Dolly Parton And Paula Deen

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on January 19, 2021






Dolly Parton celebrates a birthday today. The internet is a love fest for her, and deservedly so. Miss Parton has given joy to millions, with her singing and acting.

Paula Deen was born on the same day, one year later. While her star did not shine quite as bright as Miss Parton, Mrs. Deen made her contribution to american life. The only problem was a bad boss lawsuit against a company Mrs. Deen invested in. A lawyer got Mrs. Deen to admit, under oath, the she had said the n-word. Paula Deen became a pariah.

Dolly Parton and Paula Deen have a few things in common. Miss Parton is married to Carl Thomas Dean, and her legal name is Mrs. Dean. Both ladies are from the south, the hills of East Tennessee, and the flatland of Albany, Georgia. Both grew up in an era where the n-word was what white people called black people.

What if the story had been different. What if it was a restaurant at Dollywood where the manager was not happy? What if this white woman, who was treated better because she was a white woman, decided to claim racial discrimination in her bad boss lawsuit? (Page 153 of deposition.) What if the disgruntled employee’s lawyer was smarter than Dolly Parton’s lawyer? We might have had tabloids screaming nonstop that Dolly Parton said the n-word.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress, taken at “Annual “Bathing Girl Parade”, Balboa Beach, CA, June 20, 1920.” No one asked these ladies if they ever said the n-word. This is a repost. Other celebrities born on January 19: Robert E. Lee (1807), Edgar Allan Poe (1809), Jean Stapleton (1923), Janis Joplin (1943), and Desi Arnaz Jr.(1953.)







Grooming Gang Crimes

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on January 18, 2021

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Hell Unfurled

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 17, 2021

Harry Hay And Joe Pyne

Posted in Library of Congress, Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 16, 2021

Joe Pyne was a notoriously abrasive TV personality. He pioneered many of the things that today’s shock jock hosts do, before his death in 1970. One of his guests was Georgia Governor Lester Maddox. While writing a blog post about Lester, PG did a bit of research on Joe Pyne.

Wikipedia had an intruiging comment. “Gay activists Harry Hay and John Burnside—who were a couple from 1962 until Hay’s death in 2002—appeared on Pyne’s show in 1967.[citation needed]” Harry Hay is a seminal figure in certain “radical” communities. Mr. Hay had a sharp tongue, and might have given the combative Pyne a bit of pushback. PG decided to look for the video.

[citation needed] is the key phrase. Youtube has a few dozen videos of the Joe Pyne Show (links below.) None of the ones here include Harry Hay. The internet archive has a collection of Pyne tapes, but no Harry Hay. A google search provides many mentions of this interview, but no more details. Many of the references were apparently copied, verbatim, from Wikipedia.

There is a possibility that Harry Hay was never on the Joe Pyne show. There are other urban legends about Joe Pyne. The most famous involves Frank Zappa. It is helpful to know that Joe Pyne had a rare form of cancer in 1955, and part of his left leg was amputated. In the story, Mr. Pyne asks Mr. Zappa if his long hair makes him a girl. Mr. Zappa replied, does your wooden leg make you a table? No record of this exchange is available.

TV Party might have a reason for the missing video. “Most, if not all, of the syndicated Joe Pyne programs still exist on videotape in the archives of Hartwest Productions, Inc. Here’s what Hartwest tells us: “The tapes are 2″ Quads, meaning that they are so ancient that you only get one pass before the oxides flake off. That one pass is fine to make a new digital master, but the cost (including two digital clones) comes to about $600 a show. So far, we have only transferred three shows, with the cost being paid for by people who were either in the show, or who were making a documentary, or who now seem to worship one of the guests (and I mean the last literally).”

The research turned up another story. It is from “Remembering Harry and John”, by Mark Thompson on the occasion of Harry’s 100th anniversary “I remember the night we were socializing at the San Francisco Art Institute at a gala tribute for James Broughton. Harry (Hay) and James had sparked briefly as Stanford University undergraduates, but didn’t meet again until fifty years later at a faerie gathering. Few people knew that James had fathered a daughter with esteemed film critic Pauline Kael during their bohemian Berkeley days, but Harry was alert to the fact. Kael and Broughton were having their own reunion at the moment when, with typical impudence, Harry interrupted the conversation by loudly asking, “So, who was the mother and who was the father?” The stunned silence was punctured only by the whoosh of Kael’s furious departure.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Youtube has several videos from the Joe Pyne Show. There is a series, LOST JOE PYNE TALK SHOW PART 1 – PART 7 “This is from a 1967 kinescoped “demo reel”, used to sell “THE JOE PYNE SHOW” in syndication to local stations at the time.” 1 2 3 Helen Gurley Brown 4 5 7 Here are some other guests:
Amy White Fixler Christine Jorgensen Anton LaVey F. Lee Bailty
Godfrey Cambridge Lester Maddox Paul Krassner Jerry Rubin
Lewis Marvin Jack Anderson James Meredith Joel Fort M.D. Iceberg Slim

Thank You Note

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 15, 2021

This note was written by voice email. I dictated a series of emails, and now this is being edited into a semi-coherent whole. Stream of consciousness is more fun to write than to read. This will double as a blog post. Simiilar messages were sent in 2018 and 2019. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. These images are men who fought in the War Between the States.

I’m going to send you a thank you note. I got a calendar. There’s no pictures to comment on, but there is there a nice traditional calendar. Each day has annotations of the sunrise, and sunset, and moonrise and moonset. The appearance of the stars and of the garters and the various conundrum of rectilinear pacificity is in the invisible footnotes. This is what you should expect from a funeral home calender. I was in the parking lot of Kroger, waiting for my brother to do his shopping, while I dictated this.

I’ve just discovered there is a limit to how many words you can dictate into an email at one time. That’ll be handy to know. Part two will be getting back to the calendar from a funeral home, with the traditional notations on it. It’s kind of cool I mean yeah like it’s a traditional calendar, I can you know tell when the suns going to come up and go down. It’s very efficient. If you turn it over, on the back of June is July, on the back of May is August and so on and so forth. It’s going to be a handy item. The calendar that I’m really fond of using for my day today jottings …

Comes from a restaurant called El torero, which is a basic your basic Mexican carry out joint. A little bit overpriced, but it’s dependable. You call them, tell them what you want, and they never screw up takeout orders. It is the replacement for el Toro, which seems to have disappeared into the restaurant rabbit hole. The el Toro on Buford highway is long long long gone in the gentrification push of that highway. It is there sorely missed because they were it was like it was good basic food. …

The legend is that El Toro was owned by a wrestler named El Mongol who is kind of silly because he was supposed to be from Mongolia and he came over on a rice boat. The fact is he was from Mexico and his real name was Raul Molina. People for the come over on rice boats from Mongolia don’t know typically open Mexican restaurants. His his kids went to my high school. I think one of them passed away a few years ago but I haven’t had much much in contact with them over it but I never did have any contact with them. But getting back and getting back to my present afternoon in the Kroger parking lot I’ve been reading this book by …

I’ve been reading this selection from a story called the wild boys by William Burroughs. and even though and I suspect it’s written by the cut up method, and no, this this letter was not composed using the cut up method, although I can see how you might think that. That cannot be ruled out in the air during the editing process. Getting back to the wild boys it is really it is it it’s kind of difficult. Boroughs can be difficult, but you have to read it you have to read it slowly and consider that it’s not supposed to make sense, and just enjoy the words for what they sound like. Someone said his books are one long hallucination. What they saying goes beyond the traditional pedestrian meaning of the way books are written, and get into the Burroughs alternate route …

OK this is the last chapter of the story I’m going to take all of these emails and edit them when I get back home and that’s gonna be the end of this. I’m gonna send it off and you know it’s just a beautiful day here you know it’s nice and a little bit cool and it’s sunny the sun is out we haven’t had our winter storm for this year yet and hopefully we won’t have one on me usually if we’re gonna have some spectacular winter nastiness it comes in January and we’re halfway through January now and we had it hasn’t hit maybe we’re just going to have to I’ll be happy with that.

Examine Your Whiteness

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on January 14, 2021

Is the Owner of Popular Atlanta Drag Bar a Racist? This article started the current controversy. A “former employee” of Burkhart’s sent some screen shots to a local publication. The shots allegedly came from the facebook page of the bar’s owner, Palmer Marsh. The first post that you saw said “Obviously Vladimir Putin thinks that Barack Obama is a stupid (magic word). He just might be right.” The pearl clutching started immediately.

PG noted that the screen shot did not have a date or time. Three other shots were shown in the initial presentation. None of the other comments had a fraction of the offensive power of the Putin comment. The showpiece comment was suspect.

If you are going to have a public controversy about someone’s racial values, you need something strong to get people’s attention. Stories about poorly treated employees or customers will not do this. Facebook comments like “I used to think that NYC was the most intimidating place on Earth. Thanks to Mayor Rudy Giuliani … ” do not have the explosive power of the magic word. If you do not have the comment about Putin, you do not have a controversy. The ex-employee does not get their revenge.

For all the talk about institutional oppression, the public debate on racism remains very shallow. Style rules over substance any day. If you talk about economic equality, equal housing, or access to education, the audience will ignore you. Talk about police brutality, and mass incarceration, will get you a bit more attention. Palmergate is none of these things. It is about an old man, who owns a popular business, saying things on facebook that people do not like. The most spectacular of these comments is impossible to prove or disprove.

A few days later, there was another facebook thread about the comment. PG noted “Did anyone see the Obama/n-word post when it first appeared? What was the time and date? Is there a cached copy available? Do you realize how easy it would be to fake that screen shot? If an incendiary post like that appeared, why wasn’t it noticed at the time?” There was a vigorous reaction.

“this is racist apologist trash. there could be video of him typing the words in and y’all would still be like “that could be someone in prosthetics and a wig. you don’t know for sure!” ~ “Here’s a screenshot of a screenshot posted closer to the original occurrence. Is it so hard to believe that an older white man is racist?” ~ “This is on Palmer Marsh’s FB page now. You can go take a look yourself if you think I’m faking it. Doesn’t necessarily mention the racism, but is a good indicator:” ~ ‘This is also still on his FB wall. Go take a look yourself if you think someone is faking it:” ~ “And someone calling out his racism in 2013. Also on his wall. Go scroll down and look:” ~ “Do you need more? I’m happy to keep scrolling if you’re too lazy/afraid to confirm the truth yourself” ~ “alleged” I can’t with you. Look at my posts. I advise you do some research before making a public comment that makes you look like a racist apologist. I’m out.”

There are arguably racist comments on Mr. Marsh’s facebook page. (“Here in Brunswick, GA there is a billboard that reads, “Blue lives matter.” Indeed!”) Mr. Marsh went on a bit of a facebook binge sometime in 2015, and said all sorts of things. ( “I have been drinking so much liquor that I do not know what I have been saying. My apologies to those of whom I have offended. Now would probably be a good time to shut the blank up.”) However, none of these comments are evidence that he made the Putin post. They are not nearly as explosive, or overtly racist. They don’t have the same tone as the Putin comment. Also, how many people were talking about Vladimir Putin in 2015? It just does not add up.

It should be noted that there is a possibility that the Putin quote is legitimate. There are rumors that Mary Marsh, the wife of Palmer, “basically confirmed by making a status the other day saying Palmer was drunk and that she gave him hell at the time.” (PG has not seen this comment.) However, showing far less offensive posts, from the same account, is not convincing evidence.

“Do yourself and the POC in your life a favor and Examine. Your. Whiteness. Examine why its so hard to believe an old white man said the n word. Examine why you are so invested in defending a man who by all accounts was an outspoken racist. Examine why you are calling this so deeply into question.” Logic is not always a facebook friend.

After a while, PG took a break from the action. When he got back, he decided to look for cached copies. It seems that the Internet Wayback Machine does not have copies of this facebook account. The Putin post remains impossible to prove, or disprove.

Palmer Marsh on facebook is up. What has not been deleted is easy to look through. Some of the comments are still up. Some posts are arguably racist. (“If the South had won, we would be a hell of a lot better off.”) There are also some comments that contradict the racist narrative.

“Because of love, part of my heritage is West African. Some tings you cannot change. I treasure my heritage.” “I am from McIntosh County Georgia. The first dialect of English that I spoke was Gullah-Gitchee. It was a fantastic beginning as I have a perspective of the Third World that few Anglo-Americans understand. Now I feel more at home in the Bahamas than I feel at Home. I like turning back the clock.”

For those who are new here, Gullah-Gitchee is a dialect used mostly by African Americans. Does this sound like something a racist would say?

The truth is a bit more complicated. Palmer Marsh has posted some things that rub liberal fee fees the wrong way. A man from the Georgia coast, who has been around black people all his life, probably has some complicated feelings about this whole racism thing. Not everyone falls into the racist/woke binary. If we are going to have a public debate, on the statement Resolved: Palmer Marsh is a racist, the we should do a better job of examining the evidence. Don’t just accept a screen shot from a former employee. Maybe it is none of your business.

There have been some new developments in the Burkhart’s melodrama since Examine Your Whiteness was published. For those who are new here, a facebook screen shot appeared, showing the owner of a popular Atlanta bar saying the magic word. A community hissy fit followed. The drag queens who performed at the establishment quit. PG questioned the validity of the screen shot. Global warming got worse, Atlanta traffic slowed down, and Donald Trump got a haircut. It was a bad week.

Someone finally talked to Palmer Marsh, the bar owner with a facebook habit. Yes, he did say the magic word on facebook. He took the post down soon after, but not before a cunning employee got a screen shot. The evidence would prove handy.

Mr. Marsh made another noteworthy comment. “Marsh says his son-in-law is black, as are several of his own grandchildren.” This puts a new spin on the old saying… I can’t be racist, some of my best grandchildren are black. The people upset about the facebook post were not impressed. Don’t confuse me with the facts, the man is a racist, because I said so. The issue remains unresolved, as well as the issue of why anyone should care.

Racist is the one of worst things you can say about anyone. It is also tossed around casually, with no proof, or thought, required. Once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. If you defend someone accused of racism, you are considered racist yourself.

Racism is not an either/or binary. Many people have conflicting feelings on the matter. While the facebook post is apparently valid, what is in Palmer Marsh’s heart remains a mystery to most observers. Maybe he is a racist, and maybe he is not.

Why does a person need to be politically correct to own a queer bar? Historically, bar owners have been shady characters, who settled disputes with contract killing, and convenient fires. The business revolves around selling alcohol, a deadly, addictive, legal drug. People often misbehave under the influence, and the bar will use brute force to resolve the issue. Enemies are made. It is a tough, dirty business. And now we are supposed to shun an bar owner, because he used the magic word one time on facebook. (Full disclosure: PG is a retired drunk. He has been sober since 1988.)

Anti racism can be highly superficial. Lip service is paid to high minded definitions of racism: “Rather, according to the newly uncovered formula, racism = prejudice + power (or “prejudice + privilege” in some trendier renditions). White people are the ones with all the power and privilege here, so, per the formula, they cannot possibly be the objects of racism.”

That is good in theory, but boring in practice. When there is a racism controversy these days, it is frequently because someone said the magic word. (One exception is when the police kill someone.) Honest to G-d oppression is boring, and will not get attention. Catching someone saying the magic word gets attention. The ex-employee, who leaked the screen shot, wanted attention.

The other development is the sale of the bar. Supposedly, a group was planning to buy Burkhart’s. This group included the General Manager, Don Hunnewell, who gave a statement soon after the original screen shot emerged. “Yesterday it took everything I had to soldier on and not terminate my employment agreement.” A few days later, he was part of a group trying to buy the bar.

You might ask, how does a complicated sale like that happen so quickly? The answer is, it doesn’t. The owner of The Jungle, a now closed cha cha palace, is said to have made an offer. The Jungle got in SJW trouble a few years ago for hosting a performance by Sharon Needles. For the foreseeable future, Palmer and Mary Marsh own Burkhart’s.

An ex-employee had a problem with the club. Ex-employee leaked the screen shot to the press, and the fun started. Now, there are three possible motives for the ex-employee. 1 – Someone was offended by racism at the club, and wanted to call attention to it. 2- Release of the screen shot is somehow connected to a sale of the bar. It is not known if the ex-employee was part of the group that was going to buy the club. 3 – The ex employee had a problem with the club, and wanted to get revenge. Number 3 is the most likely, although all are possible. All things are possible in a world without G-d.

Where does this put the performers who quit, and the pearl clutching public? If this is motivated by sincere concern for racism at Burkhart’s, then people are entitled to the self congratulation. OTOH, if this whole mudbath is just part of the proposed sale, or a shot at revenge by an embittered ex-employee, the the pearl clutchers are being played.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. Part one and part two are reposts. Part three is boring.

War Letters

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, War by chamblee54 on January 13, 2021








In the winter of 2003, it was obvious that America was going to war. Congress had voted approval, the modern version of a declaration of war. The troops. and supplies, were on the borders of Iraq, waiting for the order to go in.

PG felt the need to make a statement. There was no illusion that it would affect the overall decision to invade Iraq. However, PG wanted to go on record as being opposed to the folly to come.

It was a low risk act. In America, we have freedom of expression. This does not mean that the powers that be listen to the people. The only expression that matters is by people who pay the authorities. The people can say anything, but nobody in charge listens.

There were three representatives in Congress to contact. The two Senators were Saxby Chambliss and Zell Miller. The 4th district was represented in the House of Representatives by Denise Majette. She was new to Congress, having defeated Cynthia McKinney in the 2002 election.

The area that PG lives in is gerrymandered into different districts every ten years by the Georgia legislature. Today, PG is in the 6th district, represented by Democrat Lucy McBath.

The letters are lost in hard drive crash fog. It started out with the phrase “you were elected to represent me.” Apparently, this left Zell Miller out. He has been appointed to finish the term of Paul Coverdell. Democrat Zell Miller was appointed by Democrat Governor Roy Barnes to complete the term of Republican Paul Coverdell. After this, Zell Miller gave the keynote address at the 2004 Republican Convention. This is what Georgia has come to expect from Zig Zag Zell.

The anti war letter was not great writing. It basically said that the invasion of Iraq was not a good idea. The letter did not address the tax cut. In a bizarre move, Congress approved a tax cut, with an economically ruinous war on the horizon.

The responses to the letter are attached here. Denise Majette gave a thoughtful reply. She did not say “I agree with you” in so many words, but it is clear she is not gung ho about killing Iraqis. Miss Majette said, and PG agrees, that once the war begins, the debate should cease.

Saxby Chambliss sent two replies. Both talked about how well the war was going, and how wonderful it was to be killing people in Iraq. It is a good question whether his staff read the original letter from PG, which opposed the war.

In the 2004 election, Denise Majette ran for the Senate. Zell Miller chose to retire, and his seat was up for grabs. Republican Johnny Isakson won the Senate seat. Cynthia McKinney made a comeback, and won the fourth district House seat.

Saxby Chambliss was re-elected in 2008, and retired in 2014. The conflict in Iraq continues to this day. It is a disaster. The withdrawal of American combat troops did not end the civil war. Currently, Iraq is the scene for combat operations from the Islamic State military force.

The financial burden of the war has been immense. The military depends on contractors for many basic services, at increased cost to the Asian war financiers. The National debt has been increasing by a trillion dollars a year. Revenge for nine eleven, directed at a marginally responsible country, has been horribly expensive. Pictures for today’s entertainment message are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.









Goodly Pride

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on January 12, 2021

Between Trump And Raffensperger

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on January 11, 2021

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New reports show other ways Trump tried to interfere in Ga. election
jack offs trump ~ roseanne boyland ~ @Ashli_Babbitt ~ dankula ~ calm down caren
stacey prayer candle ~ ray folds ~ repost ~ woody allen ~ otolaryngologist
STACEY ABRAMS Prayer Candle – Black Lives Matter – $15.00 ~ Saint Stacey Abrams Prayer Candle ~ @TwitterSafety As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C., we have required the removal of three @realDonaldTrump Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy. @TwitterSafety This means that the account of @realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked. ~ @TwitterSafety Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account. ~ @getongab To the people whining about us turning off replies to tweets: it’s called marketing genius. In order to respond you have to quote tweet and promote what we are saying to your followers. ~ i just i don’t get into defining racism ~ pictures today are from The Library of Congress. ~ selah

The Great Speckled Bird

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on January 10, 2021








One day in the eighth grade, PG had a sore spot in his eye. They called it a stye. One afternoon, he got out of school, walked to Lenox Square, saw a doctor, and got some eye drops.
When he left the doctor’s office, there was a man, standing in front of Rich’s on the sidewalk, selling a newspaper. He had blond hair down past his shoulders. PG asked what the newspaper was. Mostly politics, he said. PG gave him fifteen cents for a copy of “The Great Speckled Bird”.

The Bird was an underground newspaper. It was so bad, it needed to be buried. If you are under fifty, you have probably never seen one. These papers flourished for a while. The Bird was published from 1968 to 1976. The April 26, 1968 edition was volume one, number four. This was what PG bought that day.
The GSU Library has a digital collection. Included in it are copies of The Great Speckled Bird. Included in this collection is edition number four. PG went looking for that first copy. He needed to be patient, for the GSU server took it’s time. Finally, the copy he asked for came up. It was mostly politics.

When PG saw page four, he knew it was the edition from 1968. “Sergeant Pepper’s Vietnam Report” was the story of a young man sent to Nam. It had a paragraph that impressed young PG, and is reproduced here. The rest of the article is not that great, which is typical of most underground newspaper writing.

A couple of years later, PG spent the summer working at the Lenox Square Theater. The number two screen was a long skinny room. If you stood in the right place, you could hear the electric door openers of the Colonial Grocery store upstairs. The Bird salesmen were a feature at the mall that summer, which not everyone appreciated. This was the year of the second, and last, Atlanta Pop Festival. PG was not quite hip enough to make it. He was back in the city, taking tickets for “Fellini Satyricon”. The Bird was printing 26 pages an issue, with lots of ads, pictures, and the distinctive graphics of the era.

Vol.3 no 26 June 29, 1970 was especially memorable. On page 17, there was a bit of eyeroll inducing polemic. PG was easy to impress. The first paragraph is the one that matters. “What is Gay Liberation? It is people telling the truth; it is me telling you the truth NOW, homosexuality is the CAPACITY to love someone of the same sex. For­get all the crap about causes (no one knows and we don’t care), “cures” (there aren’t any, thank god), and “prob­lems.”The only problem is society’s anti-homosexual pro­paganda and the oppression it has produced.”

Stories about hippies, and the Bird, can be found at The Strip Project. This repost has pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.









Where It Starts

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on January 9, 2021

I had never heard of Stacey Abrams. She was a little known legislator, running for Governor. Then there was a controversy about the DSA. They promoted the disruption of a campaign event. A band of ladies started to shout down Stacey Evans, the other person in the Democratic primary.

Miss Abrams supported shouting down her opponent. “I do not believe that you silence those who feel they are voiceless, because the minute we do that we are no better than those who tell people they can’t kneel in protest.” The DSA is a lot of things, but it is not voiceless. They make a lot of noise.

As we all know, Miss Abrams nearly got elected Governor. She ran on a curious platform. Her main issue was claiming that the Republicans engaged in something called “voter suppression.” Miss Abrams famously not-conceded the election. It became an article of faith in Georgia that the election was stolen from her.

A few days after the election, there was a protest rally inside the State Capitol. Such events are forbidden, by law, inside the Capitol. During this event, a state legislator, Nikema Williams, got herself arrested. Stacey Abrams supports the illegal protest rally. In 2020, Nikema Williams was elected to Congress.

We all know what happened Wednesday. Donald Trump lost the election. He claimed the election was stolen from him. He spoke to a rally of angry supporters. The mob proceeded to invade the U.S. Capitol. Much damage was done, both to the Capitol, and what remains of Mr. Trump’s reputation.

There is no obvious connection between the rhetoric of Stacey Abrams, and Donald Trump. Mr. Trump probably would not have been done anything different, if Stacey Abrams had not led the way. This are both examples of what happens when an irresponsible politicians encourage bad behavior from the mob. When you lose an election, you should concede defeat, and move on. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

David Bowie

Posted in Georgia History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on January 8, 2021





It was a strange week to be a David Bowie fan. On Friday, I was looking for a rerun to post, and was reminded that January 8 was his birthday. (Along with Elvis and Shirley Bassey) I put up a piece about Mr. Bowie, and fashioned a poem out of his song titles. Aquarian Drunkard reissued a collection of the “best and most interesting Bowie oddities”. A new album was released, with a lot of comments about how strange it was. Strange is something Bowie fans turn to face.

On Monday, I woke up. Go on the internet. MSN news says that David Bowie has died. This is surprising. I know what people are going to talk about for a few days.

I typically download the new wtf podcast on Monday. The show is “supported” by Columbia records, presenting David Bowie’s new album “Blackstar.” Marc Maron gushes on about how ” DAVID BOWIE I LOVE DAVID BOWIE. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” The single is called “Lazarus.”

The timing of the whole thing is bizarre. Was this planned? To release a puzzling new work on your sixty ninth birthday, and then die two days later. With the master media manipulator involved, prior planning cannot be ruled out. Or was it just a parting shot of synchronicity? We will never know.

In what might be a new move for celebrity deaths, sex scandal rumors emerged. A lady named Lori Maddox claims that Mr. Bowie “devirginized” her. Miss Maddox was underage at the time. Some people think that this incident makes Mr. Bowie a terrible person, whose artistic output should be ignored. One made the inevitable comment “As someone who sees White stars get a pass for things that celebrities of color get crucified for.”

I learned a long time ago to separate the performer from the performance. I also apply this rule to David Robert Jones. (David Bowie was a stage name. The legal name was never changed.) In 1976, there was an interview, where the artist said “Don’t believe anything you hear me say.” While the creative/marketing genius can be enjoyed, there was always a bit of coldness behind the mask. Some press reports say that this softened as the years went by. In the end David Bowie was human. Ziggy Stardust was a character played by an actor. Does it matter that they were a Cracked Actor?

It is ironic that David Bowie played Andy Warhol in Basquiat. Both combined creation of art, and the marketing of art product, into a seamless unit. The two did not have a good first meeting. “Remember, David Bowie was not a big star. He was just some guy off the street as far as Andy Warhol was concerned. They found a common ground in David’s shoes. David was wearing yellow Mary Janes and Andy had been a shoe illustrator, which David knew so they began talking about shoes.” UPDATE I got to see Basquiat. Andy Warhol’s wig, worn by David Bowie, gave an outstanding performance.

This would have been in 1971. Mr. Bowie discusses his adventures in between songs of this show. There is another story from that first tour: “I think that must’ve been part of the Mercury Records publicity tour in early 1971, Gus. Ted Vigodsky, if I remember correctly, brought Bowie by The Great Speckled Bird’s offices on North Avenue where Moe Slotin and I met him. Bowie was dressed in an ill-fitting gingham dress and looked something like a gaunt, poverty-stricken woman in one of those Walker Evans photos from the Depression. He informed Moe and me that he was gonna be the next big star in rock-n-roll. It took all of our will power not to laugh in his face. This was before anyone in America had heard of him and he had no records out yet (“Space Oddity,” a hit in England in 1969, was not released in the USA until 1973). Six months later Moe and I realized we had completely underestimated him. I had forgotten Charlie had called you about interviewing him.” Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.





David Bowie is 74 today. Elvis is ageless. Betsy DeVos is unemployed. This Bowie tribute is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

A webpage called CaptainsDead had a download of a David Bowie concert. (Here is another edition.) Most Bowie live recordings are pretty dull. While the Thin White Duke is renowned for his concerts, they tend to be live events, that depend on staging and costumes as much as music. This show, from 1974, is different. Focusing on material from “Diamond Dogs”, the sound he produces comes close to matching the studio sound.

The next move for Bowie in 1974 was the “white soul” sound of “Young Americans”. He is moving in that direction in this show, even while he lingers in the glitter apocalypse. This tour included a stop at the Fox Theater, the first Atlanta show for Mr.Bowie. On the way to Florida for the next show, the truck with the sets and costumes crashed into a swamp full of rattlesnakes. The show in Tampa was performed in street clothes.

Maybe it is time for a Chamblee54 tribute to David Bowie. It is six am, and PG has stumbled into a job. The time and energy required to write new material is not always available.

The first album by David Bowie that PG heard about was “Hunky Dory”. At the time, Mr. Bowie had generated some buzz by admitting that he fancies blokes, or some uber british expression for being queer. In time, this would be seen as more publicity stunt than brave confession. The RCA debut got some good reviews, but not much else.

The next year produced “Ziggy Stardust”, a concept album. At about this time he did a tour of the United States, with costumes and onstage antics that generated even more publicity. More and more people started listening, some in spite of his outrageous image, and quite a few more because of it. He broke up his band, the spiders from mars, and announced his retirement. The band, according to reports, learned about this while standing on stage behind him. Mr. Bowie, for all his genius, is not always a nice man.

In 1974 there was an album, “Diamond Dogs”, about the decadent urban life in the scifi future. A stage show based on this album…the source of the download mentioned above…marked a return to the concert stage. The next year gave us “Young Americans”, and the year after that “Station to Station”. Every year was a different sound and vision.

Meanwhile, the artist was not doing so good as a human being. According to all reports, he was doing mountains of cocaine. (There is a story of going to meet the parents of Ava Cherry, one of his girlfriends. He shows up at 3am, and does coke on the dining room table.) There was an interview in Playboy (or maybe it was Rolling Stone ) where the first thing he says is, don’t believe anything I say. He went on to say that he admired Adolf Hitler. Have we mentioned the physical appearance of David Bowie in 1975? He looked like he was dead, and nobody bothered to tell him. (By contrast, in recent photo collections of rock stars, Mr. Bowie looks pretty good for a man who is 69 yo.)

This was the era of Rocky Horror show. At one point, Riff Raff sings (Tim O’Brien wrote the show, and gave himself some darn good lines) Frank n furter, it’s all over, your mission is a failure, your lifestyle’s too extreme.I’m your new commander you now are my prisoner we return to transylvania prepare the transit beam While this may not have been directed at David Bowie, he took the hint.

We interrupt this David Bowie tribute with an emergency announcement. A person, reputed to be an entertainer, was seen using the n word on facebook. The screen shots have disappeared, and all we have is the word of the accuser. More details will be available as soon as anyone is interested.

David Bowie saw himself at a dead end, and possibly a dead life. He moved into a little apartment in West Berlin, on top of a garage. Brian Eno offered his assistance, and a series of electronic albums was the result. The next few years saw rock and roll, dance music, and finally, crap. PG bought a Bowie album in 1984, the first time he saw it on sale, and was immensely disappointed. The last David Bowie album that PG got was a free cd that was given to people buying a magazine.

Around 1981, MTV was born, and radio was suddenly obsolete. A visual artiste like David Bowie was a natural for video. Unfortunately, many of these videos are not available for embedding in blogs. Ashes to Ashes was a staple of early MTV. Boys Keep Swinging , off the “Lodger” album, is a return to the gender bender Bowie of younger days.

David Bowie continued to do tours, and PG got to see two of the shows. In 1987, something called the “Glass Spider Tour” came to the Omni. (In a later interview, it turns out Mr. Bowie was extremely unhappy during this tour, and close to suicide at some points.) The Glass Spider was this mass of lighting effects that hovered over the stage, and was used to best advantage during “Scary Monsters”. The show featured Peter Frampton on guitar, and had a pack of dancers. (One apparent female took her drag off during the finale.) A good time was had by all.

In 1990, another retirement tour came to the Omni. This one had movies projected on a screen behind the stage, and featured guitar hero Adrian Bellew. The night had the feel of a contractual obligation. David Bowie is too professional to give a bad show, but this one did not have the fire of “Glass Spider”. PG had a new set of contact lenses, and his eyes were painfully dry most of the night.