I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.
Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?
The love of the body of man or woman balks account,
the body itself balks account,
That of the male is perfect, and that of the female is perfect.
The expression of the face balks account,
But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face,
It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists,
It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist and knees,
dress does not hide him,
The strong sweet quality he has strikes through the cotton and broadcloth,
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, perhaps more,
You linger to see his back, and the back of his neck and shoulder-side.
The sprawl and fulness of babes, the bosoms and heads of women,
the folds of their dress, their style as we pass in the street,
the contour of their shape downwards,
The swimmer naked in the swimming-bath, seen as he swims through
the transparent green-shine, or lies with his face up and rolls
silently to and from the heave of the water,
The bending forward and backward of rowers in row-boats,
the horse-man in his saddle,
Girls, mothers, house-keepers, in all their performances,
The group of laborers seated at noon-time with their open dinner-kettles,
and their wives waiting,
The female soothing a child, the farmer’s daughter in the garden or cow-yard,
The young fellow hosing corn, the sleigh-driver driving his six horses
through the crowd,
The wrestle of wrestlers, two apprentice-boys, quite grown, lusty,
good-natured, native-born, out on the vacant lot at sundown after work,
The coats and caps thrown down, the embrace of love and resistance,
The upper-hold and under-hold, the hair rumpled over and blinding the eyes;
The march of firemen in their own costumes, the play of masculine muscle
through clean-setting trowsers and waist-straps,
The slow return from the fire, the pause when the bell strikes suddenly again,
and the listening on the alert,
The natural, perfect, varied attitudes, the bent head, the curv’d neck
and the counting;
Such-like I love—I loosen myself, pass freely, am at the mother’s breast
with the little child,
Swim with the swimmers, wrestle with wrestlers, march in line
with the firemen, and pause, listen, count.
I knew a man, a common farmer, the father of five sons,
And in them the fathers of sons, and in them the fathers of sons.
This man was a wonderful vigor, calmness, beauty of person,
The shape of his head, the pale yellow and white of his hair and beard,
the immeasurable meaning of his black eyes,
the richness and breadth of his manners,
These I used to go and visit him to see, he was wise also,
He was six feet tall, he was over eighty years old, his sons were massive,
clean, bearded, tan-faced, handsome,
They and his daughters loved him, all who saw him loved him,
They did not love him by allowance, they loved him with personal love,
He drank water only, the blood show’d like scarlet
through the clear-brown skin of his face,
He was a frequent gunner and fisher, he sail’d his boat himself,
he had a fine one presented to him by a ship-joiner,
he had fowling-pieces presented to him by men that loved him,
When he went with his five sons and many grand-sons to hunt or fish,
you would pick him out as the most beautiful and vigorous of the gang,
You would wish long and long to be with him, you would wish to sit by him
in the boat that you and he might touch each other.
I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,
To pass among them or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly
round his or her neck for a moment, what is this then?
I do not ask any more delight, I swim in it as in a sea.
There is something in staying close to men and women and looking on them,
and in the contact and odor of them, that pleases the soul well,
All things please the soul, but these please the soul well.
This is the female form,
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot,
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction,
I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless vapor,
all falls aside but myself and it,
Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth,
and what was expected of heaven or fear’d of hell, are now consumed,
Mad filaments, ungovernable shoots play out of it,
the response likewise ungovernable,
Hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs, negligent falling hands all diffused,
mine too diffused,
Ebb stung by the flow and flow stung by the ebb, love-flesh swelling
and deliciously aching,
Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of love,
white-blow and delirious juice,
Bridegroom night of love working surely and softly into the prostrate dawn,
Undulating into the willing and yielding day,
Lost in the cleave of the clasping and sweet-flesh’d day.
This the nucleus—after the child is born of woman, man is born of woman,
This the bath of birth, this the merge of small and large, and the outlet again.
Be not ashamed women, your privilege encloses the rest,
and is the exit of the rest,
You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul.
The female contains all qualities and tempers them,
She is in her place and moves with perfect balance,
She is all things duly veil’d, she is both passive and active,
She is to conceive daughters as well as sons, and sons as well as daughters.
As I see my soul reflected in Nature,
As I see through a mist, One with inexpressible completeness,
See the bent head and arms folded over the breast, the Female I see.
The male is not less the soul nor more, he too is in his place,
He too is all qualities, he is action and power,
The flush of the known universe is in him,
Scorn becomes him well, and appetite and defiance become him well,
The wildest largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is utmost
become him well, pride is for him,
The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul,
Knowledge becomes him, he likes it always, he brings every thing
to the test of himself,
Whatever the survey, whatever the sea and the sail
he strikes soundings at last only here,
(Where else does he strike soundings except here?)
The man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred,
No matter who it is, it is sacred—is it the meanest one in the laborers’ gang?
Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf?
Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the well-off, just as much as you,
Each has his or her place in the procession.
(All is a procession,
The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion.)
Do you know so much yourself that you call the meanest ignorant?
Do you suppose you have a right to a good sight,
and he or she has no right to a sight?
Do you think matter has cohered together from its diffuse float,
and the soil is on the surface, and water runs and vegetation sprouts,
For you only, and not for him and her?
A man’s body at auction,
(For before the war I often go to the slave-mart and watch the sale,)
I help the auctioneer, the sloven does not half know his business.
Gentlemen look on this wonder,
Whatever the bids of the bidders they cannot be high enough for it,
For it the globe lay preparing quintillions of years without one animal or plant,
For it the revolving cycles truly and steadily roll’d.
In this head the all-baffling brain,
In it and below it the makings of heroes.
Examine these limbs, red, black, or white, they are cunning in tendon and nerve,
They shall be stript that you may see them.
Exquisite senses, life-lit eyes, pluck, volition,
Flakes of breast-muscle, pliant backbone and neck, flesh not flabby,
good-sized arms and legs,
And wonders within there yet.
Within there runs blood,
The same old blood! the same red-running blood!
There swells and jets a heart, there all passions, desires, reachings, aspirations,
(Do you think they are not there because they are not express’d
in parlors and lecture-rooms?)
This is not only one man, this the father of those who shall be fathers
in their turns,
In him the start of populous states and rich republics,
Of him countless immortal lives with countless embodiments and enjoyments.
How do you know who shall come from the offspring of his offspring
through the centuries?
(Who might you find you have come from yourself,
if you could trace back through the centuries?)
A woman’s body at auction,
She too is not only herself, she is the teeming mother of mothers,
She is the bearer of them that shall grow and be mates to the mothers.
Have you ever loved the body of a woman?
Have you ever loved the body of a man?
Do you not see that these are exactly the same to all in all nations
and times all over the earth?
If anything is sacred the human body is sacred,
And the glory and sweet of a man is the token of manhood untainted,
And in man or woman a clean, strong, firm-fibred body, is more beautiful
than the most beautiful face.
Have you seen the fool that corrupted his own live body?
or the fool that corrupted her own live body?
For they do not conceal themselves, and cannot conceal themselves.
O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women,
nor the likes of the parts of you,
I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul,
(and that they are the soul,)
I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems,
and that they are my poems,
Man’s, woman’s, child, youth’s, wife’s, husband’s, mother’s, father’s,
young man’s, young woman’s poems,
Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears,
Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, and the waking
or sleeping of the lids,
Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-hinges,
Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition,
Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue,
Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders,
and the ample side-round of the chest,
Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones,
Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, forefinger,
Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-side,
Ribs, belly, backbone, joints of the backbone,
Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round,
Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above,
Leg-fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under-leg,
Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel;
All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body
or of any one’s body, male or female,
The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean,
The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame,
Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity,
Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman,
The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping,
love-looks, love-perturbations and risings,
The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,
Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming,
Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand
the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out,
The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips,
and thence downward toward the knees,
The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow
in the bones,
The exquisite realization of health;
O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say now these are the soul!
Text for this adventure is from the Project Gutenberg.
The text was reformatted by Chamblee54.
“I sing the Body Electric” was written by Walt Whitman.
An audio version of this poem is available from Librivox.
Reposted May 31,2017, Walt Whitman’s 197th Birthday.
Pictures from The Library of Congress.
Join My Newsletter Can’t stand liberals? No one can. Sign up. ~ never argue with stupid people they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience ~ The duopoly may be broken, but it is far from broke. ~ The original was written nearly forty years ago. ~ There is a number seven. People who have been abused for Jesus do not want to hear about the scheme for life after death. ~ Why all this talk about bedsheets? Are you going to the Klan rally and sticking your head under a bedsheet and burning burning the grand dragon’s cross in your mouth? Why would you care if their bedsheets are clean? ~ He can count them on his short fingers ~ It should be noted that this post is an attempt to condense a two hour discussion into a length that will not scare off readers. Many parts are being left out, some of which might be important. If the reader has the time, curiosity, and patience, here is the video and the transcript. Be sure to put fresh batteries in your BS detector. Use alcohol, drugs, or prayer at your own risk. ~ The top google results for “Is Donald Trump…: married, president, dead, left handed. For Hillary Clinton: going to win, left handed, vegan. For Bernie Sanders: married, out, rich, a democrat. ~ We have not heard about Mr. Depp nonstop for the last two years, with another six months to go. There is a phrase, narcotizing dysfunction. Essentially, you hear about something so much that you never want to hear about it again. ~ @WernerTwertzog Squeeze condiments still seem disturbingly fecal. ~ As far as facebook goes, you have not missed a thing. Twitter is usually more interesting, especially the people who have blocked me. ~ The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that. you’ve got it made. ~ And we use words like “racist” to describe someone who thinks that the word “bae” isn’t real because it didn’t originate from a white, Eurocentric vernacular. ~ There is a saying… to assume is to make an ass of u and me. Or, maybe Ass U Ming is a Chinese name. ~ @chekiri #RacistCommercial has millions of social media superheroes doing free advertising for them. I think y’all are overthinking this lol. ~ Arguably, Barack Obama was the Democratic Reagan. The two were charismatic show business figures. They did a reasonably competent job of governance. How Demoze transition to the charisma challenged HRC, as an alternative to the charismatic DJT, will be the way the future goes. ~ And Reagan operated with a Democratic Congress. In 1982, many said his Administration was a failure. It did not pick up steam until 1983. Many of the things that came to fruition around that time were things that Jimmy Carter started, but Saint Ronnie got credit for. ~ @WilliamAder Friend at Memorial Day BBQ: I see you wasted no time with the white pants. Me: These are my legs. ~ @htmlmencken Negative creep. Humanist misanthrope. Constructive nihilist. Former Sadlynaut. Welcome to my virtual execration text. Corrugated Tin Shack, AR ~ US supreme court voids Georgia man’s death sentence over racial bias on jury ~ What Not to Say to Someone Who Has Been Hurt By Church ~ @joanwalsh I did it: @ShaunKing blocked me. ~ Get over yourself. ~ I like arguing ~ Talks for people who love words ~ In Favor of Sincerity ~ More Than Just Male and Female: The Six Genders in Classical Judaism ~ Thanks, Jimmy Carter, for Stating What Should Be Obvious: Trump’s Campaign Is Racist ~ A Rant Against an Anti-Millennial Rant ~ Changes In DSM-5: Racism Can Cause PTSD Similar To That Of Soldiers After War ~ coloria ~ pictures today are from The Library of Congress. ~ selah
PG and his neighbor DA went out to drink beer and shoot pool. The destination was a place called the Watering Hole. The Watering Hole used to be a VFW. There was a TV repair store next door. When the county legalized bars, the VFW went somewhere else. The TV repair store became the game room. You could see on the floor where the counter used to be.
This was a weeknight. The other customer was past his limit. The drunk was fussing at the bartender when PG and DA walked in.
PG got lucky and hit a good shot on the pool table. He got a bit cocky, and said “and now for my next trick”. The drunk staggered into the game room, and lay down on an empty pool table. DA replied, “Is that your next trick?”
Before long, it was time to go home. As PG and DA were leaving, the drunk was arguing with the bartender. He wanted to buy a twelve pack to take home. The drunk won the argument, and started walking up Clairmont Road with his prize.
PG got a block or so away from the Watering Hole. He saw the drunk sitting in front of a seven eleven store. The drunk was sitting on the curb, drinking a beer. PG drove in front of him, and stopped the car. DA got out, and walked over to the curb. She picked up the eleven pack, and walked over to the car. Her pace was deliberate. The drunk stood up and yelled obscenities. The car drove away. off. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
This story was originally posted by Gartalker and chamblee54. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. It is probably fiction.
Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play my bagpipes at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back-country.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost; and being a typical man I didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.
I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.
And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, and we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.
As I was opening the door to my car, I heard one of the worker say, “Sweet Mother of Jesus, I never seen nothing like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”
On Wednesday, July 21, 2010, there was a debate, with the topic being “Does G-d exist?”. The opponents were Christopher Hitchens vs. Dr. William Lane Craig. The host was Biola University, a Christian college in La Mirada, CA. Mr. Hichens died December 15, 2011. Dr. Craig is still with us.
Those who have endured religious debates will be intrigued by the lack of interruptions. With one exception, the two participants were allowed to finish their statements without interruption. The two did seem to have different ideas of what the topic of the debate was.
It is not known who won. There were numerous logical fallacies performed. Stray men were persecuted, and positions were misrepresented. The language was semanticized to the point of no return. This is to be expected, considering that it was beliefs that were being debated. There was self satisfaction at having “this most important of all discussions.”
PG has listened to the debate twice. The second time he followed the transcript, and took notes. His opinion did not change. PG suspects that G-d exists. The world might be a happier place if she did not exist, but we might be stuck with her. Where PG differs with conventional wisdom is on the matter of belief. Is belief the correct way to approach G-d? Is there a better way to “know” G-d?
One problem with Christianity is the emphasis on life after death. It is the only game in town. If you do not agree with the scheme for life after death, you have little reason to follow the Christian religion. The obsession with life after death is not discussed in this debate. In fact, Dr. Craig lists the resurrection of Jesus as being evidence of the existence of G-d.
In terms of tone, Mr. Hitchens is more pleasant to listen to. Dr. Craig speaks with the rhythms of a pulpit preacher. His message could be recycled as a sermon, including this part of his final statement: “And so, I want to invite Mr. Hitchens to think about becoming a Christian tonight.” Dr. Craig played the victim.”First, have we seen any good arguments tonight to think that God does not exist? No, I don’t think we have. We’ve heard attacks upon religion, Christianity impugned, God impugned, Mother Teresa impugned, but we haven’t heard any arguments that God does not exist.”
Mr. Hitchens, speaking before cancer and chemotherapy took it’s toll, was gracious, thanking his hosts repeatedly. His arguments were presented in the manner of a lecture, rather than a sermon. He piled facts on top of facts, and built his case in an entertaining style. What remains of his British tongue is employed to great effect. Whatever one thinks of Christopher Hitchens (and his appalling opinions about the war in Babylon), one cannot deny that he is a master user of the english language.
The debate began with both men giving twenty minute opening statements. Dr. Craig presented a five point argument. (the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument, the resurrection of Jesus, the immediate experience of G-d) He likes to use big words. …
A foundation belief of Christianity is the idea that if you have the correct thoughts about Jesus you will live forever. The phrase “eternal life” is repeated, well, eternally. The thing about eternity that you never hear is, is something does not have an end, then it does not have a beginning. To hear about a human life, with a beginning and no end, this is only half of eternity. Getting back to Dr. Craig’s sermon, this does not add up. If life can be said to go on eternally in the future, should it not go on eternally in the past?
This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The earlier version is much longer, and it had this disclaimer: It should be noted that this post is an attempt to condense a two hour discussion into a length that will not scare off readers. Many parts are being left out, some of which might be important. If the reader has the time, curiosity, and patience, here is the video and the transcript. Be sure to put fresh batteries in your BS detector. Use alcohol, drugs, or prayer at your own risk.
This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. By the time this is posted, it will be Bob Dylan’s seventy fifth birthday. This chamblee 54 birthday tribute is composed primarily of three previously published pieces of work.
It was a late may morning in Atlanta GA, and a slack blogger was searching his archives. Yes, Issac Asinov never got writers block, and when he wasn’t going to the bathroom he was typing, but that is a lifestyle choice. Easy writing makes tough reading. So, anyway, in the may archive for 2011 there was a post about Bob Dylan’s seventieth birthday. People were taking bets on whether he would make it to thirty, and here he is at seventy five.
Hibbing MN is a cold place. At least it can claim to be the birthplace of Robert Allen Zimmerman. That’s Allen ,with an e, and double L, just like hell. The original initials were RAZ, which might be a good trivia question, or, with a silent W in front, radio station call letters. The problem is, he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, with no known middle name. Those initial are BD.
On May 24, 1941, the curly haired wonder boi arrived. The world was a different place. Europe was in flames, and eyeing the young men of America as fresh cannon fodder. This was twelve years, eleven months, and eighteen days before PG graced the planet. A twelve year old in Hibbing MN would have no reason to think of a newborn baby in Atlanta GA.
These days, not everyone knows who Bob Dylan is. Auto tuned automated canned music is the next big thing. If auto tune had been around in 1963, we would never had known how badly Mr. Dylan sings. In an age where rappers pay ghost writers to compose their tweets, being able to write songs is not valued. There is just no telling. And so it goes.
A.J. Weberman has made a life out of going through Bob Dylan’s garbage. He wrote a book, “The Devil and Bob Dylan”. “THIS BOOK CHALLENGES ALL PREVIOUS CONVENTIONAL THINKING ABOUT BOB DYLAN. DYLAN IS JUST THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE HIM TO BE. BUT WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE EXPOSING HIM AS A RACIST, HIV POSITIVE EX-JUNKIE AND HOLOCAUST DENIER? NONE EXCEPT THAT OF TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. $17 INCLUDING POSTAGE! THE BOOK IS 500 PAGES AND FULLY ILLUSTRATED.
There was a comment on the Bob Dylan webpage… Everybody knows by now that there’s a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I’m encouraging anybody who’s ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them. PG doesn’t write books. He did grow up in America, and has a few opinions about Bob Dylan. It ought to be good for a few hundred words here. (HT to dangerous minds ) (Chamblee54 has posted about Mr. Dylan before.)
The first time PG heard of Bob Dylan was probably at the record rack of Zippy’s dime store in Cherokee Plaza. There was an album of his greatest hits, and it came with a poster. The poster had a drawing of the man, with psychedelic waves of hair cascading in multi colored glory to the edges. PG never did buy the LP.
The former Mr. Zimmerman was never big on top 40 am radio. Somebody somewhere was getting a headache over those lyrics, but Atlanta GA was not somewhere in those days. By this time, Mr. Dylan had crashed his motorcycle, and gone into hiding. As the counter culture exploded (if only someone had disinfected that counter) the curly haired poet was in hiding, the subject of much speculation. At one point, people were stealing his garbage, and claiming to find evidence of investment in munitions firms. The neoscience of Dylanology continues to this day.
As PG got older and stupider, he heard more and more Bob Dylan music. In the summer of 1972, there was a performance at the Concert for Bangladesh. A couple of albums released during this era sucked, and some people stopped caring about Bob Dylan.
At the start of 1974, a tour was announced. The Band was to be the backing group. The circus came to the Omni, and PG got some of the mail order tickets. He couldn’t find anyone to use the second ticket, and sold it to a stranger outside the arena.
The show was nothing special. Bob Dylan excels at writing, is ok in the studio, and blah on stage. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was at the show, and was said to look bored. Mr. Dylan was invited to the Governor’s mansion after the show, and talked to the Governor. A lot of people in Georgia were surprised that Jimmy would want to run for President.
As the Seventies went me me meing into sex and drugs oblivion, Bob Dylan regained both his writing touch, and love of the spotlight. The Rolling Thunder tour happened, he got back together with Joan Baez, divorced his wife, became born again, became more Jewish, counted money, and generally lived the life. PG did his own version of all that, without Joan Baez or being circumcised again.
In the winter of 1991, America was consumed by war fever. Saddam Hussein had been elevated to next Hitler status, and had to be taught a lesson. One night, Bob Dylan played on a music awards show, and performed “Masters of War”. He played a discordant version of that ditty, with the result that few understood what he had said. By this time, Mr. Dylan had assembled a band, and gone out on the “Never Ending Tour”. A Bob Dylan concert had gone from being a special event, to being another name on the festival roster. Overexposure will do that.
On the last night of the Olympics in 1996, Bob Dylan played the House of Blues downtown. PG won a pair of the $80 tickets in a radio station contest. It was his only trip downtown during the games, and had to wait in a security line to get into Centennial Olympic Park.
The only celebrity, other than Mr. Dylan, seen at the House of Blues that night was Bill Walton. The band was competent…they impressed PG as being like a bar band that did a lot of Dylan songs, with a strangely authentic lead vocalist. The sound in the room was not good, at least in the spot where PG stood. The only song he recognized was “All along the Watchtower”, the Jimi Hendrix classic. Mr. Dylan got a cheer when he put his harmonica appliance on.
The aptly named dangerousminds has a link to a story about the recording of Blonde on Blonde, by Bob Dylan. It only happened once.
Bob Dylan was 24 years old, newly married, and had “sold out” i.e. started to play electric guitar. A bunch of Canadians known as The Hawks (later The Band) was touring with him. Barely a month after the release of “Highway 61 Revisited”, sessions started at a New York studio.
The New York sessions did not work, so a decision was made to go to Nashville. Al Kooper played organ, and served as a music director. A crew of Nashville players was recruited. A bass player named Joseph Souter, Jr. would become famous a few years later using the name Joe South. Kris Kristofferson was the janitor at the studio.
Most studios have bafflers, or sound proof room dividers, splitting the studio into cubicles. For these sessions, the bafflers were taken down, and the band played together as a unit.
The second session in Nashville started at 6pm and lasted until 530 the next morning. Mr. Dylan was working on the lyrics to “Sad eyed lady of the lowlands”, and the recording could not start until he was ready. The musicians played ping pong and waited. At 4am, the song was ready, and the record was finished in two takes.
PG had marginal encounters with two of the players on this album. He met a lady once, who worked in an insurance office. One of the customers was Joe South. His driving record file was an inch thick.
Al Kooper had a prosperous career after his association with Bob Dylan. The former Alan Peter Kuperschmidt produced the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums, sold that contract for a nice piece of change, and lived happily ever after.
One night, Mr. Kooper was playing a show at the Great Southeast Music Hall, and PG sat in front of the stage. During a break between songs, PG asked his friend “what time is it?”. Mr. Kooper heard him on stage, and said it was 11:30.
If it ever quits raining, PG is going to walk to the Chamblee library and return a book, and a cd. The cd is by Bob Dylan, and is a work of genius. The book is about the former Mr. Zimmerman, and is a piece of garbage. (BTW, Dylan is not the only Zimmerman to hit the big time. Ethel Merman was born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman.The Zimmerman telegram got us into World War I. The less said about George Zimmerman, the better)
When returning cd’s to a library, you need to get a check in receipt. Once, PG returned a stack of cd’s to the Brookhaven library. When checking them in, one was missed by the scanner. A few days later, there was a note in the mail about an overdue cd.
The good news was, the cd was on the shelf when PG went back to investigate, and the matter was quickly settled. It did not help that the cd was a collection of disco music called “Shake your booty”.
“The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was released in the early sixties, when the man was barely old enough to buy a drink. There is not a bad song on it, and several are classic rock staples. At a time when mindless pop dominated pop music, here were thoughtful, moving lyrics.
In 1991, with America in a war frenzy, Mr. Dylan appeared on a music awards show. He performed “Masters of War”, at a time when the majority would be appalled if they could understand what he was singing. Mr. Dylan has been reinvented many times, and often the lyrics get gargled.
Five years later, PG won tickets to a Bob Dylan concert. It was the last night of the Olympics, and the man was appearing at the House of Blues. (Tickets were $80, so the radio contest is the only reason PG went). It was like hearing a good bar band, that did nothing but Dylan songs, with the man as the vocalist. Due to the mix of the sound, PG could not recognize many of the songs.
The book is Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet by Seth Rogovoy. It tells the Dylan tale as a story of Jewish prophecy. PG got to page 16, where the author claims that “Like a Rolling Stone” “almost single handedly revolutionized rock’n roll music”. Huh?
PG was eating dinner, and did not have anything else to read. He got to page 38. Nothing in the next 22 pages changed his mind away from ditching the book. How does nonsense like this get published?
The British story had an inflammatory headline: US supreme court voids Georgia man’s death sentence over racial bias on jury “The US supreme court on Monday delivered a stinging rebuke to the southern state of Georgia for having concocted an all-white jury to send a black man to death row, ruling that prosecutors intentionally skewed the process by striking out all prospective black jurors in an act of blatant racial discrimination.” Here is the SCOTUS ruling.
A Rome GA newspaper had a story on the case, Race is key to Timothy Tyrone Foster appeal before U.S. Supreme Court. “Queen White lived by herself in Rome. She’d retired after teaching over 30 years and had been a fourth-grade teacher at Johnson Elementary School. By all accounts she was loved by her friends, former co-workers and students. (SCOTUS notes “Timothy Tyrone Foster, an eighteen-year-old African-American, was charged in 1986 with killing Queen Madge White, an elderly white woman, in Rome, Georgia.”)
On Aug. 27, 1986, at approximately 8:30 p.m. a friend took White to choir practice and brought her back to her Highland Circle home near the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds.White talked to her sister on the telephone around 9 p.m. Her sister stopped by early the next morning, discovered White’s house had been ransacked and found her body lying on the floor of her bedroom.According to court records, she was covered up to her chin by a blanket, and her face was covered in talcum powder. Her jaw was broken, and she had a severe gash on the top of her head. Before she had been strangled to death, White had been molested with a salad-dressing bottle.
Police had suspects, and Foster — who lived nearby — was one of them. But they had no evidence linking him to the crime. Nearly a month later Foster was arrested after threatening his live-in companion on Green & Gold Boulevard. She responded to his threats by turning him in. White’s possessions were recovered from their home and from Foster’s two sisters. Foster confessed to the killing shortly after his arrest.
The community was outraged over the brutal circumstances of the murder, and several lawyers refused to represent Foster. “Obviously (Foster) was an African-American and (White) was a beloved member of our community,” (Mr. Foster’s lawyer Bob) Finnell said. “She was a lovely person.”
Apparently, Mr. Foster had a tough life. There was some dispute about whether he was mentally ill, or “retarded.” “A defense psychiatrist testified that Foster was so intoxicated from the ingestion of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine that he did not know the difference between right and wrong at the time of the crime.”
“Part of the Foster’s defense against the death penalty was to show the dire circumstances of his life — an environmental defense — essentially “look at where this kid came from,” Finnell said. His lawyers spoke with Foster’s father and asked him to take the stand to talk about Foster’s life. He said he wouldn’t do it. “He told me ‘We smoke our dope, we laugh and I can always make another kid,’” Finnell said. “You wonder how could somebody say that about his child. It was chilling.”
In death penalty cases, jury selection issues frequently come up in appeals. These have a way of being “inside baseball,” and can cause brain damage to casual observers. In Mr. Foster’s case, apparently four Black people were struck from the jury. The Georgia courts ruled that the reasons given for striking the black jurors were valid. SCOTUS disagrees.
In today’s ruling, much is made of a note the prosecutors used. In this note, the race of prospective jurors was noted. The Georgia court ruled: “4. The trial court did not err by denying Foster’s post-trial motion to review in camera the state’s jury-selection notes. An attorney’s work product is generally non-discoverable. A defendant’s right to exculpatory evidence under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U. S. 83 (83 SC 1194, 10 LE2d 215) (1963), is not involved here, and non-exculpatory information in an attorney’s work product does not become discoverable simply because the opposing attorneys might find it strategically useful.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.