing. Elvis, undoudtedly smarting from not seeing Steve Binder, even with the “great triumphant return,” said “Hi, Bob,” and took a pistol out of his whatever, and blew up the TV tube. Finkel’s wife almost fainted, and Bob immediately took his wife back down the elevator.
    Elvis did not call him “Mr. Finkel” this time. He did not fear him, or even respect him. It wasn’t Finkel’s fault, but Elvis was mondo pissed off.

    So, “he smiled when he saw me coming, and said well, well, well.” He said “how are you” {Dylan singing the words as though they were taffy, trying to give an impression of this greatest of singers {if they MUST “rank” them!}, and Bob “said it back to him.” I assume he got some kind of answer, and then said he had to go “down to the lobby” to “make a small call out.” A “call” does not have to mean a “telephone” call, and it would be an odd time to bolt. Elvis smiled and was welcoming. “Out” can mean he “called out” with his voice TO someone {doubtful interpretation, but I’m going for all of them}, or a telephone call out of the hotel {which he could have done from the “room” upstairs, unless it was a “secret call” to say they had made ‘first contact.’ I also doubt that because it is absurd and virtually impossible considering what came next. “Outside, the lights were shining on the River of Tears; I watched him from the distance, with the music in my ears.” He said that he was down in the lobby, first, and then “watched him from the distance.” Now this makes the lobby phone call impossible because he could never have seen Elvis or anyone upstairs from “the lobby.” “Outside the lights were shining on the River of Tears/I watched him from the distance with the music in my ears.” He HAD to leave the hotel lobby to “watch him from the distance.” And if the room was as described “dark . . . lights were low and dim,” then he couldn’t possibly have “watched him” at all!!!!!! Not physically possible. The only place he could have “watched him {the Gypsy} from the distance” was if the Gypsy was no longer upstairs, or even in the lobby anymore. “Outside, the lights were shining on the River of Tears.” He’d gotten pretty close to the River. It’s not too far, but he could not have been in the lobby if he “watched him from the distance with the music in my ears.” Now, it could be “remembered music,” but at this point in the song, it sounds like REAL music, which makes sense. Elvis ALWAYS needed a guitar or bass to make conversation, or it could not happen. Just plinking the blues on it, and he could talk. A reporter on the set in ’69 remembers the awkward “begining of the interview.” Elvis stared at his folded hands on a table, as Mary Tyler Moore carried around a tray offering fruit, and there were the two other actresses in the trailer. Elvis was simply silent. It was looking like a disaster for the writer. But, suddently, “he {Elvis} SEIZES a guitar” and all of a sudden he’s chatting about “Charro” and how it had no songs in it: “I just couldn’t see a singing gunfighter!” and laughed a bit. Talked about the comeback, the shows he would soon be doing, the comeback special, the “contact with a live audience” and so on, and so one. They stepped out of the trailer, and Elvis was still able to talk after the music loosened him up. But, the reporter made a deadly error. “How can I meet this Colnel Parker?” Elvis looked shocked and shaken. He began to stutter, and then said, as he began to flee, “I think he’s in Palm Springs or something,” then, Elvis, now a grownup father of a child, ran away: at a rapid clip! He was wearing “Chuck Taylor” sneakers that day, so it was no big effort or anything, but the very idea of lying {Parker is photographed on set in Change of Habit on that very day, with Elvis dressed exactly as the interviewer described: talking to his client!}, and then, worst of all, literally running at full tilt away from the reporter!
    A flunky for either Elvis or the Col. {sometimes it didn’t matter which} said, “well, you did pretty good.” But the reporter knew exactly what he did “wrong.” The image of Elvis in Chuck Taylors, jeans, and his “U.T. Memphis” sweatshirt, looking 1969 radiant and absolutely beautiful, RUNNING as though running for cover in a firefight in Vietnam . . . well, it was bad, and I don’t mean in the old slang sense. Really, really bad.
    THIS is what Dylan would have been up against, and judging by his smutty version of Bobby Bare {Bill Parsons on the label}’s “All American Boy,” HE WAS WELL AWARE. “Flight” could happen at any time. Had to be super-careful! I would think that such an experience, even today, would be imprinted as a near- or not even near traumatic experience! The terror had to be palpable, as the reporter discovered, and Dylan knew much about. Too, too much.
    If he heard music as he watched him from the distance, it was, as I said a clarion call: “over here!”
    On New Year’s Eve, ’69 {and I’ll have to recheck the year, but I’m pretty certain}, Elvis, fresh from his performing-return triumph, drove to the New Year’s Eve party alone {odd for him, actually}, and told peole later that he “couldn’t find a parking place.”
    That could very well have been the night. I was given a time frame, not a DATE in Memphis, in 1984 by two separate former teens who made Elvis ‘zines and perhaps some other stuff and were selling ’em and chatting. They both hung about the area regularly, waiting for their glimpse. But they were not friends at the time, although they certainly knew each other by ’84, just by virtue of having a little spot at the Howard Johnson’s “fan fair”: really small room for such a thing. Joan Deary spoke that year. You can look that up.
    They knew what they saw AND HEARD. The fellows apparently were not, or not yet on Mud Island. Or they heard Dylan yell out something. That was never clear, even in the writing that has gone to seed in the interim, because frankly there was nothing else of interest in the ‘zines {bootlegs were banned at the time, and the records were not good yet at all}, and I was not an intense Dylan fan as I am now. SHIT! I could have really protected what I had. And got names. But I got nothing, really, that I can hold on to, except that I was a dues-paying member of the Society of Professional Journalists at the time, and I took it seriously. To me, then, it was ephemeral trivia, but I recalled it, as I was still writing about music in different arenas. But it was a mere factoid to me. That’s all. Now, it’s super-important.
    Elvis’ whereabouts that night cannot be accounted for. On the Dylan date site, his fall and Holiday time seem also “free.” Again, I should check, but I think this is solid. Doesn’t matter exactly when, anyhow.
    What matters is that the song’s only “flight of fancy”: imagination, comes AFTER he discovers the Gypsy gone, along with the intermediary, who is also a symbolic device for describing what the Gypsy was like in ’69. For his “reverie” about “he can bring you through the mirror,” etc. “He did it in Las Vegas, and he can do it here.” We are clear as to “here.” We KNOW “lights on the River” is bluespeak for Memphis and that Bob knows this well. And that Elvis couldn’t get a parking place to his OWN party? Not a not for looking for chicks: they generally have dates or husbands. He had a wife. He even went in ’70 and even ’71 when the marriage was essentially over.
    I don’t expect Bobert to clear any of this up. He WANTS, I believe, that he actually told some of “his Memphis Mafia” to go away ’cause “we didn’t want to see him.” Now, of course, if those guys he speaks of knew where Dylan was staying, HOW DID THEY? And he claims “I didn’t want to meet him” at that particular time {“he didn’t really come back until, what it was? 1968?”}. But we know Bob most certain DID want to meet him, and “called every few months” trying to set up a meeting. Jerry has no reason in the world to lie.
    Bob does. He wants to believe that he’d have the courage to say to Elvis, what he felt Elvis was symbolically saying TO HIM at the time: “go screw yourself.” Dylan felt betrayed. “Did you think it was just another place for you to stand?” This place where the teens “scratched your name in sand.” Wet “cement” which is always concrete: sand, minerals including iron ore that gives it the gray color, and a binding substance which also often has sand in it, actual “cement.” It’s mostly sand, a sidewalk. And that is where a name was “scratched.”
    But when did the phone calls end? What did Bob know? Why, in the end, did he feel such deep warmth and compassion: “come to me now, we’re SO alone. And life is brief.” This was pre-comeback, and ’67 was perhaps Elvis’s WORST year yet: it followed the bathtup concussion in ’66, the gardener accident, the films died on release, and his records simply did not sell. His career was, as he told Steve Binder, when asked where he thought it was in early to mid-’68, “in the toilet.” Steve heartily agreed. And it was true. ’67 included a bizarro marriage that caused anger among the guys {what the Col. wanted to do}, a baby that appeared IMMEDIATELY: born a year to the day of the marriage. You know the rest: the shocking request for “a trial separaton” as his wife neared her due date, the visit Johnny Bragg speaks of where Elvis acted so out-of-character: to Johnny, who last saw him in ’61. That was in Dec. ’67, just before a January “recording session” that was more like a train wreck. I have heard enough tape that I don’t want to hear any more!!!!!!!!!!
    And in 1967, Bob Dylan, virtually choked up as he sang, wrote and sang “Tears of Rage” in the Basement. The legal version is superb.
    Did this concern of Dylan’s hurt his own creativity? I have no idea, but I don’t think so. What matters is that you do something remarkable, which “Tears of Rage” IS, and that you record it, finally release it to all {now beautifully remastered digitally}, and sing it with MORE that what you’ve got! Which he did. I don’t know if I have ever heard such bitterness, hurt, desperation, and then an embracing compassion so deep as to be almost hard to take, all in one relatively small recording.

    Ok, so I’m not great at “one little thought” thingys.
    Bye now,

  31. R M Says:

    Oh, Ernst at RCA-BMG/Sony, I did NOT mean I didn’t want to any more tape IN GENERAL! I WANT TO. I just don’t really want any more of that January, 1968 session. It’s so horrifying.

    A Fan who wants MORE unreleased stuff and even cool btw. song patter, but that session is painful in a way nothing else quite is!

  32. R M Says:

    No. Steve Binder said he was a year OLDER than Bob Dylan. Less “time cushion.” Hmm.

    I’ll never really get math!

  33. reprindle Says:

    Robin: Here’s a nice story for you. As Dylan might say: I tell this truth to you, not out of spite or in anger but simply ’cause it’s true.

    Gosh, for a minute there I thought I was hearing from my fourth grade teacher Grace Mark instead of Robin Mark. All this nastiness about race and religion it’s enough to move one to tears of rage, innit? Let me tell you the story of Miss Mark. I don’t know why I always get there in time for stuff like this. It’s like Charlie Browns’s lament: Why is fate always picking on me?

    I don’t think you inderstand me, Robin. Here’s a couple clues. ETA Hoffman and Damon Runyon. I don’t mention these guys to anyone as one keeps one’s real influences to oneself but these are two with focus. Try ‘The Old Doll’s House’, ‘The Lily Of St. Pierre’, or ‘Butch Minds The Baby’ by Runyon. Runyon is one of the great literateurs of all time. We speak the same the language and it ain’t English.

    So, anyway, Miss Mark. Fourth grade, 1947, news of the extermination camps is leaking out but nobody believes it, too incredible for words. I’m too young for it to have any meaning or significance. Now Miss Mark had to leave town after these two gaffes. First off she had us reading Joseph Jacobs English Fairy Tales. Mr. Jacobs was also Jewish and in retelling the tales he substituted Old Testament names for English names. Zadok and the Bean Stalk alters the story somewhat. (A slight exaggeration but not too much.)

    Well, there were people in town who took exception to these alterations quickly recognizing them for the intent. Miss Mark, of course, denied the intent. I mean, none of the characters said ‘oy vey’ but it was close. I bought a copy a few years back to renew my acquaintance insofar as possible. I’ve assembled a library of all the childhood books I read- Seven Science Fiction Novels Of H.G. Wells, Damon Runyon’s stories, etc.

    Well, Miss Mark stoutly defended her choice but you know she was dissembling. The fairy tales got her into shallow tepid waters but then she went straight for the boiling deep waters.

    Now, I was in the orphanage and we were sent to public school. Our fourth grade class consisted of all the nine year old orphans and the other half were two parented kids who considered us contagious; a bacillus if you know what I mean. I think bigotry is the issue here. Watch this.

    In Poland the Jewish kids in their schools were made to sit along one wall in class between the wars so they didn’t contaminate the Polish kids. I don’t know Miss Mark’s reasoning but she had the orphans sitting against one wall so as not to contaminate the ‘regular’ kids. I refused of course thereby becoming- The Outsider.

    She probably could have gotten away with that but then she did an even stranger thing- the strangest thing, mad even. She said that in recess the orphans would not be allowed to play period. We were to sit on a bench and watch the ‘regular’ kids play. If for any reason the ‘regulars’ came short a player an orphan would be called to take the field. He or she couldn’t participate in the play, they could only stand on the field.

    Finding no other ‘rebels’ or ‘Outsiders’ I went off to another part of the grounds to play by myself.

    Well, you know, if you think Joseph Jacobs and his fairy tales caused a reaction you should have been there for this. What goes into the fan come out faster than the speed of light and plasters everything. I don’t know what was said but I know the rules changed quickly. In June Miss Mark packed her bags and moved on, I don’t know where, maybe back to Brooklyn.

    Do I believe racism exists? No, such a thing doesn’t exist. Do I believe in religious bigotry and hatred? Heck no, I’ve never seen it. One thing I do believe however is that hypocrisy exists. And the height of hypocrisy is accusing someone else of ‘hatred.’

    The ohly think I ever learned from the Bible is ‘before you complain of the mote in your neighbor’s eye take the beam out of your own.’

    Just another story from the land of the free and the home of the brave. Things haven’t changed much have they? Just become codified.

  34. R M Says:

    See, racism and religious bigotry is BORN OF HYPOCRISY, and that is why I defend you and your rights to speak, and why I do it so defiantly. I know you’re been hurt bad. It doesn’t matter if it “racism” “religious bigotry” or “anti-orphanism” or whatever. All the same. You were not “normal” to her. Not a “regular” kid or even person. Beleive me, I have BEEN THERE!!!!!! Some kids pulled a prank on me, and I fell for it. Then, to top off their fun, they ran to the “teacher,” such as she was, and “told on me” except that I was their victim, and they had quite the laugh on me already. So, what does the teacher give them for icing on their cake? In the middle of a PUBLIC PARK, she shouts over considerable space, so EVERYONE CAN HEAR, to me: “YOU ARE A BAD PERSON.”
    This was in godforsaken Florida, which I hated with my whole heart, and that night I was walking on the beach “with” my parents who had no idea what had happened that day. And I guess, never would that I recall. I mean, I could tell my dad, buy why? Anyway, they’re walking, and I’m moving further and further away. By the time we’re back at the swimming pool part, I am at about the same distance as that “teacher” was from me. I felt like I was sort of “contaminating my own parents with my ‘badness.'” I am telling you my deepest, maybe even darkest truth. I felt so far, far away from my own folks, who did love me, and me them. But I now felt different. Oh, I “got over it” — the acute part, but I’m guessing I never really did. Maybe why I blame myself for what happened to my mom. I was bad; she was pure. Thusly, I must have done something to kill her. I don’t mean this is conscious, and frankly, not until you told me your story did I consider its long-lasting implications. {Definitely cheaper than a quack shrink! [What other kind is there? I think you can just talk to people, and that’s often better.]}
    I do not think we are on a different page at all. An “Other” or outsider, or whatever the hell you want to call it, made so by “society’s pliers,” is what they have been made by cruel and/or idiotic people. I got lots of stories, but that experience was so . . . strange. I mean, I felt the strangest thing that night. I did not fear my folks knowing anything, ’cause I knew I was innocent of any “wrongdoing.” It’s that I felt “not the same” as “normal people” anymore. Suddenly a distance went up between me, the BAD PERSON, and like, “good people” like my folks. No, I knew the kids were not “good,” or the teacher, but it didn’t matter at all. All the people in the park heard it! I wasn’t just disliked anymore. I was, well, “a BAD PERSON.” As you say, “contaminated.” By some sort of “badness.” This nothing-woman, who was a moron, and cruel had murdered something inside of me.
    You see, the artists I dig are people who I KNOW had something “murdered” inside THEM. I, like, know it almost immediately. And, really, only they can “speak” to me. Do you see? So, I think I know you pretty well. Politics and religion and stuff are surfacy. Not very deep-down at all. I say Tomato, and you say Tomahto. To me, that stuff, especially electoral politics and organized “religion” {as opposed to one’s personal spiritual feelings and beliefs} is mostly all bullshit. One time, in the ’60s, in the Senate Chamber, Bobby Kennedy saw younger, but more experienced brother Teddy glad-handing with absolutely everyone to wiggle some bit of legislation through. Bobby felt sickened by this display of phoniness that seemed to his brother so “necessary” to the job. So when Teddy sat down, and was making some notes or sumpin’ {Elvis-speak, giggle}, he quietly crept up behind him, and breathed hot breath down his neck. Teddy knew it was his brother. Bobby said, with acidity dripping from his mouth “So. This is how we play THE GAME, is it, SENATOR {deep sarcastic tone}?” No other words were spoken on the matter, but yeah, that is the game of the world. Some people believe you either play it or you get killed, either literally or spiritually, or both. THAT is what “Tears of Rage” IS ABOUT, Godammit!!!!!!! “So. This is how we play the game, is it, KING OF ROCK ‘N’ Roll?” It’s infinitely applicable, I guess. Dylan had his milleiu {sp? aw, to heck with that one! I CAN’T spell the damn freakin’ word}, we each have our own. Political party’s don’t matter, religions don’t matter, nor “races” which are an invention by the British when they were after the Irish over 700 years ago {ok, I guess you’ve got another view, but guess what? It don’t MATTER! That’s all surface. What WE experience as children {I was 10} is the heart of the whole matter. You can call it whatever you like. This lady wasn’t just a creep who hated “different” kids who came from an orphanage, and tried to impose her own religious beliefs upon others: she was a CREEP, a disgusting blister on society’s ass. As was my teacher. But I don’t think I ever recovered. I don’t blame it on “religious or racial prejudice”: I just think she enjoyed it because I was the chosen victim and she joined in. I really don’t care WHAT her motive was. Shoot, one time in college, a roomate betrayed me, and I lost a private room {got it back, thank whomever}, and my parents strongly implied that this 19-year-old, barely if that, was “anti-semitic.” I, like an idiot and a kid, did what lots of stupid kids do: I repeated it, but with a twist that caused this girl to never even LOOK at me for the rest of college. I said: “I think I knew why you did this, but it’s not right to say it if it isn’t true.” I was so dumb and unwordly, that I had NO IDEA the implications of what I had said and how I had said it! Finally, about two years later, I asked another girl why wouldn’t that girl let me apologize? She told me:”well, you called her a LESBIAN, so what do you expect?” Hell, I barely knew what a “lesbian” was at the time! Honest. I mean, I knew, but not much. I was in shock, and then remembered the words, exactly for some reason, because, I guess of her wildly angered reaction. What I mean is, one can be REALLY misunderstood, but after that experience, I am willing to listen to people. I don’t see that kind of hate in you. I learned young that hypocrisy was wrong: I was a Jets fan, and I followed, at like 10 years old, the battle between Broadway Joe and Pete Rozelle. I mean, I read EVERYTHING for like two years following. And despite that he caved, which has always gnawed at me, Joe spoke of “sqeaky clean” married, crew-cutted football players {and NAMED some!} who fooled around on their wives and all whatnot. While he admitted that he played every game DRUNK, and would not play sober because the one time he did, his game was totally TOAST. He gladly admitted that he had sex with any female he wanted, any time he wanted, anywhere he wanted. And they were all willing!! Held nothing back. But he said that when the time came, when he would “settle down,” he’d really DO IT, unlike the others. He’d wait a long time if he had to, but that was okay by him. So he marries this girl {a year YOUNGER than me! Damn!}, stops drinking cold turkey: no rehab or AA when she gets pregnant the first time, stays sober throughout the girls growing up, and then guess what happens? The kooky chick finds him “boring.” Changes her name twice, and bolts for California, leaving him with the girls. When the girls were ready for the end of high school, etc., she demanded them returned, which he did. His knees replaced and still crippled, now he was alone. He’s not “Broadway Joe” anymore, not really desirable, and so that’s kinda over. He started drinking again, big time, after the girls went off to school and to “grownup” life.
    As a recently dead idol once said: “That’s What You Get For Being Polite.” Song title. {Don’t matter that he ain’t you’re thing: “It’s Your Thing: Do What You Wanna Do.”}
    What an education. For both of us. But I still hate hypocrisy, and I know he really doesn’t regret playing it the decent, honest way. But boy, to get punched out like that, wow.
    See, I know the people who either had something murdered in them {or in Joe’s case, was cruisin’ for a bruisin’ for tellin’ like it was/is, and was GOING to get something murdered in him}. Hypocrisy is something I understood between 10 and 12. But even though I knew THEY were the “BAD” people, and I was not, it did not leave me!!!!!!! I cannot tell you the strangeness of what I felt that early evening. It was like they were a 100 miles away from me, and me from them. They represented proper, decent, polite, “good” society, and I was “A BAD PERSON” now. Even though I knew it was not true. I still felt it. As Elvis sang so painfully and true: “It’s something I can’t explain.” And I cannot. Yes, of course, she was a hypocrite among other things, but I was still damage: a part of me was gone, and I ain’t gonna get it back. {Dylan lyrics seem to float about now and again. The guys say that sometimes Elvis used to “speak Dylan” rather than “English.” I’m deadly serious.} Cruelty doesn’t talk: it swears. And it lies. But those lies damage you, especially when you’re young. It always hurts. Always. I don’t know how to get back what that moron destroyed inside me. Honestly, I don’t. But don’t let surfacy thngs cause a misunderstanding on the order of me and that roomate!!! I had no idea what I was saying, and it didn’t even come to my mind first, and I NEVER considered what she was thinking: it was absolutely an alien concept to me at the time. I knew several gay women in grad school, and they just didn’t like me. The guys were cool, but the gay women just seemed to have it in for me. Maybe ’cause they knew I wasn’t one of ’em. And THAT, Charlie Brown, IS PURE HYPOCRISY. Tolerance, my ass. See, my point was people are calling YOU “racist” when “St. Peter” {Guralnick} is this “nice liberal who loves the blues”} and so if he says it, it must be so. No one considers that HE could be the most insidious type of racist of all. Oh, he just LOVES those Black folk {these types feel the need to capitalize the word: what the hell does that mean, anyhow, stupid middle-American assimilationist bullshit}, but when they speak, he doesn’t believe them. And when they’re available for interviews, but not pushy, he doesn’t even bother. He believes Bernard Lansky, but not all those other men. And The Oracle, Dixie, of course. God, it’s such bullshit. It isn’t that his head is up his butt, but that he deliberately places it there when the spirit moves him.
    With Greil, I sense some genuine psychopathology at times. Like “Tears of Rage” ON A BEACH?!? An Acid flashback or what? When “baby” can “stand,” where is “baby supposed to do so, since the name was instantly washed away. In the “sand” of a sidewalk, still wet, the name can STILL be there!!!!! He’s an idiot, too, sometimes, but to throw out YOUR OWN RESEARCH because of St. Peter is just astonishing. I mean, I have talked to a MAJOR rock critic a back in ’84, and he told me that, back then anyway, Greil hardly ever left that house. But Goldman got him angry enough to actually GO to Memphis. For Greil, that was a BIG THING. And now he discounts his original research because of St. Peter.
    Ahhhhhhh! Holy Hypocrisy, Batman! Or, Charlie Brown, who I was, by the way. In a way. I mean, he’s a “boy” but yeah, it fits, but I had it worse than him, and so did you.
    Bye for now,
    Gotta go cry some Tears of Rage of my own.

  35. R M Says:

    STOP THE PRESSES: I HAVE FOUND THE “SMOKING GUH” to “Tears of Rage.” Ohmigod!!!!!! Or Good Gawd. Or “Great Gawd Awmight: Great Balls of Fire! Hot Dog!

    The source of the confusing verse {what dear daughter ‘neat the Sun would treat her father so-oh-oh? Wait upon him hand and foot, yet ALWAYS ANSWER YES.) 1) Why “daughter” if he’s speaking simply of a “child”: the one in need of protection. It’s simple, as I have said, but I will make clearer now. I’ll change it to “son” and you’ll see. “What dear son ‘neath the Sun would treat his father so-oh-oh? Wait upon him hand and foot, yet always answer no.” Well, as you can see, you can have great difficulty in telling who the “him” is. It would make it confusing to the point of meaninglessness to many listeners. Oh, the writer would know, but the listener could get lost as to who was waiting upon whom, let alone who was answering “no.” It would make no sense, and Dylan’s song’s, unlike the Beatles {etc., “Acid Rock” . . . and so on} ALWAYS MAKE SENSE! This is what those who tried to “write like Dylan” absolutely did not understand: it is not “I am the Walrus, coo-coo-cuh-choo, coo-coo-cuh-choo.” So, that matter is settled. We KNOW who the “child” is, and we know that this child is “fathered” and “carried” in “our arms” on “Indpendence Day,” and then “you throw US ALL aside” and they are sent on the their way, without so much as a fare the well. Yes, “the child” ‘waited upon him hand and foot’ but that was ’cause “dear” one, WANTED TO. There are so many shots of girls {and not ONLY girls} grabbing at Elvis’ anlkes {and sometimes succeding!” while his feet daringly slip and slide around toward them, in a sort of sexy tease. Same with his hands: his stretches them, at times, {in the ’50s is all I’m speaking of: there WAS NO COMEBACK expected in 1967 for the near future} right over the audience, sometimes with an index finger as he shouts his ‘wild and free’ message to a new kind of people: people who could say no to “false instruction” {“wild and free” because, as he sings on the soundtrack to “Fun in Acupulco” [!], the lyric to one song goes “I am a Gypsy, wild and free.” But that is NOT THE SMOKING GUN! Hell no. So . . .
    The “smoking gun” that proves me correct is, OF ALL PLACES, ON A SONG ON THE SPINOUT ALBUM: THE ONE WITH “Tomorrow Is A Long Time.” It is a song. You cannot doubt that, so, clearly, just for either torture or inspiration, Dylan listened to the crappy movie songs near HIS song {each is track 4, but on the opposite sides of the album!}. The titles are sometimes just TOO inviting, and Dylan is always curious, and always had his mind on inpirations for what could be the song with which he would “paint his masterpiece” which I strongly believe he did with “Tears of Rage.” I still have not told you. {Old carny move: hey, this soundtrack, and putting Elvis’s Dylan masterpiece [which he did AFTER the gospel singers left the studio: it was the very final song that night: or almost still night, going into dawn in the midst of the Grammy-wiining “How Great Thou Art” album sessions: “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” was cut with just the rhythm section, as if he didn’t want the singers there or something.] This was DYLAN, after all, and at about that time, A DRUG SONG was a hit for Dylan – though he denied the double-meaning mischief [not nearly as overt as Elvis’s take on “Rubberneckin'” by the way “along came Mary Jane . . .,” – and there’s more to that song! It’s a badass drug song! No apologies! In ’69: fancy that.]

    Anyway, the SMOKING GUN: On the Spinout album, with Bob’s song, sung so beautifully, one of the film songs is “Never Say Yes.” But “always keep the girlies guessin.'” “That’s the secret of my success; Never Say Yes.”
    So, according to this song, you “always answer ‘NO,'” but of course, you mean, most definitely: “yes.” But yes to whom? Not to the kids who “scratched his name in sand.” It was a total betrayal, so Dylan used HIS words that HE sang!
    So, Elvis was saying “always ‘never say “yes”‘ but always answer the girls so that you mean to say “yes.” It’s a dumb little sex song, but Dylan thought it intriguing, clearly. He was going to have the “offspring” of the “father” say “yet, always answer no.” [“Never SAY Yes”] The dopey film song means the same: “always,” in reality, “answer” NO to those who ask, but mean YES. So it goes this way: “what dear son ‘neath The Sun would treat his once protective and defending “parent” so-oh-oh? To wait upon him hand and foot -back on Independence Day, when the kids carried signs that said “we want the real Elvis,” and Elvis responded, ON INDPENDENCE DAY, 1956 by saying “YES!!” The full quote: “those folks in New York ain’t gonna change me none. You’re gonna see the real Elvis tonight.” Exactly what they asked him to do. On that day, he “answered yes” to kids, most of ’em seemingly girls, but not really, especially ones who felt liberated by him to do their thing, and who happened to be male. By 1966-67, after he did what they demanded: “wait{ed} upon {them} HAND AND FOOT, and with his mouth, answered {with a defiant shout} NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Not answering the kids who cared for him as would a loving, protecting “father” {Vernon once, in ’54, during a riot that broke out in a small school dance that the Blue Moon Boys, including his teenage son, were playing, ran to the bandstand and threw his son over his shoulder and carried him out to safety. This was even before Red joined them! [Gladys, meanwhile, a tall, strong woman ’till she got sick, was grabbing teen girls and FLINGING them to the ground: “why do you want to hurt my son: he’s bleeding!” The “girlies” said they hadn’t meant to hurt him: they loved him. Gladys was p.o.’d at what they had done: Elvis really was bleeding a lot, and she kept flinging girls to the ground. Vernon had already literally “carried you {his kid} in {his} arms” to safety. By ’56, this was impossible, but now the “kids” were not the threat at all: it was the “frustrated old types.” And only the kids could symbolically carry him in their arms to safety. And anywhere they saw “wet cement” {really, concrete, but even the cement sealant is mostly sand, as is the concrete: and water, of course}, scratched in it: “Elvis Rules” or something along those lines. Now, in the sixties, did he think these “scratches in the sand” were “nothing more than a place for you to stand?” In films, they often write an actors’s name or initials on the ground or floor so they’ll know exactly where “to stand.” Is THAT ALL IT WAS? Just a ticket to what he thought would be “so very painless” paychecks by just standing on his “mark” on the “sand” {lotta sand in those pictures: beaches galore! But not what in Greil’s addled mind. Gosh, he sees Elvis’s living ghost all over the basement because it is simply there: of “I Shall Released,” he reviews Elvis’s almost excrutiatingly beautiful and desperately sad handling of the chorus as “for {48 secondds, actually, but it seems more fully realized when you hear it}, his life shone as brightly as THE SONG PROMISED IT WOULD.” {my emphasis} Now, this song could be for any trapped person, but Greil says here that “I Shall Be Released” promised Elvis that HE would “see my light come shining, from the west down to the east/Any day now, any day now: I Shall Be Released.” This song promised ELVIS that HIS life would “come shining”? Greil says that no one spoke “the language of the song” as knowingly as “Elvis Presley” {from his notes, where he gets all formal}. This song promised *Elvis*?????? Well, of course, it promised ANYONE who was imprisoned by whatever they were imprisoned by, but no other singer of the song seemed to understand it. Greil, I guess, correctly concludes that it was thus meant for him {and for so many listeners, but if everyone else screwed it up to some extent, then hell, it wasn’t meant for them! So why can’t he see “Tears of Rage” for what it is? Dunno. But there is no baby-naming ceremony on a beach. Not even the beaches of Hawaii or wherever. That’s NOT where or certainly, when “we scratched your name in sand.”]
    Grief: a tough damn emotion for a rock ‘n’ roller who seemed to abandon what HE had “promised” on Independence Day: not to follow Steve Allen’s or Ed Sullivan’s, or any of those people’s “false instruction” to “clean up his act,” “become an all-around entertainer” and generally to blend in with the rest of the “all-around entertainers.” Wear a tux, only move “decently,” {“there’s no room to rhumba in a sports car: you can’t move forward or back.” In Florida, in ’56, they told him that he could sway “side-to-side” by if he moved “forward [and] back,” they would arrest him on the spot. And then begin a trial based on their film of the show. So he suggestively moved his little finger. Another “noooooooo!” answer to the “old types” which would later turn into never saying yes to who he really was. The dirty finger: like Jerry Lee would soon do, like his future son-law would later do . . . etc. Cool move!}
    But he took all that “false instruction,” seemingly all the way to the bank in the ’60s, as Dylan saw it, and he cried tears of rage and grief. But he also knew that “Acupulco”‘s target admitted “it’s a wicked life, I know,” and in “Tears . . .,” gave the most warm, forgiving, and generous welcome: “come to ME now, you now we’re SO alone, and LIFE IS BRIEF.”

    And he did. The following year, he sang some words the comedy writers added to “guitar man” for the “story” they were telling: his story: an old play called “The Blue Bird”: you don’t go looking to “Hollywood” or wherever for you blue bird of happiness when it’s been there all along “at home” in his “wild and free” music and performance. He changed th words to his comfort: “I’ll never be more than what I am: well-a, wouldn’t you know? I’m a swingin’ little guitar man!” And he was. In ’68 AND in ’69, he WAS. But especially, of course, in ’68. See, there IS nothing more than what he was! Your life in full flower cannot BE topped: it can be enriched, but not topped. The “swingin’ little guitar man” aswered “NOOOOOOO!” to the “frustrated old types” like Parker’s “friend” on the show, “Mr. Finkel.” He elbowed Steve Binder at the press conference in the summer, when they’d asked a particularly dumb question: “why are you making the Special now?” Elvis, according to Binder, gave Steve an elbow, Steve says, “as if to say: watch me put this guy on,” and said “I wanted to do it before I grow too old.” it WAS A JOKE. Naturally, they didn’t get it: they thought that young people really didn’t trust anybody over thirty. THIRTY! Uh, how about Leary? How about Bobby Kennedy? And finally, how about Charlie Manson? He’s almost exactly the same age as Elvis. They were BOTH customers of Jay Sebring’s “Mary Jane and Assorted Goodies” ring.
    Now, it was 1967. Dylan had followed the call to tell the “frustrated old types” {Elvis said that: not Lincoln, nor Dylan} NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! “Don’t block up the hall, the times, they are a’changin’!” as Bob Dylan would later summarize.

    It’s all right in front of one’s eyss. All you gotta do is look. And think a little. Greil likes to pretend his thinks A LOT, but he doesn’t. He writes what is already made up in his head a lot. Even when the evidence if RIGHT THERE.

    Bye now,
    And sorry for holding out so long in this for the “smoking gun.” Gotta “have some fun.” But not in Acupulco.

  36. R M Says:

    Did I actually say the song said: “yet always answer YES? Yeah, it’s late, and I waa tired, and I am, but WOW, that’s a whopper of a mistake. Of course, Dylan’s verse goes thusly:
    “What Dear Daughter ‘neath the Sun, would treat her father so-oh-oh? To wait up him hand and foot, yet always answer no-oh-oh!”
    Now, of course, as in “Never Say Yes,” the dear one always “answers” no, apparently by way of vocalization. In other words, she SAYS it aloud: “no.” In the little sex song “Never Say Yes,” the, uh, Spunout singing character explains “the secret of my success: ‘never say yes.” Aloud, of course. Aloud, you “answer no.” But in reality, you mean to answer “YES!” “Always keeep the girlies guessin.'” Dylan has always kept many “girlies” and “boylies” ‘guessin,’ of course. So, if you follow the advice on track 4 on Spinout on the opposite side of track 4, wich is Bob’s “recording I treasure most,” “Tomorrow Is A Long Time,” you should “never say yes.” You should always “say no” when you mean YES! But of course, the spunout fellow had to think about who he was speaking to, as did Dylan, in typing up tears of rage {or writing it in long-hand}: “To wait upon him {one’s ‘father- protectors’/fans/’girlies’ {1956} hand and foot {there’s a photo from a Miami concert that was savagely attacked by a “Herb Rowe or “Rau” or whatever the moron’s name was: the “reporter,” such as he was, said that all the kids in the audience [mostly “girlies”] are “idiots” who should be “slapped in the mouth”: I kid you not. Elvis was enraged, and his fans wrote the reporter’s name on PICKET SIGNS, in protecting their “offspring” as any “father” would, as Vernon himself picked up his bleeding teenage son, and carried out of a small but out-of-control riot in a gym. Well, in the photo, several girls are right at the foot of the stage, as is Elvis’s feet: about 3 or so of these girls are really close: two white ones, and one black girl [who looks a bit older than the others, but people wore funny hair back then], and the taller, ganglier white girl has her hand just about on his ankle, as if to grab on. Meanwhile, the “real Elvis”: the ‘lead idiot who should be slapped in the mouth,’ by obvious implication is not at all frightened of getting his feet grasped by the tall girl, or the other nearest ones: in fact, he gives them a chance, pretty much, sticking his feet close, and also extending at least one arm, with index finger pointing, ‘if my memory serves me well’: he is NOT afraid of them: they are his protectors from these “frustrated old types” who are by that time, absolutely freaking out about this whole thing. I’ll get the date at another time, but it IS ’56. In any case, he’s DEFINITELY “waiting upon {them} hand and foot,” LITERALLY. In 1956. By “Spinout” which Dylan got in ’66 or ’67, the “dear daughter” of these “girlies” {who function as his father-protector in 1956, actually: protector from Herb Rowe} was treating his “fans”/father-protector{s} pretty lousy, especially if some of these “idiots who should be slapped in the mouth” along with the Lead Idiot of Hound Dog Nation. They rose to his defense, as is the most vital purpose in life of a “father”: to rise in protection of a daughter or son. Again, what does this sound like: “what dear son ‘neath the Sun {not spelled, of course!} would treat his father so-oh-oh?: to wait upon him hand and foot, yet always answer no-oh-oh.” At this point, some people might get their “his”‘s and “him’s” confused!!!!!!!! A gender-flop is the only answer for song clarity. It doesn’t matter: what matters is the RELATIONSHIP! But Ray’s question is answered fully and completely by Elvis’s “Never Say Yes”: track 4 on the other side of the album with Bob’s song on it. {Dylan thought balloon: “never say yes” means “always answer no, but mean YES.” Simple enough. But THESE “girlies” are Barbie Dolls: they are NOT the fans/father-figures of 1956; in fact, these “girlies” are treated with contempt: they are just “girlies,” not “somebody’s fine, decent kids,” as he described his protectors in 1956 against Rowe’s disgusting attack on them to get at him. He was the target, of course, but you know what they say: ‘the fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree.’ The fans are characterized as “to blame” for this “forbidden fruit” they “fathered.”
    And this difference is, frankly, shocking, in its way. Here was a guy who embraced his audience same as he embraced his own parents {who he called “Hi Babies” in a telegram home while still a teenager, fresh on the road}, and now “you throw us all aside, and put us on our way.” To Dylan, he felt like some disrespected “girlie” from this lousy and creepy little sex song. No respect: that’s what makes all the fans “father.” “Daughter” is there for clarity {“his” and “him” destroys the clarity, and NEEDS a gender-flop for this clarity}.
    And that’s it. You’ve read the rest.
    Me, I’ve got an Ipod “playlist” burned to a CD that almost brings tears. I didn’t even include “Gypsy,” though it ends with “Born In Time.” A reprise of “That’s All Right Mama” seemed appropriate, I thought, although I could cut it. I like it this way, though.
    I don’t have the list on this machine, so I’ll do it another time. It’s pretty selective. And I think it’s perfect.
    Only thing missing, I think, is the most savage, furious “manager-song” ever: “This Wheel’s On Fire” which practically accuses Grossman of attempted murder, and then basically says ‘meet you later in Hell, with a can of gasoline in my hand!’ I wish Elvis could have expressed that kind of anger toward “Dries,” but “Big Boss Man” was as angry as he could sing about him. But about himelf: boy, lotta bitterness and raw self-loathing. “Solitaire” bites when followed by “Born In Time.” {On one take, Elvis says “I’m gonna kee-ill Neil Sedaka next time I see ‘im.” The song was presented to Elvis personally. And it goes straight to a vein that nobody ever touched: songwriting. Why, Elvis, the song seems to say? “A heart that cares, that went unshared, until it died: within it’s silence.”
    Bob could have fixed things in a week, really. Elvis just needed confidence and someone who wouldn’t take any bullshit.
    But he clearly fled. “What if they laugh at me?”
    Bye for now,
    Robin {not caring if they laugh at ME, anymore!}

  37. reprindle Says:

    Actually I idolized Miss Mark. I didn’t blame her at all. I thought somebody made her do it, in fact, I know they did. Still, like Eichmann, she did it.

    I don’t think that anyone can successfully murder any thing inside you. I’ve had dreams about this. I went in the morgue and got myself back. It can all be recovered if you can back out the fixation. I think you unconsciously let her suggestion in and accepted it but became conflicted over its unjustness. If you weren’t aware of it before now you remember and you should be able to counter the suggestion freeing your mind of the oppression.

    Two academic disciplines I rejected at first encounter were philosophy and psychology. Philosophy is totally useless while the vast majority of psychologists are unqualified and shouldn’t be allowed near anybody. Actually this teacher terrified you opening your mind to hypnotic suggestion. So you have only to reject the suggestion. No possible way the woman could have been right. She was evil.

    I’d like to say I handled things well as a child but by graduation I was beaten to a standstill. I collapsed after graduation being barely able to get out of bed. I could usually make it by two. Then I went into the Navy with all its horrors but even in that I bagan my recovery. I suppose in its own way the Navy was a reprieve with a routine that gave me time to work it out to some degree.

    Mostly my teachers were OK. I had a cousin in fifth grade who gave me a free ride; couldn’t have gotten by without it. I had some kind treatment in high school which was the only thing that enabled me to graduate. A kind Jewish French teacher put me up into the D+ range. I had a 1.4. Even then I ranked 427 out of 627 and only two people didn’t graduate. I was in the top two thirds.

    As the saying goes: I can laugh about it now.

    You oughta read my Sonderman Constellation. Great tough luck story. Even if it were mostly true though it’s still just a story. It’s on the net under R.E. Prindle or you could make me feel good and buy a copy of the printed book.

    The main thing is don’t hate them but stay clear of them. You can’t blame idiots and it doesn’t do any good to hate evil. They like it; it makes them feel alive. Crazy world. Had it to do all over again I’d transfer to a parallel universe. I will, soon.

    You’ve got a ways to go. Just remember you can’t be a bad person. It’s impossible. Dumb, for falling for the set up but not bad. We all have to learn the tricks along the way. I had this moron pull the dirty on me my first couple weeks in the Navy. Fortunately the Petty Officer who could have written me up gave me a break. I went forth and sinned no more but I never spoke to the jerk who set me up again.

    After a point it just gets kinda weird. I used to like to go look at the Cruisers close up. The Navy thought maybe I was up to something so they had guys follow me. Could have asked me what I was doing but they didn’t. Life’s just like that. After a while who has time for such tomfoolery.

    In memory look the teacher in the eye and tell her that you’re not a bad person but she is for attempting to hurt you with words. What kind of bad person does such a discourtesy to a ten year old kid who’s changed schools a half dozen times? Of course you got set up.

    Relive the experience in your mind, look the woman straight in the eye and say: You’re wrong, those people are the bad ones, not me. If it doesn’t work the first time counter suggest until it does. Work it out. It isn’t real.

    Sorry, I haven’t responded sooner but things happen. Kept me busy.

  38. R M Says:

    Hey, thanks. “Pull the dirty”? What’s THAT? See, I wasn’t so dumb as I was naive: still, despite all the scorn and name-calling and attacks, and everything, I still had some trust. I think THAT is kinda what was “murdered” that day, maybe. Shoot, I think it was closer to about ten schools by that time, but I only know at the finish line, it was 17 {I believe BEFORE my last high school, which was an actual THREE solid years, but I would have to do a count again. I only did when I read a bio of somebody who the writer felt sorry for ’cause he went to 12 different schools. And, all of a sudden, I thought: wait a minute, there: and I did the count. It shocked ME. How did I get through that? But I somehow did. But there were events that really stood out, and when I told you about it, I think I realized its magnitude in my life. I have always remembered the surreal sensations and the beach. I was only a little kid, so obviously I did not do hallucinagenic drugs, or anything but antibiotics, kiddie aspirin {before they knew about Rhys Syndrome}, and anti-histamine syrups {white, so I don’t even think it was for cough: I was probably too little for that). But I swear, even though I still have never done those types of drugs, I have read enough to know the drill about them, and I swear, that evening: as afternoon became evening, and my folks took me for a leisurely walk on the beach, and back past the pool {we lived on Collins’ Ave. with all the old people. Practically no kids as I could see, but they must have been SOMEWHERE, ’cause they were in school), and as we passed the pool, I was like trippin’ – man, I was like TRIPPIN’! My folks seemed to move further and further away from me, and I actually started walking, I guess at an angle, so I WAS getting further away. But the sensation! Like a BAD F’ing TRIP!!!!!!!! It was absolutely surreal. I felt this like, existential {sorry for the philosophy ref.: bad old habit from the Grad. Center in NY} DISTANCE, probably not just from my folks, but I guess from humanity in general. BUT, I KNEW I was not in the wrong! I knew it was a set-up. A stupid little-kid game, where they all promised to do the same thing at once, and only I did it. It was a set-up, and I knew. They laughed their asses off, and made comments. It was silly. Then. But when “they” or maybe just one or more of them, went to tell the teacher that I, alone, had done this thing, when she could obviously see I was set up {if she ever saw “Leave It To Beaver,” she should know that kids get set up, although on TV, they kept the content different than real life), I was furious. But then she really lowered the boom “YOU ARE A BAD PERSON.” After all the assaults on my mind, soul, and even body {I got beat up in a few schools, but not many: I always said I would rather get beat up than called those names, anyway), this was like the topper, and I had so long yet to go with this “school” thing. I knew she was wrong, and mean, and creepy the moment it happened, but the very fact that AN ADULT joined in “their fun” by super-enhancing a little stupid thing and made it sort of a SUMMATION OF ME . . . well, I guess it was too much for me. I mean, it’s not like I’ve thought a whole lot about it, but I never did forget it either. But it’s not about remembering it at all: it was that FEELING that night as we walked back to our apartment. More complex than simple “guilt.” It was really, the only thing can think of, like some kinda “bad trip.” I didn’t want to look at them, and I didn’t want my folks to look at me. I kept moving further away. I don’t know if they even noticed. See, when we got back to the school from the park, this girl, who I didn’t know, and who wasn’t involved, but of course “heard” asked me, like I really DID do something “wrong,”: “do you think they’re gonna tell your parents?” I don’t think I felt scared about that, really: maybe a little, ’cause they would say things like “how could you be so foolish” or wose, stupid, or whatever. But that’s all. I knew they would know what I knew: that I’d been set up, and I fell for it. It’s like you said: a lotta times I felt so isolated from “their” norms that I didn’t know what people did or what they had in mind, or why they did things. I was very moved, reading that little book by Lt. Taylor {I refuse to spell his name the way he repeatedly has Elvis pronoucing it: as if Elvis were Forrest Gump, and he was calling him Lt. Dan. THAT really pissed me off . . .}, when Elvis, 23 years old during the October when they met, sat on high wall, his feet dangling off the ground “like a little kid” Taylor wrote, and asked the Lt. “Why do people put other people down?” He was not under ANY spotlight with this guy, or so he felt, and he REALLY opened up with him. {So, of course, Taylor finally wrote his “And Me” type book.} But it was like he really DID NOT KNOW, and maybe thought this private-school-educated man could somehow tell him. Of course, he didn’t even know what Elvis meant: “I wondered who had hurt him.” That’s A WHOPPER!!!!!!!! Like, who HADN’T hurt that kid????????? Only a few, and he clung to the wrong people because it was expedient, and because maybe they did a little something for him, and basically, he was a lonely-only. After watching the Tupelo tape, and seeing the part about going to the movies with Sam Bell, when Bell was a kid, and having to go into the “white” entrance, and then running to the back because he didn’t want to sit with the kids from school who basically tortured him for kicks all week, well, I realized how profoundly alone in the world he was, and of course, why I identify with him. That’s easy. What’s not easy is how it still hurts me, when Bell seems to have free and easy memories of that time “we just wanted to do our ‘boy thin'”: go to the movies, swim {Elvis conveniently told a partial truth about “the creek”: it was earlier, in East Tupelo, and he had ignored the “No Swimming Past This Point” signs and warnings because of some kinda slime, and he almost drowned, and they had to get his mother, and she beat the crap out of him in front of all the other kids. But in town, the water on Bell’s grandpa’s land was clean and safe, and they all used it, without a peep from his mother, who clearly knew: at that age, she knew the things he was doing. {Well, she was tricked by her son, who slipped out “late,” as the older man [older, significantly: his mid-80’s, I’d guess] remembers this odd little white boy who dug his “string band” and would “peek” at the “fish fry’s” and stuff at “real low down” {Bell, who apparently wasn’t permitted to go there, especially late on a Saturday night!} partying and blues-playing. The guy says: “Onliest way I remember Elvis is as a little kid.” [Hey now, *I* say “onliest” all the time: I was raised in the deep South from about 12 to almost 22.] Well, that part of his life went into his question of Lt. Taylor, too. Why did he have to sit with kids who hated him – by law, at least: which was more or less ignored in many settings? Why two entrances? Why did his mother mostly stop going to church? Why was she always crying? Gosh, it was FUN here “in town”! The gospel music about which Bell says “he was fanatical” – no news there [!]}, the “real low down” stuff in Shake Rag that they called “the blues” and was so very different from standing in line at the “hillbilly” radio station {the ONLY radio station}, and he could SING on the radio without having to hitch a ride across the levee now! And go to movies with some little neighbor boys, and drink an R-uh-C Cola with the 14-year-old 6th grader who was sweet and kind on a lazy afternoon: they’d split it. The kid’s older brother was the resident “hillbilly singer” in Tupelo: “Mississippi Slim,” so it was nice that “Slim”‘s younger brother was so kind. But he really was about the only one: no matter what those kids at Milan Jr. High say today, Elaine Dundy got the goods from a couple of East Tupelo refugees like himself, and they told her what really went down: they enjoyed his singing, but were disgusted by HIM. He longed for better clothes, and finally got them! His mother bought him a suit at about 12 or 13, in Tupelo, and they took photos. In one, you see a tiny boy with a BIG woman surrounding him, and she really wasn’t overweight at the time: she was big and tall. The other gives signs of his experiences as described by Bell, and the old guy {my apologies for my hypocrisy: I forgot the older guy’s name}: Elvis has slicked down his hair, let his eyes get a “bedroomy” expression he must have seen in the movies, and his face, and ESPECIALLY his HANDS, look like he put on some really dark makeup. It’s freakin’ weird. It’s often confused with a later picture from either Memphis, or just before leaving {I would think Memphis, but there’s really no way to tell}: in the “older” picture, he’s somewhat more lighter-complected, and you cannot see his hands at all. The shirt appears to be a different color. It’s not from the earlier photo session {down south, you could be starving to death, but you HAD to get your picture taken! It’s like defying God and Nature to not do so. Believe me, I know.}
    Anyway, in the earlier photo(s), you can see him starting to make choices, develop a style and a worldview {which is what that age-range is for!}. He knows he’s different in particular ways, so he embraces it. As he grew into a real teen in Memphis, he had plans: once he saw Lansky’s and saw a street with music pouring forth like the sap at sugaring time in Vermont, he just KNEW. His mother found an Assembly of God church, and for whatever reason, she picked one in the south part of town: just a couple-few blocks away from the East Trigg Baptist Church. She gave Elvis back what he had lost when they had to leave Tupelo: not just gospel music, but the music he loved the best: in 1957, he said so. He said “I know probably every religious song that’s ever been written.” They asked like “Peace In the Valley”? Knowing it was composed at the death of Roosevelt {or the end of The Big War: there were two . . . the other was “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Both by the same composer: black, but the songs were not “old” enough for an “expert” like himself at 22. He said, “No,” that what he really loved above all were “old colored spirituals.” {Even blacks used the word “colored” back then: it was preferable to “Negro” which could easily slide into the slur.} He knew the difference from the white quartet sound, which he also loved {largely on account of the kindness of people like J.D. Sumner, and the excitement of Jacke Hess of the Statesmen, and Big Chief. The Statesmen brought the Golden Gate Quartet onstage, early on, actually violating the state and local laws by doing so.}
    The only outlet I had as a teen was “sports” but I was small and lousy at playing them, though I enjoyed it so much. I “probably {read every sports book} that’s ever been written at the time. I still have them! I read them so much and so often that they are all tore up, but I used a lot of tape. And I joined the Sports Illustrated Book Club. That really made me into a writer of sorts, I guess.
    It was my ONLY outlet, and yet I was “SO alone.” No one, really, that I could share it with. Music entered my life to an extent at age 11, with the J-5, but at 15, through that bully of a girl, I discovered Elvis, and then everything else. I mean, a few girls who weren’t that mean to me liked the Rolling Stones, etc., and I got that stuff too. And I got some Dylan and didn’t understand it at all. I thought it was the same as “I am the Walrus: coo-coo-cuh-choo/coo-coo-cuh-choo.” Now I know that “Walrus” should be answered with “bless you” or gezuntheit, because “cuh choo” means nothing other than a sneeze. Whereas Dylan was really singing/writing ABOUT something. What could I know about “chrome horse”‘s and “you don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows,” etc. It was all the same to me, then. He had this harsh, weird voice: I had no idea he’d “killed off” his own parents! And all the stuff he concocted ’till much later. It took me a LONG time to realize that this guy made the Beatles look, many times, ridiculous.
    But when I did find out, wow! He painted pictures with the words and his use of the music, whether lifted, public domain, or original. I knew that the “folk researchers” were creating a “community” of “fake folk” in lower Manhattan, and after a while, I knew that Dylan knew it too. I think mostly, that’s why he just HAD to get away. He’d listened to REAL music that came directly from the souls of REAL people, and now these people: the Belafonte’s, the Kingston Trio, etc. were NOT the real thing. Trouble is, soon people were USING these people, or in the case of people like the Carter Family, or Elvis, or any number of bluesmen, just not giving them their “props”: their respect for who they were. The Carters, too, “collected” music, but not like Harry Smith: it was their OWN music and culture. That is truly different. Dylan understands this. And he knows that none of the music is from any America that is “weird” because the music-makers didn’t live a sanitized, middle-class existence where everything REAL seemed so “weird” to them. No, meat and milk does NOT come “from a store.” And, so on. It is in fact those people with their noses “snurled up” at Elvis when he and his folks tried to move to East Memphis, and one lady was absolutely HORRIFIED to see Gladys showing her how she had home-canned fruits and veggies to “put up for the winter.” She had a garden, and chickens, and etc. Hung out the wash. {A lot of people will tell you that dryer stuff doesn’t “smell” or even feel the same. Gawd, I once had such horrifying rash because of those “fabric softener dryer sheets.” Then I spent five days in the hospital for an operation: no bad chemicals in their sheets and gowns, which are placed in boiling level water, and when I got home, and started wearing my own clothes again, the rash came back. Finally, a dematologist asked about “fabric softener” and said “oh, no, nobody in my family uses THAT. I use unscented dryer sheets, only!” I said that, so proud of myself. {giggle} HE almost giggled!!!!!!!! Anyway, none of that anymore: just as plain vanilla as I can get. But, no, I don’t hang out the wash. I think some neighbors migh hang ME out if I did!
    I mean, that’s the core of it all: and Dylan understood. See, he wasn’t really “middle” class as they like to say. His father was barely hanging on to an upper working class life-style which he knew was coming to an end. The store was going down. And, for whatever crazy reason, he didn’t give his oldest son ANY allowance money in high school. Sure he bought things for him to use, but I think Abe made it clear that these things were Abe’s, not Bobby’s. That “hot dogs” story from echo really gets me. I mean, here she thinks, because of the store and all, maybe his ethnicity {and all those organizations Abe just had to join} that maybe they had money, and the kid is HUNGRY in the afternoons, and she’s buying HIM a bunch of hot dogs! I think Abe was just frontin,’ if you ask me: with the store dying, he desperately wanted to give the impression of being “a pillar of the community.” Didn’t matter WHAT his backgroud: he was going to “join in” and look oh so “respectable.” Isn’t that, finally, what “Like A Rolling Stone” is all about?
    I don’t think it’s about any “rolling Stone” but Robert Allen Zimmerman, himself, reborn as Bob Dylan {gosh, he got “born again” A LOT}. Born to call an old girlfriend from “a phonebooth in the midwest.” Never gonna stop his wandering, ’cause he’ll really always be “without a {true} home.” And it feels bad, and it feels great. All at the same time. Better than staying around, all “defiled” and everything.
    And who set this boy free? Who made him feel, when he first heard that voice, “like busting out of jail”?
    To find out that the one who seemed to stand for defiance, and for just young people standing up FOR THEMSELVES so quickly became the “puppet” of old, pudgy fraud {well, Dylan couldn’t have known the details, but anyone could see he was a fraud} had to hurt so very bad. Made him wonder if there WAS any way to “bust out of jail.”
    This “never-ending tour” at age 68, when he should be doing sporadic performances, and not releasing, what {?}, 4 albums a year, or something? It’s almost like he wants to make himself suffer, at a much, much later age, as Elvis himself suffered as a young man who died befor he got old. {And got old by about age 23, when he said “everything I have is gone” with his mother, and everything that followed for as long as his borrowed time lasted.) Why WOULD Bob want to say that he hung out with him at all or even “wanted to,” if he, Bob, couldn’t do anything to help? Man, that must really feel crummy. That’s not something he can admit, perhaps not even to himself.
    But I have my CD that I made, and the people to whom I have spoken, the books I have read, and I know one thing above all: the truth is always in the music, which can save your mortal soul.
    So, I will try to heal. But even that one incident: I cannot even remember what she looked like! That “teacher,” I mean. I do remember the look on her face, though, which is strange. But I will try, especially since I now realize how large that loomed in my life. I really tried to avoid it, I guess.
    Bye for now,

  39. R M Says:

    As you, of course know, Robert Allen Zimmerman was made to study the Bible, whether he liked it or not. “Daughter” has a different, or rather, parallell {sp} meaning. Here goes:

    New International Version (©1984)
    this is the word the LORD has spoken against him: “The Virgin Daughter of Zion despises and mocks you. The Daughter of Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee.
    New Living Translation (©2007)
    the LORD has spoken this word against him: “The virgin daughter of Zion despises you and laughs at you. The daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head in derision as you flee.

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    this is the word that the LORD has spoken against him: “She has despised you and mocked you, The virgin daughter of Zion; She has shaken her head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem!

    GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
    This is the message that the LORD speaks to him, ‘My dear people in Zion despise you and laugh at you. My people in Jerusalem shake their heads behind your back.

    King James Bible
    This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

    American King James Version
    This is the word which the LORD has spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, has despised you, and laughed you to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you.

    American Standard Version
    this is the word which Jehovah hath spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

    Bible in Basic English
    This is the word which the Lord has said about him: In the eyes of the virgin daughter of Zion you are shamed and laughed at; the daughter of Jerusalem has made sport of you.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    This is the word which the Lord hath spoken of him: The virgin the daughter of Sion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn: the daughter of Jerusalem hath wagged the head after thee.

    Darby Bible Translation
    this is the word which Jehovah hath spoken against him: The virgin-daughter of Zion despiseth thee, laugheth thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem shaketh her head at thee.

    English Revised Version
    this is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and derided thee; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

    World English Bible
    this is the word which Yahweh has spoken concerning him. The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you. The daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    this is the word that Jehovah spake concerning him: Trampled on thee, laughed at thee, Hath the virgin daughter of Zion, Behind thee shaken the head hath the daughter of Jerusalem.

    Geneva Study Bible
    This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The {o} virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised, and derided thee; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

    (o) Whom God had chosen to himself as a chaste virgin, and over whom he had care to preserve her from the lusts of the tyrant, as a father would have over his daughter.

    Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

    22. Transition to poetry: in parallelism.

    virgin . daughter-honorable terms. “Virgin” implies that the city is, as yet, inviolate. “Daughter” is an abstract collective feminine personification of the population, the child of the place denoted (see on [769]Isa 23:10; [770]Isa 1:8). Zion and her inhabitants.

    shaken . head-in scorn (Ps 22:7; 109:25; Mt 27:39). With us to shake the head is a sign of denial or displeasure; but gestures have different meanings in different countries (Isa 58:9; Eze 25:6; Zep 2:15).

    Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

    37:1-38 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 19
    I think this is quite clear. First of all, Dylan’s mother saw a HUGE and open Bible at Bob’s home, when they finally visited. She was pleased. And Bob not only actually READ it, but thought deeply about the meanings, and how these meaning could be applied to contemporary situations. Yes, I suppose, he could have been clearer, but he was feeling that this was an almost “biblical” betrayal in its scope, so he thumbed through that Bible sitting there, and there it was.
    Not only made things as he wished to say them, and used the word “Sun” {as he often does}, but here is the “daughter of Jerusalem”: God’s city, and once holy and pure being shook his/her head at this “city” and mocked it, scorned it, and the “city” that had been “inviolate” was now violated by its own spawn. The ultimate betrayal: the Holy Place, which was once an oasis of purity was now violated with betrayal. {While some may think Dylan is think about the Newport Folk Festival, I disagree vehemently. He absolutely did not see himself as scorning or laughing at them, much less “violating” their supposed purity. If anything, it was the NYC folkies who had violated the purity of the real “folk” whose music they used any way they wished, thus violating the people’s music. It is Greil and his like who have violated the real “folk” by calling them “weird” even if he doesn’t see it that way.
    But this is not about Newport. It is about “Goin’ To Acapulco.” It is about a betrayal so painful and sorrowful TO BOB as to cause “Tears of Rage.” His “temple” was not a phony “folk” temple in NYC, where most of the indiginous Americans: (white and black and etc., but generally poor in funds, but rich in spirit). And Elvis WAS “the folk”! And he had betrayed his accomplishments, his dignity, himself, and finally and most importantly, the new “City,” if you will, or new kinds of young people. He defiantly stood up to the old and cruel defenders of the indefensible, but now “you throw us all aside and put us on our way.” But “I wanted you to know” that he, Bob, “really thought it was just a childish thing to do.” To follow that “false instruction that we never did believe,” which was to JOIN with the oldsters, and to actually become what they had wanted: an “all-around entertainer,” thus leaving Bob to feel “why am I always the one who must be the thief {sp?}?” He didn’t want THAT thorny crown. And he said it plain: “come to me now, you know we’re SO alone. AND LIFE IS BRIEF.” The betrayal is forgiven if the “dear Daughter ‘neath the Sun” would just return to, uh, “where you once belonged,” as Sir Paul put it on “Get Back,” which Elvis sang with relish to the rhythm of “Little Sister.” {They really are the same songs!}
    And so he did. And he did so with good humor and hard-won joy. He was now “King of the Jungle”: the “Tiger Man.” {Now, come on, no “Tiger” jokes at this particular moment!} And oh, what joy Dylan, and others who were “Born In Time” felt when he returned with his head nodding “Yes!” to a new world. And “Hound Dog Nation” could, in many ways, live forever. Even if the “Nation”‘s “Daughter” would die not long after. Wherever they jam on the rock ‘n’ gospel ‘n’ blues for REAL, the Daughter of the people is THERE. Always and forever. This is how I read the song, because it seems so clear to me: especially with “Never Say Yes” on the “other” track number four on the Spinout album, which, when you turn it over, and play THAT track four, you get “the recording I treasure most”: “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”: and it sure did seem so. In fact it seemed as though it might never come at all. But it did.
    Bye now,
    P.S.: Exactly as I heard the song to begin with! The explanations of everything Dylan means {and his songs are rich with real meaning, not “walruses”}. He takes song ideas wherever he finds them, and gives them the appropriate weight.

  40. R M Says:

    Oops. “where most of the indiginous {sp?} Americans were almost literally defiled by the ‘collectors’ who were the ‘weird’ ones. Elvis and the Carter Family, etc. WERE ‘the folk’: they needn’t have ‘collected’ it to use it – to twist it – for the entertainment and “education” of those who had never lived that life that gave birth to the music.
    Elvis didn’t have to feel bad when HE “plugged in” in 1968, and propped the electric guitar upon his leg and nearly ’bout burned down Burbank with it, and with his passion.
    Bye again,

  41. R M Says:

    “Daughter” brought up a sort of ghoulish memory from ’77 that might actually make a great title and song idea for Bob Dylan {Bobert, I promise NOT to sue: I just want to hear you make a song of it, and sing it}.
    When they sent Elvis’s blood samples and tissue samples, after the, uh, examination on August 16, ’77 to the Bio-Science laboratory in, I think it was Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley, they did an intriguing thing. They needed to disguise the identity of the individual so as not to “contaminate the data” with too much knowledge, so they needed a fake name.
    They made up a name: “Ethel Moore.”
    Lamar Fike had some fun with that: “Ethel must have been one wild woman!”
    Well, Good Golly, Miss Molly, WHAT A SONG! Perhaps someone has already done so, but Dyaln hasn’t, and only he could really give it the proper treatment, I think.
    So, if you’re out there, Bob, c’mon! Write about “Ethel Moore” like ya did with “Lenny Bruce,” but this psuedonym would be SO MUCH BETTER! Not “comedy” but a kind of tragicomedy. Only Bob could do *that* right, in my view.
    I won’t even go into the cool rhymes just suggesting themselves!!!!!!!!

  42. R M Says:

    Now, that we KNOW what Dylan meant by that confusing line {Ray asked me to e-mail with an explanation, as if it’s not a process of understanding’s Dylan’s world and the way he saw his world). Yes, it WOULD be confusing, unless you’d seen and really thought about this Bible verse.
    So, very simple, now.
    “What Dear Daughter ‘neath The Sun, would treat her Father so-oh-oh? To wait upon him hand and foot {look at all those photos from ’56, with the “Dear Daughter ‘neath The Sun waiting upon the young “hand and foot,” quite literally, and accepting their protection from “the tyrants” {the “frustrated old types” who said they were all “idiots who should be slapped in the mouth”}, yet always answer no-oh-oh.” “Never Say Yes.” Which means, when asked, answer “yeah, maybe I will, just for kicks” – which is to “shake your head in scorn” at his “‘Holy City’ ‘neath The Such {Records},” when John Lennon popped off in Elvis’s living room and said “why don’t you stop doing those crappy films and make some great records again?” Elvis was said to be “offended.” He “answered no.” And, with a shake of the head in scorn, to boot! Paul cooled them out by sitting at the piano and going into “I Feel Fine.” Elvis, already playing bass along with a Charlie Rich record, with the TV on, but with the sound off {normal, for him}, started in right away on Paul’s bass part, and Paul was surprised and delighted: “coming along quite promisingly on bass, Elvis.” Which also must have pissed Elvis off: no one knew then that Elvis had played the classic rock ‘n’ roll bass riff of “{You’re So Square} Baby I Don’t Care.” That bass line actually kicks off the Jailhouse Rock film, and it really KICKS a–, too! So, to hear that he was “promising” on bass, when he had WRITTEN THE BOOK on it when John and Paul were just starting the notion of a band in 1957 . . . well, that had to HURT. So, when they invited Elvis and all the guys to come over to where they were staying in the next few days or so, he resolutely refused: he told Larry, even, that they could all feel free to go, but he would not be going. “I did my duty.” He shook his head in scorn at these famed members of the now “violated” “Holy City” of rock ‘n’ roll.
    “God” was, of course, “Sun” Records. Elvis was the abstract collective . . . personification of the population, the child of the place denoted: the Nation that Elvis personified when he performed The Hound Dog National Anthem after his “STAND” on “Independence Day.” THAT is not IN the Bible, because his defiance “you’re gonna see the real Elvis tonight,” as the “collective” had begged.
    And “feminine” because “she” had to be a “virgin,”: pure. And a man, in those times, could never be seen as “virginal.”
    But when he returned from where tyrannical “Frustrated Old Types” had sent him, he took their “false instruction,” appeared with Sinatra’s “Rat Pack” in a Tux {volutarily, this time!}, and tried to become “an all-around entertainer,” as he was previously “instructed” to do. So, with that television program, snapping and swinging along with Frank, the Dear Daughter ‘neath The Sun had scorned and “answered no” {shaken the head} to the young people who had very fatherly protected him when he defied the tyranical “frustrated old types” who wanted almost literally to kill him off.

    As things went from “bad to worse,” as the betrayal seemed to be violating not just the once “Holy” collective, but the “Dear Daughter ‘neath the Sun,” Dylan cried tears of rage, tears of grief.

    I think that was a little too much for a one-liner e-mail. But it is EXACTLY why Dylan kept that Bible open: it was a SOURCE for putting his ideas and feelings to songs about things he cared deeply and profoundly about. Remember, he was not “born again” exactly, quite yet. It was a source that was literally Biblical in scope, which is how HE saw the world of rock ‘n’ roll. Which is how, perhaps, it ought to be seen, since it did change all our lives: saved many of our lives! And our souls.

    Bye now,

  43. RM Says:

    FOUND IT!!!!!!!! No need to e-mail, but an explanation would come in handy: my “FAVORITES” which I was just importing into my portal site, WIPED OUT OUT CONVERSATION ABOUT “Tears of Rage,” etc.

    I dunno: I guess you’ll get more hits calling it “Elvis Presley” [although Dylan is “hot” this year — one thing, though. I checked the seasonal charts in Billboard, and Bob is there somewhere, working real hard to sing AS BAD AS HE CAN through a bunch of old chesnuts. But seemingly without irony. Anyway, the “Christmas Album” tops the “Folk” chart. More interestingly, I guess, in terms of getting more hits for these song/life-analysis, is that Elvis is outselling about Micahel Jackson, even with an extremely rare and hard to find Chritmas song {somehow I have it, but could never put it on CD for the car – it a very sad song: sentimental, sure, but he didn’t write it because he was under Gordy’s iron fist at the time, but even though it’s sentimental, I’ve always been kinda sweet on “Little Christmas Tree” which is of course very lonely, “just like me.” Like I said sad and yes, sentimental, but I always liked it. And now they have liberated it on to an album that people can actually find, but guess what? ELVIS is outselling MJ, BIG TIME!!!!!!! The FIRST YEAR of his “unique style of OD’ing,” and yet Elvis is outselling him. And not just with the duets album from last year {which is quite nice actually: I dig it when, I dunno, I think it’s one of the Judds, sings one of ’em, and Elvis goes for a low note at the end, she goes: “go for it, Big Boy!” It’s weird, because this now older person {forget whether its Mother Judd or Daughter Judd, so that would make a difference in terms of memory} is rooting on a “22-year-old” who died just as he was to scrape the very beginning of whatever the hell “middle age” is/was {it has changed because the “Baby Boomer Age Inflation” has disappeared as the Boomers discovered, looking back, that what they thought was “young” then, or “middle aged,” then, etc., looks a helluva lot different looking in your rear-view mirror than it did in August, 1977. I mean, in this connection, they tormented Elvis when he turned 40, as if just BEING ALIVE was some sort of betrayal, and said he was “fat and 40” – an expression, used then almost exclusively for women, and “housewives,” at that (!), is today, a dead expression. No s–t!!!!!!!! Now that the “real” Boomers: the ones born between, I guess, 46 and 56, or maybe mid-54 on account of they’re being “the Vietnam Generation” are, some of them about 64 or thereabouts, and the youngest of the real Boomers {as opposed {sp?} to the “Late Boomers”: the ones whose social security age is pushing 70, instead of the traditional 65. The Prez is in that category, and I’m a wee bit older, but definitely a “Late Boomer,” and I don’t get S.S. ’till I’m pushing 70. But the real cut-off is if you were able to be drafted in early to early-mid 1972, because, if you were male, of course, you could have gone “In Country,” and the “Late Boomers” could not. It would apply, I guess to ANYONE born early enough to be concerned about the draft {or for their age-mate male boyfriends, Dads, husbands, close friends, etc. if they were female and that age}. So I guess it actually goes into being born in ’55 and maybe even ’56, because in ’72, no one knew until after the election that the ground troops would be pulled in January {I remember the church bells! In Atlanta, there’s a church on every corner, ‘nearly ’bout, and my dad knew the time when “the bells” were set to ring, and said “let’s got to the Seven-11 and get {I don’t remember what}.” I don’t even think we went inside after we got out of the store: the bells were ringing EVERYWHERE, all at once: it was an amazing experience for a kid. I was 14 and having a terrible time in school, so this experience stayed with me forever.
    Anyhow, you’ve got all these singers, some “fan age” – or thereabouts, and some not even twinkles in their daddy’s eyes just yet, but they sing with Elvis beautifully. All women. So, no Bruce, no Bob, no Kris Kristofferson {who is roughly the same age as Elvis: I am pretty sure he was born in 37, but young enough, of course, to have started his Nashville career in the late sixties and to not only write a big hit for the late Janis Joplin, but to have an affair with her! {True fact: he’ll tell you himself, I’m sure. She though no one loved her, or could love her, but she was so wrong. She was raised, in the misery of a petty town whose kids torture Janis in school, and she never even STARTED to try to recover: meanwhile, when you consider her age, you realize why she was quoted as saying “Elvis is my man.” She was the just about the perfect “fan age.”} When I think of his statement back in ’56, as Bob put it, “when we were made of dreams,” I think of Janis: “If I can give just one kid some hope, I believe I will have made a contribution.” {I hope those the EXACT words: if not, they are a hair’s width’s difference, but this IS what he said about giving “just one” kid “some hope” that he will have “made a contribution.” It’s a very pure, decent, and truthful sentiment, because that is what he did. I believe Bob, on some level, wanted to “pay it forward,” as it were, but everything got so tangled in the sixites: he found himself breaking in as a “folk singer” {which IS what Elvis was: Greil Marcus, naturally, mocks Chick Crumpacker’s liner notes to the second album}, then getting “back home” to rock ‘n’ roll and getting heckled and boo’ed to the point of what he rages at Grossman about on “This Wheel’s On Fire” {“you called on me to call on them, to get your favors done”: the argument in the kitchen about the 64 U.S. concert dates, and then Bob lost it and ran into Grossman garage and physically tore down the plywood [thin, I would hope] to get his “bad motorcycle” to just race off into the great unknown. “Notify my next of kin” is not just “whistlin’ Dixie”!: this is EXACTLY WHAT GROSSMAN DID! He called his wife, who brought a woman friend, and they put him into a care and drove to a “celebrity clinic” [they have them all over the world, by the way: singer Johnny Hallyday from France almost died in one over their from a “completely botched” back surgery – Dylan was lucky, for sure. But I still wonder about that limo in which Lamar squired the fellas around for the “Blonde On Blonde” sessions — or at least for as long as Lamar could get away from his job at Hill and Range. Lamar’s car at the time did not at all fit the description of their limo. It just wouldn’t be in character for Elvis to “gift-give” without a certain flourish, ya dig?}.
    All that said, we were in the middle of “dissecting” you might say, “Tears of Rage.” I think this is much more about Dylan and his pre-occupations than Elvis himself, even if he often WAS one of those pre-occupations.
    As for “defending Johnny,” I find that difficult. I guess it DOES have something to do with Elvis, after all, because Elvis was, at the very least, profoundly ambivalent toward him. In the very beginning, he would tune his guitar to one or more of Johnny’s first hits on a juke box {June reported this: I guess you could stretch it a little and say he kinda “fixed ’em up.” But when I read what happened on the Cash show {and it was Cash who said it, so I hold him primarily responsible), when he pointed to Carl, about to do “Blue Suede . . .” and said “the man REALLY responsible for ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ and Elvis jumped up from the sofa and shouted “why, that jealous son-of-bitch!!” Now, Elvis was usually very generous about giving credit where credit was due, so I don’t understand his reaction. This cannot be attributed to drugs: this seemed, to him, like a well-aimed personal attack, and he actually dropped the song as his opener from the show. He was PISSED OFF. But why? It was not like him: really. See, maybe Dylan did some deeper reading about Cash: the bio’s, of which there are now quite a few, and in the ’50s, he engaged in a common practice: “song-buying.” This is NOT the same thing as the practice of putting someone’s name on a record they did not right to get a cut-in. These were not contractual arrangements, or anything remotely official: in some cases it amounted to outright stealing because some performers only paid desperate people with acetates in their hands only 5 bucks. Usually, it was quite a lot more, but the result was that in return for the cash {funny irony, there} – and it was done IN CASH: it did not involve any song-publishing companies: it was strictly a personal transaction. If a guy had a song, or usually, an acetate of a demo, or even an acetate of an unfinished jam, the guy who needed a hit WITH HIS SOLE NAME ON IT to make his career, would get together with the fellow who had the demo, or who could play something on guitar for him. Or however. It was like “Mission Impossible”: if you got paid to put your name on it as the sole writer, you were supposed to destroy all evidence to the contrary. It would not, of course, “self-destruct,” as on the ’60s TV show, but it was supposed to be totally “quiet as it’s kept.” Zipped lips. Hank Williams got caught through correspondance with Fred Rose, when Hank asked about how to do it. And there are certain people who have spoken about selling a song to Hank. Johnny, somehow, has been “caught,” too. But I don’t know how. Though they say, I guess for legal reasons, that they cannot be “absolutely” sure, it’s clear that they would not have said it all – something that serious – if there wasn’t good reason.
    I say this because of Cash’s admitted “involvement,” which is ridiculous, in the “idea” for “Blue Suede Shoes”: he originally said that, in the Service, he had an officer who like his boots to shine, and THIS gave him the idea. The idea for ‘bucks that are BLUE! Carl has said that living in the countryside, well, country boys are real hung up on their shoes! In the mud?!? Bucksin in the mud? Suede, in the mud? Gimme a break. Another story, which Cash decided to agree with Carl on, is that Carl, “while waiting to go on” to a Sun Package Show in Amory, Mississippi, he saw “a boy in the audience” who kept telling people to watch themselves regarding his suede shoes! Now, Amory, Mississsippi is pretty much in the countryside {no Lansky Bros., or any such place there!}, and the biggest star was Elvis. Then Johnny. Then Carl, who, obviously didn’t yet have the hit with “Blue Suede Shoes” {duh}, and one other kid, who probably had a VERY short set, ’cause he had no real hits to speak of. So first, this kid goes on: this would have been the ONLY chance for Carl to write the song “on a paper sack” “while waiting to go on.” Then Carl went on, and SAW THE “boy” dancing! AFTER he said he had already written the song!!!!!!! After this, Carl would have left with his band-mates, to drive on to the next show. Then Johnny went on AFTER Carl. And, Finally, Elvis, who HAD BEEN WAITING TO GO ON a for quite a while, went on and laid waste to the place. Johnny subsequently backed up Carl’s story and sort of added his own to the mix. {Later on, Carl was travelling, by car, with, I think Cash and Orbison, and was told that he was supposed to be registered with BMI and the publishing company in order to collect royalties for “Blue Suede Shoes.” Carl said “turn this car around!” They met with Mr. Phillips. Greil’s “real hero of this book.” {“Mystery Train”} Some “hero.”
    Anyway, in 1994, at a pay-per-view “Tribute to Elvis” concert at Mud Island in Memphis {with the “family box” filled with the following four people, in order of how they sat: first, “Priscilla Presley” [also known as “the widder Presley”}, Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson, Michael Jackson, and finally, by the curtains, and at the end of the box, Janet Jackson. {At first, Janet got the biggest applause, far and away! But some of the audience members started going “Michael! Michael!” and he covered his face with his hands, grabbed the curtain to cover himself, and basically indicated that this was Elvis’s night, but they kept on. So Lisa whispered something to her mother. Priscilla reached over and grabbed Michael’s wrist and pulled him up, and they all stood, once more. The crowed cheered in gratitude. And they sat down, and the show continued. It was an significant moment in the history of American popular music: this happened IN MEMPHIS, on the newish Mud Island arena.}
    Anyhoo, on this night, Carl Perkins performed “Suede.” He talked about it before he went on, telling a story that is so beyond credulity, and actually not true, that it blows you away, especially the last thing he said before he started singing. He said that Elvis had REFUSED to record Carl’s song, saying “he’s my friend.” {Carl recorded it on December 30, and it was realeased not long therafter; Elvis recorded it on January 30, and performed it quickly on the Dorsey Bros. show. Though it was not released on a true “single,” they put it on one of those “extended play” thingies. Quick-like. That IS HOW IT REALLY HAPPENED. Elvis didn’t waste a WHOLE lotta time recording and promoting that song! Waiting longer to perform “Heartbreak Hotel” {another wild set of stories like you wouldn’t believe}! Several shows in, actually: RCA was getting p.o.’d. So, how does Carl conclude his introduction of “Blue Suede shoes, over 23 years after Elvis exploded that night watching the “Johnny Cash Show”? “So,” he points his index finger skyward, at the Heavens, “King, here’s OUR song!”
    OUR SONG!!!?????!!!???!!! Huh? I don’t think he’s just thanking him for the interpretation, the royalties, or his apocryphal {and I’m being generours} “refusal” to record “his friend”‘s song.
    “Our Song”!?!?!? Uh. Huh. Sounds like a goddamn deathbed confession, if you ask me. Perkins died of some illness not long after this. Now, there’s no way in heck that I could ever prove this. But when stories are, uh, consistently INCONSISTENT, and also, make no sense, any good detective will tell you to walk out of the interrogation box and have a talk with the other detectives. I’ll put it that way. Doesn’t mean the dude in The Box did anything, but they sure have something to chew on.
    I cannot tell you now what I know about the genesis of this song, no matter who “wrote” it. It’s really simple, but you’ll have to keep your poor ole heart beatin’ and wait for the book. The answer is so simple and, really, obvious.
    See, if Guralnick actually interviewed some of the people that Colin Escott did a long time ago, and he could have, and remembered his musicology {and actually took Chick Crumpacker’s liner notes seriously!}, he could have seen it clearly, too. But St. Peter’s mind was all made up: Elvis was a stuttering near-mute, pathologically shy and, as Phillips said {and Sam is God, of course}, felt “so inferior, so markedly like that of a black person,” said the Alabama plantation owner’s son, who learned the blues from his “Uncle” Silas, etc. In other words, Elvis was, in Guralnick’s view, damn near RETARDED: a “Dummy.” Why, in so many films, particularly the important ones, there are stuttering, or mute characters. Kinda hapless, pathetic, and in one case, a violent rapist: who after learning how to speak better, would RAPE A NUN! He, not alone among such such characters, is called a “Dummy.” In “King Creole,” the stuttering boy, who is kinda pathetic, but “nice,” has a NAME: his HAME is “Dummy.” His NAME. Guralnick doesn’t even mention any of this, or how it made Elvis feel. The “nice boy named “Dummy” is in a movie made when Elvis was 23; the NUN RAPIST, who is called “Dummy” by his father repeatedly, and Elvis is made to say, at age 34, when he was struggling to overcome severe stage fright in the midst of the height of his comeback, “I think you’ll find when you take away his stuttering, you’ll find deeper problems. And I don’t think you want that.” Elvis was 34 years old, thought everybody in the rock business would “laugh” at him, still, and he was made to say this as he nervously prepared to perform before 2000 people opening night at “the big, freaky Showroom Internationale” in front of the ENTIRE BRIGADE OF NEW YORK AND SAN FRANSICO ROCK CRITICS, plus many celebs, plus Phil and Michael Ochs, etc. . . .
    You know that Parker couldn’t afford for Elvis to fail, but he just couldn’t control his cruelty. He always had “special consultant” status, and an early trade paper said “you can take that seriously”: it was a good, investigative piece. And, shoot, it’s obvious!
    So, Parker, especially, wanted everybody, especially Elvis, to believe he was mentally retarded in some sense, and pathetic, and dangerous . . . . and Guralnick falls right into it!!!!!!!
    But Billy Emerson has said . . .
    Well, you’ll have to wait. But the point is that this information was readily available when St. Peter did his work. He simply wanted everything to fit his agenda, which was that without people like Phillips and Phillips, and Parker, etc., Elvis would have been nothing. The “poor baby” {check out the introduction} just “got lucky.” He never even bothered to interview Lt. Taylor from the Army, who was writing his OWN book at the same time! Taylor would have loved a plug. His information is abosolutely vital. He considered Elvis “surprisingly” – or course – bright and thoughtful. And he permitted him some defiance: Elvis would not take his seat, as I said, in the classes, and he let him. All he had to say was “Private Presley, sit down.” And he undoubtedly would have. But he somehow respected him, not for his fame {this guy didn’t even know that you play a guitar with both hands}, but for the conversations they had, which blew his mind. He had gone to fancy private schools, and would soon enter and graduate from West Point. Elvis couldn’t even get himself arrested on the UCLA campus, let alone signed up.
    But, still, I feel that is all primarily about Bob Dylan’s youthful preocupations. And song-anylysis, with a context.
    So, I think putting it under Elvis Presley is sort of narrow-casted, but OK. If it sells tickets!
    Besides, please don’t move it again! My browser went crazy and deleted the “Favorite” or bookmark, or whatever. I found it though, ever resourceful.

    Bye now,

  44. RM Says:

    Gotta really get some shuteye tonight, or I swear I’m going to collapse. But things have been streeful lately, and this gives me a lot of mental and emotional “rest.” But I know you gotta sleep. Just that, in the dark, since what happened in my life and all, and the recent stress, well, the dark is not a place that makes it easy to sleep, yet I cannot sleep with the lights on, either. Gotta just do it.
    Anyway, I looked at your suggestions, and the photos grabbed my immediate attention. You see that picture of Bob in Liverpool with those kids? That’s why the Beatles could never begin to comepete with him. I am certain that songs are pulsating through his head at that very time. You’d think, with a backdrop like that, the Fab Two could have come up with something that runs a little deeper than “Elenor Rigby,” or “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road,” etc.
    I mean, I don’t HEAR this Liverpool in their work: almost NONE of their work! But I hear it all OVER Bob’s work, from the very begining to, say, last week’s record release, whatever it is or will be. I mean, Bob looked at the world and saw things that relative “lightweights” {sorry, folks, but the Beatles songs were “happy,” then “pretty,” then all over the map in their attempts to be more “Dylanesque,” but Bob immediately saw the weight of the place, and you can bet, that somewhere, we don’t really know, he wrote about it. Now, I don’t mean as a “topical song”: heck, no! Actually, the picture has an add joyousness to it, really. He sees past the “urchin” cliche that these kids “represent,” and sees something else: he sees kinds like HE was a kid once, like John and Paul were kids once, like you and me were kids once, etc.
    He’s lot looking at their “social class” nor their “lonliness” {aw, look at all the lonely people}, but their excitement: knowing that here was a famous AMERICAN STAR. And he knew that meant something to them, even if they didn’t really understand it yet at all. They FELT it, and surely remembered it, in some kinda way. He wanted to part of THEIR joy, to immerse himself in it. It’s how the lyrics start rolling about in his head.
    Yeah, I’ll admit that I cannot stand that creepy TYPEWRITER that he pounds on constantly in “Don’t Look Back” even as music is playing. It’s just so UNMUSICAL. But, that’s for another day. It’s moments like these that power his work.
    Sadly, he got Tupelo all wrong, because he’s reading too much “serious history” into it. Forget Sherman and Gen. Forrest!! Talk to Ausborn, “Mississippi Slim”‘s younger brother, and to Same Bell, and you’ll feel something else entirely: you’ll feel the vibe of those liverpool kids. He really gave the younger Ausborn THE TOUR, Elvis did, because he wanted him to know that there’s a bigger and cooler world right HERE, even, than Milam Jr. High and its meanness. He took him, just once he took him, to Shake Rag, and the “boy” {at the time} was so surprised to see so many men playing music all at once, and altogether {from outtakes culled from “Return To Tupelo,” the great new documentary}! And he and this “out of place” boy {14 in the 6th grade} kid would go and split an “R=uh-C” cola, and you can almost feel the cold soda, with its fizz and sweetness cooling the boys off after a rough day. And Bell’s calm: you can feel that calm, and you just KNOW that Elvis felt calm in his presence as they just “did our boy thing.” They wanted to go to movies together, to swim togther, and I get the feeling that Bell kinda made Elvis feel less self-conscious about the cold, hard facts: as a white child from “above the highway,” he was only living on Grandpa Bell’s land because the elder Bell saw that there were some few white families who were living in alleys, or, in the Presley’s case, right astride the city dump, and so he found a way to get them on to his land. But you get the feeling that even though Bell knows this now that HE is “Grandpa,” that as a child, he just wanted to be another child with the boy with the funny name. Bell would not follow Elvis when he snuck out, as an older man says, very “late” to “peek” at the juke joints, and Bell really didn’t want to “go to that old Sanctified church” but that “they were expecting him!” Not just “welcoming” him, but “expecting” him. Bell and the other children really weren’t interested if they weren’t made to go. {And they maybe went to a classier church!} Elvis was, of course, “fanatical” about spiritual music, and they definitely were not. He says this with absolute serenity. Not a man to make too much of it all: “we just did our boy thing.” Movies, swimming, and whatever.
    Kristofferson’s narration gives you that feeling of peacefulness. And also of Elvis’s agitation regarding music and being liked by “girls.” Which he was not. In my day, and certainly in theirs, boys were usually averse to girls at 12, or even 13, still. Even “Tomboys” were only just “allowed” in their sphere. This changes suddenly as 14 beckons and becomes a reality, but for a while, it’s just “our boy thing.” No “lingering sadness” except that I’m sure Elvis was concerned for his parents’ constant problems. They felt pitied by blacks, and scorned by their old white friends from East Tupelo. They HURT. But Elvis was also into doing his “boy thing” and while he absorbed their pain, it was THEIRS, not really his. HE had found outlets: music, tops, and kids, black or white, who would not hurt him, but who actually wanted him around. Even the grownups at “that old Sanctified church” “expected” him. He’d found a place for himself. Arthur Crudup came through, singing the same three songs he always sang, throwing lyrics back and forth between ’em, but Elvis heard a “feel” in the “old” man’s voice, and undoubtedly forgetting his name until after the recording, just remembered the “feel” of a “famous” bluesman’s singing. The melody, the chord prograssion, the lyrics, well, he didn’t know it then, but he’d work that out later from a forgotten “memory.” But now, he just thought about how music could make everything right. And about 25 years later, as a prodoundly troubled adult, he knew that music could NOT make everything right.
    But we all got a right to dream when we all “do our kid thing” when we get the chance. IF there is a window of time when we get the chance.
    And THAT’s what Bob saw in Liverpool, and missed in Tupelo whilst thinking of Civil War battles. He missed the “boy thing.”
    Maybe because, in some sense, Bob was never “a boy.” Always way too mature in significant ways.
    Hey, what do you think of my “Tears of Rage” look at what “daughter” means in the song, etc.?
    Bye now,

  45. reprindle Says:

    This was written several days ago:

    It sounds like you may have really resolved the ‘bad person’ thing. If you have you may have other minor fixations clustered behind it which will surface but you should be able to recognize and resolve each.

    Now, once you eliminate one thing it disturbs the ancient order so that all your fixations start moving around. You will probably begin having a series of dreams. Don’t resist them no matter how frightening they may seem. Let them come. You can never be hurt in your dreams.

    I don’t think the ‘bad person’ bit was your central childhood fixation while because of your background you probably have a number of painful fixations, probably clustered because of contiguity of meaning. If they surface don’t resist but welcome them. Once recognized they will disappear and no longer trouble you subconsciously or direct your behavior.

    If you’ve started what you’ll achieve is the end result of psychoanalysis. The unconscious is merely hypnotic suggestion and fixation. That’s it. You must have the courage to face the fixations and this won’t always be easy. You should really read my Sonderman Constellation to see how I handled it. If you can get a copy of Emile Coue’s My Method you should find that useful too. Short and simple, no problem. Once you learn the nature of suggestion and the mental reaction you should be armored against future assaults.

    Remember psychology is merely hypnotic suggestion and reaction, that’s all there is to it. Nothing deeper. Probably take a couple years to clear things out.

    I think your fascination with Dylan and Presley is a projection of your own self-pity. If you can void your self-pity that will be a tremendous gain. Not easy though and may be slow work.

    Keep me posted on whether you think you’ve voided the ‘bad person’ bit and subequent events that must and will hapen if you’ve succeeded on this early level. Not being able to sleep is probably an anxiety symptom. Sleep and face the dreams. Try to watch them from outside so you can analyze them.

    It will be interesting to see if I can guide you, a person, long distance. It helps that you’re intelligent. Don’t get bogged dwon in any religious stuff; won’t hurt to void that also.

    Actually those Liverpudlian kids didn’t know who Dylan was. Liverpool was a horrid place, been there once, was eager to leave.

    I’ve apparently reached a transitional place myself. I’ve been doing some record work lately, oddly enough concentrating on the females associated with Rock and I’m coming face to face with my post-fifties emotions. Don’t know which way I will go.

    It appears that Dylan may have messed with Lennon’s head so that he was off beam sometime after ’64. Of course he was used by Yoko Ono who may have attempted to vampire his talent to herself. Good luck.

    There’s an interesting perspective on the 64-65 Dylan world tour in that article. I’ll really have to consider the Manchester episode from a different perspective. The strain on Dylan may have been almost too much for him. We do know for sure that he cracked up in ’66 just after B on B. The trilogy must have been too much for him to get out, in which case there is absolutely no ‘prophecy’ involved just an attempt to resolve those Hibbing days.

    ’61-’66 are the crucial years. The rest is anti-climax.

  46. reprindle Says:

    As far as Cash, Presley, Perkins and Blue Suede Shoes goes as one who was on the spot, wide awake and interested in all the participants I see it differently from ground zero. As far as Cash buying songs I suppose anything is possible. That thing is a ride spread rumor about everybody. I actually wrote Springsteen’s Blinded By The Light. :))

    I doubt if Cash bought any of his first five singles while I hope he bought Ballad Of A Teenage Queen. I sure would have sold him that one for 5.00 cash and laughed hysterically as I walked away. Sixty years on and I believe I’m the only man alive who remembers it and what’s more, have a copy.

    This is the way I remember it: Carl had the hit. Then, I believe it was on Elvis’ second LP he recorded Blue Suede Shoes. I never questioned that Elvis covered it because he also covered Little Richard and others- Big Mama Thornton/Freddie Bell.

    Cash was an envious person. He was a wide second to Elvis being only a C&W singer. No actual contest. Elvis was a rock n’ roller over in the Bill Haley column.

    So when Cash said Carl was the hitmaker on Shoes he was telling the truth and putting Elvis down at the same time. But then everyone gave Elvis credit for Shoes, they couldn’t even tell the difference between the two versions.

    So, I would interpret Presley’s reaction as being offended by the sneering put down rather than any facts on the song.

    At the time Perkins was called the king of rock n’ roll which I always thought a misnomer because I always considered him country, rockabilly at best. I thought Dixie Fried was one great country song, alone out there again, I think, and it was country. ‘Dan flashed a razor and he wasn’t shavin”.

    I once saw Cash sneeringly introduce Carl as the king of rock n’ roll: Come out here, King like he was calling a dog. That’s how envious he was and how petty he could be. He was still THE Johnny Cash though.

    Probably some concealed animosity between Elvis and Johnny. I know Johnny had a falling out with Bobby along the way too.

    I haven’t read through the lyics of Tears Of Rage as yet but the use of daughters seems plausible. Probably the time Beattie saw him jump up and run to check his Bible. ‘If Jesus came to your house would he find a Bible on the table or a Playboy Magazine.’ One of the tough musical questions I had to answer at sixteen.

    I don’t know why people don’t take Dylan’s Christmas LP seriously, cover maybe, but he seems to have created an amalgam of how he remembered the times. Says he’s straight. The thing that disturbs me and gives credence to insincerity is that lank blonde wig he’s wearing in Must Be Santa, Santa, Santa Claus. Blonde on Blonde? Smirking at his used to be blonde girl friends? Mocking people who ridiculed his ridiculous hair back in the sixties? Putting down Whites for Obama and ‘George Lewis.’

    I don’t know but the video did make me uneasy. I read one Jewish critic crowing about how Irving Berlin mocked Christians by writing a Christmas song about ‘snow’ and an Easter song about a fashion parade. Might all be true but White Christmas itself covers the reality that we all wanted snow for that Holy Day. No pun intended.

    I just shake my head and wonder or take up my pen and put my anguish in words. Joke intended.

  47. RM Says:

    I don’t know if I’ve “recovered” from that one – the one in the park with the teacher. It really just hit me when you told me your story: I mean hit me about how it blew me away. Sure there were other things. Sadistic young camp counselors who played sadistic “practical jokes” as “lessons,” and all whatnot . . .
    I don’t think feeling for those hypertalented “young men” {I’m cutting Bob off at about the time Elvis died. I love some of his more recent stuff, but he did say he had a nervous breakdown that week in August, and IT SHOWED in his work, big time. He grabbed hold of himself as he approached and rounded 50+. Good on him, too.)is “self-PITY.” I think it is an aid to understanding. Culture works great that way. I can tell from the “new” {Tell Tale Signs} “Born In Time” that Elvis hurt him in some kinda way, but not ’cause he wanted to. He used Parker as his “bad cop” and ran off in terror. Johnston had designs on Elvis: mentoring him for the times: you HAD to write your own material, and who would Elvis respect? Only the best: Bob. Which he did: we have it on tape that he did. But Elvis REALLY was terrified that people would “laugh at me.” I guess I have a little “rejection-terror” myself, but no way as bad as Elvis. You feel like reaching inside the television when you watch the ’68 outtakes, or I do with the “maternal instinct” thingy, and you want to calm him down and wipe away the tears that are just at the surface. Johnston/Daniels/{and Byers?} did not write “It Hurts Me” FOR Elvis; they wrote it TO him! “If you ever tell him you’re through, I’ll be waiting for you.” “I know he never will set you free/’cause he’s just that kinda guy.” Etc. Johnston really cared, but he didn’t know how. Steve Binder did know how. You had to be tough. Not allow him to flee. Because he WOULD!! I hope Johnston didn’t drag Dylan into Elvis’s problems, ’cause Bob was NOT the man for the job!! And I guess neither was Johnston. They just wanted him to “be himself” without knowing how deep and strong the undertow was. Dylan sings “I got what I deserved.” Listen to the whole song {the real lyrics are generally NOT on the ‘net: you gotta download the tune, or get the CD}. It’s extremely moving. Just gorgeous.
    As for Blue Suede, all you gotta do is listen to a few old “hillbilly” and blues numbers that bear a STRIKING similarity in theme and structure, and chord progression, and even words. Read the book on “House of the Rising Sun,” and you’ll understand that some songs, well, I don’t want to say too much. But “the folk process” was involved and I have a problem with all the conflicting and sometimees senseless stories. I can’t allege ANYTHING, and I do not. But it’s just so ridiculously easy!!!!!!! The final apotheosis of . . . a folk song. Oh, God, I’ve said too much, already.
    I know, we can all play the guessing game with the “song-buying” thing. But it DID happen. A lot! Bob never bothered: he just stole whatever he needed! Didn’t give a rip. Got caught at Newport once with “God on Our Side” which was “The Patriot Game” which was something else, too. Anyhow, he swiped the melody, whole, and it was not public domain. He was really sweatin’. How many times did he tune that guitar? Man, he was nervous. Thought somebody might beat him up or sumpin’.
    But Bob codified Elvis’s version of “That’s All Right Mama” and, while it says “Words and music by BOB DYLAN {!},” he PROVES that Crudup’s songs were more like morse code than melodies or chord progressions {what chord progressions?}. To me, he did a wonderful thing. And then, when his firstborn child is born, it’s a boy, and guess what he names him? Jesse Byron!!!!!!!!! But for two letters, he named him after Elvis’s twin! Now, that’s meaningful. “I didn’t want to meet Elvis,” my butt!!! But, people are now admiting more: that Elvis had to do things 121 {one-to-one, in ‘netspeak}, and I think he gave EP his props by saying he “played with their heads.” He gave him respect for his intelligence and wit. And “the scene” out there at that time WAS dangerous. If EP talked to Bob, it would have to have been on a pay phone, I think!! Graceland was bugged, so I guess Rocca Place was too. Elvis’s “personal guru” hairdresser Larry Geller was busted in Memphis for pot at Graceland. Fortunately, he and his wife burnt it in Cali, and they had none. Mostly, they wanted something on Larry ’cause Elvis’s “sheriff friend” wanted Larry to flip on Elvis for “trafficking.” They thought they were DEALING!!!!!!! See, as they carted Larry away, Elvis sent a guy to a pay phone: “go across Daddy’s lawn, across Dolan, and there’s a phone: tell the person NOT to send any more “beauty supplies.” Elvis knew everything!!!!!! Independent of Larry! It’s why the older hairdresser quit and recommended Larry in the first place. The guy wanted no part of the whole thing. A fellow customer of Sebring’s was {drum roll} Charlie Manson!!!!!!!! And other celebs. They had a dragnet out. Bob had good reason to be nervous about that “scene.” And since Elvis’s father counted every penney, and made sure everything lined up, he practically pushed Elvis into having to do SOMETHING to account for all that money he was spending on Maria Juana and Windowpane Acid, etc. I don’t know this, but it’s the only thing that makes sense. Elvis knew the entire Memphis dealer map! Now, I’m not saying he did this, but I can see how he was almost pushed into doing it. I don’t see any big crime in it, anyhow, no matter what. But soon before his death, he went on a paranoid frenzy about “getting” all the Memphis dealers: we hate in others what we hate in ourselves. I dunno. Elvis didn’t hate!!!!!!! But he sure was a “hung-up person”!

  48. reprindle Says:

    Remember what the doorknob said: Feed your head. Doorknobs open doors and knowledge turns doorknobs. I’m giving you hints. Rock and roll is the largest psychological goldmine ever unearthed. You almost have to be psychotic to be in it. It’s an axiom; tell me your favorite artists and I’ll tell you who you are.

    Self-pity is just a psychological state; I can tell you all about it from personal experience. Psychological states are just something you have to go through. As Admiral Farragut said in Mobile Bay: Damn the torpedoes, go ahead. He was riding a Dreadnaught and was fearless. Got through.

    Whatever happened to Elvis he was in too deep; as he feelingly sings: I’m caught in a trap, I can’t get out. And in a moment of self-pity on that ’68 special he literally screamed out: I ain’t never done nobody no harm. (So why are you hurting me?) I knew from whence he came.

    Folk songs, as far as I’m concerned, are formed from the experiences of the folk hence a few iconic phrases are cobbled into songs and used where needed. There are probably bits and pieces of half a dozen common sayings in Shoes with Blue Suede Shoes substituted for whatever the warning had previously been. So you’re right.

    As far as Dylan goes, Weberman has come to the conclusion that he is unequivocally evil. I say definitely psychotic. He’s playing his game well but he’s working out a couple fixations from his childhood. One, obviously, is a deeply resented rejection by the community. Don’t know what caused it but I’m sure it has something to do with Abe and Beattie’s Jewish attitude.

    Abe was orthodox in sentiment if unable to practice it in fact. Probably very aggressively so. That he brought in Rabbi Reuben Maier to instruct Dylan in Judaism is a key. I find it hard to believe that he was placed above the town’s only rock n’ roll cafe. According to Dylan he and a few others were the only rockers in town. Yet he has the place jumping every night after school while he’s upstairs ‘learning what he had to know.’ So where did those rockers come from? Obviously this is a symbol of the two worlds he inhabited.

    The key here is what did Reuben determine he had to know? Whatever it was Dylan took it in while apparently forgetting nothing then went downstairs to boogie, even though he’d been rejected. Meanwhile he babbles about nothing and everyone thinks he’s heavy. Check out Arnoff and Michelson in Zeek and the Forward.

    Dylan was, is and remains a thief. He not only purloins tunes, which doesn’t offend me, there’s only so many notes and the possible combinations are mathematically certain, but he copyrights them thus removing them from the common use. He gets away with copyrighting ancient folk tunes. This is theft of the most conscious and reprehensible type. Criminality of the highest degree.

    While one looks askance at Weberman he nevertheless knows more abouat Dylan than Dylan knows about himself.

    Dylan is apparently going around now saying that he was always Bob Dylan even when he was Bobby Zimmerman. He’s obviously trying to deny his past while it controls every action he makes.

    His songs are so meaninless nothing is going to survive his death. His whole corpus is meaningless but significant sounding images. Temporary Like Achilles sounds like he might be trying to say something but it’s merely about a back alley coupling with some girl. Temporary Like Achilles.

    I wuz swindled.

  49. RM Says:

    Calm down! You’re so mad at Bob that I know you care very deeply about him. You wouldn’t care about this “criminality,” if you didn’t. Lots of publishers have done this with folk tunes, but the other copyrights stay ok, anyway. Like Hill and Range tried to get “Cindy, Cindy,” but it’s still available to anyone. Public domain is public domain. I imagine anyone would win a lawsuit on that account. Why should they have to pay one publisher just because they got there first? Ridiculous. But this is not a pure world, nor a pure business. If Bob manages not to die broke in this criminal business, well, good on him. Every artist ought to use this method, maybe. Make a mad rush for P.D. tunes!!!!!!! Hell, that IS what Perkins did! You got that right. {Hint: “Birthday Cake,” etc.} Please don’t spread that around. See, EP sang, at one time or another, esp. when he was just starting out, many, many versions of this constantly mutating and moving “folk” idea. Robert Johnson’s version, which cops the melody, and some words, is copyrighted by him ’cause he gave it a new title.
    Elvis didn’t do this!! When he found out about the Blackwell thing, and they were putting his name on Blackwell’s tunes, he stopped it immediately. But he deserved so much more credit for so many more songs! Like I said, “will the real folk singer please stand up?”
    Bob’s songs are NOT “meaningless,” and I thnk that when you calm down, you already know that. “Tears of Rage” and “Born In Time” make me just about shake. And “To Ramona” helped me with my dealing with what happened to my mom. I could swear Bob was talking to me. “returning to the South?” {!} Ah, but millions could hear the same thing, of course.
    The Beatles did maybe two “meaningful” songs: “In My Life,” and “Let It Be.” On their own, they did pretty good.
    But it’s the ancient stuff that is so awesome, and all of ’em either know it, or should know it.
    There’s a place for that kind of song-writing, but there’s a bigger place for the on-going “song-making” that no one can stop, even with copyrights.
    See, once it was “Blue Suede Shoes,” it wasn’t a “cake” anymore, or “hot tamales,” or whatever. And even the melodic riff of that piece: “Hard Headed Woman.” Same deal. Cops the opening and closing of “Baby, Let’s Play House” in Elvis’s version with the “hicouphing,” or whatever they call it. All the songs start to run into one another. Bob can’t stop it, and he knows it.
    And whether he’s Bobby Zimmerman, or “Bob Dillon,” or Bob Dylan, or whatever, he really still IS the same person, the more he tries to run.
    He’ll run all his life, and never get away from what he’s runnin’ from.
    But no way is he “meaningless.” “Abe say God, you must be puttin’ me on!” etc.
    “Where you want this killin done???”
    And Elvis rewrote One Night AGAIN on that special: “now I know that very quite life’s been too lonely too long!” Time to make some NOISE!!!!!!!!!
    Smiley Lewis’s version is kinda simpering: like he’s in a confessional booth saying how he has “myself to blame.” That’s not how Elvis EVER sang it. He always slammed down on the hardest, coolest lines, changing and moving, and adding, and subtracting as he went along. And he never gave an inch: just let ’em think so. But in ’68, he went wild with it. Just wild.
    P.S. — Look, there are way worse people in that business than Bob! And usually NOT the artists. He always seems to feel as if everybody’s out to get him, so he’d better grab everything he can to put up for the coming winter. A kind of madness. But this madman lived past his own death! In “This Wheel’s On Fire,” he knew that he’d survived, but he still accuses Grossman of attempted murder. Body and soul.
    Mary Travers just died. It’s very sad: she wasn’t very old at all. I remember how Grossman tried to mold her into a kind of ‘Folkie Barbie.’ So, yeah, he took her soul: or part of it.
    I think she’s gonna pay a visit to the “warmer place” just to see him: with gasoline jug in hand! And then go back to the nice place. Wherever the hell those places are {grin}.
    I hate “managers.”

  50. RM Says:

    Have you heard the news? {ok: cliche}, the area surroundng Graceland is about to be expanded and get a “facelift.” The home itself is a nation historical site, and cannot be altered: it can only restored, if necessary. Thank goodness. There will also be a “puclicly funded” {sp?} landgrab and “improvement” of the land on both sides of the street {sxcept that they are demolishing the classic “shopping center” area that is now used to sell tickets. They want the visitors center, Heartbreak Hotel {hotel, not the resturant downtow}, etc. on the same side of the Highway {Highway 51 South is now called “Elvis Presley Blvd. since 1972: Bob Dylan, by the way, immortalized it in 1962 when he put together an old blues, which everybody gets wrong, of course, added an Everly Bros. chord progression which words quite nicely, and sang this original verse “I know that Highway like I know the back of my hand!” Yes, ideed, from his FIRST album, he expressed some kind of deep affection for the adolescent “folk-rocker” – well, what the hell else WAS he, then, if not what Chick Crumpacker called him? The very fact that Greil makes fun of those fine liner notes to the second album shows his jealousy from the git-go} who utterly altered the course of his life, and of all our lives for the better). Anyhow, this new “impressario” running the tourist stuff and the marketing, wants a high-tech, tall museum, and doesn’t want to deal with the other side of the road.
    Except for one thing: Elvis bought some of that land SPECIFICALLY TO STOP ANY URBAN RENEWAL! He let them build their small subdivision, call the area “whitehaven” — heck, he couldn’t stop them from naming their suburd, but he derived great joy from the barbecue joints acorss the street, which he frequented, well, frequently, and he was very familiar with the people who lived west of it. The families, and their grandchidlren, and even great grandchildren, still live there! You can call ’em shacks: to Elvis, they felt like “home.” These folks, unlike the many relatives, however distant, who barged into the suburb until it became “Presley-SmithHaven,” had a real history there, and Elvis wanted to keep it. He succeed until now. Pretty good, I’d say. But commerce will out. See, those folks are very important, because the younger people living there: the ones in their twenties, are very much aware of how Elvis Presley, the REAL PERSON, was a part of their moms’ and grannies’ lives. And, if you look at stills from the funeral, that is clear. These were NOT “tourists” from Scandanvia, or even Alabama: they were people he personally knew and whose company he enjoyed. And so he would not permit the city to engage in the widespread “urban renewal” of the time. But the time always comes, I guess. And they want those people OUT. It’s an sffront to history, to memory of the young man, himself: a man who “die{d} before he got old” in classic rock fashion, but a decent man, and its an affront to history itself. Hell, I REMEMBER THE TUFFY MUFFLER SHOP from early 1979, when I first rode the highway that I too, know “like the back of my hand.” It was so simple and moving the first time: “Daddy” was still alive, and hand-lettered a sign begging for “chickenfeed” because “it costs us an awful lot” to keep up Gracelan, he asked those who freely walked up the drive to spend as much time as they wished by the graves, or in looking at the hores, the front lawn, whatever. You would chat with Uncle Vester when a guard was on duty {and there wasn’t always one on duty!}. And the people who worked in the shops across the street knew they would soon be toast. That Priscilla, uh, “the widder Presley,” was going to revamp the place and fire their asses. Which she did. But the highway connects you to what it was like when Elvis lived there, when Lisa finally got into her “Hamburger Bed” at like 2 AM {she was only nnine when it ahppened! And her late hours went on for years before that . . . where she could, against “the rules” take her golf cart ON TO THE HIGHWAY that Bobby knew like the back of his hand, even in ’62 [where DID Elvis get that “snap-cap” from? Bullocks in Cali.? Or I forget the Southern name for Macy’s back then, but that one? Gosh, it was only a cult item in NYC at the time! Dylan hadn’t even done “Blowin’ In the Wind” yet. He was not “a star,” except on a local NYC basis, really. So, where the devil, and WHY, did Elvis get that cap?!? Foor for thought]. She’d start out, and Linda would run after her, stop her, say; “how many times have I told you not to take the cart on to the highway?!” To which young Lisa would respond, copying Daddy, of course: “go to hell.” Linda dragged her back anyway. Without that highway, you lose the palpable feel for the PLACE as it was then.
    I remember coming out ‘near midnight one August “Death Night” to check out the “vigil” and there was not parking place. I was with my folks that time, on that trip, and my dad came alone with me to the vigil. The street was blocked off, and we didn’t know what to do with the car. A cop told us: “park down that road, but don’t go too far: it’s a BAD NEIGHBORHOOD.” Well, hell, if not for “bad neighborhoods,” there would be no Elvis, thus no Dylan, etc. It’s like they just did’t get it: Elvis was not “to the manor born”! And, hell, putting all that big stuff there is only gonna further dwarf the house, which is about the smalles “mansion” I have ever seen. And I’ve seen many out here in Cali., and also toured a number of historic “homes” around the ountry. Graceland is just a house, with home-made “rooms” and such added on. Vernon despised contractors {and believe me, he was RIGHT!}, and he WAS good with wood. So, htye try to claim it’s actually 10,000 square feet, which is ridiculous: I’ve been there, AND I’ve sseen the floorplan and informal blueprints. It’s just a house, with a few flourishes to “look” like an anti-bellum {sp?} “mansion,” but it’s just a house. Lotta land, a barn {OH! That’s the square footage, I guess}, circular drive, not even a covered garage {I remember when the cars were sitll out back, long before “the care museum.”} I mean, it’s wrong to rip the place from 20th century history, where it supposed to be: an historical place by law, and make a huge, hi-tech tourist attraction of it. I know: they ruined Beale St., Too. I was there when it was still real “funky”- lookin’: a mess since ’68, which was only a decade past, Lanskey’s was not “a museum,” nor was the Lorraine Motel, which I saw, too, without any “museum” touches. Today, Beale is a cobblestone addition to Disneyland: “Blackland.” Or something like that. I see people from everywhere, loaded down with fancy digital cameras: you’d be surprised, perhaps, but you see a lot of black tourists with like three different cameras dangling about. They’re takin’ pictures of a place that never was. THIS was not the Beale that Elvis Presley knew. See, B.B. King told Escott and Hawkins, back in the day, that he met Elvis is “pawn shops” which he, B.B. King was just starting out, and he said that a group of bluesmen, and aspiring bluesmen would hang out here. It’s right next to the old “Blue Light” picture studio that Elvis went to as much as he could. King remembered that Elvis like to “be around us a lot.” Lately, with Guralnick’s made-up tales becoming “reality” which they are not, King seems to doubt his own memories. I don’t blame him. There’s so much pressure: people still bang their fists in rage when it is suggested that Elvis went beyond the Blue Light studio. But if you look at a map, you can see that, when he worked at the theater, it would have been quite out of his way to go up main, and then east to the Courts. It’s a straight shot from about 3rd to 4th and Beale {Beale wasn’t really a “street” at that time, but due to massive complaints, they did not name it an “Ave.”} up to the courts. Vince Staten seems bewildered as to why Elvis always seemed to come home late. See, he had said, in 1977, that there was “no evidence” that Elvis had ever been exposed to the blues in any way before meeting Sam Phillips.
    This is, of course, ridicuous, but it means that Staten never went to Tupelo and asked around. Nor did he even bother to read a map, and see what distractions were directly in Elvis’s path home. Sure, he was too young to attend the clubs, but he got fired at MARL Metal for “lying about his age.” Now, most of the boys who workked there were underage for the job, but got their checks cashed at the package store, and nobody bothered them. Elvis had to have done something for them to find out plainly to the point where they felt forced to act. Duh, he got a fake ID, and probably tried to buy liquor: but not for himself. NO ONE, and I mean, NO ONE believes the great blues singer Roy Brown when he said that Elvis, at about 17, was a kind of “gopher” for some bluesmen who wanted some shots of liquor while they talked, and he would get it for them. He also said he ran into Elvis in, get this, Tupelo, in 1954, and everybody says: “see? He got it all mixed up.” Ahh!!!!!! Elvis went to Tupelo quite a bit in ’54, just to show some of the kids who doubted him what he had done. He spot someone, take them to a soda shop, and then punch his record up on the jukebox. He knew that WELO was not playing his records. Anyway, it makes perfect sense that he’d run back into Brown there. But no one believes him. So, why did Elvis get fired for “lying about his age” when the other boys his age were ignored, even though they went into the package store to csshe their checks?! Clearly, because he did more than that.

    Yeah, I do know that highway like that back of my hand, and I hate to see it pushed into the background.
    As for “I wuz robbed,” such is the ways of oontemporary music. Bob is at least, doing it right out in the open, rather than robbing invividuals all “hush-hush.” Williams had the audacity to write Fred Rose and ASK HIM how to “buy songs” without anyone knowing. This was not an out-in-the-open process, like with Hill and Range, and other publishers: it was done under cloak of darkness: it amounted to outright robbery. Hell, Bob KNOWS he’s always been a thief, and a liar, and while he might like not to be, he knows he is. And sometimes, maybe years ago, he didn’t even understand. As late as ’85, talking to Bob Shelton for the bio, Dylan, then about 44 years old, coldn’t under stand why he’d been “kicked out of Denver just for robbin’ a Cat’s house.” He was, after all the years, still bewildered. What was the big deal? It was like Bob thought EVERYBODY did stuff like that! I think he knows now that everybody doesn’t, but he knows that he will forever have the compulsion to steal what he can have freely, to deny what is plain truth, etc. I don’t think he can help it, and I think he has stopped trying.
    Besides, you want “roberry” on a cultural scale, then take a look at this ridiculous Beatles hype! They were bummed that Bob was getting “the credit” for what happened in the mid-sixties, and not the Beatles. And Paul has always been a jealous sort. HE could put Buddy Holly’s songs in commercials, and the man is dead and has nothing to say about it, but if God Forbid, just ONE SONG, back in the 80s, went into a Nike ad, he popped his cork: blasphemy, he cried! “I wuz robbed,” he cried. {He was not: he had the ability the buy the songs, but he didn’t choose to do so.} I mean, Paul’s not a horrible guy, but I think that Dylan has more of a moral compass than Paul. I’m sorry. I just think so. And that’s not saying much for Paul!
    Look, let’s face it, the Beatles tried to BE Dylan, and for the most part, they failed miserably. I know you dig those two albums most of all, but Dylan did a lot more than just that: in fact, I really find “Sad-Eyed Lady . . .” a self-parody in search of a song, much less a perfomance. How can you compare it to “Visions of Johana”? Shoot, Bob always lets you know which relationship a song in about! Like “Born In Time” is so very, very claer that when I used it to close out my playlist to play in the car {personal use only}, after a kind of grand “tone-poem” of songs, it can bring tears to your eyes. It’s just so perfect. But you gotta use the “Tell Tale Signs” version, which was really the first version. The “truth” is always, always in the music. That’s not just true: it’s more like a “law” of PHYSICS. It cannot be broken, even if you wanted to.
    If want to entertain yourself, you can read his interviews: sometimes it’ll be interesting. But even when he tells a deep truth, he screws it up. Like telling the world that “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” is on an album that DOES NOT EXIST! Was this a “mistake”? Or was it Bob’s way?
    Just listen to the music. It is ALL there. And this applies to anyone. Anyone worth listening to, anyhow.


  51. RM Says:

    My mistakes are all over the place in this one, but I meant “the horses,” not “the hores.” Good Gawd!

  52. RM Says:

    Oh, one more thing, if any critic, much less a Jewish one, said Berlin “mocked” Christmas, that person is a stone, cold MORON! NO ONE, no group of people {except maybe the Japanese Buddists — I’m serious} UNDERSTAND Christmas like Jewish people!! I did a paper on it, and people wrote in from EVERYWHERE to tell their stories. No one mentioned “commercialization,” because THEY knew what Christmas was all about, Charlie Brown. It’s about our national escape into a kind of “fairyland” for a small bit of time each year, and Berlin just got so INTO it! The fantasy, I mean. And when Bob wrote about Christmas being about that stillness between the Eve and the Day, why, HE GOT IT! It’s that moment soon after you cry for yourself and George Bailey: happy tears, and just before they hit “Joy To The World” at midnight, that time almost stands still. If it’s snowing, of course, like it used to when I lived in the North {Yeah, Irving! Like that!}, it’s a much truer feeling, even, but nonetheless, it’s something unique – culturally, I think. No culture has ever come up with a moment like that. They’ve tried. But nothing comes close. And it’s not about presents, or anything like that. It’s like you’re touching something, a rare something, that’s TRUE in this oh so fake and so cruel world. I knew this as a small child. I rememeber getting beat up on a school “bus” {just a station wagon, but yellow}, as per usual from that school, and being dropped off at a bank, as per my dad’s request that day to the driver {who told him about this boy, I found out years later}, and they had a tree so tall, it seemed to stretch to infinity. Real tall bank! In NYC: we lived there for, I think, 5 months, when I was 7 {two apartments, 2 diff. schools}. And I was transfixed. My dad finally pulled me away and said “the boxes are empty: no presents.” He didn’t realize that I didn’t care. I wanted to spend eternity in and around that tree! I didn’t want to be anywhere else.
    It’s hard to explain.
    Robin {But I DID get my “fully poseable” G.I. Joe Doll that Christmas! I still have it!}

  53. RM Says:

    One of my X-mas presents was a Carter Family retrospective with truly EXTENSIVE liner notes. Shoot, if they did this with more records these days: include something OF VALUE inside the physical product, people wouldn’t be wanting to “download” so much. If you offer people something, like that silly Beatles’
    game, it WILL sell. Doesn’t matter if it’s something that has stood the test of time, like ElDylBaatles, or in-between good stuff {lousy re-issue policy for Springteen, I think: the boxes should be more focused: like his wonderful “B-sides” all in one place, and a concert album that REALLY captures what people my age went ga-ga over in the late-70s and early ’80s, always wishin’ and hopin’ for him to come around, but he rarely did until the “stadium extravaganza” of 84-85. And then it was just not quite the same sort of intimate, sort of “drama-like” [as in a play, I mean] shows that were so long, but mostly because he talked so much, telling those shaggy-dog stories: about talking to his girlfriend, in a pay phone, IN THE RAIN. Corny as hell, the whole lot of it {like how he got out of Vietnam: not being a college boy, or having the funds for Canada, nor being of any kind of religious belief that forbade his participation, he was either going to ‘nam, or going to prison}: first, he told them, in his words “I was queer.” They either didn’t believe him, or didn’t care. It didn’t fly, but he said there was something terribly wrong with him, physically, too, and they needed to know about: he was concerned for his fellow soldiers, of course, and THEIR welfare in combat, so they should know. They sighed and told him to see his doctor and bring solid documentation of why he absolutely could not be in combat, and would risk American lives if he were in combat. So, he headed for the nearest, friendliest doc. he could find. Turns out that he actually had an accident with a “chrome horse” and hit his head. While there probably was no lasting damage [that’s for each of us to decide!], the doc. concluded for Uncle Sam, that Bruce had serious “brain damage” from the accident – which was well documented: the polic report, the hospital report, the x-rays, etc. Anyway, they looked at the whole thing, and Bruce’s early “wild-eyed” appearance that made his shows so interesting: the guy looked like he was speeding on something more powerful than a drug: he was hyper, maybe still is. But taken all in all, they finally bought it. So, Bruce tells this story with many flourishes, and to much laughter, and he keeps eating up more time. He just talked and talked. It’s what GAVE him that “energy” in the first place: he knew how to pace himself so that he really wasn’t all that tired. Today, they need to put out there a fabulous live set that rivals the bootlegs, with liner notes so well-designed that people will want it for that alone. That’s kind of “the secret.” If the packaging is awesome, people will not want to just download.
    But, as usual, the record companies want to blame something other than themselves. I remember how they whined about “video games.” And then MJ hit, and sold 40 million copies worldwide, right off the bat. Gosh, that total must be nearing a 100 million or so now! I mean, world-wide. And then a watershed of music came tumbling down: Prince went full-on pop with his “purple” thing; Cyndi Lauper, a one-woman advert for what used to be called “color TV,” because she was a sight, then the inscrutable Boy George, who I knew then would be a future “Peter Noone,” but at the time, fit right in, Bruce decided to pound out the grooves by declaring himself a “cool, rockin’ daddy,” and then there was Madonna. And a still-teenaged Janet Jackson {who turned only 19 DURING the release of the singles from “Control”}, and I dunno, then everybody was going video-crazy, and U2 appeared, and REM went pop, and so on, and so on. I loved that time. I was in grad schol {as a part of City University, I didn’t end up in debt for the rest of my life, and it had a lot of good profs., but I learned to understand “hot air” big time), wore jeans, sneakers [the loud colors of the time], those ’80s sweaters that popped with color, and in warmer weather, so-called “sweat-shirts” that were also alive with brightness. It was a happy time for those fortunate enough to enjoy them. Everything was “over-the-top” so you knew we’d cycle away from it all: then there was Grunge {sp?}. Blew away all the bright colors, and went all the way back to mountain music “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” and, I’m not sure of the lineaga, but it sounded old: “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam,” which was kinda heartbraking, even before Kurt’s suicide. I guess that’s when “the rock era” actually came to an end. Right about ’93-’94. MJ’s actual sexuality was revealed {and it did not preclude true man-woman attraction and love: I have read deeply into the literature of it for my dissertation and other papers and things, as ugly as it was to look at it}, and then on June 13, 1994, O.J. Simpson, of all people, became “the Beatles of the ’90s” and that sort of thing has not really let up. It merely congealed into “reality TV.” Gene Rodenberry was shockingly prophetic with the “Bread and Circuses” episode of Star Trek. It turned out to be a story about Earth, today! As always, they included HOPE, but I don’t see much. I see people going down in flames due to our Bread and Circuses. That’s truly, I think, what ended “the rock era.”
    But while the new music is largely soulless, and I mean LARGELY, young people are really digging the sounds from the rock era! And there’s so much of it. It makes sense to package it with great care: if you do, you’ll sell it.
    BMG-Sony is starting a major Elvis-push, supposed honoring the 75th anniversary of his birth throughout 2010, and that’s a good thing. I wasn’t going to buy the 4-CD set, but it’s really quite good, and the liner notes are fabulous. No Guralnick this time! And a fresh look.
    See, the Carter Family rarely “cooked up” material from a “blank slate”: they researched every song they came across and made each one their own. Yes, there were some originals, but it was the method of the “folk process” that they perfected early on. It was also said that Duke Ellington rarely, if ever, wrote totally “original” music, and for some time, when this was discovered, he was castigated. But people took the time to realize that he was pulling shards of sound from everywhere to be “the chef” to new “dishes” of music. And that may not be the “tin pan alley” way {although they took plenty from indigenous music: “Willow, Weep For Me” was first popularized by the Carter Family as “Willow, Will You Weep For Me,” and under other titles. Some tunesmiths writing for Frankie called it “Willow, Weep For Me,” and took credit, as far as I know. I now realize what happened in Paris in 1959: a Parisian musician was in the Lido, and he heard very bluesy piano coming from one of the lounges: he was certain it was a black American ex-patriot, of which there were quite a few then, in France. He liked it, and wanted to check out who it was. Before he entered, he heard a voice, a strangely familiar voice singing what he thought was Sinatra’s “Willow, Weep For Me.” He finally recognized the voice, and said to himself: “no way — it couldn’t be . . . he’s not that good a musician, or even singer . . . couldn’t.” Then he turned into the room, and there he was: it was Elvis Presley, on leave from Germany in the only big city outside of the States, that he would ever see, singing this “bluesy” version of this song. But the guy got it all wrong: it was not Sinatrs’s record he was doing, but the Carter Family’s. As they turned into the ’50s and ’60s, the “Family” had mastered a very bluesy and gospel-zed version of their work. They could really “get down” you might say. And that’s what he was singing. He toured with them in, I think, ’55. In fact, I’m sure. They made, years before, two DIFFERENT recordings of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” Most people think that he copied the Tin Pan Alley original, but now I’m not so sure.
    And this next one, well, for once Marcus got it correct: the Carters came up with the idea of the train that is 16 coaches long, and how the train will carry your baby “and gone.” “In Worried Man Blues,” which is very, very old. Other people have attributed it to “Storms on The Ocean” a song by many different names, wherein Guthrie changed the lryics to a train theme: “the longest train I ever saw is 100 coaches long.” It says this in a Seeger anthology, but guess what? Seeger sings “sixteen coaches long.” Clearly, he remembered “Worried Man Blues,” significantly older than Guthrie’s intervention with “Storms . . .” And, of course, I guess, the lyrics, which really do not fit the song at all – I mean, “Worried . . .” – must go back very far: perhaps to when people started writing about trains. So whatever “Parker-Burns” got up to {Burns is Phillips, of course} in coming up with “Mystery Train,” I find it hard to believe that 1) A Memphis blues singer would be enthralled with mountain music, and 2) that “Burns” ever deserved the credit he tended to give himself: it was a common practice for a producer to give the songwriting credit to the recording artist and then have no complaint in taking half for himself. It’s what Johnny Otis first tried to get away with on Thornton’s version of “Hound Dog.” Later, they SPLIT the credit, when actually, Otis did not produce the session, and Thornton did not want to sing the song as they forced her. She was thinking “torch ballad” and they wanted a fun song about a guy who was a “hound dog.” Silly sound effects and all. So, neither Otis nor Thornton deserved ANY writing credit, and still only gave back half. It was, as I said, a common pracice, but usually, the writer is not present, as they were. Phillips would often get his demo’s from WDIA, which made them in the back room after the show was down for the evening and night. Billy Emerson said that he and Elvis made demo’s there. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that the other major song with “Burns” and the first recording artist on it, was a song with an identical chord progression and structure [in Thomas’s version} to “Mystery Train.” I just wonder, that’s all. In 1968, during the five hours after Bobby Kennedy was shot, and Elvis talked about his life very freely, he mentioned “Tiger Man.” Those present have not revealed what he said about it. But a number of times in 1970, Elvis kept telling audiences that it was “the second thing I EVER recorded.” It was Elvis who grew up with people gathered around any available radio on Saturday nights and heard the Carter Family sing “Worried Man Blues” with, I’m certain, regularity. HE would know it better than Junior Parker, and Sam slapped his name on “Tiger Man” when the song was so simple, it didn’t NEED his name. “Mystery Train” was simply, too. I’m sure the title was Sam’s idea. It IS a “mystery,” after all, and he must have known that. Did he get a demo, back in ’53? Did he NEED a new demo of “Tiger Man” — revved up to an adolescent war cry, but, as it happened, with the same rhythm and structure of Elvis’s later “Mystery Train,” not Junior Parker’s. And therein lies the “mystery,” of course. It’s just three verses, the best one repeated, in EP’s version. I mean, if you look at the sense of it, if it wasn’t Elvis, then SOMEBODY was doing that identical rhythmic pattern in two different songs {not “Mystery Train,” but it’s flip side!}, in 1953. I said, in 1953! You see? I mean, either Elvis was copping Thomas’s “Tiger Man” for his “Mystery Train” {which is ridiculous, because the flip side of “Train” in ’53 has the riff}, or the songs came from the same source. I’ll be clear about this: the rhymic riff is virtually identical, so they came from the same source! It’s either Sam Phillips himself, or another source. And, as I said, Thomas had nothing to do with Elvis’s verison of “Mystery Train.” In fact, the take you hear was just a rehearsal: Sam came out all goggle-eyed and told them to just STOP! “That’s a f’ing masterpiece!” he yelped. Like I said, there had to be a common source, and “Burns” seemed surprised when Elvis gave it the treatment he did {the lyric inversion was also shocking, I’m sure}. If he was “surprised,” then I would guess he was not the source. He knew Elvis could swing a slow blues. But he revved this one up, to the point where it’s the same riff as “Tiger Man.” But in 1970, when he claimed the song, no one believed him. No one. So, he just quit saying it.
    He was easily defeated. But on that night in 1968, after watching one man steal another man’s life, Elvis talked about a song. His “life” wasn’t stolen, but the connection seems clesr. He talked about how he had become a target: everybody wanted to say they punched him, once his fame grew. The theme of the night remained the same. Jealousy and making yourself a “somebody” by taking something – a life, a song, whatever – from someone else. On that night, Elvis saw a person’s blood leak onto a concrete floor, so that another man could claim it, and be forever known. As an artist, what is your blood?
    After you hear the ’68 rhythmic conflagrations of, espcially the rehearsals, and then of the sit-down shows on electric guitar themselves, on visual, it is his own rhythms, the beat of his heart, that you hear most of all. Before that, though, he saw a man’s heart purged of the blood that gave it its purpose to beat. He saw the robbery of a “rhythm” and thought about all kinds of “rhythms” that people wanted from him: to punch him is rhythmic in nature, so it occurred to him, and “Tiger Man” came to mind.
    See, Jud Phillips, Sam’s brother, says that Elvis had been handing around the studio for a couple weeks PRIOP to high school graduation, prior to cutting “My Happiness,” and Phillips wanted him to leave. Jud agrees that Elvis was there the day Bragg and the Prisonnairres {sp?} made their first record, and Sam was fuming with anger. Johnny Bragg said that after the song was cut {with Joe Hill Louis adding a bit of guitar}, that Sam made some sort of “thank you” offer {Jud does not recall an “offer”} to “record.” Well, the only recording we know of is “My Happiness” and the other Ink Spots number, which Elvis saw as one record, which it was. Emerson said the demo’s at WDIA were cut in ’54, to make a quick 50 bucks, but he doesn’t say what: those demo’s would have gone straight to Sam {most other labels had left town: Texas was a key recording attraction for R&B indies}. These were not “vanity” records: they were records you cut to get paid, because the records were then sold to a recording company. In Memphis, at that time, Sun was really the only game in town. One of the Bihari’s told Elvis to “see Sam” because their operation was completely relocating to Texas. And almost all of the WDIA on-air personnel, plus those who performed on behalf of the station in parks by Beale, etc., were ALL Sun artists. So any demo’s went straight to Sam for a fee. The station made a little money that way. And so did struggling artists, needy for the 50 bucks. My guess is that he was not doing them just out of high school, before he made the vanity disc. It took time to really get to know the Sun artists, and Billy Emerson was closer in age than most. But Bragg remembers that Sam asked for his name, even after calling him “Presley” earlier, in a threatening tone. This time, Sam was polite: “what’s you’re name, Son?” That sort of thing. Later, many times, Elvis said that he went to Sun and “the guy took down my name and said he might call me some time.” In this version, no recording of any kind is mentioned. And he did NOT record that day. That sounds exactly like the “offer” Johnny talked about. Not exactly an “offer,” but it seemed like something. Meanwhile, Elvis’ parents’ 20th wedding anniversary was coming up, in ’53. In June. Altman, in his new liner notes, said that the record might have been cut as early as June: no one really knows. EP knew a kid who worked at a local pressing plant, and so he was able to make some copies. One ended up on a local jukebox: perhaps more did so. But most agree that it was no later than July. If it was June, and since he had been hanging around {even when the sign said “closed: session in progress”} for weeks, in June, not there to cut the vanity record, then, well, I don’t guess Sam ever did call him at that time, which is why he had to make the vanity disc. And in June, Rufus Thomas’s very different versionof “Tiger Man” was cut. If Marion was chatting him up, and he kept coming around, well, hell: he helped Johnny! Why not see if he could “help” Rufus, who was not an adolescent then, to juice up “Tiger Man” for the kids.
    All we know is that Rufus Thomas was in and out of the Sun Studios frequently in ’53, and so was Elvis, but Thomas made the outrageous claim to St. Peter that he didn’t know him until the ’56 Goodwill Review in Dec. ’56, which is absurd — just about impossible, in fact. The photos of the two of them do not look like two people who have just met: they are both wearing the Indian headress that was the “theme” of the Review that night,and both were smiling, almost laughing together, and they certainly looked like they knew each other well. Elvis was too shy to “clown around” with someone important he never met before, and that’s the stone truth. He was totally relaxed and having fun with Thomas. And pictures DO tell a story. No “how do you do”‘s. No introductory handshakes. He’s more formal with King, who was now a big star, and Elvis was very defferent towards him: “thanks for the early lessons you gave me,” Elvis told him, to King’s confusion. King forgot about the picture window at DIA: where any kid could listen to the radio as they watched you play guitar. Hence: lessons. But they are not “clowning” in their picture{s}; Thomas seems to be more of an old buddy. A real Memphian. {Hell, even I met him the first night I was in Memphis, by utter conicidence. He was in the hotel resturant with a statuesque blonde. As I said, I shook his hand and said “it’s an honor, sir.” He replied: “thank you, dear.” Now that’s someone you never met! But he sure was a Memphian.}
    I think you get my drift. The book goes deeper and is much more elegant, but you get my drift.
    Also, it tells me that Bob Dylan is doing in the light of day what a lot of people have done in darkness.
    Music cannot be pinned down to one or another writer so easily. Oh, legally, perhaps, but the depth of the REAL robberies that have taken place is impossible to calculate. You don’t announce a robbery.
    I can say more, but yeah, you wuz robbed. We ALL were: maybe this is what Bob is trying to say. You never know.

  54. RM Says:

    Hey, maybe it should have been “It Takes a Lot to Cry/It Takes a Train to Laugh”!

    Huh? Ya think?
    P.S. Maybe it is really too late at night: I’m free associating!

  55. RM Says:

    Oh, there’s been rumors I didn’t even know about, for a LONG time, that Bob and Elvis DID actually record together, although clearly not officially {that would have been impossible, obviously} in May, 1971, when Bob’s record contract troubles had begun, and just before he hopped a plane for Israel for his 30th birthday. People have been denying it as “improbable” but NO ONE has said it’s either impossible, or outright denied it. There’s a songlist. Michael Gray and John Bauldie put in under hard covers in “Telegraph” — the first version you can’t get anymore, interestingly enough. It came from an Elvis fan source: people who area damn serious about their research: that, you can bet. And no imagination could be THAT fertile! And they say they knocked off one song in ’72, but that’s when it all collapsed. {This would explain why, in the rockumentary, “Elvis On Tour” they inexplicably “recreated” a recording session that had been done just the day before . . . I have NEVER understood that because those guys never “cheated” on that film: this would explain it. Also, we know that Bob was out front in NYC in ’72 in the Garden concerts. I believe, at that time, he COULD be out front, because they both knew it was just all over: this attempt. Even if tracks were laid down {and I saw no “new” songs, I don’t think, but it seemed like a long jam: Bob would have the tapes, if they exist, of course, because Elvis wasn’t permitted his own tapes, masters, or anything}, I cannot imagine any way they could have come out. But it would explain A LOT. Those “Christmas Sessions” where they were decorating the studio to get him “in the mood” to do something he absolutely didn’t want to do, well, that’s when it is said to have taken place: during the “decorating” phase, when Elvis was bitching about the whole damn thing. It would also explain all the “contemporary folk” material at that session, which perplexes a lot of people, still. And the almost 15 minutes of “Don’t Think Twice,” which they have NEVER put out in its complete form: even the bootlegs are all cut up. I think I’ve heard most of it, but perhaps we missed the most important part: perhaps just a line, a word, whatever . . . I mean, why not release it now? Why only a few minutes? Even less than ever before? And then you have the sublime choruses of “I Shall Be Released,” and Elvis’s “judges’ gavel”: “Dylan!” at its end. All at those sessions. Yeah, it could have been just one night, at the outset, when they were “decorating” — and this is absolutely true: he was so upset about the X-mas album, Felton was desperate, so he commenced to decorate. Except for the birthday trip at the very end of the month, Dylan was free at the time. Also, in ’72, he was also free, and then he signed again.
    But, Bob, you got the wrong “Elvis.” And from things like “Born In Time,” he knows it. “I took you close and got what I deserved.” Whoa! See, the drugs were going out of control by the end of ’70, and if he’d have gone to the L.A. Forum concert in ’70, I think Dylan would have given up entirely: EP was goin’ nuts. In between, he made his caped crusade to Washington for The Badge which still haunts his reputation because people have no sense at all, and they also think that Elvis was incapable of lying his ass off to get what he wanted, which is ridiculous. Dylan, at least, knew that, and wouldn’t have cared, anyhow. But it sure explains a lot. Especially when he says: “you went blank.” That would be ’72. Bob, the firelight was NOT gleaming at that time, or even in ’71, even though he “looked” reasonably ok. He was starting to get heavy into Qualuudes, and also to take testosterone because he wanted way more chest hair. Just ridiculous, but right then, his body began to just disintegrate. It should have been so obvious, but none of the critics wanted to see it. He was not the same guy as early August ’70. And that was the guy who made that “harmonica man” gesture toward the darkness of the stage wings. The summer previous to that would have been GREAT, and maybe even Elvis would have stood up to the powers-that-were/are and really do what he wanted to do. But in ’71, it was just too late. Despite the “folk” numbers, the Dylan plug with the lovely choruses, etc., etc., it was just too late. Yeah, it would have been hard to understand for someone who just, well, didn’t understand . . . but the firelight was no longer “gleaming.” That paternity suit thing started Elvis on a paranoid frenzy that caused him to plainly go insane. How could Bob know? He remembers the guy he saw during the “comeback” and why would he change so quickly? But that’s exactly what happened. In fact, that is the time, when he went wacko on stage at the L.A. Forum, that his dad should have just used the legal power he had, with Priscilla’s consent {and she certainly would have agreed by that time}, and locked his ass up. ’73 was too late, and he didn’t do it, anyway. He did scare and shame him with the methadone, but that was not good enough. ’70 would have been the right time. And if Bob has these tapes amongst the mounds of junk in Malibu, I’m not sure he has something all that great. Because the light went out, already, but he didn’t know it. He knows it now, and feels used, I guess, if you listen to the songs. Oh, by the way, “Under the Red Sky” is a REALLY weird title! But all you have to do is listen to the actual song “Fun In Acapulco,” and you’ll hear “the sky’s turning red, and you’re still in bed.” Don’t ask me what the hell that was supposed to mean: maybe the songwriters were doing acid by that time, I dunno. But there it is.
    “If Not For You” might have been the song from ’72, but I gotta go back and look. Hey, this was re-quoted by the guy who made the film “I’m Not There.” And by the way, that was one of the Basement songs about the absent “king.” As I said, the subtitle was {1956}, just so you’d be clear.
    Look, a lot of Bob’s idols died, but only one, really, was “Born In Time” for them to work together, to become peers. And why would anyone have “a nervous breakdown” over someone they never met???????? I mean, even the fans were devastated, but Bob went further and had a “breakdown.” And from the song lyrics, you can feel his survivor guilt. Unlike your typical cheesy songwriters, he virtually never mentions his name {not even in Gypsy, which a writer, in the 21st century, gave him a clear shot to deny, but he did not. He sort of waved it off, but he refused to deny it.} I think Douglas Brinkley, the Rolling Stone writer of the piece where, after all these years, he supposedly denies meeting him {hell, Ringo Starr said he couldn’t avoid “bumping into Elvis”!! So, Bob would have had to work at it! Elvis was literally everywhere in the few years prior to his death: you would “bump into him” quite a bit if you were in the States, and in the business}, I think Brinkley misunderstood: Dylan was referring particularly to a time period: the mid-sixties {and, of course, before the motorpsycho accident}. Dylan says: “he didn’t really come back until, what is was? 1968?” As if he didn’t know! In “Born In Time,” he sings “just when I was ready to receive ya.” Which is silly, ’cause he kept calling the house in the mid sixties! He was ready for a long time. I think all he got were weird phone calls. During those years, pay phones were often used! There was a dragnet out because of Jay Sebring’s drug ring. Elvis was, without question, a customer. No one will deny that. In ’69, after the Manson murders, the dragnet ended, because Sebring was killed. And that’s when MY OWN sources report actually witnessing the meeting chronicled in “Gypsy.” Also, Elvis made a strange trip to Dallas. I know that Ronnie Tutt is from there, but so what? Perhaps, he wanted to introduce Ronnie, who was a spectacular drummer: just fantastic, really: especially in 1969, when he had a LOT to keep up with. One night, the midnight show of the 22nd, after the infamous “keep in cleaner” “memo” from Parker, Elvis channeled his rage into the music, and WOW! Near the end, a guy offered him a joint: a guy from the audience. Elvis just said “oh, smoke.” I don’t have video, but I’ll tell ya: he started to explode onstage! After that. And somehow, Tutt kept up. Amazing. Bob was just getting his feet wet performing again, and Helm was with “The Band” now, and so, maybe he figured that if the timing was right, Ronnie could get some extra work . . . strange trip to Dallas.
    But my own sources: just teens then who actually saw and heard them, almost exactly as described in the song: except that Bob “snipped” many hours in between the dark of night, and “nearly early dawn.” He had the clear shot to deny the song, but he did not. Because it’s true, and that’s that.
    Funny, though: in the time it took to chronicle that initial meeting, Elvis went from sublime to destroyed. That’s how quick it happened. So I guess if felt like “just when the firelight was gleaming.” {Any similarities to The National Anthem would not be coincidental, by the way.} I guess he wanted to trap some lighting in a bottle, but he should have known it was impossible. Bob has always had a lot of control over bootlegs, despite his whining. This is something, though, that I think he has controlled as much as he controlled “Goin’ To Acapulco” which, as Marcus said, “was never even a rumor.” That’s because Bob controlled the whole damn process. And continued to do so. I don’t think we’ll ever hear those tapes: or maybe, like “Eat the Document,” he might have destroyed them by now {but, if so, where did those fans get a set list?}. But, I said, “by now.” Bob likes to play games like this. What if, after he made that quote in RS, and then these tapes emerged on a bootleg?! That would be a scream. Bob has never minded being tagged as either a liar or a thief. Why? I dunno. Psychopathology, I guess. Maybe he was preparing a “surprise.” We’ll find out, eventually, because 2010 is going to be a BIG Elvis year, what with the “anniversary” thing and all. I wouldn’t put it past him. I think he’d want to kick up a fuss. He’d want to be PART OF IT! I dunno. We’ll see.

  56. RM Says:

    Hmmm. No replies just yet. Either you’re wanting some self-analysis on my part, which is probably what I’m doing, as all writers do, anyway, or do you REALLY feel “I wuz robbed”? Nah, that’s silly. See, this is the business from the beginning. If you’re mad at Dylan, then be REALLY mad at A.P. Carter and Duke Ellington, both. Elvis was one of the few who denied his own creativity: “I’ve never written a song in my life,” he lied in 1956. Why lied? Well, because it was a lie: if you’ve heard “My Baby’s Gone,” just for one, you know he “wrote a song.” Most of the Sun tracks that have any real meaning were completely revamped, by Elvis. Sam always seemed to be rushing out of the control booth, goggle-eyed and in a kind of shock. He’d change lyrics as the spirit moved him, or just augmented what he remembered, almost always tossed the melody, if even there WAS a melody to certain of those obscure songs. {“Mystery Train” may have been “a hit,” but its lineage is literally as old as the hills. I explained this earlier, but it bears repeating. It was simply taking the “train verse” from “Storms Upon The Ocean” and soon, “Worried Man Blues,” both of which the Carters popularized, esp. on the Opry when Elvis was little, and yanking it out of the older folk songs and making the verse the main attraction. And, supposedly, you can never beat a train. But this kid DID. He won! He got the girl: this had never happened before in the history of these lines in American music. The new liner note writer on the new set says it’s really a “tone poem,” that has “uneven meters” so you don’t know WHAT to expect after he howls “Train, Train!” After that, a listener is not cued as to what to expect musically. Nor was Scotty, but he just got into it, followed Elvis’s acoustic guitar which drove the piece, and came up with a break that went deeper into his OWN soul than he ever could have imagined. They were flyin’ blind with this old image from old folk songs that Phillips ripped for “a blues.” Yeah, a blues that was totally non-original until Elvis did the unthinkable: he beat a train.
    As for Heartbreak Hotel, it started out as a hillbilly song on Jacksonville radio. Just now, they’ve found a demo! Guralnick never even mentions the “demo” because Mae Axton, telling one of her many stories of the song, says she felt “this song needs a beat.” Well, it was not just given “a beat,” but totally transformed, just like “My Baby’s Gone” into a blues. Tommy Durden said that the tempo and LYRICS were changed so much that when he saw it on TV, he didn’t recognize his song. He accused her of taking credit for nothing, in 1982, but that he just wanted the song published, somehow. Later, he went along with the “demo” story, even embellishing: “Elvis even breathed in the same places as Glenn Reeves,” as though he were always familiar with “the demo” from Reeves. If so, then why 1} did Mae Axton think SHE had to give the song “a beat”? and 2} What exactly was she doing in that control booth in Nashville the day Elvis cut the song. Oh, and 3} she claims that Reeves did the demo on the fly, when it’s very clear that it was NOT cut in someone’s living room! Also, of course, you have the many folks from Jacksonville who remember Tommy’s hillbilly song for “years” before! Just as he said in ’82. You have to wonder if that tale about the “real” man who supposedly commited suicide in Miami {Miami? Why was the Jacksonville DJ reading the Herald?} after getting rid of ALL of his ID. That would be handy, would it not. And no family member has EVER stepped up to claim this man. Who is “famous.” But, if Tommy had been singing the song “for years,” then perhaps there was no “lonely, dead man.”
    She also claims that his parents had never seen so much water before as he saw in Florida, and was gonna take them to Jacksonville with the money from “his songwriting check.” She actually says he got a check! Since his name was never in BMI, that’s impossible. Also, the contract he signed was post-dated to fit the Col.’s date for picking up the option from Sun for RCA.
    Look, bad things go on in that industry, and always have: WAY worse things that Bob collecting copywrights. I know its meaningless because if it’s retitled, he’s out. He copywrited Elvis’s version of “That’s All Right Mama” but no one credits him. So far. I always thought it was the truly right thing to do. Just because Crudup was poor and ripped off by his manager doesn’t mean that Elvis didn’t deserve to have HIS song properly codified so that people could see the difference with there own eyes. And Bob did that. {I think Joannie may have taught him to read and write music, I dunno. Or he had someone do it for him: but he was very, very specific that about the details: especially the new melody [Crudup’s sounds like Morse Code], a real chord progression with Elvis’s unusual “pick ‘n’ strum” style that starts out with the bell-like ringing guitar that opens and closes the songs, and then uses the upper strings in the middle of the song . . . and in the lyrics, he includes special musical notations, and exclamation points. Plus “any way you WANNA do!” It not only inspired “It’s All Right, Ma” but more importantly, “Like A Rolling Stone.” It’s a young person saying that he’s leavin town, and “any way you wanna do!” In other words, “Mama” can scream and yell and pout, but he’s leavin’ for the road. Which happened for both of them, if differently.}
    Yeah, it started out as a “hillbilly song,” but it became a blues with a “cool jazz” sensibility and a pop sheen. No matter what, Axton couldn’t get Reeve’s demo to sound like THAT! And if it all happened that day, well, why didn’t Durden know anything about it? Why didn’t he recognize the song? In the book, he claims the newspaper article gave him the idea to come up with a “blues song,” which is just not true. People in Jacksonville will tell you. Not enough people are quite old enough yet to disappear. Thank goodness.
    But, you’ll notice: Elvis didn’t do “Hotel” for several Dorsey shows, to RCA’s consternation. He kicked it off with, on January 28, two days BEFORE recording it himself, “Blue Suede Shoes.” That doesn’t sound like someone who said he didn’t want to do the song because “that’s my friend.” And, of course, Perkins’ probably last words on the matter were “here’s OUR song, King,” pointing skyward. In Memphis, no less.
    Hell, who else could get all excited about a pair of cool bucks but a Beale St. Dandy who lived for Lansky’s? I mean, “Dixie Fried” is Perkins’ masterpiece: “it’s almost dawn, and the copy are gone, and let’s all get Dixie Fried.” It’s not rockabilly at all: it’s pure Hillbilly. Or country and western: whatever. “Matchbox” is a well-known blues, and Perkins didn’t write it. That’s just a plain fact. I think his name is on it, but I’d have to check. If it is, he had a lot of nerve.

    Just recently, that really ugly book “Writing For the King” claimed that without this stable of HillandRange writers, Elvis “would still be driving a truck.” Which ignores his entire Sun output! And doesn’t even care that Stan Kesler himself says he prefers Elvis’s song over his own: “I’m Left . . .” or whatever it’s called. Elvis, a typical adolescent still doesn’t understand “on the rebound” and the listener feels for the young bluesman who’s cruisin for a bruisin.’ {In ’56, most especially, but throughout almost his Elvis’s life: each one had a song-plugger who was assigned a number of writers to “plug” for: Elvis may or may not have known that his name was NEVER entered into BMI – ASCAP wasn’t an issue for him, really, at the time – but he sure didn’t have his own “plugger.” Just the Col.’s pushing the publishers to tack Elvis’s name on songs. Of course, the money would go back to the publishers, which makes Parker the plugger! Guess he deserved SOMETHING for his troubles, ya think? For two Blackwell songs, and by-and-large, the “Love Me Tender” soundtrack, Col. got what he wanted {oddly, the title tune was done by Elvis ALONE, and almost two months earlier than the backing tracks for the other three silly songs that were quickly added on} So, “Ken Darby” is respected, even though he used his wife’s name on the tracks, and they tacked on Elvis’s name on at least those three that came with backing tracks already finished, so Elvis could not produce, or arrange the tracks. And, thus, get NO credit at all. Elvis, thus, never even met the Ken Darby trio that he supposedly recorded “with.” After “All Shook Up,” his name was NEVER put on a song that he didn’t either write, co-write, or arrange. He wrote an instrumental that’s no conveniently out-of-print, called “I Didn’t Make On Playin’ Guitar”: a fully realized tune, complete with a turn-around, and what Elvis wanted to be a “surprise” ending to a song he composed on GUITAR! He got his bitterness out in strange ways. It was NOT on the contry album, of course. They would have to give him true writer’s credit! And no plugger would get paid. In one posthumous recent collection, he’s given sole writer’s credit for the folk song “I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago,” and it’s probably appropriate. On the original album, it is unclear WHO wrote it. It may have originated with Guthrie, but again, it may have deeper, older roots than that. Remember, Guthrie was 55 when he died. By the thirties, he would have been quite young. Very young. Certainly old enough to do a lot, but not near as old as A.P. Carter. Maybe he was a bit older, but he read about the dustbowl in Steinbeck, and he had his children in the early 40s, I believe. He started his public career in the late ’30s, this means he missed the boat compared to A.P. Carter. By around 10 years! The songs Guthrie picked up, and many of the Lomaxes, etc. were already picked up and rearranged by the Carters. Now, they were not pro “folk collectors,” ’cause they WERE “the folk.” This was THEIR music, and it came from everywhere: black and white and Scotish ballads, and all of that. Sure, Woody did a lot, but not near as much as the Carter Family, and especially A.P. — their work started in ’27, and they were recorded first, I think, in 1930. The elder Carters say they grew up with many of the songs. Woody did not: he travelled with the “Okies” and got his start from there. He didn’t even get on the radio, let alone recorded until “the late ’30s.”
    Mainly, though, it was not “electrified” music of the 40s, especially post-war, but not all of it, when played live. Which happened in the forties along Highway 61 from New Orleans to Memphis to Chicago, with bypasses to NYC, Baltimore, and L.A., principally. The “country” or “deep” blues from the Delta, were simply “plugged in,” sometimes to a tiny, simple amplifier, like Crudup’s electric banjo, which a very young Elvis remembered, still very young in ’56, as “his box.” I think that even at 21, he probably had no idea why that man was play a round, white guitar with five strings! Because that’s his boyhood memory, and that’s how he still saw it. Later on, he learned how to put a “pick-up” on his acoustic, and with the steel strings, it would burst out of an amplifier. Early on, he didn’t know these things: he just played so hard, his fingers bled.
    As to the Basement songs, you can see watered down versions of them on “Harding.” “Wheel” became the more tepid “Landlord.” “Tears” turned into “St. Augustine,” with the tears of RAGE left out. Now, the strange figure is A SAINT, who Bob felt guilty about, because “I was amonsgst the ones who put him out to death.” Lots of people think its Guthrie, but wait a minute: “with a blanket underneath his arm {ok . . .}, and

  57. RM Says:

    Hmmm. No replies just yet. Either you’re wanting some self-analysis on my part, which is probably what I’m doing, as all writers do, anyway, or do you REALLY feel “I wuz robbed”? Nah, that’s silly. See, this is the business from the beginning. If you’re mad at Dylan, then be REALLY mad at A.P. Carter and Duke Ellington, both. Elvis was one of the few who denied his own creativity: “I’ve never written a song in my life,” he lied in 1956. Why lied? Well, because it was a lie: if you’ve heard “My Baby’s Gone,” just for one, you know he “wrote a song.” Most of the Sun tracks that have any real meaning were completely revamped, by Elvis. Sam always seemed to be rushing out of the control booth, goggle-eyed and in a kind of shock. He’d change lyrics as the spirit moved him, or just augmented what he remembered, almost always tossed the melody, if even there WAS a melody to certain of those obscure songs. {“Mystery Train” may have been “a hit,” but its lineage is literally as old as the hills. I explained this earlier, but it bears repeating. It was simply taking the “train verse” from “Storms Upon The Ocean” and soon, “Worried Man Blues,” both of which the Carters popularized, esp. on the Opry when Elvis was little, and yanking it out of the older folk songs and making the verse the main attraction. And, supposedly, you can never beat a train. But this kid DID. He won! He got the girl: this had never happened before in the history of these lines in American music. The new liner note writer on the new set says it’s really a “tone poem,” that has “uneven meters” so you don’t know WHAT to expect after he howls “Train, Train!” After that, a listener is not cued as to what to expect musically. Nor was Scotty, but he just got into it, followed Elvis’s acoustic guitar which drove the piece, and came up with a break that went deeper into his OWN soul than he ever could have imagined. They were flyin’ blind with this old image from old folk songs that Phillips ripped for “a blues.” Yeah, a blues that was totally non-original until Elvis did the unthinkable: he beat a train.
    As for Heartbreak Hotel, it started out as a hillbilly song on Jacksonville radio. Just now, they’ve found a demo! Guralnick never even mentions the “demo” because Mae Axton, telling one of her many stories of the song, says she felt “this song needs a beat.” Well, it was not just given “a beat,” but totally transformed, just like “My Baby’s Gone” into a blues. Tommy Durden said that the tempo and LYRICS were changed so much that when he saw it on TV, he didn’t recognize his song. He accused her of taking credit for nothing, in 1982, but that he just wanted the song published, somehow. Later, he went along with the “demo” story, even embellishing: “Elvis even breathed in the same places as Glenn Reeves,” as though he were always familiar with “the demo” from Reeves. If so, then why 1} did Mae Axton think SHE had to give the song “a beat”? and 2} What exactly was she doing in that control booth in Nashville the day Elvis cut the song. Oh, and 3} she claims that Reeves did the demo on the fly, when it’s very clear that it was NOT cut in someone’s living room! Also, of course, you have the many folks from Jacksonville who remember Tommy’s hillbilly song for “years” before! Just as he said in ’82. You have to wonder if that tale about the “real” man who supposedly commited suicide in Miami {Miami? Why was the Jacksonville DJ reading the Herald?} after getting rid of ALL of his ID. That would be handy, would it not. And no family member has EVER stepped up to claim this man. Who is “famous.” But, if Tommy had been singing the song “for years,” then perhaps there was no “lonely, dead man.”
    She also claims that his parents had never seen so much water before as he saw in Florida, and was gonna take them to Jacksonville with the money from “his songwriting check.” She actually says he got a check! Since his name was never in BMI, that’s impossible. Also, the contract he signed was post-dated to fit the Col.’s date for picking up the option from Sun for RCA.
    Look, bad things go on in that industry, and always have: WAY worse things that Bob collecting copywrights. I know its meaningless because if it’s retitled, he’s out. He copywrited Elvis’s version of “That’s All Right Mama” but no one credits him. So far. I always thought it was the truly right thing to do. Just because Crudup was poor and ripped off by his manager doesn’t mean that Elvis didn’t deserve to have HIS song properly codified so that people could see the difference with there own eyes. And Bob did that. {I think Joannie may have taught him to read and write music, I dunno. Or he had someone do it for him: but he was very, very specific that about the details: especially the new melody [Crudup’s sounds like Morse Code], a real chord progression with Elvis’s unusual “pick ‘n’ strum” style that starts out with the bell-like ringing guitar that opens and closes the songs, and then uses the upper strings in the middle of the song . . . and in the lyrics, he includes special musical notations, and exclamation points. Plus “any way you WANNA do!” It not only inspired “It’s All Right, Ma” but more importantly, “Like A Rolling Stone.” It’s a young person saying that he’s leavin town, and “any way you wanna do!” In other words, “Mama” can scream and yell and pout, but he’s leavin’ for the road. Which happened for both of them, if differently.}
    Yeah, it started out as a “hillbilly song,” but it became a blues with a “cool jazz” sensibility and a pop sheen. No matter what, Axton couldn’t get Reeve’s demo to sound like THAT! And if it all happened that day, well, why didn’t Durden know anything about it? Why didn’t he recognize the song? In the book, he claims the newspaper article gave him the idea to come up with a “blues song,” which is just not true. People in Jacksonville will tell you. Not enough people are quite old enough yet to disappear. Thank goodness.
    But, you’ll notice: Elvis didn’t do “Hotel” for several Dorsey shows, to RCA’s consternation. He kicked it off with, on January 28, two days BEFORE recording it himself, “Blue Suede Shoes.” That doesn’t sound like someone who said he didn’t want to do the song because “that’s my friend.” And, of course, Perkins’ probably last words on the matter were “here’s OUR song, King,” pointing skyward. In Memphis, no less.
    Hell, who else could get all excited about a pair of cool bucks but a Beale St. Dandy who lived for Lansky’s? I mean, “Dixie Fried” is Perkins’ masterpiece: “it’s almost dawn, and the copy are gone, and let’s all get Dixie Fried.” It’s not rockabilly at all: it’s pure Hillbilly. Or country and western: whatever. “Matchbox” is a well-known blues, and Perkins didn’t write it. That’s just a plain fact. I think his name is on it, but I’d have to check. If it is, he had a lot of nerve.

    Just recently, that really ugly book “Writing For the King” claimed that without this stable of HillandRange writers, Elvis “would still be driving a truck.” Which ignores his entire Sun output! And doesn’t even care that Stan Kesler himself says he prefers Elvis’s song over his own: “I’m Left . . .” or whatever it’s called. Elvis, a typical adolescent still doesn’t understand “on the rebound” and the listener feels for the young bluesman who’s cruisin for a bruisin.’ {In ’56, most especially, but throughout almost his Elvis’s life: each one had a song-plugger who was assigned a number of writers to “plug” for: Elvis may or may not have known that his name was NEVER entered into BMI – ASCAP wasn’t an issue for him, really, at the time – but he sure didn’t have his own “plugger.” Just the Col.’s pushing the publishers to tack Elvis’s name on songs. Of course, the money would go back to the publishers, which makes Parker the plugger! Guess he deserved SOMETHING for his troubles, ya think? For two Blackwell songs, and by-and-large, the “Love Me Tender” soundtrack, Col. got what he wanted {oddly, the title tune was done by Elvis ALONE, and almost two months earlier than the backing tracks for the other three silly songs that were quickly added on} So, “Ken Darby” is respected, even though he used his wife’s name on the tracks, and they tacked on Elvis’s name on at least those three that came with backing tracks already finished, so Elvis could not produce, or arrange the tracks. And, thus, get NO credit at all. Elvis, thus, never even met the Ken Darby trio that he supposedly recorded “with.” After “All Shook Up,” his name was NEVER put on a song that he didn’t either write, co-write, or arrange. He wrote an instrumental that’s no conveniently out-of-print, called “I Didn’t Make On Playin’ Guitar”: a fully realized tune, complete with a turn-around, and what Elvis wanted to be a “surprise” ending to a song he composed on GUITAR! He got his bitterness out in strange ways. It was NOT on the contry album, of course. They would have to give him true writer’s credit! And no plugger would get paid. In one posthumous recent collection, he’s given sole writer’s credit for the folk song “I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago,” and it’s probably appropriate. On the original album, it is unclear WHO wrote it. It may have originated with Guthrie, but again, it may have deeper, older roots than that. Remember, Guthrie was 55 when he died. By the thirties, he would have been quite young. Very young. Certainly old enough to do a lot, but not near as old as A.P. Carter. Maybe he was a bit older, but he read about the dustbowl in Steinbeck, and he had his children in the early 40s, I believe. He started his public career in the late ’30s, this means he missed the boat compared to A.P. Carter. By around 10 years! The songs Guthrie picked up, and many of the Lomaxes, etc. were already picked up and rearranged by the Carters. Now, they were not pro “folk collectors,” ’cause they WERE “the folk.” This was THEIR music, and it came from everywhere: black and white and Scotish ballads, and all of that. Sure, Woody did a lot, but not near as much as the Carter Family, and especially A.P. — their work started in ’27, and they were recorded first, I think, in 1930. The elder Carters say they grew up with many of the songs. Woody did not: he travelled with the “Okies” and got his start from there. He didn’t even get on the radio, let alone recorded until “the late ’30s.”
    Mainly, though, it was not “electrified” music of the 40s, especially post-war, but not all of it, when played live. Which happened in the forties along Highway 61 from New Orleans to Memphis to Chicago, with bypasses to NYC, Baltimore, and L.A., principally. The “country” or “deep” blues from the Delta, were simply “plugged in,” sometimes to a tiny, simple amplifier, like Crudup’s electric banjo, which a very young Elvis remembered, still very young in ’56, as “his box.” I think that even at 21, he probably had no idea why that man was play a round, white guitar with five strings! Because that’s his boyhood memory, and that’s how he still saw it. Later on, he learned how to put a “pick-up” on his acoustic, and with the steel strings, it would burst out of an amplifier. Early on, he didn’t know these things: he just played so hard, his fingers bled.
    As to the Basement songs, you can see watered down versions of them on “Harding.” “Wheel” became the more tepid “Landlord.” “Tears” turned into “St. Augustine,” with the tears of RAGE left out. Now, the strange figure is A SAINT, who Bob felt guilty about, because “I was amonsgst the ones who put him out to death.” Lots of people think its Guthrie, but wait a minute: “with a blanket underneath his arm {ok . . .}, and A COAT OF SOLID GOLD.” Whoa! I don’t think Woody ever wore one of those, or aspire to do so. In “Tears,” it’s different: “the heart was filled with gold, as if it were a purse.” And there’s no “guilt,” just sorrow and ANGER. He leaves out the anger! And “Acapulco” was buried completely until the legal release in ’75, when it had no meaning. If that had come out, even on a bootleg, in 1968, well, Bob didn’t want to have to deal with THAT! You don’t want the wrath of The Colnel on your head, even if you can claim that it’s a bootleg, and you had “no control,” etc. So, he wrote about this oddball Saint, wearing a coat of solid gold. It’s almost as if the song doesn’t quite hold together, not once you’ve heard “Tears of Rage.”
    And the accusation heard in “This Wheel’s On Fire” is NOT something that Dylan would want to have to deal with, personally or legally, concerning his own manager. He told everyone he’d fired him. Another lie. When Ray Connelly called NY from Vegas, Bob got on the line! Absolutely breathless about “did he do “That’s All Right Mama,” did he do “Mystery Train”?????? See, Bob KNEW these were REAL FOLK SONGS: more real than maybe anything he’d come across himself. They came from the real soul of the country: not the plastic “America” of the post-war suburban era, but from an older, harder, sadder place. And this kid: this pimply teenager from the projects and worse, took them and sang them with a raging fire that tore apart popular music and culture. Changed history, too, in the bargain. Dylan KNEW HE didn’t do that, and I think that’s why he wanted to get away from this “conscience of a generation” thing, because he knew it was bullshit. “Why must I always be the one to be the thief?” He sounds like he’s crying, because he liked to steal material things, but to steal someone’s rightful place because that person felt he “was just like anyone else when it comes to scratching for my meat.” And Dylan KNEW that’s how the “Gypsy” saw it at the time. “A wicked life, I know,” as any Times Square Hustler would admit, and which Dylan undoubtedly was {he looked so damn young: and it was such an easy way to make a living! At least for a while, until he hit the subway, and left his travelling companion alone and without a way to make a living, and found out the guy was a junkie by ’66: hell, so was Bob, but Bob got better: the poor soul he left behind did not}. So, he gives in: the Acapulco dude knows he’s miserable, but along the way, he did a “childish thing” {like Bob!}, and was now trapped. I think Bob was thinking of that Frank Sinatra special. I have the tape, and its enough to make you vomit, really. You can bet he watched it!! And said to himself “it’s really just a childish thing to do” this becoming an all-around entertainer. He, himself, had done childish things he regretted. But he felt like a promise had been made back in 1956, ON INDEPENDENCE DAY {get the newest Wertheimer book!}, and I truly believe Levon Helm was in the audience, because the quote differs slightly, and I think Levoln might have been going from memory! He lived right there: in Arkansas! You think he wasn’t at the concert?!?!!!!!!! No way.
    It didn’t come from the newspapers, all of it: some of it came from Helm, who undoubtedly was there. And Bob was now treated as a kind of “king of rock” and the Beatles were soon to have troubles {though he didn’t know it yet}. Interesting that “the Beatles” – no names -“called” the Burbank set where Elvis was doing the special! How would they know? Somebody sure as hell talked out of turn! And that’s precisely when the group started to splinter. They were somehow getting reports. Lamar was there, and he had lots of biz contacts. You just don’t don’t know. But Lamar kind of had a direct line to Dylan and friends, didn’t he? And HE could chat up the Beatles any time. The jig was up when they called, and EP knew it: he HAD to be better than all of them! There was no choice: either he would blow them all off the stage, which he did, or he’d fail. He didn’t need the “congratualatory” call, which was really “break both legs.” And he knew that well enough. I mean, he wasn’t jealous of them: really, he wasn’t, and I’ve got the proof of that. But they were after him from the start. The mocked him {Ringo’s “wriggling” at one of the first press conferences in the States}, and some kids held up a sign that they ALWAYS show: “Elvis is Dead: Long Live The Beatles.” THEY were the “jealous” ones, eager to fill the vacuum left by the guy who went off to Acapulco to “have fun” or throw up, or whatever. “I would get violently ill,” Elvis later said of the movie period.
    And then to see them purposefully trying to rub his nose in it all . . . that had to hurt. But still, he told Larry: “they’re a good bunch of boys. I actually like Lennon best,” which surprised Larry, because Lennon was being a bit snotty and demanding. But he told Larry, and everyone that he would not be accepting their offer to drop by. “I’ve done my duty.” Perhaps if they had not made fun of him, or involved him in any way, and if the meeting was NOT a manager-driven publicity stunt, well, maybe things would have been different. Still, in ’69, when he saw the telegram from “the Beatles and Mal,” he kind of melted. Connelly said he seemed surprised and truly touched: he especially was fond of “Mal.”
    See, he loved Monty Python, so he dug the Beatles’ films, and said “he was the guy swimming in Help, right? Yeah, I like Mal.” He remembered the DETAILS of the films, and Lennon later said he was surprised at Elvis’s dry wit and his wry sense of humor. And they both spoke of Peter Sellers after Paul cooled things off with “I Feel Fine.” That was very close to Elvis’s heart. He LOVED Peter Sellers, and Dr. Stranglove most of all.
    I think he identified with the Brit who has to SAVE THE WHOLE WORLD BY CONTACTING THE U.S. PRESIDENT!
    Yup, it’s right there in the film.
    I hope I get “hits” to the site here, because I believe I’ll be softening people up for what is to come.
    Look, E.P.E. — the corporate entity that is Elvis, today, may not like the details of the book, but it’s all corraborated, or it’s not in there, and my purpose is to rescue his reputation from those who think him stupid and “out of touch” when he certainly was not. Dylan knows this, clearly, but many ordinary people do not. They love to call him a “simple good ole boy” and that gets my blood boiling. I’ll bet it does Lisa’s too! What does “simple” mean but dumb? And what does “good ole boy” mean but our memories of Billy Carter pissing on an airport tarmac!!!!!!!! I mean, this was not who this man was! He was complex, and as he said, he had “a hard way to go.” And he did. And the miseries never stopped. It’s easy to make “promises” when you’re “made of dreams” but then you “grow up” — sometimes you grow up in a single instant: like when that phone rang from the hospital at 3:30 AM, August 14, 1958.
    After that, everything: EVERYTHING changed. The army was bad enough, but he was trapped, and he knew he wasn’t alone: lots of poor boys are trapped thusly. If he had gone to college, he would have slipped off the rolls. No doubt at all. They didn’t draft G.K. And they didn’t draft Dylan! But they did draft Ali! It wasn’t race: it was simply that poor folks got drafted.
    That was bad enough, but his mother’s reaction was the biggest thing. And then her quick death.
    Dylan, of course, could not relate. He really had no parents, as far as he was concerned. What can you say? That’s how he felt. So, he could not know what happened.
    It’s sad. I mean, for Bob, in a way. He never had that to lose. I don’t mean to make you sad, ’cause your situation was different. Bob HAD two parents, but there was no actual relationship, to speak of. And he’d be the first to tell you.
    How could he understand? Maybe he cried Tears of Rage for what he missed. I don’t know. It was seemingly THERE, but not there.
    Robbed or not, more work to do.

  58. RM Says:

    Arrrggghhhh!!!!!! They did it again! You just past the cursor NEAR the damn button, and it posts an incomplete post, and you can’t stop it, and I guess you can’t clean it up by taking away the initial incomplete post.
    Damned frustrating system, dontcha think? Sorry, again, for the inconvenience.

  59. reprindle Says:

    There’s some interesting detail on the Warhol-Dylan-Sedgewick interlude in The Genius Of Andy Warhol POP by Tony Schedrman and David Dalton, The end of 1965 and the beginning of 1966.

  60. RM Says:

    I imagine that life had something you didn’t expect in mind: maybe going somewhere for the holidays, or maybe something bad . . . I don’t know. Or you’re annoyed with me? Cuz I don’t feel as “robbed”? Nah, ’cause you know this is how it works: Duke Ellington did it! Of course, the Carter family would claim as their own almost everything they ever heard, even stuff they heard on the wireless, or sheet music: like “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” which has nearly identical lyrics {no spoken part: I have to look that up for myself, actually}, but a more mountain-musica feel to it. Still, it’s a straight “pop” tune written by “tunesmiths” and they claim it. Now, in those days, I don’t know how the system worked, but I know at the end of, I think “Worried Man Blues,” they state emphatically, that if anybody asks who composed this song, well, THEY DID! This is actually part of the song. But, there are parts of the song, particularly the “train part” which is odd because a judge sentences a man to work on a railroad: maybe they did that in those days. But others report being a bit bewildered by the name of the railroad, and the fact that there is some blues roots to this part of the song, as well, that go unacknowledged. The thing is: ain’t nobody pure! I think that’s the point. This whole idea of an INDIVIDUAL being responsible for an INDIVIDUAL “piece of music” that is called a “song” was an utterly rare concept in most of the world before mass media took our media everywhere. A great film about media is “Three Kings,” which is ostensibly about Gulf War 1, but is actually about CNN and a televisual war, and also about how American culture IS now “world” culture. Which is true: I just saw a documentary about some African kids “busin’ rhymes” and such. Making up their “own” raps about their lives. But in a form that is NOT their own, but that is, no matter how you try to trace it back, is without question, an American form. It is NOT the same as the old “griots” of Africa, who kept the history of their community in a vocal form, handing it down to a younger person, who handed it down to a younger person . . . etc. Now, of course, the earliest parts of the history eventually had to go, but it was a method of protecting history from any kind of “physical” destruction by keeping it in the minds of people, who told other people. The difference was that this was essentially a shared activity: a way for the community, AS a community to maintain their history by choosing certain people to “keep the books.” Very much like the Sci-Fi {I forget which one! Gosh, I can’t believe it} concept – I think it was Ray Bradbury – anyway, where the books are destroyed, so each person memorizes a book. That way, nobody can destroy the books. This was not a concept that was new. It comes from the griots. But that does not mean there’s a straight line from the African griots to rap. With detours to Jamaican “toasts” or to “Cassius Clay” and his rhymes about how great he is, and pathetic his opponent is, and how he’s gonna beat the tar outta him . . . etc. That’s the “official” look at it, but it’s just not true. A “rap” really goes back to the “talking blues.” And you and I both know that. Nothing in America is EVER purely African in origin, or Am. Indian, or United Kindom, Irish, European, etc. It’s a blend of ’em all, and still is. And a big, big part of rap is that it comes in individual pieces. There is not a “group rap” type of culture, but instead, you have a “crew” which is, of course, simply a high-tech band with a turn-table and various players with parts to play. The “rock band” concept, just like other types of “bands” is kept fully intact. But there WAS a time, in other parts of the world, most of it, actually, when people made music in large groups, with no separation between music maker, audience, or dancers. They were all doing it as one. This still exist in the world, but it’s dying out. But before “the song,” there was simply “music.” NO ONE “owned” music. That would be like owning the air, the water, etc. Now, I think they copyright dance steps. Anyhow, it’s a relatively new, and particularly western concept: which means the “song” was largely English, European, and finally and most interestingly, American in origin. Because in America, “songs” became “contaminated” if you will, with the idea that nobody owned musical sounds, or words that went with them. And they were passed around freely. And nobody complained. The concept of musical concept has had to develop over this century, because it didn’t exist before recorded music. No one “copyrighted” music, or any words that went with them {let alone copyrighting specific arrangements, drum charts, etc.}. Once that started, all of a sudden you had the concept of “the songwriter” when that is really a very new concept. Yes, in England, etc. there were “bards,” guys who went around with songs. But, again, that was not in America, where music was passed about quite freely, and the distance between audience and musician was not significant. When they began to record music, the “collectors” wantedd “songs”: individual little stories set to music that they could feature on a 78. Before that, I think, tunes sort of floated about, with different words constantly attached to the same tune, and the same words to different tunes, rather seamlessly. Once you had a “document” like a recording, all of a suddent, “collectors” wanted to “trace the origins” of tunes, which, in the end, proved impossible. But now, songwriting is treated reverently. And if you prefer not to reinvent the wheel, but to continue to share, to add, to subtract, etc., then you must be “stupid” or “lacking ability” etc. Guralnick says that Elvis was “always self-conscious about his inability to write” but never gives any evidence of this whatsoever. And he knows damn well that he did indeed “write” if he insists on calling it that: why would anyone have any interest in the Sun recordings if this were a problem? I mean, this was not a “Sinatra” situation! Frank, for most of his career, until he fooled around with “conducting” — and that is NOT “arranging” or “producing,” by the way, Frank was expect to sit on a stool, or stand with sheet music in hand and simply be “the voice.” His job was to “phrase,” — to “interpret,” whatever the hell that means. So, now you hear some people saying that yes, Elvis was a wonderful “interpreter,” but he “didn’t have the ability” to “write.” If that were true, then listen to the original of “Baby, Let’s Play House.” Now, lyrically, he merely changed “religion” to “Pink Cadillac,” {and this was the title used in many jukeboxes, and concert programs, and so forth, in the early days. If that’s all he did, he certainly changed the meaning of the song {from bringing down a haughty woman to critiquing ’50s style consumerism, which is a VERY big thing, by the way, that he did in this change}, but if that was all, it was “interpretation.” But he did much more. The tune simply opens with the verses, and closes. Elvis obviously felt the song could have LIFE to it, and literally be something new and better: so he added the “baby, baby, baby . . . hicouphing” opening and ending, “come back-uh baby, I wanna play house with=a you!” And Milkcow Blues boogie doesn’t even take one “pure” line from Kokomo Arnold: the “prayer” line is inverted, and is quite threatening, in context: she’d better get down on her knees and pray, ’cause “you’re gonna need your loving daddy here someday, and then you’re gonna be sorry, treating me-ee–ee this-a way!” Now, some of this, some of the song, actually, taken from Wills’ “Brain Cloudy Blues,” but only a few verses. Elvis changes stuff throughout, inserting his own flavor of some classic Milkcow lines, pulled around like taffy, added, subtracted, etc. In the end, I suppose you could give Wills some credit, but really, the only “writer” whose name should go into the parenthesis is “Presley.” Phillips, of course, does something absurd: ignoring “Brain Cloudy,” from which a few verses are included, but are changed substantially both in style and in actuality, he credits the song to “Kokomo Arnold.” It’s a bravura performance, and “it flopped.” This was his third record, and “Good Rockin Tonight” supposedly “flopped,” too. {If you’ve heard Bobby Zimmerman’s “I Got Troubles,” you know it’s really “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” but translated into “hillbilly.” “Swing it out, swing it in, swing, ing, ing, Swing your troubles a-way.” Yeah, he says “A-way.” With a long a, so as to emphasize. In other words, “I’m gonna rock my blues a-wayyyyy.” Why Bobby’s even “swingin” something out and in and about . . . then somebody gave him a copy of Guthrie’s apocryphal autobiography. And he decides he wants to be a hobo, or something. But he did “Bring It All Back Home,” and if the folkies didn’t like it, well, at least he was being truthful to his actual roots: hillbilly, whatever r&b he could find up there, and rockabilly and rock n’ roll. He had never started out to be a “folk singer.” It’s just in the timing: with Buddy Holly dead, Chuck in the slammer, Jerry Lee scandalized and blackballed, Little Richard finding God {for one of many times!}, etc., Bob did not really want to be “Bobby Zee.” He rightly felt that roots music was much more imperishable. But, unlike Elvis, he was not exposed to genuine gospel music, exepting Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who managed to get herself all over the country. So he missed knowing the classic sprituals, gospel music, and quartet classics. Why, in Tennessee, on a rather small station north of Memphis, a black quartet used to open their shows every earl morning with “Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, well . . .” It was “Milky White Way.” We can later hear the stylized “well”‘s of the song in Elvis’s actual recording, but the effect was profound. If you hear a “well,” you can bet he had something to do with it. {Interestingly, Thomas’s “Tiger Man” opens most verses, save the first one, with “well.” Not his style, actually. Recorded June 30, 1953. Hmmm. I know more about the actual details of what people have said, and confirmed about Elvis hanging around the Sun studios two weeks BEFORE high school graduation, and now Guralnick’s “urban legend” about him “probably” reading a newspaper article about the Prisonairres’ session {when his brother Jud[d] has CONFIRMED that Elvis had been hanging around the studio for a couple weeks BEFORE the session, and was definitely there that day. He does not recall, but will not deny, either, whether he went in the back with Johnny because of the “diction” problem {which you can hear on the finished record!}, and does not recall any “offer” made to Elvis at the time, but back in the ’50s, Elvis did says that the “guy took down my name and said he might call me some time.” Which is EXACTLY what Johnny said happened. Though he didn’t call, Elvis used the “recording service” to let him hear him sing, if possible, and sure enough Marion made a tape of part of “My Happiness” and all of “That’s When You’re Heartaches Begin,” with the charming “that’s the end” when normally one would begin the spoken part. Time had run out, and he didn’t just stop, but made a joke out of it: “that’s the end.” He not only showed talent, but a kind of show-biz flair with the little joke.
    But what of the offer? Supposedly, Sam didn’t have Marion call until the anonymous “Without You” song. That was around a year later, or so. Meanwhile, Marion said he dropped in frequently asking if she knew of a band who needed a singer, etc. You can bet he logged time at Miss Taylor’s cafe. Elaine Dundy is sure of this. Any thinking person would be sure of this. Here, he would meet the entire Sun group: artists, Sam himself, Marion, or course, and whomever. In any case, “Mystery Train” apparently came AFTER Thomas’s souped-up version of “Tiger Man.” His next song is about the great depression. A straight down and out blues, and NO “well”s!!!!!! Would Sam, no singer himself, not want someone to demo for Thomas what was an adolescent war cry?! Or expect him to somehow come up with it himelf, even when it wasn’t his style. Yeah, he “answered” Hound Dog, and they were sued! This was also an “answer song”: “my palcat comes a=running, and the hound dogs, they stay away back, way back, way back.” It’s note for not “Mystery Train,” and Elvis did a medley demonstrating this. Then, in 1970, said “Tiger Man” was “the second thing I EVER recorded.” He said this several times in 1970, and no one believed him. Now, it could have been demo’d at WDIA, ’cause Billy Emerson says he and Elvis made demos there for 50 bucks a pop. Or, Sam could have, on one occassion when Elvis was “handing around,” simply asked him to sing it, and kept the record, while giving him some cash. Why all the “well”s? You know that’s gotta be the giveaway! Hell, everybody knows that. Just too damn many “wells” as I see it. And add that to Thomas’s crazy claim to Guralnick that he did not meet Elvis until DECEMBER, 1956! At the Goodwill Review, where there were cameras! I think if EP had not have been there, he may have said he never met him AT ALL. But the cameras caught them having fun and clowning around with the “Indian Headress”‘s that were the show’s “theme.” {I suppose it was ok for black people to make fun of Am. Indians! No one has questioned the hyprocrisy of that “theme.” Especially when “Flaming Star,” the film, was intended, and they have the notes to prove it, as a parable about the civil rights movement in America just boiling at the time: 1960. In one book, that has looked carefully at the role of film in contemporary life and politics, etc., said that “Flaming Star” did very good business with teenagers: but with BLACK teenagers! And this was noted, and this writer, a white woman {ain’t it just like a woman}, has the stuff that was all written down about who was and who were not interested in this film. You think Col. Parker didn’t notice, and Hal Wallis? This is NOT what they wanted!! So, they said it “flopped.” Almost like those early records!} Like I said, and I think you agreed: hypocrisy preceeds any and all bigotry: it is the rich soil from which it grows. {Although your “Miss Mark” was not just a “hypocrite,” she was a damn Nazi, trying to cover it up, and finally failing. Those were very turbulent times, of course.} But when I look at those pictures, with the headdresses, it makes me a little sickened. Surely they should have known this was wrong! Surely, someone, perhaps someone in power {how about Thomas! He could decide the set order, and the performer order} could have said, “now wait a minute.” I mean, in Memphis, well it was Chickasaw country, with many Cherokee refugees from the Carolinas and East Georgia, who walked the Trail of Tears, and many just blended in with whites, even DESIGNATING themselves by adding the word “white” after their name, as opposed to “red.” “Morning Dove White” was one of Elvis’s earliest known relatives, and she was one of those who chose to “blend.” Her son, or grandson {gotta check out the “tree”} was named “White Mansell” and he married Martha Burdine Tackett, the daughter of the Jewish farm family, who were originally from Tennesse, but Martha, abandoned by her less than observant husband, Abner – who married twice after her – came down to Mississippi, and married. The Indian name was still in play, but Martha’s siblings had “Jewish” names: Sidney, her twin “Jerome,” another called “Jehru.” I think she was the only girl.
    White’s sister, Ann, had a son named Bob, who married their daughter, “Octavia {Doll} Mansell. They became Bob and Doll Smith, parents of Gladys Presley, mother of Elvis Presley, and granny to Lisa Marie, who, just to stir the pot, married an African American. Didn’t have any kids, or I’d get dizzy.
    So, yeah, Elvis was “all-American” all right, but not like, say, Johnny Unitas or whomever. Hell, you can’t say anything about anyone: America is like that, and it’s not “weird”! Uh, Greil, if you’re peeking, it’s not “weird.” My mother’s father had blond hair and blue eyes, which gave me hazel eyes, not brown. One of aunts on that side, the one my mom loved, had blonde hair and blue eyes like their dad. And I’m as proud of that side of my family as any other. He was an artist who escaped Soviet oppression of artists with their “socialist realism” which choked all art. They were stupid enough to think they could get away with that nonsense and still survive. They were wrong. People would rather starve than be muzzled.
    Anyway, my little thoughts about my America.
    But, see, the whole point of this is that Americans come from all over, and so our music is different than U.K., Irish, and European music. It’s a big PART of our music, but we’ve added our preference for “group music”: stuff that cannot be contained by “a song.”
    The 64 buck question: is it moral of Bob to copyright “public domain” material? Well, others have been doing it, and it hasn’t had much effect. The tune upon which “This Land Is Your Land” is based, is still out there. Still singable, and can be turned into something eles. But, no, he did not use an original tune. It’s not “stealing” in my view. Although Bob probably digs the idea that he’s “stealing” music, because that’s his pathology. But public domain will out: all you gotta do is change the title again, scoot the melody around a little, and he’s wiped away from the tune. He tried to copyright “That’s All Right Mama” but most people don’t even know it. Elvis would want the royalties to go to Crudup’s relatives, I guess. Maybe the grandkids’ll fight about it one day in the future. If I’m still around, it should be fun.
    Meanwhile, we get to hear the music. And that’s all that matters.
    P.S. — Whenever you return {ain’t that funny}, we should look at “Like a Rolling Stone” ourselves! To he– with Greil!
    Where it came from {multiple sources}, personal inspiration, lyrical analysis, the “feel” of a song about “how does it feel,” etc.
    P.S.: “How are you? I said it back to him.” Could be interpreted easily as “How do you FEEL? How do YOU feel?” Hell, a Gypsy would feel like, well, a ROLLING STONE!!!!!!!!!! Always on the move, wild and free, Gathering no moss . . . having no home, though. Graceland, on that Highway that young Dylan knew “like the back of my hand,” stopped being home on August 16, 1958, when he buried her. After that, EP was a “Rolling Stone”: all alone and lost, in the Williams lyrics.
    I guess young Bobby felt just the same, but he just had to ask. In song, and in person. Finally, in song, a real person asks Dylan how HE feels! So, of course, he throws the question right back. {Got a sneer in return, I’d bet. With a smile, though.}

  61. reprindle Says:

    Here’s a good rock n’ roll site with a lot of Dylan articles if you’re not familiar with it. If you don’t think much of it at first you will after time.

  62. reprindle Says:

    WordPress cut out the first half. Go to succeeding post for beginning then come back.

    rt that influenced cover design so much. Read Cynthia Lennon’s John recently. Lennon and the Beatles found themselves quite involved with Dylan as did Warhol, not surprisingly. The Masked Avenger sought them all out.

    And then there is the amazing number of women Dylan was involved with from ’61-’66. I’m about ready to read with the attempt to sort those out by name and date. Carla Rotolo had no love for Dylan. I imagine working in the folk milieu as she did she heard lots of stories about Dylan that didn’t reah Suze. Her book might be more interesting than Suze’s. Anyway those years have to be looked at more closely.

    Of course Match Box worked older themes. All those guys maybe had two or three songs before they ran out of material. Then they searched the archive for songs nobody remembered that could be rewritten and updated. We all knew it but who cared? Getting hit songs has always been the problem.

    The amazing productivity of the Beatles, Dylan, John Fogarty and others over a very short period was probbly unparalleled in music history. The Dylan trilogy- four records over two years- with oritinal lyrics and devastating instrumentals was a major feat. I mean, the guy’s mind just broke. He didn’t need an accident. The ’65-’66 World Tour needs mre close attention, too.

    Even more amazing is that out of his nervous exhaustion Dylan was capable of the basement tapes and John Wesley Harding. Then came the creative collapse.

    Anyway, no, I feel betrayed and I was. I invested too much time to learn now that there was really nothing there except this country station on the radio played low. Do you think that was some kind of clue?

  63. reprindle Says:

    Things are getting weird. Here’s the first couple paragraphs that WordPress chopped off.

    The Historical Bum is in Carl Sandburg’s The American Song Bag so goes to the turn of the century or a few years before. I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the Song Bag at an estate sale. Very surprising.

    A great many songs I attributed to Huddie Lebettor were in the Song Bag. My sixth grade teacher must have memorized the Song Bag. We’d have a daily glee sing. All her songs came from the Song Bag as I now see. Only about two hundred fifty songs but most of them count. Very little you wouldn’t recognize.

    Another archive that is surprisingly pleasant listening in post-Rock n’ Roll America is the sing along records of Mitch Miller. A superb collection of Americana. Can still be had cheap if not give aways. When I was a kid and there was still a sense of shared community there were a large number of songs sung in the glee mode. That’s Greil Marcus’ Weird Old America. One guesses that Greil is the Weird part.

    Elvis apparently sought out the new talent. Pattie Boyd recalls meeting Elvis when Eric Clapton came within his orbit. He also went out of his way to meet the Beatles. He was very open to these new guys so that Dylan would probably have to have avoided him not to meet him. Only Wolfman Jack got the snub.

    I’ve been going through changes. Getting my mind organized around 1960 and forward. Reading on Warhol and Pop Art that influenced cover design so much. (Back to top of previous post.)

  64. reprindle Says:

    Pretty weak. I guess this is the work of a third generation Elvis fan. What the future holds when the old guard goes.

  65. RM Says:

    I’ll read the 3rd gen EP fan later. But I see a contradiction here: on the one hand, you see an amazing output: 4 albums of mostly original material {melodies could have come from older sources, of course} in such a short time, and then you say well, gee: it was just the “country music station, played low.” Well, it’s both!! Of course it’s both. This stuff had been, I think, boiling in him while he was copping folk songs, melodies, ideas, etc. and he had this urge to rock out.
    But yeah, from about 64 on, Dylan sort of exploded with “Chimes of Freedom” flashing all over his head and pouring onto wax, and on stage. But, he gave out for a while: at the end of the ’66 Euro tour, or England, mostly, he looked like it was ALL over. He got lucky is all. I feel certain he wanted that bike to take him to the Pearly Gates. Instead, he found new sources of creativity. But he did not want to be what Joannie said he would be “the rock king.” That label made him VERY uncomfortable. More than any, I think. ‘Cause I think Dylan would be the one to know: to know who ALSO had the “gift” to do amazing stuff, and to see it wasted so horrifyingly, well, it killed him. Just killed him. Because Elvis could sing like well, nobody, as he well put it. And if that were combined with his own soul-searching, in a disciplined way, well, good gawd! And, so it opened up new creative spaces for Bob to explore. When it came to an end, Bob sort of “ended” at about the same time! Really. Now, he didn’t know then, what we know now. He couldn’t have imagined a record contract that forbade a 20-year-old from “research{ing} your own public domain material.” That would blow anyone’s mind, if they had known. And then, they’d say, HOW? How could someone allow themselves to be gagged and bound like that? It would have taken Bob, like the rest of the world, DECADES to figure it all out. He should have known what that kind of poverty does to a human being. But he really didn’t. Not THAT kind: that’s not something he really could imagine in a person who hung out in the Hollywood Hills and smoked weed and dropped acid. I mean, how could the same person come from that kind of “under the ghetto” poverty, and then live a wilder personal life than Bob himself {and that’s saying a lot!}? It just didn’t make any sense, and I think he is still somewhat confused. It’s a mystery. Well, a “Mystery Train,” ain’t it?
    And then, “All the tired horses, in the Sun,” the chicks sing, “how’my gonna get any riding done?” Writing, that is. I guess he thought he was just lazy and overpampered. Had others to do his soul-searching for him. But the truth is buried in the past. In seeing your dad in stripes on a chain gang as like, your very first memory. You put a kid like that in a sleazy business, and he’ll sign ANYTHING, and accept anything. “Here, here are all these demos: you pick one you like, and you sing it the way you want. That’s the way it works, see.” Not, “let me take you down to the Folklore Center, so you can look at some very old songs, and work with some very old melodies and phrases: I know how you like dull blues tunes as your ‘canvas’ to work on, well, these old songs are ENDLESS! You can find anything you need to make up whatever you want! It’s fun! Plus, you can say whatever’s on your mind: we know you can rhyme and all that simple stuff: so go for it!” Chick Crumpacker could have done that, but the contract would not permit it.
    Why do you think the artists called it “Record Cemetary of America.” RCA, I mean. That was the term, really.
    As for Mitch Miller: well, after what Johnny Rivers said about the singalongs, that I DO remember, as a toddler, well, it’s hard for me to take it seriously. I should try, though.
    See, Dylan, etc., I think many of them KNEW that Elvis got screwed by RCA/”Parker” but they could not have known to what degree. They could not have IMAGINED it. Even Phillips took advantage when he could. “Milkcow” is original: you can’t find another version just like it: only shards. It deserves his name on it! And others, as well. But Sam wasn’t going to actually BUILD the kid’s confidence! Hell, no. RCA, etc., only built on his terror. And in the end, people bitch about the movies: but that’s small potatoes. Besides, he made one great film: “King Creole”: I’ll fight ya on that one! And one funny one: the one that was supposed to be called “Chautauqua.” {I refuse, on principle, to use the real title: it’s sickening: it has NOTHING to do with the film!} And I think it was very influential, too. And “Change of Habit” is both weird and a little cool – not very, but a little and besides he looks so HOT {grin}, and the “folk mass” song is really a great song. He did it three times that year, perfecting it. But there is lots more that is HIS, and they buried it. And then, they buried HIM. Made them WAY richer! I wonder if they saw it this way right from the beginning: he’ll be a huge hit, and then we’ll stomp on his creativity, and whatever the hell else we’ll do to him, and eventually, he’ll die young, and we’ll dig into the vaults and make a mint!
    Dylan has almost written that song, but not quite yet.
    Like I said, I want to interview the little stinker!
    There’s stuff he needs to know. Or be reminded. And stuff he’s never, maybe, heard. What if he took that instrumental EP composed on guitar, and Bob put some fresh words to it? And the writing credit comes out {Presley, Dylan}. Boy, I see a HIT in that, no matter what condition the business is in. I mean, there are others, as well, other instrumentals, but this one is in Dylan’s neighborhood: kinda bluegrassy. He’d like it.
    See, when it WAS original, they HAD to give it a NAME! Somebody else’s, of course. But the very first time, in rehearsal, he allegedly did “Baby, What You Want Me To Do,” it WAS NOT that tune, at all. Nobody knew: everybody guessed wrong. Because they couldn’t imagine that he’d made something original, although this was probably a common thing, actually: if we get to hear it just after a few tunes, well . . . That very first one: on the REHEARSAL CD, mind you, is not the one you hear on the show. It’s original. And tunes plop into other tunes: sometimes a tune will just appear: “Memphis” comes up for air, and they don’t credit it to Chuck! The jam just keeps on goin.’ But in the midst, he begins to compose music. And they don’t even give him the damn credit.
    And that’s NOT the other one I’m talking about for Dylan, cause they eventually DID credit that one: the bluegrassy one. And then took it right out of print.
    And all those rehearsals! With fresh lyrics! Complex rhymes, alliteration, internal rhymes . . . good damn stuff!
    Aw, hell. See, if you’re gonna write about something, you must be angry. And I am. You must CARE.
    I think you’re upset that Bob sets a moral tone in his songs, in the sixties, and even later, that he doesn’t bein to live up to.
    And that’s a heavy thing.
    What I’m dealing with is the use and abuse and trashing of a human being who was a genius that they threw away like garbage, and reinvented as a souvenier and tourist attraction.
    That pisses me off.
    Bye for now,

  66. reprindle Says:

    Life archives, I’m sure you’ve seen them but I’ll pass them along in case you haven’t.

  67. reprindle Says:

    No, I don’t think Dylan had a moral tone; he said he KNEW and, yes, I believed he did but, guess what, nothing was delivered once you got through the snide. ‘Please, mister, can I have my time back?’ Aw heck, I wouldn’t used it any better anyway.

    You bring up an interesting point. Elvis dies ’77, Dylan has breakdown, finds Jesus the next year. Could there be a connection there?

    “he’ll be a huge hit and then we’ll stomp on his creativity.’

    Nobody in the industry, least of all, RCA, possible conceived the success of Elvis. Do you think Sam would have let him go so cheap if they did? RCA thought they’d been robbed and Sam probably thought he’d skinned them. Elvis’ success was beyond all experience. He kicked off the ‘Raised On Records’ era. The whole prosperity of the industry stemmed from him. Nobody knew that then and I doubt many have realized it now.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the Greatest Generation wanted to kill him. There was no thought of a long career and stealing his labor. They wanted him dead then. I held my breath (not literally) the entire time he was in the Army. I expected a death announcement at any moment. It would have been so easy. Since he had cash value for both RCA and Parker I’m sure a fine line was walked to keep him alive physically and his career viable. Remember few artists survived the two year hiatus intact. They used the draft to kill careers. The whole thing with G.I. Blues was managed very well.

    The next best thing to killing him was perhaps humiliating him in those movies. That was the Jewish establishment of Hollywood. Streisand at the end wasn’t joking.

    But that sort of abuse goes with the territory. If you expand the search to include all rockers you can see how others handled the problem. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Presley couldn’t handle it. Lennon couldn’t deal with it either. Bowie has done well but he too was looted big time by his manager. Elton John has held on while the big winners seem to be Paul McCartney, Dylan, Keith Richards and the champ, Mick Jagger. This group seems to have avoided the worst pitfalls. Still, it is up to each to guarantee his own behind. It’s a rough world and quite frankly man to man you’re always dealing with assholes. That is a polite word for what I mean. It is unavoidable. If there were another way it would have been found by now. It hasn’t been.

    Like Marianne Faithfull says, to get a little you’ve got to give a lot, especially in the beginning. If the pie were twelve inches there’s a little quarter inch section designated Talent. The harder you work, the bigger you become, the more value your little slice has.

    If Presley had wanted to he could have sat down and said: ‘I do nothing until my contract is renegotiated.’ But then he would have had to set up his own organization and that probably would have cost him more than he got; the lawyers would have prospered mightily. ‘It’s all just a dream, babe, all just a scheme, that sucks you into feeling like this.’

    Elvis could have done a hell of a lot better on what he got but he chose not to. Look at Lennon’s estate before and after Yoko. First she built it up to several hundred million and then he died. Not a bad twelve years work for that poor suffering ‘Asian’ woman was it? The Nigger Of The World scored big didn’t she.

    No, there was no contradiction with Dylan. The key is country music playing softly in the background. There’s nothing, really nothing, to turn off. As a kid he lifted Hank Snow’s Little Buddy for a poem. Hank Snow IS country. After going into folk he put Country on hold but there was nothing, really nothing, to turn off. After his mind broke he resurrected himself as Cowboy Bob Dylan from Nashville turning the volume on the radio back up. Today he’s become Texas Bob Dylan. Therefore there is absolute continuity from beginning to end. He and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot are twins of their own creation.

  68. RM Says:

    One thing you’re absolutely right about is that NOBODY had any reason to expect what happened in 1956: it clearly came as a total shock. They saw him as a sort of updated Singing Brakeman or something, and got A LOT more than they bargained for. And Phillips DID admit that he may have made a mistake. Yeah, he invested in Holiday Inn, and all of that, but still, he could have become a major if he had learned a little about distribution. But he was petty: he didn’t want to give his artists ANYTHING. He just wasn’t the man for the job. While its true that Elvis’s RCA contract went beyond all imagination: REALLY: it’s unbelievable what they did. They did not want this kid to “get out of line.” I think that their scouts had seen the riots down south, and the screaming and carrying on, and they heard all the records, and realized how creative he was, which was their principal concern. See, if you combine the adulation with creative freedom, you have something on your hands that you do not want: a person with confidence, with the confidence to say “no” to certain things. You’d better believe that Parker filled them in: told RCA just WHO they were dealing with. That this little family had recently been desperately poor people, that his mother could barely write, and that his father was just learning to do so, and the boy himself was, well, very young and had “problems.” He was very shy, especially around authority figures, as was his father, and he had a stutter from the age of 14. They never imagined he would have the nerve to go on television and, as he later put it in ’69, “do {on TV} what people were doin’ in the back room.” I mean, Elvis KNEW what he was doing with that, but RCA was rather in shock, but happy because he made them mondo cash. But the contract suited them well: they made sure they had “total control” and that he could not make the kinds of records he did at Sun, let alone grow beyond that, which they deliberately did not permit by contract.
    So, yeah, no one expected the magnitude of what happened, but RCA had an idea that SOMETHING was going to happen, or they hoped so. Parker was certain, you know that.
    And yes, you were right to “not expect him to come home” from the service. He almost didn’t! There was an incident involving carbon monoxide, and the truth is the the heater was wired wrong, not what Esposito has said. He said there was a “hole” in the bottom of the jeep, and that’s what caused it. Well, that’s ridiculous. If you crack you car windows, with nothing else wrong, the car will NOT fill with carbon monoxide! In fact, the hole would be protective!! Unless someone stuff a hose in the hole or something, but that’s not what happened, as I understand it, and this is the story they keep trying to surpress: that one of the hospitalizations was a cover-up for the CO incident, simple as that. I don’t know if anyone WAS trying to kill him, because they had already robbed him of his dignity: they got what they wanted! Taking pictures of him, after the Army had ordered the recruits to “strip” and leave their clothes behind them in a pile, and to raise their arms. Good God! You can see Elvis’s anger on this day: especially when he’s eating breakfast at the same table with Parker that morning. He’s furious. But as for the sideburns, he shaved them almost all off before he got there: before the last film, in fact. Now, that had to be excruciating: he would not let THEM symbolically castrate them, so hid did it himself. That had to be a defining moment in his life: when he shaved off his own sideburns. And they made him pick up his own notiice! He was called on Dec. 19, and apparently picked it up on the 20, or 21st. But likely the 20th. I think its no coincidence at all that he made his “caped crusade” on the white house, with a gun that came with bullets! {And if you look at the photos, he appears to wearing a waist holster under the gold belt: on his right side.} The “greeting” notice said “from the President of the United States.” So, 13 unlucky years later – well, mostly unlucky, he crashed the home of the “President of the United States” with his OWN demand: “I will be here for as long as it takes.” Most people read it too fast, or don’t really read it at all: they just see the druggy scrawl. But “buried” in the letter is an overt threat. That “Bud” didn’t notice it shows why that administration went down: they just weren’t paying attention, ever – apparently.
    Anyway, while he was there, he got knocked unconscious, and he had to be given oxygen, and most accounts now say he was hospitalized. Esposito is the only one to deny it and make up a story about a “hole” in the jeep, which is silly.
    So, he either tried to commit hari-kari, what with his mother’s death and his career in peril, and his father going down the garden path with that ditzy blonde . . . well, that makes sense. Or they did it to him. But I think if they wanted to do the job, they just would have done it. I’m more inclined to think he that he was pushed too far. He went through too much in such a short period, and at times felt frantic. At other times, deeply depressed. “I wonder who hurt him,” his Lt. Taylor wonders: well, for starters: YOU GUYS!!!!!!!! Or well, those in great power. Col. started writing letters to try to get his “time” done in the States, but he was ignored. Elvis himself wrote to Alan Fortas: “there’s always the possibility of a miracle.” He really, really wanted to get the hell out of there. There were times when he was photographed on maneuvers, when he literally appeared to be turning blue from the cold. The whole thing had destroyed his life: he lost his mother! It was strictly on account of the draft: she had been ill with related problems, and was driven in the Texas heat to Killeen. She would not fly, even when she was very sick. The second drive just made her deathly ill. But she wanted desperately to be able to see him. And she knew she was probably not medically fit to travel to Europe. The whole thing just got worse and worse for her. And then she finally died. And that golddigger, Dee Stanley, first made a play for Elvis, but when rebuffed, realized his father wasn’t all that much older than her, and so she made a play for him. He had never been alone: slept alone, you might say, in his life. He was in his early 40s: many men who have been happily married, who are widowed young go on to remarry quickly. But try to get someone as vulnerable as EP to understand? Oh, please. Later, he tried to make peace, but the marriage was crumbling anyway. His first one NEVER crumbled: through all the hard times.
    So, he had all these pressures, and one night, they find him unconscious. Makes sense to me. And I’m sure they would have been happy to see him off. But to make a martyr out of him at James Dean’s age? I dunno. But there were powerful people who wanted him gone. He said stupid things: “Hillbilly music will be dead insided of the year” {’56”}. He was tired of the resentment he was experiencing: and it was bad. One of the Carter sisters told what really happened with the Louvin Bros. Guralnick spoke to one of them! Not to a witness. It was bad. He was getting it from all sides. Mostly, he was very well liked and accepted by the r&b community, but an exception was Ray Charles. He would not even talk to him, or shake hands. He was plainly jeolous. The other musicians did not react this way. Why Jackie Wilson would have knocked anybody on their ass if they said anything negative about Elvis! I mean, he’s an extreme example, but I know of no one else who met him, from r&b who had that attitude. But Charles really didn’t “meet” him: he refused to. The same kind of jealousy as Streisand, really: but she had the clout in Hollywood at the time, to humiliate him. He knew it. He often used the Col. as “bad cop.” But he was NOT going to play “the loser.” No reason the film could not have been a “gender flip.” But she would not have it that way. It really hurt Kristofferson’s performing career! You look like a loser, well . . .
    I remember Elvis, in ’69, looking down at the floor: at the “mark” and it said “B.S.” He said “I wonder if they’re tryin’ to tell me sumpin’!” And then he said, OH! BARBRA STREISAND! And the place exploded in laughter! She had bombed, and everyone knew it. Especially her. She didn’t do the work he did: he checked out the size of the stage, made sure it had room to move, which it had plenty, but also made sure it was full with musicians. In ’69, from the new book with full contact sheets full of pictures, well, you can see him training John Wilkinson, the rhythm guitarist. Even Burton watched Elvis’s guitar work carefully, but especially “Johnny.” He played classical and jazz on a nylon stringed acoustic. Never played an electric, or a “real” acousic, either. Totally foreign to him. But he trained him, and he was more moral support at first, than anything. Charlie’s guitar was too small, and he was always getting things in the wrong key . . . so, he needed someone for the dance-heavy numbers. But mostly, he could, as he always had in the beginning, and especially in ’68, carry the load himself. Steve deliberately wouldn’t give him that guitar strap: too easy to get lazy and not play. He forced him to play. But he DID get lazy . . . Dylan has gotten lazy, but jeez, he’s nearly ’70, and he’s earned the right, I guess.
    Talk about “murder,” though: I just saw something horrifying, esp. now: Dr. Nick has finally written his book! After the loss of his license for good, after a criminal trial: “The Truth about Elvis and ME.” Yup, “Elvis and ME.” Of course. But what a moment he picked!! Just as they’re about to string up his comrade, “Dr.” Charles Murray, he decides to “help” the other guy, and tell the world how disgustiing these musicians are, and how it’s not our fault! Reminds you of “Who Killed Davey Moore.” Sorta. Amazing how Nick, after all this time, stepped up to the plate in defense of his colleague. Hell, he trained ’em all, in a way. So, I guess it’s appropriate. He was Sam Phillips physician just before he died. And then lost his license: not related, officially, but many people have seen Sam stoned through the ’80s, onward. And Murray was James Brown’s doc when HE died. And that ain’t no coincidence. I guess he hooked up with EP in ’66, because he was a young doc just starting out at the time. The hair must have been premature, ’cause it was clearly died with that white stuff they use. The press knows nothing of Elias Ghanem, and how he turned Vegas into a dope capital, and how a 12-tear-old Randy Jackson was given to his “care” for a nervous tick which his “loving father” wanted eliminated. The security chieft lifted Ghanem off his feet and slammed him against the wall: “I don’t want you giving that kid anything he doesn’t need!” But, that’s what he was there to do! It was a straight chain of causation, see. This sort of thing, like everything else in the world, has a history. Not a very long one, really, but for the media, it’s long.
    So Nick felt this was the time. S.O.B.
    He got off: maybe he wants to offer some advice: blame the addict, cast yourself as a misunderstood victim, put the addict, even dead, on trial, and buy yourself the best Hollyweird lawyer you can find!
    Nick’s creepiness knows no bounds. He helped kill Lisa’s father, and now he’s, in essence, helping to exonnerate the man who the L.A. Coroner had the chutzpah to actually SAY killed her late husband. The man {Nick, if you call him a “man” or a human, really} has NO HEART! Hasn’t Lisa suffered enough?! She needs YOU to pop up again, doing talk shows and all whatnot?
    Arrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!!! {Wasn’t that how Charlie Brown’s screams were written?}
    But, I don’t care if Dylan continued to do country disguised as “folk” or “rock” or whatever. It was good stuff. He NEEDED Nashville. Blond on Blond has an amazing warmth that I don’t hear on the earlier record. Very cinematic. I just don’t care for that “Sad-Eyed . . .” thing. He sorta HAD to do that . . . he was having his first child, and with her . . . his son’s name is Jesse Byron Dylan. Interesting choice of first and middle name. {Elvis always told people that if he ever had a son, he’d call him “John Baron.”} Boy, Dylan not only came close; he came closer! Named him after Jesse Garon, but with a little twist: a “y” for himself, and the “B” for what Elvis was planning if he’d had a boy. Which he never did, but at least somebody got close to the name: somebody in the business. So, you KNOW Jerry is telling the truth, of course, and he called. And the calls were returned, however they were returned. And yeah, I think by now, Dylan knows the “distance between right and wrong,” but he also knows that he traverses that distance very, very often.
    Hey, look: the truth is always in the music. There’s no other way around it. “I know that Highway like I know that back of my hand.” Now, of course, at that time, he didn’t actually, but I’m sure he had plenty of photos and stuff, and as soon as he could, he went down to take a look. It must have given him the shivers. Tawdry, yet overwhelming, all at the same time. And then he swung his chrome horse back up the road. Anything further was for another day. Maybe he left a snap cap at the gate. Just rank speculation. Along with the album, and the “BIG review” from before the album came out.
    You know that by ’68, Elvis knew all about the Shelton review, and when he saw his OWN review of the ’68 special, “Rock Star’s Explosive Blues . . .” well, he must have been happy . . . for a while.
    Bye now,

  69. reprindle Says:

    Here’s a Dylan story for you from Andy Warhol’s autobiography. Some guy named Taylor Mead speaking.

    “I gave Bob Dylan a book of my poems a couple years ago.” Taylor said, “right after the first time I saw him perform. I thought he was a great poet and I told him so.” A Woody Guthrie song playing on the radio had prompted Taylor’s story. “And now,” Taylor started to laugh, “now when he’s a big sensation and everything, he asked me for a free copy of my second book. I said, ‘But you’re rich now- you can afford to buy it!’ And he said, ‘But I only get paid quarterly.’

    Funny, huh?

  70. R M Says:

    Found, finally, the lyrics to “Cold Icy Fingers.” That’s one of two songs Elvis sang at his high school talent contest, which he won. I think it was the encore, but I’m not sure. But he sang it.
    Boy, does it come close: “you can . . .
    you can . . . but . . . .”
    If I had the machine with speakers, it would probably be even more enlightening. But the thing is that Elvis actually sang this material, often! Later recorded an original version of “Hands Off Her” mixed with “Mojo Workin’ in, ’70 or ’71. His version is different, according to a guy who has tracked down every “cover” or even partial cover that Elvis ever did, and aside from “Mojo” which is used here to make a narrative, he can find no other version that matches this one: it’s original. But it does lack the fire of say, “Milkcow” or the stuff from that time. You can’t top an adolescent feeling confident for the first time in his life. It’s just a different feel. He seems in a “mood” on these sessions: and not necessarily an upbeat mood, either. But the creativity was just starting to pour forth. I’ll show you the lyrics in a second, but Song/BMG MUST take the gloves off and release all of his most creative stuff despite any profranity: just slap that sticker on there! Hell, it’ll get more publicity that way!
    But this is important. Elvis sang a variety of these “hands off” “fingers off” “finger out” etc., songs all the time during this period of time: between 18 and 20. And he DID get “knocked down” and lord knows, seemed like they were steppin’ on his face, as a guy like Louvin “slandered his name all over the place”: one of the Carters said he cried like a baby when Louvin called him n—–. And it was not an isolated incident by any means.
    The second line does sound more hillbilly.
    And the structure is similmar to Elvis’s take on “Baby, Let’s Play House”: you have an intro {Elvis created that}, then a series “you may . . . but” lines, and then a chorus, ending pretty much as it began, but with the mangled consonants. One guy said that HE sang this song, many moons ago, at a grammar school talent show, and nearly got kicked out of school! It was considered a little raw. But really, it’s just a “ghost”: an naked, skeleton ghost that’s tormenting the fellow in the song. The thing is, in this song, the person is protecting his OWN body! He’s just not all dressed up, is all. Elvis was all about his threads, and everybody knows that!
    Here’s the song he sang in school, his senior year:
    “Cold Icy Fingers.”

    Bill Jackson was a fellow that believed in hainted sights

    He used to dream about them when he went to bed at night

    And when he dreamed about them you could nearly always tell

    He’d just pull back his covers and jump right up and yell

    Keep them cold icy fingers off ‘a me

    Keep them cold icy fingers off ‘a me

    I don’t mind your naked bones

    Don’t mind your hollers and your groans

    But keep them cold icy fingers off ‘a me

    One night as Bill was passin’ a graveyard on a hill

    Somethin’ dressed in white jumped out and made a grab at Bill

    Bill said you may not catch me but I’ll make y’ do your best

    But ‘fore we start t’ travel, I’ll make one last request

    Keep them cold icy fingers off ‘a me

    Keep them cold icy fingers off ‘a me

    You can chase me out of breath

    You can scare me half to death

    But keep them cold icy fingers off ‘a me

    Bill went to see a doctor with a misery in his chest

    The doctor looked at Bill and said take off your coat and vest

    He started tappin’ on Bill’s wrist and gave Bill such a shock

    That Bill just jumped right back and said now wait a minute Doc

    Keep them cold icy fingers off ‘a me

    Keep them cold icy fingers off ‘a me

    You can cure my aches and ills

    With your powders and your pills

    But keep them cold icy fingers off ‘a me
    Now, I told you about “Highway 51” on Dylan’s first album: only one original song, and he says that necessity forced him to writer: nobody had done a Woody-tribute before, and he wanted to sing one, so he had to write one. Same, really with the Highway, except that that it was never a “tribute” before, and never had an Everly Bros. chord progression on an old blues! Dylan in a nutshell, really.
    But Elvis was drawn to this idea almost all his life: you can do anything to me, but keep your hands off it, or whatever offa it, or her , or whatever.
    If you can find evidence that Carl ever sang a version of “Hands of It” or “Birthday Cake” or “Cold, Icy Fingers,” etc., I’d REALLY like to see it! Because it would be impossible for him to have composed “suede” without knowledge of those songs. Just a simple fact, unless he was some sort of titanic genius. But after a few “Suede” knock offs, and “cat clothes” which is also a suede knock off, well, he had one great song in him: I’ll give him that, for sure: “Dixie Fried.” THAT’S how Carl really felt: THAT was Carl’s life-view. Elvis wouldn’t think of even singing about a knife fight! Yeah, he used his fists a lot, but didn’t brag on it too much in song. Well, ok, there’s usually a censored “‘less you wanna {F-bomb deleted} here and there, or quite a bit, but a knife fight, and in a bar in the wee hours, down in Dixie? Not his thing: a HILLBILLY bar, mind you! Man, they were doin’ the town, and waitn’ for the cops to be “gone” so they could really raise Cain! Now Elvis raised plenty of Cain, but this is the wrong style. Just wrong.
    Betch Carl’s two most favorite films were not 1} Dr. Stranglove, and 2}, Across 110th Street. Yeah, a pretty obscure blaxploitation film that juxtaposes the cops {a black and white team} with a similar dope dealer pairing {except black guy has epilepsy, and it gets all tangled: the guys were bored out of their minds, but Elvis watched over and over and over . . . Of course, he his Lansky’s in the early ’70s, and a number of times, bought himself the very latest in pimp fashion . . .
    So, no, he and Bob were different, to be sure. They had to be: their backgrounds were on the opposite ends of the River. But Bob felt so free the moment he heard that music! That young, gliding tenor that seemed to soar above all of life’s horrors. Hell, in the beginning, it was barely a tenor: it was still changing! But that’s part of the attraction. He was a kid when he started out. And he lived up to it! Or down to it. But I think things got messy when his fans turned peers actually grew up, and just did not, or didn’t want to. He always wanted “mama” to tell him what to do. To keep him out of trouble: once she was gone, he was “real, real, gone.” And really had to answer to no one. His father could get himself all in a lather, but he knew he wouldn’t actually stop him in any real way. She would have.
    This is a whole world away from Bob’s life. When he said “any way you wanna do-oo-oo!” he MEANT it. See, the secret to country music, is that you always go to church on Sunday and get saved again. Well, no, not you: I don’t mean particular people, but that’s the general idea. And while Elvis loved all kinds of gospel and spiritual music, he embraced an entirely foreign spirituality. The Beatles RAN away like the wind from “The Self-Realization Fellowship.” Elvis never gave it up, really. Well, that creepy guy wasn’t in California: Daya Mata was, but still. He thought it was cool, and he felt good about it. Everybody makes fun of his “spiritual reading,” but it meant a lot to him. I don’t beleive any of ’em ever actually read any of it, to criticize. But still, the Beatles were more anchored and center, clearly. They knew when to run – and what to run from.

  71. R M Says:

    Some errors need correction: I said that while his fans turned peers actually grew up, he did not. Etc.

    It might be confusing, otherwise.
    Bob matured rather early, acutually. Well, he looked younger, much younger in the very early days, than his age, but he was actually more mature than his age.
    Maybe he’s living his childhood NOW. What with that incident over the hat and all . . . very immature for a guy near 70. But he knew enough to somehow survive. Even with the “accident,” I feel that it was real, but that he really wanted to live, and so he did. I mean, he thought he didn’t, but when the wheel locked up and sparks turned into flame, and then he was down, he wanted to LIVE.
    When Elvis literally copied him about six months later {maybe less, actually}, and rigged that thing in the bathroom so he’d break his skull open, well, I think he did NOT want to live. It all got screwed up for him.
    Everybody heard about Bob’s accident, and the cancelled concerts: and Elvis did NOT want to make “Clambake” – so, this seemed like the only way out.
    But things only seemed to get “worse.”
    Which is why Marcus seems puzzled that “Goin’ To Acapulco” was never even a rumor, as he put it. Did Marcus give one iota of thought to what could have happened if that song came out on a tape at the time? That song was was not for others to hear! Bob said that once in the Basement: “we should destroy some of this stuff!” He didn’t “destroy” Acapulco, but he waited until it had no power to actually KILL someone, which it had in 1967. It really did. Imagine yourself, listening to that tape, at that time.
    Bob was smart enough to know to keep the thing under a tight seal. And he did. That’s hard to do with bootlegs, but he did it. It “wasn’t even a rumor.”
    That’s what I mean when I say that Bob DID have some kind of moral compass. Not great, not even good, but at least he knew he didn’t want to do THAT to another human being: anyone, really. Grossman: well, he gave him “Wheel” without apology, but “Acapulco” stayed sealed ’till 1975.
    Think about that.

  72. reprindle Says:

    Cold Icy Fingers sounds a lot like Phil Harris’ Darktown Poker Club (I think that’s the name) that also has a character named Bill Jackson.

    The rhythms are exactly the same. You might check out Phil Harris on one of the music sites, maybe even You Tube. Cold Icy Fingers sounds exactly like that.

  73. R M Says:

    I’ll check ’em all out: but the question is “what did CARL listen to?” We know that Elvis sang this song IN SCHOOL and won, no less {somebody, at least, had a sense of humor}, and then went on to sing various versions of “Hands of” or “Keep Your Fingers Out of It” or “Keep Your Hands Off of It” etc., on an ongoing basis from about 17 to 19 or so. That’s they key. And he went back to it in the studio in Nashville in the early ’70s. He called it “mediocre s–t.” And said that it wasn’t “bad” but it wasn’t “good,” Just “mediocre s–t.” But this “mediocre s–t” might have, perhaps even unconsciously given him an idea: he might have been totally unconsciously singing a song of this type {you can [do this to me/do that to me/ but keep your fingers-hands-etc. o’ffa me” etc., etc. backstage . . . it might have been just messin’ around, and Carl or Johnny, more likely, heard it and thought: “hmmm.” Elvis might even have refererred to what meant the most to him: his threads!! His ‘bucks. One time, Carl was chatting with someone and said that he, Carl, would think it better to sing about a pretty girl rather than a pair of shoes! But, you know, whatever the kids want. That sort of comment. Like the song was not “of” him, but he sorta had to do it that way: about “shoes.” But where the hell would he get such an idea? About new ‘bucks {“suede shoes,” for the general public, as well as Carl himself, are ‘bucks to somebody like Elvis, and he cared VERY much about such things: maybe MORE than a “pretty girl” early on}? Elvis would be the one wearing a pair of brand new bucks {new rhymes with blue}, and maybe he was actually singing an old song, but going “new, new, my new ‘bucks: you can do anything but keep o’ffa my new, new ‘bucks!” God, that makes perfect sense. All I know is that Carl did not cut any kind of demo for the boys: he supposedly “wrote it on a paper sack” and sang it over the phone to Sam. If so, that would be not “like stealing,” that would be ACTUAL stealing . . . which he did easily with “Matchbox.” It’s not even altered! Except that “Matchbox,” unlike the previous version or versions, has Carl’s name on it as writer. Or it did. I mean, this would have been Johnny’s chance to be “involved” with the song, as he has said he was! He could have sidled over to Carl at some point, while the kid with no hits was on stage {don’t remember his name}, and said, “hey, why don’t you ask the Presley kid if he needs a few bucks for that song about his ‘bucks?!” And Carl would say, but it’s not really a song, he’s just fooling around . . . and Johnny would say: “wait a minute! The kids’ll go WILD for a song about cool new shoes! How about make ’em “blue”? And nobody who’s not “cool” would know what ‘bucks are, so you gotta call ’em “suede shoes.” Carl: “but I’d sure rather hear a song about a pretty girl, than a song about shoes!” And Johnny, besides himself, says: “listen, Carl, this could be your breakout song! That kid knows what the kids think is ‘cool.’ May make no sense to US, but if the kids go for it, you’ll make a mint! And the Presley kid’ll end up singin’ it, and it’ll be an even bigger hit!” And Carl, bewildered that someone would want to hear about “shoes” goes, “well, awright. But if he remembers foolin’ with the idea, he’ll get mad – say I took it.” Johnny: “So you do what lots of people do: slip him a few REAL “bucks” and he’ll be happy: it’s not finished anyway! He’ll think he’s getting somethin’ for nothin’!” So Carl can go: “people do that? Pay guys for jams and stuff?” Johnny: “they do a lot worse than that; it’s the business, if you wanna be in it.” So, Carl goes up to his friend, and says: “Now, hush. What you were mumbling there about those shoes . . . I’d like it, and I’d pay you for it.” Elvis: “Huh? It’s not my song. It’s an old song that goes a whole bunch of ways with a whole bunch of different things. The colored folk been singin’ it since ‘fore I was born!” Carl: “yeah, yeah. But not about SHOES! Now, I’d rather sing about a pretty girl, but if you like your shoes better, I’d guess other boys do too.” Elvis: “s’pose so, but it’s not really a song.” Carl: “here’s tonight’s take for our group; now give me the right to sing about shoes!” Elvis: “Sure. But it’s not a new song or anything. Like I said, goes back ‘fore I was born. I’m just happy about these new ‘bucks I got from Mr. Lansky. He gives me drawn-out credit, y’know: real nice guy.” Carl: “Cut the crap. You want the take?” “Yeah, but I dunno why.”
    And that’s how it COULD happen. Hell, Guralnick makes up dialogue like that all the time. Apocryphal stuff. And gets quoted as if it actually happened and he can prove it! Like the “newspaper article” about Sun records that Elvis “might have read” and that sent him down to Sun. Except that everybody had been already sending him there, and he’d already been there! But if St. Peter can do it, I suppose I can do a much toned downed version. Just the facts, mam. That’s all I’d give: just the facts.
    Is the rhythm anything like “shoes” or “Baby, Let’s Play House”? ‘Cause “shoes” takes a lot from “House.” And Lieber and Stoller take it for “Hard Headed Woman”! Really. Now, the original of “Baby, Let’s Play House” is virtually devoid of “rhythm,” but Elvis sent it on a rocket ride. Came up with the opening and closing bit, and just BUBBLED his way through the whole song. If you just beat out the rhythm, you can come up with something like “shoes.” We’ll never know how Elvis sounded on his “Cold, Icy Fingers.” He WON, remember. Musta been quite interesting.
    If I just stick with that cold, hard facts, the rest suggests itself clearly. That’s all. One writer said Elvis was “3 years and a whole generation younger than” Perkins. Yeah, but also they came from different worlds, musically. Elvis was a gospel singer. That’s what he was, and he KNEW, like many a bluesman, that the blues came straight from spirituals. Carl was a “hillbilly singer.” Elvis recoiled at the characterization. One time he went too far and said that “hillbilly music” would be “dead” before 1957. Boy, they wanted his a– after THAT! It was repressed anger from seeing his mother cry when the minister wouldn’t come to see them over the levee into N. Green St. on Grandpa Bell’s land. She stopped going to church: she was really hurt. He knew he had to break into popular music through “hillbilly,” but he had, you might say “plans” for it. He was a boy with a lot of hurt in him. I mean, take the “sacred” – almost – bluegrass waltz, and drag a knife through it!! Good Gawd! Yeah, he loved gospel, but gospel was differnt: the Statesman, particularly, were very friendly with the Golden Gate Quartet, and introduced them on-stage at Ellis Auditorium. This was actually against the law, but the Statesmen were sort of immune, this way. It was “the Lord’s music,” so they could get away with it.
    I WILL make my points, but I won’t give them that apocryphal dialogue above. That’s just ‘net stuff. Hope it goes viral. Soften up folks for the facts I aim to deliver. {Remember, this computer has no sound. But, I can feel a beat in those lyrics: they sound fun. They also sound like “Shoes.” I mean “o’ffa me” or “‘ffa my shoes”? He even tells what he “can” do, gives a LIST of altervatives, but to keep them fingers “o’ffa” me! I mean, why didn’t Guralnick even check out the song? That he sang? To me, he’s just a “nice” version of Goldman, who was a creep, but naughty or nice, if you deliver the same “imaginings” – and he warns readers in the beginning, well, what’s the difference? He says you have to take the “boy’s personality” into consideration. No, you don’t. Because you don’t KNOW this boy! Dundy correctly guesses that he had to have developed a kind of “secret self” to do what he did do, and she found it! In “Captian Marvel, Jr.” a comic book. She even found the lightening bolt, the cape, the boots, the black hair with spit curl, everything. Even the scarves! It’s all there. But the “crippled newsboy,” the REAL boy, when he WAS “Captain Marvel, Jr.,” could NEVER tell anyone who he was, or “magic lightning would change him back into the poor, cripppled boy. Elvis made this mistake on the second tour of ’70, when he bragged “I’ve outsold ’em all, the Beatles, the Stones, Tom Jones, all of ’em put together! You can come to my house and I’ll show you!” The reporters in the audience were flabbergasted. Who was THIS PERSON? And then he flies, literally and figuratively, into D.C., to order about the “most powerful man in the world” — which makes HIM more powerful, of course, and then, tops it off with his “Major Award” [you’ve seen “A Christmas Story,” right: the lamp?]}, and he invokes the COMIC BOOKS!! He wore a “fur suit,” and generally garnered all the attention, while saying that he had the power to SAVE THE CHILDREN from drugs and bad things of all sorts . . . Well, he’d done it. “Freddy Freeman” had announced himself as “Captain Marvel, Jr.” and “magic lightning” was already beginning to strike. Soon, too soon, he’d be on methadone maintainance, and changing Hank Williams lyrics {privately} so they were about not sadness, but shame. He was now, privately, of course, ashamed of himself: jsut as he had been in front of the Beatles in ’65. He was powerless. If he didn’t do as told {the cook called the house where he was picking the guitar and singing, and re-writing songs so that the lyrics invoked shame and darkness, and told Linda: “tell Elvis his dinner is ready!” Wow, what a comedown for one of the “10 Most Outstanding Young Men in America” just a couple or so years earlier. Not so “Outstanding,” anymore. And he KNEW it, he was singing it. Even in the Dec. recording session, he breaks into “wasted years, wasted years, oh how foolish.” He knew. Captain Marvel, Jr. cannot go throwing his “power” around, or the bad lightning will strike, and the power will be gone, and he’ll be “crippled” again. Dundy made this so clear, without even being specific about the future. She saw the man in the child. Or the child who never BECAME a “man,” really. Who acted like a brat when he didn’t get his way, and then when he DID get his way, he behaved like a jerk. Not that he learned much: within’ a year, he’d be back at the game: trying to claim, on stagge – and with great bluster – how he was never, ever “strung out” after undergoing a course of methadone maintenance!! {He did whisper an “on heroin” in their, so it wasn’t a COMPLETE lie, but it was a lie. He wasn’t taking “drugstore heroin,” he was taking “homebrew heroin” made by a dentist with no furniture. Nick had to inject him, because this particular brew had to be mainlined. Nick avoided the arms, of course. {But I saw his hand, in ’74, on several occasions, with a band aid, like when you give blood, but we know better, I think.} He was using Ghanem more, anyway, and getting hepatitis from dirty needles. I’d say that’s plenty “strung out.” He wasn’t “in denial” anymore: he was just lying. But he had been since late ’70. Once Jimi and Janis both died, and the “agnew” – as Elvis spelled his name in lower case – started screaming about changing the laws, and then they DID, well, Elvis freaked out, and continued to do so on the borrowed time he had ’till he died.
    At least Dylan was mostly honest about the dope. Maybe not completely: what junkie ever is? But honest enough, ’cause he’s still here, and he would be dead long since if he had been still using regular into his thrirties . . . he would have looked like he was dying, as Elvis looked, etc. But somehow, he made it. And finally made some good music, but it took a while to get his groove back on. {You should never, if you write, write EVERYTHING you have all at once, because then it’s gonna take a long time to build up some new passions about which to write.}
    Bye for now,
    P.S. — Can you believe that some “true believer” Elvis fans are actually denying, out front, that “Rubberneckin'” is not a drug song! You gotta have blinders on your brain for that! He wasn’t an idiot! He knew what “Mary Jane” was, and the song is explicit, far more than Dylan’s “stoned” song, which DOES have two meanings. Rubberineckin’ has only ONE meaning. He’s lookin’ for someone to share a toke with. Hell, if he’s “girl watching,” then why is he “settin’ on the back porch, all by myself/along came Mary Jane, I’m with somebody else.” The BACK porch.
    Idiots. To be fair, some listeners, probably not “true believers,” take issue with their foot-stamping, and say “if it’s not a drug song, then what the hell IS it about?” Their are people with brains out there.
    See ya.

  74. reprindle Says:

    This is just a short one to settle whether Perkins would have known Keep Your Cold Icy Fingers Off Of Me. There’s no reason he wouldn’t have.

    The song was written by the hillbilly act Homer and Jethro in the early forties. A Pee Wee King version is on You Tube. And another hillbilly effort of the song is by the Stanley Bros. Those are starters.

    Obviously this was a hit novelty tune as anything done by Homer and Jethro would have been.

    So Elvis was merely offering something that everyone in his Memphis Class would have known and thought was funny.

    Back later.

  75. reprindle Says:

    Like I said, I’m reading Warhol’s autobiography.

    Page 108 there is the suggestion that Warhol was the diplomat on his ‘chrome horse’ which implies that the song possibly references Edie Sedgewick.

    She would have gone to the best schools and then gone broke when she went through her inheritance in a few months leaving her ‘out on the street.’

    Dylan apparently knew her through Neuwirth before he went to the Factory.

    You might want to check it out. This could nearer to the bone.

  76. reprindle Says:

    As a woman Robin you must know what shoes mean. A woman broadcasts her sexual intentions by the shoes she wears. I won’t go into detail but red dresses, you know, like that.

    So Blue Suede shoes announce a new kind of sensibility that shouldn’t be transgressed. The shoes are only a symbol. He might have sung, for instance, you can do anything but don’t knock the Rock. I think that is what we heard subconciously.

    As for suede shoes they were loosely connected to homosexuality. They used to talk about ‘suede shoe guys’. I caught the meaning of ‘he walks a little light in his loafers’ without too much trouble but I’m still not sure of ‘suede shoe guys.’ Pat Boone made white bucks popular which were suede but calling them bucks allowed the fact to be overlooked. We Presleyites sneered at Boone’s white bucks so I was mortified recently, to learn that Presley wore white bucks also. As much as I detested them I found myself buying a pair of white buck loafers when I left high school. I’m sure there are layers of meaning there to keep a team of psychologists busy for weeks. But blue suede shoes were extremely distasteful to me, especially wingtips. I saw Carl on TV once hopping around on one foot to show off his blues suede wingtips. I was real ambiguous on the matter of the shoes.

    Carl was hopelessly hillbilly, not really a rocker at all. That’s why I like him. Matchbox was too country to make it as a pop song but they gave him a shot. I like the description that he was three years and a generation behind Presley. Pretty accurate. He had the real twang but lacked the swing. I loved him.

    I like your short story or stand up comedy routine a lot. Pretty funny, laughed out loud several times. I applied various country dialects as I read as I believe you intended. Great stuff. What do you have against Carl? I mean, he didn’t have a lot going for him but what he had was solid gold. He and Warren Smith are kind of a bed rock to my musical sensibilities. Ubangi Rock and Rock n’ Roll Ruby?

    Guralnick was one of those, hey, they were both on the planet at the same time so it not only might have been but was, kind of writers. He’s so far out he misses the substance. But, hey, he got paid for his writing didn’t he?

    So, anyway, I don’t think the Homer and Jethro song has a lot of significance but it might have directed the thinking in a certain way. Blue Suede Shoes was cobbled together from three components.

    One for money, two for the show,
    Three to get ready, now, go cat go.

    Trite. Carl should have been embarrassed.

    I read that the last line originally read go, man, go leaving the records still in the boxes. When Phillips, it was said, suggested the change to go, cat, go the record took off. I think I might remember that. If so, it was true too.

    The warning verse strikes me as one of those interchangeable ‘folk’ motifs. I think I’ve heard similar before but I can’t name a song.

    The third component is stay offa my blue suede shoes. Pretty clumsy, almost stupid, but it worked. Maybe it was the incongruity of the old fashioned warnings- drink my liquor from the old fruit jar (real Southern) with the absurdity of blue suede shoes which no one perhaps had actually seen.

    Like I say, you can have that old stuff but don’t knock the rock.

    If I can find the time I’m going to work up Like A Rolling Stone from the Sedgewick-Warhol angle. Warhol has some acute observations and he was not only there but in the center of the storm.

  77. reprindle Says:

    Perfect. If you know a few facts about the Dylan-Sedgewick-Warhol triangle it reads straight through as intelligibly as a letter. Combine that with the Sedgewick oriented Just Like A Woman and you’ve got the story of Dylan, Sedgewick and Warhol. Chalk another one up, that’s two.

    I can’t believe what Marcus and Weberman make out of these things. It’s truly wonderful.

  78. R M Says:

    Well, see, I think we should forget about Marcus AND Weberman, and just try to figure out “Like A Rolling Stone” for ourselves. First of all, we start with “like” – meaning, NOT LITERALLY a “rolling stone” as it is ordinarily understood, but “like” it. Dylan knew his grammar: we know that. Now, there are MANY sources for “rolling stone.” There’s “gathers no moss”: a positive ref. to somebody on the move. There’s his own mom’s NAME until she was married, and Grandma STONE lived with them throughout his childhood, as I understand it. This would make an indelible impression: if he is a “son of Stone,” then well, he is “a Stone” by anybody’s definition, but particularly in the Jewish tradition, where the mother carries the ethnicity, and well, the FAMILY, itself. This would be second nature to his thinking: he’s not a “Zimmerman,” even according to his own tradition, as a kid, he’s a STONE. And he rolled! I saw him, just coincidentally on an old Beale Street tape from the late ”70s, and I taped him on Sat. Night Live during his “Born Again” period. Fascinating!! He still had the “bobble-head” thing going that I saw in the early ’70s, but that you do NOT see before the motorcycle accident. I believe very strongly that he may have suffered some sort of damage from the accident. His eyes totally lack focus: not like the once did at all. And his head sort of swims on his shoulders, almost aimlessly. He looked young then, and he was: about 37 or 38: smooth skin, messy hair back since he was not a “happy husband” anymore, but he also looked very sad at the time. Did three songs, and one ballad was about not being alone because “HE” is always with him, and he goes back to the boy he once was: “a thousand miles from my home” he says AGAIN, but of course, now that he has JESUS, or HIM, or YOU, or whatever, he’s not “alone” and was not alone. Except that he WAS alone. He was serious, all right. And this was a pretty terrible time for him: his family fell to pieces, and it WAS his fault, but he so wanted a family, and the IDEA of this “ideal family life” and it was all gone. Doesn’t matter what he did thereafter: the family he originally made as a young man had fractured forever. It would never be the same again: so, I guess: JESUS! But also, he said that in ’77, and he repeated this to Bob Shelton {who he really cannot bullshit – one of the few}, that he had a nervous breakdown when Elvis died, and did not speak to ANYONE for a week. Well, Bob’s not much of a talker, anyhow, but he does shoot the breeze, normally. And he went mute. Just shut himself down, or felt shut down. Now, most people – but not the guy who made the film “I”m Not There” – that guy believes it’s absolutely true, do not beleve in the existence of the tapes to go with the two “set lists” – one has only one song on it – of Elvis and Dylan. One from very early May of ’71, while Felton desperately “decorated” Studio B so Elvis wouldn’t bolt, which he was gonna do, and the Elfans who published the list – and the filmmaker seems to really trust them, because he figures they wouldn’t know all those Dylan songs, and he’s probably right. He says he’s one of the few who really, really dig them both. I’m glad to count myself in that number. Anyway, the list(s) are very specific, and supposedly the first was knocked off like in a night, maybe into the morning. Elvis didn’t waste time, of course. They would have had to have gone off somewhere with some recording equipment: no biggie in Nashville! Dylan was in record contract limbo at about that time, and would get deeper before getting out, and so in ’72, it must have seemed to Bob like another chance had presented itself: the “researchers” do not say where it took place {at the Garden in NYC?}, but they knocked off one song. Probably not AT the Garden, but somewhere. And I’m almost sure it was “If Not For You.” In one of those big “picture-laden” analyze-each-record books that came out in the ’70s on ALL the big artists, one writer doesn’t know who Dylan is singing about in “One More Weekend” which is weird. Said it could be “the muse.” Or something like that, same really for “If Not For You.” In “One More Weekend,” which is supposed to be about goin’ off with one’s spouse, a word is really off. Usually, you say: “we’ll leave the kids.” But Bob sings “we’ll leave ALL the kids” for the “one more weekend.” I have to wonder, if they were meeting around this time, and before, of course, that Dylan would be VERY annoyed at the coterie of “playmates” around Elvis: “we’ll leave ALL the kids” and it would just be the two of them: just one more weekend! Sounds like a typical “have lots of sex with your wife” songs, except Dylan always stirs the pot with a word here or there. “Leave ALL the kids!” Oh, yeah. That makes sense. Not gonna happen, though, but it makes sense.
    In any case, I dunno how they would get a “set list” or two, because clearly Bob has custody of these tapes, but it’s well known. And HE never denied that particular rumor through the years. I suppose a “blanket” denial would do it, but the paragraph in RS is really NOT a blanket denial: he’s only speaking about the mid-sixties, “he didn’t really come back until, what it was? 1968?” So, he’s giving you the dates, really.
    And says he’s still obsessed, going down to Tupelo to “feel” something . . . and so on.
    So, in ’79, he must have still been quite shaken. The lead guitarist looks oddly so much like TCB Band member {that’s what they call themselves now} Jerry Scheff, who played bass, not lead guitar. But the camera can’t take its eyes off the guy, whoever he is. And Dylan seems to want him literally “at his right hand.” I guess he was the only one he could get during that time. Some took other work right away, and some couldn’t work at all for several years. They were utterly tore up. Deeply hurt. The band was that close: they went back to the glory days of ’69 and most of ’70, when it was so very much fun for everyone, and they remembered . . . a person. A person who got so lost in the woods without a compass. And they were right there, and helpless.
    Anyway, Dylan wanted at least one of ’em. And the filmmaker dude thinks that the “Jesus Period” is directly related to Dylan’s Elvis-thing, which is so clear from the Basement Tapes, and even starting from his first record. And continuing into the ’90s! And even now, he makes what? A CHRISTMAS ALBUM! Like, hey, if folks want to follow “clues,”: here’s one! Even Winter Wonderland, which Elvis’s detested because it was so icky to him. Bob wants to be Uber Icky! Just icicles EVERYWHERE!
    To understand Bob, I think you gotta listen to Rosetta Tharpe, then ole Hank as Luke the Drifter, then Webb Pierce, of all people, but Dylan was raised in “hillbilly country” as he has said so often, not as much “Woody” as people think: it really was a phase, and as he slipped once, “I got in!” He used the man who was dying to get in. We know we’re not dealing with a saint, here, okay? But I like him anyway, because he treated Guthrie and family with much kindness, and always has. But rock ‘n’ roll saved his life, not Jesus. And the idea that he could become a peer with THE rocker was something I think he wanted badly, but it never came out right: he didn’t understand the person. He was seeing images, smoke, mirrors, all of that. I think in 1977, he finally realized that this is not some kind of Greek or Shakespearean saga, but just a real person who DIED, and to him, so unexpectedly. After all, he had his hard times, and he survived them. And this dude did to, and CAME BACK! What the hell happened? How can you “come back” and then just collapse: “went blank”? It didn’t make sense to him; it left him, well, “struk dumb,” literally.
    The understanding is in Tupelo, but Bob is not gonna understand. Same reason you can’t understand why I don’t dig Carl Perkins. I mean, seems like a nice enough fellow. {Feathers, well, you must know that’s not my cup of whatever.} And I believe he was. But he wasn’t true to himself throughout his career. He never went fully enough back to his country roots: he kept hanging on to that one song. A song to which he could not relate. And if what you say is true about the slang at the time {I assume this is country-guy slang . . . but maybe Elvis knew it too} that a “suede shoe guy” was homosexual, well, then you know Carl was not OF this song! Yeah, I guess it’s not far from “gay” to “dork” {Pat Boone, college guy}, but Boone particularly wanted it to be “‘bucks.” See, a lot of the Lansky stuff was very “prissy,” you might say. Elvis’s mother sometimes would make his shirts: one time he saw a blouse pattern and said: “there: that one!” And she told him it was for girls, but he didn’t care. Dundy goes in this: Elvis was a typical “dandy.” So was Bob for a while, with his sharp Brit threads, but it wasn’t his way, and he gave it up fast. He wasn’t a real “Dandy.” But what is a “Handy Dandy.” Enough English professors have rubbed their foreheads raw over this one! Gosh, it’s a “Dandy” described by the modifier “Handy.” Capitalized, it’s a proper noun: a NAME! As in “W. C. Handy.” Some of Dylan’s musiings about music as part of nature come right out of Handy’s writings. And Handy is associated with where? BEALE STREAT. So, “Handy Dandy” is a Beale Street Dandy, of which there were quite a few. Elaine Dundy comes right out and says that Elvis was a “Dandy” pure and simple, and THIS is one of the things that the press could not handle. See, a Dandy is NOT gay, but doesn’t give a flip what you think. He’s gonna dress “fly” or even “Superfly” or whatever they’re calling it, because he feels better that way. It’s HIM! Lotta PINK! Weird suede white shoes, which came to be called “‘bucks.” But if there was a saying “suede shoe guys” it had two meanings: a dork, like Boone, or either a real gay guy, or a “dandy.” And Dandy’s are often called homosexuals, and attacked as such {as was Elvis, both before and after his fame, and he didn’t give a damn, apparently – in early ’71, a Memphis paper reported on Elvis’s “shoulder length hair”: Elvis did NOT write the paper; his father did! After a bit, he restyled it, but really didn’t cut it much, just didn’t let it “flip” up, as one of his guys put it – HE didn’t care}. They came at him with scissors to take that hair off his head, and then, in 1958, the Government came at him with scissors, and DID shorten that hair. Like Samson, he had lost his power, which came back with his sideburns. In the mortuary, before he was dressed, Larry was brought in to do his hair. Unfortunately, Charlie tagged along, and Larry let him. Charlie, of his own accord, COMPLETELEY SHAVED OFF HIS SIDEBURNS! Larry was quite shocked, as you can imagine. Larry never did “know” Charlie, but I met him myself, and am not the least surprised.
    Those sideburns were his IDENTITY, his power as a human being, and along with the whole flamboyant package, Hodge felt good having the power to take something away. Bernard Lansky dressed him a new white suit: “I put him in his first real suit,” Mr. Lansky said, in tears, “and I put him in his last.” Charlie did not have the same sentiments. Lansky knew plenty of “dandys” as well as actual gays, and whomever, so none of it mattered in a negative way to him. And you bet he sold “suede shoes” for whatever purpose. Anyway, it’s not a “saying anymore,” I don’t think. The song did away with that! But yeah, it does tell me that it’s not in Carl’s playing field. No way. Those guys running around startin’ razor fights: they’re not “dandys.” No way. Get your throat cut that way! Now, I think Carl was gentler, but I think he wanted to be “Dixie Fried.” I don’t know if he actually would have lived that life if not for music, but who knows. I think that if he had really hammered away at the country music, fully realized, and forgot all about that song, he would have been happier. That was HIS thing: country music, I mean. It never was Elvis’s thing, and he said so, into the ’70s. “Not strictly, no.” He was asked. He said, “as a child, I also listened to the blues, the gospel music, the gospel quartets.” He did admit to listening to the Opry, but I think he prefered the Carters to anything else. Odd that he didn’t really get along with June’s husband, but he just didn’t. I don’t think that he was really mad at Carl: I think it was Johnny. He said it: he set the thing up. Carl let him, of course, and that got him, but Carl wasn’t really as strong a personality as Cash. If Cash wanted to get a dig at Elvis, he was gonna do it.
    As for “Icy Fingers,” the thing is that Elvis sang a great variety of versions of that song that started out in the blues asa “Hands Off” and was kinda smutty, always. But the school version is, I think, just funny . . . but other kids had gotten in trouble for singing it at other schools. Remember, he didn’t just sing it: HE WON! It was a LARGE auditorium, with a LOT of performers. You better believe he “goosed it up” as he would later later explain his approach to the blues. He had some real fun. But it’s also ego-syntontic to Elvis: the guy is kinda prudish, and at that time in his life, well, he was. And it’s the way of the “Dandy.” “Don’t mess with the threads.” That sort of thing.
    Yeah, I know about the “Hillbilly” albums and such that “Cold Icy Fingers” was on, and he might have heard it on the Opry, but who knows WHERE he heard it. To me, what matters is that he DID, and not only that he sang it, but that he put it OVER! He dug the song, and there was a reason he kept singing different versions of it. One time, at about 19, he got chased off a truck for singing the “wrong” one: a blues version and not a country version. The guys in the other band there chased him! He was screaming that he’d made a mistake, and they were yelling “n—–.” So, it was very close to Elvis: I would need some documentation that it was close to Carl in some way. What did he like, exactly? And if this was a slang word for a homosexual, it’s hard to believe that Carl would be the orginator. He would have had to be shoved into it a bit.
    See, rock ‘n’ roll, close to ’56, was getting to middle class yankees! And they only picked up what slang they got from the rockers. “Shoes” might have rescued that bit of slang.
    But Elvis’s “bucks” and Boone’s were . . . different. Elvis finally got rid of the laces: his had buckles! No, they generally weren’t blue, but he liked anything that stood out, that ruffled, literally, feathers. Charlie’s or whomever’s! {grin, giggle}
    Listen, you heard the dialects partly ’cause I’m FROM THE SOUTH! Since I was 12 ’till I was grown. So, I guess it comes through, too. Glad it was funny. But you can just picture the people, and what I know of them. Cash was practical, and very wise: an old soul. Carl was new to the game, and not from the same tradition as Elvis at all, but Elvis was overly sweet to everyone, pretty much, and Cash had ’em ALL sized up! Somehow, Johnny had the right name: he had his eye on the “dead Presidents” early on. And when the older country singers were being disrespected by Nashville, man, did he raise a holler!
    But I think he left a good legacy to his kids: I mean, I don’t think he was broke, or even close. Johnny was the type of guy who knew the score.
    Elvis was street smart in the way he describes the poor fellow of “In The Ghetto”: street smart because he had to be. He used his fists freely, and his mother, even when he was famous in ’56, maybe later, always checked his knuckles when he walked in the door, or most of the time. He’d get into something, and then look at his hands, and panic: “let’s go back there, and make sure there’s no publicity! I’ll work up a story for Mama,” he’d tell a girlfriend. The next morning, Vernon is cutting a story out of the paper. And then the guns: he started to believe that the “Dixie Mafia” was going to pull a “Sam Cooke” on him: he said so to several people. And at 11, he wanted that “air rifle,” but he was a typical boy. Did he learn how to steal? Well, there are several accounts of Elvis easily cracking locks and gaining entrance to locked buildings . . . I don’t think he was only out in East Memphis as a teen to mow lawns. And, though it was just candy, in that Theater, he WAS fired for beating up the kid who told on him.
    I’ve always felt that song was strictly autobiographical: they just moved the location. Col. would have had a hemorrage if he’d have said “Tupelo” or “Memphis” or whatever. And that’s what they called “The ‘hood” back then. And that’s where Elvis was from: it was his life. He lived in the downtown area. And learned his trade there. Or polished his trade there, I should say.
    Carl was miles and miles and miles away from such a life. I’d bet his “Dixie Fried” scenario is much more fantasy than “In the Ghetto.” Elvis wrote the last verse: he thought he could just tag on the line, but realized it screwed up the grammar, and had to rework the whole last verse. It ends with quite the thud. “And his Mama cried.” That’s Elvis, right there. He told his cousin he used to have nightmares, all the time, of his mother looking into his coffin and crying.
    He left that sad duty, instead, to his father.
    All of this is alien to Bob Dylan, and part of it is because he comes from “hillbilly country.” Life is different in the city. A guy dares you to put him down, and even if you’re dressed all in pink, and Mama’s gonna be mad and then start crying, you put him down on the pavement. THAT was Elvis’s life. And that’s why he had those nightmares. It’s a different world, a whole different world from either Dylan or Carl. Why they got on well, actually.
    He wanted, very much, to get on well with Elvis, but as much as he wanted to rock out, and could, they were really quite different. Dylan could “fake it.” He could play the “Cat,” and talk that way, and even dress that way, but pretty soon, he really brought it all back home.
    See, Dylan digs the BLUES, NOT R&B. And there’s a genuine difference. And it runs deep.
    See ya,

  79. R M Says:

    So much to do, so little time. I need a “slang dictionary”: particulary of the ’50s and ’60s. I’d bet the ‘net has ’em for free. No biggie. If you’re right, and “suede shoes guys” referred to more than just college boy “dorks” {Pat Boone, of course}, and meant something stronger, then perhaps it did not start with “‘bucks.” One thing, though: in Vegas, Elvis sang “my white suede bucks” which is clearly jumbled slang, but expresses a wish to “himself” – whatever that may mean, and a wish to be “cool” in general, but not Pat Boone. When speaking of Boone, he says, “he had his white shoes, ya know,” when talking about being booted {sorry for the pun} off Ted Mack, so with Boone being so associated with the “white bucks,” I too, always wondered why Elvis seemed to love white bucks: pretty much from the beginning. He even, as far as I can see, had some saddle ‘bucks, with blue smooth leather over the buckskin. Very early picture. From the photos, Guralnick and Ernst are mistaken about the “Eagles’ Nest” photos: honest mistake, ’cause a family member said she took the pictures in ’54. Yes, some of them: in one you see Scotty and Bill. But in several others, he is definitely wearing different clothing, and looks way younger: his legs are even shorter! I swear! Now, I know Guralnick read Staten, and I know he knows that Staten is off on the facts related to his agenda {Sam Phillips taught the blues to a “hillbilly” Elvis who listened to gospel to please mom and dad, and was a good boy, but Sam “corrupted him” with that Beale Street stuff, with which he had NO interest, of course {except that “Tommorow Night,” “their song” — meaning EP and Dixie Locke, is a “blues ballad” by Lonnie Johnson – rare thing, kinda, too, and it was clear that Mr. Phillips had NOTHING to do with it: oh, and how do you explain his otherworldly, eerie, bizarro treatment of “Blue Moon”? They finally agree that he had turned a major pop classic from his childhood into a 16-bar blues, with a “yodel” or something that he might have gotten from Slim Whitman, but then they say it’s real different, but it’s just not like Jimmie Rodgers, either, so where could he have heard something LIKE THAT?} Well, yeah, he was a genius, but even they stand on others’ shoulders. It’s a tenor/boy-voice-still-changing version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “howl”! How could they miss this? I mean, Wolf’s voice is low, and dark, and mean and old-sounding, but if you speed up the record on one of the “howls,” you just might hear what Elvis is doing on “Blue Moon” — or the inspiration for it. {I remember vaguely something about not getting on with Wolfman Jack, but that’s easily explainable: he copped his act, WHOLE, from Howlin’ Wolf, and to a Memphian, well, he didn’t think that was very cool. Didn’t dig it at all. When Elvis sang r&b, he did it without copping others’ styles whole. He generally did it his very own way. Only once did he say “tel-EE-phone” as a “shout-out” to Jackie Wilson, whose name he didn’t even know yet, but soon would, but he would never try to do the song as he had. Even when he voice matured and he could have possibly cut him, no way was he gonna do it. With little Richard, it’s similar, except that with “Rip It Up,” well that was a special case: it was written specifically for Elvis when he was still at Sun! And Sam turned it down: Elvis told the lady: “Mr. Phillips picks any new songs for me; I like it: I’m sorry.” And so she called Phillips, who bluntly stated: “I’m taking him in a new direction.” Whoa. He had a “formula” now: let the boy go wild on the r&b sides, which were now treated as “B” sides, not “hits,” while he would commission new “hillbilly” songs that he could totally control. Kesler wasn’t even a writer, but Sam more or less ordered him to come up with something, so he was in the bathtub, and the Soup jingle came on, and he came up with something. Interesting that it’s boring, irritatingly “regular” rhythm, with drums, but not D.J. {interesting that Sam did not want him: D.J. was creative, wrote his own charts, and was what Elvis called “a banger” who would follow Elvis, rather than the other way around. Mr. Phillips wanted the “country” sides: now the “hit” sides, to be “comfortable” to country radio, and they could ignore the other side if they wished. Only later did most of the coolest Sun stuff appear: “For LP Fans Only,” an Army period album, I think, etc. RCA released a lot of unreleased Sun stuff on albums, and just dumped the first five singles on the market at the beginning, and they had not much impact, especially the early ones. It took a LONG time, if you weren’t paying attention, and if you didn’t get those 78s, and didn’t get the Hayride, etc., to even KNOW what all was going on at Sun. People just heard the reverb: other artists who picked up on it. Really, few really realized what Elvis had done at Sun {RCA never told that “Blue Moon” was from an early Sun session!} until 1976! The Sun Session in the U.S., and the Sun Collection in the U.K. and bootlegs. When this happened: first in the U.K., and imports of it, all of a sudden people younger than Dylan or Lennon, or people like that were sort of shocked. Knocked off their feet. From late ’73 on, they owed Elvis ZERO, goose-egg, for ANYTHING he did from age 19 to 38, until the Dec. 73 sessions! In other words, for a pittance, and he paid most of the expenses for it, and taxes, and etc., not the Col., they bought it ALL. He had NO LEGACY of the work he did while a boy and young man! Well, if he could magically whip up a big pile of hits in the next five years or so . . . or even ten, but there really was no precedent {well, Chuck Berry always knew how to reach the Junior High crowd, and had that ridiculous “My Dign-A-Ling”: while “Burning Love” and “Ben” — the two contenders on Billboard, had both scored number one on other trade charts, Billboard remained the standard: Chuck understood “the kids” better than a competitor who was STILL IN Jr. High!!!!!!! Go figure . . .}. That’s the trouble with starting out so young. He was still a young man, but the Boomers thought he was the “grand old man,” which was ridiculous. The court and guardian found it ridiculous, but the boomers, when they ruled the roost, created an “age inflation” that insisted that one must be perpetually 22. Or younger. As the rock musicians tried to mature, they were often rejected, or ridiculed, or whatever. See, Lennon became a magastar at the same age Elvis was when he was shipped out, or maybe. In Feb. 64, Lennon was 23, and in October would be 24. By the time they “met” Elvis in ’65, Lennon was pushing 25. Not a big deal, except that they made Elvis feel “old” when he wasn’t that much older than them, but had started out right out of school. Even in ’56, if he had been a college boy, he would not have been old enough to be finished! He would have been a Junior, early that year. And when he made “My Happiness,” he’d just gotten his “Testimonial to Good Moral Character” or whatever the hell it was, from high school. While the Beatles were leather-jacketed thugs {and they WERE} working up a storm in Germany – and EP was THERE {!}, Elvis came back from the service and tried to use the latter-day G.I. Bill. He applied to UCLA and was turned down flat. They attached a note, saying his fame might be “a distraction.” This, on a campus studded with famous football players and basketball players!! And Olympians! Clearly, they didn’t have the heart to tell his that his “diploma” wasn’t worth crap. Wasn’t even a “vocational course” that he “completed.” It didn’t say he completed ANY course. And its the prissy “UC” system, intended to keep the riff-raff out: I think Elvis realized this right then. Funny thing, though: just the semester before, Bob Dylan left college, and in the immediately following semester, Elvis tried to go. He wanted to mainly study acting, but was interested in poetry, and of course, musicology. In other words, he wanted to learn his craft systematically, and at the college level. He DID try. A reporter, approved by the Col., suggested this in the ’50s, said “you’re a bright boy: why don’t you think about going to college.” Elvis replied, bluntly: “I don’t ‘spect you ever been poor.” Complex statement: keep your shirt on, I’ve got a project cooking, and others have looked into it previously. But I want to look at it differently. James Dean studied acting: almost all of his heroes did. And a little later, when Dylan became known, and an album appeared in ’62, he found out that his original fans were now reading Italian poetry and stuff. Is it any wonder he fell into Larry Geller’s hands in ’64? But I wouldn’t be a snob like Bono, who said it was all junk: a lot of people read this stuff then, including the Beatles. Elvis, back in ’60, having discovered poetry in the service, from a guy on the boat, wanted to REALLY learn it, but was given the heave-ho. I think that Bono should have done THAT “research,” instead. Not “why did he read the ‘wrong’ books?” but why didn’t mainstream America allow him admittance to their club? He had earned his “life experence” and they could have suggested a J.C. and then a transfer if he did ok, but they simply said: “no.” So, what Dylan could toss away and condemn was territory Elvis could only dream about, and then STOP dreaming about. So he tried to learn through spiritualist texts that took him far from the religion with which he was raised {his father HATED Geller’s books – Elvis told him that the “Garden of Eden” story was just a parable: symbolism, and shouldn’t be taken literally, and Vernon got very angry: the secretary spoke of it in ’77. Blamed “California” for it all, for ruining his son’s mind . . . ].} I guess the point is that Bob entered a world in NY that was foreign to him, but accessible because he had a rudimentary American education, and started reading “Italian poetry” and so forth. Learned musicology just being in those clubs. And “acted” his way through his whole life at the time: pretending to be someone else. Elvis just never had that luxury.
    Now, I do not buy the “middle class upbringing” stuff about Dylan: his dad and bros. were just hanging on to the upper working class {enterpreneurial, if you wish, but certainly, the lowest of that} by the fingernails. That house was one of the rickety “moved” ones that they literally “got for a song.” It probably needed MUCH work, and it came with lots of stuff in it: including an old radio, with a record player. All Bob needed was a great antenna {no problem, that}, and access to records. Let’s face it, Bob rarely BOUGHT records, but he could get them, alright. And before he “saw” Elvis, he “heard” him: he’s ALWAYS been clear about that: he says it without even thinking. Other people always say “saw.” Bob always says “heard.” But once he saw him on TV, Sat. nights, and no longer on the Hayride, which he knew from Ole Hank’s time, well, he felt something Bill Haley could not make him feel. “In the Lonely Night/In the Stardust of A Pale Blue Light/I think of you in black & white/When we were made of dreams. BOTH OF THEM: they were BOTH “made of dreams,” still. Bob was an observant youth: he could SEE the pimples! Gosh, he must have thought: he “sounded” young, but look at him! He’s just some greasy kid. Kinda like me. Hell, I’ve already decided when I heard him that I wasn’t workin’ for nobody, but NOW, well, hell, I’m gettin’ outta here PDQ!! Don’t matter if you still got pimples! Or if you look out of place, young, awdward, not quite scared, but not belonging, either. I’m gettin’ a band together NOW! And so he began. In college, the folk boom had started, and after some big problems in high school, he HAD to find a community, and he did. He was a mess, to say the least. And his rock career had bombed, he thought. And somebody gave him this book about this guy Guthrie whose “got the shakes” and is in a bed somewhere in New Jersey. So, being an adolescent, he got all excited: this is MY WAY IN! And this guy was cool, no way around it: I want to meet this sick guy, maybe tell him thanks, and see what songs people have made in tribute to him.
    There were no songs.
    So he wrote one. And so it began.
    I don’t think it was all craven self-interest: not after he saw him. Still today, he said it scared him, kinda. And the man was nice: encouraging, as much as he could. You take an old song, and change it up, and you got a NEW song! And so that went.
    But, he should never have done anything else BUT see Woody in New York: no Times Square to work through his demons, and certainly no “folky” crowd. He should have headed for Nashville. That was his musical “home,” after all. Just listen to the two albums: “61” and “Blonde.” The latter is so much warmer: the musicians create the kind of cinematic feel that his songs needed. Would he be accepted as a young kid there? Well, it would have been hard, but better than NYC. Where first he’s literally “used” and then the folkies “use” him as their new toy, to get their message across. They could give a rip about his artistic development, really. It’s why he sounds so good in that Basement: the Hawks were a rockabilly outfit. Even if Helm wasn’t present, they knew all Helm’s stories from Arkansas, his history: THE HISTORY. And the line Levon quotes from the “Independence Day Concert” or rather STAND is similar, but different than Wertheimers: Helm remembered “those people in New York are not gonna change me none! “You’re gonna see the real Elvis tonight!” This is not quoted anywhere else: it’s Helm’s memory, period. He’s narrating, and he doesn’t follow Wertheimer’s quote. He follows, clearly, his memory. I wonder how many times he told the other Hawks that story. About how Elvis came back from his humiliation in NYC, came HOME, and made a promise, and on that night, kept it.
    But the promise, of course, was for more than just a night. See, he told fellas that it was the first time he felt like he “really sold out.” We don’t know when Scotty or D.J. revealed this. Doesn’t matter. Probably later, ’cause he said “first.” So he KNEW he’d sold out A LOT. Probably in ’68, when somehow, he’d have to triumph over his own broken vows, and by god, he did! It’s really a miracle. In those basement songs about The Betrayal, you can hear Bob ‘nearly ’bout crying! I think he really thought Elvis would be dead by December ’68. Really. “Acapulco” is filled with both rage, and grief, but also a “welcome.” Undeserved, you’d think. Unless he knew the pain of it, and you can certainly HEAR the pain on that song that “was not even a rumor.” It’s the sound of a man dying, but trying to deny that he’s dying. And failing.
    “Tears of Rage” is almost, in some ways, redundant. I’m serious. But it was like a replacement for a song he COULD NOT ALLOW TO BE RELEASED IN ANY FORM. And it was not. But you feel strongly that Dylan thought the guy was not gonna live another year. And you’d better believe he had his OWN memories: when they were both just “made of dreams.” Bob’s mostly came true: with struggle, yeah, but they did. He overcame a lot of bad stuff, and then did make “a foolish move.” Married the wrong girl! Or knocked up the wrong girl, I supposed I should say. Not saying she’s not a nice person, but I don’t feel the love in the music.
    It’s like with Elvis and Dixie: everybody wanted him to marry her: both sets of parents, and all that, but she KNEW it was not to be. He didn’t seem torn up at all. Despite what his father later said: “might likable, too!” Well, you can’t “like”: you’ve got to LOVE, esp. when you’re young. With June Juanico, it was different. He was gonna show her Graceland: it was to be their home. With “Lovie” there, too. Didn’t know that June was really quite torn about the “mother-in-law” situation. Gladys was beyond overbearing, and he let her be. But, still, he expected her to go along: told her he was stopping the train in Memphis, just to show her, “her surprise.” She stopped in Memphis, and got on. They both had “news.” He went along with “you first.” Big mistake! She told him she was engaged to another man.
    She never found out about “her surprise.” It was moot. She read in the paper, right then, about Graceland: the purchase {funny, but Vernon owned the deed ’till the day he died; Elvis only co-signed the loan: it was never his house! He didn’t want it to be, I guess. At that time in his life, he felt his father should own the house, I guess}. She remembers him coming to the door of the train, as it pulled out of the station: he had a show or something. She remembers the shocked, despairing, forlorn look. Not quite tears, because he wasn’t gonna give her that.
    It was HIS “Ballad in Plain D” without the physical fighting.
    He had altered the lyrics of “Is It So
    Strange” to fit him, and for them {said he couldn’t remember the whole song, so he fixed it up a bit – did she like it: “when you hear my name, you’ll know I’m from a strange world” — and there were a few other alterations}: he said when it came out, she’d know it was for her. The extended play record was titled “Especially For You.”
    But, he had made other promises, not just to “a girl.” Levon Helm remembered them, as did the photographer. The Wertheimer exhibit, about the “return of the conquering hero” – they’re getting all literary on our asses – is now, and we’ll be at the Grammy Museum through March 28. I’ll be there with bells on. It’s all about the homecoming “triumph” on “Independence Day”: they make a real big deal about “July 4” and this was AFTER I started writing about “Tears of Rage”!! I swear on you know where. It’s like an open thing now, but I don’t know if many have made the connection with “Tears.” Probably only Bob himself, and the guys in that Basement. Greil’s not man enough, in my view, to admit he was wrong about “the torn fabric of our country” bit. I mean, you could extend it to anything, but in that basement, the meaning was specific. If a song is not personal, it cannot BE extended to anything else, in my view. Which is why “Pawn in Their Game” is total B.S. And such an insult to people like Hank Williams, Elvis, and most of his “heroes.” How could he lump a whole group of people into a single “the poor white man.” Hell, Bob, if you’da read the real history of Tupelo, you would have found out that the only people to try to rescue the blacks who were drowned out in the flood were the men of East Tupelo: “the poor white man.” Yeah, the Klan was everywhere: but you know what? They weren’t the poorest of the poor at all: they were people like Bob himself, with time on their hands. Or people like Abe, rather! Sure, they were out of range for it, but if they weren’t, boy, oh boy: Abe just loved to “join” your local “civic organizations.” Yes, there was a bond btw. blacks and Jews then, but not all, by any means. You should hear Marty Lacker, of Memphis, prattle on . . . At first, it kinda shocked me, but then I realized the world was much more complex than it first appears.
    Why did he keep Marty? Well, Col. liked him, for one thing, even though he liked to torment him at the same time. He was stuck with certain of them: because anyone who was “foreman,” “co-foreman” “wanted to be foreman” was a spy. And he was stuck. Geller was hated, because he had the star’s ear, but didn’t want to be a big deal in the “organization” of playmates. He already was. Same with Alan Fortas. He didn’t want to be “top dog” or a spy. So he got run out. Larry got run out, but came back: Alan was a hopeless junkie after a short while. He died in the ’90s, considerably before his time – whatever that means, today.
    And all of that B.S. would be enough to drive Bob Dylan nuts! I mean, well, he was already nuts, but you get my drift. He could not “hang out” like Tom Jones. No way. Jackie Wilson didn’t care: he had an enterourge {sp?} of his own. But the guys chased probably many a good, needed friend away. Parker was hip to this: on the trip to Houston, he instructed Esposito to keep the group as small as possible because too many people around were a danger to the necessary “privacy” that he wanted to protect for his boy. Yeah, right. In other words, make sure no “bad influences” get involved. When he did have real “bad influences,” it was encouraged! Never people his age: always older men: quite a bit, too. Col’s people, I guess. The very idea of him getting chummy with his own peers was disturbing to Parker. And disturbing to anyone who felt like they were in a James Bond movie. I’d want to deny the whole bloody mess, myself, I guess, if I were Bob. I guess: especially if it hurt a lot. “A man can only ride your back if it’s bent,” a great man once said, but he should remember “society’s pliers” doing the bending.
    Meanwhile, I feel like the best of Bob’s earliest work suffered from a lack of good musical collaboration: Nashville, or a good rockabilly band like the Hawks, or whatever.
    Being alone made him vulnerable, and he knew it. But breaking out almost cost him his life. It hurt, man. One guy yelled at Newport: “that’s a sellout jacket.” The damn leather jacket he was wearing when it got a little chilly at night. You can see the wind kicking up that day, and there on the shore . . . what a jerk. But to Bob, it must have seemed like black rain coming at him, coming down on him, and why? What did he do wrong? It’s music! American music! But, he soon learned what Elvis did not, or even if he did, he felt trapped, that even a “leather jacket” could represent freedom from those trying to conrol you: and so it had to go. But Bob went though it all, and then revved up that “bad motorcycle.” He was getting away from it all, one way or the other.
    And he DID get to Nashville. Trouble was, it was almost too late.

  80. R M Says:

    Hmmm. I suppose you’re still thinking on that one. ‘Cause it’s really more about Dylan than anyone else. At that time, Nashville WAS different than it would become, but people did sign up with song publishing outfits. Dylan was ripped off quite a bit, anyway, so what would be the big difference? The thing is that he would not have been forced to do songs to please anyone but himself and those who truly appreciated his work as an artist, and not as their little tool. Sure, it got tough for NON-singing writers as the sixties became the 70s, and vice-versa, but Dylan had intended to be a performer from the beginning. There was nothing in Memphis anymore, so Nashville was the place to go. Yeah, Hill and Range had some bad stuff as policy, but on the other hand, one did better there than with some of the older companies. The writers got more, even when they were forced into entanglements with “big singing stars.” And Bob generally didn’t take crap: he would not sit still as a “staff writer” or as a shoved around performer. Maybe briefly, just to “get in,” but it would have been a quicker and easier path to being himself, I think. Yeah, they were all frightened of Nashville in 1966, but Kooper CAUSED the trouble, actually. Other than that, they were not harrassed. The musicians just didn’t like it that he did not come prepared: his songs weren’t finished, and they’d spend eternities playing pool in the posh Columbia studios. But when it came to cutting the records, those Nashville Cats gave the music a cinematic flavor that gave an incredible warmth to “Blonde” and even, I think, kind of saved “Harding,” ’cause “Harding” was nothing more than a watered down version of the Basement material. I can see song after song, but especially in the better ones. Could they really have done justice to “I Pity the Poor Imigrant” in NY? Ridiculous to even consider. It was not just HIS life, or even his parents: it was the life of every guy or gal on the road. “his visions in the Final End . . . shatter like the glass . . .” It takes a certain musical delicacy to give that line everything it deserved, and thank whomever, he was in Nashville. See, that album had plenty of ups and downs, and no slam-dunks like the Basement material: “Dear Landlord” was a watered down version of “This Wheel’s On Fire.” Very watered-down. The “fire,” if you will, is not really there, but the Nashville musicians push the best possible performance out of Bob, and it retains some kick. “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” was so misinterpreted, by, oh, everyone. You have to look at the timeline. I do NOT beleive it was about Guthrie. I do not believe it was some sort of pentinence{?}. No way. He was NOT sorry, which is why he sang at a tribute ELECTRIFIED!! He was “out to death” literally before he ever met Bobby, of course, and without Dylan’s popularization of his work – WIDE popularization, he would not be the “icon” he became. And Bob knew that. He also knew he had nothing to feel guilty for, but others DID. There’s that “courtroom” song, I forget, but clearly, it’s Dylan on that last tour, going out to “face that cursed jury.” The audience. The Nashville musicians catch it whole. Put it on the spit like good Memphis barbecue, and it comes out mighty tasty. You can “taste” the salt in his mouth, as the tears he claims never to have shed reach his tongue. “From the Grave,” he mutters, loudly, before taking the stage: and it’s the “Judas Performance,” and he pulls it together and DOES IT! It’s something to watch, yeah, but he chronicled it on Harding, the album, and let YOU in how it felt on the inside: not how it looked, or sounded, but truly, truly how it FELT. And it did not feel good. He was alone, without a home, a ROLLING STONE!!!!! For real. But that song somehow doesn’t capture the real feeling: the pain. See, ’cause “Like a Rolling Stone” is about breaking away and feeling rotten, and then realizing that it’s not so bad at all: that independence {different entirely from “freedom,” which Greil can never understand}, while a bitter struggle, a painful thing, can in the end FEEL GREAT! Especially for someone from a House of Stone. Dylan experience a lot of death, and his own near-death {I’m now quite convinced that the motorpsycho nightmare was a close call: too many people trying to deny it, especially his brother, David) from the mid-sixties to the mid-seventies. The guy who directed “I’m Not There” should realize that the “breakdown” and subsequent religious “conversion”: heck, he was ALWAYS involved deeply in Christianity! Shoot. But to become A GOSPEL SINGER, in Bob’s head, anyway, well yeah, it was a response to what had happened in ’77, but it was really “the last straw” for him. Richard Farina died on a bike, or off it, perhaps one should say. And then Bob felt that Grossman would rather have seen him dead than to cancel those damn concerts, and then, to reach a peak, his own father died: and in that house, when he showed just SOME emotion, his mother called David over and David knew what to do: remove him to the kitchen, where he remained, until he went out for a ride with his younger brother. Mr. Rolfzen, I think, must have been confused as to why he was sitting there, away from everyone: his family. But he boldly walked back into that kitchen. Bob realized, I think, that it would not have mattered WHEN his father died, in terms of their relationship: it would never improve. Nothing in that house had changed. He could have been in his ’90s, and the issues would be irresolute. But then rock stars and performers started dropping like flies. He undoubtedly knew many of them. And two of his early heroes, Williams and Dean, were long gone before he made his own move. Death had seemed sort of part of the whole “cool” asthetic, but it got a lot more real as time went on. And then something, I guess for Bob: and I know there were others who were utterly shocked, but I guess they weren’t paying enough attention, or they had blinders on, “unthinkable” happened. A guy who very well could have been his older brother, just up and died. I mean, there he was, up front in the Garden in ’72: if Bob Dylan didn’t know “the signs” of Quaaludes and other “merde” – excuse my French: a sudden unexplainable weight gain, but not so he looked “fat,” but just “different.” That should have cued him in: the pasty complexion, indicating that he never really saw the daylight, the morose songs he chose. Shoot, I got another one of those FTC releases, and in ’74, he did this song by Bread: “Aubrey.” About an adolescent crush, actually, but Elvis treated it with solemnity. I cannot imagine why. The “Aubrey” in his life was that giant man he punched in the gas station, who was running out to see what was going on, and this littler guy just clocks him. He did not hit him back, but was found “guilty” and fined a few dollars. {The Col. got busy, boy!} I mean, Guralnick says he was 6’4: I guess so, but he looked like a giant. I imagine you’d remember that, but in sentimental way? Naw. The weirdest things were happening on those August nights in ’74. He dedicated “Suspicious Minds” to P.I. O’Grady, the double-agent who turned him in to his father and almost got him locked up, and by ’74, Elvis knew what O’Grady had done. It was a wicked “Suspicious Minds,” if there ever was one. “We can’t go on together, with Suspicious Minds . . .” Yeah, boy. “When ya don’t believe a word I’m sayin’.” And well, of course he didn’t: he had the documentation, which he turned over to Vernon. After ’73, his “cover” was blown. He was no longer a “friend.” But for whatever reason, he decided to check out a show. Jackie Wilson was playing Vegas at the same time, and caught a few shows. He said “a couple from Detroit” – and it WAS Wilson, ’cause I have other info regarding that, and Elvis’s beyond reverent intro a couple days before, what he called “Trilogy” to this “couple from Detroit.” He raced through the opening and closing, and spent an inordinate amount of time on “Hush, little baby” part. Don’t know why. Maybe Jackie liked that best. But it’s morose: they were both going to die soon {well, technically, Jackie “lived” for 8 years, but he was comatose}. When he first introduced him, he forgot at first, to use his whole name: he sung a bit of a song, and then said that there was someone here who could outdo anyone in the business, and then, more than reverently: more like worshipfully, lowered his voice, and with increasing volume, said “Ja-a-a-ckie!” Jack!” He said his first name, at first, almost like he sings “Jesus” in the gospel songs. I swear. He just didn’t know how to DO it: it meant so much. I don’t think it was the first time, and I don’t think that mattered. Then he got friendly, relaxed some: “stand up, son!” Now, actually, Wilson is a few months older than Elvis, but Elvis considered them sort of “separated at birth” or something. When he got obsessed, he got obsessed. Well, in the sixties, they spent countless hours backstage at The Trip when Jackie got to the coast: and he would go to Vegas to see him as often as he could, then, too. What happened after that first night was that he gave him his stage suit, a rare one that was custom made by a relative, not a “designer” suit. A two-parter, and re-inforced. Elvis’s girlfriend had a matching one! But he gave his away. They won’t release “Desert Storm” except on bootlegs. But it was not long after this, certainly. Elvis was struggling: in the rehearsals, he really tried to do some new stuff, but it was mostly junkie rasp and a lotta bad attitude. Not all, but a lot. And then, as if the dark clouds parted, an angelic voice burst forth: he did his version of “Twelfth of Never.” Please do forget all other versions, esp. the Mathis one. Nothing like this. I mean, on other songs, his voice is thin, nasal, raspy: a genuine junkie rasp. And then, out of like nowhere, an angel began to sing. We’re back in 1958, both before – in Killeen, Texas, when she was sick, and then after that phone rang “between midnight and day”: actually 3:30, when, at 23, he kept grabbing his dead mother in her coffin, hugging and rocking her, saying “wake up Mama, wake up Mama . . .” And the next day, he made a leap into the grave, but four grown men is what it took to pull him back. I swear, when he sings “Twelfth,” you are THERE. Period. It’s heartbreaking, but unspeakably beautiful, too. And they put a better engineered version on “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” – the ’70s box. It came out in the 90s, the last of the big boxes, well, no: last year’s “The Essential Gospel Masters” – I believe that is correct: that’s the final one of that series. But in 2008, when my phone rang, well, I wasn’t 23, so all I needed was one look, and I knew. It’s the worst thing a human being can ever see: someone they dearly love, with that look: you know. But a 23-year-old: I dunno, I guess I would have gone nuts, too. I had a hellofa hard time as it was. I felt strongly that they robbed her of years because of the treatment she got: being shuttled around every damn time she got better, or made progress, they’d kick her out, and down a step: sometimes a BIG step. And finally, they chose a place where some doc put nine meds in her for a kidney problem she did NOT have, going in! One of the initial meds they gave her: that’s what did it. The other hospital: a real one, again, said that, well, the guy in charge of her care, he said he’d never seen someone fight so hard, and now she was starting to talk, and they had a great rehab: and he pointed to the door of the rehab, and he said he was very optimistic because she was following all the instructions he gave her, and jumping from pain, anywhere, and starting to talk {it was the second go-’round for that}, and THAT NIGHT, an ambulance drove up, and took her away to a “long-term” something-or-other. And they didn’t know what the hell they were doing. And she
    Ok. She died there.
    So, I had a right to feel angry and hurt beyond even what someone in my position would feel. And, yeah, I pick on him, but I fainted. That’s true. But only on account of what the woman behind the counter said: with no human feeling. “What do you want us to do with the body?” I swear, it’s a miracle I didn’t have a stroke myself right then: you have no idea how cold that woman was. It meant NOTHING to her. Nothing. Next thing I remember was one man’s hand under my head, then another. And the stupid chick goes: “should we call 911?” See, it’s not a real hospital!
    Anyway, Elvis’s mother died young, which is tragic, but it was because of drink, mainly. My mother didn’t do anything to deserve the treatment she got. In one place, I swear to God, they BROKE HER ARM! She had been having trouble with “frozen shoulder” before it happened, and I told ’em all again and again . . . but they did it.
    But the thing is this: this dying young man, a guy in his thirties is dying {Elvis, I mean}, and he sings this song at a rehearsal, and I play it over and over and over, and I think it was one of the things that really saved me. Because I knew that what with everybody saying “I know how you feel,” which everyone should KNOW is stupid to say, THIS guy KNEW! And what’s more, he made art out of it. And I had that art in the palm of my hand, and all I had to do was push the “repeat” button,” and he’d keep singing.
    “To Ramona” helped as time when on, too. And other Elvis stuff, mostly, but some Dylan stuff. And, Lordy, even “Tomorrow Is A Long Time,” sung by EP, written by BD. I know it was about Carla, but not to Elvis. It was about that time, before, and after. I know if Bob really KNEW, and I don’t know if he does, and certainly I don’t think he did in ’69, that the guy was singing about his MOTHER, he would probably barf. But it’s so damn beautiful. “I can’t remember the sound of my own name.” Wow.
    And that’s how much hurt can HURT. But you gotta have the best sing the best. And it came togther there.
    But something like “Twelfth” you wouldn’t think: but he somehow did it. Others, too. See, I could never lose my hearing: I’d lose music.
    I can NOT lose MUSIC. Like “Mr. Phillips” said, “It’s where the soul of man never dies.”
    And it is.
    It’s why all of this matters so much. Every damn detail MATTERS! Because the music matters. It can save your life, not just your soul, or vice-versa.
    And I guess that IS why Bob broke down, and went mute for a week. There was just nothing to say, I guess. No other death could run him through with a sword like that. He got Jerry Scheff to play on the next album, and then “the room moved.” Jesus moved the room. For a while there, he really lost it. And creatively, really dried up for a long time.
    But when he re-emerged, you can hear it on “Tell Tale Signs,” there’s “Born In Time.” I was not the only one to be moved in this way.
    But I HAVE cried “Tears of Rage” and anger and hurt get all mixed up, sometimes. I don’t begrudge Bob his human frailties: he’s not a murderer, or whatever . . . he’s a jerk a lot . . . but he makes art. Art that CAN save souls. And that matters. Don’t forget that. Whatever his religion d’jour. {I’m terrible with French: is that it: like the soup? Yeah, I think so. Hey, I picked “Spanish” as my language in grad school. My advisor once said: “do you have a language?” I said: “Yes.” He asked what is it. Wanted to know if I could read something “in the original.” I said “English.” I am not kidding you. Well, it IS funny, but it’s also true.} I then asked him if he knew what Arsh Taters were. He was stumped. Bet you know: Irish potatoes, in “Southern.” Boom! Another “language” right there!
    P.S. — He was not amused: “you know you really should get some “real” languages!”

  81. R M Says:

    Either busy, or thinking this over, or comparing me to another teacher . . . {hell, I AM a teacher! But I hope not one who has brought bad memories to anyone, although there have been conflicts. But I think even with the conflicts, I tried my best to solve them without hurting anyone who had less power than I, or really without the necessity of inflicting hurt or harm} . . .
    Whatever’s shakin’ . . . I heard you were looking for the actual “roots” of “Like A Rolling Stone” — and that’s admirable, but I think the words in the song speak so clearly: the song is about Bob and his life(lives). Nobody else, not that song. It’s stamped with his name on it: STONE. And what that Stone did; it rolled . . . rolled away, no matter what it went through in the process, it rolled away. And never returned. Oh, people can cast aspersions: say he went home for money once in a while: I don’t believe this literally. You see, he may HAVE gone home for money, but it doesn’t mean he got any. As a teen, Echo is clear: he got no allowance, even though he worked, and worked hard in that store. Being sent around as a teenage repo man. Just to teach him that “life isn’t fair” or something. And he was thinkin’ “damn straight it ain’t fair!” But they didn’t want him in that business. Especially since there clearly were “secrets,” and guess what? Right there, smack in the middle of “Like a . . .” you hear about those very secrets: “you’re invisible now: you got no secrets TO CONCEAL!!!!!!” Now, that’s just too much emotion to be about something he observed, or was even involved in to an extent. This song came from a hurting place, and it’s clearly carthartic: primal scream therapy way beyond anything to which Lennon could even get close. He said, and they have the notes to prove it, that it had a LOT of pages: he called it “vomit.” Well, what is vomit, if not pitching out what was stuffed down him. HIM. Not an observation, not even a relationship with a woman, not at that time of life, certainly. I don’t think it’s his greatest song by any means, but I do think it was his most important – to him. He just had to rage on. “Get it out.” “Vomit” it up . . . but you never can. I just listened to Joan Baez sing “Diamonds and Rust,” just last year, in, of all places {to me, anyway}, Tuscaloosa, Alabama: my Alma Mater. The field house where I didn’t hear Elvis sing, but almost took that walk in the darkness, alone. I chickened out. I knew on that summer night in August of ’77 that I had made a big mistake: it was definitely worth the risk. I would forever regret it.
    And Joan’s new interpretation is intriguing: she changed a key lyric: instead of “I loved you dearly,” it’s now “I once loved you dearly.” And got in on the PBS special, too, so he’d hear it! Even if you didn’t hear her voice: yes, frayed and darkened a bit from time, but filled with much more emotion and hurt than in the ’70s. “40 years ago” hits like a punch in the gut. Hell, if you still sound so tore up, after SO long, well, then “once” loved you dearly is lyin’ to yourself, big time. See, they’re both pushing their 70s: “grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” But that’s not how it went. And you can hear her despair: Dylan for his part said he felt “proud” to be the subject of such an affecting song. Hmmm. That had to hurt even MORE! The apparent “coldness” she hears from someone who has always called . . . from wherever. But she knows he’s lying, too. So, she decided to throw one dart in herself. One sharp one. He’s not gonna let it show, of course, in any way. The very fact that he spoke on the show is “showing” enough. And then he watches it: and she says “I once loved you dearly.” When it originally said “Yes, I loved you dearly,” as if in answer to a question. She shuts it down now, just to hurt. To give back some hurt. Because, of course, for them both, that was THE ONE. Isn’t that the truth: isn’t there really always “one”? Gotta be. And it’s always the one you deny the most, I think. Even if it was wrong for you. Unless it was dangerous: physically, it cannot be “wrong.” {Just ’cause Sara says he was physically abusive in the divorce action doesn’t make it so: but it is possible. He always had so much rage in him. But I don’t think he did that with Joannie. It was the way the parted. Knocking up another girl. Catching them together, and him allowing it to happen. She paid. But she still sounds like the whole 40 years has contained a big giant hole. That will never be filled.} Hey, if he is “proud” to be the subject of such an affecting song, he’s telling HER something: SHE should be proud, ’cause she’s the subject of quite a few “affecting” songs! It’s a bizarre sort of communication. It’s his way of saying “yes, I loved you dearly.” And not saying “I once loved you dearly.” Not if he’s still “proud” as she “should” be. It’s the only way he can reach out: if there’s no song, really, he cannot express himself. Or refuses to. He’s NOT good with words, actually, but certain IS good at “keeping things vague.”
    Like “what is was? 1968?” He says it BACKWARDS! “what it was?” Not “what was it?” Certainly a man who seems tongue-tied and even a little nervous. Now, Bob should not be nervous about being “vague” and even fibbing . . . that’s it’s thing. Supposed to be what he’s good at. A song titled “I Don’t Believe You.” With lyrics at the end that chill the bone: some one asks if it’s “easy to forget.” He sings: “it can be easily done: you just pick anyone, and act like you never have met.” “Act” being the operative word. Fake it. “Act.” Pretend.
    But after a long period of time, it gets less easy. Pain runs deeper. Long-ago relationships, and they do not have to be boy-girl “romances,” either, but deep relatinships, start to cut harder as one gets older, and realizes that the need for people is stronger as one gets older. And in his business, so many people die. They’re just not there any more ’round about the ’70s or so. Yeah, they should be, but they’re not. And mostly, it’s someone’s fault. No, the two Beatles did nothing wrong, but I think: esp. with John, it was just an acquaintenceship. He certainly didn’t describe any kind of nervous breakdown, and going mute . . . you would think that someone getting shot to death would provoke that strong a reaction: Bob merely hired Top Gun style security after it. I don’t get the impression that it pierced him all that much. You would see some evidence. Never even recorded a song, one of John’s. Well, in the early ’90s, when Bob seemed kind of obssessed with a certain artist who had died, an album came out with a rarity: Lonnie Johnson’s “Tommorow Night,” as recorded at Sun Records, with no embellishments or overdubs: just pure and plain and lovely, by, who it was? Oh, yeah, the guy with the funny name from “no man’s land” on that highway he knew like the back of his hand. Dylan recorded it IMMEDIATELY. It seemed to have a powerful effect on him. It WAS originally done as a “love song”: in fact, it was the “our song” of the young singer on the record Dylan heard. A first real girlfriend, and that was the “our song.” And it was a blues ballad. Dylan went into the studio and put the track down. Like some force of nature whisked him in to do it.
    But as I listened to Joan’s hurt, I thought of May, 1971. We cannot, and probably will never know if it’s true that they jammed together after some meetings {that had to be, ’cause how would Dylan know exactly where to go and when}: I mean, people can say stuff, but if we didn’t see it, or don’t have the evidence, well, we cannot surely know. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. But if those two “sessions” took place, after a process of planning, and then nothing much came of it, and it went into Bob’s “vault,” then sure Bob had to be “hurt,” but what of the OTHER person?! We’ve never thought of that. THAT is on tape! He sings those choruses of “I Shall Be Released” in May, ’71 {when he also sang “Don’t Think Twice” for close to 15 minutes, and they never give you all of it, for some reason that remains unexplained}, and then, with such intensity, says “Dylan!” With a sense of loss, too. What does “finality” mean, after all, if not loss? He knows he’ll never get to work with the people who are his peers. Kristofferson was practically chased away with “Sunday Morning . . .” So he went to Cash {helicopter and all: after his recent experience with HillandRange, maybe he thought it necessary}. But what of the other fellow: he lost the song. A song that was really HIS experience: that in many ways, was written to fit him perfectly. Kristofferson was a rick kid, basically: HIS “Sunday morning”s were not what they had been in East Tupelo: it really wasn’t his experience. He smells chicken frying, etc. The whole thing. But it was destroyed: not for Kris, but for the guy who really wanted that song {it’s in Ernst J.’s book of recording sessions: LOADED with detail, but of course, you know he’s fudging, too, about some crucial things}. I don’t think he would have sang “wishin’ I was stoned,” ’cause the line doesn’t make sense: if the guy wants an old-fashioned family “Sunday,” and is wearing his “cleanest dirty shirt” — which is what happened after not long at all, or was already starting, then the guy was ALREADY stoned! It needn’t be said because it should be understood. The guy is alone in a drug nightmare: no stability in his life, and he doesn’t care anymore what he wears. Well, it was a little early for that, but perhaps he knew what was to come. Because by the mid-seventies, Elvis only wore that “jogging suit” with “DEA” embroideried on. Absurd. He’d sleep in it. His cousin says they have to wait for him to be pretty stoned to get him into a shower, or bath. “He’d fight ya’!” Billy didn’t speak for decades, so he was cool: he didn’t want to exploit him, but Alana Nash drew him out. She had to: he knew things no one but maybe Lisa knows {well, perhaps even she doesn’t know THAT, or what was said in a hospital room, but she knows too much: she now says her childhood, and she means with her dad, was “too deep for one so young.” Ricky Stanley said a while back: “that kid knew EVERYTHING anyone should never know by the time she was about seven, mayber earlier.” So she just confirmed it, is all.}.
    So, I’ve always considered Bob’s feelings, only. After all, he lived. “I took you close and got what I deserved.” See, the song starts out televisually, and then all of a sudden, Bob has brought a real person, or allowed a real person into his life. In the “Tell Tale” version of “Born In Time” {the other version is choppy, and not as beautiful, nor does he implicate himself, and it includes extraneous detail, like he married a very young girl: or LIVED WITH one, just like EP’s “Ma” married an underage boy . . . stupid stuff that he didn’t put in the original}. And that, he concludes, was his mistake — a mistake he wants to imagine away in his recent interview. But then, he becomes conflicted, because a death happened: “why’d I ever leave ya? Or bereave ya?” In other words, he made the mistake, there’s no going back {and we know from Schilling that “he called every few months,” so he DID “take you close” and got whatever is he’s talking about that “I deserved”}, so yeah, since he was already in – maybe over his head, but in – he should not have left. But if what the guy who made “I’m Not There” is sure is true, about the jam sessions, that dribbled to just one song in ’72 – and I figure that guy did his research, hell, HE liberated “I’m Not There.” But he did cut the title, which is a shame, but out of context of The Basement, maybe it’s ok, but if what this guy is sure of, is true, then Dylan probably feels he might as well have kept trying. Even if it got ugly, even if the guy who liberated HIM looked like a Dead Man Walking after a while. Maybe he should have kept banging on “the door” — or the phone, or whatever. And that’s what gives the song its kick: the regret, not just the hurt. The emotions tearing at him in different directions. A relationship doesn’t always have to be a “boy-girl romance” to be powerful. A relationship is about more than sexual love, and Dylan knows this well. Sure, with Joannie, that’s what it was, but there are other types of relationships. Nick Adams killed himself the week Lisa Marie was born. He saw his friend realizing a life he’d never know. Nick was gay, but he was a close friend. Nick found success with his TV show, but for whatever reasons, killed himself that very week. They, too, were “Born In Time.” But Elvis got to play to “Bob” part in that one, I guess. The sad sack was Nick. But, see it was different what Bob was talking about: he’s not just lamenting some anonymous hobo! This was the person of whom he says “I think of you in black & white.” Double meaning there, intentional, hee hee. But you can actually see the dark room, the pall over the House of Stone, and then . . . “In the lonely night, in the Stardust of a Pale Blue Light . . . when we were made of dreams.” He took the line from Elvis himself: “when you’re young, everything is just . . . dreamy. But when you grow up, everything is just . . . REAL.” He’s referring to before and after his mother’s death, etc. So many dreams: to be like Brando! To sing like Caruso! And to sing the raunchiest, deepest blues, too – on stages, to crowds who really appreciated it – like IN LONDON{!}, and to start a REAL Gospel Quartet . . . it seemed like it all just perished. This was the time of which Dylan spoke: the mid-sixties. He didn’t know what it was REALLY like in London: that was just his fantasy, since he’d never been there. Bob’s London was a whole other place. But he was once “made of dreams” that he knew now would not come true. But he didn’t know what he did wrong: musta been something.
    And that’s what gives the song its kick: he could have told him: “you did nothing wrong! Fire his ass!” But it never got that far. “Why’d I ever leave ya? Or bereve ya?” {there’s a spelling mistake somewhere there, I know}.
    But if Bob just “left,” well, I never considered what it might have felt on the other side. Until I heard that song tonight. I mean, if that “jam session” ever happened, it would have taken great courage to get anything going at all. And if Bob just walked away in ’72, because he saw the change, and it creeped him out, well . . .
    It accounts for the regret in the song.
    Bob virtually NEVER names the people his songs are about, but you have to be missing some essestial parts of your brain not to know. I know virtually all the Joannie songs, the Carla ones . . . and yeah, the Elvis ones, too. They came later. Sure he gave the game away with Joannie with the “Egyptian ring” and with Elvis with “well, well, well, . . . Las Vegas” and “Acapulco” and “go down to Tenn. and get me a truck or something'” and the smutty take on the Bobby Bare parody . . . but the recent ones are quite serious. And the guy who made the film knows just how serious. He was forced to do the research, and he knows. Well, he wanted to, also, but he had to.
    And believe me, he knows what “Under the Red Sky” means. All you gotta do is just listen to the REAL “Fun In Acapulco” song! Weird lyrics, but there it is. “Red Sky at Morning, Sailor Take Morning.” I wonder if some songwriter was trying to get a message through.
    Well it didn’t work. But Bob did that “secret” song. And then named a whole album after that “Red Sky.” “Wiggle, Wiggle.” “The Cat’s in the Well.” And so on. “Handy Dandy”! A terrific song, by the way, just in itself. But a song under that “Red Sky.”
    But Joannie, after all these decades, still has hurt in her voice. I wonder how that Cat, who really was stuck at the bottom of a “well” with a “wolf lookin’ down” felt, when Bob just gave up. Never called anymore. Tried to forget, ’cause ya know, in any relationship, it’s easily done: “you just pick anyone {that you WANT to forget}, and act like you never have met.”
    Maybe the question isn’t so much: “how hurt is Bob.” But how much did he hurt someone? He may regret it now, but where is that song? When do we get to hear it? “I’m sorry, though it’s too late.” When, huh? Not a dismissal with wave of the hand: “act like you never have met.” But walk around Tupelo trying to “feel” what he “must have felt.” Yeah, Bob, WHAT must he have felt? You callin’ and calln’, and then, all of a sudden, when the goiong gets tough, you don’t call anymore. And then you try to erase the whole thing. Well, Dick Nixon could erase those 18 minutes, but you cannot erase your heart.
    Just thinkin.
    Thanks Joannie,

  82. reprindle Says:

    Wrong on all counts, Robin. I had some work that had to be done and then I had to organize my thoughts on Boone and Presley. I presume you were born in the late fifties or early sixties so missing ‘the really big shoo’ of the fifties.

    The deal with Presley and Boone was sort of a battle of the bands. They both hit at the same time. Boone had won the Amateur Hour two or three years before ’55. I saw those shows and expressed some rancor because as I, and others, believed they would never have let Presley win, or even, on the show.

    As with the Beatles and the Stones Boone was the good kid, the favorite of the right people while Presley like the Stones was the bad kid, the juvenile delinquent. The confrontation didn’t exactly provoke street fights but close. Presley really offended the status quo. If you favored the right side- Boone- you were in the good graces of the proto-Politically Correct; if you favored Presley you were classed with the juvenile delinquents. Actually, you were called a fairy. It took cojones for a boy to say he liked Presley.

    I suppose the thing got down to shoes- Blue Suede Shoes versus the White Bucks as symbols. White shoes then as now were thought of as, perhaps, ostentatious. So, as a kid I despised white bucks although I wouldn’t have been caught dead in blue suede shoes.

    In my novel, Our Lady Of The Blues, I erupt, as it were, into a dissertation comparing Boone to Presley. This was one of the great conflicts of my youth. Speaking from my subconscious it turns out that I liked both Boone and Presley- a dichotomy in my soul. I really admired the open throated, deep chested baritone of Boone. There was a confidence and self-assurance there that I lacked but wanted.

    Presley, on the other hand, Sun years, had a strangled, hunched shouldered, narrow chested sound screaming out from a repressed personality that expressed my reality. ‘That’s All Right, Mama, That’s All Right For You.’ Or Buddy Holly’s whine: That’ll Be The Day When You Say Good-bye. Boone on the other hand was represented by his hit Love Letters In The Sand that I really liked while the lyrics also expressed my reality.

    The battle raged for two or three years with Boone gradually being forced out. He had to turn to rock n’ roll in an attempt to survive. Pat’s attempt at Little Richard’s hits like Tutti Frutti are good for a laugh. It sounds like he hasn’t memorized the lyrics, merely reading them for the first time. They make no sense to him and at one point one picks up a feeling of ‘Say, what is this crap?’ So Pat lost the battle.

    Like I say white shoes were outre so I really surprised myself when I bought a pair. I still couldn’t bring myself to buy wing tips but when I found a pair of loafers I didn’t hesitate. It still amazes me that I not only bought them but wore them proudly. As I look back I can’t remember ever seeing anyone but Boone or myself who wore them.

    Decades later I scoffed at the old boys who wore those matching white shoes and belts. Remember that? Might have had something to do with the fifties and Boone thirty years on.

  83. R M Says:

    Intriguing look at at guys and their clothing attitudes: says a lot about the culture in general. I don’t remember matching white shoes and belts, but during the eighties, I was still into jeans and sneakers, and I liked the colorful sweaters and sweatshirts. I even liked those “shoulders pads” they complain about today. But in those days, I wore Levis 517 jeans {standard, but with a bit of stretch, so they didn’t last but about a couple years a pair}, and those “Cosby Sweaters” and even sweatshirts apop with color. Yes, of course you got my age right: hell, they’ve raised my social security age!! So I cannot be any older. I kinda missed the Beatles entrance, but in day camp we’d substitute “and Ringo was his name-o” for “bingo.” And I recall Halloween ’64, and Dick Clark had this recording of “I Wanna Bite Your Neck.” I did not understand the implications at that age, of course. See, my folks caved and got me a TV at five years old: barely five!! I remember the FIRST report of The Rolling Stones as they came on their first U.S. tour. Cronkite acted like the British were ACTUALLY “invading” America!!!!!! He thought they were dirty, nasty, bad, everything . . . it was funny. Even then. I knew it couldn’t be all that bad. But I was just too young to appreciate music. Like I said, my introduction to music came with the J-5: now this was a big deal, ’cause the other girls, wherever I went, the white girls, I mean, of course, they dug the Osmonds, and then Bobby Goldsboro {yuck!}, and Lord Help Them, David Cassidy. I remember lingering about the classroom at recess talking football with the little boys {and in those days, boys were still little at that age!}, and one boy saw a magazine with Cassidy, and his legs on view, and the kid said: “he might as well be a girl!” I kind of agreed. I was also a Joe Namath fan: big time. I liked sports first. It was something on television, and also that I could read about, that took me into a whole other world. A world that seemed so much better than “school.” But when this group of little kids appeared, when some of them were little, esp. MJ, I was knocked out. He seemed to follow me on TV and on the radio. He was on Miami-only radio and TV shows for a little bit, and I had left some running buddies behind in NY in that little school with no girls my age. So when the Osmonds brought in “Donny” the “little” one – he’s actually almost a year older than MJ, which also offended me, well, god I hated that creepy kid with the pearly teeth. And as I got older, and really listened to music: when I discovered Elvis, actually, is when it really happened that I discovered everything else, well, Pat Boone struck me as an early model for the Osmonds. I despised their milk-drinking souls! And as I got a bit older, I always had a feeling that Motown was lying about something about the J-5: that there was some kind of cover-up. I found out later they had tried to lie about their ages, even the parents, but it was more than that. As I got older, I smelled a “rat,” and I don’t mean “Ben.” Something was terribly wrong, and I could feel it in my bones. I was deeply into Elvis, especially when the tragedy happened and I was actually having nightmares about banging on the glass doors to get in to the arena . . . the ONLY repeating dream or nightmare I’ve ever had. And the blues! And on and on . . . I learned, gradually to appreciate country: I was big on George Jones, and people who really had soul: Charlie Rich, etc. And I was a real southerner by then, so it was easy. I used to the talk to a country DJ deep into the night on the phone, and make requests, which he always played, and I’d guess the hits. When I heard “He Stopped Loving Her Today” for the first time, I grabbed the phone, almost in hysteria and told him: “That’s a NUMBER ONE RECORD!!!!! You gotta play it a couple more times tonight!” See, it was not very long after Elvis’s death, and I’ll tell you: females just DESPISED Priscilla then, his ex.: they blamed his death on her. Women were VERY vocal about this down south. One writer quoted something evil, that I will not repeat, but it’s true what she quoted. They were that crazy. So, when I heard the song, I knew it would zoom immmediately to number 1 country, and maybe pop, too. I don’t remember about the pop charts, but I was right about the country charts: it ZOOMED! Those women just scooped it up. I was writing about music already in several papers: not just in school. And I thought I was a real know-it-all. When all I really knew, then, mostly, was through Greil and St. Peter . . . Later, I grew up quick. And it hurt, but I learned to trust my OWN instincts and thoughts, and not to be some puppet. I got my own mind back, in a way. But Elvis never left me. And after a time, I realized that Bob was not the same as the latter-day Beatles AT ALL. But he was so “old news” in the eighties . . . but I listened close, and then BOOM! In the nineties, right at the beginning, he stoked his own coals, and within a few years, had Grammy-winner. It’s no better than his other great ones, just overdue recognition. But what I didn’t realize is that, through “Tell Tale Signs,” they were putting out, in the early ’90s, not the best stuff. Production screwups. Bob wanted to explore something deep, deep inside him, and they didn’t want him to do that.
    Finally, I think he’s facing it as he hasn’t since The Basement, with that rockabilly band. See, without Elvis, Dylan doesn’t even EXIST, really: finding himself in Nashville and making the warmest music of pain, confusion, and the infliction of pain, too, that anyone could ever really do. I believe the Nashville Cats pushed him to do what he really wanted to do, but was afraid to do: to face his own realities. A lot of Joannie on there, of course, so he felt compelled to do that interminable “Sad Eyed Lady . . .” He married the chick, didn’t he?
    But more important was when his first-born son was born. Jesse Byron Dylan. Jesse Byron. But for two letters, named for Elvis’s twin brother! Coincidence? No way. In fact, Elvis told everybody who he could that if he had a boy, he’d name his “John Baron.” Spelled like that, with one “r.” So Dylan really only changed ONE latter, and that was for him, and the whole “poet” thingy.
    But once people knew the full name, didn’t that raise some eyebrows? Why this was in “the mid-sixties”! When he didn’t want to get “cooties” or whatever from Elvis, or so he said! His first-born son, child, actually. And he didn’t want to meet him? Bullshit! Not even gonna cut that one! He’s lying, and part of it is a substantiated lie, too. He called “every few months.” Me, I think Jerry evesdropped. I betcha, after a while, Elvis used the old phonebooth approach that he used on the terrifying night in Memphis, when Larry was busted, and they really were after EP: they wanted Larry to “flip.” But they didn’t have the goods, and I don’t think he would: well, I don’t think so, anyway. You never know what a desperate person with children will do: Larry had kids! Elvis didn’t yet, have a wife or child. Elvis drove them around while Larry was in custody. Made a big noise that he was going to threaten to leave the state, the south, everything. Finally, at night, when Larry started to get sick from the cold, Elvis’s sheriff-in-a-pocket, Bill Morris, came down and released him and was all kissy-face. But earlier, he was pressuring him to flip on Morris’s own “friend.” When he realized they couldn’t find a seed, even, on Larry, and he called the feds, who said, aw just drop the damn thing: they won. And so they did. Somebody, and I’m sure it was Elvis, pulled a prank with an envelope: the cops intercepted it ’cause it was made to look suspicious. It contained, in reality, a picture of Jesus. “It’s that look,” Elvis the new Swami, said to his guru, “ALL the ‘masters’ have that look.” Elvis said: “maybe it’ll teach those cops something.”
    This is, as my Angel is my witness, ALL TRUE! You can read it for yourself. Yeah, Larry tries to clean up certain things: like saying that the parties were “mild” or that as far as HE knows, Elvis and Co. only did Acid once. With him in the little group. Priscilla, and Red, and a few others, give the lie to this. Priscilla lied to her parents, though, right on the video: she said the time she and Elvis “split and LSD pill {!}” was the “only” time. Just the two of them. Which adds up to two, now. And then, he and Red did it together, and saw through their hands . . . and so on. And other guys remember that he was hallucinating during this time. Seeing “angels in the sprinklers” and worst of all, seeing his mother in the foyer of Graceland, and falling apart. He went into his dark cold room, and stayed there a long time, sobbing.
    That stuff is really NO GOOD for ya!
    But he liked to stick Mary Jane in brownies without telling anybody, so once they did it to him. They were afraid he might get angry if he found out, or some were, but he just said “I’ll have more of THOSE!”
    This was all BEFORE he met Dr. Nick. NONE of it was “prescription”!!!!!!! All that he took, he got from pharmacists under the counter, and from actual dealers. He didn’t meet Nick until almost ’67, and the hard, hard stuff started pretty soon thereafter. Soon, he found that dentist, and Nick cooperated by doing the injections. “Sail on Silver Girl,” indeed. Before every show. And then he’d gulp some Vodka. It’s in the new version of the first rockumentary. You can see it burned his mouth a bit. His whole upper body jumped, and he clenched his teeth. “Good for ya!” When his mother was alive, he did not drink liquor. That anyone knows. He was her “big boy” now, boy. Liked the same gutrot, too, as her.
    And then all of a sudden, he came into contact with that P.I. and found out about the coming “War On Drugs” and how they were gonna switch to “enforcement and treatement” from going for big-time dealing. Panic, of course, set in.
    Elvis never changed: the world did. And he was not going out that way: NO WAY. Somehow, he just didn’t fear death. I guess, ever since he lost his mother at 23, he really didn’t.
    Bob was lucky: he TALKED about death a lot: but when the rubber literally met the road, well, I’ll put it his way: “I never met Elvis {death}, because I didn’t want to meet {death}.” And that’s the truth of what he said. Why can’t people see this: it’s so simple.
    Last August, right about the time the interview appeared, or just after, Dylan, on the anniversary of Elvis’s death: August 16, Dylan was very aware of the date: he sang “Heartbreak Hotel.” I wonder if he felt bad about the quote, but would never admit it, of course. NEVER. What did he say: “I want to dedicate this to a friend of mine. I never met him.” Elvis said that, in concert, about Little Richard. True fact. I’ve got the tape, several, actually. Would have been cute if he played Elvis saying it!
    Or held up the letter AND telegram that said “I never met Buddy Holly, but . . .” in the sympathy note and telegram. And then run the FILM of them backstage! Why do these guys do such things, or say such things? Is it dangerous, in some way? I dunno. I mean, what with the “Wilbury’s and all . . .” Well, I guess Dylan longed for a missing “Willbury.” Elvis never would have gone in for that sort of thing, anyhow. But he knew LOTS of rockers in the seventies: even a guy from Bad Company. They talked, and the autograph said: “rembember to LIVE! Your friend, Elvis.” And with Robert Plant, they had a routine: they do “Love Me,” trading verses: “treat me mean and cruel,” “treat me like a fool” and then harmonize on “but Love Me!” This autograph was small: “Robert, Treat me like fool, Elvis.” They weren’t so much autographs as memories, or messages. That sort of thing wasn’t necessary btw. him and Dylan: they communicated, mostly, through music. Yes, that well-documented jam may well have taken place while Felton desperately decorated {and maybe used Bob to keep Elvis entertained and THERE: he was going to leave, but it left Dylan feeling empty is what I gather. And then they said that in ’72, it was only ONE SONG. I mean, if you’re gonna make up a “jam session,” why limit it to one song? That tells me it’s true. One song. And then the Gypsy, true to form, was gone.
    What has Bob been looking for? Singing “Heartbreak Hotel” on Death Day, wandering about Tupelo, trying to FEEL what Elvis “felt”? And so on? I think he’s looking for something he maybe lost in himself. And I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the same thing that attracted MJ to Lisa: the love in that family. How could a family have so much love and still self-immolate? Perhaps that’s it.
    None of them understood, but some of EP’s girlfriend’s did: from his mother, especially, it was a smothering “love.” The kind that left Elvis without the ability to LIVE without her force guiding him. He just didn’t have a clue. I mean, this woman interrupted him when they were just about to have SEX! And barged right in! Good God!!!!!
    That’s what they don’t understand. And lord knows what else. I don’t mean anything sinister regarding Gladys: no. But I started thinking about those dangerous boarding houses, and what happened to Marilyn Monroe: the worst happened, and she told, and got slapped. Can you imagine Gladys’s reaction if something bad happened after she told him to stay inside and not come out for any reason, while everyone was out? And if he slipped, and some drunk . . . he’d face the wrath of God! Just FURY! {When he told people not to drink in the ’50s, he said “I don’t like to be around people who are out of control.”}
    Because he did not stutter in Tupelo. He did not. All of a sudden, he went practically mute. He was little when they first arrived.
    Intriguing that Dylan’s grief reaction was “perfect”: HE went “mute” for a week. Somehow, he absorbed the real pain. And now, he can’t remember what it was. Kicked up a firestorm of opinion about the two of them: it’s all around the ‘net, in various places. One guy says “Love and Theft” is mostly about Elvis! I don’t hear that, but . . .
    I figure one reason I’m intrigued is that I’m feeling that connection that other people are picking up on. It’s very strong. It’s one key to “getting” Dylan, if ever he’s to be “got.” {What a title for Bobby, huh? “Love and Theft”!!!!!}
    Bye now,
    P.S. — I said “Carla” in an earlier post, when I meant her sister. Freudian slip, that, huh?

  84. R M Says:

    I wonder why I still make so many spelling mistakes without the Word Processor to catch me? I mean, I’m CERTIFIED, and all of that: you know, in LD kids, working with them. It’s like I absorb other people, in a way. So, in working with these kids and young people over the years, it’s almost like I don’t want to be that high above ’em: unconsciously. There I go: self-analysis. You advised it, but I don’t dig it, somehow. I’ve read the complete works of Freud {had to: it was for my “orals” for my phud, and so I also read much of the other psychoanalysts with whom to compare . . . I liked, culturaly, of course, Jung and the “collective unconscious,” because it captures music and poetry and lyricism in its grasp. Freud does some with “Interpretation of Dreams,” and I don’t believe he only thinks about, uh, intimacy . . . gotta be polite on a board like this. But I think Freud caputured a lot of fascinating things: I love two essays the best: “the uncanny” and “screen memories.” They explain so much. “The Uncanny” refers to a German word that cannot really be translated into English, so “uncanny” isn’t quite right. It’s more like “the familiar-unfamiliar”: like that little scary movie about the puppet that starts taking on its own. That kind of chill: when you look at a doll or puppet and it being so familiar, it suddenly fills you with fear. I based most of my dissertation with that: the idea of the carnival “freak” as people looking in a mirror, but a kind of fun-house mirror, but in the end, the mirror resolves back into the gazer, not the gazed-upon. People would, at this time, I think be offended, but it’s true, right to the end. You DO know the case study I used? Well, it wasn’t Elvis, and it wasn’t Dylan {though they both share a lot of that sort of unfamiliar/familiar “terror.” You even captured it so daringly and so well when you remembered back to your late adolescence {and Elvis’s: he’s about 2 or 3 years older, maybe, that’s all: and when you look at the photos from ’56, you see a boy caught in a maelstrom, but handling it with what seems like a backbone of steel: Reporter: “When you sing; that IS what you call it? Singing?” And Elvis jumps in: “I’ve sold 5 million records: SOMEBODY calls it singing!” At least 5 million by that time. But he was so tough for one so young and so unprepared for the savagery and meanness of the reaction once he went national, and very soon planet-wide — even though he could never leave U.S. soil: the service is U.S. soil.} Then, they broke him like a young colt in the Army: stripping him naked before the cameras, and so much that followed: there were times they did things that even puzzled Lt. Taylor: nasty, boring, grinding work that he wasn’t even supposed to do: one time, it was given to the “wrong” company, but they were told their Privates had to do it, anyway. Something to do with hours spent cleaning old shells. EP was pissed, and said so, but went on with it, muttering curses. And it went on like that: he got “special” treatment, alright: especially rotten. Taylor even realizes it after a while. That for some reason, this company was given the nastiest jobs. The Top Brass made sure he had the coldest assignment available, and the longest time in the cold: “for his privacy,” so they said, and so on, and so on. He returned pretty broken.} I mean, Dylan went through a lot of hell, but it was the result of his own decisions: he decided to become a “folkie.” And so had to live with the consequences of being in the wrong place altogether. Elvis sang and created a stew from the musics that grew inside of him, as his family follwed a strange path. And add to that this: he HAD to sing. A stutterer’s clearest path to speech is singing and music. Bob didn’t have such problems, but he problems: I just heard Springsteen say that the real greats were all “desperate men.” {Forget Barbara Pittman, or the other two female rockabillies who really shook it up: they were both good friends to a very young Elvis, but they do admit today about the “pep pills”: EVERYBODY did it, Pittman said, as if to say: “what could you do?” But he was somewhat younger than the lot of them, and at that time, between 17 and 22, every few months makes a difference in clarity. But especially in the Sun period, he was the youngest of any of the group that toured, and it showed. One time, I think I told you: he threw the car keys out the car window in the dark of a deep southern night. Part “speeding” on the inside, and part just “college kid on Spring Break” caused it. They wanted to kill him: soon, they just told him to sleep UNDER the bass! {Soon, it was put on top of the car, but early on, it was inside.} In the very early days, they had to walk him up and down the highway to “walk off the ‘nervous energy.'” Yeah, right. There are few, I think maybe they’re wrong, but a few who believe that he even popped something when a recording session needed a little fire: right from the beginning. You CAN hear the difference, I’ll admit that. Bobby got to know the pills and stuff very soon, too. But fate and a sudden strike of sense pulled him out of it. He got into the hard stuff so quickly and had the “good fortune” to get wracked up in ’66, that he stopped. Yeah, I’m certain he fell back, but mostly, he kept it under a certain control: Dylan was one of the “earlier” ones in “rock ‘n’ roll”: touring with some stray “Crickets” even in ’59. That IS early. He was barely 18, but Elvis was doing music over the airways at about 11. Jackson doesn’t have much on him, time-wise. Now, people didn’t have cassettes at the time, but there WAS tape, and you wonder if someone, somewhere taped one of those times: either the earlier “children’s contest” {doubtful}, or more likely, the Saturdays at the courthouse, which were often, and covered over a hundred miles. You wonder who heard, and who might have been intrigued by the strange sound. Yeah, a boy soprano, on WELO, had to be white, but with the fervor of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who he just relished. I was amazed to hear that Dylan pulled the exact same stunt regarding Tharpe’s “2 pm, Central Time” show: “I gotta get home by 2 or I’ll just get killed!” Or something along those lines. But, see, she was not “city” gospel: acoustic guitar only, and a voice that rang with joy and a kind of “secret thrill” ’cause she knew that kids dug her most of all. She was on for about 12 years or so, I think. Perfect timing! They could be influenced at the exact same very young age. And they were. And what was it about them but “a secret thrill” that made them? “Strange Things Are Happening Every Day.” “Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, DO YOU? Mr. Jones?” But SHE knew. a “desperate woman,” I guess. And Elvis knew that something was happening, but they didn’t have a clue: but still, he wondered, why did they have to be so damn mean? “Idiots who should be slapped in the mouth.” From that classic Miami show, with the classic photo: one girl holds his ankle as a copy stands helplessly by, and the others are grabbing for his hand, which he sticks out over the crowd of crazed fans, of a “diverse” ethnicity, is how I’ll put it. The reporter saw the “picture” — which is a classic, and also the live show, and just exploded in a probably the most “violent” review of ANYTHING ever written: advocating that the appreciative audience be beaten!! I don’t think they do that on Broadway. {lopsided grin} I mean, yeah, Bob got booed, but that was different: his OWN audience came to heckle him, and for a while, he went along with it, until he realized that Grossman was REALLY enjoying it! “You called on me, to call on them, to get your favors done.” From “This Wheel’s On Fire.” His favors . . . he realized that perhaps, just perhaps, the booing was actually stimulated by Grossman, himself. Because otherwise, you don’t wait on line so long, KNOWING what the show is all about, just to heckle: to NOT have a good time. I mean Bob thought the audience was enjoying “stoning” him, but I think, just before he stormend Grossman’s garage, to get his defective bike {and he knew it was}, to take “that ride.” Dylan truly idolized James Dean, understand. Well, everybody under Dean’s age did at the time, but Bob was really taken with the “romance” or it, and STILL was, in the ’70s. The so-called “one-act play” that I don’t think was ever performed anywhere: I think it remained an article in a magazine. “True Dylan,” it was called, and sounded like the most boring premise for a play: two guys chatting on a Malibu deck, with Shepard apparently having a tape deck silently whirring in the background, for “the play.” Except that all it was, really, was Shepard sharing his thoughts about Dylan’s words. And also printing his own. Why even include “thoughts”? For a “play”? Yeah, it was a nasty trick, but he caught him good: Dylan said he’d just come down from a visit to “the death spot” where Dean met his end, and then began talking. First thing he said was a question, but not more like bait: “know what Elvis said?” Yeah, Shepard was gonna say he didn’t want to know, right? So, Shepard inquires further, as Dylan knew he would: “he said, if James Dean had sang {sic}, he would have been Ricky Nelson.” It was NOT, I think, a compliment to Nelson. Now, most folks like Ricky’s high priced guitar player: a teen James Burton, but when Elvis first met Ricky, he was snide: “did you bring you Mommy and Daddy with you? And David?” Some people try to believe he was being “nice.” Dylan, I think, if he knew of this, would know better. It was a hard shot. And possibly what inspired Ricky to go on to do somewhat more interesting stuff later: like “Garden Party.” Like Elvis in many ways, he was a young Golden Oldie, and it hurt. It hurt Elvis in ’69: you can hear it. “Am I freaky enough for ya?” Just ’cause I rounded 30, do you “trust” me? He didn’t SAY that, but in ’68, at 33 {which today, is NOTHING}, he elbowed Steve, who said Elvis kinda winked “as if to say: watch me put this guy on”: “I wanted to do it before I grow too old.” He’d heard that battle cry aplenty: “don’t trust anyone over thirty,” and it must have left him furious: he was still too young to even know the difference, let along “the distance” btw. right and wrong. He was NOT “the Grand Old Man,” as a loopy writer in Varity put it. I mean, here you are, trapped in these stupid teen movies for years, and now that you’re ready to blow everybody off the stage, they’re calling you “the Grand Old Man.” At first, I’m sure he brought his just-gray-at-the temples-father to the press conferences, sometimes first, to make it plain that they were being ridiculous. I mean, Leary, I think had ten years on Elvis, and maybe Huxley, more. I’d guess these men were closer to Vernon’s age. {I could be wrong about Leary, but I think so.} And ole Charlie, thie King of the Mad Children, was Elvis’s age. And was a damn good customer of the same dealer!
    And Bob knew that “30” was comin’ up soon for him, too. Ringo was already 30 in ’69, I believe. One of the Rolling Stones was born the same year as Elvis . . . should they not have trust the group? The younger dude who created the group knew the guy! The one they fired, and then he ended up at the bottom of a swimming pool. I mean, imagine if the Beatles had fired Lennon! It WAS like that, in a way: Lennon had a rotten sense of rhythm for a rhythm guitarist, especially, and he’d be the first to tell you, but he did sing lovely many times, and a few of his songs are VERY lovely. But still, Jones was the brains behind the Stones. Jagger was its “face”: that face “sold” the group; it went along with the image. But he really couldn’t dance, and his singing improved, but it wasn’t the real thing. Hey, you asked what I had “against” Carl Perkins: nothing, really, but Holly had more of “the future” in him, and deserved more attention than Perkins. Yeah, Holly’s songs were mostly gooey teen things, but the Beatles’ first efforts at “writing” if you wanna call it that were absurdly doofus. “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” and “She Loves You {Yeah, Yeah, Yeah}.” And so on. Their covers were way tougher, I think. “I Saw Her Standing There” has a nice little hook, but . . . it was more that Paul was a truly great bass player, and Harrison was wonderful lead guitarist, and Ringo would keep keepin’ time if you blew up The Bomb in front of him! With those clothes, they were lucky they didn’t get laughed off the stage. And the “movements” – up and down like dolls or something, Ugh! When Bob just cocked his head, it had a certain gravitus because his expressions – his facial expressions were a “dance” unto themselves. And he CAN move if he wants to, or could. He was in total control of every single muscle fiber in the pre-motorpsycho days. He knew how to stare down the audience until they were pushed onto the grass, or floor. He could look someone unto vaporization. {Elvis, like a lot of great singers, had a hard time opening his eyes if he really cared about what he was singing: you can see his struggle in “If I Can Dream”: they told him that when he sings “out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle,” that he’d better be LOOKING AT IT, or it would look ridiculous on TV, or so they thought. As it turned out, the best take, vocally and in his facial “torment” – which is what it was – was ruined when he dropped the mike before saying “thank you. goodnight.” The last take made the special. Today, they’ve taken a variety of performances and combined them, using “take 4” {the first was a false start}. The song was almost not written: it was at the last minute, and he guy saw the sun setting, and it just . . . came. The guy swears that if there IS a “divine,” then well, HE didn’t write it: it came from somewhere else. {Yeah, it did: the notes the writers and Steve were surruptiously taking the night they watched Bobby die on TV, and Elvis picked the guitar for 5 hours, talking: about his life story, they said, and about the Kennedys and how there was a conspiracy to get ’em all, and King, and how he almost met him in ’66, but chickened out: almost got on his chrome horse {he said “bike”}, and just showed up. But he got on the bike, and started to just shake, he told several people. Couldn’t do it: scared him to death. What if he snubbed him? What if . . . whatever? And, then to top it off, he not only died without meeting him, but IN HIS HOMETOWN! What would they think, not only “of the South,” but of his own family: his Mama, and his Daddy and Dodger? And, of course, but he didn’t say it to them, OF HIM!!!!!!!! He was extremely upset, according to everyone who was there, and according to the actress on the picture he was shooting when it happened. In one picture, snapped by a fan, he goes alone behind a tree, the next day, and he’s fingering the white “seeds” that look like feathery stars. He holds one, and just blankly stares at it, trapped in his own silent reverie. Col. Parker had already ordered him: “Press confernce? What? Keep your damn mouth SHUT!” It didn’t even dawn on Parker that it happened in MEMPHIS! And he talked about “Tiger Man” and they won’t say what he said. And about being punched all the time before the service. And he was advising Steve of the “best” Kennedy conspiracy books, so Steve was lucky enough to bring out a pad right in front of him: but he really wasn’t writing titles: he was simply writing down what Elvis had been saying, and they surreptiously grabbed pens or pencils, and scratched out what he was saying, ’cause he closed his eyes a lot, as he often did with guitar in hand, but not always. They ended up with a stack of notes. They gave ’em to Brown, but he said he didn’t think it sank in, but maybe it did, because he just didn’t feel like the words were coming from him, except in documenting the sunset, as it set. You CAN hear the sun set in the lryics. But the other words: they are in those notes they made that night. Later on, Steve took a look, and sure enough, the song lyrics were an accurate reflection of Elvis’s own words. No, of course, he didn’t get any credit. But I guess that’s ok, in that event: the guy was on a deadline, and the song just poured forth as the sun set. He said that when it was dark, he was just about done. That quick. After a protracted period of writer’s block, too, for a prof. writer. When Elvis first heard him play it on piano, he recoiled at the rendition, and the chord progression: “TOO BROADWAY!” They then said he could put in his own “bluesy phrasings.” Brown and Elvis, together, set to work on a vocal chart: and on one Elvis got so excited, he wrote: “This is THE ONE! My Boy! My Boy!” {Prounouced Mah Boy, as in the show, ‘course.} {The guys later said he’d pick a word, and keep at it for weeks: one time, they said that if they heard “condominium” one more time, they were gonna shoot something. Of course, you can see the part of that word that intrigued him. {giggle}}
    But, Bob wasn’t like that: it had certain kind of spontanaity, but also total control of his expressions. I’m not talking about body movements. Bob opens his eyes when sings, usually. {Maybe he shouldn’t, not after the accident: not with the Bobble-Head thing I keep noticing.} But you can see Bob working every word: I’m talking about before the accident, of course. It’s like he insisted Cash “line out” – for lack of a better term – the words to “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Now, Dylan could have just substituted his own, but Hank was like a God to him, then, and so Johnny. When Elvis sang it in the Thompson living room, he just made up his own new lyrics, and cut two verses, and hummed some, very beautifully, I might add. But what he did with the rarely sung second verse shakes you up the first time you hear it. “Have you ever seen a sky so black, that clouds go drifting by/The moon just went behind the clouds to hang its head and cry.” With gospel melisma to spare! The “real” lyrics are these: “Did you ever see a night so long that time goes crawlin’ by/the moon just went behind the cloud to hide its face and cry.” I remembered “hung my head and cried” from “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine”! I wondered if Elvis had that in his head, too. That one is about guilt, and shame. And so is Elvis’ “Lonesome” as he sung it in that private time. And after he reads his smutty poem, which is MEAN, ’cause after you’ve heard Dylan sing with such mournful delicacy “every sparrow fallen,” well, gosh! “Every Grain of Sand” which means simply “It Is Written.” It’s done: you can’t change it, so why mourn, cry all those tears, etc. It’s all done, already. Which I do NOT believe, and doubt enters Dylan’s “faith” which ends the whole “Born Again” phase: sometimes he hears footsteps with him – and he’s not alone, other times, there’s just no one there. {Don’t know the exact phrase, but it doesn’t matter: it’s the doubt of “a believer” that ended it. Real gospel songs don’t have doubt. They don’t.}
    I was reading liner notes to Gram Parsons, as to how HE invented “country rock” and was pretty annoyed, as I have always been. His songs are pretty, and he let the cat out of the bag about Elvis before his death on the only recording to mention dope pre-August 16, ’77: he used Elvis’s band, and yeah, they talked. I’m sure he listened to those records with his band on it. Might have helped cause the “Desert Storm” blowup: have to check month of release somewhere.
    But, Parsons knew that Dylan had been to Nashville in ’66. Kristofferson was doing “country rock” with Janis singing it from jumpstreet! Elvis was doing “country rock” when Gram was, I guess, in private school {he was a rick kid, though in those days it didn’t cost that much, depending on the school, but Parsons’ family WAS rich}. And for Heaven’s Sake, “Blue Moon of Kentucky” rockabilly style!!!!!!! Hey, buddy, ’54: Gram was a little fellow – seven years old! Nice talent, GREAT band {and Glenn Hardin had ENOUGH of Elvis’s lip in ’73, and jumped at the chance to skip for good while: David Briggs came in, I believe, and ran off with Linda Thompson! Deserved it, for the way he treated Glend D.}, and Parsons allowed Hardin to almost totally produce, and allowed the band MUCH more freedom than Elvis ever did: Elvis insisted they play every noise, every sound he heard in his head, EXACTLY as he heard it: even the people in the orchestra were instructed on WHAT TO THINK OF WHILE THEY WERE PLAYING! He told the flute player on “Am. Trilogy”: “it’s a sweltering day in Georgia, and you’re a kid. You’re sitting under a tree with your flute, and then you start playing Dixie . . .” The guy’s black! Elvis wanted some kind of torn emotions, and the heat and youth {fear of the future . . .} to bring it all out. But it was a lot of pressure at the time. Gram mostly let the band create. They loved it! But he was no “revolutionary.” Dylan’s hair was WAY longer in ’66 in Nashville! Good Lord, to say that Parsons was first: what a crock. Yeah, I think Jagger ripped off “Wild Horses” from him, but maybe it was “inspiration.” They had long since stopped paying people to steal from them by the seventies. I just heard a guy go: “scratching for my meat” and I wanted to punch him, but I don’t punch people for real, but boy, that made me mad: one of Bob’s killer lines! And who knows where HE heard it, but in song, it’s HIS. I know, I know, “the folk process” but c’mon, this was no “folk song” nor was “Acapulco.” It was deadly serious. So serious, he kept all knowledge of it hid until the release in ’75.
    I listened to “Love and Theft” again ’cause of what that guy said, and I don’t hear it. Yeah, Elvis did have a HUGE, and OPEN fight with Phyllis McGuire on the Vegas strip in the early-mid sixties, and if you kept up, you knew. It’s supposed to be “Giancona” talking: you know, the film, but I’d bet Bob knows that she was also shtupping somebody else, and about the “what happens in Vegas {doesn’t always} stays in Vegas.” {Grammar?} on-the-strip-sidewalk loud argument. If they met in ’69-71, thereabouts, well, I’d bet he told him: for sure. And if those phone calls got to their destination . . . well, it was at that time. So, I can understand Dylan’s wariness, if he was: a dope dragnet in Hollywood, and mobsters in Vegas: it was easier back in folkie-land, for a while. And it’s a very “rockabilly” album: Mike Campbell is a wonderful guitarist: he doesn’t sound “slick” – studio slick, I mean. And he’s the only guy who can grab ahold of Elvis’s bass runs on guitar properly. Other people find the style very confusing {they don’t know about his knarled fingers: they acted as “tools” with which he made interesting sounds, and even the usual chords were made to be somewhat unusual because his fingers could do weird things ’cause they were shaped weird: an accident in ’57 broke one finger, and two different accidents in the Army kind of sealed it: it could have ruined his ability to play; instead, it enhanced it. So what did he do, mostly: got lazy and rarely played. But when he did, boy! He had to literally train John Wilkonson: he played jazz and classical only: never electric, and even the accoustic was not like . . . what is it? A “Spanish” guitar . . . whatever, it wasn’t rock. Elvis played rhythm straight through in ’69, and in the photos they’ve recently retrieved, you can see John watching him intently, and also, for real: James Burton, too. Got his eyes locked on Elvis’s fingers. I’m not kidding. Today, James is much looser, more rough-hewn: I always found him too slick, no matter what. Don’t know why Bob wanted him, but he liked him from the “Nelsons” show. TV kid, after all. I mean, not like me, of course, but his dad got into that store, so it was pretty early. Not as early as I was watching TV, though. Practically from birth, I guess. I’d slip out at like 5 AM, and watch the farm report for Long Island! Anything. I’d just watch anything at first. I guess it hypnotizes kids. I dunno. What the hell was it like to be little, and maybe not have it? I mean, you might have, and maybe you don’t remember, but if you do remember a time before it came into your home, what was that like? I cannot walk into a room without turning it on. EVER. I’ve gotten stuck with like only one set, and more rooms, and I would go insane! As an adult, I mean. I just have to have a TV, even a little one, just everywhere. Background. Anything. Gotta be on.
    You know this about people born around the time I was. But it’s serious, really. You go mad without it: can’t take it.
    The idea of “radio” shows is quaint, but seems totally unfulling. It’s our fault, not theirs, of course.
    {They’ve released a non-video and different outtake of “Beat It” that has nothing to do with “gangs” by any stretch of the imagination. And by God, it’s so much better: you can really HEAR the music, finally, without thinking of that jacket with the zippers – yeah, I got one!} So, “late boomers” like me, and forward: we’ve been corrupted. Totally, I guess.
    But, I still can conjure up ideas and scenes in my mind from pure music. I still have THAT. I wasn’t born THAT late, thank goodness.
    I just can’t stand it when they get it wrong: Parsons was practically the end of the line! Then their was the Outlaws, and then country music just sort of became “regional.” That’s when it went to hell, kinda, I think. Sad to say. Swamp rock was tough, but short-lived. “Down in Loisinana, where the aligators grow so mean. . .” Swamp rock. Few guys dabbled in it, and Elvis ate it like a violent animal. Wild and dangerous stuff. But then it just sorta died out. Got “introspective” like everything “’70s.” Oh, well. Makes sense, then, that Elvis suffocated on the “shag carpeting.” Real ’70s way to go. {And no, he wasn’t “slumped up against the drain. He flung the book, and was the legnth of his body away from the can, but he was trying to crawl, and his face got literally stuck in 3 inches {I’m serious} of shag carpeting. He was gasping as it was: the shag crap finished him off. Cheap, dirtiest, ugliest type carpeting ever invented. I think Elvis killled it, personally.

  85. R M Says:

    I listened to the whole “I’m Not There” film soundtrack tonight – more interesting than the film itself, I think, and you can concentrate on the music.
    God, there’s a WORLD of difference btw. the other group’s “I’m Not There” and Dylan’s own “Basement” version that one of the guys subtitled, on the bootlegs {1956}. Now, it’s really just Bob ‘n guitar: maybe a bass or something, but mainly guitar and voice. And unlike the other major songs, Bob is totally LOST here! Yes, the melody will one day become, ironically enought “Forever Young” – which I guess, is what “1956” kinda conjures, but in ’67, Bob was hit by *something* and moved emotionally, but could get the words together. He just lost his way through the thicket of strong emotion. He wasn’t, clearly, writing it down, which was his way with words: he was just composing on the fly. {Bluesmen can get away with that, but Bob was not really a true bluesman. He WAS from “Hillbilly Country” and dug jukebox faves, and then mountain music, the blues, etc. But he never really was able to operate with the “on the fly” mindset of being “on the porch” and making up a song, or part of a song, on the fly. Joannie says she saw him do it, and I believe that, but here, it’s beyond him. But something grabbed by the throat and forced him to grab that guitar and just start in, and he’s really emoting, but the words mostly garble. What you are left with is a desperate female, a guy who, in 1967 cries day and night because “she don’t holler “me” but I’m not there, I’m gone.” She NOW DON’T “holler ‘me'” anymore. That was back in . . . for some reason, 1956. The only one who they “hollered ‘me'” to in that year is the guy who would later leave him literally struck dumb when he actually died. So I figure there were old things in “the basement,” maybe old photos, movie mags, etc. And there was what would later be known, so classy, as “a Wertheimer photograph.” Fancy pants stuff, ya know: big exhibition goin’ on now. Better order my tickets! The thing at the national archives for those stupid Tricky Dick pictures had people waiting out in the cold for hours, I read. Good God! What the hell is it? I guess whatever it was, Bob was gazing at as he tried to compose, and was tongue-tied. There’s this female, who back in ’56 was just DESPERATE for contact: she “hollered” his name, and put her whole body and soul into it, because he was like her only hope for a future, she felt at that moment. So, clearly, I know the photo. It was not in Miami: the long, skinny white girl who’s got his ankle and he don’t even care if she takes him into the crowd, which is out of control. Nope, not even her: it’s not in her face. It’s that black girl who forced the “exhibitionists” – or whatever you call those museum people to call the picture “Desperate Fans”: I believe that is the title, and boy, there’s no other word. She’s got her autograph book in his hand, and his hand is open, but she’s got no pen! Her whole body is wound so tight, she looks like she’s gonna just break, but the look on her face can only be described by one word: “desperate.” For what, I don’t know. What did she hear in him, that I, born too late, can’t quite catch to match that look on her face? What the hell was it like back then, that he represented such hope for some relief? I mean, people had all these new “appliances” and all this new “stuff.” Gosh, ball point pens caused people to wait on long lines: Levitt included a TV in a 30-year mortgage back in the 40s!! You know, the “post-war period.” And that “period” is exactly what this “desperate” looking girl wants desperately to escape. And sees him as the “deliverer,” clearly. Yeah, she wanted an autograph, but not just. Anyway, a young white man, maybe his age, maybe younger, maybe older {looks a bit older, but who can tell}, hands a pen on to her booklet thingy. The girl just looked like the world would end if she didn’t make some “first contact” if you know what I mean. {Ok, so I am geeky enough to be a Trekker: not a Trekkie! Please.}
    I man, it could have been any picture, but on the other hand, it couldn’t have been. I don’t see any other that has someone with a face {and a body posture!} that matches what Bob is struggling to communicate in 1967, when in so many ways, all was lost of the “hope” that the young “deliverer” of Hound Dog Nation promised. “If I can give just one kid some hope, then I feel I will have made a contribution.” Perhaps not perfect, but very close: if anything, his is more graceful and perfect.
    And Bob was probably right to see the whole “Acid Rock” B.S. as pointless and leading nowhere, to a world where the “boy,” later a lost man, a dying young man in his 30s, grabs on to a song by “Bread” {I have no memory of what they were like, but from “Aubrey,” they seem “introspective” enough for the times: the 70s.} and it seems to mean a whole world, but it doesn’t really mean anything at all. “An ordinary girl . . .” Well, maybe it DOES mean something, after all. Anyway, THIS girl doesn’t look “ordinary” in the photo: she looks like a part of what anybody would call “history.” And Bob had to, HAD to know this. I’d bet a lot on it, that he was looking at that picture: EP’s on a moving car, moving slowly, but away, and she’s got to “touch the hem of his garment” and she’s got this autograph “booklet” thingy, and no pen. And didn’t seem even aware of THAT, but the boy/man to the left in the photo realizes that a pen would be necessary for an actual signature to materialize, so he pulls one from his shirt. Not for him, either!! It’s HER booklet. And it’s blank: no other names in it.
    Bob knew what happened to the guy leaning out of the back of the car: the “star.” He broke a lot of promises, but he had to know there were reasons: he was smart enough for that. But, whatever tears he cried night and day for the losing of “her” – or ALL the “hers” – gender not even mattering, really, he’s thinking of HER current situation, TOO. He also thinks of his helplessness to connect at all. Became some kind of “doll” for sale at your local theater. By ’67, the films were starting to hit TV, and Parker was having a cow, but he couldn’t stop it. {So now I know that “the glass” in Bob’s nightmare about some “St.” holding a blanket while in “a suit of solid gold” who seached for sold souls in Bob’s own house could be a mirror or a window, but it could also be something else, I don’t think ANYONE thought of: the glass of the TV set!} And so the “hope” of that time, when things were “possible” as Bob said on St. Peter’s blurd, well, they only SEEMED possible! Now, she had kids, and rent, and trouble. And memories of when she reached out so “desperately” for a better fate, for “hope” as the young man put it that year. And she had it. Hope. To spare. But that was all gone. He was gone. He’d really like to help her, but he’s not there, he’s gone. {Didn’t know the story of a girl, around 1970, a daily fan at the gate. Like the younger girl in the picture, she was black, but she was in a local college: Memphis St., I think. And he offered her a job. Answering the phone in the living room. That’s it. That was the job. Beat hell out of her “work-study” job that she ditched as much as she could to be at the Gates. But then something happened: she had a boyfriend, and they got careless. EP KNEW, without her saying what the “problem” was. He just said “trouble? Ya know?” “Yeah.” “I’ll pay for it, if that’s what you want.” She did, and he paid. But she quit and he never saw her again, except sometimes at the gate, and she kept her distance.
    But this younger girl would be older in 1967. She’s be 26 or 27 or something. Her life would be set. Done. All that hope scribbled in that old, yellow, faded booklet down the toilet.
    Bob felt the song, but couldn’t get the words for it. It was just such a powerful photo. That other guy, offering his pen. That really sealed it, in a way. “Here, you need more than me!”
    And then “Independence Day” swept by . . . and then another year, and he was going to be drafted, and stripped almost naked for the world to see: HE offered no “hope” for anyone, not even himself, or his own mother.
    And later, it “went from bad to worse.” There, in the TV, he was NOT having any fun at all in what appeared to be “Acapulco.” “Red Sky at Morning, Sailor take Warning.” {Sorry for the earlier mistake.} “The Sky is turning Red, and you’re still in bed: no time for Siesta, it’s time for Fun.” Last part repeated ad nauseum.
    We cannot know WHAT photo Bob was looking at: maybe it was something from Vietnam. Could have been anything, but why subtitle the song “1956”? That gives the game away. Totally. Especially with the tone of many of the Basement numbers, even the smutty take on the Bobby Bare tune. Funny, THAT he let out, but NOT “Acapulco.” I guess it struck him as particularly cruel. {Col. Parker’s wife’s name was Marie Ross. [!] “Rose Marie.”} Whereas random smut, well, hell . . . who knows what went through Bob’s mind, but Acapulco seemed just too cruel.
    But if not for that notation on the song, we’d never have a clue. The song seems to mean so much, but Bob’s words get totally jumbled at times, most of the time, actually. It was like more than he could handle. It came down to the guy, who’s “gone” “not there” crying day and night, and “I’d really like to help her, but I’m not there, I’m gone.” Even in ’56, he couldn’t really help her except by keeping his own promises. And he did, for a while. And then showed folks Bob’s age, particularly, that “hope” can turn into not just hopelessness, but helplessness, on both ends: for artist, and audience. I think Bob feared for his own future. He was in that Basement: would he ever be able to give “hope” again? Because he did. Gosh, “To Ramona” is still powerful in that way.
    I think, then, that they thought their recordings were ephemeral: that what was “today” was all that counted. But the recording mechanism is an amazing thing. That lady could jump back to 1956 with a flick of a switch, but it would hurt when she switched on the TV, and heard that odd, “faux-voice” sounding like a wounded animal. Of course, with the “come back,” which meant so much to Bob in “Born In Time” and in reality, the TV glass could give even after it took away. Hope.
    “If I Can Dream” is only part of the sentence: it’s a question, and Elvis usually couched his statements as “questions” in private, personal discussions about the world, and his place in it: “why can’t they see that I’m like them?” He asked this as a child. A teacher remembered from when they lived on Granpa Bell’s land, and he went to Milam, the torture chamber school. Later, he asked his Lt. Taylor “why do people put other people down?” Gosh, taken together, you don’t need that stack of notes that Steve and the other fellows made! That, along with “If I can give just one kid some hope . . .?” Also, a question ending as a “statement of purpose.” They all neatly, really, resolve into “If I Can Dream,” just without the sunset that pushed the song out. “If *I* Can Dream of a better land, where all my brothers walk hand in hand, then why can’t my dream come true?” Or “Why do people put other people down?” “Can’t they see I’m like them?” And the hope at the end of the song, he spoke of that in 1956, “If I Can . . .” Jeez, he’s got the damn words to the song started out!
    Oh, and everyone who says the song is just a “there must be a better world somewhere” hadn’t even bothered to listen before they wrote those words. Because that’s NOT what it says: and the guy who did the new liner notes to the “Memphis” in 1969 “Legacy” reissue as a true double album says that “If I Can Dream” is a much more “political” {whatever the hell that means} song than “In The Ghetto,” which I always found a little on the cliched side. But it IS autobiographical, but not on the order of “Long Black Limosine.” See, gender is never mentioned, so it’s not about a “country GIRL” at all! And what he or she was DOING “in the city” is not spelled out: just a “party” and a police chase. Sounds like maybe dirty business goin’ down: maybe criminal activity: dope dealing, could be that, or entertainment, or sports, or any “hustle” a street kid like Elvis could only “dream” of and nothing more. Not if he couldn’t “play football,” he said, and he’s right back to the same place: sports as a “way out,” which it rarely is. Red West was in the Rose Bowl as a J.C. “All-American” and what was he in 1978, at the end of the year? Not much: he glommed onto that guy with the battery on his shoulder:”knock it off.” Remember? And now, he’s nothin’ at all. People like Sonny better, as they should, but really, none of ’em amounted to much: Jerry tried to strike out on his own, but . . . there he was in Washington. Even “the Doughnut Lady” appeared out of the “Apocrypha” and said her name, and told her story about Elvis and “the thug” who he walked out with, in the account I read. {What the hell do you think he was doing there in the first place? He could get a damn doughnut or whatever in the hotel. He needed a fix, and he was all alone. Apparently, Atlanta was only a brief stop; some of the guys are unclear as to that: clearly, she clears that up: he went to D.C. ON the 19th: the anniversary of his “greeting” notice from “The President of the United States,” it read. I saw it myself. [Hey, wouldn’t Willie’s version of “Senior” be PERFECT as a soundtrack to both Dec. 19ths, and all that went with them? It even speaks of a female he will not forget . . . “Mama” . . . one doesn’t have to be “Mexican”: songs are supposed to have a wide reach.]}
    But after “If I Can Dream,” and its aftermath, there was “Senor,” you might say. Guns, drugs, “chicks,” and waste. Could you dream it? Bob said the answer was blowing around somewhere in the “wind.” Kinda pathetic, I think. It isn’t in the wind; it just isn’t.
    I suppose I’ll give something to Habitat, for the future of Haiti, if it even has one. But now? That’s ridiculous. Mostly con artists stealing cash. They always say “send cash” — not blankets or whatever. Because that stuff ain’t ever gettin’ there. I KNOW! But CASH?? You think THAT will go there? Gimme a break. Keep “dreamin.'” See, the song ends sadly: “then why CAN’T my dream come true? Right now?” Because it just can’t. And I can’t tell you why: it ain’t in the wind, that’s for sure.
    But you can’t “Let It Be,” either, ’cause there WON’T “be an answer.”
    Why DO people put other people down? I mean, Ray gave up on you because he didn’t like the choice of verbiage. I did not. I know you “get” me, and I believe I “get” you even if you think I don’t.
    It’s right there in “Senior.” But there are no easy answers, either. EP did not come to “make a new friend” as the reporter sneered, mockingly, talking about Elvis pointing to the EXPENSIVE jewelry in the BACK of the Prez.’s drawer, as if he were a common thief. Which he figured he was, anyway. And maybe he was. But so was Dick.
    Ain’t none of us can hold the kind of moral superiority as certain snide newspaper reporters like to claim. Yeah, Bobby/Bob/Whomever IS and always was and will be a thief. And a liar. He knows it. And knows the answer ain’t in the wind. Now, THAT is a kinda lame song, in my view. “If I Can Dream” came from the hopes of a boy who wondered why he wasn’t supposed to hope. Or help others to do so. Why was that so wrong? But it WAS WRONG! You said he “saved” you, and I believe it, cause he saved me too. But he wanted more, and found out it wasn’t possible. And tried again, and found out it wasn’t possible. He finally said “aw, the hell with it.” Bob did the same, quicker, I think. “And not give a damn.”
    I “hope” I never get that cynical. But I have seen too much. All that food in a a warehouse owned by a major charity, not being shipped, just in this country . . . I mean, it’s all so damn “helpless” feeling: it’s like “I’d really like to help ’em, but I’m not there; I’m gone.”
    2010: me.
    Bye for now,

  86. R M Says:

    Well, you know I do give a damn, of course. I just don’t see any way of coming to any “solutions” in a world so profoundly corrupt. Every thief shouts “thief”! Honestly. I mean, I have tried to play it straight and “I tried to tell it like it is.” But . . . {Oh, I’ve figured that weird couplet from “Acupulco” out, too. I mean, it’s a simple song, so why did it throw that wrench in there? Dylanesque tough, I suppose. But the rhymes are correct. See, the Beatles offered him “smokes,” and he refused. So the first line “when someone offers me a {j}oke, I just say, ‘no thanks.’ I TRIED to tell it like it is, and stay away from {pr}anks.” God, now it’s damn easy. It’s not “smokes,” of course, or he wouldn’t have covered it up. Someone offered him a TOKE, and he was afraid of anyone knowing that he did his share and then some, and the other one is cute rhyme: Elvis did “pranks” ALWAYS, but what did he try to stay away from, just after he “tried to tell it like it is”? TANKS!!!!!!! Both the letter “t.” Also alliterative with I tried to tell . . .” Three t’s in a row, which gives you the answer this little bitty riddle. Now, you KNOW, with Col. Tom in the house, they didn’t officially offer him a “toke”: that “cig” box had tobacco, including his fave cigarrillos, I’m sure, and all varieties of LEGAL smokes: yeah, George pulled out a joint of his own on the patio, and smoked it with Larry Geller. But no way would they cause Elvis trouble with Col. Tom by DISPLAYING some joints to Elvis. Please! But he would have like nothing better, I’m sure, than to share a toke with ’em! Or with Bob. Like the brownies, where the guys turned the tables on him, and spiked ’em without HIS knowledge: “I’ll have more of THOSE!” {wicked little crooked grin} And he had a “toke” all the time. In ’74, he was open about it with the guys: they’d smoked so much pot in bed [and then fell asleep, with burning cigarettes, of ANY kind, IN THE BED: talk about irresponsible!], that he was so loaded, he wet the bed, and his girlfriend of the moment “slept all night on just this little bit left of the bed that was dry!! – {stupid giggle}.” So, I dunno what Dylan thought in ’67: Gram Parsons knew IT ALL in ’73/’74 and put it into song!!!!!! But that was later. He had his band, and they gossipped!! Not cool, but what the hell. But in ’67, maybe he thought he was really “not cool.” Naw, he knew too much about “the Hollywood Hills.” Had to know a lot from Jerry, and if he ever talked to Larry, good God!! Hell, everyone not only knew about Larry’s bust, but they knew about Elvis sending Marty running for that pay phone, while they were dragging Larry away! He had the same source, but independently: everyone out there knew, but Larry was into that spirituality crap, and was a little more out of the loop, and lo and behold! They arrest “the guru,” instead Sebring himself. Ridiculous. But Elvis did not tell Larry immediately, that he smoked pot. That night, and after, they DID discuss it plenty. They did acid, and for the book, Larry tries not to upset the fans too much, but he didn’t square his story with the other guys and Priscilla, who LIED TO HER PARENTS ON VIDEO! Only that one time did they, just the two of them “split” a piece of windowpane acid. She knows damn well it ain’t no “pill.” But for her mother . . .
    So, they did it together, like with the girlfriend later, and with the group, and Red did it with him, and another guy I forget his name, and there were undoubtedly about two more sure times. Dylan HAD to know what all was goin’ on in those Hollyweird Hills. He smoked pot, sure, but these people were getting LARGE quantities of stuff that was, well, “gold.” Even the Acid was pure. Priscilla lied ’cause she almost had a bad trip, and left that one out.
    So, he knew. And he knew he lied, too. Put up this stupid, phony image to go along with the stupid, phony films.}
    Anyway: toke, no thanks, tried to tell it like it is and stay away from TANKS!
    It’s such a simple ditty, cruel as it is, that he threw in a little something “mysterious.” But wouldn’t allow any release: bootleg, or otherwise. “Not even a rumor.”
    ‘Cause what if someone figured out the little wordplay? And realized that if he had to cover it over, well, where there’s smoke, there’s some “toke”s.
    “People say I’m wastin’ time, but I don’t really care . . . it gives me such a glow-oh-oh!” “Rubberneckin'” “It” being the operative word. Weisman wrote dozens of junk songs under his own name, only on this one did he hide: he used his wife’s name. And maybe Elvis fooled with the lyrics a little more: who knows. But it’s NOT about “sex” or girl-watching {from the BACK porch?} or anything else. Do they think he was an idiot? I mean, c’mon, it’s in “St. Peter”‘s book! “Just that one little dry space!” Braggin’ on it. But that was later. In public though “I’ve never been strung out in my life.” A guy booed or something: just callin’ him a liar, and he said “don’t boo me; I’ll kick your ass.” {Advice young Bob could have used in ’66 in London!}
    But Bob was clearly wondering if he, himself, would ever leave that basement. Was he in his own “Acapulco”? Was it over? Was he lost? Was someone crying “Tears of Rage” for HIS promises? Rock ‘n’ roll promises. . . I think he was scared. “God, I am that goofus in that stupid movie I’m lookin’ at on TV! I AM THAT!” He saw how easy it was to run away from it all, and just retreat. Go into retreat mode. The going got too tough. Retreat. He knew he was a worse case, in a way. He wondered if he’d ever be himself again. And no, he couldn’t. You can only do THAT once. Well, actually, Elvis DID do it twice: the TV special was unthinkable, it was so fantastic. I think it frightenened Bob a little, but that, and the return to rock performanc . . . wherever . . . well, he got back on his feet again.
    In the Encyclopedia Br. Yearbook covering “1969” – in ’70, oddly, it says: “both Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley returned to live performance after protracted abscences.” I swear to God. You can look it up yourself. That’s why Bob was thinkin’ so much about damn “Acapulco.” He was frightened out of his gourd. Just like Elvis had to be practically dragged by his ankles to the stage in ’68 for the live portion of the special, the first show. And started to panic during the second. By the next night, he was cool. Not the first. But after it was all over on the 29th of June, 1968, “I got so drunk last night, it scared the hell out of me.” On the 30th. Steve was unamused, as he pushed the button: “oh GREAT! Just TERRIFIC!!” “Please don’t anybody say ‘drunk,'” a dancer pleads. Wonder how DRUNK on wine Bob got after the Isle of Wright!?!? Ha!

  87. reprindle Says:

    Freud should be borne uppermost in mind but 90% of his teaching is dreck and should be ignored. If you have a spare moment or two check out my review of Bakan’s book above.

    Actually Breuer had the whole of psychology in his hand but didn’t recognize it. No cosmic flash. Freud may have but then obscured the simple truth for his own reasons.

    All pyschology can b e reduced to hypnosis and suggestion. If you are susceptible in a hypnoid state the suggestion enters your mind where it is fixated. Instant conditioning, you start salivating immediately. If the fixation is education, in other words beneficial, positive results. If harmful the suggestion produces negative, neurotic or psychotic, and destructive results in your behavior.

    The resolution of a fixation is recognizing it. Once recognized its efficacy is eliminated. Many such fixations are minor causing little or no discomfort to recognize, others are painful and difficult setting up a resistance that has to be overcome. It takes courage to recognize such fixations but the rewards of doing so are infinite and permanent. Persevere and you will recognize gains as you eliminate compulsive behavior.

    Do check out Emile Coue’s My Method. It will help you organize your mind.

    The Bob-Edie-Andy connection is more extensive and important than I thought. Some real nasty stuff here extending over about a year with disastrous results for Edie.

    I’ve got about two thirds of it worked out and am thinking hard to order the rest. I need a method of expression to bring it in. Don’t worry I’ve included your Stone discovery and am giving you credit. If I understand you correctly you’re saying Jewish ancestry in goi names is maintained matriarchally hence in the inner working of the religion the Stone ancestry takes precedence over the Zimmerman ancestry. Is that correct? Hadn’t heard that before.

  88. R M Says:

    Yes, Dylan is a Stone, in terms of his religion/ethnicity, more ethnicity. It is matriarchal: like mitochondrial DNA, which is passed by the mother, unlike nuclear DNA. Like that. One gets the name, but the ancestry is strictly matriarchal. And that’s that: no arguing.
    If you can stomach it, watch that Elvis film where he’s a frogman who meets up with “hippies” – I can’t remember the damn name now. Well, what a shock: one of the “health nuts” says he should eat more “carrots.” He shoots back “Only carrots *I* eat are in ztzimmes.” I nearly rolled out of bed, where I was watching! Imagine the director. There’s a good reason: Col. had asked Elvis into an automobile for a chat. Elvis came out ready to KILL: “MY RELLIGION IS NOT A ‘KICK’; MY LIFE IS NOT A ‘KICK. He accused me of being on a realigious ‘kick’!” Not Jewish, but that Self-Realization Fellowship thing . . . and that spiritualistic stuff. You can say what you want, but his MANAGER had no business getting involved!!
    So he fixed him GOOD: he did the unthinkable: he made his character JEWISH!! Elvis had a sly wit. It was true, though: his great grandma, Martha Tackett Mansell was Jewish, her daughter was Doll Smith {Martha had a twin named Jerome, and two brothers: Sidney, and Jehru}, and Doll had Gladys, who is Elvis’s mother. It stops with Elvis, though by Talmudic law, she doesn’t have to “convert”: just walk into a temple and declare her father’s heritage as her own. She is, of course, into that Scientology stuff . . . so that’s moot.
    That’s how it works: Martha, though, was Jewish on BOTH sides, but only Nancy Burdine mattered. Doll died very young: it’s even possible a “knee-baby” Elvis met his Jewish grate grandma. They all had kids young back then, generally. And with Doll dead, and Vernon in prison, well, anything is possible. She would have been old, I guess. I’ll have to check the year of death. But Lisa remembers “Dodger” from her grandpa’s side, very well: her great grandma, paternal. The same for paternal would have been Martha Tacket Mansell. She was married to Abner Tackett. I got a little confused the other day: they seem to BOTH have moved down to Misssissippi from Tenn. where the Tacketts and Burdines were small farming families. Jewish. Memphis has a large Jewish quarter, and in Elvis’s adolescence and very young adulthood, it was mostly a grungy slum. G.K. was much more prosperous than his OWN Rabbi!! Who lived above the Presleys on Alabama St., which has been destroyed for an interstate ramp or something.
    So, that’s where he learned of “Tzimmis,” I guess, but he also knew that his mother once told him “a secret” and not to tell anyone. He was terrible about “secrets”: he told a bunch of the guys!!!!!! And that she told him not to tell. Funny.
    But that director must have dropped to the ground from his director’s chair!!!!!!! With that line!
    So, yeah, STONE, not the “name” – but the maternal lineage, is what carries his “Jewishness.” See, Abner Tackett, by divorcing and remarrying twice, without care for “propriety” – or whatever, well, he kind of surrendered any religious connection, but HIS mother made HIM Jewish. Period.
    And Bob, well, he’s Jewish on both sides, but we know little about his deeper roots, I think. He’s not really dark like a Sabra: I know people who are. They never left the middle east until like the 20th century. Some never left at all. Not many of ’em, but you can tell: they are dark, very dark. Bob does not look like my cousins whose mother is a Sabra, by her lineage, and no generations in btw. for her. Her grandchildren are very dark: at 7, one boy looked Mexican, and the baby looked BLACK! I swear!
    Elvis always tanned very quickly, and rarely burned. G.K. called him “lucky that way.” How stupid: part Cherokee on both sides, and Jewish pretty damn close on his mother’s side, and she had coal black eyes and hair: what do you EXPECT??
    Back in the ’50, my dad said “grownups” who didn’t like him were saying the following: “RCA is pulling a fast one on us: The kid’s a n—-.” They used the slur, not any other word. I’m serious. Lotta people were saying this, he tells me. You might be a little young to have heard this.
    But I don’t think that’s the case – though they say “how do you know who’s your daddy? Cause your Mama told you so.” Well, really. It was Cherokee and Jewish that gave him those lovely tans that he could get in like a half hour if he wanted. He enjoyed going into the desert, or Hawaii, claiming to “need” to “get tanned.” One film, “Flaming Star,” he went into the desert to “get tanned,” and used the opportunity to get roaring drunk, instead. It’s in a couple books, at least.
    Bob’s not in that grouping, it seems. He’s blond, after all!! His eyes are “bluer than Robin’s eggs.” Elvis had greenish Hazel eyes that depending on the light, looked dark or light. Sometimes, he wore blue contacts. They wanted him to do so.
    Oh, yeah, the film is “Easy Come, Easy Go.” Make of THAT what you will.
    But Bob is Euro, very. Not as much in common, really, but it IS a bond, which would account for Bob’s strong emotions. And he seemed quite the biz gossip!!!!!! For sure!
    Becareful with Warhol: what a gossip!!!!!!
    I don’t trust everything he prattles on about, but I have two indexes pasted into the book!! So I can look it all up any time.
    Still, no matter what “real-life” stuff he used as “material,” it’s really about him and his life. He was quite young at the time, and burdened with heavy demons from the recent past. His adolescence – or high school/college time was pretty strange and scary, the way I see it.
    Yes, he had this way with words and music and he could sock it over, too. But Springseen just said “the greats were all desperate men.” No s—!

  89. R M Says:

    If there is a God, well, when I meet St. Peter guarding the gate, he’s gonna say: “you’re going to HELL!” I’ll say “but why? What’d I do?” SPELLING ERRORS!!!!!!
    Not just spelling either: I said “paternal” once, when I meant “maternal” in comparing the “line” of Elvis on his MATERNAL side with that of his daughter on the PATERNAL side. See, Dodger was her GREAT grandma: she lost her grandson first, then her son. Then she finally died. And Lisa knew her ’till she was like about 12 or so. But she was quite elderly, esp. for the 1970s: Elvis introduced her in 1970 as “78 years old.” Actually, she was either 79 or 80, but no biggie. But on his LAST tour, which was taped for TV, he did it AGAIN: “she’s 78 years old.” That’s somewhat amusing, and shows you not to trust the memories of rock stars . . . too much. But see, Dodger was to Lisa on the parternal side, what Martha Tackett Mansell {who was Jewish, daughther of Nancy Burdine and Abner Tackett, sister of Sidney, Jerome, and Jehru} was to her father! SAME! But one big difference: MATERNAL LINE. Which is why “only carrots *I* eat are in tzimmes.” So, with Bob, we can assume, I guess, that his roots are Jewish on both sides, going all the way back to Europe. But, really, how the hell do we really know? “Eyes bluer than robin’s eggs.” Hmmm. And blonde. Well, I’m a quarter Christian: my mom’s dad. Forgetting the “Law” for a moment, and the result is that her eldest sister had blonde hair and blue eyes. Bluer the robin’s eggs, by God! And mine are not the dark brown of both my parents: they are hazel: but not with the touch of green that Elvis had that made his eye color sort of mysterious and weird. Just plain hazel. But, see, I got that from grandfather, who had blond hair and blue eyes. And it connects me to my aunt, who one of my babysitters once said – when I was little – “she looks like a movie star!” The lady was black, and was really taken with the photo. {Same woman my dad sometimes dropped off at Elvis movies when they came back from whatever they were doing, if was in the afternoon, and they needed her: he was CRAZY about him. Said “I just love that boy!” Something kept the damned things selling tickets. Overweight black women, though? Whatever. Thing is, “movie star” equated, in her mind, with “blonde hair and blue eyes.” It IS a stunning photo, and my mom’s hair was super straight, while mine is a pain in the ass. Again, I think that was from her father. But she had black hair: mine has a slight reddish tinge: got that from my dad, who as a kid, “looked Irish” people said. His beard and mustache, if he ever had to let them grow {he got hit by a big piece of lumber once} were bright red! Now, I see no red hair anywhere in his family, but going back, somebody was sneakin’ around, ya know.
    Ha! But that’s true: Bob had to have some really blonde relative{s} pretty close to him, I figure. I mean, red hair is one thing, but blond and blue: well that indicates INTERMARRIAGE!!!!!!! OOOOOOh! “Here comes Santa, Santa, Santa!” {giggle} The point is that he has a Christian relative pretty damn close, and if it interrupted the maternal line, well, hell, then Elvis was more Jewish then the Bobster is!!!!!! Hilarious, but TRUE! I mean, according to “The Law.” And if Bob’s pop really took all this seriously, and it’s clear he did, well, this “secret” knowledge would have made him HOSTILE to the blond, blue-eyed son of his! Perhaps every time he looked at him, he saw the result of INTERMARRIAGE!!!!!!! A BREAK IN THE LINE! And so on. A shonder {shame}! Maybe that’s why, when he “got into a little hometown jam,” he called him “defiled” so swiftly. An honor student! A kid who, when he was about 10, tried to be so sweet to both his parents {although you can read some fear in what he said about his dad . . . so you have that note or card? He talks about him getting mad or angry, or something: intriguing}. But see, any hostility by a father can always be tempered by a mother IF the mother is strong enough {and she seemed to be} and caring enough. She was totally cool with the King James Bible in ’67, and when his father died, a PRIEST dropped by! Strange, uh, bedfellows. No, I’m not saying THAT! Everybody calm down. But she was very open to things “Christian” in a way that Abe seemed not to be. I mean, he wanted “to belong,” but he also wanted to be recognized as Jewish, BY DAMN! She didn’t seem to care on that level. Doesn’t mean there wasn’t difficulty on the maternal side: a kid, a boy especially I think, looks to his mother for protection from any hostility from a father. If it’s not forthcoming, that creates great hostility in a kid. They often blame the mother more than the father, even if she was passive. Especially if she was passive. But she seemed strong: when Dylan started getting emotional at the funeral, she simply summoned David regarding his brother, and David spirited him to the kitchen. “Close the eyes of the dead, not to embarrass anyone.” From an early, but magnificent song: “Farewell, Angelina.” One of my all-time Dylan faves. Joannie’s too, clearly. I don’t think it’s just “random” images at all. I can see someone being taken away, and to a frightful place. Like a war, or something. You know, I’ll tell the truth, when I see the photos and film of Elvis being dragged away to the military, I think of nothing but that song. It’s the only sound {ear “candy” as they call it} that sort of starts up in my head. Especially in the Bootleg series version, with the “camoflaged parrots.” Well, a soldier who “parrots” what he’s supposed to say, is wearing camaflage. “Corporals” {sp? DAMNATION: SPELLING!} accompany the townspeople who applaude “with each blast.” You think of Fort Chaffee, Fort Hood {not NOW, but yeah . . .}, and the constant “blasting” in those towns, which doesn’t seem to bother the townspeople at all. The whole thing that he sees in the time-period of the “cold war” seems played out in those “flashing images.” Doesn’t matter WHO the young “puppets” or “parrots” are who are pressed into the service of blasting away, and leaving tears behind. And that ending: “I must go where it is quiet.” There’s a photo that goes so well with that . . . nice David Lynch type job one could do with the song . . . You know: that period of history: those soldiers who “manned the barricades” in Germany at the time before Vietnam, when they were PLANNING Vietnam, and starting things up here and there . . . well, it’s not been covered well, at all. How they tried to indoctrinate the young men . . . how they ripped away their dignity and sense of self, as “BASIC” does, always, but they go through “the training” for the whole two years. You gotta hand it to Elvis, and few have read Lt. Taylor’s memoir, which is quite significant and different than anything else in that category, or other category . . . Few know of the one Private who STOOD during the classes, and would not take his seat, with arms folded, and a leg against the wall. He sucked up to Taylor like the “teacher’s pet” he’d always been, and got away with it, but still . . . Dylan must have assumed differently: that they were all THE SAME: parrots and “puppets.” It’s interesting that this is not necessarily so. But boy, did they work on them! Those poor guys who were nearly naked in Life magazine, just because of THAT guy who happened to be there that day. But the crying, dying mother: that hits ANYBODY. The song just starts in my head. Seems perfect. And Dylan has said that in school they were always “ducking and covering” and it was fallout shelter time, and all of that. He had to connect it all. Very few photos of the “cold warriors” of the time, had it not been for The {Once and Future} Cat. That whole history might have been lost, really, ’cause there are not many photos of that “in-between” time, and of the soldiers who “fought” this very cold war: freezing war. And Taylor tells of horror stories: a kid got flattened by a tank “stay away from {pr}anks.” TANKS!! Damn straight, you stay away from if you know THAT could happen, and DID happen. It’s a totally forgotten history. And would have been utterly ignored, if not for {“you”} . . . Hmmm.
    I just see this fascinating Dyad between the two of them: I can’t shake it. Maybe it’s cause I’m a fan of both, but I can’t shake it: it just SHOWS ITSELF. That weird “set list.” From “fans.” Not Dylan fans, though. Maybe it came from the guy who was terrible about keeping “secrets.” Somehow it got out. Quite the imagination, if it’s false: esp. the part about the ONE song in ’72, which is weird. I know he sang with Robert Plant, but that was just fooling around in the hotel. This seemed to have a different tone to it: “set list.” Weird way of putting it if was just foolin’ around.
    And some mysteries remain: “Don’t Think Twice” NEVER being released in full, even now: why? Why give you so little? The “recreated” recording session of “Elvis On Tour.” Hell, I don’t think I’ve ever SEEN a “recreated recording session.” That’s plumb weird. It was NOT a work of fiction! So why did they feel the need to “recreate” what happened just the day before? And they won’t recut the film and put out all they’ve got. They just refuse. Intriguing. We know they can, ’cause they did it with the other one. And there’s even more footage from that, that’s been out for a long time. A little bit from “On Tour,” but really little. Makes you feel like they’re hiding something, even if they’re not. And then this rumor has been around for a LONG time, I read, but cannot be proved or disproved. I mean, a “set list” is quite more than a “rumor.” They just say it’s “probably” not true, which means nothing. And Dylan feels the need to deny something he really wasn’t “accused” of. {I didn’t mean it that way.} But it’s all weird. People are asking questions, and he knows it. And he’s ducking. Dunno why. I guess they feel a lot of EP fans wouldn’t like it, because Bob is “controversial” or something. Which is silly, ’cause EP is MORE so!!!!!!! But some of the fans are really ridiculous with their “good, simply, “loved his mama” boy” deal. I mean, hell, he WAS a junkie: yes, Nick is an ass to be going around now and insisting how BAD a junkie he was, but he was only “trying to help.” Yeah, that’s why you lost your liscence in the ’90s! Elvis didn’t do very hard stuff until HE became his doc. And that’s a fact. Just mostly uppers, and some downers, but not the horrible ones, like ‘luudes and and stuff, and he really wasn’t doing narcotics before Nick. He came aboard later ’66, and that’s just when EP’s life really took a spin for the worse. Yeah, the films sucked, but he was only doing pot and Acid and uppers, mostly. When Nick came on board, all of a suddent, people started getting hurt, including EP himself, with that “bathtup” smashup, and then there was that cancelled session and flight out of state, for which Davis took the rap {which is probably correct, but he sure was emotional when talking to Hopkins}, and things just got kinda crazy. He started zoning out, and stopped rebelling against the Col.: burn the books? Yeah, sure. Etc. Imagine Bob burning his own books! At Grossman’s request! Ridiculous. But serious drug addiction that is stoked by a Dr. Feelgood who stumbled on to a good situation, well, anything is then possible. Dylan grabbed back control of his life, Grossman, or no Grossman. Hated his guts, couldn’t really legally get away, but stood his own ground. Elvis was getting really p.o.d and the Nick enters the picture and he does anything asked.
    I mean, the business was changing and he knew it. And I think he really wanted to see what he could do: that “snap cap” photo seems to suggest that, just when he and Red were supposed to start collaborating, but Red made off with both recorders. But he was trying: surrounded by leeches and creeps, it was a bear, but he wanted more than what he got.
    Jeez, I finally really saw the scene where he sings to the bull “Dominic.” His face is so young, his hair, “Prince Valiant” style, sorta, but longer, flopping about, but it’s like there’s a porcupine in his gut, and it’s dead and rotting, and sticking him. You can see his eyes almost roll around in the sockets as the song ends, and some hair drops into his eyes: he’s young, gorgeous {expected A LOT from that movie, and got NOTHING}, and seems, at times to want to die. You can see that if it weren’t for Steve Binder, he would never have lived to see 1969. Really. It was a miracle. But with Nick in the picture, MORE docs entered the picture, and it ended so damn quickly and turned into an apocalypse scenario.
    Awwww! You can understand Dylan’s frustration and confusion {and he is a congential liar: he can’t help that}, but in his songs, truth mangages to seep out. Always. And, well, ole Hank and James Dean: well, there was no way he could have any impact there. But this was so different. I’d bet he knew it in ’54, listening to the Hayride. I really would. Probably was planning on how he was gonna meet him as soon as he could {but the Army and Bob’s own messes screwed around with all of that: nevertheless, Bryan Hyland says he got drunk with Elvis: Greil doesn’t believe him. Maybe not, but Hyland was with Vee – Veline – when he made this claim, and Vee had “Elston” in his band, and well, it’s like he was always trying to get close. Maybe the time came btw. ’69 and ’71 {everyone who says “they know” personally, says ’69: more are popping up}, and it took from early ’70 for a first draft of “Gypsy” to get to tape, and ’till ’71 for it to appear, supposedly about a ’69 meeting!!!!!! It had to be, because of when Gypsy was first taped. It must have seemed so fast to Dylan: in the time it took for him to get the song done, taped, varnished {you might say} and released, the guy he wrote about had CHANGED into like another person. “Went blank.” Must have seemed too damn fast. What happened, indeed. Well, back before ’69, Nick happened. Is what happened. And Nick his blaming Vernon mercilessly in this “book” of his: says he was “scared of losing his salary.” Yeah, well, then why did he accused him of killing HIM and previously, his mother in ’75: Billy has been steadfast in his account of this to a variety of sources. It was Vernon, even according to St. Peter, who wanted those specialists brought in! But Nick is claiming credit, and saying Vernon was the problem, which is B.S.
    The guy is no good. Those “doctors” must be stopped! And he’s like the “Alpha” one! Well, no: J.F.K. and Frank, and Marilyn had a doozy, and so on . . . and I’m sure there were plenty others. But still: in the rock biz, Nick WAS first and got it all going. And now HE wants the last word! To defend, perhaps, a certain colleague in the medical field? Dirtbags!
    At least Bob got his own dope, and stopped his own dope, for the most part. Or he wouldn’t be here, frankly.
    Funny review of the X-mas album in, I think, Time mag. “A tuberculor hobo in a Karaoke bar at Yuletide.” He said you may want to pat him on the back for the performances. HARD. To dislodge whatever the hell is stuck in his throat! The guy’s right, he is like purposely trying to sing as badly as he can. But, yet, there’s this weird “sincerity” that people seem to hear. I don’t really hear that: I mean, he’s not “ironic,” but he’s SO trying to be AWFUL that, well, that’s the thing. Like a commentary on the Neil Diamonds of the world who make their living putting out X-mas albums constantly as the age and age, and age. If he WAS in Nashville in ’71, he knew Elvis was in a rage, and wanted to bolt, and was yelling: “I HATE ‘Winter Wonderland’!” And so on. I mean, that’s the rational way an artist would look at it. I mean, I like good, funky, funny X-mas stuff, and even choirs and stuff, but those geezers living off of ’em . . . well, you can see a younger guy like Elvis back then thinking that he’s seeing his future: X-mas albums galore!!!!!! He wanted to RUN!
    And he did: right into the arms of DEATH, or Dr. Nick.
    It’s okay to get older, Dylan is saying, but you don’t have to make an ass of yourself. I mean, it’s like he’s talking to the others. This was just a sort of “mirror” he gave them. “Buh rum pa pa pum. . .” ad nauseum. A wicked life, but everybody’s gotta eat. Hmmmmmm. But he was chastising a young man for throwing his life away: this is chastising the “lucky” ones for being fools when they needn’t. Just greedy. Elvis wasn’t greedy in the movie years; he felt trapped and confused – just like with “Winter Wonderland.” And Dylan knew it. He’d been down that road, in a way. It was a diff. time. But the X-mas album this year is for his fellow geezers who keep pumpin’ ’em out, without any regard for anything like their art, which they gave up on a while back.
    So, I guess it’s cool. HIS aim really is true, I guess. Like it or not.

  90. R M Says:

    Hey, I meant the “real” St. Peter, guarding the gates to “Heaven.” Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Peter Guralnick were waitin’ for me?!

    Think I got those ‘net shortenin’s correct: I think it can be ROFL, but not sure. Any way, laughing my butt off, whilst rolling on floor, ‘nearly ’bout, laughing!
    There stands the Pearly Gates, and it’s PETER GURALNICK!!!!!!!! And Dewey Phillips is there, for unknown reasons, saying “I never knew that weird kid ’till they dragged him outta that the-a-ter! Wanna buy a fur-lined duck? Call Sam.” Oh, yeah, and Bob is there, saying, “and YEAH, I never met the dork, either! Hell, ain’t NOBODY met him but those idiots he hung out with, and you ain’t gonna either, ’cause he’s in HELL!!!!! With CHARLIE!”
    I wouldn’t be laughing then. Would desire a different Universe!
    If EP went to Hell, and Bob to the other place! I mean, I wish Bob no ill will, but if you had to choose one . . . but, Charlie, well, maybe one would take pity upon him, but I met him for sure, and I don’t think so. Gosh, I just got a rehearsal tape {those Euro fan clubs have AMAZING stuff, and it doesn’t stop, either}, and he’s trying to get the white gospel group to do melismatic stuff, and they just can’t do it, and you can hear them trying: “why are you simplifying it?!” EP cries out in frustration. No answer. You really feel bad for the guys. He goes on; “it’s EASY!” Charlie turns a shade of Jolly Green Midget and says “everything’s easy FOR YOU!!!” Not laughing, either: nobody’s laughing, actually, at that point. Man, creepy rehearsal tape. It’s like he has no idea at that moment that he’s asking them to “sing black” and he can do it, and they can’t. And it’s like he’s frustrated and confused as to why they can’t just do it. “Easy.” Creepy, but funny in a way.
    J.D., the lower than low white bass singer, later spoke of it: how he could jump the beat in a certain way that he’d never heard a white person do it {in gospel music, anyway, I guess}, and it always amazed him ’cause he said he really couldn’t do it, either. Then one of the Sweets says that “he was able to sing ‘wet.’ That’s what we call it, so we don’t have to say ‘black’ or ‘white’: we just say ‘wet’ or ‘dry.’ And Elvis, well, he sang ‘wet,’ which was really unusual for, well {then she gets tongue-tied}.” That’s on another tape. Audio. There’s some video in this vein, but not as explicit: these come from ’80s rare radio programs.

  91. reprindle Says:

    Here you, the lowdown on Presley, Dylan and in between. I love the internet. Where else can you get stuff like this?

  92. R M Says:

    I agree: you couldn’t get stuff like this ANYWHERE but on the ‘net! {giggle} I have heard SOME of this before, ’cause Elvis was into some WEIRD S—, if ya know what I mean. He was probably into this sort of thing.
    One thing though, many of the biggest stars are thought of as sort of “religious figures” and people come in wheelchairs to “be healed” and so forth. Lennon was really freaked out by it all. Gave him the heebie-jeebies. Elvis really believed he could heal, and sometime in about ’66 or ’67 {yes, about the same time he was fooling with Acid . . . [clearing throat]}, actually thought he was a “Christ.” Now, this confuses his belief system, such as it was: he often said that Jesus was only ONE “son” of God, but that we are all sons and daughters of God, and that’s what he believed. But in the desert, in the mid-sixties, he freaked out and thought he was THE ONE. MJ fooled with occult stuff, like when he jumped into a puddle of cow blood in Africa {yuck!} to put curses on those he beleived had wronged him. {rolling eyes} I mean, I guess it comes with the territory.
    Look, Elvis is DEAD!!!!! Even Larry can assure everyone of that: he was in the room when he was doing his hair, and that little {expletive} shaved his sideburns. He’s DEAD. If wanted to believe that “twinning” stuff, fine. And yes, some people do have this dissociative disorder, but not so many!! Gosh. But the more contemplative MJ fans long ago felt strongly that he really did have a severe dissociative disorder, maybe even D.I.D. {Funny name for a disorder where you can’t remember what you DID!} He really seemed to “switch” as they call it. I have read genuine psychiatric journal stuff on it, and good books — not the religious stuff, and he’s the only one who might have been “a multiple” as the person puts it. But it is simply a disorder of chronic recurring, cycling amnesia. And it has to start prior to age 8, and virtually ALL of them have been savagely abused as children. I think that whatever traumas Elvis suffered that caused his stutter, or whatever caused that weird “bobble-head doll” look that I’ve seen in the post-motorpshycho Bob, no. That’s not their thing. Bob has problems, sure. Elvis had bigger problems. And Michael, well, you can just pick any page of the DSM . . . and he’s there.
    But this is a bit much.
    Also, as I understand it, Reynolds showed up for the funeral, but I have NEVER found a mention of him in Elvis’s life prior to the funeral!! I believe he was simply a fan-curiosity seeker, who happened to have a “name.” Weird since a lot of the people he really knew in the biz did not show up. It was kinda sad, really. One old girlfriend {Ann Margaret}, and James Brown, who was really there more because Jackie could not be there {he was comatose}, which is kinda cool: an “emissary,” sort of. We have no idea who all was in the “real” funeral, in the house: it was not disclosed. But the only “rumored” celebrity, who could never be confirmened, and everybody said it was very unlikely, was: GET THIS: BOB DYLAN!! All the fans and press and everybody were buzzing “I hear Dylan’s in town somewhere.” But no one could ever confirm it, and I have never believed it. I just wonder why, of all the people he was “close” to – Tom Jones or whomever – none of them were even rumored to be there. The only “rumor” was Dylan. Absolute truth. Years ago, I didn’t even care about such a silly rumor . . . but now, well, the rumor intrigues me a bit. But he said he spoke to no one for a week. {I guess you can be mute and still travel, but I doubt it.} “In the record breaking heat . . .” It was SUPER hot in Memphis those few days, by the way.
    I doubt it. But leaving this alone, its that “set list” from ’71, and the single song from ’72 that intrigues me. Where would the know the tunes? I mean, Elvis fans just wouldn’t know all those songs. And that’s where it came from. The guy who did “I’m Not There” — the picture, he believes it. He truly believes it. Doesn’t give a flip what Dylan says, ’cause he’s done enough research to know that what Dylan “says” means very, very little. I mean, there are times, but sometimes what he says makes no sense at all. His Elvis, his “We didn’t want to go” tale is absurd. How would they know where to “get him”? If they hadn’t pow-wowed in some way? It’s absurd. One of his more pathetic fibs. But I do love the part about “he played with {the Beatles} heads.” It imparts an intelligence to Elvis that’s damn rare, VERY rare. Lennon was said to be surprised at his dry wit and wry humor, but he was impressed! Not upset. Elvis was put off by a few things: the “pushing” him to “do some more great records like you used to” stuff. As if he didn’t WANT to!!!!! He WAS sarcastic about that, and they deserved it. Dylan would definitely have more sense. And I think he DID! But Elvis DID make excuses, when he was seriously speaking about the problem, in the sixties, and its those excuses that sound so on the money in “Goin’ To Acapulco.” Even the dialect: “settin’ there, waitin’ for me to come.” “I ain’t complainin’ none.'” He’s not making fun of him, because in the song, it sounds, well, it sounds like him. There’s an edge of real bitterness in “settin’ there”: you can hear the jagged edge of bitterness, and Bob caught it whole. I mean, he DID have an accent. No big deal. So does Bob. The way he says things like “ears” is that North Country drawl. Esp. when he was younger. In the early days, making all those demos and stuff. He didn’t seem to me like he was imitating Woody. He had a drawl of his own.
    But it wasn’t southern, and if you’ve heard Elvis speak enough . . . well, Bob had it down. But listen, he didn’t have all the “speech” that we have available today! Which indicates that they did indeed speak, and not infrequently. Enough for Bob to catch the right accent.
    Well, enough for the metatheophiscal whatever . . .

  93. reprindle Says:

    New page. Go to Conversations With Robin Page 4

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