Conversations With Robin Page 4

January 28, 2010



Conversations With Robin Page 4.

Conversations between R. E. Prindle and Robin Mark

Concerning certain musical questions.



     Sorry to be so remiss but I was really involved with writingt Exhuming Bob 23 a and b:  Bob, Andy, Edie and Like A Rolling Stone.  I got them up a couple days ago and then I was really exhausted.

     I think they’re really good work, real Sherlock Holmes stuff.  The feud between Dylan and Warhol with Edie Sedgwick as their pawn is very important althougth Dylan has been very effective in shuffling it under the carpet.

     I’ve always been amazed that no one came after Dylan because of the savage badgering he and Neuwirth put people through during what was apparently his Acid phase.  Anent that I’ve always been suspicious of the back wheel of his bike locking up, obvious sabotage to me.  Of course the reuslt would be flying over the handle bars that did happen.  A probable result of that would be damage to the head neck and/or back with a very good chance of being paralyzed from the neck down much as Christopher Reeve did from his horse jumping accident which was also contrived.

     Who would take that exact means to attempt to paralyze Dylan, I don’t think murder was intended.  Warhol is my first choice.  In addition to other humiliations Dylan publically insulted him in both Stone and Street using motorcycle imagery.  Of course, it is now clear that chrome horse refers to a motorcycle so the line reads:  You used to ride on a bike behind your diplomat…. Warhol had a bike and was Edie’s ‘diplomat’ so stripped of an obscure term the meaning is clear-  Edie and Andy.

     In Street Dylan sings:  You know you’d like to see me paralyzed…so the bike accident is prefigured in the imagery of the two songs that have references to Warhol.  If and when you read Part b of Bob And Andy the inference that Warhol’s crew were the perpetrators will become more evident.

     That was hard work pulling all those details together but rewarding.  Still, I’m going to have to take a week or so to recover.  Research goes on of course.  I think next I’ll tackle Exhuming Bob 24:  Bob, Jack and Allen.  I’ll start working on the ton of the period some.

     Part of Elvis’ problem was that the ton shifted so dramatically after he was drafted.  He began his career in the post-war ton of the late forties and early fifties actually causing the shift or, at least, abetting it.  Then he was removed from the flow for two crucial years.  when he came back the Kingston Trio had already shifted the ton toward the Folk genre that made Dylan possible but made Elvis an anachronism.  While I don’t believe Elvis was part of any Illuminati type thing earlier or later it is quite possible that some such sort of conspiracy found him a useful tool.  Of course, Parker, who was in the country illegally, could easily be manipulated to betray his and ‘his boy’s’ interests.

     By the time of the return from the military Presley’s career was obviously being directed by Hollywood.  So, who was getting what from mismanaging Elvis’ career?

     Just thoughts.

95 Responses to “Conversations With Robin Page 4”

  1. R M Says:

    Fascinating archeology you’ve got here, and I will go through it all. As far as the motorcycle crash, I agree that Dylan was convinced of sabotage, because he says as much in “This Wheel’s On Fire.” “Tie it up in a saliors knot . .” I got the feeling that he felt the wheel set up to lock, or something. In any case, on that song . . . if it is “song,” and not what it really is: an accusation. But the target is clearly Grossman. The bike was in his garage, but Dylan wanted THAT bike, and had to pry open the plywood to get it. Maybe a combo of sabotage and self-sabotage. Dylan was really in danger at that point: the drugs had gone way over the line. And Grossman knew it and didn’t care at all. “You called on me to call on them to get you your favors done.” Plain as day, and exactly what other accounts have said: the 64 concert dates. I’d be more inclined to find out how Grossman, and I believe it was Bob’s own manager, fixed things so the booing and heckling would go on unabated. I mean, after a bit, people KNEW that Dylan would have a band with him, and that he was doing his songs a little differently, and if they didn’t like . . . well, they were around the block.
    It was like a wreck on the highway, and it sold tickets. And it was killing Bob. Perhaps Grossman enlisted help from people who felt aggrieved by Bob — his songs were so damn pointed at real people, which most songwriters, especially after Dylan, avoided. Interesting that Joannie made it clear it was about him. I mean, if she hadn’t said “the original Vagabond, the unwashed phenomenon . . . you burst on the scene already a legend.” Beyond that, it could be about anybody. She used his kit-bag of tricks to let the person a song is about KNOW it is about them. And turned it on him. He said he was “honored” or something.
    Anyway, he DOES write songs about real people and real situations, which is why all the carping about “Red Wing” is such crap: Dylan wrote about real stuff, and if it was about someone else, he’d say so, too. “Percy’s Song” etc. Very clear. Now “Fourth Street.” Well, most towns HAVE a 4th street! Can’t go wrong there, but I’ll be whoever it was, KNEW it. Period. Like with Gypsy, most people focused on the “well, well, well” and “he did it in Las Vegas and he can do it here.” Well, of course he could do it “there” ’cause he DID record in Memphis in early ’59, and Freddie Bienstock spent 2 and a half hours on a plane talking Dylan’s ears off about the sessions, and about “Only the Strong Survive” performance, in particular {there are, believe it or not for this song, “dirty” takes of it! Freddy would remember that!}. But what they did NOT hear, back then, because they could not have known unless they’d actually been in there with Elvis, and been creeped out by it {Dylan always seems to love “morning” rather than night, if you notice: the exact opposite with Elvis, who loves moons and such . . . he once said “I like to ramble in the moonlight, when it’s like God ain’t watchin.'” Lordy, what a song title!! And some of that is in the original, Joe Hill Louis orig. recording for Sun of “Tiger Man” in a verse that was snipped later. But see, the critics and writers and whomever, DID NOT KNOW that the room was “dark . . . llghts were low and dim.” He lived like a bat! For real. One woman who couldn’t see ANYTHING at night, started pushing buttons to get a light on. Nothing happned until the cops came. “Did you push a button,” Esposito asked. “I pushed every damn button I could!” The dark was SO dark, she was really frightened, because there seemed no way to put on a light!
    Almost no one knew this. Not to the extent that even when he wasn’t with a chick, it was ALWAYS dark, dark, dark. Dylan’s ref. in the song is the real kicker. His reference to a detail like that.
    He’ll always do something like that. “An Egyption ring that . . .” You know. The little details give it away, but he rarely uses names.
    Anyway, I’ve been doing some digging of my own. Check this out.
    More on “Blue Suede Shoes,” which just won’t leave me alone, somehow. Now, mind you, I have nothing against Carl, who really is nicer to Elvis, much, much more so than Cash, who really had a thing going there: he’d jab at him any chance he got. Why? Well, there are those who believe it was Cash who blew the whistle on Elvis swiping “diet pills” and other stuff from his parents medicine cabinet and called “Mr. Phillips,” who in this account, was intructed: “you better call his Daddy, he’s just a kid, and this would be a shame at such an early age . . .” I’d wager on that, and the subsequent not-pretty incident that would follow, of course, and continue forever. But back to those shoes.
    Amongst the stories: too damn many: gosh!, Carl gives two dates. One, on Wiki . . ., is early Dec., 1955. Another is October 21, 1955, and the venue’s name is given: a college. The Giant Elvis Web Site in Australia, which tries to keep things straight {though they’ve found that impossible: Johnny Cash has Perkins making it impossible for Elvis to follow Perkins on-stage, and Elvis actually leaving, on another, either he or Carl – didn’t say – they have Elvis getting tangled in a cord on the way off stage and FALLING DOWN! Damn, these guys were jealous: there is NO other account of him ever falling on stage, but I’m saying it only to show you the burning feelings here – those guys didn’t use song lyrics: they used fists to settle scores, and even then . . .}. Anyway, the date they give for its writing is October 21 {or later, doesn’t matter}, and on October 15, EARLIER, is the film with Buddy Holly that was shot at a place in Texas called the “Cotton Club.” And it’s on film. But that would be BE BEFORE “Suede” was ever supposedly written! Yet, on the film of October 15, you can see Carl smoothing the “suede” on his shoes as if it were already a hit!!!!! {That has NEVER made sense to me at all. Once the record came out in ’56, Jan. 1, actually, Elvis was not with the Sun package tours, so this is weird. Carl was counting on that song, boy!} Well, shoot, anyone would know it was a hit upon hearing it: that much is clear. The did date Elvis’s performance of it wrong on TV: he did it actually two days before recording it. Scotty says he doesn’t think Elvis did it so Carl would get more money, but more as a “tribute.” Scotty and Carl were friends for a long time, interestingly. But Scotty would have heard all the versions of “Hands Off” and its various spinoffs long before “Shoes.”
    Reminds me of the Dylan line: “people ask about you/I don’t tell everything I know.” On Time Out of Mind, “A Million Miles.” But that another story {well, not really: several Lubbock people, esp. from the radio station where a teen Buddy DJ’d, and wehre Elvis cut acetates that are really good, said they got together: him and Buddy, every time he was in Lubbock! He didn’t just “meet” him, as he denied in the two sympathy notes, but he KNEW HIM WELL, which makes me wonder about the whole Dylan thing, which is taking a bit of flight on the ‘net because the story is so silly that he tells. I mean, it seems in line with it, but from the other side. Weird, man.}
    But either the Buddy Holly film date is wrong, and there’s no reason to believe this, because there’s only ONE story regarding that – the film, or Perkins was well in tune with, uh, the tune before he supposedly even ever wrote it!!!!!! One thing is clear from the film: it’s very early: pre-’56 for sure, so like I said, that makes it weird. About the shoes. I wish they had more performances by Elvis in the early days, esp. late 55. Not enough. Once he got on TV, it was all clear, but before that, strange things happened, to paraphrase Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Strange things. Like his versions of “Tweedle Dee.” WAY DIFFERENT at different times. And it was written and recorded right around that time.
    I just have this gut feeling that something was happening there, and we don’t know what it was. In any case, once EP was on RCA, he could never have progressed creatively except just by singing. The contract is clear as to that. Later on, though, he managed to try to sneak in the creativity. It was not easy. I mean, why WASN’T “I Didn’t Make On Playin’ Guitar” on the “country” album? It’s kind of a fun instrumental, and it showed he could write music. Why wouldn’t they release it? And then, even in the ’90s, they yanked it out of print pretty fast.
    Why did they want to do this to him? I know he came along at a time when his young age didn’t fit with the “system” they had going. So they just stomped on him. Told him, really, it seems, point black that he was stupid. And he seemed to believe this for a while. Too long a while. Nobody ever called Bob stupid, that’s for sure. Hell, it makes a damn difference. The kid had a speech impediment, and they really believed him “a dummy.” And sadly, he bought into it. Man, I have really dug into Milkcow, and boy, he had a gift there: instead of “don’t your home look lonesome when you lovers not around {I think that’s the word}.” Elvis gravitated toward the lonliness of the night itself: “don’t that old moon look lonesome when your bay-ay-ayby’s not around.” rumble, rumble, rumble. I mean, all he needed was a bit of encouragement.
    Why did so many people seem to sit on his career? Simple: they saw a threat. And they saw how timid he could be, and his father too, who, in the beginning was significant, legally. Just scared to death. Fresh meat is what they saw. Why encourage him when it would only hurt YOU?
    Honestly, “tangled in the cord.” My butt! I’ve seen him do one legged dancing before James Brown ever even thought about it. And he “crosses over”: his feet, I mean. You’re not supposed to: it’s a dangerous move, but he had no problem, apparently. He was afraid of nothing in that area. It came as easily to him as that gospel melisma the other guys couldn’t do. And I guess it was that he could do what they couldn’t that annoyed the hell out of so many. Hal Wallis invested a lot, just just money, but time and work, and whatall, in REAL stars: why bother about this hick kid? Go with that manager of his: why not? And so on. And if neither Phillips or Buddy Killen put him into BMI, why should anyone else have done so? Oh, by the way, Perkins DID get checks from BMI. So, we KNOW Mae Axton lied outright. Elvis could not have gotten a check; it was impossible. I know that “conspiracies” are never “grand”: just loose associations of like-minded folks. It just sorta develops, to everyone’s advantage. But if you snoop through the past, you’ll better understand the present and future. That’s the way I see it. Hell, I believe Elvis: Cooke was done away with, and it had nothing to do with a girl. And it was a warning to others. He understood all of this, but still let Parker do his misdeeds. Steve Binder remembers during the creepy meeting, one time, instead saying “yes, Col.” with his head down, one time, he simply said “yes, sir.” Binder was just blown away. Then they left, and EP elbowed him “F- him, we’ll do whatever we want.” But still . . . “sir.” Not with love, certainly.
    Meanwhile, Dylan was involved in all that intrigue, and he handled it pretty well, he thought anyway. I mean, he should have been more careful about what he said, but he chose to swim in the deep end of the pool. With people, like Warhol, who knew more about “the ropes” than he did. “The girl on the half-shell, who’ll keep you unharmed.” What is that, anyway, “heading straight for a fall.” Then? That early? Musta been something he got mixed up in that he shouldn’t have at his age. Dylan, back then, thought he was so, so, so mature. Could handle anything. His own man. And all that. But she reminded him, Joannie did, that he WAS still just a “kid” and that made him mad, but she was doing the right thing.

  2. R M Says:

    early SIXTY-NINE 69, not 59. Good Grief!

  3. reprindle Says:

    Unless some real evidence surfaces it is impossible to say what actually happened and who did it. That said, I think the intent of the accident was to injure, cripple or paralyze Dylan and not kill him. When Dylan says he suffered a concussion and three cracked vertebrae I now believe him. So, he could heasily have been paralyzed from the neck down.

    Grossman might be Dylan’s first choice but if Grossman was responsible I think the intent would have been murder, besides Grossman didn’t ride motorcycles but Warhol did. He even had one of the Factory hands build one for him so the intent and mechanical skills were both there.

    But, I’m sure nothing definite can be said.

    Anent Desolation Row and Dylan’s statement that ‘he had to give them different faces and brand new names: If Dr. Filth were Warhol then let us consider Edie Sedgwick as Ophelia. I find nothing in the description of Ophelia to resemble Shakespeare’s heroine. Look at the verse:

    Now, Ophelian, she’s ‘neath the window
    For her I feel so afraid
    On her twenty-second birthday
    She is already an old maid
    To her, death is quite romantic
    She wears an iron vest
    Her profession is her religion
    Her sin is her lifelessness
    And though her eyes are fixed upon
    Noah’s great rainbow
    She spends her time peeking
    Into Desolation Row.

    Now, why twenty-second birthday? I haven’t checked into Hamlet to confirm this but I believe Ophelia was only sixteeen. So, who was born in ’43 and would be 22 in ’65? Edie Sedgwick. Then lines 5-8 are Dylan’s superior snide remarks as though he’s the judge-penitent above sin.

    No idea why an iron vest but death is romantic to a 22 year old, not unusual; becoming famous is her religion but she’s lost in drugs or lifelessness. OK, so now Edie’s subhuman, Dylan despising her can now injure her without remorse.

    And then her goal is salvation or Noah’s Rainbow but she spends her time hanging around the Factory or in other words Desolation Row.

    It’s a little early to declare but keep in the back of your mind for working purposes that Desolation Row may be a name fixed on Warhol and his Factory.

    Thus Like A Rolling Stone = Edie Sedgewick
    Positively 4th Street = Andy Warhol
    It’s going to take some worrying to develop it but Desolation Row = The Factory. In other words the whole text of Desolation Row may be describing the goings on at the Factory.

    All three songs were written withing three or four weeks of each other while Dylan was hot on the topic. Might or might not be true about Row but something to check into.

  4. R M Says:

    Good thesis, but I would say this: why did this “crowd,” you might say, attract a young Bobby Zimmerman, who supposedly was “a musical expeditionist”? In other words, he lived in search of song, of melody, of verse and melody in tandem, in search of what Sam Phillips called “where the soul of man never dies”? Certainly, Warhols bizarro world is WHERE the soul of man DOES die, as I always saw it. Buncha losers and weirdos congregate in NYC to “be discovered” by the only celebrity yet lived who was weirder than Michael Jackson {with all disrespect to Phil Spector, who’s real close: oh, man — see, I did a lot of Jackson research, so I KNOW he’s guilty, because La Toya Jackson, in her book, describes nearly the IDENTICAL scene as the dead girl and the other women who testified, but back in the ’80s, Spector had these keys made up that said “Bates Motel.” La Toya, because Joseph Jackson had kept them all so locked away from anything he didn’t want them to see or know about, somehow did not know it was the creepy killing place in Hitchcock’s “Psycho” so she asked Michael, who replied, eyes widened in awe: “that’s where they kill all the pretty young girls!” He added, kindly, uh, in the movie. Anyway, the Beast of of Encino got on the phone as Spector kept calling and said “you call my daughter one more time, or come around, and I’ll blow your f’ing head off.” Spector turned his attention to others. So maybe he DOES beat Warhol, but shoot, Warhol was a strange duck. I mean, I think he was what they once found in an experiment with sheep: a “dud stud.” A male sheep with NO sexuality at all. They were looking for gayness in non-humans, used sheep, and found a group that wasn’t interested in either. Warhol seems to fit. Oddball doesn’t come close. Dylan should have scoped him out immediately as not only dangerous to someone like the young lady you have likely identified, but to HIMSELF, because you can spot Dylan’s curiosity immediately. Warhol would have been more than a little uncomfortable as “raw material” for Dylan’s songs . . . or that’s how he might have seen it. Dylan seemed to be sounding a warning. But I think it was a “scene” that may have been more dangerous than the one he speaks of in the Hollyweird Hills. I mean, there was danger there: arrests, drug deaths to come, Manson “bubbling under” you might say, since he wanted to be a musician, etc. Cali frightened Dylan, except for Joannie’s “peaceful California” which was totally different. I guess that’s what she meant when she said “heading straight for a fall.” Well, he took the fall, anyway. Just when he LEFT that girl “who would keep you unharmed.” Now THAT’S interesting: Dylan makes a young guy’s biggest “foolish move”: gets a girl pregnant who was not originally his girlfriend [although, Joan feels he took her words on the phone, spoken in jest, as a refusal of a proposal, and WORSE: “it’d never work: I’d be “the folk queen, and you’d be the “rock king.” That last one must have sent him reeling in ways she could never begin to understand: “why am I always the one to be the thief?” I mean, he heard both rejection AND “accusation.” Hell, he wanted to be BIG, but he didn’t want THAT. Not that particular title. Because even as early as that, he had strong feelings that went back to when he was just in his teens, with the radio tuned to the Hayride, and he felt like somehow his own life was SAVED by the ‘real’ “rock king” and it made him feel not just like a “common” theif, but sorta the ULTIMATE theif, and made him feel uncomfortable because all he wanted to do was “bring it all back home.” And “home” was not Hibbing: home was in that old radio that came with the “moved house” and the magic that came out of it, totally unexpected. A kind of joyousness that he had never known is what he heard, and he wanted to know that kind of joy himself. I think there are times when he did, in his OWN way.} So to hang out with real strange people who were addicted to everything, and then to impose his midwestern values on their lives in his songs . . . well, somebody was out to get him. I know a little of this. I know that when I was hanging around the “intelligencia” in NYC, they did not like me. “You write English,” my advisor said. But, he went on, I also knew what I was talking about: I could dance on either stage, you might say. Some of ’em just didn’t like me at all. Or where I came from {The U. of Alabama: because it was southern, yes, but not why you’d think: that stuff was ancient history, sorta, when I was there, but it was a STATE school in a “non-intellectual” state, etc.} I was a “rube.” A hick. Etc. Even choosing to live in the suburbs, and work in a MALL {!} weirded some of them out. What could I learn working in Buster Brown? Everything, I told them. I said, hell, I’m studying youth, families, and culture: where the hell SHOULD I work? I know I was right. I mean, it wasn’t the only place I worked, but it was my favorite, and I was there for some time. I really learned a lot, and it was a good experience all around, mostly. I got mono one summer, though, and when I got better, I got another job ’cause I’d been gone quite a while. See, they misdiagnosed it, really: I had chronic tonisillitis, and while it probably started with mono, they couldn’t stop the constant infections. For what I did, it was a bad thing to have, and when I finally got them removed, it was just in the nick of time: they were very badly infected. But I did get a long run at Buster, and I’m damn proud of it.
    I can see how they saw Bob. Young, naive, a rock ‘n’ roller who dug the blues in a way they probably couldn’t understand, and who REALLY dug “hillbilly music” which they couldn’t POSSIBLY understand. And he started warning a young girl that she was in a bad, bad place. And they were like: “who the HELL is HE, anyway?” Some ‘neck from a mining town in the middle of nowhere, and WE’VE never even heard of it?! I mean, Woody was “cool.” Okies, John Steinbeck novels, etc. So Dylan, I can see now, kinda had to come up with a “better” backstory. Or thought he did. And he DID have serious problems with his parents. And I think he and his brother didn’t really understand each other at all. Part of it was that David really wasn’t into music to the degree Bob was at all, and also, David was just shy of being a genuine “Boomer.” And, well, Bob was tuned into an earlier time in music. Even today, he digs stuff from the earliest musics that were recorded. {Which is problematic, because A.P. Carter and Family were RAISED on that music, and Dylan was picking it up: he was not from a “holler.” That far into “trees” he wasn’t: he wasn’t quite the squirrel he might have thought himself, or wanted to be.
    In any case, though, they were in a different world than Bobby when he was quite young, and their world kinda freaked him out, even if he did things to “toughen” himself to the “street.” Maybe even terrible things that still haunt him. He’d like to be braggin’ on it, but he only said it to Shelton, and he really can’t b.s. Shelton, because he KNOWS, from jumpstreet about Bob’s b.s.
    My take on it.
    You know, Bob’s “act like you never have met” thing with EP somehow has to be related to the fact that he DID play in a band that had real Crickets in it! I mean, it was only for a while, and only a few, but I’ll bet they ALL were flabbergasted by Elvis’s two “sympathy” notes: one a telegram, the other a sympathy letter or note or card: I can’t recall the exact paper he used. But in two places, he denied ever meeting or knowing Buddy Holly, when he knew him very, very well. Hell, one night, going on stage at the Cotton Club {where he usually played: it was an integrated club, and everybody cool played there: Little Richard [Elvis also said “I never met him” after calling him “a friend of mine”]}, Elvis froze in terror: he couldn’t remember the words to some of the songs, particularly one he loved to sing: “Money Honey,” the Jesse Stone number that McPhatter did the record on. Buddy gave him the words: Buddy D.J.’d in the area as a teen, and was well-liked. As soon as he heard “That’s All Right,” at 18, Buddy jumped into music, in an area that was a lot “looser” in many ways than Memphis. Memphis was the “deep” south, and that made things tough, but Elvis perservered.
    Oh, by the way, tonight sent me hitting the ceiling. That new Alana Nash book about “Elvis’s Women” – dumb idea, I think: I mean, hell, she’s no shrink, so what right does she have in trying to psychoanalyze someone when the facts are still so in flux. AND, more pertinently, I am really p.o.’d at her blunt accusation that Vernon Presley “faked” a bad back, and “this” caused “tension” btw. father and son, and caused Elvis to “talk back” to his father, but not his mother. 1)I’d like to see Nash’s physical condition after ONE DAY of lifting two paint cans at a time, continually, excepting brief breaks and lunch, for an 8-hour day!! Try it, B-WORD!!! Elaine Dundy, a damn sensitive writer and person, called his back problems {for which their is substantial documentation because they had to for the housing projects} “that most painful and humiliating {I think that was the word: if not, it’s close} of ailments: a bad back.” Listen, when I was a kid, my dad, who was a Brown Belt in Judo {I guess, technically, he still is}, got thrown by an off-duty cop against a wall, and then when he lifted a TV at work, he blew a disc. They put him in the hospital for six weeks, sickened him with spinal taps, and tormented him with traction, and finally another doc fixed him up, for the time being, w/ physical therapy. He still suffers. But he missed a lot of work at the time, and it really took a lot away from him. I remember one Christmas, not that long ago, when me and my mom – in the ’90s – had TWO DUCKS to stuff and cook for Christmas, and with her sister’s recipe, that she gave me all my life, I basically made the stuffing myself, and it was fantastic! But he was on the floor for days.
    Anyway, she’s supposed to be interviewing “women” but she’s back to that character “Buzzy” again {who disappeared from Elvis’s life as soon as they left the projects: Elvis’s cousin Billy, for reasons I cannot explain, but perhaps therapy would help him sort it all out, said that his Aunt Gladys was, in the projects, always “just all jolly.” Yeah, beer and Vodka and diet pills with DO that! She didn’t die just because of ONE year: 1956, when her son was famous, and she felt out of place! Ridiculous. Or even two years! Shoot, in ’54, he was home, mostly. So, she got sick in early ’57, and went downhill rapidly from there. This stemmed from the time IN THE PROJECTS!! And one reason Elvis roared at almost 18, when seeing her scrubbing the damn floor for “inspection” by the housing police, or whatever {no wonder he loved Bobby Kennedy: he talked about this sort of thing, directly, in his inventive and quite true critique of “welfare” as it was practiced at the time . . . Bobby said that it robbed poor people of self-determination and and a sense of self-respect to be “watched-over” constantly and to have to bow down and beg: most people don’t understand HIS politics in the last couple years of his life any more than they did Elvis’s}. Elvis, just a child really, stood up and said “we’re getting out of here!” Everyone agreed. It wasn’t like HE could actually make the decision: it’s just that he said it. They were sick of it. So they went back to those wretched boarding houses for a few months, and found Alabama St., and the Fructers’s. They were just tenants, too, but the upstairs had a lot more space, and they had the phone, etc. But they were kindly to the Presleys without showing pity, and Rabbi Fructer played his Cantorial recordings for Elvis, who was blown away. I mean, when you add this to the symphony, which he attended on Saturdays {rehearsals, of course}, and WDIA and its picture window, and the street with the music and the cool threads, and PAWN SHOPS GALORE — which is where he met B.B. King and buddies, who Nash does NOT bother interviewing, and then Texas, where he learns all kinds of Tex-Mex music, and his mother picks a church in South Memphis, right near East Trigg Baptist {she knew he was going there anyway, and saw the Assembly of God as a way to prevent him from being hung from a tree if he met a girl with a way duskier complexion! Uh, what was that girl’s name? Tornell? The one Scotty asked about, and EP gave him that knowing look when he said her name!} Oh, to hear the Rev. Brewster from an old tape: “Elvis was touched by the harp strings of Calvary!” Brewster added that he would never be forgotten, ten years, twenty, who knows? “The echo will never die,” Rev. Brewster said. Is Queenie C. Anderson, who sang every Sunday as Elvis listened, often twice: in person, morning and night {The Old Camp Meeting of the Air that replaced Red, Hot, and Blue on Sundays}. He didn’t just listen: several serious gospel singers and groups, some white, and some white medical students from UT Memphis, or Memphis St. — not clear — would come to the back, and just SING. The Statesmen came often, and got tips from them about great groups. But this young kid came {sometimes with girl in tow}, and Brewster NEVER forgot. But he’s all but forgotten now.
    Never mind. It’s his father that got to me. I mean, James Brown, who had NO axe to grind in humanizing an older white southern man was just overcome by the intensity of the man’s grief over the death of his only child. “My baby’s dead,” he moaned over and over, as almost all recall. “You’ve got your little granddaughter there, ya know,” he reminded him, trying. “But . . . MY BABY’S DEAD!” And I gave in and had gotten that “This Is It” grave-robbing sick horror flick, and I’m thinking, here is this woman, just like most others, calling Vernon all kinds of names because he was a loving, gentle father who couldn’t bear to lock his son up in a 1970s-style drug “unit” – no resorts then {!}. This was a man who was asked by Gabe Tucker, who worked for the Col. for a time, but quit or was fired {I didn’t buy the book, but I got some photocopies from the library: ok, so there’s a little Bob in all of us!}, why he didn’t really get “rough” with his son {this was squarely at the time of the “Jimi-Janis” hysteria}, and Vernon told Tucker of how he’d been mistreated by his own father ’till he was run off at 15, and then the old S.O.B. went the bail for his son-in-law, but left Vernon in the Lee County Jail for SIX MONTHS for that stupid 8 bucks {over a hog and Orville Bean, the “owner” of East Tupelo}, even though he had a wife and baby {EP was two at the time, and in that famous photo, seems to be sporting a brand new pair of cordoroy overalls! So, did Vernon love his boy? Damn! And did anything he could to get him everything he could? And LOVED him, always?!}. Vernon told Tucker “I made a vow to myself a long time ago that I’d never be brutal to my child like my daddy was with me, in any way.” Tucker was not, at that stage, arguing that he should “lock him up.” But from the behavior he was seeing spiral out of control, and those twin-rock-deaths that made a lot of people Tucker’s age get freaked-out, Tucker actually asked Vernon why he didn’t just cuff him around or something. I’m serious: it’s in that old book, as I remember. I think that’s the book: as I said, for whatever reason I didn’t buy it, but I do have some photocopies somewhere, in a huge stack of stuff. But I remember first reading it: I mean the first time I read the passage and was sort of stunned at what Tucker was saying. But it WAS the south, and I guess . . . I dunno. Anyway, Vernon said he wouldn’t do ANYTHING that might make his child “hate me.” And this came up in ’73 when Dr. Fink {I forget the other name, for obvious reasons: how can you forget “Fink”?} and colleague just wanted to TAKE HIM AWAY. Lock him up in their “locked unit.” See, the guys were slipping him anything he wanted: hell, even the nurses were easily manipulated, accordingn to some accounts, and they felt that a “hospital” was ridiculous. He needed to be locked away from his “playmates”: the guys. And Vernon really thought hard about doing it, but in the final analysis, he just couldn’t. Besides, addicts backslide all the time. As long as Nick was around, forget it. And all those others . . . and if he couldn’t get it legally, he’d get it any which way. Joyce Bova claims she saw him actually mainline — she didn’t know what. And he told her to come over, that he wanted her to have some, and she said that it was ending right there. But she’s said a lot of things, so I dunno. She said he was gonna use a dirty needle, and that IS corroborated. But she said it was his “arm” and there were no arm tracks on autopsy: all the marks were on his butt, his thighs, his legs, ankles, even his BACK {ouch!}, and he mostly did it in the muscle so as not to collaps and scar all his veins, but there is some corroboration that he did sometimes shoot up, or he would have Nick or somebody do it for him. It’s possible. But she’s not that reliable. She was a Washington congressional worker, so all this drug stuff would scare the hell out of her . . . maybe mess with her memory. But the “donut story” is true, but they are adding to much to it. They’re saying there were A LOT of “young thugs.” There were like maybe two guys, attracted by the flicker of solid gold, and he said “this is for having the world’s championship attendance record at any nightclub in the world, and opening his jacket on the other side to the gun holster, “and this means I aim to keep it.” Now, ALL the guys are backing up the lady in the donut shop, and Joyce, but really, for years, the lady was ALONE with her story, and there was no one to back her up. And she originally recalled only Elvis, alone in one of the most dangerous parts of D.C., do this. And then they did like a soul-shake, and walked out. And Elvis did NOT, in this earlier account, which she stuck to ’till all these other people said they saw something quite grander, have anyone else “get the donuts.” He just bought a donut whilst knowing he would attract attention. That’s all. He WANTED this attention. Yeah, I guess you COULD call a dealer a “thug” if you wanted to, but it was a couple of guys who knew their way around, and could have been dangerous, but he knew what he was doing and he did whatever the hell it was he wanted to do there. He had NO REASON TO BE THERE. Jerry’s protestations that Elvis was sober are ridiculous. Every handwriting expert IN THE FREAKIN’ WORLD who has seen the letter says he was loaded! And that was on the damn plane. He would need more, and Jerry WAS being annoying, “watching” him. On the hotel bill, it says “doctor.” So, that’s strike 2, ’cause in L.A., he’d gotten “a sedative.” Yeah, right, that’s all. And in D.C., well, he had this rash, see, from the “chocolate” {somehow the pot-spiked brownies he always loved never provoked any “allergies”}, and then he said “penicillin” which is nonsense, since there’s no record of that, either, but if his meeting in D.C., in that part of D.C. that “Barry” will NEVER see, never, ever, no not EVER, Elvis decided he wanted a “donut.” The lady from the shop is now FAMOUS! She was at the damn National Archives! She’s in her late 70s or something, I think. I don’t really know. But anyway, it was this same lady, but now everyone wants in on her story. She let them talk. But her story, well, she always told it in the past, and told it “like it was” in her own memory.
    I mean, hell, he could have gotten all the “donuts” he wanted in the hotel. Only a fool would believe anything else. He made a buy. Now, he apparently DID see Joyce at this time, according to St. Peter {though her story is a bit less grandiose in his telling, but he often leaves some things out: he does say that Elvis got her to do drugs with him}. I know from several other reliable books and perodical sources, etc., that he definitely used dirty needles with alarming frequency and lack of concern. But I never heard a story of watching him “shoot up” IN HIS ARM. It’s possible, that this time, with street stuff, that he just went ahead and used the works they gave him. That would make sense. And I believe that if so, St. Peter would refuse to believe it. It certainly would have been healed by ’77. Six years: yeah, it’s healed. Ok, even six and change. But if he did it once, and knew what to do . . . that’s disturbing. But he was careful about his arms. He knew that somebody was libel to grab his shirtsleeve and have a look: like his father, or Nick, or whomever. So he was careful. {Which is why Dylan’s volunteering his arm to Weberman is silly. I mean, I think he WAS clean at this time, but it doesn’t prove it all. AND it shows something else: this was about ’69. Three years before, his arms were covered with tracks. So, if Elvis was messing with dirty needles and mainling the stuff he got from “Dr. Max” and Elias Ghanem in 1973, when he got hepatitis from dirty needles THREE times {!}, well, this means the tracks could heal by ’77, when he was on that damn table. And he had marks all over the rest of his body: hell, you can see some of them through that threadbare “last jumpsuit” from ’77!! His inner thighs are covered with black and blue marks: kinda smallish, but a lot. It’s so easy to see! Larry saw it all over him, but not on his arms!!! But Larry says that Elvis told him he had “bone cancer.” Which was not just a lie, but a damned lie.
    My point in this is that I’m watching Joseph Jackson’s son in his last rehearsals {professionally filmed?????}, and there is NO BOOK, maybe except for La Toya’s, but not by a journalist, that attacks Joseph Jackson in the manner that Vernon has been attacked for so very long. And without the right to hit back! Hopkins didn’t say it when he lived, now did he? NO!
    Guralnick at least says that Elvis loved both his parents equally, but that he and his mother believed more “in visions.” Which is not entirely true, either. They ALL believed in the “group action nightmares.” Group sleepwalking. The same dream: 3 people. When Elvis was about 4, after Vernon’s release, they all dreamed the house was on fire, and Vernon grabbed Elvis, and threw him out the window! {It was just a little shack, so he wasn’t hurt: maybe it was cold out or something, that’s all.} That’s the one that people there talked about a lot. That might ruin her thesis, I don’t know: gotta read more attacks on Elvis’s father. Yeah, he married that silly woman. But he was in his early 40s when his wife died, and he had been happily married, and he did what it very common, and not a bad sign of any kind. Elvis was being a brat, really. Selfish. He knew it a few years later, although he never really completely got over “the trauma” of Dee Stanley {well, hell, that woman WAS a trauma}, and when Mac played “Don’t Cry Daddy,” in a very raw form for him, I think in California, Elvis immediately told Mac “I’m gonna record that song for my Daddy!” That’s how much they “didn’t get along.” And in the American studios, a little pink dump in a dangerous ghetto of North Memphis {not downtown}, Vernon came alone just with his son to do “vocal repairs” and Elvis sang the final vocal overdub right TO Vernon. Sitting there. {Ok, maybe he was keeping an eye on him, since there were dealers on every corner over there . . . naw . . . cut that out.} But see, she doesn’t take all that into consideration, let alone picking cotton from age 12, being sent to prison for a silly thing and treated badly even then by his own father, who let his own grandson go without proper nutrition just to stick it to Vernon, and then working in a paint can factory, lifting heavy cans filled with paint {to be distributed, I guess, to different vendors} even AFTER his son had quit his day job. Elvis had always said “I made him quit.”
    So I’m watching the recently dead son one of the world’s best-known horrible fathers of all time {Joseph was smiling and giving high signs the day after his death: 24 hours, and he was FLEXING HIS MUSCLES IN VICTORY!}, while I’m reading Nash kick gentle Vernon around. I was so mad I was like a she-monster or something!!!!!!! I was just RIP-ROARING MAD!! What is wrong with this world? A man decides NOT to be a brute, works his ass off all his life, goes to a chain gang for virtually NOTHING, and loses his wife of 25 years to a problem he scarcely understood at the time – not really: women “dipsomaniacs” were not spoken of much, and they “sneak.” And to top it off, his only living child dies long, long before his time, and he gives up on life himself. He was 63 when he died of what was simply a broken heart. And then they decide to “kick him around some.” Hey, why didn’t they do that when he was alive? Bullies ARE cowards, I suppose.
    I also did think of Bob. And wondered what his life must have been like. I remember those “greeting cards” and him talking about his dad sometimes getting angry or mad, or whatever he said at about 10, and I wonder why it was so easy for him to write them off.
    And then, at 25, he crashes his motorbike seriously {and they knew damn well!} And not even the mother flies to Woodstock. Hell, it takes five days for the swelling to go down. So he WAS paralyzed for a bit. He was simply lucky. Most such injuries do not have horrific outcomes, but some do. When Elvis got that concussion to try to get out of “Clambake,” Vernon dragged Dee and her boys to Cali for the next picture. They didn’t stay for the whole thing, but he wanted to make sure nothing like that happened again. And somehow, Red re-appeared in a fight scene in “Live a Little, Love a Little” a bizarro fantasmic piece of junk that has Elvis taking a girl’s viginity {this “makes her a woman”}, having an acid trip {not his fault}, and a giant great dane. Meanwhile, Red is in a fight scene {don’t think Elvis could have talked him into it: but perhaps his father slipped him some bucks}, and Vernon has A PART IN THE FILM! After that, the TV special happened, and he stayed home, but goddammit, he loved his son!! And vice-versa. Sure, he “talked back” as a teen, and soon after his teens, and, well, for the rest of his life! {A deposition in one of the Nick cases: there were several at the time, is intriguing. In ’77, Elvis, for reasons unknown, went missing for three days: didn’t take any of the guys, just went off by himself. And a girl who was with him, on that third day, heard him pick up the phone, and it was his father, who was screaming at him about how sick he was and how could he do something like this at this time? Worry everybody so? Col. called to say that the concerts were coming up, and he’d better be there. Duh. But Vernon, who she could hear even with the phone not at her ear, was screaming about his worry about his health. Betcha THIS does not turn up in this stupid book. It wasn’t like in late ’70; he wasn’t trying to torment anyone: he just lost track. He just LOST it, period. It was wise to worry. He was in trouble . . . he was dying. At Graceland, Vernon had the Stanley boys assigned to “check on him” even when Ginger was supposed to be there. David had a friend over, playing pool. And he was still ranting and raving in that last interview about that. He second-guessed everything he did re: his son, his whole life. But he ended on a proud note: “we never judged people by who they were, we never put anybody down. And neither did Elvis.” They BOTH did good. Better than good. Because it’s not easy in this world: it’s so easy to get angry and so forth. Anyway, those were his last words to the world at large: this was made him most proud. Not his fame, but how he treated his fellow man. Yeah, he knew his boy did bad, bad things. But on the whole, in the importatnt things: he was very proud of him. And I agree.}
    Hey, don’t take that the wrong way! I already said I believe I know where you’re coming from even if you don’t use the language of “polite society.” You know how I evaluate character, and right away, I knew your interest in Bob’s view of “Red Wing” showed a man who didn’t need to go down a yellow brick road to be awarded a “heart.”
    I just knew. I don’t think I’m wrong. And if that’s mushy girlie stuff, well, I’m guilty.
    I mean, this world is filled with so much bile and lies and hypocrisy . . . well, I just knew. And I told you that one of the first important lessons I learned from reading books {not school books: cool sports books} was that most of all, hypocrisy stinks. And is a breeding ground for a lot of other A LOT of other bad things.
    I bet you wonder if I think “Barry” is a “hypocrite.” Well, hell, he’s a politician, so he HAS to be, to some extent, duh. But mostly, I think he THINKS he understands this world, when I have reason to believe he does not.
    I believe he thinks the world really can be more like . . . Hawaii. Not in ten lifetimes. You gotta always watch your back. Or don’t LOOK back; someone might be gainin’ on ya! Oh yeah, Satchel Paige {sp?}
    P.S. — And I think you used that one, too.
    P.P.S — “It takes a Worried Man to sing a Worried Song.” Barry just ain’t worried enough. He doesn’t have a good conception of the real world, as I scope him out. “Everybody play nice, now . . .” Hey, that ain’t gonna happen in YOUR D.C. Elvis knew where to “play the game.” Right there in D.C. And he knew who and what to worry about because he knew the world. And it’s not “Barry”‘s world at all. And its a rough game, son. Rough game. You can know the rules, man, and still lose. Still lose. But hypocrisy on the level of this revolting new book sends me through the ceiling.

  5. reprindle Says:

    I couldn’t find an e-book but this is pretty good.

    Wow! What a cornucopia you dumped out. The Central Coast peaceful! What a concept. Where you been? Oh yeah. Northridge. I never saw anything freakier than the Central Coast from Santa Cruz down to Carmel, San Simeon actually, hell, Oxnard. Always reminded me of the Kingston Trio version of South Coast. Throw in 101 from LA to San Francisco. The biggest assortment of weirdos this side of the Nevada desert. Even Atascadero in out on Highway 101.

    Check out my short story Highway 101 on I don’t know howI’m still alive but I think I am. I’ve survived so many murder attempts I can’t believe it myself. It’s almost embarrassing to mention it. I know of several people who were murdered before I was twenty-one. All accidents, of course, just like Dylan. I even witnessed a guy being thrown overboard in the Navy. Can’t be too careful.

    Why Dylan was attracted to the Factory crowd was, I believe, because his crowd was a rival hip establishment vying for the avant garde crown. It was a put down war. The boy from Hibbing vs. the boy from Pittsburgh on NYC turf. A strange sixties thing. Weird time when things began to fall apart. While some sixties stars survived into the seventies the vital part of their careers were in the sixties. Some, like Donovan were so quintessentially ’60s their careers ended, most of the rockers though went into recapitulation in the seventies, greatest hits or reformulations like Jeffeson Airplane/Starship.

    Like Neil Young said, some get old, some just get weird. Ah, they all got old and weird. Check out Grace Slick on the internet. Grandma Grace. I don’t mind weird so much but the old part is such a pain. Not the age itself, but the appearance of age. Scares you half to death and most of us have running scared for decades.

    Dylan of course, who actually ceased existing at the end of the sixties, abandoned the sixties in search of Slim Whitman so he could become a cowboy singer. That is what he’s become. T. Texas Tyler, Texas Ernie Tubb, Cowboy Copas. Listen to Ernest Tubb for a few times then compare him to Dylan. It’s too hard to do Hank Snow but he may be trying. Webb Pierce would be just impossible. In my dreams I fancy I’m Mac Wiseman waiting for ships that never come in. Actually, for my tastes, hopes and dreams, I’m getting pretty close. Amazing so many of these old coots are still hanging in there or leaving the building just now.

    Merle Travis died. Sixteen Tons, Dark As A Dungeon, Long way to Hazard, long war to Harlan just to get a little brew. Three biggies from his golden year as a songwriter.

    Spector! I was never a big fan of the so-called wall of sound. Noisy crap. Side Track. Dead end street. A way of the future was Eddie Cochran. All these cats who popped up imitating Elvis when Elvis was away. Carpe Diem! Cochran had a proto heavy metal approach that was developed by Blue Cheer and their mountain of Marshalls. they themselves were metal pioneers and paid the price of innovation of sorts. Maybe they were too close to their model. You can tell the difference between the two versions of Summertime Blues but Cheer’s version is still a tribute to Cochran’s.

    Didn’t ever know much about Spector but I always distrusted him. Maybe he looked a little too much like Roman Polanski. There’s another guy to give you the creeps. Rosemary’s Baby. That movie is supposed to somehow connect into this sixties/Dylan/Warhol fantasy. I’ll have to rent a copy and watch it more closely.

    You used to work for Buster Brown? Haven’t seen that name in print for a while. They used to have BB comic books when I was a kid in the forties. I meant to put a segment about Buster Brown in my The Angeline Constellation but I guess I forgot to do it. If I get the time I’ll have to rewrite that one. Don’t count on it.

    But, everyone’s past is their past. Norma Shearer waited tables. Always tell them to eat cake or…use your imagination. Took me a long time to learn that.

    Read Coue’s My Method and I’ll show you how to visit the palaces of the imagination, take some of the knots out and straighten the string.

    I’ve heard of people who shot up between the toes to avoid leaving obvious tracks. Must give you an interesting stride.

  6. reprindle Says:

    Polite society? Oh, yeah. I’ve read about that in books, mostly nineteenth century, but I’ve never seen it in real life and I’ve been around. After the Navy, I lived in the Bay Area. Had a job where I cruised every nook and cranny from Ukiah/Chico down to Fresno/Carmel. There ain’t nothin’ I don’t know or can’t learn quickly. From SF I came up to the Cuckoo’s Nest where I’ve known all classes from ‘socialites’ to lawyers, cops, DAs, junkies, crooks and what have you. Used to know LA inside and out. (A little boasting.)

    If you want to know what folks in Keseyland are like read One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Sometimes A Great Notion. Portraits of the area. It’s real. When somebody starts putting on polite society airs that just means you’ve stomped them flat, trumped their best cards, so they say, I’m better than you anyway, I’ve got manners.

    Yeah, well, here’s four ninety-five go buy yourself a latte and mull over that. Whatever happened to the nickel cup? I liked those days.

    You want to check out our derelict society go visit Five Guys Burgers. It’s designed like a public toilet. That’s where the elite go to eat their burgers. I died laughing.

    Just review the Dylan/Warhol scene. Scare the livin’ daylights out of you and that’s become normal. Stretch out Freaker’s Ball a little bit and you’ve got America, polite and otherwise. Consider: the dykes and fairies have been given access to 5 year old kindergartners to teach them perversion as normal behavior. Where is this polite society?

    I don’t know who says I’m not polite. Probably some Liberals. I went to a political campaign party for a Black candidate once. I was shocked at the jokes being made to the candidate’s face about ‘natural rhythm’ and such. God! And all Liberals do that. I would never consider such demeaning comments but, then, I’m not refined.

    Polite, my ass! Oops! Also remember this: I’ve witnessed the talk and behavior of profs in graduate school, the very home of politenss. I got out with my ass intact and I mean that literally.

    Check out my short story Who’s Fooling Who. Fictionalized a trifle of course but not all that much.

    Polite society? I’ve heard of it but like the Unicorn I’ve never seen it and I don’t know anyone who has. I have smelled some pretty nice perfumes though. I use Lagerfeld after shave myself.

  7. R M Says:

    Uh, that was a funny riff on “polite society” but you know, of course, it’s just an expression. I didn’t, of course, mean “society” as in “high society” or whatever: I meant that you use words, phrases that that other people actually use, but they camophlage it in certain ways. You just come right out and say certain things in a way that ruffles some feathers. Hell, there are times when feathers need ruffling or people will never deal with difficult things that need attention. Sometimes, well, I guess you could say that using phrases that you know will – well, not “shock” – but that will “irritate” is probably good sometimes because sometimes irritation is the only way to get someone’s undivided attention to certain things.
    Look, I knew when I was like 21 that the immigrant culture, especially up New York/Jersey/Connecticut ways – you know, anyway, I knew then that the so-called “folk music” that “boomed” for a few years when Elvis was freezing his {somethings} off in Germany was mostly stealing, in a way. And it’s not just “immigrant” culture: that guy Harry Smith, with the primordial “IPod Collection” of folk songs he chose, well, such people were NOT the real “folk” who created this music, and they often used these real people for their own amusement. And actually believed they were doing the right thing! I mean, when IS A.P. Carter going to get his due for digging up so many dominant “folk” – if you will – themes? Roots music, but that implies that the “tree” is more important than the roots, well, it’s wrong. And that’s not true, either. Look, Dylan knows all this, and I think he knew it even as a kid just in from the sticks. He didn’t know the consequences, but I think from the beginning, he wanted to do “something” – I don’t think he knew what yet, to really get them violently angry. And then Newport ’65 happened, things fell into place, and well, it happened. He DID NOT think all of this would follow him EVERYWHERE, even to ENGLAND and wherever. But, see, his manager realized that people were coming to see, like . . . a hockey game. You know, where the fights were more interesting than the game! And Dylan realized this when he went to Grossman’s kitchen to tell him that he would not be doing 64 more of these sadistic concert dates: that HE was not a masochist, in this sense. Because, no matter how he tries to play it all tough today, it really, really hurt back then. I’ve played the “Mirror” DVD to students, young people who had no knowledge of any of this at all, and the girls, especially, just go: “omigod, he’s CRYING!” Right there, that first night when he “plugged in.” Everybody sees it, and they’ve seen singers sweat before, and this difference is clear. He’s suffering because he really thought he could get them very angry, but that it wouldn’t bother him. And that’s not how it worked out.
    So, finally, he said NO MORE! And when Grossman wouldn’t give in, he went for that bike, in his Dear Landlord’s garage, no less. Uh, THAT bike. “Notify my next of kin, this wheel shall EXPLODE!” I believe that Grossman may have used some of the oddballs of whom you write to stir the pot, and keep the train-wreck a-rolling on tour. Hell, it seemed like a good gimmick. Shoot, Bob says not only that he was a “Col. Parker type” – which is a bad enough thing to say about any human, but this: “you could smell him coming.” I know he meant he was all dolled up with fancy suits and cologne, but I felt a different vibe. I think he meant the SMELL of greed and allwhatnot. I mean, clearly, he still hates the guy. I remember how “Don’t Look Back Ends”: Bob is euphoric about the show they just did. “Something . . . ” He was saying something remarkable happened, it was a special, rare experience when it goes that well . . . and he’s sort of thinking about it, beyond happpy, and Grossman goes: “you know what they’re calling you now? An anarchist.” Just KILLED his mood, COMPLETELY! And meant to do it, too, clearly.
    Why, Bob’s a tough little s.o.b.; won’t hurt him any . . . well it DID. He was hurt, then angry, and then just at his wits’ end. Like he didn’t know what the hell was happening or why, but he’d had enough. And I don’t think he realized that the culture he’d entered was quite entwined: enough to want to really HURT him.
    I don’t know if they wanted him “paralyzed.” I mean, they wanted him hurt, but Dylan was too specific. I think that idea was in HIS head, because of his father’s polio, and the memory . . . and so when he chose a means of escape, he chose one that could lead to PARALYSIS! Turn him into a Stone that could no longer “roll.”
    You must know I’ve done enough of this kind of exegesis to see where you’re headed.
    More to come,
    If I didn’t talk to you last night about that book, and simutaneously watching that horror flick, uh, “rehearse-u-mentary” {Hell, that phrase contains both the entire word hearse, and the last of cemetary. Intriguing. I know a lot of people who think that AEG wanted to kill him. I don’t Dylan: something much more recent. Look, the record biz is in trouble, and well, this seemed so EASY. The film is torture, if you’re a fan, and maybe even if you’re human. God, he’s telling them the volume of the music is pounding so loud that it feels like “fist” against his ears, that he has some “middle ear” thing, and it feels like “a fist” and what do they do? It gets LOUDER! I swear. Another time, he gets this big applause for blowing out his pipes {singing full-voice – not falsetto – with a soprano, in unison, which he could do}, and they’re egging him on, and they know it works, but he’s old enough to catch this trick and is P.O.d! NO! He keeps telling the head guy NO! He sometimes calls Michael “sir” which is crazy, ’cause they’ve worked together for years, and I’ve never heard anyone do that, ever. I think it was looped vocals by Ortega. Everyone close to MJ called him Michael or Mike. I never, ever heard “sir,” and I would know. Trust me. And I’m seeing this blood-spattered thing, and reading this creeping, cheesy book about Elvis because I HAD ONCE respected the author, but here she just lets people say ANYTHING, and reprints St. Peter’s imaginings {like the newspaper article that, in July, ’53, supposedly spurred him to Sun Records, as if he didn’t know the area well enough by then! I mean, Guralnick was just GUESSING, and he warned such, but there’s an account corroborated by Sam’s brother a while back, actually, that Elvis had been hanging around the studios for a couple weeks BEFORE graduation! And that he was definitely THERE the day the Prisonaires were there {sp?}. He just wasn’t sure if he made it to the studio in the back, but he was INSIDE. When the studio was supposedly closed to the public: well it WAS closed to the public. And those trustees were ALWAYS lackadaisacal: one time, the guys returned on their own, when they were recording in Nashville . . . the guards kinda FORGOT! So, when they went to Miss Taylor’s, Elvis slipped in, and soon Sam came out, and he was unhappy {goes with the newspaper article, which describes Phillips as “painstaking” – or maybe just a pain {snide grin}.} The point is that this “idea” of Guralnick’s, with NO support whatsoever, is becoming its own “urban legend.” But worse, they take it as Gospel Truth, as if Elvis had said he read about Sun in a newspaper. Shoot, he went to one of the Bihari Bros., who was still in Memphis {barely}, and he told him it was really too late: better see Sam. I think Elvis really didn’t want to “see Sam.” He was a very intimidating guy. He struggled to please him, and could not, and then said “I just relaxed and sung in my own style.” And that was “That’s All Right Mama” as codified by Bob Dylan in 1963. And copyrighted. And I’m glad of it! Crudup’s stuff is mostly junk in search of music. He can’t play that old electric banjo, can’t play the guitar at all . . . it’s awful. The scat he tried was like morse code, as was most of his singing. Well, no wonder Elvis told Johnny Black that he came up with the song. He long ago said he heard “old Arthur . . . down in Tupelo, Mississippi” and said something about “bang his box the way I do now” {ok, he was a kid – no jokes}, and said that he thought then, at like 12 that “if I could feel all old Arthur felt, I’d be a music man like nobody ever saw.” But this was AFTER the record. After Sam told him about “That’s Alright.” If you’ve got any album by Crudup, those lyrics “that’s all right mama, innyway you do” is like in just about every damn song! Most musicologist feel that a child Elvis probably heard “I Don’t Know It.” Which would account for his confusion as to the tune itself, and not remembering it AS a song. I’ll bet he heard several songs, and the lyrics fly between songs . . . They DO! But Sam convinces Elvis that it’s not his thing at all. But he never QUITE convinced him, in my view. As for that “sucker for that kind of jive” supposed interview, it has Sam calling him on the phone, and Elvis ALWAYS insisted it was Marion. So Sam filled out a questionairre, and used lousy “cat language” that he thought would sound like the kid.
    She interviewed all these people: all of them white, but not all female, {clearing throat with anger}, and sho’ ’nuff, BUZZY is BACK!!! This guy’s who’s made a 40 year career, or more, of being Elvis’s neighbor in the projects. He was NEVER a friend after high school, or really, after they moved out. Elvis started really working with Johnny Black. But he left for Texas just in time for his brother to get real lucky. I mean, Black was a great percussionist. But one musicologist: someone who knows music, but is not aware of the personnel on this record because he’s kind of a jazz guy, talks about “Heartbreak Hotel” and says he hears these remarkable bass sounds from AN ELECTRIC BASS! Well, hell. If you watch Elvis do it on TV, you can see him tune the top string just before the song, and he plays the more complex bass ending before handing the last three notes to Bill. In other words, Elvis made an accoustic guitar sound like a Fender bass! Good gawd! Oh, and here’s one for Johnny: in a late-in-life autobio, he says that Elvis was a remarkable guitarist: truly great rhythm guitarist in the history of the music, and “he didn’t really need anything else.” Like Scotty or Bill. Well, practically, for practical purposes, yeah, but he could carry it alone, and the ’68 special proves it. Scotty struggles to be HEARD, doing some nimble finger picking for rhythm {?}, and you can’t hear him! Elvis is playing so hard and so loud and with such violent intensity, you really can’t hear anything but him and his guitar. Johnny was just telling the truth. Finally, just the facts, mamn. {spelling!} Gets that way when you know you’re REALLY sick . . . ya know. And yeah, that song “Hurt” where “I hurt myself, just to see if I could still feel.” That one: I heard somebody grabbing the line, and with a little twist, kinda stealing it. Well, Karma, I guess.
    But, in the end, with the guitar mention, at least he got in a good word.
    Only more to come if the other post gets me big time. {grin}
    But, really, I had to let loose last night. I was really angry. That man didn’t deserve to be remembered that way. It’s just not fair.
    Oh, I’ve never been as north as “Northridge.” Van Nyes. {spelling? Doggone it!} Shoot, I used to hang around Hayvenhurst, near the main drag up there in the Valley, for obvious reasons: uh, “research.” Hell, it’s what fans do. Let’s not mince words. But I guess, like Bob, I wanted to “feel” something.

  8. reprindle Says:

    It’s not possible at this time to say exactly who sabotaged the wheel. It is possible that either Grossman or Warhol did it, maybe even likely, but then maybe some guy from Woodstock on his death bed confesses that Dylan screwed his wife so he got him back. There’s no way of knowing. Barring such a scenario I don’t think Grossman would kill his meal ticket. Even if Dylan didn’t want to tour he still wrote songs as the Basement tapes show. Many of those songs became hits by other artists so Grossman was taking in a bundle whether Dylan toured or not.

    As for Grossman agitating concert goers to boo, perhaps, but I don’t see the necessity. Dylan presented himself as a left wing hero backing all the causes the crowd embraced. In point of fact Dylan didn’t the right to use them as a stepping stone and then discard them, which he did. They were right to boo him for betraying their trust as their ‘spokesman.’ They were going to boo him with or without Grossman.

    Grossman himself was a crook or, at the very least, a sharper. Enough research hasn’t been done on his history but bits and pieces are surfacing. Dylan, Grossman, Yarrow, and probably Stookey were all Jews and all subversives. It was Grossman’s stated goal to revive the Red flavor of folk music. PPM state that is what they were doing. It was at this time that Kirk Douglas got Dalton Trumbo back on the lot. Grossman had made his connections in Chicago so then he and Mo Ostin of WB Records were fixed to hype his group into success whenever he got it organized.

    Grossman didn’t go to the ‘purist’ Greenwich Village sound but chose a variation, actually, of the Kingston Trio with an eye on the Belafonte, Chad Mitchell, Brothers Four, Christy Minstrels successful pop sound. Then he used all those political anthems like This Land and Hammer. The whole concept was ready made for him so naturally it was successful.

    Grossman must have had input into Dylan’s social protest period. ‘Write a couple songs like this, Bob, you know, along these lines.’ Remember that Grossman incorporated Dylan either from the moment he signed him, or very close. I began an exploration along these lines in Exhuming Bob XVIII: My Son, The Corporation. Very revealing. You can see why Dylan has had the news story removed from the internet.

    At any rate, at the time, he and Grossman were very close. They were on the same wavelength. Apparently as with the folkies, when Dylan had used Grossman, getting what he wanted, he trashed him. That might have pissed Grossman off, made him a little irrational. Dylan was guite simply a user.

    Between he and Warhol they set a despicable ton to the whole sixties and beyond. Dylan, Neuwirth and Grossman just meanly verbally trashed everyone. The New England Columbia director didn’t even want ‘that punk’ in his territory.

    I’m sure Dylan had his reasons. Grossman changed the game when he made the scene commercial. Groups came pouring out of the Village. Sebastian and the Lovin’ Spoonful were the greatest of them all. As of now if I had to choose the records or any one group from the scene it would be the Spoonful.

    But, Dylan? Well, quite frankly, not a nice guy.

  9. R M Says:

    Of course Bob’s no saint, but Grossman’s fave color – jeez, he’s a manager: a “group-maker,” no less – is not “red.” It’s GREEN. And he could be damn cruel, as I described that last scene in “Don’t Look Back.”
    Do I think he really plotted to break his neck? No. But I DO think that Bob thought this! And still seems to despise him. Don’t you remember that frightening scene in the hallway, when Grossman is screaming “you stupid nut” – and that’s not the worst of it, by any means, and Bob gets this curiosity bug, and Neuwirth sensed Bob, and stuck out his arm protectively, and stopped him from going any closer. He really appeared fearsome. And not just to Bob, from what I saw. I know he used this for his own purposes, but Bob somehow really fought back, and he just went bonkers. I’m sure he knew the bike was “bad.” Dylan was cutting out of the whole thing, one way or the other. When he said “all my songs are protest songs,” he was RIGHT. It doesn’t have to be dogma to protest society. Quite the contrary, really. What good does it do to preach to the converted, anyway? I remember St. Peter {before he was Sainted}’s review of the album and the song “Long Black Limosine” {almost all versions have differing lyrics, which kinda cool}, and called it “a vehicle for savage social protest.” A “corny” country song! But it’s in the context and the delivery: the song attacks not just celebrity, but materialism itself. Shoot, an outtake has the only known instance I’ve ever heard of Elvis SINCERELY cursing, when he’s doing the long fade, and says “all my hopes, all my dreams, Oh! Sh–! They’re with you, in that Long Black Limosine.” He knew it was really about not just himself, or his mother, but anyone who goes for that brass ring and gets it. There’s a price to pay. Bob learned this the hard way . . . I guess they all do, sooner, if they’re good, rather than later. A song has to have that fire in it to touch and reach people! You gotta CARE about something! And sometimes get very angry, so angry you just go practically insane. And then it’s a damn classic! “Blowin’ In The Wind” is really junk, in my view. I mean, c’mom, is THAT whre “the answer” is? Just blowin’ around somewhere . . .? Kinda funny, actually. I mean, the questions, some of them, are good, but that chorus is silly. Made him some kinda star. And the melody is not original! He even sang the original. So where IS “this answer,” anyway? He knew he sure as hell didn’t have it. And he realized that he really wanted to think about and write about RELATIONSHIPS, not answers blowing around in somebody’s John Deere snowblower.
    The question is more important, way more, than the answer. Duh. “If Can Dream,” that song that Elvis first recoiled from with “TOO BROADWAY!” is actually MUCH better than “Blowin in Yer Nose” or whatever. Beleive me, when Bob recorded it, he didn’t curl up into a fetal position on a concrete floor begging to know “why??????????” That’s not left, or right, or any of those pidgeonholes. It’s just wanting to know why the world is the way it is. Why can’t the best of people’s dreams just come true, right now? Simple question, huh? Well, no, actually. And to answer that well “it’s just blowin’ around somewhere” is kinda creepy, when I think about it. But “Girl From the North Country,” well, that’s eternal, even if it is a modified “folk” song. It’s modified by Bob to fit his life. And it rings so true. Not the duet later, which is kinda dorky, but the original, and the way he sang it on that Canadian TV show. Just beautiful. And “Red Wing.” It’s not a pure “protest” song at all: it just tells it like it was. That’s all. And I swear, my fave from the “early” period, well, actually, they say it’s “transitional” which I reject anyhow, is “Farewell, Angelina.” That last line: “I must go where it is quiet.” It might BE about a soldier and his girl, or his mother, or . . . and “I must leave,” but the images are so vivid and powerful: they’re in color, man! You see the pools of tears, of rivers, lakes, streams of tears . . . and you HEAR “each blast” as the locals and “corporals” cheer along, and that old movie theater that the protagonist leaves behind, with its “King Kong” and “Little Elves” and whatall hollywood images that once delighted the people who suffer in the song, you can see the movie screen. You can see King Kong with that actress in “his” hand, and some Christmas flick that Bob once loved, with “Little Elves,” and that encompasses so much . . . the guy in the song must leave it ALL behind, and “Angelina” whoever she is, just cries and her tears form puddles that get so intense, the whole sky starts to turn color and begins to erupt in a thunderstorm, in tandem with the thurnderstorm felt by Angelina, and the song’s protagonist, who finally “must go where it’s quiet.” But he doesn’t want to: he HAS to.
    I guess I really love music, but that what that song means to me. And the melody is perfect, wherever the hell it’s from.
    Is it a “protest song.” Hell, yeah. Most would say its his “poetry” — stream of consciousness. Bull! I can see the images, and they make perfect sense to me. It’s Bob’s life, sure, when he was 17, and whatever happened, happened. But not ONLY his life.
    Remember I told about Elvis’s second to last film: about the Chatauqua troupe, and the opening scene btw. him and the ten-year-old black kid? He pins a blue ribbon on him, and then slaps a silver dollar in his hand. “What’s THAT for?” the kid asks, incredulously. The radiant young man, so tall and beautiful in that white suit and white Fedora, says simply: “that’s the FEE, baby.”
    Well, it meant NOTHING at the time. But now, it goes right in tandem with the “savage social protest” of “Long Black Limousine.” Because there IS a “fee, baby!” Always. Bob paid his fee, and then some, I think. Hey, if you’re hustling a music career, you ARE a “user.” There’s no other way. You gotta admit that. I think that Bob did sorta want the world to be better, thought the young could make it better, but found out that the young weren’t making any decisions at all. Just thought they were. So he PLUGGED IN! {There’s an old Sister Rosetta Tharpe number, where she yells “plug me in!” Real nasty. And you better believe Bob remembered that. Funny that language should come back in such a way. He heard that as a kid: so did Elvis. And they BOTH heard her between 11 and 13, thereabouts. Her show was on for quite some time.}
    By the way, I knew I shouldn’t, with what I’m working on, but I went over to Amazon, and tore Alana Nash a new uh, well, you know. See, I read a little more, and saw an horrific lie, a spiteful lie, and I have PROOF ON TAPE/DVD that it is a LIE, and I hit the ceiling HARD this time. The one really good thing Guralnick did: the truth that he told that healed so much, well, all of a sudden, we’re back with Albert Goldman! Everything!!!!!!! Good Gawd! Maybe worse. I won’t repeat it, because when Elvis himself tried to wipe out another similar accusation, he just made it worse. But now it’s ON DVD!!!!! And it PROVES her wrong. Has to do with Diana Ross. Shoot, everybody in the business, except maybe that 10 year old that Motown signed, knew she had a bad rep. as a domineering shrew to AVOID! Maybe it isn’t true, but that’s her rep., and always was. Elvis knew that. He wasn’t gonna be hit on by “Miss Ross.” Jackie told him EVERYTHING that went down at Motown, and some of it was really awful. He knew it ALL. Nash knows hogwash, and doesn’t care, except for her own agendas. Hell, YOU know. I know ya do. And so did EP when she hit on him. Nash uses this as “evidence” that he NEVER flirted with . . . well, you know.
    Well, lady, I got news for you! It’s on the “Deluxe” version of the outtakes of the ’68 special: DVD. Visuals. Man, if that ain’t flirtin,’ I AM a Romulan!!! Good God, he never came on, in public, to any female, like he did with that girl sitting on the stage, when he was killing time as they were setting up a lip synch, and he went into a guitar jam of “Baby, What You Want Me . . .” So, he looks all around him, and there are gorgeous girls everywhere, most blond. They are all inches away once he walks over: not even. It’s a tiny stage, of course: you’ve seen it. He surveys the territory like a predatory tiger. He settles on one girl. Her friend looks like she’s part Asian and black, but the girl he settled on is black – not part. He kneels down, guitar on raised knee. His eyes lock on hers, and she reaches out her hand, open. He don’t want no handshake. He looks harder, and begins to nod his head up and down, and really sneer that sneer. So she screws up her courage, her hand trembling, his head nodding, his eyes locked, and she touches his INNER THIGH! {I hope you’re okay: I mean, don’t have a heart attack or anything.} And he’s tryin’ to keep her goin’ but her hand flutters away, and she’s shaking all over. He’s not. He slowly rises, and LICKS HIS LIPS. Like some kinda ANIMAL who had just made a kill or something. I mean, it wasn’t like they were DOING IT on-stage, but I’ve never seen ANYONE come closer. Maybe he WAS dangerous!
    There’s other stuff on that tape, but NOTHING like that. And when somebody mentions “the Pan Pacific,” and he says “we can’t talk about that, man,” he wasn’t kidding. The Col.’s errand boy was supposed to hold “Nipper” — plaster of paris, not plastic – whatever, during “Hound Dog.” ’57. Draft coming up. Nothin’ to lose, so . . . Well, as the guy remembers it in an article he wrote that Nash had nothing to do with, well, Elvis went nuts. He noticed his eyes were dilated. Speed. Guy claims he even unzipped, like Morrison! No one knows for sure, but Ricky Nelson was THERE, and I don’t know if I can repeat what he said that Elvis did to 10,000 people by doing what he did to that plaster dog. EP emerged to the waiting press, and said “Uh, I was in a trance.” Umm. Hmmmm. I guess it was still revenge in his blood for Steve Allen’s “dog.” But, good God, to think how people tortured Bob for simply playing music and singing . . . it blows my mind!
    Anyway, if Nash knows of all this, which is info freely available elsewhere, then why didn’t she watch that DVD? Or if she did, why did she ignore what happened when he kneeled? I mean, technically, the girl did NOT flirt with him: HE flirted WITH HER. He didn’t care, at the point, for females who hit on him, really. I can’t think of any: he always played offense. Or gave offense, whatever. {Same thing happened with Streisand: in ’69, I think it was, he said “what’dya ever see in Elliot Gould?” But later, in like ’74 or ’75, she started complimenting him. “You look great! Lost weight! Nice tan!” All B.S. Elvis said “stop fishing! Everybody knows you’re the ugliest actress in Hollywood and that I’m fat. So stop fishing.” He would NOT be “hit on.” Especially by “divas.” HE was the DIVA!}
    Why did Nash try to undo what Guralnick worked his ass off trying to get the truth about? {And even he didn’t get it all. But others looked further, and found this dying magazine in Ft. Worth, Tx. that started it. They found out the truth: it was an attempt to hurt him: bad. So, why does Nash want to hurt Lisa? Oh, yeah, well. Stupid me. The REAL kid who got that “silver dollar” and paid “the fee” to whom she had been married. I think it made Nash angry or something. I shouldn’t say that, but I SAW the truth with my own eyes. {You’re right: it’s not prejudice so much as HYPOCRISY. Lies. THAT, I hate. If it were true, it would be understandable: he was a kid from Miss. who could have been hung if he messed with the wrong girls, and I’m sure his parents warned him. But it’s NOT true. And THAT is what I’m made about.}
    But isn’t it enough that Lisa had to watch him die on TV?
    Sons a’ b-words in this world.
    Yeah, Bob “used” his manager. That’s what the job is for. But Grossman acted like the “boss” even though he denied it while terrifying everyone. Neuwirth just instinctively put his hand in front of Bob. “Tie it up in a sailor’s knot.” I wonder what he really meant? Maybe Grossman was in the Navy?! Should check WHO was in the navy. Right there. You got it, right there.
    Bye now,
    I’m going to sleep. Alone.
    Might be dangerous, otherwise. {grin}

  10. R M Says:

    I was right. Nash must have deliberately lied. The FILM RIGHTS to Darlene Love’s story, in a book she originally released in ’98, but that was criticized for being too “goody-goody” due to her religious beliefs. She tried, earlier, to wave off certain things: like the parties in Tom Jones’ suite really weren’t quite as wild as they seemed, according to Jones, who kept inviting her, but she felt uncomfortable. She now acknowledges that they were pretty wild, but it’s the nature of that setting. {Similar to Elvis and the Sweets, but he went out of his way to spend time with them in an environment in which they did feel comfortable: this connects with the Darlene Love situation in an interesting way. Just a minute.}
    Here’s the advert for the book:
    Now, in My Name Is Love, the woman whose voice The New York Times said is ”as embedded in the history of rock and roll as Eric Clapton’s guitar and Bob Dylan’s lyrics” tells her incredible story. Over the years Darlene Love has collected not just hits but some juicy bits of musical history: Elvis coming on to her after they worked together on his legendary ’68 comeback TV special, the wild parties she witnessed while touring with Tom Jones, and her love affair with Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers. She tells all of these scintillating backstage stories with the engaging forthrightness of the preacher’s daughter that she is.
    Now, maybe it’s NOT true, but Darlene Love is no Joyce Bova, a fan who wrote a book decades after supposedly “knowing” Elvis and supposedly doing drugs with him, and now saying that he mainlined IN FRONT of her, and Nash prints it all without proof.
    I kinda like the gender flip to “Son of a Preacherman” idea. I mean, great song! Had to have some basis in reality.
    Love has, over many, many years, said she was “very close” to Elvis during the late ’60s, because of their mutual love of Gospel music . . . Well, it may well be in the first book, since I don’t have either one, but she says he “came on to her” AFTER the ’68 special, but before “Change of Habit,” which was also in {and he asked them first for Vegas, but they had hooked up with Tom Jones). She does not say she took him up on it and committed adultery. She really is into the religion stuff, and I don’t think she would. But the point is, why isn’t this in the book? I mean, she believes people who are FAR less believeable, and then says he NEVER “flirted” with black girls or women, and Love, who is a vitally important part of the history of popular music, and whose career was completely destroyed by Phil Spector, is ignored. This cannot be by mistake. If she’s writing about his female companions, Darlene Love definitely was ONE, but was ignored. Bill Medley of the Righteous Bros. only met Elvis because, on the set of the ’68 special, Elvis asked Darlene for his number, and she gave it to him. Medley said they were close! He knew him until about shortly before EP died. About a couple years before, but when he was in bad shape. The very last time he ever saw him was in a stairwell with one of the Sweet Inspirations {he does not recall which “Sweet” because he never got to know them}, but Elvis was always closest to Myrna Smith, and Jerry is lucky that Elvis didn’t mess around with his gal AGAIN, because he’d done it before! But they, too, divorced eventually, it being the ’70s, “remained good friends” ladeeda . . . etc. I guess there’s some truth to that because I saw them on the same stage in ’94 at the end of the Mud Island tribute concert and that Lisa attended with her only “late” husband. Anyway, as to that, Bill was kind of shocked: Elvis looked exhausted and very upset. The “Sweet” was sort of comforting him, talking, trying . . . IN A STAIRWELL! I mean, of course, there’s nothing sexual to this {though in 1970, they slow danced, and Elvis shook all over so hard, she thought SHE was shaking: apparently he felt something he was always warned not to feel due to the danger of it), but it’s so sad: a stairwell. Medley just said “are you ok?” And Elvis said “yeah, I’m ok.” And that was about it. Medley fled. Later he wrote a little ditty called “Old Friend” where he wonders if he could have helped or been there, or something like that . . . But the point is that Darlene has ALWAYS said they were very close, says he jumped over the line a bit, once, and that shows that Nash’s book is B.S. Why not talk about relationships that were so important to him? I mean, I cannot say I don’t “get it,” because I do, but I don’t like to believe that about people. I just don’t. But it’s incontravertable, now. They are making a film! Hell, Lisa would have stopped it, or complained if she had evidence that it wasn’t true. But she must know that they were close when she was just a baby, and has to live with the fact that he “came on to” a hell of a lot of females when he was married.
    Hell, before Carolyn Dennis, I don’t think Bob was ever involved in any way with black chicks {well, “To Ramona” says “cracked country lips” and “going back down to the south” but that’s not sufficient, because it could fit me just as well}. They didn’t really run in those circles back then.
    But there are lots of stories about Elvis when he was very young, and striking out with every girl he even had a crush on, and that said he sought comfort somewhere else – close to Beale, if you know what I mean. I don’t think he’d “pay” ’cause, hell, he didn’t have much money! He knew where BTW High School was, and attended East Trigg constantly. In fact, he didn’t really go to the white Assembly of God until AFTER high school. I’m sure his mother, who went with him, wanted him to go there, to find a girl. Spending all that time at East Trigg and in the music areas, well, he might have become involved in something that was downright dangerous back then. Heck, even in the ’70s, when I was at “bama, people would “talk” when they saw a mixed couple. It was still a big deal.
    So I can understand his trembling {she said “shaking”} when slow dancing with Myrna. She just said he was charmingly “shy” but I think that’s ridiculous. I think he was frightened. This was quite before Jerry, and it’s reasonable to think that he felt something and it frightened him. Because in his early youth, that sort of thing could have been very dangerous, if not done in secret, and this was upstairs, in the suite. Myrna, unlike the others, sometimes DID go up there. And it was a rare female who got a chance to dance with Elvis. He was, after all, “the prize.”
    But, in any case, it took exactly a few seconds on the ‘net to prove Nash wrong, according to HER standards. Besides, Love is not just anybody. I think she was the best female vocalist, period. She didn’t just “belt”: she had nuance, a great “feel” in much of her work. She says that her main regret, really, is not starting out as a solo performer. In other words, her only regret is Spector. He was just AWFUL. And I ALWAYS thought his destruction of her career was one of the worst things he ever did, professionally. Never mind personally. I think she could have knocked Aretha out of the ring, if you want my opinion. I’m not big at all on all that unnecessary “show-offing” type-thing. I dislike, with fervor, Patti Labelle. I’ll actually just turn her off! Can’t stand that sort of thing.
    Darlene is quite the opposite, though she does have great vocal power, and has used it. And she wasn’t “14” — you know, all that Goldman stuff that she dredges up.
    I remember one thing: a sweet moment on the ’68 special. They were going for another take on the “Gospel Sequence” and Darlene was not there. Apparently, nature called. And they were coming unglued. Not Elvis, but the others. “We’re missing a Blossom,” you hear. {Not Elvis.} One guy goes “Darlene’s a good girl; she wouldn’t just leave in the middle.” Elvis heard this, and I don’t think he liked it: he began to sing: “Darlene is WONderful!” No melody I recognize, but real pretty. He sounds like a guy in bliss. She was in the little girl’s room, and couldn’t hear him, but he just felt like doing that. Everybody else pretty much shut up after that, interestingly.
    Man that DVD set is filled with interesting moments. Yeah, the ultimate, I guess, is “Susan Hemming.” The girl he gets it on with during the “Bordello Sequence” – usta be called “Brothel Sequence,” but they’ve cleaned it up. But you see EVERYTHING, and good god! And yeah, she’s blonde and young all right.

    But this is no excuse for a book! I mean, Elaine Dundy did a great, serious treatment of his relationship with his mother. Didn’t psychoanalyze, either, really. But it’s still the best biography, thus far. Nothing comes close.
    I am not writing a “bio” as such. My book is about the idea of “the song” and how one of the most important musicians in the history of recorded music did not really rely on that form. And it has a history that is significant. I talk a lot about Dylan, not as a comparison, but to show how he threw lyrics here and there, and part of HIS greatness was knowing that individual songs were not necessarily where the action was. Just making them longer, and annoying radio and suchlike was sort of “breaking up” the idea that “the song” has to fit a particular business paradigm. Calling his words “vomit” is kinda going too far, but I get what he means: he just spilled everything out, and then had to make it fit the “song” format.
    Well, you get the idea. I don’t want to get too far away from the main point, but still, if someone like Nash comes around with hatchet in hand, I will do right by the people involved.
    I mean, I proved that “remark” which is more than just a remark considering the effort Guralnick and others have put in to finding out the truth. So, I shot that one down. But how can I “prove” that Vernon wasn’t “faking”? I’m sure the x-rays are gone! Shoot. I mean, I feel like it’s so unfair. After his son’s death, and before his own, I used to think about him a lot. At suppertime, in school, my mind would drift far away from the girls’ chatter. I couldn’t imagine such lonliness and despair. To think you have everything and then to realize you have nothing . . . and never did.
    It really moved me. To see him trashed when he can’t fight back really gets to me. The second time I went to Memphis, he had just died. Didn’t have the stone yet, but only a mound with flowers. I have a photograph. It’s very rare. And so terribly sad.
    I mean, that was it: they were all gone.
    I guess that’s one reason I don’t think “Farewell, Angelina” is just “stream of consciousness.” The images are very sensible and could fit a lot of situations of love and loss, particularly separation. God, that last line: “I must go where it is quiet.”
    When I look at that photo, that line fits plenty well. Hell, that line fits A LOT of situations plenty well. The song speaks for the sadness of separation and loss, and then, finally, the bleak sadness of “acceptance.”
    Greil can get all excited over “Like A Rolling Pin . . .” but I prefer “Farewell, Angelina.”
    And now I trust my own instincts. I realized that there is a sort of “Freudian” component to my saying “a writer I once respected” about Nash. It recalls my virulent dissillusionment with Greil when I was quite young, which really, really hurt me. But it freed me to believe in my own mind, and heart. And to my own internal rhythms that can only tell you the truth.
    Otherwise, I might well just have been a “camophlaged parrot.” Ya dig?

  11. reprindle Says:

    Anent Farewell Angelina. That is Nana Mouskouri song Dylan just lifted intact. There used to be a version of hers on UTube. Very nice. If it’s there check it out.

  12. R M Says:

    I do not know that artist, but how does one know who did it first? Secondly, how come Joan Baez had a album with that as the title tune, but this artist did not sue Dylan, or claim credit widely, or whatever?
    Anyway, I like Dylan’s version. I mean, better that Joan’s. It has some other lyrics that enrich the theme. And if this artist could really write that, why DON’T I know her better? I mean, why isn’t she mondo famous?
    It’s a very moving song. Possibly my fave, but I dunno, there are others, too. But I would like to see about this.
    You cannot always go by YouTube for into. I will check into it. I haven’t read this allegation in any book. I mean, you know the melodies are “lifted” and most are very old. But it’s what he does with them when he weds them to words that are of interest, and this one I just really love.

  13. R M Says:

    Read all about the song, and about her on Wiki. Says the song IS written by Bob Dylan, and Baez sang quite few of the actual lyrics on her famous version, compared to “Bootleg Series” version that I adore. In any case, as to this lady, she was born in 1934, not in the U.S., is a trained vocalist, did classical stuff, loved jazz, and crossed the pond. Performed with Belafonte at one point. Argument over her wearing glasses: she won. Anyway, she does specialize in translating songs into other languages, and she knows MANY languages and sings in many languages. As far as I know, she didn’t sing it in English, although she may have since. Says she did it in like ’90 or thereabouts! Does NOT look like she wrote it, because that didn’t seem to be her thing. As I said, she was a trained vocalist, and they are definitely not encouraged to write, much less something as “out there” as “Farewell, Angelina.” But the odd thing is that she has one vocal cord, they say, yet is a great vocalist. Interesting.
    But I don’t see any evidence that she wrote the song at all. Lotta stuff is on YouTube that isn’t so. I usually check it out for corroboration. You COULD be right: you never know. I mean people accused Nilson of stealing “where the weather suits my clothes” when actually the line has a very old history in music. Didn’t belong to anyone, really. He’s not bad, this Nilson guy who did the “Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me” song, but I would DEFINITELY have prefered “Lay, Lady, Lay” demoed by Dylan, and as the films producers initially wished, performed by Elvis Presley. Hell, I think Dylan would have prefered that arrangement right well. But he did have illusions of BEING cast as “the Cowboy” himself. Said they wanted a “short actor.” Well, hell, if they WERE, in some alternate universer where Col. Tom never was born, able to get Elvis, they’d just have to steal his boots, and he’d lose at least a couple inches, maybe two and a half! I mean, an inch and a half heel, plus a half inch lift inside. And BOOM! You’ve got yourself a shorter actor! Heck, I believe Dylan is about 5’9″. I think his original skinniness tended to make people think he was shorter than he was. Maybe I’m wrong, but when I saw him in concert during the “Born Again” phase {unlucky me}, he didn’t look “short” at all. Really. Now, when he was starting out, in the Village, he really WAS tiny! He was a true “late bloomer” in that sense: he looked 13, and had NOT finished growing. Shelton had a doctor look at him, and the doc said “interesting endocrinal profile” – just looking at an early photo. I think the one with Victoria Spivey where he looks so babyish. But, it’s true, he really was still growing then: I see it in the Newport shows: you can see his arms change from summer to summer!! Now that’s LATE! I mean, he started there at 21! So it’s sort of against nature, but I saw it, doggone it. He grew! And when he’s face to face with that British guy he’s screaming at about “who threw it, man, who threw the glass,” they are even. Now, Dylan is wearing boots, so I figure the other guy is 5’11” and Dylan is 5’9″ by that time. Perhaps I’m wrong, but don’t be fooled by appearances. They can be deceiving. I was suffering through “Charro” the other night {gosh, it really is worse than I ever remembered! Torture to watch.}, and the “wanted poster” listed the 5’11” star as 6’2″! A total, blasted, ridiculous lie! {Hell, EP was sort of embarrassed on the long Showroom Internatale stage, where you could ice skate or something, and he told the audience right off: “I know what you’re thinkin’: I thought he was bigger than that!” He felt kind of “caught” because of the boots and so forth. And the musicians behind him on a riser. Another story: Bruce Springsteen, in 1984, was taken backstage to meet Michael Jackson, and the only thing he could think of saying when it was over was: “he’s TALL!” See, his brothers “shrunk him” on the cover of the “Victory” album. Honestly! They made him look “little” compared to them. It was just an illustration, but it got into people’s heads, and Bruce was absolutely floored. Thought he was just a little guy.
    Remember, Bob is skinny. But I do believe he’s five, nine. If I’m wrong, correct me. I don’t think it bugs him much. I mean, after he got to New York, he actually GREW! Which is bizarre, but you can see it on the DVD, with each summer: and it’s not the shoes: it’s his arms. They get longer. The bones ends in males are supposed to seal off at 21, but I suppose there are always exceptions.
    Weird thing. But if he looked taller, later, it’s probably because he WAS. But still “short” – though in Hollywood, they tend to prefer short actors, always. Don’t know why really. But I think Dylan would have made a crummy “Cowboy.” No matter what he thinks. Ridiculous, in my view. But the song is languid and sexy. Perfect for the singer they had in mind. And who I think Dylan may have been told they had in mind. Because after the ROLE had been turned down, they were sure that they could at least get a vocal on the song that would sound mondo sexy. Wrongo!
    And then Dylan ruined it for himself altogether by turning it in late. I think he was bummed that he really wasn’t seriously considered for “the Cowboy.” At least he could have had his song in the flim.
    The song they have works, as far as it goes.
    Anyway, I feel quite convinced that Dylan wrote {at least the words} to “Farewell, Angelina” and his version is excellent. Funny that Baez would want it: it strikes me as a man’s song, sung from a male viewpoint. I mean, the guy is saying farewell to “Angelina” whoever she is. I mean, sure, women sing “Danny Boy,” but I like it better, generally, with a male vocalist. {Hell, I really only dig it with ONE particular male vocalist: “Danny Boy,” I mean. I swear, when I first knelt down, the very first time, with my single rose, and placed it there, I started “hearing” it in my head – ear candy style – and then when I got up, the song sort of dissipated. Honest. It was a very emotional moment, I guess, and I was young. I got a picture of the rose. It was an overcast day after a rainy night. The ground was muddy. I got mud from the grave on my “Gloria Vanderbilt” cordoroy jeans. Wanna gimme some odds as to where those jeans are today.
    Oh, I’m being silly. They’re in my closet. And by golly, the mud stains remain. From the 70s! I know: pathetic fandom, and all that. But what WAS I going to do? Throw them away? I knew the stains were strong enough to be a keeper, so I kept ’em.
    No, I don’t wear them, because they were like size 6 or something. And I am now a reliable “medium” {10-12}, and have been since I was like 28. {And though people always tell me to go to the beach and get a tan, they also always guess my age to be quite a bit younger, because I haven’t destroyed my skin at “the beach.” So I figure I win that argument.} My folks have/had always been the same: always looked lots younger, and never were much for beachcombing. I did GO as a kid, but had what they used to call “sun poisoning” or what they now sell “rash guard” kids’ swimwear for. So, I go sick of the “beach” early on. Glad of it, too.
    How DID we get here? Oh, those cordoroy jeans!
    Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing, but I really think that few people would do anything else with ’em, but keep ’em to go with the photograph.
    And we got to “Danny Boy” and my old pants from “Farewell, Angelina.”
    I need rest! Going to sleep now!
    See ya,
    “I must go where it is quiet.”

  14. reprindle Says:

    Nana Mouskouri? Mondo famous. Well, she was in Europe while she had an excellent reputation here. Lovely girl, beautiful voice. She was on Fontana here, which didn’t help. Fontana was a Mercury label while Mercury itself was almost a guarantee of anonymity. Some interestng stuff though, I always like the label. kinda strange production values.

    I don’t know who wrote the song but she does a kind of Joan Baez folk version but with a better voice. Lyrics are different.

    Nana Mouskouri was quite wonderful. Very well known in hip circles. I mean if you considered yourself hip in the sixties you had to know Mouskouri.

    Something else that you couldn’t claim to be hip without knowing was the Missa Luba. That’s the Catholic Mass as sung by the Luba people of the upper Congo. The Missa was de riguer, that’s if you wanted to claim hipness. Their were a number of artists and records you had to know.

    No, no. Mouskouri was one of the great voices of he period.

  15. reprindle Says:

    Anent Mouskouri again: She recorded Adieu Angelina in 1967 before Dylan’s version would have surfaced. I suspect that Dylan heard her version in 64-or 65 when he was in England and Europe, was much taken by it and ever the thief put different lyrics to it but retained the chorus.

    The melody is too sophisticated for Dylan. He was probably never sued because the song only surfaced much later. Besides, why sue? All the tunes are variations on other tunes and he changed the lyrics. As far as I’m concerned nobody has any proprietary rights on any music and if you change the lyrics you haven’t trespassed on anybody’s song.

    Not everybody sees it that way but there is no originality beyond your own voice.

    By the way in 2004 Mouskouri’s company issued a 34 CD box set containing 600 of her mostly French language songs. Let’s see somebody equal that.

  16. reprindle Says:

    Well, Robin, you probably became aware in the seventies when records selling millions of copies became common. It wasn’t that way in the sixties expecially the early sixties.

    In the first place at that time having a million seller didn’t mean you sold a million copies, it meant that the album grossed a million dollars at the list price of 3.98. Thus a million seller meant only 250K copies and there weren’t a whole lot of those. CBS would have considered 12K a successful lanuch of Dylan. At 50K to 100K you were a successful recording act.

    The Beatles sales stood so far above the rest that Capitol was ecstatic.

    And then in the sixties Dylan was definitely a minority taste as he remains today. The media blitz he was given on those English tours is completely inexplicable to me today as it was then. When the Beatles came over in 64 the media blitz was also inexplicable. Why? Both the Beatles and Dylan were nothing, mere recording acts. How does an untested group like the Beatles get television time every night for weeks. Why was anyone hanging on the words of either the Beatles or Dylan?

    There were lots of people in the 60s who had a bigger reputation than Dylan. Temporary reputations but backed by hit 45s and lots of television appearances. Who now remembers Andy Williams? Les Compagnons Du Chanson had a big hit and were well know from TV appearances. The tragic Singing Nun with her Dominique was extremely well known expecially as she abandoned the nunnery. How well known is Dominique these days?

    The Australian group, the Seekers, were tops and quite good doing the standard folk repertoire, Kum-ba-ya etc. Their song Georgie Girl from the movie, very important at the time, was huge although it didn’t translate into album sales. Popularity of the type given to the Beatles, Dylan, the Airplance, Joplin and whoever didn’t come along till much later. The paradigm changed from being performers into some kind of religious devotion after 66-67. Then it really got crazy.

  17. R M Says:

    I totally agree with you about music not “belonging” really, to anyone, except in performance. That’s the way it started, the way it was in most of the world, and that only changed when the idea of selling the round dark things with sound waves cut into them came about. Before that, nobody much cared. That’s precisely what I’m studying and writing about.
    In Dylan’s early years, virtually none of the melodies were his “own.” And he knew it, and probably would admit. But it’s not necessarily “thievery” in that sense. I mean, “robbin’ a Cat’s house” IS thievery! That’s something he never quite comprehended, and I still think he’s unclear about it. I mean, he gets a little smirk when speaking about his “musical expepedition”s, so he sorta knows, but I believe there’s some stealing-complex tied to fibbing that he’ll never quite shake. Especially as a star. Stars think not only that they have a right to “lie,” but to reshape REALITY! You know I’m doing this Elvis research, so I’ll share a really creepy tidbit. He’s on the phone {someone is taping the call!}, and he says “did you hear about my eye thing?” They said, yes, an “eye infection,” how are you? He says, well, actually it was glaucoma, but, and get this: “I wanted it to be an eye infection, so that’s what it is.” Good God! Imagine living inside such a world! Where reality doesn’t seem to have to exist. It’s amazing someone like Dylan survived it somehow.
    But as to music itself, well, hell, there are only a few blues melodies, but room for endless innovation. That’s cool! And clearly, Bob was much better with words than melodies, because he took so many to go with his words! But eventually, he evolved, which is the process. It’s a process, and if one is not permitted to engage in the process, one’s growth, artistically, could be really harmed. But, again, if the talent is there, even if stunted, it will show itself. Somehow.
    Look, Bob earned his fame; the Beatles absolutely did not. I’m really strong on this! I mean, nobody heard much of them, and they walk off the plane because of Cousin Brucie! Hell, he emcee’d children’s dances in the Catskills. I know: I was in one! Haha! I got a picture. They paired me with a little boy who couldn’t dance to save his life, and I was really boogying down, even if I really didn’t know music yet, I sorta knew it, anyway.
    But Cousin Brucie was able to do this? People must have been paid, or something. I don’t know. It’s too weird.
    I know everybody says it’s because people wanted something “happy” after the killing of the President, but that doesn’t explain anything! I think it was a thing with Sullivan, a whole bunch of radio stations, and the idea to dress them in those dumb little suits, and wear those idiotic hairstyles. The idea was to tame, de-eroticize, and frankly, “build strong bodies twelve ways” with Wonder Bread. If ya know what I mean. Wonder Bread. So “nothing,” you would roll into little dough-balls.
    At first the Beatles were so weak! Musically. Hell, we don’t even know for sure if they wrote those stupid little ditties. Doesn’t even seem the style they each developed later. Maybe, but I dunno. The songs are deliberately dumb, and the group was a tough, leather-jacketed outfit in the earlier days. How did the come to “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”? Good Gawd!! They were “good for the kids.” That’s all I can think of. Perhaps they were a planned backlash against folk-type music, and then serious relationship-type music. Or maybe they got the idea from Berry Gordy, with his “charm school” nonsense . . . This was NOT rock ‘n’ roll. Hell, it was hardly r&B! And what Gordy did to Jackie Wilson was unforgivable, just rancid. To throw him overboard like that because he wanted new teenagers under his control? Horrible!
    And when the Beatles appeared, why the hell were those girls screaming? There was NO SEX! Let’s face it! They were crap, at first. And they got a little better as time went on.
    But in the long run, it took massive hype and a VIDEO game to sell those records and get them downloaded for last X-mas. I don’t think they made that much money, though. The biz is in trouble. They thought a Beatles onslaught could help: this was before MJ OD’d. Those records sold legitmately, but I saw the same death-horror flick on DVD, and I can’t help wondering . . . the business needed help . . .
    Well, we’ll all find out how corrupt things can get. But that DVD is horrifying. He’s telling them to lower the volume because “it’s like a fist is hitting my ear: it’s like a middle-ear type thing.” Well, anyone who’s heard live music up close knows that if you have such a problem, YOUR CAREER IS OVER!
    I have to wonder what the hell happened. He couldn’t handle the volume anymore. And they wanted to make, uh, sorry, a killing from this project. I mean, I think, going in, maybe they had no idea the problems were this serious . . . but, well anything is possible in that business.
    The reverse is The Beatles. There was no reason to believe that they could do ANYTHING, and BOOM! They just exploded. Didn’t make any sense. Buddy and the Crickets were better, way better. Shoot.
    That’s the truth.
    I wonder if there was a REASON for those “denials” of knowing or meeting Buddy that Elvis sent? Was something going on at “the Cotton Club” just on the outskirts of Lubbock that was frowned upon? And he wasn’t supposed to let anyone know? I wonder what all went on!
    Yeah, I know, I was born too late. But I’m catchin’ up! Still.
    There’s a new book: “How the Beatles Killed Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Or something to that effect. Duh. They changed NOTHING in society, and their talents were mediocre in the beginning.
    What the hell was to scream about?
    No wonder people were knocked on their butts when that ’68 Special aired, and this wild thing in black leather jumped into their living rooms and the “whole family” probably wanted to hide under the coffee table! Never seen nothin’ like THAT! “Shocking” they call it now. But why? He’d done it before. We’d been so “Beatlized,” our expectations so lowered that the real thing was probably terrifying! I mean, the power of it! In comparison, good golly Miss Molly.
    I was watching Springsteen on “Spectacle” with Elston Costello, or whatever the hell he calls himself, and they REPEATED that disgusting thing that Bruce said when inducting Bob into the Hall of Fame: “Bob freed the mind like Elvis freed the body.” Can you imagine what would have happened to Bruce if he had said “Bob freed the mind like James Brown {take your pick} freed THE BODY.” I mean, Jesse Jackson would have had people ready to burn down Bruce’s fancy home(s)! And he’d have probably deserved whatever he got. But he said it about “poor white trash” and it was ok. THAT pissess me off! “All body, no brain.” I mean, it was good Bob said “he played with the Beatles heads.” It was SOME way of trying to return his intelligence to him!! It was so damn unfair! And bigoted, and everything else you can think of.
    And to repeat it!! Why? This wasn’t about Bob! Bob has NEVER done that! He always has said “when I HEARD him.” Or “his music.” Or like that. He has never said “his body.” Never. “I tried to tell it like it is.” From “Goin’ To Acapulco.” TELL it like it is! Words. Mind. Intelligence. Damn! That is so disgusting!! And Greil being “surprised” or whatever at his musicianship on the ’68 special. Well, what did you expect? Some dumb klutz with a crotch?
    The Beatles accomplished their mission. It wasn’t finished, I guess.
    I’m sure that lady was/is wonderful. I hope she’s still alive. She’d only be in her mid-seventies. But it’s a rough business.
    I hope she’s happily retired.
    I still think Bob knows who was who, and what was what.
    He may not have been able to WRITE a melody like that, but what he DID with it! That’ REAL music. Not “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” But like this: “The day she said goodbye, you know I didn’t, I didn’t even cry . . . cause I knew/ I could turn to you-ou, my sweet baby doll/my honey chile.” From “My Baby’s Gone” released in early ’55 and promptly pulled. Oh, the writer: it says on the label: “Elvis Presley Blues Cold” Whatever that means.

  18. R M Says:

    I don’t remember the “Singing” nun, but I know of her.
    I DO remember the flying nun.
    hahahahahaha! True!

  19. R M Says:

    Hey, I was wrong: Darlene Love, my fave female singer {will try to get a listen to the lady you admire: seems quite an unusual talent}, has just the one book: it’s the same one, but she just sold the film rights, and so is pushing it on her web site. In other words, this information has been around since the late 1990s, and Nash DELIBERATELY chose to lie! I mean, I almost got something on Amazon, but the computer saved me from making the mistake. No point in even mentioning when hordes of Australian Elvis fans {well, not really: people go to that particular site from all over the world} are throwing their copies of Nash’s book back in the face of the publisher. I know they’re upset about the wrong things {I heard about the Pan-Pacific even before Goldman’s book came out: it was pretty much common knowledge, and he acknowledged it himself. The diff. is that in the photos, it is not Byron Raphael, but Parker himself, who made sure the dog was always freely availble. Raphael said he was told not to let it fall, but heck, Dundy once said that it did, and Parker picked it up and back on stage, whereupon, Elvis ruined “Nipper”‘s rep. some more. I think it’s funny. All he said in ’68 is “we can’t talk about that, man.” So big deal. But it was Parker himself who egged him on.
    See, he wanted to do SOMETHING, and finally settled on “Will ya’ll please rise.” And the “Hound Dog National Anthem,” which is way better than “having fun with Nipper on stage.”
    Good thing it went that way.
    But that book is savage in its duplicity and nastiness, all around. It’s just outrageously crappy: she checks no sources on many “quotes” and often just lifts stuff from Goldman.
    All the more reason to set the record straight. But you can’t do that with hagiography: his friend G.K. is doing that, and it’s silly.
    Dylan really hasn’t had that problem: most biographers go at him with teeth bared. Hell, he asks for it! Really, most of the time he does. Another psychological thing of his, probably dating back in the day.
    Hey, I saw the episode of Elston Costello’s “Spectacle” with Jakob Dylan” and this thing popped out: in ’81, his dad took him to see Joe Strummer of the Clash {don’t remember if they were still a band, but I think so . . .}, and they went backstage. Strummer gave him his jacket. Young Jakob moved out of his mom’s house to go off with “The Wallflowers,” etc., and he came back recently, he said, to pick up the rest of his stuff, especially his jacket, ’cause Strummer has since died – and quite young. I think he said it was framed: not sure. But she told him: “what do you mean? I have ALL that stuff to the Salvation Army.”
    Boy, what a dig! First of all, he knew his father would know about that. Second, SHE knew that Bob has no truck with such organizations, especially them, who he spoofed in “Rainy Day Women”! And I have had an experience with them, which I cannot discuss, but let’s just say Bob was on point.
    So his mother really socked to her son AND his father! She knows that “Dad” is pack rat, and that his son obviously values such things. Man. My parents would NEVER have done that to me! Shoot, I’ve been many places, and they have never touched ANYTHING of mine! Ever! Over the years: jeez! And I would never do that to a kid of mine: not in a million years.
    People are different. I would always want any kid of mine to feel that “home” is ALWAYS home. Period. It’s the way I was brought up to think of family. I know some people are mean that way, but why? Seems like she was getting back at his dad by doing that. She knew it was a collector’s item. C’mon.
    See, there really ARE two sides to every story.
    Anyway, it’s all his fault, because he “made a little mistake” in 1965, when he already had a girlfriend. Who later said “I’ve already paid.” Well, now his kids are paying. Still.
    I’m sure they were pulled like taffy between them. It’s a shame. I WAS really very lucky. I just wanted some more time – ya know . . . it wasn’t like they had me too late or anything . . . I wanted more time.
    But my dad’s cool. He even sat through two whole “Spectacles” tonight! You know, from the DVD.
    What disturbs me somewhat about the show is this whole emphasis on “songwriters.” Tin Pan Alley, jazz, anything. There’s a loss of a sense that music is SOUND, and that it’s only IN PERFORMANCE that a song lives at all as anything. Without that element, I mean, if the song is “great” – formall – but the performance stinks, well a tree fell in the forest, and did NOT make a aound.
    I’m feel you’ll agree on this. God, the James Taylor interview really suffered because of this. It was like they were speaking different languages. Taylor is totally, totally, into HIMSELF. Just like you’ve always heard, but perhaps worse. And Costello was looking at him puzzled. He told him how New Yorkers hit by 9-11 in someway had adopted “Fire and Rain” as sort of a “theme” for themselves, spiritually, and Taylor just showed NO affect, no emotion about that whatsoever! I mean, one would expect him to say “I’m honored” or something. But he was emotionless, and kept going on about how he hates fame, celebrity, and writes songs ONLY for “himself.” No notion of “art” entered the picture at all.
    Wish I WAS a “Steamroller, baby, ’bout to roll over you{re work}”! To mean, it’s junk if it was meant it to mean nothing to any other person. Costello was just mystified. I know “intention” is beside the point, but sometimes it IS the point, and that’s terrible. Bob stole lots of stuff, but genuinely digs other people digging his work, using it, having fun with it, whatever. It MATTERS to him! Damn!
    Just like that jacket mattered to his kid. My God, if my parents had “given away” my “Beat It” jacket, I would have gone beserk, well, when I was very young, of course. {grin} No, really, all of that stuff MATTERS! Especially to young people. And she had to know this.
    He looks like him, alright. But very, very delicate features: no big jawbone. I haven’t seen his firtborn: “Jesse Byron Dylan.”
    Man, that name just floors me.
    As you might expect.

  20. R M Says:

    Before you “digest” this stuff – ok, so you’ll have some heartburn, but still, I’d like some of your no-holds-barred feedback. I mean, the darn “so Elvis wasn’t racist, so what?” thing turned up on a SOCIALIST web mag site! These folks seemed so elitist, breathing air that was so thin, that they absolutely did not even NOTICE that they were talking about someone who grew up in dire poverty in Mississipi! I mean, what they hell is wrong with them, if THAT’S what they call themselves? Shouldn’t they be concerned that they are talking about the political views of someone who was very, very, very poor? It didn’t seem to even cross their minds. And that’s why that particular co-hort renders themselves silly and useless and sometimes says things that are absolutely outrageous – and bigoted. They do not welcome “real people,” if you know what I mean. If Elvis himself were to explain to them his REAL views, and what they cannot see, and why he felt the way he did at a given time, they simply would stuff cotton in their ears.
    Which is precisely what was wrong with the “folkie” crowd that Dylan tore himself from. He thought about who had initially inspired him, and how these people practically didn’t know they existed, or if they did, they had disdain {or as one of Elvis’s “classmates” put it: they “snurled up their noses” at such people, especially someone so overtly anti-elitist as Elvis.
    I always find it sad when people refuse to find common ground, and instead go on to label people, instead. “Well, he was sexist.” Yeah, and so was Phil Ochs, and Dylan, and etc. He didn’t want his mother to have to work, and in post-war America, if you watched television {and such people DID, no matter what they claim}, you saw moms AT HOME, vacumming in the pearls, making lunches, etc. Why wouldn’t Elvis want this for his mother, or his wife? It’s what he thought was the “happy” way to live. I mean, he must have thought those characters were, well, happy. And here was his mom, when he was in high school, waiting at the Mississippi bridge, for the truck to take her to pick cotton in Arkansas! And other times, she worked at the hospital {and wanted to be a nurse, but knew it was not possible}. He thought this was unfair, and wrong! Why, didn’t those people across town live like the people in the TV? Of course, they did. I mean, he had to think that, because he had no other way of knowing. Such people, allegedly educated, should understand this, but they absolutely do not. I mean, I left a couple of clarifying posts, but I don’t think any of it will actually sink in. Wasted breath.
    I’ve been disillusioned so many times. And still, I try to find truth, avoid hypocrisy, etc. Sometimes I wonder why I try. Will it actually help anyone? When Paul Simon felt so uncomfortable taking the tour with the “regular” people, and the house was so “naive,” but in the end, he read the stone, and realized that it was true that Elvis had made it possible for him to have a career at all. And THEN he cried. Not for a person whose life was cut down so brutally {and if you look at the pictures from near the end, it was brutal}, but for HIMSELF!
    I can see that Dylan sees beyond this. Despite his quirks, his selfishness, his problems with honesty, etc., I still think he did “get it,” when others will NEVER get it.
    God, that article in the paper about the Nat. Archives “symposium” on Elvis in Washington, or whatever they called it, was so ugly! They way the writer laughed at him, not at Nixon, who DID attain public office, but at Elvis, a private citizen, who she really had no right to laugh at. At one point, the writer has Elvis behind THE DESK, looking “in the back of the drawer” at the “more expensive” jewelry, or doo-dads, and wanting THEM. As though she were saying “what would you expect from someone LIKE THAT?” Like he came to rob the place! I mean, ok, his motives were decidedly impure, but jeez! She acts like he was trying to rob the Oval Office!
    And those people on that site, despite their pretensions to “seriousness” are really no different. They assume everything, without knowing anything. It’s creepy.
    Sometimes it takes you a long time in life to really “grow up” in the sense that what shocked you at 21, and what you accepted at 23 or 24, will finally reveal itself to you as a people enjoying the luxury of lying to themselves.
    Ever met any poor “socialists”? Ha!
    See, that’s what I mean, right there. He asks people to look at the world through eyes other than their own, and it just doesn’t happen. Those people are just as foolish and self-involved as “Buzzy Forbes.” Which leaves what, exactly?
    Well, that’s why I listen to certain musicians, and not necessarily others – or don’t take them seriously.
    Why doesn’t it bother them that Elvis Costello really IS a racist, and neither his “youth” at the time, nor his state of drunkenness can excuse it. Yet he never, EVER addresses it. Smokey made an issue of working with Ray Charles, JUST to make him uncomfortable. And he didn’t seem that uncomfortable. It’s like he has made his OWN peace with what he said, and so that’s ok.
    But it’s NOT OKAY. And he has the gall to do the show at the Apollo!
    I mean, I don’t really care for Ray Charles: overrated, in my book. Way overrated. And he was the ONLY artist at the Goodwill Review event in ’56, who gave Elvis the cold shoulder. Didn’t even WANT to meet him. Aw heck, I saw him live once, and what a waste of money: he didn’t like the piano they gave him, so he basically stiffed the crowd, who paid their hard earned money to attend!
    He was not a nice guy, especially if you’ve read the first autobio. They let him off so, so easy.
    But what Costello said had nothing to do with Ray Charles, per se, and everything to do with himself: the “know-it-all” smart guy who shouldn’t be questioned if he slipped up like that. Never really bothered Greil as far as I can tell. Ok, so the guy is like a walking rhyming dictionary, so what? Hell, Dylan often doesn’t bother to rhyme because he’s good enough that he doesn’t have to. I mean, he knows exactly why the words are where they are.
    And I’ll be he knows what a “silent rhyme” is, and had undoutedly to be impressed with Elvis’s admitted strange “recitation” to “Softly As I Leave You.” I mean, it took a great deal of talent to come up with that recitation, even if it isn’t really “a true story.” It’s powerful, and you know that a REAL maker of music, knows this.
    I mean, you actually seemed to feel sorry for the lefties he “betrayed” when he “plugged in” and I don’t. I thought they were mean, and frankly, jealous. He was not their plaything anymore.
    There were still people in the 21st century who had not “forgiven” him, as though he had ever wanted their “forgiveness.”
    You know how you say that the fundamental problem is hypocrisy? Well, I truly believe that is what turned you on to Dylan’s two big “post-electric” albums in the first place.
    Me, I was born too late for that. So I just hear the songs, from whatever time-period. I can’t chop it up like that, because it doesn’t hit me that way. It can’t: I mean, by the time I really started listening to him, it was after “Blood On The Tracks” and I didn’t get “Desire,” I don’t think, at the time, and then Elvis died, and Dylan came out with “Street Legal” and everybody just hated him.
    I remember that interview in “Rolling Stone” when he said “Baby, Stop Crying” – even though the song held no interest for me at the time – was “about a guy with his hand out, and isn’t afraid of getting bit.” That’s quite a statement. The EXACT OPPOSITE of what he claimed, last year, that he did in the mid-sixties regarding Elvis. {First of all, the story isn’t true: none of the guys has ever spoken of being sent to “get him.” And they would have. In fact, Schilling remembers regular phone calls, specifically regarding the arrangement of a meeting. Since Jerry was taken out of the field of play through the use of a female intermediary, according to him, I can only think he evesdropped. They were all jockeying for position: all wanted to be “foreman” or “co-foreman.” And Jerry wanted that role. Alan didn’t care, nor did Richard Davis, who despite his rehiring, drifted away pretty soon afterward, anyway, and Larry Geller knew they all hated him, and were jealous, so he wanted nothing but to talk about his “spiritualism” with EP . . . He wasn’t just chased off; he was threatened by Col. Tom, himself, in an incident that was just horrifying. Interesting, that with all the drug taking during that time {this was 1964}, only Larry got busted! I mean, the other guys were using pot, playing with the brownies at will – even without EP’s knowledge, dropping Acid, etc. but NONE of them got busted! Col. did not like Larry at all, because he gave Elvis something he didn’t want him to have: books.
    So, first, he gets busted right at the Graceland gates, and unexpectedly, he isn’t let go. Col.’s knickers in a twist! So, finally, in about ’66 or so, he decided to terrify him – he had a wife and family, and the attack was on his home, and carefully arranged by the Col. himself, who took the whole family out for “ice cream” for an extended period, to “get to know you better” and when he returned home, well, you can imagine. EP told him it was better he not call the cops. {Unbelievable that he was that terrified, himself.} I think he did, but it amounted to nothing, and I don’t think he fingered Parker.
    After the “accident” in the middle of the night with the “bathtub concussion,” and the Col.’s diatribe, he just left. He’d had enough excitement.
    I have a feeling that Elvis felt Dylan, had he become too chummy around that time, might have become a casualty.
    The music to “Gypsy” is interesting. It’s starts with like footsteps: a “little red riding hood” innocently making her way to “grandma’s house” or wherever. It’s light and airy. And then, things rapidly turn dark. He has to go “down to the lobby” after his experience in the Batcave, and “watched him from the distance, with the music in my ears.” Now, remember, every word is chosen with extreme care on this one. He cannot see through floors or walls. So he’s not looking up, from INSIDE the hotel. If he’s outside, and the room is so dark, he’s not going to be seeing anything, so the music in his ears is pointless without the line of sight, which seems clear. After that, which takes place after the “girl” tells him whatall the Gypsy can do {strictly using her as a literary device to express what HE experienced and felt}, we cannot know how much time has elapsed. But we know that when he stepped out, it was still very dark at night: “outside the lights were shining, on the River of Tears.” So it was still deep in the night. The very next moment, the {S}un’s about to come up. Time has elaspsed, but is unaccounted for in the song. By the time he gets upstairs, the Gypsy was gone. And so the girl. {Indicating what he knew about the Autumn/early Winter of 1969: I belive that in the “Day by Day” book, they even found a record of a “Penicillin Shot”! Back then, we didn’t have the pictorial evidence that we have today, but wow! Pictures shot in Vegas, not when he was performing, were simply nutso. Married man with a very young child, not yet two, and he’s soul kissing “a fan” outrageously, and there’s another chickadee on his other side! It’s clearly ’69: you can tell by the look, the hair, everything. He just let that photographer snap away! Even Rona Barrett was watching, and he just didn’t care. And he then bounced to the next city. A man on a mission, but this did not involve any “badges.” More like notches on his belt. So the line about “that pretty dancing girl” was certainly appropriate. The Dawn is arriving in the song, very suddenly, and since the “Gypsy was gone” – well, of course he was: if he’s a Gypsy, he’s on the move, Bob retreated into his memory, and “so I watched that Sun come risin’ from a little Minnesota town.” You’re never gonna see either the “sun” rise or, I guess “the Sun” rise with him. Can you imagine if he said: “oh, those records when I was a baby? With all that echo? Hey, man, I’m not looking back! Why does everyone want me to look back? I’m not old, so what was so special about Sun Records, anyway: Mr. Phillips was always kinda mean, and he’s still not a barrel of laughs, I’ll tell ya. Guy always scared me. I don’t want to THINK about when I was on ‘that little company.’ [An exact quote] I want to think about NOW. And I’m hot now {curls lip}, in more ways than one! {lopsided grin} And the guy who did the TV Special told me I wasn’t “strong enough” to make my own decisions and stick to ’em. Well, I am, so far, I think. He’ll be wrong! I’ll show him! A stranger asks: “so, if you’re so into ‘the present,’ why are you still letting other people do your soul-searching for you?” Oh, you mean, why don’t I write, like almost everyone else does now? I know, I know: Sinatra’s older than my daddy, but there are other people to consider! People are always depending on me. Well, first of all, I don’t even think I’m that smart. [Stranger rolls eyes.] But, really, a lot of those guys, well, there’s hardly anybody to record their stuff, and they can’t perform. There’s only a few that can perform. The rest can’t. And some of ’em are pretty young. Like Mark James: he had a actual record out on “Suspicious Minds,” and like three people bought it. What about HIS career? When I was a kid, I used to ask for songwriting tips, and they made me feel bad when they turned me down. But now I understand why: it was their only career; I don’t blame them. Mr. Phillips did hurt my feelings with a song once, though: a blues. He said it was “cold, man, cold” and he put that on the label for Dewey Phillips to see, and then he just yanked it back. Broke my heart, man. He didn’t want a blues at all, but I hated that corny hillbilly song they forced me to sing instead. And that’s pretty much how it stayed. I have accepted it. If I started doing my own stuff, well, they’d be out of a job. That’s a serious thing, man! Hell, you’ve kids, right? I’ve got a little daughter, so we both understand that, right? So how can I leave those guys with just nothing? I mean, like Mac Davis: he’ll have a little performing career, ’cause he can, but he’s not YOU, and so those are things I gotta think about. If I didn’t do his stuff, he wouldn’t even HAVE a performing career at all! He’s got a little boy named Scotty: means the world to him. I mean, he’s not you, and that can’t be changed: hell, I always thought “In the Ghetto” was a cop from “Hollis Brown,” but it was the best he could do, and when I did it, I fixed up the ending, and it was a smash! See, I knew the guy’s mother was the key to the whole story: the part that would hit people. Mac didn’t quite see it at first. Shoot, he was gonna make “Don’t Cry Daddy” about divorce! Boring!! I knew it was about a parent’s DEATH! And I let him know, and that ended up how the song was. Your song, I changed it only a little bit: if you listen, you can hear it. Because I was thinking of something different, but you can’t hardly even tell, ’cause, see, it’s YOU. They’re different. I’m responsible for a lot of people, you know. So, well, me and Red get together and bang out some stuff on the guitar, but I’d rather he work with Johnny Christopher. That guy needs the work. Who am I to put him out to pasture? I mean, yeah, I know I can do it: I HAVE done it, but I always make sure they can’t release it, ’cause I sing it dirty. More fun that way, anyway. I get out my feellings, but nobody gets hurt. [Stranger rolls eyes again.] Finally, the Stranger says: well, maybe I’ll see some time next year, huh? The Gypsy: ‘yeah, sure, but that Mr. Johnston, well, I think he’s counting on more than what he’s gonna get. How’s about you write one for me? That’s what you do best, anyhow: I man, yeah, you can sell a song just great, and I’d bet I could get more voice out of ya, but you are the best at writing them, so . . . why does anyone need me? Me? A Dummy?’ [Johnston has said Dylan did, but hasn’t said the title: actually he didn’t say WHICH one of them “had a new song” ready. I mean, Bob had LOTS of songs, so it makes me wonder.] Stranger says, yeah, I will. Gypsy never counts on “Went to See the Gypsy”!}There are a couple early versions that I haven’t heard, or know the lyrics. Sure would like to.

  21. reprindle Says:

    We have some excitement going. Go the above site and put your two cents worth in. Exhuming Bob 23a and 24 are stirring things up. Good opportunity.

    Back to you soon.

  22. reprindle Says:

    Now, Robin, I’m going to tell you something: All my heroes are imaginary. There is no living person that I would place my faith in or try to emulate. Some people are exemplary as was Elvis, the Elvis who did what he had to do.

    Perhaps the most influential song for me, and these are only songs, mind conditioners, they are not real, was Ghost Riders In The Sky. Imagine Vaughn Monroe’s baritone booming out over the radio into a ten year old’s ears with that ominous music in the background:

    An old cowboy went riding out one dark and windy day
    Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
    When all at once a mighty herd of red eyed cows he saw
    A-plowing through the ragged sky and up the cloudy draw

    Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
    Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel
    A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
    For he saw the Riders coming hard and he heard their mournful cry

    Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts were soaked with sweat
    He’s riding hard to catch that herd, but he ain’t caught ’em yet
    ‘Cause they’ve got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
    On horses snorting fire as they ride on hear their cry

    As the riders loped on by him he heard one call his name
    If you want to save your soul from Hell a-riding on our range
    Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride
    Trying to catch the Devil’s herd, across these endless skies.

    I didn’t know what it meant exactly but believe me those ghost riders were as real as Brave Ulysses or Achilles. Together they form a White Company of my heroes. And believe me I would have changed my ways if I had known what ways to change. But, it didn’t matter because I knew then that I was destined to ride hard to catch the Devil’s herd and that I would ride that way forever because that herd will never be caught. It doesn’t matter none though, does it? Everybody’s got to be somewhere doing something.

    So everybody lives their life as best they can; some get respect, some don’t. It doesn’t really matter. All we can do is try to understand. Dylan did have an influence on me, he ‘invaded’ my privacy while being significant to the sixties which were significant to me. All I’m trying to do is put him in his place and portray his time and place as accurately as I can.

    Warhol had the same effect and as fate would have it Dylan’s and Warhol’s lives intermeshed. You have to sift it out to see the results of that intermeshing. But, on my part, I don’t get emotionally involved. Life is tragic. People are tragedians.

    Heck, snuff films are illegal and yet on the MSM I just watched a dozen Nigerians get snuffed live on TV, brains and gore flying everywhere too, just like in a Hollywood movie.

    What do I give a shit about no Marquis de Sade or some guy named Massoc. Life has exceeded both their puny imaginations. They fired up the bulldozers and pushed a mountain of bodies into a ditch. So what? Am I supposed to get excited?

    Do you think that Old Cowpoke ever lived a life that merited chasing the Devil’s herd compared to a couple dozen Nigerian murders on TV. I don’t.

    Dylan’s life is even less a tragedy, in fact, none that I can see. So, all I really want to do is get the facts and organize them. I don’t care about nothin’ else. Got tragedies of my own; so do you. Resolve them and don’t worry. Something tells me Dylan will do handsomely up till the day he dies.

  23. R M Says:

    Intriguing. Yeah, yeah, I was actually warned in grad school about using, as a “case study” a “living individual.” I asked the guy “you mean legally? Because they told me that the CUNY lawyers will go over it to avoid any problems, so do you mean legally?” He said NO, NO. I was perplexed: it was a story that made all my points, and I had all the “documentary” data that you need, and so why not? What could go wrong? He looked at me, and sort of shook his head. He said, well, “you’d be surprised; a lot really could go wrong.” I couldn’t imagine what. All the prof.s thought it was great, and that the potential for it was good in a number of ways: I could get a big “advance” money-wise, and enlighten people at the same time about where they were wrong. They said I some really original things to say. And so on. I couldn’t imagine what could possibly go wrong.
    I deposited it in May of 1992, and got my degree the following month. My uncle gave me $50 bucks, and my dad gave me what I wanted: I told him I wanted an oak toilet seat! I’m serious! I mean, yeah, I got a gift certificate for a bunch of books and records, but really, all I wanted was an oak toilet seat.
    All seemed right with the world. It was a good year: a had a little health problem which was corrected, and nothing of consequence seemed wrong. I got a job close to where I lived: right across the street! And I was shopping my dissertation as a book, while sending out resumes. Now, at that time, there were horrible hiring freezes just at the wrong time. But I figured it would lighten up.
    Anyway. 1993 came around, I had moved, and got another comfortable job for the time being. I figured as soon as it was published, and several were looking at it, I’d settle in somewhere.
    And, August came ’round. And the “living individual” was accused of what they call in California a “crime against humanity.” All of my book proposals came back. No interest: too creepy.
    And I realized the guy had been right. I am not kiddin’ you! This is what happened. I think you know who the “living individual” was. He’s no longer living, anyway. And NOW, people are bugging me to “strike while the iron is hot.” Well, you know what? Publishing sources say that books on that particular, uh, topic, are not doing that well. Too disturbing. More disturbing than I ever imagined, then.
    As for “Ghost Riders,” I have heard that one at various times in my life, and always found it kinda funny. I mean, it has a “Cowboy” motif, and it goes somewhat over the top. See, I was once a girl: yeah, a “tomboyish” girl, but a girl, nevertheless, and I never “got it” about cowboy pictures, or “singing cowboys” {adored “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” of course, though}, and that song always sort of tickled me.
    Anyway, when I was about 12, I DID once, have an “imaginary” hero. At that time, I was juggling two “heroes” at once, or maybe three. But the imaginary one, of course, was in a TV series. It was called “The Interns.” Five young doctors, and I liked the gorgeous one with the brown hair and the red lips, and long lashes.
    That fall, they not only cancelled it, but replaced it with {ominous drumroll} The Brady Bunch, which had been on, but they changed the time to replace MY SHOW! Really broke my little “tween” heart! I got much more into sports “heroes” for a while. There was another, but no big thing at the time. And I wasn’t old enough for the music of the ’60s, and ’50s, etc. I really didn’t care that much for music, except I liked one act, because the kid was sort of “reassuring” in a life of chaos and a lot of suffering. Ah . . . well.
    But, see, this project is serious: it’s about the idea of “The Song” as opposed to just “making music” without regard to the bureaucratic stuff. And if involves the key figure of the rock era, well, it should! I mean, he was the one who got stuck between worlds. He was a gospel singer turned bluesman {he’d always liked ’em, like a lot of gospel singers}, and at Sun, he was taking a pretty normal route: work with some raw material, change it up in exciting ways to make it new . . . the genuine “folk process” as they say. He was on his way. But all of a sudden, they shove this Campbell’s Soup jingle at him with cornball lyrics, and he just REFUSED! He told Scotty to come up with any blues riff he knew and to follow the tempo of his rhythm guitar {unmiked, but you can hear it with headphones, clear enough}. And he took the storyline, changed it a bit, changed most of the lyrics, dumped whole verses, added his own, and voila! A new blues. And “Mr. Phillips” writes “Blues Cold” on the label! {I looked up some rhyming dictionaries, particuarly in relation to music, and the timing . . . and “Cold” meant “highly skilled, exemplary” and it also could refer to a physically attractive person, particularly a young man: “that boy is COLD!” It would mean very, very attractive, in the same way as you’d say “that sax solo was COLD, man!” So, I found out what Sam was telling “Daddy-O-Dewey” about the record Sam called “My Baby’s Gone.” You should hear take 13: it just soars! And, of all things, the take is snipped at the beginning, and and cut off at the end. A metaphor for the young man’s life, if I ever heard one. But, shoot, it’s all there: he was ready to LAUNCH! To become what the fates had prepared for him, or apparently.
    They wouldn’t let it happen. It had to be an extremely crushing blow. It’s hard to imagine. But I would think that, after a while, acceptance would just set in. Now Phillips had repeatedly said, I don’t know how many times, the EP had the most severe “inferiority” complex of ANYONE, “black or white” who “ever walked in that studio.” So, THIS is what you do? You tell him that the performance was fabulous, and then yank it? And surreptiously make a publishing deal with Arnold Shaw? And Kesler gets all the writing credit, Phillips cleans up, too, and the writer of that “other song” never even got his name in BMI: and this was checked in 1982! Everything went back into the “suits”‘s pockets. Finally, he sold off even HIS VOICE from his teens to age 38, to his record company, for what ended up a pittance, quickly spent {he had a divorce action just then, and the amount he had to pay EXCEEDED what he got for his entire career up to that point: he took it, and his whole “early career” had he lived even at least a barely average lifespan, let alone a long one, was GONE. Pfft!
    But, see, I can understand: other than getting out of the slums, and being able to make his folks happy with the money, he didn’t make music for the money! But when Lieber-Stoller told him “you don’t NEED to write” he got very upset, and slunk off, saying “I guess I’m not much of a writer.” And then the room was cleared. One of the guys claimed the “Col.” didn’t want them to get to friendly with Elvis. Well, hell, at that moment, there was no “friendliness” goin’ on! They can’t be that stupid: they knew they were protecting their own hindquarters. What he said was BLASPHEMOUS to them! He was telling them that he’d rather not need them at all! But, being 22 years old, he just didn’t understand what he had asked of them, or why they felt it necessary to crush him. Clearly, he just wanted some alone time, to sulk about how “dumb” he must be.
    I’m sure that by the late ’60s/early ’70s, he understood the matter. But being Elvis, he felt “responsible” for these non-performing writers and THEIR WHOLE FAMILIES, FROM BABY TO GRANDMA! I mean, that was him. And I guess I gotta admire that, even as it sticks me, when I hear him “ad-lib” as they put it. The best known one is about his “responsibility” – to “the guys.” In ’69, he tried out a version of the verse, and it was more dirty than a very good piece of song verse. A year later, he locked it in {I can even think of clean word to replace the dirty one, but the fact is that the dirty one is truer to his meaning, and it makes a wonderful internal rhyme!.} You can hear it on the “Walk a Mile In My Shoes Box” in his “rehearsal” version of “Stranger in My Own Hometown.” They call it a “live” performance, but that’s not really so: it was done in a studio on Sunset, where he could experiement quite a bit. {And, yes, by golly, he does “Ghost Riders In the Sky! Since he seemed to find almost EVERYTHING funny at that time: July, 1970, and you can guess why . . ., well he treats it with the humor I always saw in it – even as a kid. Just so over the top, you know?} But in “Stranger In My Own . . .” he has refined the verse: “I’m Going Back Home to Memphis/Drive that f’in’ damn truck again/Said I’m Goin’ Back Down HOME to Memphis/Drive that f’in’ damn truck again/Joe, Charlie and Richard’ll starve to death, and Sonny’ll be in The Pen” Please feel free to put the redacted {quieted by RCA/BMG/SONY/WHOEVER} rhyming letters in the “dirty” word back, because then you’ll see the internal rhyme. Also, southerners, particularly Memphians, often make a “th” sound instead of an “s” sound at the end of a word. {From ’68: “Chrimuth: yeah, that’s southern for Christmas! {Charlie ha-ha-ha’ing real loud}” So, ending with Memphis, in a low-down blues rhymes tidily with “death,” which is usually pronouced “day-eth” in the context of a blues. Not a “perfect” rhyme, but it “felt” just right to him, and to those listening: and even to a casual listener, it rolls on without a bump. Of course, it would work just as well without naming any of the guys. “know-a-few-guy’s’d starve to death, and some’ll be in The Pen. {When down south, if you wish to borrow someone’s bic pen, you say “can I borrow your “ink-pin.” As opposed to “I need a safety ‘pin.’ It’s different with “tea”: that has nothing to do with the accent, but with the culture, but is just as necessary, if not more: if you want a cup of tea after dinner, you cannot say: “no, not coffee: I’d rather have tea.” You’ll get a big ole glass of ice tea, brimming with fresh ice! You MUST say, ALWAYS, “hot tea” if that’s what you want. It is not necessary to qualify what Yankees call “ice tea,” because that’s just “tea,” period.
    Now, in song, if pronounced in dialect {and this is a blues!}, it all works handily, and it intended to work this way. Now that’s not by any means the only one, and he could do instrumentals, as well. He also wrote gushy poetry, but I think if he read some better poets, well . . . I mean, I have possession of the gushy poetry. He did this in the last couple years of his life. Would give them to long time fans {or whatever you want to call ’em}. They don’t even know it’s way too yucky and that he was capapable of better, especially when set to music. But some soldier gave him this book: “Poems That Touch the Heart” and also got ahold of “Leaves of Gold,” filled with mush and gush. Sometimes, though, he liked to interweave his thoughts with the Book of John, and it gets a little more interesting. I mean, the King James translation is quite lovely, in a literary sense, no matter what you actually believe. See, this woman was a “born-again” when when a “born-again”: Carter, was in the White House, so he never mentioned “The Impersonal Life” or any of his other spiritual beliefs. She claims he told her that he believed that Jesus was the divine son of god, but Larry said, flat out that Elvis said “Yes, Jesus was “son of God,” but that we’re all children of God, and that’s what he believed. He thought Jesus was a “Master”: I guess you could say “prophet.” And going by what they found at Graceland, I would have to agree with Larry’s assessment. So, strictly speaking, he was not a Christian anymore. He always told people that his religion was “The Self-Realization Fellowship.” As icky as that seems, it is the truth. He got hung up on the lady there: her name was “Daya Mata” and he called her “Ma.” He said, that with her dark hair, eyes, and tan complexion, she reminded him stunningly of his mother. Why, when he saw June Juanico the second time, he seemed a little dissapointed: what happened to your beautiful tan? She said it wasn’t “time yet.” He looked puzzled. She explained the people on the Gulf just naturally got darker with the summer. It seemed strange to him. He figured a person with a tan complexion was just that way, unless they stayed indoors too much. So she shared a different way of life to him. She was Mexican-Indian, by way of her father, but they were not emotionally close. Her parents divorced.
    Anyway, if you look at the lyrics to “Aubrey” that “out-of-left-field” song he did by “Bread,” it seems he’s referring to her. {Also, when he got into that fight in ’56, and got busted, the real GIANT guy’s name – his last name – coincidentally was “Aubrey” and he probably forgot how it made him thing of her, but when he got busted, he got lucky because he usually didn’t carry cash, but he was on his way to Western Union to wire her the money. So he was able to go his own bail without having to call home. In fact, he called June FROM THE POLICE STATION. He did NOT call home. He told June “some punches were thrown” and that he was just defending himself, but that’s not quite what happned. Ed Hopper, who started the thing by insisting that he move the car, and stop the autographs because Hopper claimed he was blocking the station, slapped him on the back of the head as he said “I SAID to move on!” Elvis leapt from the car and decked him. Right in the eye! Hopper himself was 6’3.” The other guy, “Aubrey,” well, all I can say is he was a GIANT, and Elvis just about got a punch in when a cop grabbed his arm. Aubrey came to the scene to check out what happened: Hopper was holding a knife, but wasn’t using it. The guy was like 4 inches taller, and he was scared! I think the judge was either bought by Parker, or he took Hopper’s first move into consideration. But the second guy didn’t do anything, because if he did, Elvis would have died at age 21. Period. The guy was a GIANT. So, the cops dragged ’em all in and believed EP’s claim that Aubrey hit him, though there was no evidence of that whatsover: he was unbruised. Still, the STAR got acquitted, and they had to pay very small fines. A “night court” type thing. But that Thursday night, when he told his parents about his “little trouble” must have been like WWIII. His mother must have gone ballistic. She wouldn’t let him out of the house ’till Sunday night, when he begged. He could got to the get, and no further.
    Meanwhile, Vernon sent her the money the next day, and she flew right up to Memphis: Vernon and Gladys were at the airport. When they got home, Elvis said that his folks thought it better if he stayed “out of crowds” for a little while, so he “went along with it.” It was clear to June that he was saving face. But, gosh, he was 21! His mother simply didn’t care: she grounded him. And unfortunetly, his girlfriend, too. Which is why, even though she won’t say, I think she really saw “mother-in-law” hassles in the future, and it was just too much.
    The funny thing is that all Bob Dylan ever wanted was for his parents to give a damn about him . . . just a little. I think he’s spent his life puzzling over how people can be so vastly different. “It was like I was born to the wrong parents, or something.” Well, Bob, which parents would you have preferred? I mean, he said this in the 21st century! I mean, I think he’d’ve gotten past that part, but . . .
    You’re right, though: his life never turned “tragic,” of course. And because he would not let it. THAT is what he was trying to tell the reporter from Rolling Stone, and he took it literally. “I didn’t meet Death, because I didn’t want to meet Death.” He made up a literally impossible, and verifiably false story to surround his symbolic statement about that time in his life. A lot of people have wondered {John Lennon was one of them} why Dylan didn’t die in 1966. Lennon said “I’ve never seen someone so close to death.” {Apparently, he was woozy with enthusiasm and beer, or something when he saw Elvis at Mad. Squ. Garden. Because that’s when he saw someone with a whole leg in the grave. But he got all hopped up like a screechy teenage girl, and actually realized it when he stood up, and as loudly as he could, with the whole Garden watching [he was in the “Celebrity Pen” on a riser, in the middle], and shouted, in a high but recognizable voice: “I love you Elvis!” All covered in buttons and the junk that the Col. used to sell]. The guy on stage heard and saw it like everyone else, and hollered something about not giving “kisses” in arenas, or something to that effect. People laughed. It was not a time for laughter, but I guess they just had blinders on. I mean, they knew the signs. The slurring that was becoming more and more obvious, the racing through songs without caring, the pasty complexion, the odd sort of weight gain: you could see it, but sometimes you couldn’t. And his face had CHANGED! I mean, in a very short time. It was oddly puffy, and instead of true interaction with the audience {with perhaps that exception], there were “rituals.” And too lazy to even play one song on the guitar. It was like: hey, I proved myself back in the late ’60s, so why do have to do it again. I TRAINED a guy, just so I wouldn’t have to do it! And that’s true: the photos from ’69, in a new book, show him playing most of the show, and locking his eyes on John Wilkinson, or rather the opposite, and even Burton was staring at the guitar, not necessarily at him. [Funny, but I find that Burton’s recent playing is much less “slick” than it was then: at the time, he just couldn’t get that jagged “Memphis” sound, and I don’t like “slick.” Pete Townsend, happy at all the new releases, said “now everyone finally knows that Elvis could play a mean rhythm guitar!” Townsend said he really didn’t need anything but voice and guitar, and it would still rock. He was right. But he stopped caring. He found out, at a very young age, that you really could pay other people to do the things that you could do yourself, perhaps better, but you didn’t have to! So why do it?!
    Only in the studios and rehearsal halls do you really hear the real musician after that. In Memphis ’69, he would not relinquish his guitar, even when Reggie Young {they’re the same age, and they knew each other from about age 18 from the “Clearpool Complex” which housed the Eagles’s Nest: Reggie later joined the Bill Black Combo. There was definitely some bad blood. Living human beings indeed. On that take where EP supposedly hit that “clunker” – and Reggie didn’t have to point it out, BTW – on further listens, if you’ve ever played, or fooled around with an electric guitar of the kind he was playing, well, someone, perhaps accidentally, loosened the strings. Those guitars are not tuned like acoustics. You can really mess it up with the swirl of a knob, etc. And I hear some real loose strings, but he’s playing the same part as he played when it was tuned. You can hear the guitar on the master take. I don’t know if I need to close the parenthesis.
    Anyway, I don’t know if I consider these people “heroes,” especially now. I mean, I’ve seen too much. But it’s not like those “socialists” I was more or less both berating and educating on the their site: it’s not just an interesting intellectual puzzle for me. I DO feel something. These are not characters in a story: they were real people, but the “global village” thing allows an intimacy once unknown and impossible. I think we’re still at a stage of working it out.
    So, why is it that “I Pity the Poor Immigrant” makes me cry, because I can only think of “Col. Tom”: I mean, if the song were a shoe, it might as well have been custom made? Not for HIM, of course, but for his victims: the little family he decimated. Why not cry for all those suffering people whose lives I do not “know well”? I can’t tell you, but it’s just a human foible.
    Maybe we’ll fix it someday. Maybe not.
    Certainly my OWN recent tragedy DID trump everything else, but I’m not lost in it to the point where I cannot go on: I thought I would be, but I stronger than I thought I ever could be. I just tell myself that she wants me to not give up: that whatever she was thinking, when she last thought of me: and she called out my name when she first regained speech, and whatever she was thinking of me, I figure, that’s what she’ll think, forever. And hope it was a good thought: like, “be strong, carry on: I love you.” Thinking of that, I can kinda do it. {Now you’ve got me all misty-eyed. And, shoot, I’ve got a cold!} But it’s like when MLK’s younger co-horts told him he was a fool to buy those sandwiches and milk for those kids that ONE DAY in Miss., because what about the next day? And he said, well, he was there and he just felt like he should do it, and had no apologies. What about all the others? Even if I cry today, help out with rebuilding with a check, that’s nothing. But it’s all I can really do. So I should do it, feel what I want to feel for whom I wish to feel it, and not apologize. You can’t live that way: it’ll tear you apart. But I don’t want to not care at all. So, with those “I know well,” well, I tend to care more than for a complete stranger. That day, King “knew those kids well.” The next day, they weren’t even a memory. He knew that, but you just do what feels right at the moment. And try to do your best. It’s better than not feeling anything, I figure. Or just wallowing in your own pain, which can take you down. So, yeah, it’s different than an old movie or TV show. It just is. As Elvis sang in one of his most moving performances, alone at the piano in Studio B in 1971, “it’s something I can’t explain.”
    I guess I figure I can help others to understand, not just an individual who is an example, but an example about whom I still care, but an example, period. I mean, the next time you have the power to either encourage or crush the dreams of an adolescent, maybe you’ll think of that kid, and you’ll maybe do the right thing. I don’t mean “you, you . . .” I mean, whomever my work might reach.
    Yes, I suppose it is intriguing that Elvis brought the sensibilities of blues and gospel to his art, because the more “contemporary” approach was shattered for him, and that’s instructive, etc., but still, it would have been great to see what he could have really done.
    Just like the films: In ’69, Redford did one of his first notable films: “Downhill Racer.” Elvis did his last, and not very notable film: “Change of Habit.” To me, it’s very, very sad. I see all these film critics saying things like “even rather better than Dean, I might say . . .” of some scenes from King Creole, say, and I think why go over it again? Well, I guess because it makes them sad, too. I mean, as far as the films are concerned, I consider them mostly a distraction, but he wanted it. I think of Southern Soul, and how barely got in on it. And how much more that would have enriched his life, not to mention extended it, perhaps. If Bob Johnston from Columbia, had made it through, and got him to fire the old S.O.B., and really encouraged someone who needed encouragement, and structure . . . Let him know that he’s welcome, and that no one thinks he’s “yesterday’s news” and that he really can DO IT. “It hurts me,” one of his great songs goes, “to see you set and cry.”
    That’s it, I guess, right there. {It seems written in dialect, or something . . . I have to wonder if the “other Bob” wasn’t somehow involved in that song. It’s a cut above his other work. Really. I know Charlie Daniels had some role there, but still. I can almost sense his presence in the song.}
    Interesting that when Johnston was desperately trying to get EP and BD together, and to get in on EP’s career, Bob came out with Self-Portrait. Lotta intriguing songs on that one, huh? Also, he seems abandoned by Johnston, and singing “I can’t help falling in love with you,” might have been an ironic dig. Just a little. Because he felt it, too, but just the same, he had a career! And this other fellow, maybe he really is a lost cause? ‘Do I have to go down with this particular Titanic?’ And after another album, his whole contract is up in the air. And then there’s the mysterious “song list” from May, 1971, in Nashville. It all fits, time-wise. Like he was saying “Bob {J.}, you’ve been ignoring my recording career, which I entrusted to you quite a bit, and you’re chasing this guy who is . . . well, he’s f’d up! He’s a train wreck. Scared of his own shadow: and you’re trying to ‘help him.’ Meahwhile, while you’re trying to do ‘social work,’ I get to sit here and ‘watch the River flow.'” While at the same time, he understood.
    Some things you can’t explain.
    “Ghost Riders In The Sky”: what a title!

  24. R M Says:

    I remember his name! The actor who I dug when I was just a kid: Steven Brooks!
    How about that.
    It had escaped me. I forget the character’s name. Ain’t that somethin’!

  25. R M Says:

    Aw, I went to the Expecting Rain site, and it don’t bother me enough to “log in.” I guess I’m paranoid about SPAM, but really, the logging on process is a drag, and I’d do if I thought it worth it. But I’ll manage to scrape myself off the floor, filled with puddles of tears {giggle}! You know, a whole lot of people do not know about the matrilineal line in Judaism, and that it has nothing to do with “religion” at all. It’s important for anyone seeking to understand it, by the way, because there are few groups on earth {except maybe Irish Catholics} who are both an ethnic group and/or a religion. So, the matrilinial aspect explains this to people who are curious about the “duality.” I mean, Bob can convert to anything he wants, fully, but he’ll always, ethnically, anyway, be Jewish. And it keeps going! And it’s significant for anyone who ever visits Graceland: his father changed her stone in such a way as to REMOVE the star of David that his son put there. Which can mean any number of things: Marty Lacker wants to believe Vernon “anti-semitic,” but there is no real evidence of this. Vernon got on very well with the Fructer’s but refuse to be a “Shabbes Goy”: “he’s not crippled,” he told his son, who replied: “Daddy! It’s his RELIGION!” That’s kinda cute, actually. The fact that Vernon chose to live in the Jewish quarter says plenty. But even Gladys herself was filled with fear because of her own maternal granny: “don’t tell anyone, hear?” That’s what she told her son. And he never COULD keep a secret! So, it’s reasonable to believe that Vernon, too, was afraid of this secret. There was a time when it WAS something to fear, and Col. Tom was blackmailing them like crazy about almost anything and everything.
    His last words to the world were that “we never put anyone down. Because of who they were. And neither did Elvis.” Put himself and his wife first in this! Just saw his son, as, well, his son – who picked up on his and his wife’s beliefs. Maybe he didn’t really believe it. The cousins recoil in terror over it, still. But it’s too close.
    The point is that it has NOTHING to do with religion, but it is an ethnicity. He knew his mother did NOT practice that religion! But he knew she respected that part of herself, and put it on the grave, and if anyone had a problem with it, too bad.
    A lot of people do not know about this duality, and there’s no harm in explaining it.
    I guess they resent me for talking to you. Well, then resent Bob for converting to Christianity, why dontcha?
    As for song analysis, it is NOT reductive to unearth the reason for writing a song. It is only reductive if one reduces the song’s significance, to that, and that alone. Also, it puts Bob in a much better light than what most people think! It’s a completely different Bob! Here we have a Bob who sees this girl getting torn up by the world she’s entered, and that he’s observing.
    But, in the end, it’s still more about Bob and his own way of expressing what he feels about the world, his world, going back to his very beginnings, as far as he can remember, to when he wrote the song. Why did he write it? Yeah, everybody knows about Muddy Waters. But his song means much more to the group called “The Rolling Stones,” a blues band originally, than a guy admittedly from “Hillbilly Country” who sings, in “Don’t Look Back,” “I’m a Rollin’ Stone, all alone and lost. For a life of sin, I’ve paid the cost.” Good gravy! World of difference. In fact, it was the collision of those worlds that created rock ‘n’ roll!!
    Do they think Bob stupid? Do they care that he cared more about ole Hank, than, frankly about Muddy Waters – at least back then? I mean, this is supposed to be about him! No matter how much I go on about Elvis here, it still ends up with Bob. Because that’s the way it should be. I just see that Bob had a few “heroes” – or somethings – in his life that really mattered a lot to him. And, frankly, almost all of them were not “Born In Time.” Elvis was. He could talk to him directly, or through his songs, whatever. Even now, from the grave, he can hear Elvis sing those choruses of “I Shall Be Released” and then “Dylan!” and feel like the guy is not only talking ABOUT him, but in a way, now, anyway, TO him. Hell, he wanted the other musicians, who worked with Bob at the time, as far as he knew, to KNOW. To know how he felt about “Dylan!” It wouldn’t take even a degree of separation for that to get back to him.
    And besides, Elvis once gave him a human being as A GIFT!
    That is hilarious. Too bad, Lamar, that’s what you get for letting Nash regurgitate Albert Goldman! {Hey, you know that wacko Elvis movie with the huge Great Dane? His name is “Albert.” Now, this was before, of course, but I like the idea. Reminds “The Great Speckled Bird” of what he unleashed. And no, you don’t have to carry Goldman’s book on your back like a cross, ’cause you unleashed another one!}
    Good thing Scorcese cut him out of the film. Hell, he knew him: Scorcese worked on the rockumentary “Elvis On Tour.” Lamar worked the lights . . .
    But, 6 years in the past, he was given AS A GIFT!
    P.S. — True Believers don’t scare me.

  26. reprindle Says:

    Damn righr! True believers don’t scare me none neither. I’ve got a loaded 45 on the turntable. Songs after all is what we’re discussing here. A singer without songs is out of it. Well, Ghost Riders wasn’t exactly one of those sappy talkers that Red Sovine used to do. Giddy Up Go and that heart rending crap that used to send you retching over the old oaken toilet seat but you have to hear Vaughn Monroe’s voice to get it.

    That was also back when they were working out El Paso that Marty Robbins perfected in 1960 or so. Riders Of The Purple Sage had the earliest version I know. Heck, Dylan even copied some sappy talker about Hank Snow’s dog. I almost retched when I heard Elvis doing Old Shep. Took me a heck of a long time to rationalize that one after I came out of shock.

    But, back then you had to have a SONG. Most of the crap the so-called singer songwriters put on record would never have made the cut. I mean, you know, you have to like the performer to listen to the stuff like, say, Chip Taylor or Jesse Winchester. The latter is usually pretty good but Taylor, who I do like, only has one good song in four or five and that one is usually better by someone else, Wild Thing for instance.

    Wild Thing was a great song along with You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling. Songs like that are why I can’t understand why anyone thinks Like A Rolling Stone is a great SONG. What they seem to get off on is the Haman shriek of ‘How does it f-e-e-el. God, talk about inspissated venom. What hatred. If I were Dylan I would pull the piece.

    His best stuff is To Ramona, Love Minus Zero, She Belongs To Me and stuff like that. Even Don’t Think Twice is a trifle on the spiteful side. But they are decent songs.

    David Dalton was saying that the triptych (Big Three) were amphetamine fueled and when you’re driving the big rig on speed lyrics like that just flow out of you. I wonder if Dylan patronized a Dr. Feelgood. God, the punishment those people gave their bodies. I’m amazed they’re still moving. Of course, a lot of them aren’t.

    Well, Dylan did say that he would have killed himself if he had kept going so Lennon was probably right.

    Heck, the whole sixties was like that and the decade did commit suicide at Altamont and about time too. It was all getting to be just a bit much. I was never so happy to see something end in my whole life. It got real crazy. It was my decade though. I wouldn’t be where I am, wherever that is, if it hadn’t been for the sixties. It’s alright that they ended though.

  27. R M Says:

    Your sense of humor is rolling! “The old oaken toilet seat”! Good gawd. Actually, though, I was speaking of a time when I was much younger: the sixties, when I was little, and the little guys just loved those old “Me and My Beloved Horse” films, and Gunsmoke {my dad always called the star “Lardass,” which always made me laugh as a kid: I was astonished the first time I heard that Dylan had first decided on “Dillon” as a stage name in his honor, but then I remembered: Bobby Zimmerman was a BOY, once. My dad was over that stuff, but I bet he loved it when they used to go to the movies when he was a kid.}. As for “Old Shep,” well, you know now, of course, that when Elvis was little, he sang that song on a kind of continuous loop! It won fifth place in the children’s talent contest, and he got a blue ribbon, and stubs to ride all the rides, free. “I got a whippin’ the same day,” he recalled in 1972, “destroyed my ego completely! {laughs at memory}” Those two guys who made that film “Elvis On Tour” were intrepid, though: they persisted: “What for? What did you do?” He said: “oh, one of the rides, or somethin’.” In other words, he rode the coaster as he always would: stand up as it goes up, and then sit down just in the nick of time: a kiddie version of “playing chicken,” actually, but he did this, practically ’till the day he died. I’m serious. He had a lot of “issues” with his mother, I’ll put it that way. I mean, when Elvis Presley says “destroyed my ego completely,” man, that has a CONTEXT! Sam Phillips said he had the most severe “inferiority” complex of “any artist who ever walked in that studio, black or white.” He had a serious speech impediment, which was never treated {God, there’s a legal outtake from about 1960 or ’61, where he goes: “Charlie, ah, ah, ah . . .” and then again: “Charlie, ah, ah, ah . . .” He NEVER can get the next word out for whatever he was trying to say. Bet Charlie LOVED it: made him feel superior.} It makes you wonder: back in ’73, when his dad didn’t know what to do when the docs were pressuring him into placing him into a “locked drug unit” in Tennessee, that he never thought about the speech impediment, and how, perhaps it might have fueled the drug use, and should be treated. Shoot, all the writers on July 26, 1969, when reviewing the show, seemed to notice that he not only “couldn’t shut up,” but seemed “stoned.” “I looked at my watch and my ring, and the guy said: . . . THE GUY SAID? I’M the guy!” One concluded: “he really MUST be stoned.” And he certainly was. A year before, he almost ran off into the night of “beautiful downtown Burbank,” as Johnny Carson used to call it. I mean, he was really gonna bolt, and Steve sort of “transformed” like in the movies with special effects – today’s special effects. Steve, on a totally instinctive level {I’m sure it was unconscious at the tim}, just “became Mama.” And so he said to him, “I have never asked you to do anything you didn’t want to do on this show. But now, I’m not even asking: you are going out there!” I don’t think he ever recalled saying it twice. He caught the right tone, and, actually trembling with “terror” {his exact word}, went out there. It was almost “automatic.” He even joked about it a little as he sat down: “ok, g’night.” And pretends to get up. And Charlie puts on a W. C. Fields accent and goes “been a long show.” And he sits right back down. Gives a little smile. Tries to make it kind of a joke. But in the beginning, you can see him listening for every noise: “what’d you say?” he swirls his head around and looks. He kept looking for a bit, and then, sorta sucks it up, and starts, “well, first of all, I’d like to thank everyone for coming to the show tonight.” And then introduces everyone on the stage. “And this is Alan Fortas, and he plays . . . well, he plays around {he laughs a bit}.” And the crowd accepts, on this tiny stage, a total non-musician just taking up {A LOT OF} space!” At that point, he should have realized that if they’d accept that, well, he had nothing to worry about. But the worry went on for several songs. Even Scotty screwed up “Heartbreak Hotel” – actually they both screwed it up, because without a proper plan for the bass parts, it can’t really hold together. But it was Elvis’s nervousness that screwed Scotty up, clearly: he always signalled the chord changes, and the more complex bass parts: he would then hand the last three notes to Bill. One classical/jazz expert actually said, about the original recording, that the “electric bass part” was pretty amazing, and really gives the song the sense of “gloom” that made it. Well, if you look at the television shows, Elvis tunes the top string of his guitar, and he plays the bass part at the end, until he hands those last notes to Bill. He knew Bill couldn’t do it, and he didn’t want it to be messed up. I’m sure he was as concerned on the record. This musician/expert {not on rock ‘n’ roll, though}, really thought he heard an electric bass! And I saw it for myself. He heard an acoustic guitar’s lowest string played as though it WERE a bass guitar for most of the part.
    Anyway, in ’68, Elvis’s nerves threw him off the bass part, and so Scotty got thrown off. I can see Scotty looking at his guitar – like for the cue, and he doesn’t get it, and Elvis laughs at screwing it up, and then Scotty screws it up, and smiles, and they all kinda laugh.
    “That is the worst job I have EVER DONE on that song!” So, you know, that he handled a heavy load in those days. They had gone beyond needing Bill to use the bass as a “wild drum sound” and actually needed a bass guitar! Since there’s some, but not a whole lot of rhythm guitar on the piece – or need for it, ideally, Elvis should have switched to an electric bass, but he couldn’t, of course. Finally, the whole thing blew up in the studio over “Baby, I Don’t Care.” No matter what Lieber-Stoller say, D.J. told Max Weinberg {“would you turn off your tape recorder?”} that Elvis not only “played that part through,” but that Elvis had written the bass chart {who knows what “system” he used: probably “shaped notes” or something with which they would all be familiar, excepting Lieber-Stoller, ’cause Yankees “can’t read music” – well, they can’t read southern musical notation!}, and Bill couldn’t play it, and dropped the new bass on the floor, not hard and it was carpeted, and then slid it across the room, and left. He came back, to smile for the cameras, but Elvis wouldn’t let go of the Fender! What was bad, though, is that while Bill was gone, Elvis got the actresses from the film over to take a picture: they all held up a part of the bass, seeming to carry it away. “Out with the old, in with the new.” I’m sure Bill didn’t see it until later, and though I’ve seen him using the Fender in concert, he soon quit for good. And in ’68, he NEVER mentioned the late Bill Black’s name. I thought it was kind of immature, actually, to do that: he knew that Black’s family was watching. He could have been kind, and mentioned him. “Myself, on rhythm, a bass, and {pointing at Scotty}, another guitar.” Bill’s exciting rumbles on the Sun singles deserved better, as did the man: he took what he had, and made a virtue of what he lacked. And that’s cool. He deserved a mention. It was very immature to still hold a grudge: I’m sure a lot of hot words were spoken, when he wouldn’t play on the records he did when on leave from basic training . . . but still. Maybe Scotty and DJ came to his mom’s funeral, but Bill didn’t. That’s probably it. I dunno. He made “a statement” when he died in ’65, but when it mattered, when 60 million people, just in the States, were watching, he didn’t even say his name. There is a more recent meaning of the slang “cold,” of course, as in “man, that was cold!” Meaning “to hurt someone’s feelings.” And man, that was cold.
    Anyway, it was a rough night, and after the two “stand-up” shows of the 29th, he got roaring drunk, and said so. He came to work that morning hung over. Cursing, and when Steve said “Pardon me, Elvis?” on the next botched take, he grabbed a cord like a whip, and SLAMMED it, hard. But he didn’t curse. When they changed scenes, he said “I’m just now startin’ to wake up.” He asks a question of the choreographer, but you can’t make out what it is. The choreographer, the little fellow with the high voice, says: “it’s ON THE BOARD; if you think I’m stupid enough to {can’t make out words}.”
    He found the getting loaded HELPED! Even if it was after the show. Odd thing is that after the little sniping from the choreographer, Elvis REALLY wakes up, and can’t stop laughing, joking, and later, he gets bratty: “watch me drive him crazy!” Steve was saying, immediately after this, I didn’t think he heard it, actually, that he didn’t want any more clatter: and Elvis is still giggling, he almost loses his balance, and says “I thought it was good {the take},” which Steve ignores. And then pounds on the mike three times and says “that doesn’t bother you too much, Steve?” He did hear it. I don’t know why he acted like that, except that it was the last day, and I really don’t think he wanted to go home. Maybe he could ruin the takes and get another day. Nope. They did “If I Can Dream” after dinner, and Elvis doesn’t pull any “funny stuff.” Knocks it off, really in two takes, but he dropped the mike when saying “thank you; good night.” And had to do another. It’s almost as good. The first take is a false start. I don’t know why they counted the last two as 4 and 5: I only count 4. And three/four was the best: just unbelievably great. I guess they had a little talk before the segment. Because after that, everything was fine: Steve was told there would be a “pizza and beer” wrap party at Bill Belew’s house, and he struggled very hard to get Elvis to join in; and he finally did. They rode in the same car. When they arrived, Belew’s house was dark. “I’ll never forget the look on Elvis’s face.” They both knew: “The Col.” He just HAD to ruin it for both of them.

    A year later, he’s a chatterbox, and not making sense a lot of the time. And most of the jokes, hell, ALL of the jokes are dirty. {That’s a defense mechanism, of course, but as the month went on, and the hotel kept complaining, the jokes got dirtier and dirtier. Some of the BOOTLEGS, or rather, most of them, cut out the worst of it.} It got real raunchy, and Vegas wasn’t quite like that in “the Big Rooms” in those days. You could dance around the “blue” material, but you had to control it. He did not, because frankly, he did NOT belong there! He belonged in a rock venue, period. And at some point when he could gain some control – and he did in 1970, apparently after Kerkorian really read him the riot act – because the shows had been VERY dirty, he could have easily handled Carnegie Hall. I cannot think of any other big American star who did not play Carnegie Hall. And needed no one: just his fave acoustic, and an old thick Gibson electric like he played on the special, and a nice piano. They provide the orchestra for ballads. {And it would be worlds better than “The Bobby Morris Orchestra,” which, interestingly, was with him in the fifties: a Col. Tom thing. The following year, the orchestra was changed, because frankly, they sucked.}
    And you’ll notice that he, as far as I can tell, never played “Old Shep” again. Maybe it’s on some rare bootleg, but as far as I know, it was pretty much gone.
    So, don’t be shocked. But he didn’t sing it at the high school talent contest: I think he did “Cold, Icy Fingers” as the encore, but there is some disagreement among those who were there. And he sang it as “Cold, Cold, Icy Fingers,” thus adding some drive to it. Even Buzzy says he remembers that “he moved around, yeah.” So he was already rockin.’
    Interestingly, though he annoyed everyone for years with “Old Shep,” in East Tupelo, he would tell a story, and it continued without any seeming ending. One “little boy” who was in his forties when he spoke about it, said, without any seeming knowledge of “The Wizard of Oz” {there were apparently no movie houses “above the highway}, that “it was about a Tin Man.” He didn’t just recite the book at all: every day, he came up with new adventures for this “Tin Man” who was always looking, looking, looking for “a heart.” He never came up empty for a new adventure – just ad-libbed it, and absolutely NO ONE from Tupelo, black or white, can recall him stuttering. That happened in Memphis.
    At first, the drugs “helped,” but later, he was totally confused.

    A 1977 interview with the son of a fan, who, for school, had to interview a “noted person in the community” shows that. It was taped. He asked him a simple “yes or no” question about Carter’s amnesty decision, and while his opinion was generally unchanged about wars such as Korea or what he expected, which turned out to be Vietnam, he stuttered and fussed so much, it’s almost disorienting. He lost sense of time: he knows what year it is, for himself, but puts the other people in the past. It’s strange. Same opinion, but he goes on, and on, and on: “uh, when it comes to other countries, well, uhhhhh, uhhhhhh, that’s between an individual and his God, and his conscience, and it’s none of anyone else’s business.” He repeated this, stuttering like mad, a number of times. And then he said that if we were attacked “here, in this land of ours, aw I sound like a recording, well, uh, uh, I’d hope they’d {they? they are not gonna be drafted again!, and he IS talking about the SAME PEOPLE [!]} would want to come defend their own land.” He then goes loopy: “I just want this world to be beautiful and loving, and for all men to be brothers, and things are changing, but, uhhhhhh, it can seem, uhhhhh kinda slow to those in need, I know. But I’d like to think they’d want to protect it. Uhhhh, I’m not talkin’ about, ya know, uuhhhhhh, uhhhhhhh, other countries, goin’ to other countries. I mean like Pearl Harbor, well, that was a long time ago {DUH}, and uh, we’ve been very lucky, but, uh, uh, if it were like Pearl Harbor, I would hope they {“they” again} would want to, because it’s got its weak points, but it’s changing, and it is beautiful and there’s been a lot of good changes, but uh, uh, it’s still changing, so I want this world to be beautiful and loving and all men to be brothers. . . ” he prattles on, struggling. He doesn’t seem to realize that if it is 1977 for him, and for the new President, then it must be for these other people, too. He seems “lost in time.” It’s sad. {Hell, it gets so loopy at times, I think I’m listening to that “song” “Changing of the Guards” which no one has been able to make any sense of yet! A fitting tribute, indeed. [Actually, I have given thought to the number he chose to make no sense of: 16. Kind of the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll “number,” huh? And folk, too!]}
    He went from a wild, a bit stoned, kinda fun chatterbox, to a person who was completely zonked, while at the same time, he was trying to say something meaningful for this kid. I mean, he really tried, but the eloquence he once had, that he demonstrated in the wee hours of June 6, 1968, that shocked Binder, Howe, and the two writers: well, he lost it. It was gone. His mind was mush. In ’68, they were scrambling for notebooks! {And trying to do it when he closed his eyes.} He had a guitar in his hand, and was picking the blues, but was quite clear and eloquent about how he felt about that night, the world in general, his own life and career: the whole kettle of fish. For 5 hours. And he stayed on-point.

    In ’77 the “ideas” are the same, basically, but he cannot express himself. Despite, or because of the dope, his speech impediment is, if anything, worse. And no one seemed ever to take that into condideration as a major part of the problem.
    On the set of “Change of Habit,” a reporter was allowed in. Elvis sat at a table, and the reporter took a chair. Elvis had his hands clasped, like a kid in school. He’s staring at them. But . . ., says the reporter, “he seizes a guitar, and he’s talking!” “Ah just couldn’t see a singin’ gunfighter!” he says of “Charro,” and so forth. As long as he’s picking on the guitar, he can talk, and he’s trying to say how everything has changed, and is great now. It isn’t, but it was certainly better in many ways. But the fundamental problems were there.
    No one seemed to notice – or take seriously, that before he “seized” the guitar, he was mute.
    He told the kid “you know, I usually have a ‘line’ where I say I can’t comment, but I’ll try to tell you, uhhhh, uhhhhh, how I, uh, feel.”

  28. R M Says:

    If that last is giving you a headache, it should. I mean, whatever caused the speech impediment, which I now realize was quite real and serious, certainly they should have paid attention. BUT, there came a time when the drugs, and it was relatively early in his comback/post-comback career {which I consider, really, a different career: look, Kristofferson started at about that time, and they’re roughly the same age . . . – though not in maturity level: I mean, Kristofferson KNEW that his whole lifestyle had to STOP, ASAP, or he would surely die. And so it did. I look at him today, and I guess he looks older, but its not like a HUGE THING, or anything: I mean, it’s him. With more salt in his hair, and some character in his face. So what? He’s alive, and he’s happy. They asked him, on Spectacle when he was going to write his autobio: Kris said “when I get old.” Some laugter {WITH him, not at him}, and MUCH applause. Not for having “lived,” but for having the toughness to reject all that which might surely have killed him off. Same for his buddies: Willie, everyone knows, does a lot of pot, but really, after he blew out a lung, he’s been a lot more careful. I’ll tell ya: you can always tell the ones that smoked a lot: I don’t care what they smoked. Doesn’t matter. That puts a lot of “character” in a person; I’ll put it that way. Dylan would look MUCH better if he hadn’t been one of the most incredibly dedicated chain-smokers I have EVER seen, and I’ve seen a lot.
    Anyway, my point it that it’s ok to live. Back in the day, when the genuine Boomers ruled: those born prior to about 56-57, {let alone the true “late Boomers,” born between ’58 and ’64, who should have a separate category, in my view}, when they ruled, they created this silly “age-inflation” that most people in that vicintity, particular those born a bit earlier, took to heart. It was extremely silly, all that “don’t trust anyone over 30 stuff. I mean, yeah, 30 IS the “hardest” one to deal with, because it IS the first: one is too young to know that one is young!
    But “don’t trust anyone”? Were they insane, or what? Some show of huggy-bear liberal “welcome.” So, if you “missed the cut” by a few years, there was pressure: literally, hard – very hard peer pressure to “fit in.” You needed to do it ALL: do all kinds of drugs – the harder, the better, smoke pot and hash, drop acid, and maybe some other hallinagens {sp? I know!}, etc. It’s no wonder that people started dying IN THE SEVENTIES, as they reached ages that made them feel self-conscious, when, looking back, it seems idiotic.
    I’ll never forget what Letterman said when he asked Priscilla what age Elvis was when he died: he forgot the exact age, perhaps he thought he was older, because when she said “42,” he looked genuinely stunned. After a moment, and it really took him a moment, he said “that is CRIMINALLY young!” No good saying it now.
    Now, I have those “last photos” of him driving into Graceland with Lisa on the 15th/16th, and maybe he was doing something, but still, if it was as bad as some have said {and, interestingly, the coroner’s investigator, who later became a “whistle-blower,” said that he had read in a book, later that his hair and sideburns were supposed to be “gray” at the sides, but on autopsy, he looked carefully at his notes, and he he has access to the photos, of course, and he says he never saw it, and wrote down “black” because that is exactly what he saw. I think people were either having delusions, or maybe he was MAKING it look that way, in a kind of weird “reaction-formation” to what was being said about him: I dunno. But if you’re not naturally prematurely gray {and his parents certainly were not, nor his grandma}, then 42 is just not time for what they have claimed. I do understand that hair itself is a measure of a person’s state of health, and that could explain it, but I don’t see it, and more importantly, the investigator just didn’t see it.
    I honestly think that in that time, people were deluded, in a way. There were so many “Boomers” that they decided that anyone born before ’46 — with a little room for some war babies born in the midst of the war, was simply OLD! But it didn’t set in fully until the ’70s, for obvious reasons. And this did damage to people, and not just in show business. But I guess, with their sheer numbers, it couldn’t be helped.
    It’s just that when people look back on that era, they REALIZE that they were deluded! Like when Letterman turned a lighter shade of freckled and balding at hearing that number. He seemed literally stricken, as though it had truly never realized it before.
    Even younger people get it mixed up: some people don’t realize that Jackie Wilson, though actually younger than James Brown, did not perform through “too long.” That is absurd, of course. He was about 41, I think. In fact, I’m pretty sure. Now, he “lived,” comatose, into 1984, but he was completely out of it. The lesson to be learned there is two-fold: 1}Berry Gordy {who IS “old”: I think he’s 80, and that’s fine, but it’s not 41} took it upon himself when Wilson was not quite 25 years old, to deliberately ruin his career, and 2) that Wilson, as revealed in several books, from differing standpoints, but thus corroborated, thoroughly, did AT LEAST one insane thing: those salt tablets and the pitcher of water. He said: “yeah, there iS a secret: you take A WHOLE BOTTLE of salt tablets, and chase it immediately with a whole pitcher of water, and you sweat like crazy! And yeah, you’re right, the chicks really DO dig it!
    Now, I do not know how involved with drugs he may have been. Maybe not, but in those days, it’s kind of hard to imagine. But that alone would have caused that massive circulatory collapse.
    If people think he just “performed too long,” they won’t know what really happened! And thus, younger people have nothing to learn.
    I mean, it’s time we all embraced the idea that it’s ok to “grow up.” To still be young, but grown up. I think a lot of people are STILL mixed up on this point. And it’s the most significant one.
    And that’s my soapbox for today.
    I have figured out two things: one of interest to our discussion, and one that hit me as I was writing.
    1)Lamar Fike {who WAS prematurely gray, BTW: “The Great Speckled Bird” was his “nickname”} was the ONLY person interviewed for the Scorcese picture whose interview was completed cut from the film. And I couldn’t find it on the web anymore, either!
    Dylan controls such things, and had control of the picture, and he cut him out. I think the reason is plain, and had nothing to do with “Albert” or whatever. He was the “missing link.” And thus had to be jettisoned if Bob’s tale of the “attmepted Bobnapping” would be believed: that he never even WANTED to meet one of his most important idols, and one that he definitely could meet! I mean, when someone gives you a HUMAN BEING AS A GIFT, it’s reasonable to conclude that there is some connection there of consequence. Plus, a Triumph motorcycle sort of mysteriously turned up at about that time, going in the other direction. “Fast little bike!” EP ruled on the matter, and decided that EVERYONE should have one! And then proceeded to buy one for almost everyone in the posse. One guy didn’t ride bikes, so he got him a little Triumph car.
    Incidentally, he didn’t get a “little” model, really: it was a much larger one than the one that Bob crashed upon. But, if one is into Harleys, I guess . . .
    Me, I never have been on one, no matter the manufacturer, and never INTEND to ever be on one! I have faith that they’ll solve teleportation in my lifetime, and our transportation troubles will be over. {Is that a fly on my shoulder? Shoo! Shoo! Help me!}
    Ok, not very funny, but I am impatient for an end to planes, trains and autos: let alone motorcycles!
    I was good a bicycle, but on Dec. 26, ’98, the owner of a bicycle store in this area literally pushed me to doom. A broken elbow. NEVER do that! Never break your elbow! The pain is unreal, and it takes a long, long time, and the only cast it for a less than a week, whereupon, you must go out with a hard-shelled elbow pad for protection, only, and are permitted a sling when working or anything outside one’s home. But when home, you’re supposed to keep moving it, despite excruciating pain. Yeah, I did sue the dude. Hell, he PUSHED me! See, I’m only 5’3″ and my torso is more like for a person an inch taller, and this bike was definitely for a 6-footer! I ain’t kiddin.’ I have pictures! The guy goaded me, and goaded me, and before the fall, he said “let me hold the back . . . you’ll see.” Well, I wasa doing what I used to do, which was to first hold the break, when I had the ball of my foot down, which I couldn’t here, obviously, and he pushed me! Well, it started wobbling, and then going down: I reached with my feet. Habit or something. No dice. So when I realized I was toast, I bent my arms to protect my head: an old thing I’d learned in Karate classes, and that my dad taught me when I was a kid.
    Thus, I broke not my arm, but my elbow: I “crunched it,” the doc said. One bone driven into the other.
    So, you see, I do not appreciate ANY “bike.” But I can understand it. I understand a lot of things I would never do.
    Ok, but my point is about Lamar. Dylan wanted to “erase him” from his life, so he could reshaped the story. This makes the most sense, really.
    2)and I know you don’t care, but in thinking of “Strangelove,” I realized they looped “Vegas” for “Dallas” because of the assassination at the time. So, when looking at the horror-snuff-flick, I realized that there WAS a “replacement” for “sir.” His nickname was “joker.” Perfect. “’cause ain’t NOBODY that I know of ever called him “sir” before, unless it was a deposition! His father-in-law, neither. It’s absurd, and seemed absurd. He’s calling him “sir,” and yet, telling him what to do, and paying NO attention to the plea for volume control. {I can understand that, but what you do is STOP the rehearsal, cold. Just stop it. And insist that the musician, WHOEVER IT IS, see both an ENT and a neurologist. But when big money is involved, simple humanity goes right out the window.
    I would like to say I understand that, but you know what? I really don’t. I’ve been searching since I was barely more than a child for the answer to how one’s humanity can just be ignored: not “justified,” but simply ignored, and I realize that despite all the “education” and experiences, and everything, I still don’t get it. And I probably never will.
    I mean, I’m no mushy liberal, understand: I got over that a long time ago. But when it gets to a certain limit, I find myself bewildered.
    I guess that’s a good thing, but probably it is not. Almost certainly it is not.
    “if happy little bluebirds fly above the rainbow, why, then oh why . . .” One should get over such questions. I mean, I understand it perfectly. But on another level, when taken to an extreme, I do not. At this time in my life, I suspect it is a weakness.
    But then, there are situations when it has permitted me to do and understand things {and people} that I otherwise would not.
    I really don’t think you’ve been overwhelmed by cynicism, or you wouldn’t bother. I think you still care. {Hear George Jones’s voice as you read that. Works better.}
    I honestly have nothing else to add tonight.
    Bye for now,

  29. reprindle Says:

    If you haven’t seen this yet you might like it. You have to log in.

  30. R M Says:

    I’ll check it out. One thing that the “Expecting Rain” folks make me wonder about is whether they think that I automatically accept your view of the origin of the “Ophelia” character! I mean, that is genuninely unfair, AND it undercuts what the ‘net was always all about! I mean, when Dylan, on the Scorcece documnetary, started talking about the traveling shows that came through Hibbing with regularity, I realized two things: yes, here is a rich source of raw material for so much of his “carnivalesqe” material {“here’s a guy, he does two things!”: I found this very enlightening, because his song lyrics often do AT LEAST “two things” and this discovery as a kid of “mask-wearing” in a sense, helped shape both his character and art). In other words, as he mulls the dilemma you describe, if indeed he did, that is certainly not ALL he did! This is far, far from reductionism, and I think he made the point well. “Does two things.” Maybe it is about poor Edie, or maybe she just happened to be there after a particular disturbing nightmare dating from childhood moved him to grab that little red notebook! What you have then is called “overdetermination,” and if an artist is a cut above, say “John Cougar Mellancamp” {God, even the stage name is a snore}, their work will be highly overdetermined. I mean, who WAS Elvis singing about in that alternate take of “Long Black Limonsine,” when he literally lost all control and screamed “Oh shit! All my hopes, all my dreams, they’re with you in that Long Black Limosine {shy gigle, then continues before going “whooo-ooooooo!”}? Most fans, in knee-jerk fashion STATE, without any doubt in their minds that “he’s thinking about his mother” as if they can do both time travel and ESP at the same time. How do we know that he was thinking of either his mother OR himself? He might have been thinking of someone he knew! An entirely different situation that none of us knows anything about. But, of course, we have enough back story to know that she’s in there *somewhere,* and so’s he, but as for the rest, it could be anyone, or just the damndable hustle of celebrity itself, which kills with an alarming rate. Maybe James Dean! Who knows? Maybe all rock stars DON’T die in plane crashes, but in car crashes! Or motorcycle crashes. Or they smash their skulls on a bathtub, or have all their SERIOUS accidents NEAR THE TOILET BOWL! Man, that has a LOT of “curves you didn’t see.” Can’t see. Dangerous place. And statistically, it is!
    I mean, ok, I’ve gone overboard, but that’s the point: overboard, overdetermination. And with Dylan, you can be sure of it. The last of this overdetermination is that once the song is done and waxed, it’s just out there. And one can find it any number of situations. But that was NOT what YOU were talking about: you were trying to find out what most likely impelled him to grab the little red notebook! And, then, of course, why?
    I immediately, when I heard him say this, thought of the songs, then of his claims of “running away” {to the circus! Even if he didn’t really do it, or did he?}. His use of Sheaskespear {God won’t forgive THAT spelling goof!} is loosey-goosey to say the least.
    And as for a song like “A Million Miles From You,” Dylan eggs you on: he really does. “I told myself a lie, That’s Allright Mama, I told myself one, too.” And you think: ONE??!!!!!???? And then he gets all cagey: “People ask about you; I don’t tell everything I knew.” In a kind of wise-ass dialect. In the SAME song! With the repetitions of the “That’s Allright Mama” and “Rock Me Mama,” which he wouldn’t even know without the former. He eggs you on, big time! And he knows it. Eggs you on, and then when the mood strikes him, makes good on his word: when asked “is it easy to forget?,” he replies, in song “It is easily done, you just pick anyone, and act like you never have met.” With “I Don’t Believe You” as the title, he’s free as a bird.
    But still, when he wants to, he eggs people on: whether it’s Suze Rotolo, Joannie, a male friend, or someone he claimed he he “went to see” but then claimed his didn’t, not in song, but then you go back, and it’s in there, and you end up with a headache!
    If you care at all, and he knows people do.
    Otherwise, you might as well be studying 17th century poets or something. What’s the difference, to YOU, if you don’t want to EVER “reduce.”
    Hell, you can’t help it! But you have to juggle a bit. Just like in the carnival.
    Does the source material matter? I think so. Not so much with Dylan, because he jumped the firy hurdles and somehow lived, but it DOES matter. Yeah, I have seen raw reductionism, and that is not what I see here.
    We DO have a right to see how life interacts with art. Because without the sufferings and joys of life, there would BE no art!!!!!!! Don’t they understand that much?
    Speaking of reductionism, and my own project, I’ve always been intrigued by the live version of “If You Talk In Your Sleep,” because the singer takes pains to DENY any involvement with either the subject matter of the song, or, signifcantly, having anything to do with writing it! “That’s his thing, man. Nothing to do with me. I had nothing to do with this song!”
    But it’s real greazy funk, and you know the writer on the label really has little experience with that sort of music, or even cares for it.
    You cannot say, only wonder.
    But, again, the process of creating a song is not just making up some rhymes and a melody. You’ve got a chord progression, a genre style, a particular arrangement, charts that must be written for various instruments . . . You just can’t write some words and a simple melodic idea. That’s the least of it.

  31. reprindle Says:

    Robin: Anyone who reads Coversations must recognize automatically that we have differing opinions and that neither you nor I automatically accept anything- from anyone.

    I have put Desolation Row as a critique of Warhol’s Factory on the back burner as I research Warhol’s part in the NY art scene as it relates to Dylan, Yoko Ono/John Lennon and the avant garde.

    During the fifties and early sixties we all wanted to be associated with the avant garde- the cutting edge. There was a desperate scramble to get to the latest first and stay out in front. I’m thinking that the avant garde was exploded by the Beatles and the British Invasion to which Dylan was attached as the only American representative of what then became the avant garde completely obliterating the old garde.

    Thus Abstract Expressionism disappeared from the art schene while Warhol and POPism destroyed the idea of art as a religious mission. The struggle then became one of supremacy between Dylan, Warhol and Lennon/Ono/Beatles. The avant garde was out in the open but no one with the possible exception of the very hippest, if there were any, realized it then.

    Thus hippism/POPism replaced the avant garde while cults of personality flourished in all fields from art to music to fashion- in other words, the consumer society became the avant garde. You showed how hip you were by your emblazoned T-shirt. In light of which, I recently purchased a Karl Lagerfeld/Dylan T-shirt for 50.00 showing how hip and avant garde I am. Thus symbolically the avant garde was been reunited in Lagerfeld and Dylan. That’s ‘how far’ we’ve come in the last fifty years.

  32. reprindle Says:

    I presume you saw the Hope’s disgraceful treatment of Dylan on the ‘Civil’ Rights Celebration. Ten thousand years of civilization melted away into African tribal mores right before your eyes.

    Dylan received a huge ovation as he finished Blowin’ In The Wind and then the answer blowin’ in the wind slapped him in the face. It looked like he was setting up to give the audience an encore when these four thugs streamed out in front of the very low stage and apparently told him to get his honky ass off the stage, he was through.

    Apparently our African chieftain has never heard of an MC or stage traditions for moving a performer into the wings without unduly disrupting the show.

    ‘Thanks for the endorsement, Bob, now get the fuck off my stage.’ I won’t say the little twit didn’t have it coming.

  33. reprindle Says:

    Well, you know, reductionism. What’s that? A fancy way of saying analysis? Post-human double speak? That’s all. Physically it’s all chemistry for instance. The mammal can be analyzed or reduced to two elements- hydrogen and oxygen plus a smattering of a few others. So is a human merely a few chemical compounds? Yep.

    Your brain can be reduced to a few mechanical actions, gates opening and closing, electrical impulses shooting down organic wires, but the way it’s put together, that a strictly material brain= spirit is for beginners- devises paper, ball point pens- which was a very difficult project- thoughts and the ability to record them.

    Whether viewed as a few chemicals in a dish or the finished product isn’t something to be gained by knowing how it was put together? Shoot, I consider myself a wizard- in more unguarded moments. I sure don’t worship some guy because he can play guitar and wear funny hats.

    Overwhelmed by cynicisdm? One isn’t overwhelmed by cynicism one is enlightened by it. It’s the same as analysis or reductionism. One studies how things work, deals with the percentages of variations, accepts it and try to see what’s coming at you before it hits you so that you can act appropriately, not that I’m much above random chances.

    The really big danger is projecting, allowing fixations to predict an outcome rather than rational experience.

    Yeah, I know, my step father lied to me and gave me a shove too. I just didn’t hurt myself when I crashed. If I’d been more of a cynic I’d have known what he’d do. Nah, that’s not cynicism; that’s a lack of experience.

  34. R M Says:

    Intriguing. I didn’t see that concert. Were these four individuals actual performers, or were they “security” or what?
    Because when that guy – can’t recall him name, but he does these hokey MJ impersonations {aware that the young kids won’t notice: he was wrong, apparently} came on stage during the utter chaos of last year’s AMA’s and stopped Talor Swift’s “Best New Artist” award by declaring Beyonce’s video “the best video ever” and just about bringing the young Swift to tears, “Barry” called him, on tape, “a jackass.” So I wonder how this happened with Dylan. I mean, from that experience, and it was captured on tape, he knows it’s wrong to impinge on someone’s “moment.” So I need more info.
    Hell, these things seem to follow Dylan around: remember that guy during his Grammy performance when he won in the late ’90s for “Time Out of Mind”? And nobody stopped the guy. And you KNOW Dylan’s sighing to himself, “THIS could only happen TO ME!” I mean, that didn’t take ESP! I’d like to see what happened. Some of these young performers are total jerks. And it’s on tape that Barry knows it. If it was security, then, I just don’t get it, unless someone considers Dylan “old and boring” as kids used to say in the ’80s. He’s not, BTW, and the encore might well have been interesting. I mean, in ’93, he did a song {later revealed as “The Times They are A’Changin'” that NOBODY could understand: neither words nor melody: it was like that “mystery meat” you got in school.
    So if he really TRIED this time, that’s a shame, and somebody, dunno who, really was a JACKASS, to quote our President. And it wasn’t Dylan this time.
    But these things happen to him: he attracts such situations like moths to a flame.
    I know rap acts like to “storm” the stage, but there generally is an agreed-upon method, and it’s possible that they never even bothered talking to Bob. If they’re young, he looks older ‘n dirt to them. To the point that they would assume that he “wouldn’t understand,” so why bother: just do whatever they want. Never mind that he forgot more about the traditions in which their music is based than they’ll ever know. Even the R&B portion, while not his fave, he STILL forgot more than they’ll ever know. It’s called “respecting your elders” and if we HAVE made any progress, then Dylan is as entitled to such respect as anyone.
    You know a lotta guys in his general age range {the pre-57 rock era}, black and white, were rotten dads: Bob tended to put that responsibility first. And I can tell, from Jakob general attitude. He doesn’t mention him, but the whole story about “the jacket” was a “shout-out” to “Dad.” So, I figure you gotta give him credit for that. Once he had a kid, he took that responsibility seriously. And you better believe he taught them to respect their elders: no matter their background. If they did it just for the hell of it, then it’s kinda sad. Because no matter what you can say about Barry, he generally doesn’t act like, as he put it, “a jackass.” From experience, I find the current generation of young people to be almost totally lacking in anything like simple social graces. And I know from the research that it has nothing to do with anything that happened “in utero” or whatever. They just have made themselves laws unto themselves. And they think that the Karma won’t get ’em down the road, but it sure will.
    I’d like to find out where I can check this out. {“Western Civilization” hasn’t always been all that civilized, but if they’d just look at their age-mates from the early ’60s, they might learn something. I guess a big part of it is the total abandonment of education as a priority. NCLB is a fraud: you have teachers, principals, districts, private schools, etc. outright cheating to get higher “scores.” It sets a horrible example, but nobody cares. He put Warren Buffet on as some sort of consultant, and he knows quite a bit, but he’s not listening.}
    Yeah, you bet: Dylan WAS so much older then: he’s younger than that now. In a good way, for the most part, I think. In a good way that young people today just don’t “get.” And I mean “today”: people born in the late ’80s and the ’90s.
    There’s a lot more to it, of course. When murder supplants other forms of competition, and young fans think its way cool, well, you’ve got a problem.
    And neither Dylan nor Barry can fix it. Dylan is from another world, and well, so is Barry, really. To even call the guy “a jackass” meant that he expected better, which means he’s not paying attention at all! “Jackass” behavior is becoming the norm. While people were disgusted at what happened in the late ’90s on the Grammy’s, now that sort of thing is more or less the norm.
    There was something ugly that happened in England – and it WAS in the ’90s, but the performer was quite young at the time {he was white, for whatever its worth}, and all the journalists thought it was appropriate.
    Well, let ’em reap the whirlwind.
    Gosh, think about it: the 60s R&B scene was almost TOO “well-disciplined” and now all hell can break loose, and barely anyone notices.
    But I can tell you from experience that things are not getting better. When adults are modeling cheezy behavior {like cheating for money}, what can anyone expect?
    P.S. – As for “reductionism,” I think we’re on the same page.

  35. R M Says:

    It’s “you told yourself a lie, That’s Alright Mama, I told myself one, too.” And then, this gem: “People ask about you; I don’t tell ’em everything I knew.” {Knew: “in the past tense”: in other words, he’s talking about someone with whom he cannot having any more interaction. I don’t think it’s someone living with whom he can “know” some more. It’s one of the few lines in that tense, but you get the impression that “try to get closer” is not literal anymore, but perhaps it once was. “Time Out of Mind.” Million Miles is the song.}
    I hope that mistake was seen as such.
    In any event, I wished he’d write that song of my dreams “Ethel Moore.”

  36. reprindle Says:

    I’m sure things ae pretty desperate but my memories of life are of people with little concern for the other guy. The casualties in Jr. High were horrendous. The brutality approached insanity. I think more people dropped out, that is to say were driven out, of Jr. High than High School. If you made it to High School you were either an oppressor or too tough to break.

    I know guys who had teeth knocked out by those round ball water fountains where the water gushed straight up instead of shooting crosswise with guards. I got pushed down but was lucky enough to keep my teeth. I’m not kidding you, it was insane.

    High School toned down just a bit although homosexual rape and harassment to break you down not only bordered on but was criminal. It was a struggle to keep your ass intact. Boy’s gym and a gay coach while the girl’s was lesbian. This was well known in a ‘society in which you had to be discreet.’

    Like I say I know of three murders for sure before I got out of High School. I witnessed stand up rape in the halls. It was heads up all the way. Serious stuff and that’s my idea of normal.

    Otherwise there’s really no hope. The schools don’t teach any functional psychology so kids can begin to understand their bodies and minds. Just so called sex education that affirms that any thing probably including beastialism is normal.

    No one in those circumstances will have a clue until they’re at least thirty and mostly 40 or older. Even then I seldom run into anyone with any real self control. The only psychology anyone is offered is personally destructive i.e. the worst of Freud.

    Look sharp, act tough. That’s my advice. Don’t set your purse down where anyone can get it. That’s my advice.

    But enough of this, back to rock n’ roll. Boy do I ever have stories there.

  37. reprindle Says:

    I see where Greil Marcus has taken up pen to write something called Bob Dylan. Due sometime but not now.

    This should be interesting as I would assume that Marcus has to take into account material discussed here as well as in my own essays.

    One wonders if it will be in ‘collaboration’ with Dylan himself. Can’t wait.

  38. R M Says:

    Not ANOTHER Dylan book? I mean, ya gotta be kiddin’?
    Oh, he probably just makes some assumptions about you based on a few paragraphs, and waves his hand.
    Bob is cagier: I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s looking over our shoulder. That’s why I keep harping on “Ethel Moore.” Hey, Bob: you MUST write it! It’s gotta be you, man.
    Bob is not gonna have a nervous breakdown over “jackasses.” He’s just gotta realize that things have definitely changed. Maybe you don’t wanna be younger now!
    And as for Jr./Sr. high school, I went to school in the south: 8th to 12 was high school in GA. Anyway, when I was younger, I was in a school with some really depraved individuals, and they were in charge. Long story.
    In my case, I almost got myself in a bad situation: there was a teacher who everyone thought was gay: he did the mannerisms, and they gave him a nickname. You’re not gonna believe this, but it was a ruse to develop “friendships” with ‘tween girls! I swear to God. I don’t know how I escaped, really. One time, he took me on a doctor’s appointment, and I waited in the lobby. I was in a car alone with him. I wasn’t very old before I looked back at the thing and realized his intentions. It was a real “let’s be friends” thing, and this guy was no friend. I was, uh, barely 12. We went back down south forthwith, or Lord knows what could have happened. He had a motley crew there like you wouldn’t believe.
    See, there are several kinds, and the principal {and his sister, who he made a housemother!}, and they were both “enpheobophiles” {I think the spelling is ok, but whatever.} See, that was the problem with them: THEY were not interested in little kids, but in teens 14 thru 17. Their are straight ones and gay ones. You can tell which they were, but the thing is the whole damn town knew what they were up to! After a while, anyway.
    A long and tawdry story. Very complex and involved.
    Until that guy, nobody was interested in the little kids. Lucky me. But nothin’ happened: I got out in time. I tell ya: some of those guys are pretty crafty. The ones who go for the younger kids.
    But it was the scandal involving the older kids that was a serious problem over a long period of time.
    Long story. More to it.
    See ya,

  39. reprindle Says:

    You’ll love this if you haven’t seen it.

  40. reprindle Says:

    Dylan has been given a free ride for the last forty years or so with almost total adulation. While I don’t want to be critical of his biographers who have chronicled the events of his life without much analysis or even penetration I think what we have written here especially about Hibbing is far superior and more detailed than any of them.

    The amount of material concerning his religious actions and motives has really accumlated. I had a pre-order for Rogovoy’s book but Amazon didn’t send it and then watching the reviews it appeared that he was only rearranging what had already been written. Perhaps his book was put up job to give the thing an ‘official’ spin.

    I’m sure Dylan doesn’t want to deal with the problems directly so he’s having Marcus do it for him. Wise in any case. I only hope the next installment of the autobiography deals with situations more directly than the impressionistic manner of volume one. Maybe Dylan is incapable of dealing directly.

    Lately there has been more activity on the Conversations especially page 3. A fair number of Brazilian translations. I have a small following in Brazil. I don’t know why the interest in page 3 although I feel there is a lot of good reading in the Conversations if you’ve got the spare time.

    Friend Ray claims to be a member of the ‘Dylan Mafia’ patrolling the internet to root out adverse critics. He claims to talk to Dylan himself. If that bears any resemblance to the truth then it would be certain that Dylan knows of the Conversations and may read something at least occasionally. But that is irrelevant.

    As for Edie Sedgwick I read one writer, Philip Norman, who says that Dylan stayed at least a weekend at the Castle in LA with her. If so, his memory is inexplicably fallible or he lost count of her as one of the thousands. More stuff will pop up to flesh this thing out.

    Apparently the notion that Warhol’s Factory was Desolation Row is old hat. There’s a fair amount of stuff on a site called Warholstars.

  41. R M Says:

    It’s not irrelevent to me! Hell, I WANT him to read what I have to say. Hot damn right.
    Look, Bob likes to control, control, control. So I think he believes people like Marcus are under his “control” at this point, and he may be right. He does most certainly exert a kind of fear in people: irrational, really, because it’s his personality doing it. At this point, when you check out his personality, you see basically two things: his father, and how he WISHED his father was. Virtually none of us can escape this fate. With females, it’s usually our mothers. Now, you had an unusual childhood, so bear with me. But this ability to create fear is something that just has to be learned and honed to a fine edge.
    “Dylan Mafia.” That’s funny, ’cause he called the “attempted Bobnappers” the following: “his Memphis Mafia,” which most people don’t call them anymore. They were, simply, “the guys.” And since Bob knew Lamar, he probably would know that they did not dig the name, but maybe that’s why he did it.
    But that story, of the them being sent to him to “get him” or something, is absurd and impossible within its own logic. How did they know where he was? To just show up? IF there was no communication? It’s so ridiculous. Like I said, I can just picuture one of his portly little short guys, climbing the Hollywood sign, and rasining their binoculors, shourting: “I found him! Let’s git him!”
    Good grief.
    You know, Elvis knew everybody, really, in the business, and he made contacts easily. In ’68, Steve Binder insists, somebody he describes as “The Beatles” {there WERE four of ’em} kept calling, but Elvis wouldn’t take the calls. Well, of course, if it was one of ’em, they’d want a ticket, and he was already on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Now, Lennon had his “hotline,” so maybe, but perhaps someone knew of the special, and wanted to up the ante: the “do or die” ante of the show itself. In other words, let him know: “the Beatles know about this NOW, and if you flop, you’re through.” Why would Binder want to even make him more nervous? Well, because the nerves were kicking him in the ass: you either blow everybody else in the business off the stage, or it’s all over. But why now? What’s the point of Binder doing it now? I think he’s sincere in this belief, but I do not believe it, either. It was a highly closed set. And who knew about the improv segment, or his “comeback” to live performing. Well, there was one guy there, one of his guys who did NOT get on the stage: LAMAR! Jerry had parted ways, Richard was gone, Marty was working at American Studios back in Memphis, Alan was there, and he rarely came out west, but he was there. Hmmm. Alan got on the air. And was promptly run off by the others. Especially, I guess, Lamar. Well, ok, Charlie was on the air, but he was like attached or something. And that’s it. There really wasn’t anyone else at the time. And the one who would be most annoyed would be Lamar. And HE had Dylan’s line, all right! Now, maybe it was JUST him wanting Elvis to think “the Beatles” were watching.” But Bob KNEW how badly the publicity stunt, uh, “meeting” went in ’65, how Lennon seemed to be rubbing Elvis’s nose in the dirt about the films . . . so if Steve had said “Dylan’s on the phone” it might have been quite different. One thing he would not allow was a full-blown attack: “Goin’ To Acapulco” rocked Marcus: “it wasn’t even a rumor!” He seemed pissed that Bob held out on him. It WAS a great performance, and it also was not “fooling around” like with the smutty Bobby Bare thing. Shoot, Elvis himself did that sort of thing with whomever. No biggie. But “Acapulco” was no joke. It was serious as cancer, as they say. It would have really hurt him at the time, so he kept it tightly under wraps. And he could do that. But one thing he knew was that Elvis WAS ashamed of those films. He told a bunch of people. He knew. Acapulco was a way for Dylan to discharge his OWN frustrations that mirrored his caged colleague. But he didn’t want him to HEAR IT! Or, by the way, taunt him by “calling,” thus letting him know, that HE, TOO, was watching. But what if he got ahold of Lamar, right through Bob Johnston: easy! And said: “call there, and say it’s “The Beatles”. That’ll get the motor running, boy! He’s got, like a score to settle there.
    I mean, I think Bob sincerely, even quite desperately wanted him to succeed. I’ve seen that ’69 book that just came out, and the NME reporter got Bob on the phone, and he was practically hysterical! Just jumping up and down, practically. With joy. A miracle had happened.
    Maybe, just maybe, he had something to do with it. Lennon was really sorry he had said the wrong things that night. I don’t think he’d want to intrude while the special was being made, even if he knew anything about it, which I doubt. But Dylan had a source to know ALL about it, and a personal interest in, well, kicking him in the ass to give it all he had at the time. And that’s exactly what happened. One thing, though: Lamar never got on the air because Steve liked Alan. He seemed nice. Lamar did not.
    There’s a sweet moment between Alan and DJ: after they know the EP had gotten “over the hump” of terror and was slammin’ it, they grabbed each other’s fingers, and slipped ’em appart in triumph.
    Perhaps Lamar thought he was entitled to that moment. They just ran Alan off. It was pretty ugly. {Imagine a Jewish guy nicknamed “Hog Ears” and he’s cool with it! That’s Memphis for ya. But Alan didn’t seem the type to complain about much. He thought Elvis was using a few of the guys as “guinea pigs” with Acid, but the fact is that Elvis was pretty far into it himself by then: I think he just wanted a “sober” look at it, to see if he looked too foollish. Hell, he did. “I see angels in the sprinkler heads! They’re coming out of the sprinklerheads! Don’t you see them?” Priscilla even lied to her parents about how many times she did it. Elvis also did hash: this came out in sworn depositions, later. And into the ’70s: he didn’t stop that in ’66.}
    Anyway, I think this sort of “mirror-image” effect is vital to understanding Dylan, and not just for a short while. This was what got him into the business in the first place, and what gave him the courage to “come back” himself, and may well have played a role in “Jesus made the room move.”
    It just seems so clear to me.
    Other people see other things. I see him and Suze listening to Elvis records while her folks and sister were going to IMPORTANT MEETINGS OF A POLITAL NATURE. And they were listening to joyous music and, uh, “gonna rip it up, and ball tonight!”
    That’s very “political” in its way. Isn’t it?

  42. R M Says:

    I’ve been thinking again, so you know something scary is coming your way, but I now cannot separate it anymore. You know, one can look at those photos, condemn impolite and uncivil conduct, and so forth, but you know what? BOB HAD IT COMING! Because I don’t think Springsteen has even the horse-sense to know what a disgusting horrifying thing he said in that Hall of Fame induction remark: “Bob freed the mind the way Elvis freed the body.” See, yeah, Springsteen said this thing, which dismissed everyone from Hank Williams to Sister Rosetta Tharpe to B.B. King {“Nobody loves like my mama, and she may be jivin’ too”: and that’s the whole freakin’ song! Can Dylan every top poetry like that? Man, that’s Bob’s life, and maybe billions of others, too!} But, they were all “anti-intellectual” morons who wiggled and jiggled and had no minds. NO MIND! And I’ve checked out the ‘net and practically NO ONE has YET complained! It doesn’t just reject Elvis by any means! Oh no, it doesn’t reject “him” at all: it rejects the traditions which he synthesized and to which he moved his “body.” The remark, which Bob has never overtly addressed, the great oral tradition that used to be called “hillbilly” and “race” are simply rejected as “anti-intellectual” {Bruce says this in his speech, which Landau and Marsh JUST may have had a little to do with, whether directly or indirectly}. Bob’s OWN tradition, without which he’d be NOWHERE, a performing space where performer and audience were essentially one voice, Vox Sola, where body and mind were a synergy where the body illuminated the mind and the mind moved the body. All of this tradition, going back at least over a 100 years to the first slave spirtuals, and back before that to the ballads brought to the dire poverty of Appalachia, where people who could not “read or write” wrote music with the minds, bodies, and souls. And they didn’t “write it down.” What would Woody Guthrie think of this disgusting thing that Bruce said with total impunity, even applause?! And the only person who can really say anything that people will listen to is Bob himself. “Thanks, Bruce, but NO THANKS!” And, “I never SAW Elvis Presley before he changed my life: I HEARD him, and I’ve ALWAYS said that, and I guess always will, because that’s what happened.” Bob HEARD a voice, but it was an “embodied” voice that most of all, made you FEEL your thoughts, and thus sent him on his way. Bruce said the “snare” on “Like a Rolling . . .” was what kicked open his “mind.” A sound? How about D.J. Fontana’s snare on “Hound Dog”? Hell, that song doesn’t even both ASKING how one “feels”; it tells you. “I want to KILL YOU!”: that’s “Hound Dog,” by Elvis Presley, but you cannot have even a fragment of a brain to enjoy that song without taking the next step: “why do you want to kill this person? I mean, you probably won’t actually do anything like that, but you want to, clearly, so why?” Not something as vague and amorphous as “how does it feel?” but “I am so angry I could LITERALLY explode, and I want YOU to guess why!” Now, that is INTELLECTUAL! You see Elvis ripping his anger on that stage, especially in ’57, when he knew he’d be drafted into an Army that was killing, and did kill his cousin, and after a life of dire poverty and literally back-breaking work which amounted to NOTHING, of tears shed over the dead corpses of babies who lacked all pre-natal care {that is freely available today, and was NOT provided by LBJ, but by Richard Nixon, a close friend of JFK, something you can’t say about LBJ, despite “Party”}, and God Awmighty, SO MUCH MORE! Kids who tormented him in segregated schools because he lived in the N. Green St. neighborhood, the land OWNED by a black man, and they hated that, and he hated those boys who cut his guitar strings, and really didn’t care that much more for those who showed pity and selfishness by getting him new ones {hell, they wanted their entertainment!}, but had not the vehicle for expression – until HE DID. Elvis was the one who asked the questions by NOT being vague, but expression absolutely EXPLOSIVE anger, anger so explosive, it moved his whole body time and again: yeah, in the beginning, he enjoyed toying with the “frustrated, old” press, but once he made the record, the song was no longer a joke. When he did his “Hound Dog National Anthem,” causing people to stand up, place their hands on their hearts as they were taught in school, and then tore into THEIR OWN ANTHEM: the anthem of those who had no anthem of their own, that’s when a “snare drum” and a guitar that sounded like a machine gun, and a voice that could slice granite as if it were butter, “kicked open THE MIND.” {my emphasis} You HAD TO THINK, once you caught your breath and finally calmed down. All the crap of YOUR LIFE found expression in YOUR OWN ANTHEM, which contradicted the “real” one, and it wasn’t “pretty” like “This Land Is Your Land,” BECAUSE IT IS NOT! Nice thought, but Elvis’s “Hound Dog National Anthem” of demand for redress of ALL the s–t that most of the audience had gone through or were going through. A DEMAND! Not a polite query, no matter how hard he sang it, Dylan’s “how does it feel” does not express the kind of fury as the earlier “Anthem.” Yeah, sometimes it feels bad to be alone, and sometimes it feels good. Ladeedah. A great song, but no match AT ALL for what Elvis put his whole soul, and even “body” into. And everyone ELSE’S body was involved as well! And, hot damn, nobody could “boo” because it was just pure truth. This world had f’d over the worlds of most in those arenas and stadiums, and now they had a space of expression to SAY SO! “You AIN’T NOTHIN’ but a Hound Dog-uh!” And, by the way, you ain’t no friend o’ mine. Does it get ANY MORE BOLDLY “political” THAN THAT? Is Bruce really that much of a moron to think that the “movement” he sees in Elvis’s many movements, in Berry’s Duckwalk, in Jerry Lee setting fire to a piano, not for “shock” really, but because he HAD TO, in James Brown’s choreographed re-enactments of what he saw REAL gospel singers do so many times: fall down to their knees, not in prayer, but in spiritual exhaustion. In asking God “why?” and never getting a damn answer! Why should Bob bother to say “play it f’g LOUD!”? What would be the difference, unless he WAS furious, and that “loudness” had NO WORDS, but was rich with meaning: much more so than the words could ever express. And anyway, he never sang “WHAT DO YOU THINK?!” Hell, THAT record, if he would have been dumb enough to do it, would have sank like a stone, and not a rollin’ one, either. Instead, he asked about “the body”: how does it “feel”!? You “feel” with anger, with tears, with violence, with lovemaking of all sorts, but you don’t “think”: you FEEL! And Bob knew this BECAUSE he was a member of Hound Dog Nation {and Bruce really was not, or he would never have said something so stupid and offensive}. Oh, it’s not about “age.” Bob knows that much. And he knows he was “bum rushed.” Interesting that he has had no statement about his poor treatment by those whose history he allowed Bruce to dismiss, reject and call “dumb.”
    Not much difference, really, then, from what E. Costello DID say, when you think about it. Why, Bob brought poetry, and propriety, and grace to popular music, and got rid of all that n-word, white trash illiterate garbage. Yeah, if you were a little kid, it was fun to “wiggle along with Elvis,” but he’s grown, since. He’s “an intellectual” now: he knows that Elvis and Jerry and Chuck and Richard and Mahalia, and Satchmo, and Charlie Parker, and Duke Ellington, and the Carter Family, and well, hell, ALL OF IT before Bob came along to bring in “poetic civility and intellectualism” to rock music, well, of it WAS MERDE! S–T!! Worthless junk to actually “listen” to: why, back then, it was “freedom” to wiggle around, because, of course, no one had ever done that before {which is a total lie, and Elvis would be the FIRST to tell you, if he could}, but we all GREW UP, and that was kid stuff and stupid. Why, all those rednecks and n-words, they were all STUPID AND ILLITERATE! It’s THEIR NATURE, AFTER ALL! Why, without Bob, we wouldn’t have a band called {he actually said this}, “the Electric Prunes.” And we “might not” have had “Grandmaster Flash.” Notice “might”? For a moment, a shred of realization crept in. The morons really didn’t NEED Bob’s “poetry” to make their own, after all. And Bruce, mid-speech, comes to this realization, and probably should have before he ever GAVE the speech, but still, he persisited. And he said it: “all you hillbillies, and rednecks, and crackers, and n-words: you were all morons before Bob!”
    And NO ONE, apparently, has raised their voices in dissent! That he’s like the ultimate hypocrite! He does a song called “41 Shots” about a teenager from Africa who showed some cops his wallet, and they shot him full of 41 bullets. Gosh, that Bruce REALLY CARES! He’s such a compassionate sort. But when it comes to discussing the art of those people who aren’t “poets” or who were not “freed by the poet” well, hell, they’re just ignorant n-words, just like Costello said. You can say it “nicely” as Bruce did {though it doesn’t sound nice to me}, or you can use the actually ethnic and racial slurs. What the hell is the difference? Since Bruce was NEVER gonna apologize for what he said, the ball was utterly in Bob’s court. All he had to do when he took the award is to say that “Elvis, and Chuck Berry, and Little Richard, and hundreds of others MOVED MY MIND with every sound they made, with every feeling they expressed, body and soul, and mind. Elvis’s surreal re-imagining of “Mystery Train” is far more profound in its implications than probably anything I’ll ever do, and I do not say this with any condescension: I mean it, and that’s why it hurt me when he got lost in those travelogues and why his death totally freaked me out, because he, like quite a few others who came before me, was a genuine genius. I can only hope to live up to the best of the music that insprired me, and continued to do so. He was only a few years older than me, but it never felt like that. I felt respect, and sometimes anger, and lots of sadness, but always respect. I appreciate your respect, Bruce, but not at Elvis Presley’s expense: that’s all I’m saying. I’ve always felt that his music moved him to a kind of existential ecstasy, if ya dig. I’d just like to say that: no disrespect, Bruce, but I’d just like to say that. Thank you, Bruce, and thank The Hall for inducting me.”
    Got that off my chest.
    Now, the problem is that I wasn’t aware of the quote when it happened, and so I can’t go raging to anyone who can hold their feet to the fire. It’s too late. It’s part of the language. “Elvis freed THE BODY.” All body, no brains. Gosh, when I go on a site and point out how Elvis changed melodies, chord progressions and lyrics to make new songs, they say: “look, I like him, but he was just “an interpreter.” And they don’t even know what the hell an “interpreter” is! “Interpreters” do not writer arrangements and charts! Elvis did. Interpreters do not invent new “folk” songs like “Milkcow Blues Boogie” or completely re-write songs, or write instrumentals, or . . . Elvis was NOT Frank Sinatra, who “phrased” and did a little conducting. {Elvis did that too! And in front of a LARGE crowd, at age 25: try that, Frankie Boy!} He did felt responsible for songwriters, but not to their songs, which he changed as he saw fit. And dammit, he DID some writing, but his contract cut him out of any royalties, and basically forbade it. He was a genius, for REAL, and did not deserve this, nor did all those others, without which there’d be NO BOB!
    Bob, you HAVE “drifted too far from the shore.” It’s time you dissociated yourself from this statement: you know he was intelligent, and you know how much he acheived with so few resources at his disposal compared to you. Say something dammit. Bruce does NOT deserve better, because what he said was disgusting. If you really respect Chuck Berry, then dissasociate yourself from this statement. Hell, YOU never used the word “Vietnam” in a song, but like you, Elvis did “Too Much Monkey Business” {w/out stealing Berry’s royalties}, and he said it – condemned it {“Vietnam” was “too much Monkey Business” for me to be involved in” – it was as far as he was permitted to go}, making his strong feelings known, only through music, because he couldn’t otherwise.
    P.S.: See, True Believers, we DON’T necessarily agree! That’s what a discussion is for! It doesn’t mean I have to disrespect the person who has been kind enough to allow me this place to vent. And start NEW discussions, hopefully more respectfully than YOURS over there, where you dissed us both.

  43. R M Says:

    One more thing. Perhaps if Bob had SAID something like this, respecting the tradition that produced him, maybe those guys would not have bum rushed the stage! I’m probably wrong, but it certainly would have gone a long way to showing respect for the performers who essentially created him: everyone stands on tall shoulders. He can blather about Chuck all he wants, but letting that racist, elitist comment stand, and that’s what it is, pure and simple: the oral tradition of which Elvis was a significant part is made up of illiterate fools who “shake their booties.” Which is what Bruce said, period.
    If, maybe, Bob had come out and rejected this, perhaps he wouldn’t have been “bum rushed.” I dunno. Maybe not. But at this point, until he directly does so, he deserves what he gets. They didn’t physically hurt him: they “dissed him.” And maybe he had it coming, whether they know about that disgusting remark or not. Because Elvis was singing black music authentically – and yeah, it “moved” him, and young people know it now: young musicians do. 50 Cent is a MAJOR Elvis fan, and couldn’t give a rip about Bob and his “poetry.” Anyone who’s heard the blues sides of those Sun Records KNOWS Elvis was damn well a poet, and when he reached, really stretched, a freakin’ great one! He broke rules you never break: you never stop a train, or order it to your will. But he not only did; he changed the chords, the melody, and inverted the words. And infused the music with a sense of pure joy that Bob could never touch. And hey, Bruce, THAT is poetry.
    You know, in Vegas, there’s a new hotel, and their big thing is the Circe De Soleil with the Elvis theme. Critics, of course, say the Beatles show is “more tasteful.” ‘natch. Thanks, Bruce. But, anyway, there’s a moment in the show, which I have not seen yet, but can’t wait. I gotta tell you.
    There’s a gigantic guitar, and two indentically dressed young men, hanging from it. One falls into the darkness to his ‘death,’ as the other yells desperately: “Jesse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
    As this happens, a young woman dressed simply in a tank and jeans, sings “One Night With You” as a ballad. The “clean” one with the lyrics that Elvis was forced to re-write. They were gonna ask the songwriters to do it, but Elvis told RCA that it was no problem: he’d do it, and they’d be well satisfied.
    And he did. The “clean” lyrics are all written by Elvis Presley, with no credit, of course. The songwriter(s) themselves have said this. “He did that himself.”
    So, she sings his words slowly, as a ballad. For Jesse, who fell into the darkness of death.
    “One Night with you is what I’m now prayin’ for/the things that we two could plan would make my dreams come true/Just call my name, and I’ll be right by your side; I need your sweet helping hand, my love’s too strong to hide/
    Always lived a very quiet life; I ain’t never did no wrong, but life without you has been too lonely too long/ One Night with you is what I’m now prayin’ for; the things that we two could plan, would make my dreams come true!”
    The gall of the publisher to not say “words by Elvis Presley” is maddening, even puzzling to the original writers {EP had changed the lyrics around A LOT on the original, too, but ok} who said of the new lyrics, so simply “he did that himself.” The guy knew Elvis, or met him at least. So the publishers’ meanness when they knew it was so easy to BE mean is horrible.
    But at least now, sung as a ballad, without the New Orleans triplets, but just a pure, simple ballad, all you hear are his words of profound aloneness, all the days of his short, mostly miserable life.
    He couldn’t even spend “one night” with his sweet brother. {Another sibling also died while she was in labor, in ’42. At the tender age of seven, so small he was unable to drive the vehicle without standing up on the seat, somehow operated the clutch and got her there. They were both covered in blood. Gladys, always hurting for the rent, asked about the money: “we’ll get the money for ‘people like you'” – as the little boy listened, a nurse remembered in the early 1980s, then Gladys said “what about my child?” They said they’d call Vernon in Memphis, where he was working, and try to get Uncle Noah. The little boy, who’d heroically gotten his mother and {unbeknownst to him} dead sibling to the hospital, just sat there, smeared with blood, and waited. He was frightened, and he cried when Uncle Noah came in that old school bus. He was frightened for Mama and his baby brother or sisiter. Uncle Noah told him that Mama was just fine. “But what about my brother, or sister?” “Well, your daddy only knows about that: once he comes, you’ll know how everything worked out. Let’s go.”
    And at the still tender age of 22, he wrote of his lifelong lonliness: “the things that we two could plan, would make my dreams come true!”
    P.S. — sc’ you, Bruce! Elvis had a mind, dammit!
    And, let’s face it, Bob was “the brother {EP} never had.” A year younger than that baby a 1st-grader tried to save. {Right around the time of Bob’s b’day.} Yeah, I know that’s “reductionism,”: I stand accused. It probably didn’t even cross Bob’s mind, but since it did mine, I’ll think of it that way.
    Heck, it wouldn’t have done Bob any harm to dig Jackie Wilson at The Trip on Sunset, and learn what it means for the music to “move” you.
    See y’all,

  44. R M Says:

    OLDER. Bob was a year OLDER than the dead sibling!

  45. reprindle Says:

    Goodness gracious, Robin, let it out, let it all out. Good to purge the soul once in a while. I’ve got nothing against a good Springsteen bashing. While we’re at it throw in Billy Joel, David Bowie and Elton John. All minor derivative talents. Never listened to any of ’em when I didn’t have to. Never could figure out their popularity. Actually, I could. When the giants of the sixties and early seventies moved on the lesser talents kept on going and were better than anything wanting to replace them.

    If Springsteen thought there was no thought or ‘poetry’ BD he wasn’t listening. What can you say about an academy that doesn’t even consider Donovan for membership. Get those old dinosaurs off the board.

    I recently ordered Albert Goldman’s Elvis and Marcus’ Dead Elvis. As I understand it Lamarr Fike wrote his expose that then Goldman incorporated into his Elvis and then trashed Elvis. Is that right?

    In my attempt to organize the sixties I’m about to start an essay on Lennon, actually part one is already posted. The essay will be titled: This Magic Moment and places the concept of messianism into the sixties mentality. Of course I will begin with the first ‘god’, Elvis when he announced himself on the Ed Sullivan show when in his ‘magic moment’ he was recognized by his flock.

    Then as a ‘god’ he opened the doors for all the epigoni of the fifties while preparing the way for the Beatles who announced themselves on the same stage of the Sullivan Show ten years later.

    Denying Presley any intellectuality is of course absurd and motivated by the fact that he is a hillbilly from the despised State of Mississippi. For me of course that gives the Tupelo Mississippi Flash the highest credibility.

    To deny him is merely to accept the crushing power used against him by both the US Government and the Jewish government of Hollywood as legitimate.

    That Elvis fought these incredibly powerful forces and rose above them defeating them during his lifetime and since shows his strength and intelligence. That he exhausted himself in the effort and died early means nothing.

    Of course we can’t know what was on his mind when he invaded Washington DC alone and requested to see President Nixon. Further Nixon immediately made time for him. That is strictly on Elvis personal authority. Nixon openly clasped hands in a respectful shake with the Caped Crusader.

    Now compare that with the picture of Dylan with his hand seemingly in Obama’s crotch. Dylan may have Obama’s hand but we can’t see it. Note the angle Obama’s photographer used. Obama remains seated having his hand along his thigh. Thus Dylan has to reach down and bow to seek an unextended hand. This is an insult of the first magnitude.

    In the way of demeaning handshakes this is one of the worst. For instance, Lew Wasserman of Universal always, we are told, held his hand against his abdomen belt high so that one had to reach one’s hand out and place it in his. Thus you shook his hand, he not yours.

    Somewhat along the demeaning offer of a finger or two of which I am sure you are familiar.

    Who the hell is John Mellencamp and why was this talentless twit who wasn’t even there in the sixties invited? What does he have to do with Dylan and Baez?

  46. R M Says:

    You have an interesting post up above here, and I’ll get to it momentarily, but I have found something on EP that is truly like finding actual “gold” at Knotts’ Berry Farm {in-joke: the gold there is so miniscule it doesn’t count}. Anyway, this would be like actually finding a chunch of the real thing.
    They won’t let you give the web address to the photos, so I have to give you the page, but it’s worth it. This is like CARBON DATING the exact time when Elvis Presley “died” before he died. And it happened very quickly, almost suddenly.
    Here’s the address, but don’t go until I tell you what to look for:
    Ok. The matter of the “prototype Stutz” for which “Sir Gerald,” a professional driver, took the rap for completely totalling this important car. Mostly, Elvis drove it, but it was claimed that the driver was taking it to get it washed. It was so badly destroyed {and this was an expensive mother—-er in 1970! They didn’t want to give it to him, but they thought it good publicity. They were unaware of two things: he often drove at 160 mph, and he was often stoned out of his gourd}. Anyway, in one picture, the one where they hand over the “keys,” Elvis looks much like he did TWO YEARS LATER: his face puffy, his hair all sprayed brittle, and with a kind of pasty complexion. It is clear that something is wrong. It is October, very soon after the dual deaths of Jimi and Janis.
    In another picture, clearly taken either before the actual “key” ceremony {which it looks like}, or shortly thereafter, on a “good day,” you see the Elvis of the rockumentary “That’s The Way It Is,” looking young, healthy, trim, and tanned.
    In the car is a man. This man is the REASON for the, uh, “carbon dating.” His name is “John O’Grady” and he was hired by Elvis’s lawyer to work a paternity suit that infuriated Elvis, because “guilty” though he was generally, this one he didn’t do. When O’Grady first met him, he met a young man who great-looking, but who demonstrated signs of serious drug abuse. He noticed it first while administering a lie-detector test, and saw that his breathing was not right: it was too labored for someone his age and apparent physical condition. He also noticed some other signs that an ordinary person might not notice. O’Grady was a retired narc cop for LAPD. He almost immediately reported what he noticed to Elvis’s father, Vernon, who became very upset, naturally, and asked if O’Grady would work for him while working the suit. O’Grady agreed, but he wanted to be paid, and Vernon complied. O’Grady was now a double agent. O’Grady informed Vernon that the best he could do was to find the sources and try to “scare them off,” which seemed okay to Vernon – or worth the money, in any case.
    But O’Grady decided to do MORE. And this is where it all happened, and clearly, it happened right away. O’Grady investigated a number of “rock stars,” none of which he liked, because he detested rock, “hippie elements,” and “dissenters.” Elvis had chosen the Karate name “Mr. Panther” in Kang Rhee’s Memphis studio before meeting O’Grady, but all of a sudden said it was a problem because of “its political implications.” This from the singer of “In The Ghetto,” “If I Can Dream” and a number of others. Earlier, I think ’69, he left a note on Parker’s desk in his own handwriting {and it was still good!} that said: “Borrowed your Black Panther. Will return.” Elvis’s typically sly, dry sense of humor, and a little dig at the Col. for whatever reasons. But after meeting O’Grady, he told Kang Rhee that he want to drop “Panther” because of what it implied, and take “Tiger.” Elvis was changing, or so it appeared. And changing FAST.
    O’Grady just did not like rock music of the time, and didn’t like what Elvis himself had been singing, which frankly was none of his business. Since Elvis was always in search of tough, caring authority figures {looking for “Mama,” of course}, he listened to O’Grady and what he told him was coming within the next 6 months or so, especially because of “Jimi/Janis.” Elvis had been very upset about Hendrix’s death because, 1)he dug his guitar-playing, 2)Because he had toured with Little Richard at a very young age, which was cool, and 3)because it was well-known among industry insiders, even early on, that Hendrix’s death was a screw-up by the medics, who, in laying him on his back, allowed him to choke to death. And Elvis reviled just such an injustice: it was just the type of thing to piss him off.
    O’Grady, meanwhile, just thought they were all “bad.” Probably including Elvis, but hey! There might be hope. Elvis seemed malleable, but O’Grady didn’t understand that as a man ten or more years Elvis’s senior, he was immediately that authority figure he always sought. O’Grady has said, on the record, that he thought it would be “good for him” if he developed an interest in police work, narcotics work, and badge collecting. {Dragnet Theme} Instead of cutting back on the drugs, Elvis realized he had “an in” and what with O’Grady told him about the drug laws changing so that he would not so easily obtain what he had been, and customs would be a real bear, well, Elvis started thinking hard and using even harder. Soon, his handwriting deteriorated. This is established by more than just the “Nixon Letter” but elsewhere. And then O’Grady, sometime in about November, introduced him to Paul Frees, the “voice guy” in Hollywood. He was very, very, very conservative {you don’t even come close, and besides, I think you’re probably more Libertarian, anyway}, and he had a FEDERAL NARCOTICS BADGE. He said it was legit, and that he could go anywhere he wanted and flash it, and everyone would just step aside. THIS badge was POWERFUL.
    Elvis, naturally, had to have it as a sort of “flak jacket” for the coming “War On Him,” uh, War On Drugs.
    So, in early December, he somehow arranged a meeting with Gen. Omar Bradley to learn a few things. Not much there, though. He remembered a chick, who worked in D.C. on some defense subcommittee. Real hawkish chick, he thought. And he was correct, but really, she wasn’t thinking “politics” when it came to Elvis, okay? Anyway, he renewed the relationship, and shall we say, uh, “pumped” her for information{clearing throat} and once got so worked up a televised flag-burning, that she told him to “knock it off”: she just didn’t buy it. After all, this was a guy who had like three girls going at once and lied to each of them! He did “knock it off.” “Just wanted you to ‘trust me,’ he told her. She said she didn’t “trust him” anyway, for other reasons. He sulked a bit.
    And also in December, he walked down the street in Palm Springs, and knocked on Spriro Agnew’s door {in The Letter, he spelled his name “agnew”: small case}. Only did that with his own middle name because Jesse Garon was dead, and felt he didn’t deserve the first, capital “A” while in life. He told this to people. So, it’s a telling “mistake.”
    Anyway, he got an EARFUL about this coming “WAR ON DRUGS”! And he became, as the Bible says, “sore afraid.” He wanted so very badly to tour England, but he’d have to make it through customs. Never having travelled outside the service, he had no idea how the process worked, except that it looked real scary. And was to become scarier.
    He found out from his “Sheriff in a Pocket” Bill Morris, that since he was 35, he was eligible for the Jaycees “Ten Most Outstanding Young Men of America” award. Most of the men were in their 30s at time of their award: perfect. A “pillar of the community”! He somehow talked his way into the award, and not only that, but got them to give it to him in Memphis. He wore a “Fur Suit” to the Prayer Breakfast at which he got his medal, and completed his speech by telling the breakfasters: “thank you. Good night.” Yes, there were tears in his eyes, but we’ll never really know why. Did he really think that “proper Memphis” had “accepted” him? After what he went through with Adodaban Drive, and the Circle G Ranch from ’66 to early ’68 {“I want to have my own commune!” he actually said; the neighbors said he had his own “trailer park” and this was a place for “gentleman farmers,” not a trailer park with boisterous young men on motorcycles making a racket night and day, and so he leased it, and then sold it}. Did he really beleive that things had changed so quickly? Well, he knew what to say, and he said those things.
    Late in the year, spurred on by O’Grady’s investigation for Vernon – in part, there was a titanic fight at Graceland, and Elvis roared off after promising that he was “never coming back.”
    He ended up in the Oval Office, and came home with his “Special Assistant” badge, which frustrated him, because it was NOT what he wanted: he wanted it to say “Federal Agent-At-Large.” No such title existed, but he wanted it. He wrote the drug guy again in Washington, begging, and then got Morris to arrange a tour of the FBI building, and wrote to Hoover himself, typed, this time. It was SO over the top that no one there believed any of it. Finlator was quite sick of him. He entered the buiding with a gun stashed loosely under his belt. {Didn’t use his holster, and knew if he bent down to tie his shoes [yes, he wore shoes with laces!], it would fall righ out. He had hoped to meet with Hoover as he had with Dick. No dice. “The director would not want to meet such a person.” Some pillar of the community.}
    In the Hoover Letter, he lifts stuff right out of Dr. Strangelove! I wonder if they knew.
    You know: the guy says he has “a lot to answer for what I’ve done” in the afterlife, which Elvis called “the hereafter.” He had previously showed the gun to the Brit. general. This was Gen. Jack D. Ripper: the Am. Gen. who “went funny.” The Brit. was stunned and terrified. Guns will often do that to folks. Ripper then went into the bathroom and shot himself with it, thus “answering for what he had done.” He said he thought he could. Elvis mentioned some counterculture “fiends” who he knew Hoover detested, and then said they would have to answer for what they’d done in the hereafter. But he didn’t send THEM a gun, or such a warning. He intended that, for Hoover. I’m sure Hoover was sure HE could answer for what he’d done, but you never know.
    Then the Brit. figures out the code. Gets into a pay phone and tries to call the President, directly {Elvis crashed the Oval Office, AND later called Jimmy Carter and got through!}. It was a veritable blueprint for his actions. Indeed, he “was the hero in the movies” as he told the breakfasters before their “good night.”
    But he still didn’t get that badge! He waited for several months: Hoover finally sent a letter of “thanks” or something. But, see, he was never in. The gun fell out in the bathroom. And he got away with it.
    In fact, O’Grady’s scheme for “helping him” only helped him to get away with more and more drug-taking, and knowing he could get away with a whole lotta stuff! By mid-’71, Elvis’s marriage was as good as dead, Joyce says she had an abortion and the relationship ended {big surprise, although I don’t believe the abortion story, because no other woman he actually dated has ever said such a thing happened to her}, and his drug-taking grew to epic proportions, along with his badge and gun collection.
    And you can literally “carbon-date” the change to that photo of gorgeous, hip young Elvis in that care with O’Grady, who only turbo-charged the drug situation.
    Vernon, not knowing what the hell to do with his “Outstanding Young Man,” called upon the P.I. again in ’73, who repeated some of what he did, and delivered a written report to Vernon, and to Parker. Elvis was a junkie. Hell, they knew that.
    In ’74, after Elvis found out he had been a double-agent, he showed up at a Vegas show for which I have the audio. He dedicated a song to O’Grady.
    The song was “Suspicious Minds.”
    Now, I’ll read your post. Please look at the photos; it’s amazing: he changed so suddenly. It even looks as though his personality was changing {and it was}.

  47. R M Says:

    Ok, last question is BEST QUESTION! Mellencamp is a talentless fraud who grabbed on to Willie Nelson’s ponytails in an effort to save his already dead career after two records. Farm Aid. Which is now just a suicide hotline. Very sad, but that “Johnny Cougar” as he was first known in the biz used the misery of these folks to try to maintain a semblance of a career is creepy beyond words.
    Ever heard “Small Town”? He is the single worst “attempted songwriter” in the history of music! One word. He rhymes ONE WORD. The entire song. And it means NOTHING.
    About ’82 or so, when kids were playing Pac-Man. That was his era. Michael Jackson erased him from the charts {thank somebody}, and he became desperate, so he became “concerned with people.” A total charade. Took his “real name back” which is supposed to mean something. But HE SUCKS! Oh, and Prince, Bruce, Cyndi, Madonna, etc. also laid waste to what he thought would be a career.
    As for that handshake, well, you know Dylan doesn’t do anything “normally.” But if it was after he was “bum-rushed,” I guess he was pissed. Obama has said, with finality, that he dislikes all contemporary music: he likes jazz. Some classical. Doesn’t like rock ‘n’ roll, Heavey Metal, Lite Metal, you name it. Doesn’t like R&B and was absolutely HEARTLESS to Michael Jackson’s mother in refusing for like a MONTH to make a weak statement as to his importance in music history. Hell, if he was only a child singer, he’d be among the greats; Obama was an ass. An ass who forgot one thing: we are ALL “innocent until proven guilty.” Now, I’m not stupid about this: I know more than almost anyone, and he probably was, but HE IS DEAD, and therefore cannot hurt or help anyone anymore. The only concern should be music and performance, and the decency of the FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT to acknowledge the significance of the first black mega-mega-star and the fact that he alone carried on the tradition of “the crying blues” initiated by Roy Brown, held aloft by Jackie Wilson, and Elvis, and there was also a blues element of “King Snake Moans” which his younger imitators sound ridiculous when they try to do it. That little background “his eyes were like mine/ohhh nooo” moan in “Billie Jean” is really beyond most of what Bob ever did. And I know you probably never saw him live, but I did, twice. Totally diff. each time: the critics were wrong. In the Garden, it was intense and highly sexual: during Billie . . . I sort of felt my soul float above me, and then settle in the rafters. Forever.
    In the Meadowlands arena, it was a much longer show, loose, lotta call and response, and way fun. But that guy in front of me, with that hot dog covered in smelly relish and mustard and whatall really almost ruined for me. {grin, but I’m serious}
    So, Obama should have said something, because historically, he owes him. He contributed much money to the dems – which Clinton acknowledged along with a kind send-off, while Barry still couldn’t figure out what to say. When he did, it wasn’t even a “statement.” It was in the middle of talking about something else. That he was “talented” or something. Just a disgraceful lack of “props,” as the kids say. And he’s of an age to know better, but he thought he WAS BETTER than his age-mates: he liked Billie Holiday and Frankie Boy, etc. He had “class,” whereas the rest of us morons were, well, morons with no class.
    He’ll go down with that elitisism, too! Because at a certain point it can turn to cruelty. Clinton said the most important thing Elvis taught him was “don’t be cruel.” Simple as that. It was hurtful that Nelson Mandela sent a sympathy note to the public memorial, but Obama deliberately ignored it. This was not for HIM: he was already DEAD! It was for his mother, his sisters, and us low-class fans back when we were in young twenties {and younger} when the “explosion” exploded and we walked a moon of joy.
    Obama was ABOVE that, then, and so to now. And he’ll never understand the people if he thinks “Mellencamp” is worth more. A total no-talent at all levels.
    Sure, MJ screwed up big time. And he did some wrong things. And he came to know it, which is why he chose the method of death that he did. Yes, the doc assisted, but it was clearly a suicide.
    To not have compassion by saying a single line . . . shows he’s just not a nice man.
    Hillary would have remembered when a young Chelssea spun in her bedroom, in joyousness. And said something appropriate without condoning his personal conduct. Which no longer counts except for a few people.
    I never condoned what he was doing. In fact, by letting him go, that jury killed him.
    As for Johnny Cougar Mellencamp, who gives a damn? Whose soul did he ever touch with his crappy “music”? Michael touched mine, and millions of others. And Obama dissed US, not him.
    Personally, I don’t care for jazz. Just a few numbers here and there. But I would be decent enough, if I would in that position, to say the proper things about, say, Sinatra, even if I DID think he was a hood.
    Ya dig?
    For me, jazz influence R&B; other than that, eh.
    Dylan usually manages to get in the appropriate dig. And I know he’s trying to “restore” Elvis’s intelligence to him “he played with the Beatles’s heads”! Wow! Who knew Elvis was smart enough to do THAT?
    But he won’t go at Bruce. It’s time for some courage, man.

  48. R M Says:

    Oh God! You asked about Albert Goldman! He was AN ANIMAL!!!!!!!!
    After he trashed Lennon so spitefully, he died on an airplane. Coincidence. See what happened was an argument at the counter or gate. Didn’t get his proper ticket. Lotta carryin’ on, ’cause he was SPECIAL. Well, he didn’t get his seat, but he got somethng. And so was somewhat satisfied. And then, on the plane, just dropped dead.
    Total coincidence is what it was. That’s what I’ve always read. Must be true.
    He was AN ANIMAL!
    Why would ANYBODY want that piece of MERDE? Called a “book.” Excuse me while thinking of Albert and I FROW UP!
    Blank Goldman and the horse he rode in on. And the plane? The shipped him home in the cargo hold!

  49. reprindle Says:

    Well, yeah, barf to Goldman. He dissed Presley and the Beatles but he didn’t diss Dylan. There’s a reason, his part in the culture wars. So, my interest is historical and cultural. Oddly enough Marcus in his Dead Elvis points out that Goldman is practicing cultural genocide. He’s destroying everything non-Jewish. The goys produced giants like Presley and the Beatles while the best the Jews have been able to do is Dylan and the Beastie Boys. That’t what Streisand and A Star Is Born was all about. They’re coming to America, whoo, whoo, ee. Hate to mention this stuff to you but is what it’s all about, like it or not. Anyway that is my interest in Goldman.

    Actually you’re on the wrong track with the Conservative-Liberal stuff. I take a more psychological approach. Freudian without Sigmund. We’re looking at psychoses, world views, Weltanschauungs. For instance a culture always acts within a very narrow and predictable range. We are now post-political and into racial politics so that every action the Semites take, I include Jews and Moslems, is absolutely predictable, known beforehand, you don’t have to ask. Same with Negroes and regretably Whites.

    Personally I always ask when facing a challenge, what do they want me to do and what do they expect me to do. Then whatever latitude circumstances allow one either runs or passes or punts or whatever. Fall on the ball. You can’t be locked into one psychological response.

    I’m amazed Whites don’t show more intelligence being so scientific and all.

    I found the Stutz Blackhawk thing very interesting. Very revealing pictures of Elvis. Amazingly confident in the pictures with the salesman, even insolent and condescending.

    There must have been some repercussions from Sinatra if he really wanted the car. Either something happened to the salesman and/or the accident was not quite so accidental. Sinatra ruled Hollywood with an iron fist with the Mob at his back. The guy was a real bastard, down at the pancreal level. From 50-53, post Eternity, to just after Kennedy’s death he was as powerful as anyone in America including Kennedy. Probably the Kennedys were trying to show him that they had the whip hand and they lost. As I see it Sinatra set the tone for the decade. Scared me to death and I wasn’t even involved. Of course because of him the thugs were all over Tahoe which I visited frequently. Frightening, man.

    He was disabused of his power because of his and the Outfit’s role in the assassination. The Rat Pack broke up shortly thereafter and he became much more modest. No more Ocean’s Elevens. Of course Giancana got hit at the same time, some coincidence, hey? Sinatra’s power base was somewhat reduced. You should study Sinatra little bit as he is important to the story. The closer you look the more you see.

    I’m getting this Warhol/Dylan/Sedgwick thing worked out a little more completely and there’s a real story there. Warhol was a master prick too. And of course the Warhol/Beatles/Ono-Lennon/ Dylan story is pretty involved also. Pull the carpet back a few feet and look at what’s been swept under it.

  50. R M Says:

    Ok. First of all, you know I don’t dig that racial type talk, but I take a tolerant view because I feel that people’s rights to speak their minds are under siege, so if you do not have your rights to go on about “Whites” etc., then I have no rights to do what I do.
    Next, I am NOT doing a “liberal-conservative” thing, but I don’t like lies and hypocrisy. These people do not understand Elvis’s politics AT ALL. Or how profoundly intellingent he really was. He was no “fortunate son.” You see? He was NO FORTUNATE SON!
    That ain’t “politics” of any “liberal” or “conservative” stripe: it’s just a person’s life and how they respond to it in a social way.
    But, if he DID have a politics, and you may not like this, it was racial: when he climbed up on that conductor’s stand on “the performance for Negroes” by the Ice Capades in 1960, it was part of the Movement at the time. It was AN ACT. And it finally could not be ignored.
    I don’t think Dylan felt that intensely at ALL about it, frankly. Black people helped the Presleys in Tupelo, and tried like the devil not to show “pity.” I can see it in how the people use their words carefully even today. He NEVER forgot.
    And he said God made two mistakes: 1, he didn’t make him black, and 2, he didn’t make him a bass singer. Kinda funny when you think of it. I mean, one seems so unimportant, but not to him.
    And he never forgot the meanness. And WHO was mean to him. I can relate to that, boy.
    Sho’ ‘huff.
    To me, there’s phony “electoral politics” which really isn’t working, and there’s just people who actually give a damn. I had thought Barry might be one of those, but now I know he’s not. He can be cold and cruel. And totally ungrateful. And lacking in grace, etc.
    The wrong person for the job. I don’t think he’s “grow out of it.” I think she would have been much better.
    But Gore said about 4 years ago, that electoral politics was “toxic.” I agree.
    But there’s a politics of the spirit. I just hope you do not condone violence. I mean, you’re not into some kinda Charlie Manson Race War thing?! Naw. I can see through that, and I don’t think that’s your thing. But I’d bet you’ve got some anger stored up; hell, so do I. We just discharge it a little differently.
    And dig the same music.
    Ain’t that America, to quote a bad songwriter!
    P.S. — And you cannot predict ME just because 3 of my grandparents are Jewish! I’ll surprise the hell out of ya from time to time.
    I’m no knee jerk “Obama is the Savior” type, and there are many. I see through him. He’s more fraudulent than anything else. He puts on airs and fronts. Inside, he doesn’t even know who or what he’s about. Maybe he isn’t really about anything at all. It’s all just advertising. The ultimate “created President.” I dunno. He can be cruel, but I don’t even think he feels it at all.
    He doesn’t really even “want to be liked” which is very weird.
    I don’t see “anger” in him, or any of that: it’s just that I don’t really see much of anything at all.
    I’m a phenomenologist. Look it up, and maybe this will all make sense. I mean, I TRY to be. But my emotions get all in the way.

  51. R M Says:

    As for Elvis shaking, I forgot something important, and it goes way, way beyond Goldman: it’s just true.
    Myrna just had a baby at the time. She was a “mother” and he started to feel something. That always freaked him out. He had a problem.
    And the source is not that simple at all.

  52. R M Says:

    Yeah, Marcus could see that Goldman had a real pro-Jewish racism thing going, plus you had to be DEAD! “I assume Bob Dylan is safe,” Marcus cracked. But Marcus, like most humans wanted to just diembowel him! He is AN ANIMAL!!
    A grotesque excuse for a human being. He was also a closet case who hated both straights and gays, and others, because he was so f’d up! And he hated women, too. For real.
    He was just disgusting. Hated blacks, too. Have I left anyone out.
    Yeah, Meir Kahane. I guess he liked him.

  53. R M Says:

    Goldman was so repulsive, he made you and Greil into running buddies! No kiddin’!


  54. R M Says:

    God, if you saw him: little glasses, pursed lips, a lithp, the whole enchilada! And elitist closet case who hated so many people, it’s hard to count. With SEXUAL PROBLEMS!
    A sicko. But mean as hell.
    I got him live on call-in TV one night. And just tore him a new one. They didn’t cut me off. They let me go on and on! It was wild, man! He was so REPULSIVE!!!!!

  55. reprindle Says:

    Sunday is usually your off day, I didn’t expect you till Monday.

    As to racial talk, like it or not it is the wave of the future and it’s being led by you know you. I don’t watch Bill Maher, had him figured from day one or maybe before, but there was a clip of him on the Daily Beast concerning this Pentagon shooter where Maher is going on about ‘How about the White wingnut…’ So whatever constituency Maher represents Whites are the detested other, the Nazis, what have you. Palestinians, you name it. This attitude is going to get worse before it gets better. So, you, I , and all are going to have deal with it. I’m not going to be intimidated.

    Goldman would have applauded Maher and where he’s coming from. It doesn’t matter what Goldman was. Now he an historical fact that has to be dealt with. You know, it’s like Hitler. The past isn’t going to go away just because you don’t like it. One uses history to understand the present and change the future. The question is how did Goldman get published with his tripe and publicized? Those are the unpleasant realities.

    Phenomenlogy seems a reasonable approach if you can work it but six of one, half dozen of another. Me and philosophy are walking down two different roads.

    I hope you don’t think I disagree with you on Presley. I’ve already said he was an exemplar of the modern man-god and a positive influence. What more can you ask? I mean, Dylan, Lennon, the Beatles, all of them claime him as their fount and inspiration.

    Life’s hard, I pity the poor immigrant, if you know what I mean.

    I think you’ve got Obama pegged. There’s nothing there but a seething cauldron of resentment and hate. He doesn’t even conceal it. He is, however, cool and disciplined. Remarkably so. He’s not going to show his teeth until the right moment that may or may not arrive.

    Just because he’s Negro doesn’t mean he’s going to get a free ride from me. My relationship with the Negroes wasn’t so amicable as Presley’s. War is war, war is hell but just because you’re righteously opposed to it doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen. One must be realistic. I don’t even care if anyhone wants to call me a ‘White wingnut’. Wingnuts rule, check history, look at what’s going on.

    I’m sure you realize none of what I may say is hostile to you. Believe me, they wanted to kill Elvis just because he was a hillbilly from Mississippi making it big. That was against the rules. I know. That guy never knew whether today was going to be the day for all his life.

  56. reprindle Says:

    A Bobby Neuwirth version: Bob Dylan and I occasionally ventured out into the poppy nightlife world. I think somebody who had met Edie said, ‘you have to meet this terrific girl.’ Dylan called her, and she chartered a limosine and came to see us. We spent an hour or two, all laughing and giggling, having a terrific time. I think we met in a bar upstairs at the Kettle Of Fish on MacDougal Street, which was one of the great places of the sixties.


  57. R M Says:

    If you don’t believe me as to how much Elvis Presley has meant to Bob Dylan over the years, particular from ’68 through ’71, check out two songs, Dylan’s was recorded in 1970.

    The “too” is kind of sweet, actually.

    Subject: “It Hurts Me” by Johnston/”Byers”/Daniels

    “It Hurts Me”
    By ‘Joy Byers’ {Wife of Columbia Producer Bob Johnston, who says he just used her name: in any case, Johnston knew Lamar, he knew Elvis, and he was Bob’s producer, but she says she contributed, so ok}/Charlie Daniels

    Again, here are the lyrics to
    “It Hurts Me”
    Recorded by Elvis Presley, 1964/1968 {For TV Special “Comeback”}
    The whole town is talking, they’re callin’ you a fool
    For listening to his same old lies
    And when I know I could be so true
    If I had someone like you
    It hurts me to see the way he makes you cry

    You love him too much, you’re too blind to see
    He’s only playing a game
    But he’s never loved you
    He never will
    And darling, don’t you know he will never change

    Oh, I know he never will set you free
    Because he’s just that kind of guy
    But if you ever tell him you’re through
    I’ll be waiting for you
    Waiting to hold you so tight
    Waiting to kiss you goodnight
    Yes, darling, if I had someone like you

    Important notes to Dylan’s 1970 song:
    1) Elvis Presley sang “Big Boss Man” in 1968 on the special, just prior to singing “It Hurts Me”: they were a medley based around a “pimp-character” who has trapped a young woman-hooker-character in the storyline of the show. There is a carnival setting, but with pimps and hookers added. As he tries to beat up, using Karate, “Big Boss Man” {it will later take one of his goons, and hey, Elvis loses!}, he sings “It Hurts Me” to the woman. During “It Hurts Me” – as he sings to her about rescue, he is interrupted: being attacked by “Big Boss Man’s” goons. He sings to the end of the song, though.

    In both songs, there is a third “rescuer” character.

    In fact, Dylan sings this stunning line: “Nothing in this world is like you.”

    Dylan and Sara were making lots of babies at the time: didn’t seem like “things always go so wrong with {her}.”

    We know who is unique in the world, and with whom things “always go so wrong.”

    The line “I don’t wanna be your boss; I wanna be your man” is a “romance” screen, for “Big Boss Man,” of course. As “put your . . . hand in mine” cannot be anything but a direct allusion to “His Hand in Mine.” As for “little,” well, when a person is seen as in need of “rescue,” they do seem childlike and in need as would a child.
    Everybody on the 1968 special refers to him today as a “frightened little boy.” And they DO say “little.” In ’69, Myrna and other refer to him as a “little boy.” If Bob saw him at around this time, he would have seen the same thing: a frightened “little” boy. Not the icon he might have expected.

    2)Elvis Presley’s first full album of gospel songs was titled “His Hand In Mine” after one of the songs.

    Oddly, in ’68, these were the songs that were cut supposedly due to “sexual impropriety” by the sponsor. I don’t buy it: the sequence is a direct attack on Col. Tom. Right down to the Carnival Boardwalk where it takes place.
    Bob Dylan had a direct line to know about this.

    The second verse is more than a ref. to “Big Boss Man”; he says “I want you to understand.” He didn’t want to “boss” him around; he just wanted to be his “man,”: as in “my man”: indicating mutual respect.

    Also, “where I live” is not geographical. Dylan felt he lived as an independent adult. And that is where “you belong.”
    “It Hurts Me Too”
    Words and Music by Bob Dylan
    Recorded by Bob Dylan
    So run here baby put your little hands in mine

    I’ve got something to tell you

    I know you’re gonna change your mind

    When things go wrong so wrong with you

    It hurts me too

    I want you baby just to understand

    I don’t wanna be your boss baby

    I just wanna be your man

    When things go wrong so wrong with you

    It hurts me too

    Now when you go home you don’t have to get along

    Come back to me baby

    Where i live that’s where you belong

    When things go wrong so wrong with you

    It hurts me too

    I love you baby and you know that it’s true

    I wouldn’t mistreat you baby

    Nothing in this world is like you

    When things go wrong so wrong with you

    It hurts me too

    Yes when things go wrong so wrong with you

    It hurts me too

    So run here baby put your little hands in mine

    I’ve got something to tell you baby

    I know that it will change your mind

    When things go wrong so wrong with you

    Don’t you know it don’t you know it hurts me too

  58. R M Says:

    In other words, in this song, Dylan didn’t want to go down to either Memphis OR Nashville: he wanted Elvis to bring his wife and little kid up to the place in Woodstock. And to bring his guitar.


    P.S. — Seriously, that would be the only way to cut him off from “his playmates.” He WAS “little”: he was a little kid, with “little” playmates. And this had gone on long enough. Time to grow up. Be a father. Enjoy your music not with lesser musicians {if you can call Charlie “a musician”}, but with your peers. And maybe Dylan would show him some DIFFERENT poetry: not “better” – just different. And Dylan would have read “The Impersonal Life” and discussed it, sure. And “The Prophet,” but he would have shown him a wider world, and if he gave it a chance, he might have loved it. A world where he could LIVE. Not smother to death. If he wanted, he could start really writing without Red always over his shoulder. He could be free. {Note that the lyric “improv’s” took place when Red was not there!} Time to leave your little playmates at home. Time to leave behind those who are tearing you down so they can build themselves up. Because, see, there’s no one like you! And I give a damn, and so come on up, and we’ll live for a while like grownups. Our kids’ll play together. Our wives will say gossipy things about us . . . and we’ll break out those guitars and just start bangin’ away.
    I believe he was trying to say that in an album peppered with “Elvis-related-songs” all over the place. Even the “icky” ones: the “Englebert” ones! It was BAIT. For maybe just that one song.
    “It Hurts Me Too”

  59. R M Says:

    We’ll get into geopolitics later. I don’t think we see it as differently as you think. Labels destroy thought. Let’s lose ’em.
    No “nuts” here, ok?
    But as for Barry, I dunno if there IS “anger” or ANYTHING inside but his little Hawaiian theme park world. Other than that, I think he’s an empty vessel. Not stupid, but a pure politician. And that’s all. The created politician, who is, has to be, sort of “empty.”
    An advertisement, with nothing much running deeper. He WANTS this life. This oblivion.
    More later,

  60. R M Says:

    Wanna know what I think? I think they gave Goldman enough rope.

    Perhaps, just perhaps now, literally.
    Funny way to leave this world: I mean, funny coincidence. {cough} Hey, I do have a bad cold!
    But see, on that show, the guy let me tear him apart! Everybody hated him.
    And then all of a sudden, he acts like the Grand Prix that he was in an airport, and they ship him home in the cargo hold.
    Just a coincidence, of course.

  61. reprindle Says:

    Don’t know whether this will be useful for you or not but here’s every issue of Spin Magazine.

  62. R M Says:

    Spin was sort of cool in the beginning, but they had a financial cave-in or something, and then they weren’t so cool. I’ve already got out of it what I think I want, I think. But you never know.
    As for Billboard, OH LORDY! I have A COLLECTION! Goes from ’81 ’till next year. Then I’m cuttin’ out. Because the thing is turning into like a pamphlet, it’s so thin! It’s over. That era is over.
    So I’ll keep my collection {you should see THEIR first story of the death of Jose Menedez: there were so many dangerous people who he’d {expletive deleted} that they never even considered his own sons! I mean, it was an interesting list! Real hard-core Mafiosi: worst in the record biz! And wouldn’t you know it? His own kids did it.
    He was involved in the first “boy group”: you know, a “manufactured” group, totally; kids who never even knew each other, but shared a few demographics. They were Puerto Rican, or in ethnicity, at least; they were young, very young: one had to be under 16, I think, and after a while, they were aiming for 11 and 12 year olds. Now, I had been studying this stuff for my dissertation prep., and a light bulb went off. Same gender preference in a ‘tween; same ethnic preference in age-group; and they were all housed AWAY FROM THEIR PARENTS. I mean, it was TOO easy. I believe their youngest catch was a kid who name began with “R”: like in “I Love Lucy” or other names that begin with “R,” and this particular kid, now I’m not naming any names, I had read after the first trials ended in mistrials, was asked to testify for the defense, but told the lawyer it would hurt the career as a solo artist he was planning. And indeed he had that career, and no one from Menudo testified. But the point was that Menendez was involved {though he was Cuban!}, and another guy, and the word was that unsavory activities were goin’ down. And this particular kid could have aimed straight for Jose Menendez. But he declined. And this was before he was “somebody.” Fascinating to have the Billboard piece where they absolutely do not know who did it, ’cause so many people wanted to!
    I’m keeping my collection.
    BUT! There’s all the Billboards throughout the years!!!!!!! I’ve got some significant photocopies {I’ve got where Elvis’s Suspicious Minds is competing with the Beatles [I think it was “Get Back,” which is straight rip-off of “Little Sister”}, and a bunch of other really cool acts of the time. And he leaps ahead of them! Can you imagine his satisfaction? Can you just imagine? {And as for Elvis saying that he didn’t approve of songs that “glorified” drug use, then why did he sing “Get Back”? “JoJo left his home in Tuscon, Arizona, for some California grass . . .” Now, on stage, Elvis garbles the line, but in various versions {I don’t think rehearsals, but I can’t be sure}, he sings “Jo-Jo left his ass in Tuscon, Arizona, for [garbled, then giggle],” he sang it in ’69 with great, good humor and fun. Now, we KNOW that “ass” rhymes with “grass” and so does everyone else! It not only “glorifies” the content, but makes it dirty, too! Lord knows how he REALLY wanted to sing it, because you really can go wild with those rhymes.
    That’s before he joined The Legion of Decency.
    Anyway, I was thinking about what you said about “psychology.” Now, see, I was taught NOT to do psychological analyses, because they were “anecdotal” and not “representative,” etc. But you may have a point, or made a point. I keep thinking socially and politically, and you are thinking psychologically about a lot of this stuff, particularly when we bring up “politics.” {And you know exactly how to get my attention, too! [grin]} Now, I can get to that, but wait up {besides I have the flu: last night I had a temp of 104 degrees. I remembered what my mom did back in ’81: made me drink glass after glass of water until it broke. I forced myself to do it. For her. And in a way, I think she saved me from brain damage last night, because it kept climbing, and you can freakin’ die in an ER waiting for an IV! It’s like, in a way, she’s still here – when I needed her. There was no one to help me to the shower – or to help use it, which I could not at the time, although I thought I’d use my swim pants {yes, I actually have swim pants – that I use in a POOL!} and a ladies’ “rash guard tee,” – you can use it in the water at the beach, or wherever – and get into a “tepid” shower, but I think the fever was already too high: I haven’t had a fever this high since Dec., 1967! I missed the Christmas play; I was going to be an angel. {It was about 2 days away, and I kept badgering th doc, who made a HOUSE CALL, asking “but I can still be in the play, right? I’m going to be an angel! I’m gonna fly!” And after they stopped all the convulsions, etc. from the fever, and I kept going on about this, he just said: “hey, Charlie Brown’s Christmas cartoon is on tonight! I hear it’s great and there’s a play IN IT!” And I sorta felt more miserable than ever on hearing about THEIR play! They were going to suspend me from like wires or something! Man, was I was one bummed little kid. I saw “A Charlie Brown Christmas” for the very first time, and a couple days later, my dad bought me the book. It’s a book with all the cartoons and dialogue. Cute. See, by not stuffing my head with all that “Jewishness,” he actually made it so I don’t resent being Jewish! I mean, I know a lot of people who carry that around because of what they missed in childhood; some put up stockings and got coal and onions – I’m serious! Chanuka is NOT Christmas: “I had a little Dreydal/I made it out of clay/Dreydal, Dreydal, Draydal/Oh, Draydel I will play.” Real toe tapper, that one. And “deep,” too. {snarf} Oh, and you spin a stupid top, and if you’re REALLY lucky, they give you some gold-wrapped chocolates, thereby sustaining some really ugly stereoptypes about themselves, which I always found assinine – even as a child, because I read actual books {!}, in addition to being a low-down stinkin’ gyp! Shoot, they were selling Chocolate Santas! Big sons ‘o guns! Oh, and the “8 Presents,” PULEEZE. They bring them a little something each night, but it’s NOTHING like Christmas in most cases, and even so, it’s like on the wrong days, and oh, everything’s just wrong. Besides, you’re confusing a holiday about about peace, giving, and goodwill {not to mention that a homeless family might be giving birth to God, yet be denied lodging!}, with a holiday that celebrates a MILITARY VICTORY! How sick is it to “mix” the two holidays? I’ll take “goodwill” to blowing people heads off, any day. Just my opinion.
    When I was 7, I wanted a G.I. Joe doll. My dad explained his problems with that – Vietnam {which sounded like gibberish to me at the time}. I did not get it, nor did he: “he’s FULLY POSABLE!” And his clothes had real snaps, and cool props, and it was SO much better than Ken with that stupid “bulge.” So, there it was, under the tree. I was delighted. I played with him for years, and he’s still in my dad’s garage, but no props, and missing some clothes. And I did not convert to Christianity {actually I don’t practice any organized religion}, nor did I become a “hawk.” Smart parents, I’d say!

    And, hey, that’s “psychology,” isn’t it? I mean, if I thought for one minute that you were “dangerous,” you know I wouldn’t be here. But I think I know people well enough after enough experiences. You are trying to get at the psychology that is taught to children regarding ethnicity, some politics, and religion, and the damage it does. All this “loud and proud” stuff can often be bullshit, and people are doing to their kids, well, lying: “You told yourself a lie, That’s Allright Mama, I told myself one too.” {“A Million Miles [From You]”}
    See, a lot of people, on whatever side, in my view, think Barry is “black.” If that were true, he wouldn’t be president. I’m serious. Somewhere, deep inside, people know there’s really nothing there but the Ultimate Politician. I mean, you’re expecting “real” anger to show {you know, all that repressed rage: I don’t think it’s there at all}, but it will only LOOK LIKE “anger,” because, as I said, I don’t think it’s there at all. Or love, or you name it. Politicians must, of course, be hypocrites, but there are limits. With Barry, I think maybe it’s pretty limitless. He’s not dumb, see. He’s studied it all. But he’s like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, but it’s not self-delusion: he really IS a “tin man.” A man with guts, brains, but just nothing inside the emotive center {which we call heart}. He appears to be a “liberal” because that is what, politically, he must be. But if he had to be the opposite, he could do that, I believe.
    What I mean is that he is a politician and that’s ALL he is. It had to happen eventually. I don’t know about Dubya. I just don’t think the elevator went all the way to the top, and they saw that. He was softer than play-doh. But Barry is smart – no kiddin’. And I think, in his calculating attitude, he can be cruel. He has that capacity because he just calculates what’s best for his career. I have seen it. No matter if it hurts an innocent. He will do what is expedient. I thought he really CARED about health care: didn’t you? Well, maybe not. When it came to it, he caved on virtually everything he “needed” to cave on that he previously said he would never give in on! Just to say “I won and the Clintons lost, so I am better.”
    But who won, and who lost? And does it even matter to him? If he wanted a GOOD bill, which really regulated health insurance companies so they could not committ atrocities {and believe me, I know of what I speak}, he would have stuck it out. But he caved so easily. And bent so far back, he’s a contortionist. He’d do anything to “win,” and there are no “principles.” Just an example, no matter your opinion on the matter, which is irrelevent to this point, as is mine.
    And that’s what I meant. And yeah, I’m sticking to it. Barry is NOT “black” despite the amount of melanin in his skin, or his ethnic heritage, or whatever. **HE** “overcame.” You bet. But ain’t nobody livin’ in that “promised land” King spoke of on April 3rd, 1968. This ain’t it. It’s like the homecoming queen in ’76, in Alabama U.: you really believe that means anything at all? All the black kids voted for her, and she won, creating even MORE racial animosity.
    So there is a “war,” but it IS psychological, and I guess in the hearts and heart-minds is where it is fought, daily. To deny this “war” is to, well, live in Hawaii. Where tiny bubbles froth through the happy air.
    And if we do not acknowledge this reality of how a lot of people really feel, on both sides {well, there are more than two}, then we are living in a dream that is far, far, far from coming true.
    Why can’t your dream come true, right now, Elvis? “Why do people put other people down?” he wanted to know. “Why can’t they see I’m just like them?” he asked his 6th grade teacher. But he wasn’t: he was very poor, wore overalls, sometimes had shoes, lived in alleys and then in a black neighborhood . . . he was NOT “just like them” at all. And his “house” was just boards where the wind and rain came in. About those questions: do you know the answers to these questions? I don’t, and I’ve lived the consequences of them. {I remember when we once had to shop for a double-wide; we sorta got rescued in time, but the previous year, we were broke, my dad had surgery, and on Thanksgiving, me and my mom had Swanson’s Turkey TV Dinners.
    The people of this world cannot make those dreams come true, because the “Chimes of Freedom” just flash for a moment, and don’t again for at least for few more hundred years, and that’s all. And what is freedom, anyway, but nothin’ left to lose? Man, that is SO true!
    Hell, back to my research. Freedom was DEADLY. Just look at EP’s greatest acheivements: most of them took place under record producers or a TV director who gave him very little “freedom.” I mean, yeah, artistic freedom, but not the freedom to run things. Not the freedom, in Steve Binder’s case, to even say “goddammit”! “Hard to move on that Goddam song,” he bitched, and Steve pushed that annoying button: “Pardon me, Elvis?” Well, on the next take, also botched, he grabbed a cord {either the mike or guitar}, and not saying anything, snapped it hard, like a whip – like a kid stamping his feet. {On the set of a television program, it is not a good idea to allow swearing, because it could ruin a perfect take, so it’s not allowed: it wasn’t a personal thing. But EP was already told this, and kept doing it, until Steve finally said NO MORE.} And the fact is, that late afternoon and night, when he had to do the important opening and closing segments, he was remarkable. Two of the most riveting, genuinely FELT performances of his career – or of anyone’s. In one, he’s a badass, and nobody has ever been badder {sorry, Mike}, and in the other, he’s dressed himself up as his boyhood idol “Jimmy Jones”: darkly tanned skin, black hair, in that stunning white suit. In ’66, he tried to track down the once formidable bass singer of The Harmonizing Four. He was retired, and doing some crummy job, but was happier out of the record biz. He would not be interested in recording with anyone or for anyone. That part of his life was OVER. Elvis was devastated to the point of hurt: he’d seen him at one of the “Revivals” in Tupelo, when they put up the Big Tent, and people came from miles around. While they looked for him in ’66, he rhapsodized about his memory: “he was very, very tall, maybe 6’4. His skin was very, very dark, and kind of shimmered in the sun as he sang.” [This was from an earlier book than Guralnick’s or Ernst’s: Elvis was very specific in his memory. His voice was low, he recalled but not like J.D. {Sumner}: it rolled. Kind of like earth being turned over for planting: wet earth. It was such an incredible voice. “I wanted to BE Jimmy Jones,” he said at the time. Jones stood there, his group behind him, the choir behind him, the audience in awe, and just SANG. It was defintely a founding moment of young Elvis’s life. He saw that even with all the indignities of life in the rural South, being born in Mississippi and all, and who knows what else his life was like, Jones stood there and sang with such deep passion, true faith, and, mostly from the telling, dignity.

    It was what he wanted, but didn’t have.

    In school, they’d throw rotten fruit at him. And then in an hour, ask him to sing at recess for those who had thrown the rotten fruit at him. {It was kind of like filming “Girl Happy” or something.} And he did sing for them.
    One of the songs was the “cruel lover” ballad, “Barbara Allen,” who says “Sweet William, I see y’r dyin'” and asks the bed be made up “long and narruh” because he wouldn’t be in it by sleep time: just one person – her.
    But she gets hers. For whatever reason, she too dies that day, and NO ONE sleeps in that bed. They are buried side-by-side, and out of his grave grows a red, red rose, and out of hers, a briar. The rose and the briar eventually intertwine. Good and Evil exist, and continue to exist, side by side, entwined. It cannot be stopped, avenged, or anything. The yang goes with the yin.
    And that is what he saw in Jimmy Jones, so dark in the white suit. To him, the white was the white of Moby Dick, from his experience in school, and Jones’s tall, black physicality representing guts and heart, and a kind of beauty somehow surviving in the midst of an ugly world. Jones even made the suit beautiful. He wanted that. Oh, he wanted that.

    {Remember: for some reason, Vernon buried him in a white suit made by “Mr. Lansky” as his son called him. Vernon claimed it had been a birthday present his last birthday, but there’s no reason at all to believe that. There are too many credible witnesses who say that he had NO plans to marry Alden. None at ALL. [And a guy marries in a tux or black suit, as he did.] And he NEVER really wore suits at that time, so why? Because he never bought it for either his b’day or x-mas. Bernard Lansksy made up the suit on the 16th. “I put him in his first suit, and I put him in his last.” I think that settles it. And then he looked for 16 white caddies, plus a white caddie hearse. And a silver lead car. I’ve counted, again and again: there are 16 in the line, excepting the first two, of course. It wasn’t easy finding them: but he got ’em all: they looked identical to me.}

    In 1968, Bill Belew made HIM his gospel-white suit. He was not 6’4″, but he did wear heels and elevtors {the suit still looked too big!} He wanted it LONG. And he sang his song of hope in a hopeless world. In June, 1968. To be broadcast in Dec. He knew, that for so many, this would be a Blue Christmas, but instead, he sang of hope in a white suit. It must have seemed “out-of-touch” which is what they call him: the liberals, self-named “socialists” and others, as if he lived in the same world they did, had a job like they did {well, some of ’em did}, but unlike them, they think he was “out-of-touch.” Hell, they are! No one who could sing that song that way could possibly, in any way, be “out-of-touch.” What was he going to sing, anyway? “Eve Of Destruction” {One of the WORST songs ever recorded, or even thought up!}?
    No, he was going ask his questions, one more time. And do it with a deep tan, in a long white suit {it is double breasted, and seems to be close to “equestrian length” which just means it’s longer on purpose: I just think he kept losing weight ’cause he couldn’t eat from nerves). JIMMY JONES, through his interpretation of him, WOULD SAVE THE WHOLE WORLD! People would walk hand-in-hand, just as he and Jesse would’ve if he’d lived. This would be “a better land.”
    But soon he knew it would not. He gave it all he had in the rest of the “comeback,” and ended it by swiping Frank Sinatra’s car from under his nose.
    Damn right he looked just as you described him: condescending. “How about THIS, Frank?!” He thought he was SO powerful, so tough. Well, Frank, who was just a Mafia groupie, but could sometimes count on a small favor {not too big as he would have to repay it! He was NOT a “made guy”: he was just a groupie-fraud, but he was famous, so they let him get away with thinking he was La Cosa Nostra Hot Stuff, as they laughed at Frank behind his back}. Sure, he could have maybe even have his legs broken, but it would cost him a small fortune with someone that famous: too easy to get caught. He could have had him beat up with no broken bones, no visible bruises. {Karate? Hell, the mob has guys who could have wiped the floor with him, in Karate!} Nope. He knew Elvis would rather taken a lickin’ than lose that car! Besides, Sinatra knew ALL the industry whispering: Elvis was doing heavy drugs, and it was causing paranoia and delusions of grandeur. Sinatra knew what would would hurt Elvis: DESTROY THE CAR! Maybe he needed some “humility.” After all, when Sammy was doing Coke, he refused to speak to him, and this tormented Sammy. He stopped doing Coke.
    Did he think this would stop Elvis? Get real! He knew it, for sure. But he was out to show the whole world how powerful he was, and this would not stop him.
    If Vernon, with Priscilla’s assistance, had him locked up in one of those nasty ’70s places, maybe it would have been a start. Maybe not. Maybe he DID die when that phone rang at about 3:15 on August 14, 1958, when he mother succumbed.
    I’d like to think he somehow could have been saved.
    Maybe Frank should have TALKED to him, knowing this stunt of grabbing the car from under his nose was a silly show of contempt for oh, anyone: I FEAR NO ONE! Maybe he could have said, hey E!, c’mere. Yeah, yeah. No, see those guys? I mean: COME HERE. And then retire to a room and really TALK. No bullshit. And then come up with a plan of action. No getting out of it. Make believe you ARE Mafia!
    But back then, people thought drug abuse and the personality changes it causes were a “moral fault” and not a serious medical-psych. problem. And so it was an easy climate for out-of-control doping, and no way out . . . but death.

  63. reprindle Says:

    Yeah, but you know, let’s go back to Goldman. What show? What moderator? Let’s have a transcript or a reasonable memory job. How is Goldman taking this? What did he say?

    C’mon, Robin, this sounds like a story. How did you get through to get on. What’s happening here? Why were you so volatile?

  64. reprindle Says:

    The Menendez thing sounds interesting too. What issue. By the way, you should add Edie by Jean Stein to your library. I’m going to do a major review when I get finished and think about it a little bit.

  65. R M Says:

    It was the first night of a show that was identical to Larry King, but it wasn’t him. I don’t remember the host. No matter. I called very, very early: ASAP, and it worked! They gave me a “screener” and said, oh so politiely, that I wanted to address some issues of class bias in the book or something like that. Grad student-talk. Sounded great. And I actually intended to be somewhat polite.
    Then you have to wait. The talked for a bit, and I was the first caller. While I was waiting, Goldman blew a shotgun blast right through me. And still they let me talk at all! He said “this is all so pointless; Presley was a disgusting human being.” That last phrase, after the semi-colon IS AN EXACT QUOTE and I’ll never forget ’till the day I die, and maybe not even then.
    I turned PURPLE! My rage was nearly uncontrollable, but I really tried. I ditched my “planned” question, which I said I’d get to, but first, I said, I want to address what you JUST SAID! “Disgusting?” Listen, Mr. Goldman, what I think is “disgusting” is YOUR bigotry, sexisim, racism, and a bunch of other hatreds that you slam a dead man with BECAUSE he is dead: well, the rest of us ARE NOT DEAD. And we are furious at YOU, “and I think, before we – or you say anything else, you need to justify that comment RIGHT NOW!” That last blast of mine, is burned permanently into my head, but I did call out his bigotry, but I said it can WAIT!
    I mean, I had lost it, and you DON’T want to see me when I lose it! Thank goodness it was just audio!
    Well, he DID NOT JUSTIFY IT! He just said, well, if you’ve read the book: I guess she diddn’t read the book. I wanted to break the TV, and I don’t mean shoot it. I wanted to throw it out the window!! Man, I read that book in like a day: I stayed up REAL late, but I was real young then, so it was easy. And I read EVERY WORD. Man, oh, man.
    Man, my lip still quivers!
    And he’s lithping along, pursed lips, with his little glasses {I wear glasses, but not those dorky little things}, and I want to commit telecide RIGHT NOW!!
    The host let me tirade as much as I wanted, but I stopped myself because of what he had JUST SAID, which wasn’t in the book, per se!
    And he did NOT JUSTIFY it. No examples, nothing. He didn’t seem to give ONE DAMN. I was shaking with rage!!!!!!! Seriously. I wanted to do SOMETHING!!!!!!!! I started cursing, which I really didn’t do then hardly at all, and attracted attention about the house! “You {expletive about Oedipus complex and maternal parent, deleted}-er!!!!!
    And so I on. Man, I was cursing, and just basically, I hung up on him!!!!!!! It was . . . just WOW!! I had gotten in on smaller shows before, in Atlanta, about smaller things, but this was national! The first national show of the kind. And I was the first caller. It was not King: I’m virtually certain of that.
    I got my chance to scream at him, though.

    As or Menendez, I’m talking “boys”! You know? Gosh, I don’t wanna draw a picture. That’s what the trials rested on.


  66. R M Says:

    Oh, I cursed after I slammed the phone down HARD, so as to possibly hurt his ears, if I could. I didn’t curse on TV. I wanted to!
    I just said “you need to justify it RIGHT NOW!” And he says “well it’s in the book, she must not have read the book.” I slammed the phone down, and started cursing, YOU MOther-deleted!!!!!!!!!! And I wanted to throw it out the window!


  67. R M Says:

    Anger sure does blunt reason! See, of course I could not “hurt his ears” because he’s not holding a phone! Idiot, me.
    Secondly, I sure wish I WOULD have not hung up before I called him a “mother-expletive-deleted” because WHY NOT? Life is short {I had no idea that Goldman’s life would be quite THAT short; if I did, I surely would have called him that on-air!}. I just didn’t have the nerve to do it that far, I guess. See, back then, I never cursed: I had just gotten out of school {I mean, y’know, college: I don’t consier grad school, “school” because in so many ways, it is not: you’re teaching, working, doing so many things. Research projects for more money, etc. Hauling around Videotape cameras when they were heavey, typing stuff up, all kindsa things. And the tests are WAY different. I didn’t do a “formal” master’s thesis at Post; but I did a paper that was one, anyway. I took two more courses, independent study. Anyway, you gotta take the “comps” which is a written exam. They give you two tests, one for AM, one for afternoon. Each has 12 questions, and they’re gonna ask either two or three from each, and not tell you beforehand. See: you gotta be able to answer 24 two-hour tests!!!!!!! Only, there will be only two questions that you’ll actually do, chosen from 2 or 3 on each test. It’s murderous. Well, seems I got the highest score in the history of their graduate program! The chair called me up to ask if I saw “the other guy” ‘cheating’ or looking at my paper, or something. I said I was a little busy at the time, considering the pressure, so I have no idea, but I always cover my paper with my hand, old habit. He said “thank you” and that was it. Calls back in about a week, and starts gushing! “Do you realize?! Do you realize what you did?” I was like, uh, no. Nervous, like. “You got the highest score EVER on the comps!” He said they went over everything several times, checked everything, and he just couldn’t figure out how I could have memorized so much, while still doing these great analyses. I said “I don’t know.” What could I say.
    Couple years on, in the Ph.D. program at CUNY that THEY talked me into, well, there was ANOTHER comprehensive exam, and almost the same rules. Well, exactly the same rules. Two hours each, 24 questions, and 3 questions from which to choose on each one. Thank God on the second one, it was the “Booker T. Washington” question: I had memorized speeches by him, by DuBois, by King, etc., and I had a strong opinion and it was a little unusual. Any other question, and I think I’d have been hosed. I worked hard on that, praying he’d pick it.
    Well, a lot of people only took one of the tests on that day, and another on another day. I took both, ’cause I wanted to get the torture over with.
    I passed. I called on the phone, actually. I had a message to call a certain number. And then they said “with honors.”
    I thought getting a great permanent, tenured job would be easy street. And it would’ve, ’cause I was offered one of two open at SUNY Farmingdale, but I thought I should finish my proposal first. I thought it was too early, and I’d never finish the dissertation, which is about 250 pages long.
    So, I never applied. I found out she had me first in mind, and I just passed it up.
    After that, hiring freezes sprung up all over the country.
    What a fool. But, you know, that world can be a rotten one, I found out. I think I’m glad I did different things. I’ve had a richer life so far.
    And I’m proud of all my acheivements, including several commendations and a “Faculty Member of the Year” award one year, at a University. Sure, that should have gotten me in, easy, but you wouldn’t believe what all went on there! The person who “chosen” . . . well, I’d rather not say anything more.
    Finally I quit. See, I was entitled to a semester’s unpaid leave and my sick leave, accrued: a lot. I had to go in a hospital, and was forced to take a sememster off, which the union contract entitled me to do so. They hatched a plan to steal my sick leave, which they did. At that point, when I found out, I quit. Another prof., did also, but she got a job later in another dept. I just couldn’t go back. It made me sick.
    So I started other projects, including a major one I’m still at. In education. Too many kids couldn’t read or write, and I had some answers, and they work! Nor can they do math. Well, they can, but you’ve got to know what you’re doing, and get the right people.
    All that “certification” BS, is well, BS. I would not hire 22-year-olds to work with kids a little younger!
    Anyway, it worked, and at the moment we’re moving. Long, ugly story, but as I said when Bob was making fun of a certain “charity” on Rainy Day Women, he was on point. ’nuff said.
    We still prevail, and I still teach. But it’s a tough economy, and I’ve had to compromise.
    P.S. — If only I’d known that Goldman wasn’t long for this world: I should have cursed him right on the air! Came real close.

  68. reprindle Says:

    Had to get Part II of The Passing Of John Lennon up. You start talking about Dylan a little and the next thing you know you’re doing a history of NYC during the sixties. Everytime I turn around the work load expands.

    Anyway, it seems like you relieved yourself all over Goldman. I think it well you weren’t too profane at that time. I’ve been victimized by my temper before. Always best to try to be cool so your sparring is more effective. Of course when you’ve had a load dumped on you for years you want yours back.

    A wise saying is Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. I don’t have time to go into it but it’s true.

    I haven’t read Goldman’s Elvis yet but looking through I came across the Debra Paget story. There are plenty of good reasons why a mother wouldn’t want her daughter to marry a star of Presley’s magnitude without Goldman inferring that they thought Elvis an objectionable person. in his sneering putdown way. You know, he’s got this damned if you do and damned if you don’t attitude.

    Still, there are only three kinds of biography; the eulogistic, the ‘balanced’ and the debunking. They all have their merits and defects. Each highlights different facts so by reading all three you discover more. Of course there’s always original research but who’s got the time to track down that many people and try to get them to talk to you for a few hours.

    These guys who claim they’ve interviewed four hundred people! ‘Oh, you’ve never met him. Thank you #328, bye.’ Or they have a bibliography of 550 books and they’ve been working on it a whole two years. Let’s face it, most of these writers are winging it and that includes Goldman. At least he was in his Lennon biography.

    I’m coming around to understanding your position on a Dylan-Presley connection. It seems like most of these people ran across each other along the way. If Cash left it open to Dylan I see no reason Presley didn’t. If Dylan accepted Cash I’m sure he would have accepted Presley. Of course it seems like the Cash-Dylan thing soured when Cash got to know him better.

    The only question is can a meeting or meetings be proven? It seems like it would be odd that Dylan wouldn’t gush about having met Presley. Perhaps he feared disappointment of the kind Cash represented. Meetings can be disappointing. The reality vs. the illusion you know. I saw a movie once, Diary Of A Mad Housewife I think where she invited these NYC literary types to a party and they were social duds although they wrote witily.

    You know, I have no interest in meeting Dylan, or any of them really. What do you say? How can you make contact in a few minutes or an hour?

    Maybe Dylan thought it best to let sleeping dogs lie.

  69. reprindle Says:

    I would have taken an academic career but I couldn’t endure the humiliation It would have entailed.

    Got started on the wrong foot. Had hair down to my collar, cut it for them the day before too.

    And then my undergraduate grade point was 2.75 while I finished in the 96th percentile on the graduate record exams. They couldn’t reconcile the two so while they never accused me of cheating they treated me as though I had.

    I made it worse by finally telling what I thought was a sympathetic prof why I had done so well. Made it worse. I had read Arnold Toybee’s Study Of History which is ten times the historical education you get in school but he was verboten because of his theories on civilization. So I dug a deeper hole.

    What’s a poor boy to do.

  70. R M Says:

    Would Dylan “gush” about meeting ANYONE? I mean, really? Especially when it literally took years, and there were things in the way of what we now call “face time” that I don’t think would endear him to the average Elvis fan {whatever that is}. I mean, there were serious goings-on in the Hollyweird Hills in the mid-sixties. It’s interesting that Elvis spent his time with Jackie Wilson, for the most part, backstage at a place called “The Trip” on Sunset, or backstage in Vegas. In the ’60s {that changed, of course, when Elvis himself was regularly playing Vegas: then it was easy}. I mean, yeah, having those guys around didn’t make anything comfortable, plus he absolutely believed the house was bugged: by Parker, of course, but also at that time, by the Feds. There was a massive and serious federal drug investigation involving Jay Sebring’s drug ring, and they were going for “big fish” or at least famous fish. First thing they badgered Larry with was “does Elvis know you’ve been bringing marijuana to Memphis from California?” And they knocked him about some, too. He refused to answer. Because although he had no stash {just luck: it burnt up when they were drying it out in Cali for the trip}, he DID bring grass from Cali to Memphis. Plus, Elvis had the SAME source, and Larry, who had just started with him, was not told. It’s the reason this guy Sal Orifice {I honestly believe that’s the guy’s name, but I could look it up [grin]} just quit on Elvis. Everyone knew the investigation involved a “hairdresser to the stars” and that person was Sebring. Larry quit to “go into his own business” but was told by a third party that Elvis was looking for a guy since Sal had quit on him. He may have left Sebring’s salon over how much money he got out of each hairdo, but I think he wanted to give the impression of “distance” from Sebring at this time. But he kept the same sources. As to who recommended Larry, and why, well, who knows? But I feel certain it had to be someone from the Mary Jane ring {and it was WAY more than just Mary Jane: in ’66, Elvis had gotten quite a bit of what they call “windowpane” acid” “from a fan.” I think he got it from the same person who, while Larry was being carted off in handcuffs, he told one of the guys to get to the phone booth across the street from “Daddy’s house” and gave him a number and told the lady “don’t send any more beauty supplies.” Which means that Larry had to have SOME knowledge that Elvis had the phone number himself. {See, if he got everything through Larry, he would not need the number himself, but he did, and he had it at the ready — he also believed Graceland was bugged by the feds.} Because if “beauty supplies” was the code, it had to have some connection with Larry, I figure. But Elvis was no angel in this: the other guys say “Larry was bad news,” but they all hated him because he had the star’s ear, and they were jealous. And in the time period Bob speaks of, all of this was going down. A lot of arrests. I think Elvis did not wish to have him either in his home{s} at the time, and was probably paranoid, too. Who was wired, and who wasn’t? How come Dylan didn’t have to to deal with the draft at all? Well, ok, he went to college, and that usually had a major impact, but still, it would have been convenient for them to come after him. He never even seemed to be worried at all! And that might have worried Elvis: why don’t they want this guy? Is he playing both sides of the fence? I mean, when you’re paranoid, and they really are out to get you, well, you can think anything. He really, really dug Dylan: that’s even on tape. But back before the bike crash, Dylan was “calling the house every few months, tring to set up a meeting.” Jerry was supposed to have removed himself, and given the number to a girl, and not get involved at all. But, apparently, he evesdropped. So I figure if he was comfortable with phone booths in Memphis . . . well, why not in L.A.? And THAT would have been scary, I’ll tell ya!
    I would say that until the Manson murders, it was a very scary situation for them both. Elvis was involved in the most serious drug investigation of the time. He either wanted to protect Dylan, or suspected him, or Dylan was scared {which is exactly what it sounded like}. George shared a joint with Larry in the back yard during the Beatles publicity stunt “meeting.” Clearly, drugs were all over the place, but Col. Tom was IN THE HOUSE! Along with Brian Epstein. {Of, as Parker called him, “Col. Epstein.”} They offered Elvis a variety of “smokes”: all kinds, including his beloved cigarillos, and he said “no thanks.” Just like in the song. It’s like Dylan had a direct line as to what took place, as early as ’67, or earlier. {If you replace the beging of both words: “if someone offers me a JOKE, I just say no thanks . . . I tried to tell it like it is, and stay away from PRANKS” with a “t” in both cases it comes out “if some one offers me a joke . . . and stay away from tanks,” well that’s what you get. Not quite “pig Latin,” but close. You just eliminate J and PR {the last means “public relations; “j” stands for “joint” or the secnd word of Mary Jane, but I just think “joint” is the one he meant.} The fact that “toke” and “tanks” have nothing to do with one another is irrelevent: he meant to talk about drugs when the Beatles were at his house, and earlier failure to “stay away from tanks.” Some people thought the Army was a PR thing by Col. Tom. I believe he worked it to his advantage, but I don’t think it was his idea. Too close to the Netherlands. In fact, he wrote the Army, while Elvis was over there, to try to get him to finish his tour in the States, but it didn’t work. Elvis was aware of this: he told “Hog Ears” that “maybe a miralcle will happen.” He wanted the hell out of that frozen hellhole. And had no idea at ALL what would be waiting for him when he got out: around 8 years of mostly horrible films, as time went on, as the box office dwindled, so did the quality of the films! Now, THAT is strange. Because once they started talks about the TV Special, the films IMMEDIATELY improved in quality. Ok, “Stay Away Joe” was SUPPOSED to be better, but it was a grave dissapointment. Just constant roling about in the mud and bear cans, chasing some jailbait and an old lady with a shotguy, crawling out from hundreds of empty beer cans {you know those injuns can dring, drink, drink . . .Elvis had previously been inducted into the Los Angeles Tribal Council for his wonderful and landmark work on Flaming Star, so this must have been worse than disappointing}, and Sonny has not only a speaking role, but is pretty high on this bill! And so they fight and fight until it gets so stupid that he sings to this lazy, lame bull. After his encounter with “Dominic,” I cannot even describe the look on his face: he slumps against, I think a tree or something, his eyes shut in exhaustion and disgust, and then a lock of hair falls on his eye. And the thick, yucky makeup was SO unnecessary! But after that, the films got better. Weird, but better. Charro is a bore {“I’m beginning to feel like the character in this film,” he said at one point. The character is “set-up” to take the fall for the bad guys. But his own “acting” consisted of never changing expression for the entire length of the film, and trying not to knock over the styrofoam porch, accidentally.} But “Live a Little” has SEX AND DRUGS and a “Hef” character who walks around in a flashy robe, and the Chautauqua film is both funny and significant history {plus it has both Elvis and Buffy! 70s’ OD’s On Parade!}, and then, finally, the psycho “Change of Habit” which is not bad at all, but has one of the stangest premises in the history of film! Not to mention that we see the rape of a nun, every racial slur known at the time, I think, Elvis’s own contribution “blasted out of their skulls” – a line he added about the planned party. It was supposed to go: “you put a bunch of people out on a Saturday night, all the old hates come out, and you got World War III on your hands.” Elvis added the “skulls” before “all the old hates come out” because he didn’t like the idea that people who live in a slum {as he did} just “naturally” start going crazy at a Saturday night party because “all the old hates” just “come out.” The middle-class director objected {alcohol ref.}, but it stayed in! Finally, he had something to say, and got it said. He was trying to keep his promise to Steve to never sing or act anything “I don’t believe in.” That didn’t last, as Steve predicted {“I HATE “Winter Wonderland,” etc.}, but he did try.
    Now, if they could make better films then, why couldn’t they do so as soon as the box office dipped? Gosh, by the time he reached the age when most great actors are starting to do serious roles – though usually they are still “youth roles” for guys at that age, he might have gotten something pretty good! Even so, he WAS offered the role of “The Cowboy” in “Midnight Cowboy” and it was a symbolic look at his own life: you go to the big city excpecting a glamour gig, and end up basically in the sewer. And the good that comes out of it is your own humanity: you try to help someone in worse shape than you. Elvis would love that. At least they offered him the song, whichever song, but it was STILL sturned down. {Turns out Nilson has done a study of popular song through the centuries to today; he would have been an interesting person with whom to shoot the breeze! [“That’s All Right, Mama”: virtually the entire verse that IS the song comes from the 1920s: Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “The Black Snake Moan.” Elvis had NOTHING to apologize for! Nor Bob for codifying Elvis’s new version of it. So, he SHOULD have gotten credit for changing not only many lryics, reusing Crudup’s cop from Jefferson which is what “folk music” IS, but changing significantly the chord progression and the melody. Instead he was told that he didn’t really do anything new, and that he just wasn’t smart enough because, as Sam later put it: “hell, he couldn’t even TALK . . . you know Elvis went I, I , I . . .” Man, I through the liner notes booklet across the room and yelled “that son of a bitch!” I mean, I have a close relative who has a lifelong stammer – almost gone now, but still a little when stressed, and I knew Elvis’s was very bad at times: there were times when he just went mute. He just tried to get it out, and NOTHING. I think if he overcame that, with professional help, he might have been holding his twin granddaughters today. I think he wasn’t just a “nice, cuious young man” when he talked to those kids from the “school for the deaf” in ’60; I think maybe he wanted to know what was the difference btw. “deaf” and “deaf and dumb” and if you can’t speak, it doesn’t really make you actually “dumb,” right? You can still be smart? The lady said he asked a LOT of questions that evening. I mean, no one ever took it seriously, except to torment him in school, and he had to be wondering.]
    Anyway, Bob probably really wanted to get together, but at the same time, I think he was scared. Too much bad stuff was going down.
    Hell, all he had to do was go see Jackie Wilson! James Brown did that because Elvis was never awake before 4 PM, and then there was breakfast, and THEN, finally, they’d decided where to go, if to go . . . so somebody told James to go see Jackie, and he’d probably be there, and then backstage. Later they ended up in Graceland singing spirituals. He remembers “Old Blind Barnabus” because it was an odd old song, but they sang the usuals . . .
    Of course, Bob could not do this. But he sure knew mountain music, and old blues! They could have had good time then, but I think they did later, after Manson put an end to the drug ring in the worst way, but something went wrong. The very fact that whoever found the song list, found only ONE song from ’72 {Elvis was practically psychotic that year}, shows that Bob wasa surely singing from exprerience when he sang “I took you close and got what I deserved” or “just when I knew who to thank, you went blank!” “Why’d I ever leave ya, or bereave ya?” All from “Born In Time.” The Tell Tale Signs version, which was actually first! It begins so beautifully “In the Lonely Night, in the stardust of a pale blue light, I think of you in black and white, when we were made of dreams.” See, after that, things change. No more “dreams.” Much more reality. And it gets real disapointing, and things go wrong. In the end, though, “you’re still so deep inside ‘o me, when we were ‘Born In Time.'” See, he wasn’t born in time for ole Hank, or James Dean, or really, Woody {who was barely sentient a good deal of the time, but was nice, but he couldn’t do much}, or any of the people who mattered most. {Well, Little Richard, but nah. As for Buddy Holly, again, he wasn’t “Born In Time”: Buddy’s plane crashed, and Bob got into the Vee group briefly only BECAUSE of Buddy’s death. He also had first-hand knowledge, maybe even SAW one of them {!}, of those weird notes Elvis sent when Buddy was killed. The other guys would KNOW that he and Buddy hung out together both at the Cotton Club in Lubbock – Buddy giving him those lyrics, etc., and in the radio station where Buddy DJ’d, and Elvis made some demos. If Bobby Zee or Elston, or whomever knew that Elvis, for whatever reason, told Buddy’s family that “I never met Buddy Holly,” and did it TWICE, well, Bob might never have forgotten that. Hell, I would never have forgotten that! Here, they really knew each other well, and he writes that he never “met Buddy Holly personally,” TWICE. Seemed like a lousy thing to do. But, why? Bob couldn’t know. Those Crickets probably didn’t know. I wonder if it stuck in his craw, or if it still does. “Is it easy, easy to forget?” “It is easily done, you just pick anyone, and act like you never have met.” From “I Don’t Believe You.”
    I mean, that IS bizarre. But if Bob is lying, and I know he’s lying about the “Bobnapping” story, and about “not waning” to meet him, literally, at least, I wouldn’t be surprised that it dates back to those notes. They didn’t surface until recently, but Bob, because he was in Vee’s band briefly, had a means to know of them before practically anyone else in the business! “So you never met Buddy, ole Buddy, well hell, then I never even WANTED to meet YOU!” Bob goes through moods. I beieve he really is bi-polar. Doesn’t change his art, but explains some things.
    The Buddy Holly thing had to be pretty huge: it was Bob’s first professional gig. And only happened because he COULDN’T have been “born in time” for Buddy, due to the crash. But Elvis had the good fortune to know him, and then he says he never met him, personally? Because maybe Parker didn’t want it? Lame excuse that!
    But THEY WERE born in time. And the song is explicit enough, very explicity, really, to talk about his feelings. It’s really very beautiful. He gives out some “tell tale signs”: “you were striped, you were plain.” Striped: of course, he wore those “stripes” in Jailhouse Rock; NO ONE could miss that! I won’t spoil some of the wonder of the other lyrics. They’re beautiful. Oh, heck: “just when I thought you were gone, you came back . . .just when I was ready to recieve ya.” He “went blank” – “just when the firelight was still gleaming.” Yeah, “twilight still gleaming.” A symbol of “America” or that sort of thing.
    You gotta hear it: I haven’t give you all of it, I think.
    On my “automobile CD-R,” I end it with that song. I swear, after all that came before, it can make you cry. I put the Luke the Drifter quote: “so help your brother along the way . . .” just before the choruses of “I Shall Be Released” and it comes out so lovely. And with “Tomorrow Is A Long Time,” I’ll tell ya: with Bob, the line “I can’t remember the sound of my own name” is kind of gimmicky, but with Elvis, it’s chilling. Dylan is right to “treasure {this song} the most.” It deserves it.
    Still today, people keep asking where it is! Funny, ’cause it’s in a lot of places now.
    But Greil was weirded out by Bob putting HIS name on “That’s All Right Mama” and he doesn’t even know that Crudup copped the hook from Blind Lemon Jefferson! Hell, either nobody wrote it, or they ALL wrote it. You have read that book “House of the Rising Sun”? Great book. And the only place Elvis is said to have recordeded-sung it is on that dang song-list with Bob!
    How about that?
    P.S. — Are you makin’ fun of me in that post about academia? I’m telling you the truth is all. I suppose it’s unseemly. But if you don’t toot your own horn, about what is true, than who will?

  71. R M Says:

    Aw, gee, you weren’t makin’ fun of me; I am SO paranoid!
    I did TERRIBLE on the GREs, but I didn’t have to take ’em ’till I was admitted to both Post, and THEN the Grad Center: I mean, Post didn’t require ’em, and the Grad Center accepted me without them. Well, I did ok on the verbal, but the math was over a hundred points lower than on the SATSs. And in high school, they told us DO NOT STUDY. And we didn’t, and while no one got a super-duper score, most did VERY WELL, and I had one of the highest! Better in MATH!!!!!! Really freaked me out, too. They were right: don’t study for ’em. Well, for the GREs, I studied. Took out my old books, and really studied hard: the math books. I had the verbal down. And I did.
    And what I studied for was what I screwed up!
    But they had this “experimental test” – like they were gonna try it out. In “Logical Thinking. See who was more “Vulcan.” {“Live Long and Prosper”: hell, I knew my Spock!} Anyway, I did fantastic, and I swore to anyone who’d listen that I just simply guessed. I didn’t even TRY. Strictly guessing. And they all said “no, you were thinking. You just didn’t realize it.” But, damn, I swear: I GUESSED!

  72. reprindle Says:

    What did I say that made you think I was making fun of you. You told me some of your academic adventures, I told you some of mine. One can go on forever.

    I attended three differet Jr. Colleges before going to Cal State at Hayward. It was a brand new school staffed by ex-high school teachers. What a buncy of idiots. I had one moronic teacher who told me I used too many big words. I replied defensively: I don’t strive to. She said: See you’re doing it again. Strive was a big word to her. In a speech class I was easily the best but I got a B and another guy got an A. When I asked why she said: Wello, when you read spontaneously I saw that you did it so easily you didn’t have to work as hard while (so and so) had to work a lot harder so I gave him an A and you a B. What do you say to such a moron. ‘Listen lady I need a grade point more than he does?’ That’s the way it was. I worked hard in political science as a sophomore. I get a B. A year later I see the teacher and he asks what I was still doing on campus. I tell him I was a sophomore last year. He tells me he thought I was a senior and if he had known I was a soph he would have given me an A. You know, well, fuck you, Jack. But, that’s the way it was, everyonne was so stupid it was paralyzing.

    Even in grad school you wouldn’t believe the idiots I had to endure. One guy tells me defensively: I’ve read a lot more than you. OK chief I concede the point. Now what? What’s that supposed to mean? These guys were supposed to be PhDs. They can all go to hell and take the UofO with them. I never saw so many stupid people.

    Why would I make fun of you when all these bozos are crowding in line in head of you. Get to the back of the line. I’ll maybe get to you but it won’t be soon. I can go on. I write five hundred page novels about this stuff.

    Dylan did gush over Johnny Cash. They reportedly jumped up and down in their glee for a while. Johnny was Johnny Cash of course but no Elvis so maybe Dylan couldn’t handle it. I met June Carter and Cash once and just fell apart. It was embarrassing. So, sometimes it’s best not to meet people you’ve placed so far above you. I could handle God before Cash or Presley. Mick Jagger or most r&rers wouldn’t be much of a problem although I did pass Steve Miller on the street once and almost fell down. No, Dylan probably had his reasons for not wanting to be in the presence.

    Heck, I’m not even sure I could maintain my composudre talking to Echo Helstrom Toby rides again.

  73. R M Says:

    I think it’s a “not wanting” in retrospect. I mean, Cash “acted the part.” The whole “Man in Black” thing. But if a person got to be alone with Elvis, it could get embarrassing, because he absolutely couldn’t play the part in a situation where he wasn’t “propped up” by his playmates. I mean, Dylan wants to remember and think of “the Icon,” as opposed to someone else. And I figure, the only way he could really want to distance himself from “the someone else” is if he DID get together with him, especially if he was without the guys cackling behind him. It was jarring for a lot of people! They expected “Mr. Machismo” and the whole act and everything: {Reporter’s question: I guess you can’t answer too many more questions by now? Getting late.” The reporter is a female, in her late 20s or thereabouts, I’d guess. Elvis: “I’ve gotta change and get ready for the show tonight, unless you’ve got something better in mind. [sneer, lopsided grin]”} Ok, that’s The Icon. But that wasn’t really him! And a lot of people were shocked when they got him reasonably alone. Especially during the comback period! They must have expected him to walk on water or something, from what I’ve read {“He sings like an angel, and dances like a ballerina . . . gush, gush, gush”}. And then someone would meet with him alone, and if they weren’t prepared enough, it was a revelation. So many people said he seemed just like “a little boy” or “a frightened sweet soul” or “a frightened little boy” etc. I don’t know if Dylan could have handled the memory of that, let alone the experience! He’d want to eventually just erase it. It’s not this idea of a being “from another planet” that he likes to keep in his mind. With “his face on the Statue of Liberty,” and all that. That’s what he WANTED to “meet” – to know, to experience, and it wasn’t there. Or he wasn’t that. He wasn’t just a regular person, see; he was very, very shy and nervous. And immature. Told dirty jokes and limericks and poems, and lyrics, and all whatnots. Just this KID! I would imagine that Dylan would only aggrandize the Icon IF he’d experienced the real person. Too emotionally overwhelming, even if warned. I mean, most people didn’t believe the extent of it. Until there they were. He’d look at people with these huge eyes in those days, like a kid, with pouty look, and for some, I guess, well they couldn’t handle that sort of thing! And the constant, constant self-put-downs! “Oh, I sounded terrible during those ‘spastic days’ when I had ‘terminal acne’ and then, the film years, when he was “ashamed” – rightly so, but it’s time to stop, and in one interview, he just couldn’t stop. It would just go on, and then, he’d go “well, there really was no one else to blame but me.” And on, and on. Everything he did, he put down. He’d start to try to say “Contrary to what you may have heard, I reallly CAN play this thing!” he told the audience about the guitar, which was an electric with a big arm. “A little. Very little. See, you gotta learn how to work your arrrrrmmmm. {giggle}.” “Some people call it singing . . .” How do you rate yourelf as an actor, and this was about 57-58, “pretty bad.” That’s all. Just “pretty bad.” And then he did King Creole. Sometimes, you felt like it was warranted: before a song in “Harum Scarum,” he said “and the horse I rode in on.” But it’s just so HARSH on himself!
    Like I said, so much better to think of this other-wordly character, and not even a real person. I might have liked to meet THAT “Elvis” but there never WAS “that Elvis” to meet! Yeah, in public, during a press event, he could fake it a bit, but really, he was just this little kid from Tupelo who felt very badly about himself, and it really showed. The women went for it, of course. And some men, while others I don’t think could deal with it. The youngest member of his band, John Wilkinson, who played rhythm {he had NO experience doing so when hired! Elvis just liked him.}, before the first Vegas opening in ’69, kept him from basically running out in the desert night! “You’re among friends!” He told him not to worry, they’d catch him if he made any mistakes, there was NOTHING to worry about, again and again. The young fella had a lot of compassion and strength. Because here were like 2500 people stuffed into that room, and the whole band, singers, orchestra, and Elvis just wants to get sick and run away! He got him on that stage. After the show, Elvis was so SURPRISED: “We did it! Fellas, singers, we did it! I’m HUMAN AGAIN!”
    How do you talk to someone who doesn’t know that they’re human? Not above humanity, but way, way below. How? That could lead to a very disturbing memory, or set of memories. But you wouldn’t want to forget it and create this God-figure, Superman-figure, unless you knew the real person, and it really HURT. Like there was NO HOPE for this person: just a little while, and it would all be gone. It was so obvious! Steve Binder just outright told him so. Elvis said “I’m never gonna sing another song or do another film that I don’t believe in.” Steve said, “I know what mean, Elvis, but I gotta be honest. I hate to say this, but I just don’t think you’re strong enough.” This was after the show went through post-production they had watched it together a few times. Elvis was very happy: and determined. But he told him the truth because, well, it was the truth. He wanted to prove him wrong! And he couldn’t. But when he said it, his eyes just got real big, and he was kind of shocked. Maybe not at the content, but that he actually said it. And he wanted so to be DIFFERENT now. But there he was, a year later, same deal: he wanted to run away just before showtime.
    If you idolized someone, which would you want? The Man In Black, in full act, some of which was true, but only some, or this little 12-year-old living in a alley in Tupelo, whose guitar strings were just cut, and he’s curled up with his useless guitar, crying? Because THAT’s the person you were gonna meet! {This Saturday, I went to the Wertheimer Smithsonian photo exhibit at the Grammy Museum, and they had the actual FIRST GUITAR on display in a locked glass case. It was so very sad. It had duck tape and some kinda, I dunno what you call it, something stronger, holding it together. A total, pathetic, brown, ugly wreck. His “real” guitar, the one he played “That’s Allright Mama” on, the Martin, well, it was real small. The “S” of his name got knocked off, and was never replaced. The vaunted leather cover was tore up.
    Boy, those guitars told a story. HE was IN those pathetic guitars/case! That was the real guy. From a distance, an Icon: close up, not much to look at, real sad.}
    Now imagine meeting the person behind this? It wouldn’t have mattered when at all, really. But the comeback years, great as they were, possibly were the worst because the disparity was at its largest. And this was undoubtedly when he would have had a “face-time” as they call it today. There were so many times when he just fell apart in people’s arms! Not just females, either. Just started crying, and the person would sometimes know why, and other times, not.
    Hell, would YOU want to remember that? Or would you want to just erase it altogther. See, the only thing to “gush” about WAS the Icon. The real person: well, there was nothing to “gush” about! It’s just too sad. That’s the first thing he said to Bob Shelton about his death before describing his rather extreme reaction: “it was so sad.”
    You could just go ahead and apply that to his life as well as his inevitable early death. Inevitable unless someone intervened in a radical way.
    Johnston, even from the lyrics, and what he wanted to put together, and all of it, clearly wanted to intervene. It calls it his biggest regret of his whole career: not getting them to work together, but I don’t think that’s the crux of it: it’s that he undoudetly feels that if he had pulled it off, he could have changed things. “It Hurts Me,” the song says. And Bob echoed, yeah, “It Hurts Me Too.”
    But it’s not what he wants to remember at all. It wasn’t “who” he wanted to “meet” or know, or whatever. I mean, even with Holly, one of the stories down at the old station is that Elvis forgot all the lyrics to “Money Honey” {that’s hard to do: I mean forget ’em! That song just sorta flows.} So with Elvis shivering in terror, Buddy wrote ’em down. He was ALWAYS like that.
    But I do think that if they had intervened on a psychological level: with the speech problem, and the inferiority, well, I think maybe they could have saved him. I mean, the things he did in those last few years! All those stupid steriods! Because he wanted more chest hair! Honestly. That was why. Some Brits had made a comment backstage in ’69: “well, he does have his chest hair.” Not a whole lot, but what God meant him to have. But Elvis heard them, and turned around and said, “Yes, I DO!” And little more than a year later, he started the steroids. Several people have said he had somebody inject rabbit urine, although I dunno about that one . . . I mean, c’mon! But you could see the effects just morphing him into . . . somone utterly unrecognizable, and it happened fast. And continued.
    The seeds of it were there in ’69. Gosh, when that guy interviewed him on the “Habit” set, things were going ok finally, until the reporter said “how can I meet this ‘Col. Parker’?” Elvis began to stutter once more, and spluttered out “I, uh, I think he’s in, uh, Palm Springs!” And then took off running at full speed. He was wearing sneakers, jeans and a sweatshirt that said UT Memphis. I mean, he ran! And lo and behold, there’s a photo from the SAME DAY of the egg-shaped old creep talking to Elvis! He not only ran, but lied before doing so. He was TERRIFIED of that old sumb–ch!
    So, what exactly is to gush about?
    The Icon.
    And you can forget the rest. Well I don’t because I wasn’t there, so it’s oh so easy for me, but for someone like Bob, it may have been kinda traumatic, I would think.
    “Is it easy, easy to forget?/It is easily done/You just pick anyone/And act like you never have met.”
    And that’s it.
    Oh, why did I think you were making fun of me? What were we just talking about? Hmmmm.
    Yeah, I EXPECT people to take stuff that way! Like I was boasting, and that’s bad. Who am I to boast!? Don’t deserve it. Gettin’ above my raisin.’ And so on. Nothing to do with you at all, but with me, of course.
    Shoot, in 9th grade, when I was in deep math trouble, the “counselor” said “You don’t need anything more than “Basic Math.” You’re just gonna get married and have a buncha kids.”
    Well, thank goodness I was offended!
    And, oh BTW, I got “A” in statistics from a real phud, who’s a nice guy, I might say, but fair, ’cause I asked him: “did EVERYBODY get an ‘A’?” He responded, soundly, “NO!” And also, I program databases, first in AccessBasic, then later in VBA, and also later in using whichever good front end and SQL to the engine, which is NOT Access. I mean, I can DO it.
    So, anyway, even if I couldn’t, I think I’d stay away from the rabbit urine! {grin}

  74. reprindle Says:

    Colacello, Robert: The Holy Terror pp294-95

    That year Andy also finally became a real friend of another idol to whom he sent daily notes and drawings in the fifties: Truman Capote. And had attended Truman’s Black and White Ball in the sixties, and they got to know each other better through Lee Radziwell in the early seventies, but it wasn’t until April 1975 that Andy felt comfortable enough just to call Truman up and ask him to dinner at Trader Vic’s. Truman came alone. And brought Vincent, Chris Makos, Robert Hayes and me.

    “This reminds me of the dinner party Elvis gave me in Las Vegas,” cackled Truman.

    “You had dinner with Elvis?” Andy said, swooning.

    “uh-huh. In his suite at Caesar’s Palace.”

    “In his suite?”

    “Uh-huh. Jus’ little ol’ me and big ol’ Elvis…”

    “Oh, God.”

    “…and seven hillbilly boys from Memphis, Tennessee. Which is why I say this dinner reminds of that dinner.”

    Warhol’s hillbillies guffawed but not that hard.

    “Except Elvis also invited one woman,” Truman continued. “Guess who?”

    “Uhhhmmm…” Andy couldn’t.

    “Doris Duke.”

    “Doris Duke. Oh, God.”

    “Uh-huh. Apparently Doris and Elvis go way back.”

  75. R M Says:

    Ok, so none of them knew that “Cesaes’s Palace” is the wrong casino: to be expected. And that many of “the guys” were present {and have never spoken of it! God, he must have made them so uncomfortable, which may have been part of the purpose}. But I believe it wholeheartedly: Elvis read quite a bit of poetry and I guess, literature, too. Especially if they were made into films! I mean, “In Cold Blood”! The guy who did the orchestrations has said, often, that he based a lot of the “Guitar Man” sequence – the program music, on the score of “In Cold Blood.” It seemed to capture a sort of backwoodsy fascination with “violent things.” I mean, it’s not like Perkins, understand: he saw that Elvis was “excited by certain kinds of violent things” but that’s all. From a sort-of distance. Guns all over the place, but he doesn’t hunt – not EVER, and tried skeet shooting for like a few days. He just would NEVER shoot anything ALIVE, and even target shooting was something he did rarely {although he finally learned how to shoot a pistol properly in Germany, after flunking the pistol test in Basic Training, which embarrassed him in front of the others. In Germany, his “Lootenet” [the guy kept doing that the whole book!] took him to the pistol range, and told him to squeeze, not pull the trigger. After beginning the session by hitting the dirt, after this advice, he was hitting the target. And was very excited: “I want to take the test again!” Of course, he could not, but it was one of the rare times someone actually took the time to show him how to do something, and he found himself a quick study. Kind of symbolic for what might have been.} Anyway, he would definitely know of Capote’s work, and sure, he’d know he’s gay. That never seemed to bother Elvis unless somebody was stupid enough to try something: two guys did. On the “Acapulco” set, some guy kept grabbing at him, and the director came over to ask why he was squirming – it was not like Elvis to complain – and he told him. The guy was summarily dismissed. In Germany, something very bad happened. This guy was advertising massages and sking cleansing, and mud baths, etc. Well, Elvis had troublesome skin, and this seemed to make sense. The guy worked, you might say, slowly: took him a few weeks before he got him to disrobe altogether. And waited a bit before he made his move. So he’s face down on a table, covered in “mud,” and the guy tried to {well, you know}. Instead of lashing back violently, he ran. He grabbed a letter-opener or some such thing {the claimed a “knife” but that was not true}, and yelled “Daddy!” and then, “Red, Lamar!!” And the later two swung into action and dumped the dude on the steps outside the house. Elvis grabbed some towels.
    Then, the creep had the gall to blackmail him! He was gonna “tell all” about Priscilla and everything. It was Vernon who insisted they call both the FBI and the military police on him. The guy ran to England, then home to South Africa {a Dutchman-South African}. Nothing came of it, and he kept contact with Priscilla. Vernon did the smart thing.
    But if a guy was respectful – I mean, everybody knew about Nick Adams, well, he could care less. More girls for him.
    Seems like he still kept his celluloid dreams going for a while. But it wasn’t to be. Heck, even though “The Fugitive Kind” was rejected by the Col. – Williams had said if “Marlon says yes, don’t ask anyone else.” But he did not say to NOT ask someone else BEFORE Marlon! Elvis was forced to turn it down. But I think he could have done a remake a few years down the road. The part calls for a “guileless youth around 30.” Well, that gave him a wide berth. He had nothing to do in late ’69: that would have been perfect! But nothing every happened.
    Maybe Capote had something in mind. Didn’t matter: everything would have been turned down.
    Elvis knew pretty much everybody. Which is why Dylan’s comments are silly. He had a number of mutual contacts: it was easy. I just don’t believe him. I’ve been reading quite a bit of Michael Gray’s stuff, and he always takes his remarks with a load of salt.
    See, the devil is in the details. The idea of only ONE song in ’72 is the dead giveaway: something didn’t go right. Something was wrong, and it broke off. And I think you can hear that in Dylan’s songs. Regret. By the ton. Listen to the last lines on Street Legal. Boy, MASSIVE survivor guitl! And “Changing of the Guards” sounds like someone who is literally tongue-tied. It comes together at the end, though. From the time when he is peeved that people were “handing out the flowers that I’d given you.” {I believe that is ezact, but you can check: it’s almost perfect, if not perfect.} And that’s exactly what happened: if flowers were sent, the whole lot of them were give away to the fans. I’d imagine that I would be a bit peeved myself: for some reason, we didn’t send any. But when we got to Memphis the first time, that morning, that’s the first place we hit: the flower shop. A single rose. You know the story. I think it’s better that way, in looking back.
    In the end of that song, he’s talking to the hangers on, telling them they’d better prepare for a life, because there’s gonna be a “changing of the guard.” Charlie became a drunk. Alan’s drug problem escalated. Both died early, one quite a bit early {poor Alan}. Richard is the only other one to go. All cancers. But I suspect caused by substance abuse: Charlie for sure was a drunk. He NEVER had a life of his own. Very pathetic, I guess.
    And “Baby, Stop Cryin'” is interesting, because what starts as an imagined one side of a conversation, ends up with Bob literally talking to himself. To “please stop cryin’ ’cause it’s tearin up my mind!” In “Guard,” he speaks of getting up to his knees from the floor, and then saying “the stitches are still mending.” It’s got a lot of tough stuff in that album. I mean, the divorce, well, it really was in the past. The money part: that wasn’t, but otherwise, he’d gotten that out of his system a while back. You can feel the sense of a recent knock-down blow. And that last line cuts kind of deep.
    “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe I’m alive,
    But without you it just doesn’t seem right.
    Oh, where are you tonight?”
    Before that, there’s a long sequence about fighting with “my twin, that enemy within, ’till both of us fell by the way.”
    And then this:
    “It felt outa place, my foot in his face, but he should-a stayed where his money was
    I bit into the root of forbidden fruit with the juice running down my leg.
    Then I dealt with your boss, who’d never known about loss and who always was
    too proud to beg.
    There’s a white diamond gloom on the dark side of this room and a pathway that leads
    up to the stars.
    If you don’t believe there’s a price for this sweet paradise, remind me to show you the
    He ends it with the survivor guilt. Seems like on this album, he just didn’t have the words: they tumble about, reaching for something he’s not able yet to say.
    And then he became a Gospel Singer.
    For a while, anyhow. Then lost the will, the motivation . . . it came back, and with a group of songs that struck at the heart what he’d finally realized. Finally, he made an album about mortality, not just his, of course, but the press is the press. But everyone’s.
    But it was a mortality that had a history going back to when he was a boy: a boy with troubles.
    “If Not For You . . .”
    I think he’s as satisfied now as he’ll ever be, which is to say never quite satisfied.
    As for your Warhol studies leading you to a place you never expected, well, I guess it just sort of had to be.
    See, he COULD meet people, but I think he sometimes used Parker as “bad cop.” Not all the time: there were times he really did want him isolated, but other times when he used him that way. How can you mix with other people in the business when you’ve got what you think is a secret {Gram Parsons knew: hell, he had his band!} that you feel could destroy your career. Did he fear the death the secret could bring? I’m not sure. I think he feared more the humiliation than the actual death.
    A lot of people, I think, might feel like that. Not so strange. Bob has secrets I think he fears more than death. He must: no one reaches people that deeply without a real heavy cross to bear that they think no one knows about.
    That’s the way I see it.
    For now,

  76. R M Says:

    I’m not sure what year this is from, but I think not very far from “If Not For You” – and was there a soundtrack involved? Well, no matter. It’s fascinating. It takes us back up to Hibbing. And then forward. And then sorta back again. In a kind of a way. When he says that there, he’s “I’m a stranger.”
    Funny, if it came after “Stranger in My Own Home Town” which it follows so neatly.

    There’s nothing ’round here I believe in
    ‘Cept you, yeah you
    And there’s nothing to me that’s sacred
    ‘Cept you, yeah you

    You’re the one that reaches me
    You’re the one that I admire
    Every time we meet together
    My soul feels like it’s on fire
    Nothing matters to me
    And there’s nothing I desire
    ‘Cept you, yeah you

    Nothing ’round here I care to try for
    ‘Cept you, yeah you
    Got nothing left to live or die for
    ‘Cept you, yeah you

    There’s a hymn I used to hear
    In the churches all the time
    Make me feel so good inside
    So peaceful, so sublime
    And there’s nothing to remind me of that
    Old familiar chime
    ‘Cept you, uh huh you

    Used to play in the cemetery
    Dance and sing and run when I was a child
    Never seemed strange
    But now I just pass mournfully by
    That place where the bones of life are piled
    I know somethin’ has changed
    I’m a stranger here and no one sees me
    ‘Cept you, yeah you

    Nothing much matters or seems to please me
    ‘Cept you, yeah you
    Nothing hypnotizes me
    Or holds me in a spell
    Everything runs by me
    Just like water from a well
    Everybody wants my attention
    Ev’rybody’s got something to sell
    ‘Cept you, yeah you
    I like it in any ole way.

  77. R M Says:

    I recall it ending “I’m in love with you” in a sort of spontaneous burst of ‘should I? Yeah, what the hell, I’ll say it!”

    I might have missed the final verse or something.

  78. reprindle Says:

    Just Dylan studies. Dylan is the focus but you can’t get anywhere reading the same old stuff. For instance Mickey Ruskin who owned Max’s Kansas City who was an old Boho organized the hip world into three classes, the well to do Bohos, a middle group and the bottom rung who hung around the Kellle of Fish. He considered Max’s the middle level so you can guess the quality of the Kettle of Fish crowd.

    Now, Dylan made the Kettle of Fish his base of operations which says a little about his mind set. What that means is that he was familiar with the desperadoes like Bill Ayers who surfaced in the sixties. Thus in Subterranean Homesick Blues when he refers to Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine this rather nonsensical line when given a ‘poetic’ reading might very well refer to bombmaking that might be construed as medicine to cure the ills of society as the Subterraneans saw it. Subterraneans comes from Jack Kerouac’s novel of the same name while corresponding to Warhol’s A-men. So you see, you don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows. Although some do.

    The question then is was Dylan involved with these people and to what extent. I read through Changing Of The Guards, 1978, following your suggestion. Check out this verse:

    Gentlemen he said,
    I don’t need your organization, I’ve shined your shoes
    I’ve moved your mountains and marked your cards
    But Eden is burning, either brace yourself for elimination
    Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards.

    All right, what does this mean? Gentlemen are obviously White people, but not Jews as Semites excuse themselves from Whiteness, with a Black man speaking, (I’ve shined your shoes etc.). The verse threatens genocide (peaceable Bob speaking, brace yourself for elimination). The threat of gencide actually anticipates Kamau Kambon and Noel Ignatiev. Or Whites can submit peaceably to Black rule.

    At this time Dylan was in his Jesus studies, diverced and had established an admiration for Greil Marcus who he mentions very admiringly in Chronicles. I am convinced that Marcus was in contact or working with Bill Ayers. So it is quite possible that Dylan, Ayers, and Marcus are talking things out on how to bring the Empire down. It may be that the Weathermen named themselves strictly out of admiration for Dylan or perhaps as a fellow conspirator. When it caused Dylan problems they changed the name to Weather Underground.

    Moving ahead to the eighties we have Ayers and Barack Obama attending schools within a couple blocks of each other. At this time Obama was recruited for Harvard Law School and tapped as the future Black President of the United States. Ayers knew the Black revolutionaries involved. If Dylan had known Ayers since 1965-66 and Marcus had linked up somewhere in between perhaps introduced by Dylan then Dylan, Ayers, Marcus and Obama were associated as early as c. 1990.

    This then would make my hypothesis in this essay fall mostly in line:

    As a final step we have Baez, Dylan (two arch conspiritors) and his stooge Mellencamp as the only White performers at the Civil Rights show at the White House. Why the Five Blind Boys were there is anybody’s guess. Dylan then confirmed the relationship when he shook the hand of the Hope being compelled to bow to do it.

    Kind of a We did it submission.

    I know my hypothesis is not airtight or proven. There are missing links needed to confirm it, on the other hand there are facts that can’t be explained away. However I’m sure there are numerous clues in the later lyrics that I am not familiar with but which you are pointing out.

    There is more to Dylan than meets the eye.

  79. R M Says:

    Sure shows how a verse can be heard so extraordinarily differently by different people who bring their own thing to it. I mean, I just listened, real hard to most of Street Legal last night! And that song, esp., because most people find it to be gibberish. Well, I don’t think so. But, years before, he sure did PUT DOWN “the Weatherman” right quick: hell, I don’t even know if they officially existed yet! But perhaps he knew of them. And he really slammed ’em. And exposed them as well.
    As for Marcus, having any group pow-wow’s with just about anyone, well, I had a chance to talk to a major player in rock criticism, someone with some credibility, and he really unloaded on Greil – this was back in the ’80s. It was private, so I have to be careful. But it was about what was perceived to be his isolation. See, he had or has this house there in the Bay area, and the way I heard it, it took A LOT to get him out of it. Strictly watched things from the bleachers. Which is a major problem, because a lot of music is made in lots of other contexts. I mean, he still thinks Crudup “wrote, or at least wrote down” {what did he mean by that?} “That’s Allright Mama.” To be ignorant of Blind Lemon Jefferson, and another bluesman who followed long before Crudup, is ignorance. Crudup was post-WWII!!!!! Ridiculous. I’d bet Elvis new of the older records before he started messing with the idea with Johnny Black – Bill’s younger brother. Who moved to, ironically, Texas. That’s where Jefferson died in the snow at night, and was found in the morning, his guitar by his side. And Marcus attacked Dylan on this! “Weirdest of all,” he said, about Dylan’s codification of the song and putting his name on it. It was a bold statement that these lines were simply blues classic lines, and Elvis or him, had as much right to them as Crudup, and they didn’t owe anybody anything. And Greil calls it “weirdest of all.” And claims it’s Crudup’s when it’s not.
    That’s all I can say. The critic seemed a bit annoyed about Greil’s isolation. But it kind of explained things for me.
    Anyway, if you wanna keep going with the Ayers thing, whatever. Fine.
    But I heard that verse in the context of its time. It was recorded after Bob later, twice, told Shelton “I had a breakdown” and went mute for a week in August ’77, and any album released right in the wake of something like that, well, I would listen carefully. Jerry Sheff is playing bass – couldn’t get the others, I guess. It starts out with “16” or this or that, etc., and that verse near the end, man, that’s a tough one. “I’ve shined your shoes.” Doesn’t have to be a racial thing at all: could be just a position of having to DO THINGS for these “gentlemen” {who may be quite the opposite}, and now well, they’re gonna have to shine their own damn shoes. ‘Cause if you’re no longer on this Earth, you don’t need “your organization” {actually that’s what they called it! Serious.}, and they’d better be able to make some kinda life on their own, or get ready to be dumped on their rears. I’m sorry, but what with the timing, and what he saw on TV so recently at the time, it’s hard to see it any other way. Nobody actually had to say “gentleman, he said” for it to be played out. {Though in song, it was said: see 1970’s “Stranger In My Own Hometown” and the verse about those guys who’d “starve to death” and one of ’em who’d “be in the Penn.” Shined their shoes, indeed. Beleive me, Dylan had some of the same problems.} See, you’d better believe that Dylan has all the crap that he claims he doesn’t: that all rock stars have. He’d like you to believe he’s above that. He knows he’s not. Knows he cannot be. Too damn lonesome for the kinda lone wolf picture he paints. Just a regular guy and all. Not possible.
    I imagine, from my perspective, that it was cathartic to see a buncha bums who DID get their damn shoes shined, in a sense, be tossed on the street, with the only pairs they have, and no more. To “shine someone’s shoes” is to assume a role of submission: even if they supposedly work for you, if you “take care of them” then you ARE shining their shoes. And there’s no argument as to that. You can apply it to whatever you want, but it is a role of submission. And so whose shoes does a politician have to shine? What is necessary? When do you have to bow your head because you must? To get where you want? I think that’s crucial.
    As for that silly concert, well, Johnny Cougar will play wherever asked. He has NO career. And no choice. If Bruce wasn’t there, it would be because perhaps he feels the “toxin” of electoral politics, and he’d rather not be part of it. Besides, there’s a lot he’s just not into. But still, no Willie Nelson, most of the “usual suspects” not there. A few rappers. Didn’t seem like much, really.
    There’s no “Eden” today, so it refers to something else. And in ’78, I doubt Dylan was the least interested in any kind of politics. That whole “poet laureate” thing is just the sort of thing that gives him the creeps.
    I mean, if those lyrics came out in ’64 or so, then they’d mean something altogether different. On the other hand, he DID endorse the dude, and if some people see the the USA as “Eden” well, a lot of it IS burning: people are hard up. Things really ARE tough all over. So, that makes sense.
    But, those lyrics are from ’78! Yeah, it was a tough time, then, too, but Bob was into a very personal time then. The divorce, which took a LONG time, and a lot of deeply personal stuff. I guess the “rock era” as it was, was the “Eden” that was really “burning.” In the ’70s, rock stars were dropping like flies. Elvis was kind of the poster boy for that, and Dylan ends the album with “I can’t believe I’m alive,” but with a lot of survivor guilt, especially about what just happened.
    As for Eden burning, I think he meant the critics. I mean, he took their crap, literally: what they did to “Self-Portrait” was totally uncalled for. Firing squads! And then “he’s back again!” All that crap – at that point, he WAS shining their shoes. Well, by the end of the decade, he knew their “Eden” really WAS burning. Maybe Dylan gave them too much of what they wanted: “I’ve marked your cards.” But “punk” or not, their Eden was burning, right to the ground. It would all be over soon. Soon, critics just wouldn’t matter. They pushed a lot of people around.
    Yeah, I think Dylan saw some of the crazier politics of the sixties, which is one reason he wanted out. And he slammed it pretty good.
    But he found that he was now shining the critics’ shoes instead of the old lefties shoes. But somehow, he “marked their cards.” Hope so.
    He always wants to believe he’s his “own man.” I think, in ’78, he realized he was no better than anyone else in the business. And that he couldn’t be his own man. There was a time when the critics were very powerful, and even marking cards wasn’t enough.
    Found among Elvis’s possessions at the time, prominently, was a review, in a Boston “lefty” paper, of a ’71 concert, praising him. This from the guy who crashed the white house to be made an official “ok fella.” Times were getting desperate, right at that time.
    The critics wanted ’em ALL to shine their shoes, and most couldn’t help themselves.
    But Eden finally did burn, and they soon meant nothing at all. Nobody cared what the hell they thought. It’s like that cool scene in “Jailhouse Rock” with the jazz discussion in the parlor, when “Vince” just gets up and says: “Lady, I don’t know what the hell you talkin’ about!” And out he goes. And delivers some more cool camp.
    Now, Dylan has put himself back in a tough spot again. But who has to shine WHOSE shoes this time? Politicians are the vulnerable ones.
    As for people like Ayers, I really feel that’s old, old news. Politics today is marketing. Strictly marketing. All the stuff from the sixties is gone: all burnt up.
    It’s just that things really are tough all over. And that can produce all sorts of frightening reactions, from all over the landscape.
    Those were young men then. Not anymore.
    It’s a different map, now. As for poor Johnny Cougar, well, so what? I mean, trust me: he is a total, complete no-talent. Useless and pointless. People do him favors just by asking him to show up at things.

  80. R M Says:

    The song “Nobody ‘cept You” was cut in Nov. 73. I think Harrison was on hand. In any case, EP was right at that moment, in the hospital with the 3rd bout of hepatitis. Bad time. I wonder if someone knew. EP really connected with George in NYC: nearly squeezed his hand off! But stared him pleadingly in the eyes: it was moving to watch, folks said, excepet that George was about to buckle from the handshake/grab. It was intense. George stayed backstage, while Bob went right out front. Like the end of something.
    But that’s awful “late” in the day, you might say. And then in Nov. ’73, that horrible month, he wrote this lovely song about . . . someone, from when he was first inspired.
    But something changed.

  81. reprindle Says:

    Such vehemence. 😉 I reread Guards and I find the verse isn’t quite so clear as I might have thought but the thing is so jumbled it makes little sense and if it is strictly personal to Dylan it doesn’t matter.

    Copyright 1978, sixteen years earlier might be 1962 when Dylan stepped forth from the shadows to begin his career. Then ‘I’ shifts to the captain who might or might not be the same as ‘I’. The captain is sending his thoughts to a Black girl friend who gets her head shaved. She was torn between Jupiter and Apollo whatever that means to Dylan.

    Then the captain desappears and ‘I’ reappears. ‘I’ rode past destruction in the ditches, perhaps on his ‘chrome horse’. ‘I’ had given flowers to ‘you’ whoever you may be. Perhaps he’s referring to his songs and we are ‘you’.

    Then ‘She’ wakes ‘him’ up. She may be the ebony maiden and ‘he’ may be the captain but that’s not clear. At this point we learn that ‘he’ might be a White guy because ‘she’s’ clutching his long golden locks.

    The ‘he’ then said, so apparently the speaker is White so we don’t know what the hell is going on except that ‘he’ is capable of killing them all unless they have a change of heart and accept the changing of the guards whoever the guards may represent.

    The song was written after the big Black revolt and the burning of LA and Detroit and other places so possibly the US is the Eden that’s burning. Whites would then have to have a change of heart, which is Civil Rights rhetoric, or else they can expect a genocide.

    And then peace will come with cruel death retreating between the King and Queen of Swords. What the tarot has to do with this is beyond me. In short this is nonsense but you’re right I may have overread the verse but the sense is still there.

    As to Dylan and politics. He is totally political. Sometime after 1968 he was accompanied by a couple of JDL creeps as bodyguards. It would follow then that he may have met the lunatic, Kahane. What happened with that I don’t know.

    As to Marcus. I don’t know to what period your informant refers. I left the Bay Area in 1966 partially to go to grad school and partially to get out of what was becoming a hell hole. In the following several years all hell did break loose when the Black Panthers surfaced and the Zebra murders commenced when Whites were shot down on the streets of San Francisco by Blacks so I probably wouldn’t have left the house either if I didn’t have to work.

    Nevertheless Marcus began criss crossing the country on one pretext or another. I’d have to check my dates but Marcus would have had to get out the house to move East to work which he did. As for Dylan and that despicable Self Portrait album, he was trying to abort his reputation from the sixties and he succeeded. Thus one has the New Morning album which says, Let’s have a white wedding. That’s the essence of the account in Chronicles. Marcus was right on that one but we wanted Dylan to in one direction while Dylan was saying, Let’s go this way.

    I don’t know what Marcus knows now but when he wrote Mystery Train he didn’t know anything.

    There has to be a reason why Mellencamp has been ‘adopted’ by Dylan. I can’t believe the Hope would even have heard of Mellencamp except through Dylan so I cannot fathom why he was invited to the White House unless something is going on of which I know nothing.

    I would downplay the ‘breakdown.’ Elvis’ death was stunning. My own life was and has been disrupted by his death but I had no time for mourning, had work to do. Besides writing alone will knock you down, especially self-revelation. When I first began I had to take to bed for a couple days at a time while the fever raged. I’ve heard of writers being knocked down for weeks while old problems resolved themselves. So, I don’t think so much of the breakdown. I can understand it but so what.

    Also if I implied Group I don’t think a group planning session necessarily took place but there was communication and Ayers was the coordinator, the catalyst. There are too many ‘coincidences’ around 9/11 that have to be explained. The phony endorsement when Dylan pretends he hadn’t even heard of Obama before the campaign was too much. Why did Dylan think someone he’d just heard of was such a bright new light? Nonsense.

    Anyway Guards is a little more ambiguous than I thought it was. Thanks for calling me on it.

  82. reprindle Says:

    Colacello, Bob Holy Terror pp. 466-467

    Apparently Sam passed the test, because Andy was soon taking him to all kinds of parties. One of the first was at Yoko Ono’s apartment in the Dadota, and among the other guests were Bob Dylan, Madonna, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie.

  83. reprindle Says:

    I’ve begun the Goldman Elvis. God, the guy is going to drown in his own snideness. I thought the Lennon was bad enough but he’s really perfect of his kind here. I don’t see how he got published except that everything is permitted to the ‘revolution.’

    This is real damned if you do, damned if you don’t and I don’t allow you any middle type stuff. Shnooks are heroes and heroes are shnooks and he belittles both. Boy, unlike Archimedes this guy has found a place to stand. He’s read the big books and references them too. Gyp the Blood indeed.

    Elvis can’t go to the toilet himself because he can’t get out bed himself and yet he managed to heave himself onto the toilet to die alone.

    Are his descriptions of Graceland accurate in themselves, forget the snideness; just are things as he says? Does he misrepresent the facts or just distort their interpretation.

    He comes across as psychotic so whatever you said to him was undoubtedly more than justified. I would think it would be impossible to find a publisher for a rant like this.

  84. R M Says:

    Well, first of all Goldman was never, for reasons that ought to be obvious, never very well-liked, by – oh – anyone. He seemed to get his foot in the door in publishing via knowing somebody as he attempted an abortive academic career. He wrote for various magazines, and his snideness was was not taken seriously enough. I think he was always kind of a joke. In one review of very “early” Elvis in his comeback incarnation: I think it was the first or second Vegas gig, he goes on this tear about “Elvis the Discus Thrower” and other stuff about Greek Poses. The moron didn’t even know he was doing a Karate Kata! I mean, he’s part ignoramous and part misanthrope – you know, he hates ALL mankind, and you can take that quite seriously. As time went on, he stumbled on an idea: DEAD PEOPLE as bio-subjects. He seemed interested in men, and weirdly, only those who were – this is TOOOOOOOOOO weird, but men who he’d found out were, how shall I put it, in the natural state at birth: nothing “cut” and I don’t mean they have great abs. For reasons I don’t know Lenny Bruce fit the pattern, and he targeted this dead person first. It was a nasty book and got terrible reviews. Nobody really paid attention to the “natural state” hang-up until it appeared not only in Elvis, but in Lennon, as well. Jim Morrison was to be his next subject, but he {Goldman} met his strange end before we were subjected to that. I think they just let him keep doing it for a while because it was fun to have somebody to bash around who really deserved it. And yeah, he HAD to be psychotic! I mean, if EVERYBODY really does hate you, and with relish, usually, you just sorta go away and do something else. But he would not stop. He was no “revolutionary,” in any sense of the word. Good grief. Whether you think that’s a good or bad thing, it certainly doesn’t apply to Goldman! I don’t anymore remember the teensy particulars of the book, like what did he say Graceland looked like, because, for one thing, that weird film “This Is Elvis” {or Ral Donner, or some admixture of different people, including Elvis} showed Graceland quite clearly, and I think it was the late ’70s, or 1980, when I saw Elvis’s bathroom, pre-death, in a photo in a magazine, and probably other parts of the place as well. Also, Caroline Kennedy did a piece for Rolling Stone {and further broke Vernon Presley’s heart when he found out why she was there: he really thought she came as a representative of the Kennedy family since his son had always been an admirer – he had her gently but firmly escorted out, and then, to top it off, she didn’t even write the article! Her mom’s friend Pete Hamill took her notes and worked up the piece, and it wasn’t kind. See, before the public was allowed in, the drapes – there are drapes EVERYWHERE, were “blood red” by several descriptions, as was the carpet and a great big “Venus De Milo” statue was in the front hallway, and water spurted from the cut-off arm! Caroline, raised in such classy environs, was in a kind of shock, and Hamill had fun with it: it was an awful piece, but later they changed the drapes downstars to blue, and the carpet on the main floor to white, bringing back the white sofa. Dunno what kinda sofa had replaced it, but it was pretty wild.} They said Linda had redecorated, but others have disputed that and said Elvis did most of it himself, including what became known as “The Jungle Room.” The official Graceland story, which no one has ever disputed, is that he wanted new furniture for “the den” which is connected and sort of downstairs, backstairs, from the kitchen. So, they were in this store called “Donald’s Furniture” at the local mall. And there was this whole set of “Polynesian” furniture. On the big round chair, claws hang from the arms, etc. etc. It’s pretty unbeivable. What happened was they were looking, and his father was with him, and Vernon saw this monstrosity of a furniture set, and said “that’s the ugliest furniture I’ve ever seen in my life.” Without a word, Elvis waved over the salesman. Told him he wanted it ALL. I think Vernon almost had his first heart attack! It was part joke, and part fun, I guess. And he knew that if his father was embarrassed, pretty much everyone would be go “YUCK!” And he liked that, for some reason. See, he got run off two different communities in the area for being “not proper” or whatever, and he really took it to heart, I guess. One was the first place on Audubon Drive, where they took up a petition, and all that. One woman was disgusted that Gladys was doing home-canning, from A GARDEN! Others were furious that she insisted on hanging out the wash to dry. Etc. And then, in ’66, he bought the Circle G Ranch. Uh, “Flying Circle G,” excuse me. And he really DID say “I want to start my own commune,” accoring to several sources since Goldman’s book. The other “Gentleman Ranchers” saw all these trailers, and decided that he’d started “his own trailer park” and were plotting to get rid of him, and harassing him. He leased it to a gun range who didn’t pay the rent, and finally sold it in ’69, well over a year or more after he’d had enough. So grossing out people, by ’74, was I think, planned. If they were going to question his right to live a bit differently than them, well, he was gonna really DO IT! Stuff it in their faces.
    So, Goldman’s description: I don’t remember. I don’t use the damn book, though for some reason I still have it and remember the gruesome parts. Some anyway. And there are a few things that fill in some gaps, like the gun falling out in the FBI headquarters, and the G-men acting like they’d seen “little green men” [my words, not Goldman’s]; other accounts corroborated the incident, but Goldman used it to talk about Elvis’s private area, which he seems hung up on. That’s why Marcus cracked “I guess Bob Dylan is safe.” Alive and “cut.” Look, he was NEVER gonna do a bio on a living person: a total coward.
    I know a guy who was aware that Marcus actually, after a while, actually TRAVELLED to Memphis, to talk to some people, and the guy, who was a big shot critic, said the notion that Greil would get mad enough to actually leave the confines of “that house” as he called it, well, it surprised him. The book stirred near-universal rage.} And Goldman then procedes to attack a guy who’d been MURDERED! Like I said, I think by that time, they were just “giving him enough rope.” I don’t know if anyone was thinking literally, but that’s how it turned out. He thought himself so important, and obviously untouchable that he made a scene, screaming and whining in an airport about his ticket placement. She finally gave him some of what he wanted, and curiously, he just keeled over and died on the flight. He was quickly and unceremoniously sent home as cargo. I mean, people hated him passionately from every corner of society, pretty much, and somehow, he was just “real, real, gone.” Lester Bangs was SO wrong in his Elvis obit: “we will never agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis.” Wrongo! We agreed on Goldman! {lopsided grin}
    I’ve been to Graceland, as you know, quite a few times, and saw photos long before that just made the experience sort of bone-chilling the first time: being really in there and all. After a while, when I stand on that driveway, it feels very “home-y.” To me, anyway. The exterior is so serene once you’re there, and if you go in the early morning – before the tours start, you can just mosey around. It was better in the old days, when “Tuffy Muffler” was right next door, and the shopping center was simple, but chock full of “real” kinda people, and there was no “official” Graceland barbecue resturant: instead, there were real ones, ones that Elvis ate in. Behind the shopping center and the barbecue joints, just across the highway {same one Bobby sang about on his first album: “I know that Highway, like I know the back of my hand” – a line I don’t think is in the blues he adapted to “Wake Up Little Susie’s” chord progression, which is strange, and SOOOO Bob!} I have seen, on the ‘net, the picture of Elvis in “the cap” – as early as possible: about ’62, so I guess when he checked out what was “new” in music, he noticed “Highway 51” blues, and there’s only two songs in existence before that about that road, so it had to get his attention. Which, I think was the whole danged idea. Like “here’s one of your fans from before you were “Private Presley” and I’m grown-up, and I’m gonna be a STAR!” And I think Elvis was kind of moved by that idea. He had said, early on, that if he given “just one” kid some hope, then it will have been worthwhile. And here was one! Bingo: so soon after he got out of “stir,” uh, the service. I was reading some book that described Junior’s death, by the way. Elvis was there as he lay dying, and Elvis just said to him, quietly, “it’s over now, Junior, it’s all over.”
    I wonder what he really felt deep, deep inside when he saw that scene in Patton: the “shell-shock” scene where Patton where the Gen. hauls off and clobbers a guy just like Junior. It really had to rattle him, y’know? Yeah, he memorized the speech that opens the film, because he was a show-off about being able to memorize stuff like that, but I have to wonder what horrifying memories it stirred, and how he felt. But, by, I think, 1970 {he’d also seen M.A.S.H., the film, previously – which was about Korea, and there WAS a girl he called “hot lips” I think – or was it in a film?}, all Elvis had to do to stop thinking about anything was to just get real loaded.
    It’s amazing how in almost all the bios and “day-to-day” books, they ignore the drug-law dates, that really got moving in 1970. And while they mention Hendrix’s death on Sep. 18, they seem mystified as to why Elvis was in a “bad mood” and rushed on the 22nd in Nashville at a session. Priscilla was there! Odd, that. And a musician asked what was up with him? She said, simply “there are reasons.” The guy assumed it was his drug habit making him jumpy. Forgot all about Hendrix just having died. Elvis had been a fan quite before Woodstock. Quite before. And I think he was getting real worried about what he was hearing about this new law they were working on: about putting certain prescription drugs on “schedules”: making it harder to get to “harder” drugs. I’d bet he wanted to see O’Grady and ask what was in the pipeline. The news could not have been good. And then, within days, on Sep. 4, Janis Joplin OD’d {Hendrix’s had been a true accident and did NOT involve heroin, but instead barbituates and alcohol: by then Elvis drank regularly, esp. before hitting the stage. It’s in the new cut of That’s The Way It Is: he drinks a clear liquid with a single ice cube, and winces as if burned – gnashes his teeth, hard, and tells the filmmakers: “straight Vodka; good for ya!” Earlier he’s seen in photos, different ones, drinking Bloody Mary’s.}. Joplin’s OD may have been deliberate. She expressed concern that Hendrix was “a bigger star” than she was. As if ODing was a way to give her higher “star status.” I’m dead serious. If that’s true, well, Elvis was a bigger star than either of ’em, but what if he was thinking somewhat along Janis’s line? Like, hey, things are getting rough out there {and shortly after her death, near the very end of Oct., they passed that bill! Which was a pain the ass!}, and EP wanted to tour the world, NOW! He really wanted to do it quickly, and now he realized that even going through American customs {and there WAS an “international” component to the bill! Which may have planted this silly “Agent-At-Large” idea in his befuddled head} would be difficult with dope and guns. And by now, he was taking to arming himself to the teeth. His concert in L.A. was ultra strange: this was in November. He was boasting about how he was bigger than all of them, that “I’ve outold the Beatles, the Stones, Tom Jones, all of ’em put together!” Most observers who knew his personality even a little were puzzled. He wanted people to know how “big a star” he was, just as Joplin was worried about her “star status” shortly before she decided to join Jimi in history. What was Elvis thinking? I mean, to make him boast, and at such a time? Now, he might have thought, drugs weren’t so much of a “shame” – just right then, so much as a symbol of how big a star you were! How much of a fuss they’d make! But then, he’d have to die without touring the world, and he seems to have become somewhat frantic as far as that was concerned. All of a sudden, “he” seems to have changed. He wants to get the plaudits of “proper society” such as the Jaycees. Never wanted that sort of thing before, really: made fun of it! Made fun of Ed Sullivan who’d said he was a “fine boy” and all that, and said, in ’69 that Ed was really offstage going “well, sumbitch!” Said if he’d known what he was really saying . . . actually Ed didn’t say THAT, but Elvis was putting on all the “proper folks” who were pretending to say he was also “proper.” In ’69, he’d rejected propriety, totally: the shows were very, very smutty: every joke seemed like a dirty joke. The more they told him to knock it off, seems like the more he did: “they done TOLD me to clean this show up!” That night, Parker sent him a “memo” about the “situation.” He continued apace. But by the dawn of ’71, all of a sudden, he wanted to be “proper.” What he wanted most of all, was to tour outside the states, at least before he died. He told, I think it was one of the Sweets, that he didn’t have much time – this was in ’69! – that people in his family tended to die real young, so he had to get everything he wanted to do in ASAP. Freaked her out, kinda. He looked so healthy, so gorgeous: why think about that? But he felt he had little time. I think in ’70, he might have felt he had less, and wanted to tour the world NOW! And Parker be damned. But now this new drug thing was in the way, dammit! In one way, it was cool: you could be a “tragic icon” like Dean and Monroe, and now Jimi/Janis, but on the other hand, he damn sure wasn’t dying before touring th globe!
    So, he started to plot and plan. I think, if had done that tour, he might have OD’d as soon as he returned home.
    It puts me in mind of his attitude toward Junior: “it’s over now, Junior, it’s all over.”
    But what was it the “shell-shocked” him? I guess it goes back to his childhood, but there was hardly a time when the waters were calm. He was shamed in Hollywood, which had been his first dream. His mother died just two years into his big fame, and his wealth. He’d been, as he said in ’69, “drafted and shafted and everything else.” And then, in a recording studio in ’65, he said, before a take “and the the horse I rode in on” about his Hollywood dream, and this disgusting, shameful film. So Lennon says: “make some of those great records like you used to do!” Elvis replies, “yeah, maybe I will. For kicks.” For a moment, Lennon forgot Elvis’s suprisingly “British” sense of humor, and got excited: “ok, for kicks, then!” The air got thick, though, and Paul went to the piano and started playing “I Feel Fine.” Elvis joined on the bass he’d been playing, distractedly, but now seriously. Then Paul lays one on him: not his fault, since he couldn’t have known: “coming along QUITE PROMISINGLY on bass, Elvis!” He smiled right along. Didn’t tell them that HE played that bass line on “You’re So Square {Baby, I Don’t Care”}, which is well, “bass-based.” A classic rock bass line. And Elvis played it, before the Army, and this numbnut says he’s “promising”! Elvis was starting to roil with frustration, shame, and anger at it all. Not at them, but at the situation that caused all this.
    But he comes back. And it seems like as soon as he’s back, and feels “free,” he finds he’s not free at all. He’s stuck. Parker, sure, but now the Goddamn govt. not only wants to draft you, but they want to tell you what to put in your damn body! In ’64, after the abortive bust and attempt to “bag Elvis” in the Federal probe of the time, someone sent Larry an envelope. Looked mysterious and was intercepted. Larry was summoned, but not arrested. They opened it in front of him, hoping to find something profoundly incriminating. It was a picture of Jesus. Larry was in shock. Got weak in the knees. Elvis didn’t seem all that surprised, oddly. “All the Masters have ‘that look'” he proclaimed. The future law-enforement “buff” as he’s been dubbed, said “maybe it’ll teach those cops something.” Odd words coming from Elvis Presley, dont ya think? But this was ’64, and it was about grass. He didn’t even do LSD until ’66, from all accounts and even what you could easily tell.
    In ’70, it was about Nick’s goodies. And he was seriously addicted, and didn’t want it known, not while he was trying to get a free pass through customs! And back. Maybe and back.
    Elvis was big on copying “cool” behavior that was decidedly “uncool.” Dylan has a serious accident, and a few months on, Elvis has one, too. But his seemed more “arranged.” And arranged by him. Parker was pissed off: the film was delayed some more! “Why do you let him get like this?!” he stormed and pounded his elephant cane. Meanwhile, Elvis appeared glassy eyed through the next several pictures. And he had met Nick already.
    In ’69, clearly, he was doing hard drugs, and drinking more than he ever did, and his shows were wild and, yeah, “dirty” at least for the time. But he also was thinking in terms of a “timetable” for his life. He thought he’d tour soon. Really did. Tour the world. And Parker be damned. But the damned dope, now! Yeah, he’d get that “iconic status” if he went their way, but NOT before he saw the inside of a British instrument shop! So, now he remembered hundreds of TV shows: ‘play their game.’ Get on the “inside.” Like he was playing monopoly {he and his wife did play board games quite a bit}, and he wanted a “get out of jail free card.” And it was THE BADGE.
    Which he never did get. Not the one he felt he needed, and for which he’d say anything about anyone, if it helped. Hell, “The Beatles” weren’t a group now anyway! The little turds thought they were better than me . . . not “bigger,” he knew that now, but somehow morally better. And he did internalize some of it. “And the horse I rode in on.” He told people in ’69 how he was “ashamed” in the mid-sixties. Well, hell, he was right to be. But they should have known that! Why rub it in?! “Don’t Be Cruel” huh?
    Dylan knew he was ashamed. One listen to “Acapulco,” and assuming the persona in the song, Dylan’s cries of rage and misery are absolutely genuine. THIS was a person he REALLY cared about. And I think, from the evidence of the music of the time, before anyone knew of any “comeback” or that it was even a possibility, he felt that Elvis Presley wouldn’t be alive to ring in 1969. There’s too much of him in that Basement! The smutty Bobby Bare take-off, the “gonna get me a truck or somethin'” in a train song, of course, “Goin’ To Acapulco,” and finally, a song that summed up his own musical generation, or a generation that became musical to become anything at all: “Tears of Rage.” And of grief. I sincerely believe Bob thought EP’d die very soon after he recorded that song {but kept it under tight wraps}. On the Harding album, there’s this character, who died: good fellow: “searching for the very souls who already have been sold.” The dude has a “blanket underneath his arm” – he’d been ill lately, which was very true: he had been recovering from a concussion that the public knew nothing about, “and a coat of solid gold.” But by the release of the album, the guy in the song, with the solid gold coat, is dead. Did he not expect him to ring in even 1968? Perhaps. “I dreamed I was among the ones who put him out to death.” Joan’s remark “you’ll be the rock king, and I’ll . . .” “Rock King”? How could do become that? There already is one? Oh, I’d have to crush him. Destroy him. Replace him. I don’t want to do that, dammit!
    “I awoke in anger, alone and terrified. I pressed my fingers against the glass, and hung my head and cried.”
    People have speculated: “Mirror.” “window.” Hmmm. What else? Are these people living under a rock? It’s 1967-68!! LIVING COLOR!!!!!! Of course, the glass in the television set. And on it is “G.I. Blues” or something. Or more upsetting, “King Creole” when he was really cool: “you go to school; I’m goin’ out to make a buck!” Door slams, and Dylan remembers an old song: “I’m leavin’ town now baby, . . .” Not, as Crudup would have it: leaving “towmmorow.” No teenager has EVER said “I’ll be leaving tomorrow.” No, an adolescent roars his rage NOW, and slams the door NOW.
    And Dylan did exactly that: “you go to school; I’m goin’ out to make a buck!”
    If THAT was on, it would make all the sense in the world. Especially if he expected him to not be alive, and if he felt truly responsible, at least in part.
    He certainly felt that “Acapulco” was a dangerous song: it was not bootlegged, and he made damn sure it wasn’t.
    Imagine if someone wrote that about YOU: how “it’s a wicked life, I know, but don’t everybody got to eat/I’m just the same as everyone else when it comes to scratchin’ for my meat.” Prostitution, pure and simple. And the Col.’s wife, lampooned in the Bare takeoff? Her maiden name was Ross. Her first, Marie. On all legal documents that you’ld look up to find her name, it would say: “Ross, Marie.”
    “I’m going down to see Rose Marie; she never done me wrong/She puts to me plain as day, and gives it to me FOR A SONG.”
    At the end, there she is again: “she likes to go to big places {the travelogues}/Just settin’ there waitin’ for me to come.” A sexual ref. right there at the end. A damned dangerous song, watered down on Harding, big time, and smushed with another great basement song, too. All the blood and guts drained. Even goes easy on his “landlord.” On “Wheel” he accuses him of trying to kill him. On Harding, he offers compromise and understanding. Of course the real stuff had to be bootlegged, and one song kept hidden until 1975, when it hardly mattered.
    See, Dylan was a REAL fan: he gave a damn. Not a “true believer,” because frankly, from experience, I can tell you they are NOT real fans. Sometimes the real fans don’t know it until something traumatic happens. But you won’t hear BS from real fans. You just won’t. They know these people are real, and they screw up, and are not “icons” in real life. Yeah, early on, both fan and young performer are all “made of dreams.” But that changes, and the real fans, well, they change with it.
    Bob was that kid out there {so was Janis “Elvis is My Man” Joplin} who got some hope from “The Cat.” He was their leader, their hope of “Independence,” and he was so young, like them, had “terminal acne.” {I saw the museum exhibit in L.A. just a little while ago, and those enlargements show that he REALLY DID have “terminal acne” or so it must have felt at the time. Bad. But there was no doubt, despite his devotion to his creative work, that he really was just a kid. Parker buys him a giant Panda toy, and he LOVES it, and you can see that he really does. And that night, on July 4, he promised that audience that the Old Guard was “not gonna change me none,” that “you’re gonna see what the real Elvis is like tonight!” But, really, the promise was for more than just that night, that July 4, 1956. He never wanted to “sell out” again, which he told Scotty he felt he really did on the Allen show. BTW, Wertheimer, even after Allen’s death from a freak auto mishap, still seems to loathe the man: it’s in little cracks that are quoted about how shallow and cruel he could be, and so on. He didn’t get to meet Berle, but he was truly wonderful: whistlng, “how about my boy!” and he meant it! He loved the kid, for some reason. Even in the ’60s, he’d come over and try to cheer him up on a film set. But on Independence Day, it wasn’t about the “grownup” who’s presenting him: it’s about himself and his fans: a promise made on Independence Day. And in so many ways, even on the journey down, they “carried [you] in [their] arms.” He knew it was just him and his fans: they would “carry” him when the “frustrated old types” attacked.} And you look at them, and realize how, in some significant way, many of them will never be the same after that promise, and wonder where they were in 1967. These are not the “Sgt. Pepper” college crowd, oh no: these are the people who will grow up and all they want is some hope that their lives will be better. And in some of the photos, it is absolutely clear that they are looking to him for that hope, and what’s more, he knows it.
    “And now you throw us all aside.”
    But Dylan offers open arms, as would his fans, as they did, sitting through so many of those pictures – as they grew more and more horrifying, and says, very personally, “come to me now, you know we’re SO alone, and/Life is brief.”
    You wonder how many people he told what he told that lady: that he had not a long life, and he’d better get as much in ASAP, or forget it.
    But was it so important that he selfishly thought only of what HE had missed: that world tour, that he’d say anything about anyone? No, it wasn’t what Finlator told Jack Anderson, but it was bad enough: it was what an addict does. Now I agree, that stupid “War On Drugs” only hurt people, but John and Paul were those kids looking for “hope,” too. Yeah, He made it right later, with both John and George. Never got a chance to let Ringo know that there was something bothering him, as he let George know, and Paul was totally in the dark, and still is. He’s “angry” about it, but says “the joke” of it that he died sitting on the toilet, of drugs. Well, you idiot, can’t you see that it’s connected? That, yeah, he used a “name” of a rock group that Nixon would surely know to show that he was “not like that.” Can’t he see what was going on there? Well, hell, if he was stupid enough to marry that chick without a pre-nup because he felt sorry for her, well, maybe he IS stupid. John got a phone call in ’72 from EP, telling him how to “play” Nixon, and if he did that, and it was easy, that his problems would soon end. And they did.
    Why do you think John was at that concert in ’72 and yelling “I love you, Elvis!” All covered in those silly buttons, with flags and junk. And yet he’s dead, and so cannot speak.
    The cool thing is the Goldman didn’t know a lot of bad things that he could have had fun with! The ’64 raid where the feds thought Elvis and Larry were “trafficking” partners, and allwhatnot.
    I tell you one thing: I could NOT believe that damn kitchen: it’s so DARK! And the appliances are the ugliest Avocado color you can imagine, and oh, what can I say? It doesn’t look anything like a “celebrity” kitchen. In fact, the house does not look at all like a celebrity “home.” It’a an art project, to be charitable. And well, it’s fun. And it kinda does feel like home. You should go.
    When you enter, you’re standing right beneath the spot where he died.

  85. R M Says:

    First question: why take pity on Johnny Cougar {Mellencamp}? Hell, why not, he IS pathetic, and you take pity on the pathetic! I mean, a whole song where he rhymes one word with itself. Even Dylan didn’t dare do something like that, but Mellencamp, who had not demonstrated any real talent prior to doing that, somehow got away with it! Well, all the kids were playing Pac-Man then, so what the hell. I saw him on that 5 AM talk show in NY, early on, and he looked older than he said he was. I never knew what to make of him. Except I think that Willie and friends really do feel sorry for him. Period. He’s a total, complete no-talent.
    Listen, about “the breakdown,” as in “I had a breakdown!” well, Dylan has had a LOT of personal catastrophes of the mind, so for something to stand out, it had to be pretty major: what got my attention is that he found himself “struck dumb.” It’s almost poetically perfect way of mourning someone who had a terrible speech impediment, and sometimes couldn’t speak: would just not be able to open his mouth. He’d have to grab a guitar or something musical. Pretty soon, drugs did the talking. So, being struck mute for a week was actually a kind of “countertransferance” reaction, the way I see it. Just not be able to talk. Sort of Elvis’s essence entered him with the shock of the news, and he couldn’t speak, or wouldn’t. Because speech was never what Elvis was about: he was a musical being. The very idea of making “music” on a TYPEWRITER would have made his skin crawl. Really. He’d make stuff up at the mike, or on guitar, or whatever, but a TYPEWRITER? That would totally creep him out. And he had no patience at all. Any of the kinder souls who knew both Red and him said that Elvis would be working on something with Red and sort of moving all over the room at the same time, picking up different instruments and playing them, and just couldn’t be still. It’s hard to imagine what kind of “breakdown” HE would have had if HE had been treated as were Mick and Keith: locked in a kitchen and ordered to write a song before they were “let out.” That’s the truth. He’d go freakin’ crazy, I think. Move, move, move. But speech had been hard for him since some time after they moved to Memphis. I don’t think immediately, because he got into a raving argument with the music teacher as soon as he got there. I think that’s what caused the “Christine School” thing that Guralnick doesn’t understand. Clearly it was a “Special Ed.” branch of Humes! Sometimes I think our pal Peter is an idiot, a nice idiot, but still. I mean, that should be obvious. They lived in squalor, hunger, and danger. Billy remembers jumping into a garbage can, a large one, just to get some bruised, rotten bannanas a stand had thrown away. Elvis was 13, and kind of placid about this “being hungry” thing, but Billy was having none of it. Elvis told him not to do it, but he jumped in, just his sneakers sticking out. Elvis was pissed, but Billy said he was NOT “letting go of them dang bannanas!” Sometime during this period, I think it’s clear that there was a reason why most of the places refused to have children-families living with mostly single men. As we know today, it’s very dangerous. Elvis was at a dangerous age: still 13, and still quite small for his age. Hell, he was small at 18, and even 19, let alone 13! We know he was in a funk: Vernon bought him a humor book for his birthday, and he inscribed it sweetly: “Hope your birthday is sprinkled through and through with happiness and joy, and good times, too.” Apparently, Elvis cherished it: he took it on the boat to Germany, then the barracks, and then to the house there. And then Vernon found that creepy woman, and he left the book behind. That’s really sad. He felt not only “orphaned” by his mother’s death, but abandoned by his father for this “new family” that he didn’t really care for, well the mother anyway. I mean, most people think he was mad ’cause on account of his mom, but I think HE felt abandoned. Maybe that’s why we see him in that photo in ’62, wearing “The Cap” of the “Original Vagabond” who everyone thought was an orphan . . . who had a thing for Highway 51!
    A lot of things can make a person feel hurt and alone.
    Somehow they both came to know after a time, that they were brothers under the skin. It’s just too obvious at that time. The time when the apocryphal songlist supposedly comes from. “Wise men say,” Dylan sang, “only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with you.” And then “I see my light . . .” “Dylan!” It’s so damned obvious. The why didn’t make the sense at first. Then you realize that Dylan would have been lost in this world if it hadn’t been for Elvis. He gave him hope, and it actually happened! I think he felt that in a very real way, he saved his life. With the music. Because it was all amorphous listening to these old guys. But then this pimply-faced kid comes on TV, and he really LOOKS like a pimply-faced kid {like I said, you should see the exhibit}, and he knows in his bones that he’s getting out of this literal hellhole into which he was born! Hell, somehow, Elvis got “out.” Not really, but yeah, he escaped the worst of being poor and pretty hopeless, even if the “proper” folks of Memphis never, ever really accepted them. There’s a quote, truncated in Guralnick, from Dundy’s wonderful book, by an Audobon Drive type, and he really tells it like it was/is. They were seriously embarrassed by him, always. The whole damn thing, they felt, was horrifying to proper Memphis. All these Japanese tourists with their damn cameras . . . the whole thing was just so TACKY!
    You know, they just closed the resturant on Beale, operated by the Estate. Buncha excuses, but they forgot the initial reviews: THE FOOD SUCKED! That was the whole damn story. You can look at memorabilia without being forced to eat cardboard. I mean, in the exhibit that just moved on from L.A., well, you see that first guitar. It’s just horrible. I cannot use words. Just horrible, and you really GET IT when you see it. You can’t even cry.
    Might make you not want to talk.
    As for that weirdest of songs, well, hell, anybody’s guess is as good as mine! Kinda proves the brain-short-circuit, though! All these images are racing through his head, and instead of sharpening the thing, as is his usual way, it’s like a word-factory blew up, if such a thing existed. He’s so terribly confused, but the main thing is that death and forboding hang over it. And “16”: the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll number, and that also is in folk music going way back in time. Was he also into numerology? God, that would make it even worse. Most just give up, but toward the end, you see he’s talking about “an end.” And people who’d better make up their minds, because their “Eden is burning.” What Eden? Was there an Eden? Ever? Well, I think, you have to remember the time: ’78, music was all in tatters. Elvis was recording Disco for the country charts, and seemingly none too happy about that! I mean, in ’76: by ’78, things had blown up: “punk” and “disco burnings” and wierd things. It was an unsettling time. And he knew “the rock era” as he had known it, had died with its King. That much, he knew. As much as he would have liked to be relieved, he couldn’t be happy about this ugly thing that had happened: how the rock culture itself had pressured Elvis so hard from the mid-sixties on to “get with it” and he really DID, but he got with it full-on, on stage in ’69, he was truly wild and they loved it: turning a cartwheel that first night, and sliding all the way across like it was a rink, but boy, if he broke his knees, what the hell, he’d never feel it. They were stoned, he was stoned, everybody must . . . And so, after several years of shattered dreams, again, died the drug death that was in vogue. I wonder if he thought about that line: “everybody MUST get stoned,” all those 70s deaths: there were a LOT of ’em. Eden burning indeed.
    Oh, yeah, one more thing: remember what REALLY triggered Elvis’s death, that Dylan would have watched on TV in totally rapt attention!?! The FIRED “JUDAS” BODYGUARDS {FRIENDS}! “Gentleman, he said”: the rest you can listen to the tape West surreptiously taped, and did not transcribe accurately at all, by the way, or you can make it up yourself, which West did, actually. He claimed he said, which he didn’t, but he claimed he told Elvis: “what are we gonna be, 40-year-old stuntment?” To which Elvis said “I’ve shined your shoes; I don’t need your organization . . . ” Well, not “said.” Anyway, Red ACTUALLY said that he would do ok, and that he was “young” and that he’d have no trouble finding something, which he did: that TV show, etc. But his songwriting career mysteriously evaporated when he left Elvis. Odd, that. I’m not suggesting anything: I just think it’s odd.
    In any case, those guys, well, they’re perfect! Elvis shined their damned shoes, not the other way around. He buys two big tape recorders in ’60, and Red ends up with both of them. He buys another later, and Esposito takes it.
    Some of ’em, like Hodge who never had a life of his own, but expected and was “taken care of” in style, I might add, came aboard in ’60. Things began to unravel in ’76. He wasn’t “fired” but he did NOTHING. That’s “16 years.” Maybe he didn’t know that West had been there since high school: maybe he thought he brought him home from the Army. Dylan, I mean, he might not have known. And that would be exactly 15 years. most of ’em were around since ’60; only a few came before that. And in ’76, they were starting to clean house. Didn’t need him, and wasn’t shinin’ their shoes no more. Their Eden was indeed burning. Was Dylan truly “his own man,” not needing “hangers-on.” Bullshoot! And you know it. He loves that idea of himself, but it ain’t true. He’s had his own hangers-on, and he sang about ’em. But I’ll bet they kept on coming back, as they usually do.
    Maybe getting “born again” and changing everything: the black gospel singing girlfriend, at least I think that’s what she was, well, maybe it was like making a break from the old rock crowd. Their Eden was burning, and through another’s tragedy, he could smell the smoke of his own on the horizon. He didn’t want to go down like that.
    As for Obama, I think Dylan just agreed to lend his name: unusual, but I think Dylan really thought this guy was “different” from your ordinary politician. And that’s the real gut-punch. All that big talk about “change” and “yes we can” and he does this embarrassing flip-flop “drill, baby, drill.” Anything to please the folks. Anything. He HAS NO PRINCIPLES. And he’s not civil rights crusader, believe me. Even if he ever tried to pose as one. He talks a good game. And that’s all. And at this point, he’s revealed that he has NO principles at all. For use by the highest bidder. But, you know what? It didn’t even work. I think he’s lost his mind already. That drilling thing was over the top obvious. Grasping for straws. Thought he’d showed those Clintons a thing or two! But when he realized that those who looked closely realized it was the plan originally proposed years ago by the OTHER party, he looked the fool. So, what the hell: “drill, baby, drill.”
    I hate talking about electoral politics. It’s so phony and crappy. And creepy.
    The only politics that matters is in popular art, in my opinion. I’m serious: when Nichelle Nichols of the original Star Trek series left for higher pay, “secret Trekkie” Martin Luther King, Jr. called her on the phone! “You go back to work on that show if they pay you a dollar!” And he meant it. He felt that popular culture could be much more significant than anything even he did. I agree. And she damn well went back.
    Whereas Barry doesn’t like such frivolous amusements: he prefers serious jazz and such. He HAD to invite Dylan to something, ‘natch, but frankly, I don’t think he’s listened to anything ANY of them ever did. Including those Five Blind Boys. {How OLD would the originals BE now? Sounds fake to me.} He’s one of those snobby, snotty people who won’t let thier kids have TVs. {I mean this! I was lucky. My parents gave me the best educational tool ever invented, even if all I wanted at first was the Farm Report in the mornings. Hell, I watched Cronkite’s horror when reporting on this terrible new rock and roll band from England, AGAIN, and they were NOT the Beatles: they were nasty and dirty and oh God! We’re being INVADED! I mean, he acted like the Brits were ACTUALLY invading! It was funny, and I was only a toddler, and I understood. He was “a frustrated old type” or something like that. And it seemed fun. Oh, but the fun would have to wait ’till I grew into it. But I’ll always have that memory. Our President won’t. Probably wasn’t allowed a TV. “Listen to this GOOD MUSIC, ‘Rock.'” as they called him – odd nickname for someone who has said he doesn’t care for “rock music.” I think he means it: his treatment of Mrs. Jackson was cruel. I don’t care WHATall her son got up to in his personal screwed up life, he owed him, in more ways than one. But to be cruel to a grieving mother by DELIBERATELY refusing to send over a one-line statement . . . it was shamefully cruel. That reminds me, the guy I talked to: it was ’87. I did see Greil in person on the East Coast several years later, but I got the impression that it took prodding from others to pry him from isolation, and that he’s more comfortable with it. The guy wasn’t kidding at all. He more or less dismissed him as out-of-touch. Please don’t make me say more. But you KNOW he had to be out of touch to not know of the lineage of the lyrics to “That’s Allright Mama” and then ignorantly attack Dylan’s codification with his name as “weirdest of all.” There’s that word again: “weird.” Musta had SOME childhood with a name like that! “Weird.” Ummm. Hmmm.} I mean, he’s writing about this music, but doesn’t read Charters, or Michael Gray, a good Dylan writer, and so on. They guy IS out of touch!
    Dylan, after all he’d been through, must have feared the critics at a certain time. I think after Elvis died, he basically said, in convoluted language: “f-bomb you.” To ’em all.
    The interesting parrallels with his personal life {his girlfriend floating through the lyrics}, his being on “the floor” and just getting up to his knees, with “the stitches still mending,” after the shock of last August, well, it all kinda came together in dreamlike images all jumbled. Who knows what’s in there.
    I know that not just me, but someone else pointed out how the album ends with “I can’t believe it, can’t believe I’m alive, but it just doesn’t seem right. WHERE ARE YOU TONIGHT??!” I am in agreement with that person, and I forget who, but yeah, it was about the “dark heat” of the previous summer.
    He’s had this fascination, which makes a lot of sound sense, since he started out. When Suze’s family would go out an do their “Politics” stuff, they’d stay in and listen “to Elvis Presley records” and well, have a ball! But for Dylan, it was old news: he’d been doing that since like ’54! First of all, it seems obvious to me that he had no interest in his “right of passage” so they had to ship in someone, because I think nobody in town wanted to work with him! Bored out of his skull. Look, I know of some boys, from way back, who had to have private tutoring because they were incorrigible. I won’t say who. {grin} But it’s not unusual, ok? Anyway, the same year, this amazing, high flyin’ and very young voice tumbles out of his big radio, and he knew his life would be forever changed. He would not run a store, clerk for a store, be a miner, or any of that! He was clearing outta town, NOW, BABY! Well, actually it took longer, but he was on his way.
    It is not “weird” at all that he took the time to codify the song as Elvis put it on wax, and then, just to “shake ’em up” and be real as to what “folk music” actually was, put HIS name on it. If Elvis wouldn’t, for whatever reason, and how could he know, yet, well, he would. And once he knew it would do no good to put the appropriate name on it, well, what the hell!
    And he HAD heard Blind Lemon: he sang about things creeping under doors. He knew MUCH more than Marcus, but apparently never shared his knowledge with him, interestingly enough.
    Bye for now,

  86. R M Says:

    Look what I found. It was another attack, way back around “Self-Portrait,” when Marcus makes scurrilous claims about how Bob {or anyone who brings a blues sensibility to pop} made his music. It’s Elmore James’s version of a song called “It Hurts Me Too.” But without knowing about “It Hurts Me” by his producer Bob Johnston, written for/to Elvis, and re-recorded for the TV special, but cut out {I believe becaue Parker felt attacked, then anything to do with Singer Sewing Machines}! I mean, gosh, Bob only took the IDEA of this song from the original blues, but changed it profoundly and also aimed it squarely at the guy who recorded “It Hurts Me” because Bob Dylan’s producer wanted to tell him IT HURTS ME! I mean, the blues is truly about a love triangle, not about a trapped person, particularly a person trapped by a pimp-type creep. Bob’s song is not identical to “It Hurts Me,” but craftily uses “Big Boss Man” {which was in a medley with “It Hurts Me” on the part of the show that was cut}, “His Hand In Mine,” and now I realize, “Baby, Let’s Play House” is in their just to jog the memory and let the “listener” he’s being “sung to.” See Johnston kinda wanted to tell this TO the person he wrote the song “for” but couldn’t, so he put it into a song. I’m sure, knowing Dylan, he knew the old blues. Elvis probably, undoubtedly, I’m sure, knew the old blues, because he knew the blues. Elvis would take lines from widely spaced corners of the blues and even Western Swing world, and throw them in together with his own fascinations, and it would be new. That’s my point, actually, of what a “blues sensibility” is all about: there’s no “stealing” involved because this is how the music is supposed to work. Gawd, it’s how so-called “folk music” is supposed to work! And didn’t he start with “folk music”? I mean, it’s like they totally forgot how Dylan got started in the business, wanted him to abandon that approach entirely when he never did: “there’s nothing, really nothing, to turn off” has a swirl of meanings. But, basically, he was saying he hadn’t really “changed” ever. It’s ALL “American Music” and it grows by acknowledging the roots so as to grow into something even better each time. Yeah, he should have paid Berry his royalties for “Subterranian . . .” because even though the words are different, the melody is just about the same, and the spirit of the song is the same. But this old blues? It’s different. And the context is TOTALLY different: see, now it involved “It Hurts Me” and stuff Dylan could only know from the guy who wrote it {or the guy who sang it}, and it is SO perfect. It was what Johnston had meant to do in the first place! And it really has nothing to do with the old blues song.
    And, no, Crudup did NOT write “That’s Allright Mama.” Blind Lemon Jefferson did it first, another guy did after him, and then way later, after WWII, Crudup tries to make a song of it. And throws the couplet into like every song he does. It’s a verse in SEARCH of a song, and he keeps changing surrounding lyrics, titles, etc. Well, Elvis made it into a damn good song! A classic. With a different melody, an actual chord progression – something Crudup didn’t seem to be able to do, and a high flying wild adolescent vocal that changed the world. There’s no way on Earth that Crudup could have done that, and it has nothing to do with “interpretation” because Crudup DID NOT write it! It started with Blind Lemon Jefferson! And no credit was given at all. And no one, it seems, either had the knowledge or the guts to say so. To defend Elvis, because he did nothing that Crudup didn’t do, but he did it way better. He realized the blues Crudup had in mind, but just couldn’t make. I mean, those lyrics: “that’s all right mama, that’s all right for you, that’s all right mama, any way you wanna do!” Well, it’s Elvis’s version, but no matter what, it’s tempting. No blues singer expected that he owned the words of blues that he sang. It was a group activity. In every way. Mountain music was like that, too. These people were so damn stupid that they couldn’t hear it at all.
    Dylan did the “real” “Blue Moon” for only one reason: so that critics would remember Elvis radical reinvention, which they did, even in their nasty article! And they praised it to the skies. Exactly his intention: to point them in that direction. That’s why ALL those Elvis thingies are on that album! To get them listening to the originals and realize who was the real “king” – if they must, and it seemed like they must – have one. The point was to show that “Like a Rolling Stone” wasn’t a great “song” but a powerful performance, and music only lives in performance. If music falls in the forest, and no one’s tympanic membrane hears it, then it didn’t even happen. And, the truth of it is that Crudup’s version just didn’t happen, nor did any older version of “Blue Moon” which could never be sung again! And Bob proved it. To take a love song with a “happy ending” and to destroy all the “happiness” of the song so powerfully was genius that Bob was trying to TELL THEM that he did not possess. He was very, very good, but he was no “king.” And he never wanted to be. When Joan said “You’ll be the Rock King, and I’ll . . .” it gave him shivers. “What AM I doing?” He didn’t want to be a marketing gimmick like the Beatles were when they were marketed in the U.S. Elvis was not “presented” by anyone who had the ear of the young. He just simply appeared one night. Dylan had already heard his voice, and his life was already changed, but SEEING him, and for others, they hadn’t heard him yet, seeing him made it even MORE clear: I AM OUTTAHERE!!!!!!!! “If not for you, I couldn’t even find the door . . .” or whatever the exact lyrics. I cannot even count the songs. And I think that earlier on, Dylan was not entirely aware of how much he’d put on vinyl that gives it away. “Just when I KNEW who to thank . . . you went blank.” He sings it so perfectly: “you went blank” goes from the excitemennt of the previous words, to – well, to “blank.” Just a sort of matter-of-fact thud. I think he only knew when the comeback happened: well, really knew. Before that, it was just emotions: not as much thought. But 12 or so years after that hot August night, he was ready to make it all clear. “Went To See the Gypsy” is very unclear: he doesn’t know how he feels because he’s sort getting the run-around, or so it felt. Like: “do you want to do this thing, or NOT!” But in “It Hurts Me Too,” he seems to understand what Bob was trying to make clear. If he needed an old blues to give him a leg up, well, perfect.
    The fact that Marcus was that stupid is amazing. That’s the time of life when you get really enthused to find out everything you can about things you care about. And he never bothered to even look up the lineage of “Crudup’s song” which it was not, or to see that the old blues is radically different. And that it has A LOT in common with a recent version of “It Hurts Me,” that just happens to have been written by Bob Johnston’s wife {in the business, they know this is done all the time, for business reasons}.
    So why did I do it? Why did I fall for Marcus? I mean, when I first read “Mystery Train,” I always thought it just plain dumb to call somebody, anybody a “failed sharecropper,” as if there were any “successful” ones! I mean, I really studied this hard because I thought I was understanding Elvis, then thought what else is there to understand, and recently realized: EVERYTHING! Other people, too. That’s why so many books are coming out. There’s so much not known, and so much that may never be known. But you can try. I never even considered the way he talked a “real” stutter. I don’t know why. Only when I read what Phillips said “hell, he couldn’t even TALK!” and the comments of classmates sort of gleefully remembering how they tortured him, and about the speech problem. How they’d grab him and “pull words out of him” with threats of violence. And threats he knew they’d make good on. And more.
    Hell, all I knew when Guralnick’s books first came out is that they were boring. They are far worse than that. He just makes stuff up, and because he’s “the officical version,” people treat is if it actually happened, ignoring other, corroborated information that conflicts with his theory.
    And Marcus once called Elaine Dundy “racist” because of her misunderstanding of the non-inheritable characteristics of certain ethnic traits. Perhaps, she didn’t mean it WAS genetic, physically? I mean, she’s not dumb. Maybe she meant it was passed down to him through his experiences. I mean, she showed that his mother had loved to dance. This, she attributed to the Burdine-Tackett “strain” in his bloodline. But I don’t think she meant he had it “in his blood” literally! I think she meant that he saw a joy of the flair of showmanship. Hell, I had it too! It’s not in my “blood,” but I guess from whatever I saw. I liked it when I got on a stage as a kid. I won a trophy, once! But is it from my “blood”? That’s silly. And Dundy would know that, and she’s no racist. You don’t throw that around so lightly unless you want it thrown back at you! I later found it was easy to throw it at Greil for very real reasons. So he had some nerve. She wrote, so far, the best book on him. And none of the “top guns” of the rockcrit world can stand it.
    Now, another woman is writing about Elvis’s ’68 Comeback, or maybe even into ’69. If it’s better than their stuff, they’ll try to club her to death with their pens.

  87. reprindle Says:

    Well, you know my position: It is impossible to be original. No matter what happens one can merely add a little to an already existing structure. So all you can do is tell your story or write your songs. Of course plagiarism does enter in when you claim the entire To be or not to be speech from Hamlet as your own but Shakespearte has no claim to originality for the phrase To be or not to be or any of the sentiments he so eloquently expresses in one place. Heck, he cribbed all his stories anyway. The idea of Hamlet wasn’t original, merely his telling.

    Marty Robbins’ song El Paso was merely a perfecting of a song Western singers had been working on for a couple decades or so. But the song doesn’t have to be original merely pleasing. When you start copyrighting that which is in the common domain so no one can use it that’s being a bit presumptuous. No one should have to pay royalties for singing El Paso even though Robbins perfected the song.

    There is no reason why one couldn’t rewrite the song on the already established bases and still call it El Paso while taking credit for one’s own version. Something like the various versions of that great Western song The Strawberry Roan. But then, that is your argument with a Blues lyric. To waste time in courts arguing this stuff before a judge with no notion of musical history is ridiculous. We’ll have to start a League Of Concerned Lyricists Looking For Melodies.

    It always takes a while after the event before people begin to look behind the curtain, lift the veil, so to speak. Besides which the writers of the Marcus school of social theory had a hammerlock on musical criticism. People like you and I of divergent views were shut out with no hope of publication.

    The internet has changed that although I and probably you work without remuneration while Marcus and his ilk are the darlings of campus and publishing. The New Establishment that has to be revolutionized. Out with the dinosaurs.

    However, we can begin work on establishing a New School, to use Communist gabble, that will change the pardigm. It takes a while to form but like the current reaction to Barry’s socialist crap an opposition identity does form although castigated by the Big Black Red as uninformed bigots.

    As far as Barry goes he is not an independent or autonomous president, he is merely the regional chief executive accountable to the Global Money Trust as are Brown, Sarkozy and other chief executives including the Chinese. Clinton and Bush were also just employees implementing their employers plans. Just accept that as fact and things fall into place.

    Thus there is nothing surprising in Barry reversing Liberal positions on offshore drilling. That’s what the Money Trust wants, that’s where the money lies. There is no White Face who could have done it so essentially they hired a Black Face to reverse all business policies including the renewed building of atomic plants that will apparently run on wind power. To oppose him in anyway is to declare yourself a bigot.

    The interesting thing to watch for is who will get the leases. Will the existing companies like Exxon get to bid or will the leases simply be given to startup ‘minority’ concerns. Of course such minority firms won’t have the means or experience to process the oil so they will become mere middle men raking off a cut as they sell to Exxon and others. It’s what’s called underhanded reparations. Whites will end up paying will they, nil they.

    It’s the Long Black Con. Expect nothing less. I have given up hope that the stupid Honkies will ever catch on. They love to be diddled. Feels so good. Read the Poe story, this goes way back.

  88. R M Says:

    Let’s talk more about “El Paso” or whatever than those politicians. And you know that we probably don’t generally agree on race, although I KNOW, from actual experience, that many black kids actually APPRECIATE it when a white teacher has the guts to critique their work and not give them what they call “pity points.” I know a lot of young people who are hip to this sort of wussy-liberal type thing that devalues them as human beings and they appreciate being treated with respect, even if it hurts the grade point average. So, on that, I guess we agree.
    But Barry did that “drill, baby, drill” flip-flop because HE HAS NO PRINCIPLES! I think I’m right about that. There is no such thing as “clean coal” and so on. He knows this, but he does whatever is expedient. And I don’t think there’s any loyalty to his own ethnicity, or partial exthnicity. I don’t think such a pure politician has any loyalty of any kind at all!
    I have strong feelings about this, because I used to be idealistic in these ways, and now I know that all elections are pretty much like 1968, when in the gen. election, they were all the same. No one with any sense actually voted. Because they were all the same. Bobby, in his ’68 incarnation, was different, well he was always different. He HAD principles. One reason a lotta folks watched him die on TV. When JFK started to figure out who he WAS, and what he really believed, and got scared of that “button” that could wipe out the world, guess what? Lights out, baby.
    Clinton, who really wanted to have principles – I listened to that anguished phone call, and it’s really something: he sounds like he’s having a genuine breakdown, but of course, he gave up on that and did what he wanted. {clearing throat}
    Amazing how they all get so FRIENDLY once they leave office!! Well, almost all of ’em.
    But politics itself? I mean, that kind? A total bore. They are all for sale, white, black, purple, whatever. Green is the operative color. Does Barry have “old friends” pushing him? He would have to have loyalty for that! Think about it. There ain’t nothin’ there! Just a shell. He’s too smart to be freely “used” so easily as like a Dubya, but on the other hand, he knows the drill. That he’s no different that any of ’em. Ha, Freudian slip: “drill.”
    You probably know that the idea of “reparations” doesn’t exactly bother me {I’m still pissed off about Joe Hill Louis dying of a cut in Chicago after leaving Memphis, but that’s another story: whose gonna make it all up to him? 35 years old, left for a “better life” and he dies of a lousy cut . . . Elvis’s guitar playing is Louis’s: I mean, a young [like 14 or something] Elvis’s heart beat in time to Louis’s guitar rhythms and simply poured out of him forever – nothing was “stolen”: in fact, thank God it lives somewhere where people have ears}, but you needn’t worry. He never even gave that long-awaited “apology” that has never come, and if he ain’t gonna do it, or didn’t do it on Jan. 20, ’09, well, ain’t nobody gonna do it. HE’s NOT BLACK. That is my position. And since he has no principles, he’s not “red” either. He’s whatever the situation calls for. That healthcare bill was the same thing the OTHER PARTY came up with in the 90s! That’s more or less a pure fact. But he looks like a “winner” for winning it. So then he decides “drill, baby, drill” so EVERYBODY will like him. And “clean coal” and all that. Well, 25 men just died in a coal mine. And he didn’t even have anything to say, as far as I know.

  89. R M Says:

    You know one thing, this site is fast. You don’t have to sweat the thing out. And I know that people who are interested in the ideas can find them. Including Mr. Dillen {I saw that on a closed caption the other night; I couldn’t stop laughing!}. If they want unload on you, or even on me for just TALKING to you, which as I understand our democracy is frankly un-American. I can talk to whomever I want for whatever reasons I feel, and I needn’t justify it to a damn soul. Hell, a long time ago a doomed teenager said that in spite of everything, she stil felt people were good at heart, or something . . . now understand, I DID NOT, by any means, imply that you are some kind of Nazi: GOOD GAWD, NO! But if such a person can be celebrated for loving the people who wanted to, and ended up causing her death, and the suffering that came before, well, hell, what’s the big deal with me talking to someone who doesn’t “echo” every damn thing that comes out of my mouth – or well, fingers? You know what I mean? I mean, as Bob would say, I say to those “Expecting Rain” ranters: “you gotta lotta nerve asking me a question like that? You ask Anne Frank that?” The “Beatlesque” substitute for his rightful question that time when the guy said “do you care about what you sing”? It was a mind blower. See, they didn’t target me directly, and that makes it worse. They were trying to make me look the fool, and my mama didn’t raise no fool! You have revealed some pretty heavy stuff to me that I shall not forget, nor bring up again. But I always kinda knew that your outrage, or whatever, is coming from a place of injury or injustice, and that you wish to right the wrong. Not necessarily personal, or partly personal, and partly not. See, you made your point clear as day: it’s hypocrisy that is almost always the enemy, and it’s like all over the place! People throwin’ rocks to hide their hands. Old expression I learned down in Alabama, and wherever. Before you cast that first stone, remember, we would not feel so all alone if EVERYBODY GOT STONED: that is, if you’re gonna be stonin’ folks.
    I was thinking about your school career that you mentioned. See, maybe that book may not be my cup of tea or whatever, but it matters not: what matters is that you read a REAL BOOK, and in high schools and colleges all over this land, THAT is the sacrilidge! You’re supposed to “cover the material” in the text, which the instructor sort of guides you through, or tells boring tales in every damn class: I remember my soc. teacher in college. Dude was BLIND! And so he thought that gave him the god-given right to two things: 1) he couldn’t actually allow the students to have a meaningful discussion because it made it difficult fot him, and we should feel sorry for him, and never actually discuss the text but be tested by the test bank supplied and 2} Listen to those damn stories about this aboriginal group called the “icks” forever, because he was gonna talk about whatever he wanted, because . . . WE SHOULD FEEL SORRY FOR HIM. I took only two straight-on soc. classes the whole time I was there, and damned if I didn’t get him both times. But since I was studying communication, journalism, and was writing for various papers: the school one, which was voted best in the nation, and a local one because I had writter for small local papers even in high school. And I took other related courses. In the “women’s studies” course, we naturally sat in a circle, and she stuffed that “In Love and Trouble” book {that Alice Walker has since recanted: well, the “Big Mama” story anyway, without realizing the deeper truth to the story} down our throats. It only made me angry, because I knew it was a lie: that Elvis “died of guilt” for “stealing” Thornton’s song. {Which was originally outright stolen from LieberStoller, but they later cut a deal, and got HALF-credit. But I knew Elvis’s “Hound Dog” was a DIFFERENT song that he adapted from a goofy parody he heard in a cheezy Vegas lounge. See, a man could not sing that song at the time, because the “dog” would be, uh, FEMALE! So it couldn’t be the same song! You couldn’t say that word on a record back then. How stupid of her to even contemplate that a man could sing that song! It wasn’t only different from L.S.’s song, which they forced Thornton to do THEIR WAY, which is what she SHOULD have been writing about if she had even interviewed Thornton about the session itself, which she didn’t. But the record version, especially, is utterly unlike the “rhumba-beat” flavored light parody. “Hound Dog” was not “light” nor was the record any kind of “joke.” It was an original blues shout, with spare accompaniment {mainly D.J.’s drum work, which sounds like he should have dropped dead by take THIRTY-ONE, Scotty’s lead, which sounds like a machine-gun, but it ain’t, so he got exhausted and begged Elvis around take 21 or something, to PLEASE LET IT GO! And Elvis’s vocal, and he was totally in charge, so he was gonna sing until those cows came home! His aim? He knew that people were saying that Little Richard was a better shouter, thus a “better artist” etc., and I think, despite his respect for Richard’s work, he wanted to artistically clobbe him with a vocal he could never duplicate. And, see, he could not because, as I’ve said, Richard always kept the “roll” in rock ‘n’ roll, while Elvis chose from his huge kit bag of virtually unlimited options. And he wanted NO WARMTH on this record. Part of it stemmed from the pent-up fury of the night before when Steve Allen, in his big white “cowpoke hat” humiliated him and an entire culture of what they called downtown “the folk.” His fans sensed his rage somehow, and picketed, and allwhatnot, but the rage for the ages went into the record. And if he had to KILL Scotty and D.J. in the process, well, hell, whatever: the record had to be the toughest, hardest rock ever recorded, or that would probably ever BE recorded, and he turned out to be right. He knew to keep it simple: just the hardest, broken off guitar licks that Scotty had learned along the way {with Elvis teaching him from the beginning: you can hear it on record now, in the Sun studios . . . “Scotty, first the sustain, THEN the {chord} change, aright?” Etc. Sam never explained what he wanted, so Elvis jumped in. B.B. King was flabbergasted when Elvis told him, at the ’56 Goodwill Review “thanks for those early lessons you gave me.” King was like “I gave you lessons??????” He forgot the picture window on WDIA! All a kid needed was a transistor radio, and go all the way down Union, look through the window, and watch, listen, and learn. Yeah, that J.D. from the projects gave him “formal” lessons because nobody in Tupelo knew what the hell they were doing, but Elvis made sound pretty, somehow, anyway, but now he was serious — and going down to watch those finger techniques was essential. Later, he’d himself be making demoes in the back, after the D.J., whoever it was, went home – and they did all this on the Q.T., but all his life – and I think he’s still with us, but I dunno, Billy Emerson stuck to his remembrance of going there with Elvis to make demoes at night – anyway, he learned about the electric guitar long before he ever played one, and it was crucial in transitioning Scotty from “hillbilly” twang to blues fire, which overran the blues to become rock. It was all necessary. Elvis had so little to work with: I saw that first guitar with my own eyes a few weeks ago, and oh . . . it was like I finally realized how far a journey he took, and how hard it must have been, only to be denied so many times once he got there . . . but anyway, he knew exactly what he ‘needed’ and did what he had to do} and “Hound Dog” happened. So I hated that creepy “short story” and everything it implied. He never had nothin’ to feel “guilty” about! In fact, a whole lot of foolish people should “feel guilty” about their whole obsession with this idea of “stealing music.” Since it’s mostly a racial thing, although they don’t say it, think a minute. I don’t wanna give away my megaton explosion that I’m going to unleash, but it’s logic, man, logic. That Rolling Stone last summer, with the singers. Elvis HAD to come in “third” ONLY because he was white, and they knew it! The thing is, NOTHING COULD BE MORE INSULTING TO BLACKS than that kinda thinking. See, it’s like this: go to the biggest University wherever you live, and go to the physics, math, cosmology type dept. Look around, and see if you can find a black or Latino prof. You may find one! Then if you check the general area, and cast further afield, one might find more. Finally, they could hold a “ranking” of the greatest physicists, now, or ever. And they would say, in reverse, what Joplin and Joe Cocker said about Elvis: “the greatest blues singer {who isn’t black}.” Except this time, it’s “the greatest scientist {who isn’t white, or at the very least, Asian}.” And you’d name him. And he could smash Einstein and pals into smithereens, but as long as Elvis cannot be number one on a list like that, that person can never be tops on that OTHER list. It ain’t about “Barry”: there will be other minority presidents, and the time will come in the future, when a fury breaks out in the country like when Lincoln was president. History is like that. If we’re still around, there will be not only another crisis like that, but bigger. And if the Prez is “not white,” – well, if we agree that Elvis or whomever, it’s not about him personally, but if that guy can’t be the “best,” than neither can that prez be up there alongside Lincoln! Or a scientist, or whatever it is that white people value for themselves. See, they don’t really value what those people at the top of that list do, but it’s jes’ singin’ and dancin’ so they can “numero uno.” But as long as it stays that way, the reverse stays true. “And ya know it’s true,” as Bob has sung under diff. circumstances. What does he mean by “nobody can sing the blues like “Blind Willie McTell,” anyway? Did he just randomly pick a name? I wonder. Because it’s not about McTell AT ALL. It’s about ‘dat ole debil slavery, and suchlike. Why not be bold and say “nobody can sing the blues LIKE ME!” Well, hell: his first album IS a blues album, after all. “Oh, Mama, can this really be the end?” And so on. Freakin’ good! Good as McTell, who I’ve heard. Gravelly tone, sometimes talk-sang, lotta words, etc. But he would NEVER DO that! Never dedicate something like that, historically, to say, Jimmie Rodgers, or ole Hank, or heaven forbid, the guy who saved his then worthless life: Elvis. Can anyone sing the blues like him? REALLY? I mean, if you put together a compendium of ALL of very greatest blues stuff {and some of it is in the WEIRDEST places: an FTD release of a ’74 concert has a version of “Hound Dog” where he turns it into a FIELD HOLLER! And man, it works! I don’t know how it echoes across a showroom like that, but it does. Just this lonely voice, as if he were in a field, hoe in hand, and just wailing “welllllll . . . . ” in all different melodic configurations, but all gospel-bluesy in a very ancient way. Only James atempst to “answer” his “calls.” No one else on stage seems to know what to do! James gives it his best, but it’s not up to the Holler we’re hearing. In a freakin Vegas casino! Imagine walking by, intent on the roullete tables, and you hear this . . . SOUND coming out of the room?????!!!!!!!!!!?? I’d think I was having a dream or something, that it wasn’t REAL! But see, Dylan picked some old dead black guy, because he just used him as A DEVICE. To tell a story, actually to make a point or something. But the point it makes is fundamentally unjust. Hell, they may string me up for saying all this, and I don’t even know who “they” is! But it’s likely white “guilty” liberals. Who have no idea that most of what they do is so very wrong.
    Chuck D. “forgives” Elvis or something. What an ass. “His heroes were probably my heroes” or whatever he said. Hey, guy, why are your “heroes” all musicians and dancers and all whatnot? Why aren’t your heroes people who THINK! Three prez.’s would never have changed anything, whether YOU or anyone else thinks it a good or bad thing is irrelevent, if not for a Ph.D. from Georgia who got shot at 39 near where Elvis, who “can’t” be the best singer because he’s white. Hey, I say, let’s be honest: Elvis was the best bluesman who ever lived. Hell, everyone knows it’s a stone fact. He played EVERY instrument, when he was in the mood, brought to ALL his work a blues sensibility: the songs were his clay, and he sometimes used all different clays! And oh, by the way, he was the best singer who ever lived by miles. Let that REST! And then be concerned that “Barry” the first black president, is a lousy politician, and black people, as well as anyone else who cares, should demand BETTER! But it’s like, it didn’t matter: he could have walked in off the damn street, and people would be crying that he won. There’s no demand for excellence unless, of course, he started wailin’ the blues and tap-dancing. Then we’d get concerned about how “good” he is. As it is, nobody on the left CARES! That he’s black is good enough, and no demands are made. As long as it stays like that, well, “singin’ and dancin'” is all they’re gonna have!
    See, he doesn’t have to be a “real” hero: he just is in the big chair. If he were white, demands would be made, every action scrutinized, and people wouldn’t be afraid to criticize, to DEMAND EXCELLENCE, not to mention honesty and principles! Just the fact that he’s there seems to be all that matters, not content. So, even if blacks and Latinos, etc. gain high positions, nothing is really expected of them, because all they really can do is sing and dance better’n anyone else!
    “Barry” ain’t your hero Chuck, because those 25 men just died in that mine that he’s so fond of, and he don’t even give a flip. You should WANT real heroes who don’t sing the blues great! What the hell, if you really had any concern for your own people, Chuck, you wouldn’t be bitchin’ about Elvis OR John Wayne! Singin’ Dancin’ Entertainin’! And, in the end, that’s what Barry ends up being: not a great Prez by any means, but a great entertainer!
    Greil Marcus actually analyzes MLK’s vocalizations, without much concern for the content! That’s in “the weird book.” Well, all his books are weird, but you know.
    So, why do these guilty liberals call YOU a racist? That’s absurd.
    What is an apology and reparations gonna do for Joe Hill Louis? Or Blind Lemon, who died penniless in the snow, guitar by his side, without ever complaining. {Crudup never stopped whining.}
    Elvis sang a fun bluegrass tune, that makes a lot of sense. It’s called “A Hundred Years From Now.” In an outtake, he goes “it’s all in the past, you can kiss my a–; I won’t care a hundred years from now!”
    What I’m saying is that we sit around here AGREEING with each other all the time, nobody learns NOTHIN’!
    Hell, I may be wrong. But I actually think we’re on the same page, or you pushed me to that page. When you preach to the converted, everything stays the same. No friction, no heat. No heat, nothin’ cookin.’ And we cook here. And some of the food is not for everyone. But we cook. We don’t just flatter our pet beliefs, but question them in unusual ways. At least I hope so.
    I hope that those over our shoulders do, anyway.
    And so I hope Dylan feels like a numbnut for “Blind Willie.” Nice piano work. And so what? He wins the Pulitzer for stroking the right people, giving them what they want.
    Off my soapbox.

  90. reprindle Says:

    Go to Conversations With Robin Page 5

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