Chamblee54

Monroe Drive Or Boulevard

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on July 15, 2018

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It is an Atlanta cliche. Boulevard turns into Monroe Drive because one was black, and the other white. The white people did not want to live on a street with the same name as the black neighborhood. You hear this all the time, with very little explanation. It is plausible. At one time, Ponce de Leon Avenue was a dividing line between the white, and black, neighborhoods. There are, however, a few questions about this name change business. This is a repost.

In the space between I-85 and Dekalb County, there are four streets that change names when they cross Ponce De Leon Avenue. These are Juniper/Courtland, Charles Allen/Parkway, Monroe/Boulevard, and Briarcliff/Moreland. Several streets cross Ponce without changing names, including Spring Street, Peachtree Street, Piedmont Avenue, and North Highland Avenue.

Four thoroughfares are affected by the Ponce rebranding. Juniper/Courtland is mostly commercial, at least south of Ponce. Briarcliff/Moreland is mostly white until you get to the railroad tracks south of Little Five Points. When Moreland Avenue goes under the MARTA line, the neighborhood is Reynoldstown….which was not named for Burt Reynolds.

Charles Allen/Parkway does change from white to black at Ponce. The street name then changes to Jackson Street, the original name, at Highland Avenue. Monroe/Boulevard also goes from white to black at Ponce. However, when you cross the railroad tracks, Boulevard goes through Cabbagetown, a white neighborhood. Boulevard residents change color several times before the road dead ends at the Federal Prison. Oakland Cemetery, and Zoo Atlanta, do not play a role in this drama.

If this litany of street names is boring, it is all right to skip over the text. The pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Roads change names all over the metro area, for a variety of reasons. In the area between Ponce De Leon Avenue and I 20, there are roads that change at railroad tracks (North Highland/Highland, Krog/Estoria.) Others change at Highland Avenue (Parkway/Jackson, Glen Iris/Randolph) or Decatur Street (Hilliard/Grant, Bell/Hill.) Some of these changes are racially motivated, while others are not. Some make sense, while most do not.

No one seems to know when this Monroe/Boulevard thing happened. An 1892 “Bird’s eye view” shows Boulevard sailing off into the horizon, past a racetrack in today’s Piedmont Park. A 1911 map shows Boulevard starting near “L.P. Grant Park,” and sailing past Ponce up to Piedmont Park. A 1940 map shows Boulevard going past Park Drive, only to turn into Monroe Drive at Montgomery Ferry Road. Finally, a 1969 map of “Negro Residential Areas” shows Monroe Drive changing into Boulevard at Ponce De Leon Avenue, like it is today. Boulevard is a stand alone street name at all times.

If anyone knows about this name change business, please leave a comment. It would be interesting to know when these changes were made, and what government agency made them. Google has not been helpful, except for pointing the way to several map collections.

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The G-d Of Word

Posted in GSU photo archive, Religion, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on July 10, 2018


The facebook comment started with “Christ had so little regard for … ” PG gave into the temptation to comment. “Are you talking about Jesus? Not everyone agrees that he was the Christ.” The internet showed mercy, and only one stranger replied. “I think the bigger picture is being overlooked for semantics here… ” Talking, in or out of vain, is a big deal here. This is a repost.

People like to express opinions about the teaching of Jesus. The source of 99% of these thoughts is the bible. It is a fundamental belief that “the bible is the word of G-d.” PG has disagreed with this notion for a long time. This is not the same as not believing in the existence of G-d.

PG started to type a facebook reply, and then thought better of it. Sunday afternoons are a gift, even if they are uncomfortably hot. It is too fine a day to argue religion on the internet. Before he stopped, one thought did occur to him. If the bible is the word of G-d, then maybe Jehovah is the G-d of word. If you saw a mushroom cloud rising over Brookhaven …

Christianism is a religion of beliefs, rather than practices. The idea of getting people to agree with these beliefs is key to the Jesus experience. Many of these beliefs are noted in the bible. It is as if people make a G-d out of a book. When these high powered thoughts are expressed, then the semantics can get overwhelming.

As for the teaching of Jesus, all we know is what the Council of Nicea chose to tell us. We don’t have very much. What we do have is conveniently selected to fit the agenda of the speaker. What someone says about Jesus tells us more about that person than it does about Jesus. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Home Churched

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Religion by chamblee54 on July 5, 2018

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A poem appeared at Chamblee54 yesterday. The pictures were from a photo mural on North Avenue. There were two people in each shot, with a white bar in the middle. The text was adjusted, so that the white bar was a compliment, rather than a distraction. The result was G-d Doesnot Write Books.

There are 20 words used: my thoughts are my business ~ practice outweigh beliefs ~ g-d doesnot write books ~ thought about jesus doesnot ~ affect life after death.

The text comes from a post, at a blog called 22 Words. At the time, comments at 22 words were limited to 22 words. 22w is much more *commercial* now. Here is the story.

Abraham at twentytwowords wrote… “When I asked about churches last week, some of you reminded me you’re not Christian.So…Non-Christian readers, what (non)religion are you?” That is 23 words.

PG answered the original post “home churched”. He decided to answer the follow up question. Unlike most of the others to answer, PG wanted to keep this under 22 words. … PG decided that this label thing was not going to work. Labels belong on jars, and PG’s hair is a half inch over jarhead level. The best solution was to write a list of beliefs.

1. My beliefs are my business. 2. Practice outweighs belief. 3. G-d probably exists. 4. G-d does not write books. 5. Jesus has nothing to do with life after death. This is 25 words. Three words need to go. Line 4 states that G-d does not write books. This implies that G-d does, indeed, exist. Line 3 can be eliminated, and the answer reduced to 22 words.

America is a religious country. To many, this means Christianity. This religion is based on beliefs, rather than practices. The beliefs of Christianity tend to fall into four categories: G-d, the Bible, Jesus, and life after death. There is a lot of disagreement.

There was a comment. Christ Centered Teaching February 17, 2015 at 7:33 pm “So if your thoughts are your business, why share them here with others?” Jesus worshipers are good at arguments.

Religious themes have been used for content in Western art for centuries. Painting, music, and architecture have been devoted to images of Jesus. How many of these image makers are true believers? This is especially true in team sports like music and architecture. Is the bricklayer at the Cathedral saved? Is the gospel music keyboards man born again?

PG has used the bible as text on several occasions. He also uses public domain works by others, including Walt Whitman, William Blake, and Emily Dickinson. Just because you use a text in a graphic work does not mean that you are expressing a belief in the content.

When you take a book of poetry, and use it as a tool of authority, you compromise the beauty of that work. Maybe, by using the poetry of the Bible as text for graphic poems, some of this beauty can be restored. The Jesus worshipers can still use the magic book as a sales tool, promoting a scheme for life after death. The text has been abused for centuries.

Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Spectrum Rather Than A Binary

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on June 25, 2018

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my romantic life ~ waffle house standoff ~ Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc. Admits It Was Wrong, Apologizes to Quilliam and Maajid Nawaz for Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists, and Agrees to Pay $3.375 Million Settlement ~ SPLC ~ East Cobb resident wants Confederate general’s name in Cobb park designation ~ Cobb commission meeting ~ Why it Pays to Be Hungry | Les Brown | Goalcast ~ In this tale, an investor leaves New York in a hurry, after some shady dealings and failed marriage. He goes to Atlanta, and stays with his one time protege, a prosperous Asian. The two go to Ponce City Market, the beltline, Buckhead, and other trendoid spots we all know and, if not love, at least tolerate. They talk about hedge funds, and their adventures in moving money without creating value. Finally, they part ways on uneasy terms. ~ I am an Atlanta native familiar with setting of this story It was fun to listen to even if a lot of it did not ring true It is ironic for a *asian*-we never learn what country-to say racism about a buckhead dive bar bless Barry’s heart both Barry investor and Barry ex potus ~ Louie Frank Powell Frank Powell owned the cove, and a series of other bars in atlanta. Once, I was perusing the legal notices, and saw where he was applying for a liquor license I saw that his first name was Louie Fory plus years later, I wondered what happened to him. I googled the name. Louie Frank Powell Birth – 23 Nov 1931 Westville, Holmes County, FL Death – 8 Mar 1996 (aged 64) Atlanta, GA Burial – Sweet Gum Head Church of Christ Cemetery Sweet Gum Head, Holmes County, FL The Sweet Gum Head was a show bar on Cheshire Bridge Road for several years. In 1973, Frank’s boyfriend drove his cadillac through the South wall of the Cove ~ asexuals ~ GOP senator calls child separation “current shiny object of the day” “keep the focus on President Trump’s request to Congress to cut $15 in spending.” @chamblee54 maybe .@CBS could use the $15 to hire a proofreader ~ Liza Minnelli: ‘I Do Not Approve Nor Sanction’ the Judy Garland Biopic Starring Renee Zellweger ~ where our troops are fighting “hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances.” ~ What’s Jesse Singal’s Fucking Deal? ~ Bahama Breeze in Orange Village calls police on black sorority over bill dispute ~ West Coast Fog radio ~ gossip in the city part one ~ xxx alleged killer ~ @realDonaldTrump “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?” written on the back of Melania’s jacket, refers to the Fake News Media. Melania has learned how dishonest they are, and she truly no longer cares! ~ @Acosta FLOTUS spox confirms Mrs. Trump wore a jacket to visit border kids that reads: “I really don’t care. Do you?” Spox says: “It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe.” ~ People Are Disgusted By The Way This Woman Responded To A Wedding Caterer’s Prices ~ The Southern Poverty Law Center has lost all credibility ~ splc headline ~ root share ~ another root share ~ intellectual dark web contains no authoritarians @BretWeinstein @GlennLoury It is a stretch to say that IDW “contains no authoritarians” ~ .@jordanbpeterson sounds like an authoritarian many see authoritarianism as a spectrum rather than binary do you have authority figure to keep authoritarians out? ~ @BretWeinstein I enjoyed @GlennLoury monolog about heavy handed attempts by media-dnc team to force you to vote for HRC this was a factor in small town PA WI MI I felt same way only I was in GA and ec went DJT while you were in MA and were forced to go for HRC ~ @BretWeinstein one problem with your hypothesis is that @SenSanders was an obnoxious weak candidate that the republicans would have taken apart in the general election @GlennLoury ~ @PressSec Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so ~ @HoarseWisperer Note: Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a personal account. It is: @SarahHuckabee She used the federal government’s account for the Press Secretary (@PressSec) to target a private business owner. ~ Help Separated children, bill number 2937 ~ S.3036 – Keep Families Together Act ~ Kellyanne Ennui ~ a weird yearning for death combined with a crushing sense of my own smallness and futility that presents as a fear of death ~ With the awakening of his emotions, his first perception was a sense of futility, a dull ache at the utter grayness of his life ~ the word racism has been trivialized by overuse demoze thought calling millions of americans racist would help elect hillary we are harvesting the fruit of that hideous strategy now this subject is emotional quicksand ~ I want to be on the side of history where false equivalency tweets/facebook posts are ignored ~ People think that Sarah Palin said that she could see Russia from her back porch. ~ drain the swamp anagrams as sin raw dp the man ~ These are the bills regarding the separation of children from their parents at the border. Help Separated children, bill number 2937 Keep Families together, bill number 3036 Sen. Perdue 404.865.0087 Sen. Isakson 770.661.0999 GA04 Rep. Johnson 770 987-2291 GA05 Rep. Lewis 404 659-0116 GA06 Rep. Handel 770 998-0049 GA07 Rep. Woodall 770 232-3005 GA11 Rep. Loudermilk 770 429-1776 When you contact these numbers, please be considerate of the person taking your call. It is not helpful to make an angry speech. Just ask them to support bill 2937 and bill 3036 Please only contact the Congressional representative from your district. ~ Instead of making noise on twitter, you could call your senator and ask them to support Help Separated children, bill number 2937, Keep Families together, bill number 3036 namecalling will accomplish NOTHING there will be opportunities to scream racism later ~ If you are concerned about the situation at the border, call your senator (Sen. Perdue 404.865.0087, Sen. Isakson 770.661.0999) Ask them to support Help Separated children, bill number 2937, and Keep Families together, bill number 3036. Please be courteous to the person taking your call. ~ Can we have a timeout on the memes, name calling, pointing out hypocrisy, and other examples of internet logic and rhetoric. We know that you are angry. We know that you are clever. There will be plenty of opportunities to scream racist later. ~ Can we have a timeout on the memes, name calling, pointing out hypocrisy, virtue signalling, and other displays of internet performance logic. We know that you are angry. We know that you are clever. There will be plenty of opportunities to scream racist later. ~ my next book – 12 Antidotes for Rules: A Life to Chaos ~ As the Baptist said to the Presbyterian, there’s a madness to my Methodist. ~ the moment when you see #andrewsullivan trending, and you wonder what the idiot has said now – andy says to give djt his wall it will be expensive, environmentally unsafe, and WILL NOT WORK but yea, let orange hair have his wall, paid for with money taken from healthcare it will make the liberals mad ~ those who talk the most listen the least ~ This was very frustrating to listen to. The race issue is a bottomless can of worms. The *good news* is that they did not discuss queers or life after death. This may be a first for jesus worshipers. @JemarTisby @williamrblack ~ @AryehCW Has anyone written a thinkpiece on why Italians are the only ethnicity it’s still okay to make fun of? @chamblee54 Southern White People Idk of that is an ethnicity, or a lack of one, but it is open game, especially if you throw in a kkk joke, in which case it is absolutely virtuous to insult us ~ One problem with the internet is distractions. If you see something you want to share, you will need to go share it. While you are there, inevitably you will look at facebook, thus putting your peace of mind at risk. Like when two facebook friends shared a vile screed. What is the proper response to this? Say something, and get into a quagmire argument. Or just ignore it, and lose respect for the two men who liked this. I don’t want to be someone who hates others because of their opinions. The article says you should speak up, when it suits them. The good news is, the next poem I found in the archive addresses this issue.
it is is not about justice – it is having an emotional experience
that validates your privilege – the person judging you
is just as messed up as you are – it is is not about salvation
it is having an emotional experience – that validates your privilege
Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. ~ selah

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The Kinks

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on June 20, 2018

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Dangerousminds brings the sad news that Pete Quaife, the original bass player for The Kinks , passed away yesterday. He was 66, and had been in dialysis for several years. Maybe it is time for Chamblee54 to do a post about The Kinks. This is a repost.

Battling brothers Ray and Dave Davies are the core of The Kinks. (The name is pronounced like the american Davis, as though the e did not exist). Ray was the vocalist, writer, and rhythm guitar player. Dave was the lead guitarist, and sparring partner for his brother. The fisticuffs were not restricted to the brothers. This led to the band being barred from performing in the United States between 1965 and 1969. The sixties happened anyway.

There were several hits in the early days, most notably “You really got me”. (This later became a signature tune for Van Halen). The band had numerous adventures, but never became the superstars that other British bands of that era did. Ray Davies developed as a songwriter, with many witty tunes, full of social commentary and britishness.(spell check suggestion:brutishness)

In the seventies The Kinks kept trooping on. They did an album called Preservation Act, which became the basis of a theatrical presentation. The next album was called Soap Opera, with a theater like production. This is where PG got to see The Kinks.

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It was sometime in the spring of 1975, at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. Elvin Bishop was the opening act. The Kinks had started when PG arrived, buying a $4.00 balcony seat. Alex Cooley was in the box office counting money, and broke open a roll of quarters to make change for a five.

The band was playing “Celluloid Heroes” when PG walked into the auditorium. There was no one on the door checking tickets, so PG walked onto the floor and found an empty seat on the 13th row. The next number was “Lola”.

Ray Davies introduced the song by saying
” If you are a man, sing LO. If you are a woman, sing LA. If you are not sure, clap your hands”. The next number was about demon alcohol. There were lights shining on the crowd during this number, as Ray Davies asked if there were any sinners in the audience. The band did several more songs, ending the first half of the evening with “You really got me”. Dave Davies got some spotlight time with a rave up intro to this number.
The second part of the show was a theatrical presentation of “Soap Opera”. The band wore rainbow colored wigs, and stood at the back of the stage while Ray Davies told the tale. “Soap Opera” was about a rock star who traded places with Norman, who lived a boring life. The flat Norman lived in has pictures of ducks on the wall, which drove Ray/Norman to scream
“I can’t stand those f*****g ducks”. This led into a rocking ditty called, predictably, “Ducks on the Wall”.
As the show dragged on, Ray/Norman was embarrassed by the mess he was in.
“You can’t say that in front of The Kinks, they are my band, and that is my audience.” The audience lights were turned on again, and the band played a medley of hits from 1964.
Finally, the real Norman came back to reclaim his wife, put the ducks back on the wall, and kick out The Kinks. The band gave up on theater before much longer, and were popular for the rest of the concert happy seventies. Ray Davies was the babydaddy for Chrissie Hynde . Eventually, the band quit performing, and continued to cash royalty checks.

Pictures are from the “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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35 Broad Street

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on June 19, 2018

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PG was having a delightfully slack afternoon, The one productive activity was editing pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. In box seventy two of “corporate bodies”, in the Lane Brothers archive, there was a picture commissioned by King Road Marker Company. It displayed a brand new crosswalk, over Marietta Street at the intersection of Broad Street. The picture was taken at 1:51 p.m. September 27, 1954. This is a repost.

The time caught PG’s eye. 1:51 is one of the times used to display clocks and watches in advertising. Most ads use 10:09. This arrangement of the hour and minute hands makes a welcoming gesture. This allows the logo of the watch to be visible, and is thought to encourage the viewer to purchase the timepiece. The shadows on the buildings indicate that the picture was shot in early afternoon.

The clock with the magic time advertised the C&S national bank. The building behind the clock was the headquarters of that bank. In 1954, Citizens and Southern bank was a prime player in the Atlanta market. (PG’s dad said that C&S stood for choke’m and squeez’m.) At some point, C&S merged with NCNB to become Nationsbank, which was later absorbed by Bank Of America.

C&S kept it’s headquarters at 35 Broad Street for many years after competitors built trophy buildings. Their were constant rumors about where the C&S highrise was going to go. Finally, C&S Plaza was built at Peachtree and North Avenue, a mile north of five points. The building was to become the tallest building in America outside of New York and Chicago. During the construction of this building, C&S became part of Nationsbank, and later Bank of America.

The picture is featured in Atlanta Time Machine. The building is now owned by Georgia State University, with a BOA branch on the first floor.
The banking hall is spectacular. It was designed by Philip Shutze, before the great depression. Here is more information.
Nations Bank Building (Citizens and Southern National Bank Building, Empire Building)
35 Broad Street, NW 1901: Bruce and Morgan, Architects, NR.
Remodeling of Lower Floors and Interiors 1929:
Hentz, Adler and Shutze, Architects; Philip Shutze, Designer
Fourteen stories high, the Nations Bank Building was the first steel-frame structure to be built in Atlanta. Its clear-cut silhouette, simple fenestration, and heavily decorated terra-cotta top bear the influence of the Chicago School. In 1929 the building became the headquarters of the Citizens and Southern National Bank, which asked Philip Shutze to redesign its three lower floors. Because the impression of load-bearing masonry was regarded as better suited for a banking establishment than large glass panes were, the original display windows were replaces by classical motifs apparently “carved out” of Indiana limestone.
Philip Shutze was inspired by Italian Mannerism, and especially by the city gates of Verona by Michele Sanmichelo (1484-1559) … Reached from Marietta and Walton streets through lofty arcaded entryways and a more intimate elevator lobby in the early Renaissance style on Broad Street, the banking hall is a long nave articulated by colossal Corinthian pilasters. While its walls and floors feature several kinds of Georgia, Tennessee, and European marbles in a warm gold-brown color scheme, the ceiling, from which hang gigantic chandeliers, is left bare. The Pantheon, which Shutze had measured during his internship at the American Academy in Rome, served as direct source for the pedimented niches, and for the floors with alternate square and circular patterns. Also, of Roman inspiration are the bronze desks and the eagle motif found throughout the design.

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45 Rules For Life

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on June 15, 2018









This post was published on June 15, 2010. The last eight years have seen a few changes, and a few things that are the same. The post is a list of rules for life. It was inspired by a lady, Regina Brett. She is still alive, and cranking out text. That she is still alive is noteworthy, since the chain e-mail said she was 90 years old. Chain e-mail is something we don’t see much of these days.
01- Fair is when a baseball is hit between first and third base. Sometimes it is a tough call.
02- When in Georgia, just take a drink.
03- Life is too hateful to waste time on religion.

04- Family and friends might help, your job might help, insurance might pay the bills,
and the government might bail out the insurance company.
05- Interest on credit card debt is a bad investment.
06- Only argue when it is worthwhile. Don’t argue just to have fun. Better yet, don’t argue.
07- Cry because you are happy.
08- Getting angry with G-d is like getting angry with standard time.
09- You don’t have to spend all your money at once.
Save a bit now and then, and think of a reason later.

10- The sugar and chemicals in commercial chocolate covers up most of the taste.
11- Make pizza with your pasta so it wont screw up your salad.
12- It’s OK to let your children see you watch TV.
13- There once was a band called Journey. They played corporate rock, and made lots of money.
14- There was a TV game show, “I’ve Got A Secret”. It did not relate to anything.
15- If you turn your back on G-d, she will still be looking you in the eyes.
16- Take a deep mind, it calms the breath. If that fails, use mouthwash.

17- Politicians, like diapers, should be changed frequently.
18- Some sayings should be outlawed. They have been used too much, and no longer mean anything.
19- The trouble is, some people are on the third and fourth childhood.
20- Is the pleasure something gives you, worth the pain it causes your neighbor?
21- Burn the fancy lingerie and wear the candles. One size fits all.
22- A river goes with the flow without preparation. The water is still polluted.
23- If you have to ask permission, you probably don’t need to.

24- Elbows, armpits, and neck scruff disagree with claims made about the brain.
25- If you charge your happiness, pay the bill at the end of the month.
26- Your reaction to a disaster cannot wait five years. Act now, using the best judgment you have.
27- Cheerios taste better than Life cereal, and People magazine has better pictures than Life.
28- Christians: the more they talk about forgiveness the less they practice it.
29- If you don’t want someone to hear what you say, keep your voice down.

30- Time wounds all heels. This is especially true in North Carolina.
31- There was a man from Mississippi, who went to New Orleans.
He took a ten dollar bill and a white shirt. He did not change either one.
32- Mr. Roebuck did not take his partner Sears-iously.
33- The middle three letters of the word Believe is LIE.
34- G-d is a neutral. She loves and hates in equal measure.
35- Show up, Stay awake, and don’t kill anybody.

36- If youth is wasted on the young, is maturity wasted on the mature?
37- When you make a list like this, don’t worry about contradicting yourself.
38- The hokey pokey really is what it’s all about.
39- Never wrestle with an pig. You will get dirty, and the pig will enjoy it.
40- Be careful when you ask for something, you might get it.
41- A man thought he was green with envy once. It was really gangrene.

42- The pest is yet to come, but she will go away later.
43- Put your pants on one leg at a time, and put on a dress the same way.
44- Smile, and people will wonder what you are up to.
45- Use spell check, and try to use correct grammar. You will sound smarter than you are.
That is embarrassing. Some of those are worthwhile thoughts. Some are just plain stupid. The commodity wisdom racket is tougher than ever. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.









The Corrections

Posted in Book Reports, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on June 11, 2018

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It started with a yard sale. The man had a box of books available for free. PG looked through it. A hardback copy of The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen, caught his eye. Wasn’t that David Foster Wallace’s buddy? Literary types drop the name, and talk behind his back on twitter. . PG picked up the book, and took it home. It sat on a shelf for a few years, along with the other free, or cheap, books that PG had adopted. Eventually, PG decided to try a few pages. 567 pages, and countless dinners later, The Corrections is finished.

It is time to write a book report for the blog, but PG does not know where to start. There are amazon one star reviews, which don’t have enough entertaining snark to bother with. Wikipedia suggests an 2006 interview with Brett Easton Ellis, where you wade through endless chatter to learn that BEE thinks that TC is “one of the three great books of your generation.” This is after the interviewer asks BEE is he has a dog, or a girlfriend.

This is not going to be easy, either to write or to read. PG has been slack about writing lately … being ignored by a billion internet users will do that. TC is just barely interesting enough to write about. Oh, it has its moments. Mr. Franzen is a clever writer, and if you don’t believe him, read a few more pages. Mr. Franzen likes to show off his literary chops. TC is like Infinite Jest lite. Which means the normal reader can finish it, without chemical assistance.

Mr. Franzen is well known for being a pal of David Foster Wallace. If you google “Jonathan Franzen and,” the top three suggestions are David Foster Wallace, Oprah, and birds. You have to wonder what Mr. Franzen really thought of Mr. Wallace. “Wallace’s friend (and friendly rival) Jonathan Franzen declared in The New Yorker in 2011, “he wasn’t Saint Dave.” Franzen upset people further when he casually suggested to New Yorker editor David Remnick that Wallace exaggerated facts and embellished quotes in his non-fiction.”

Maybe the best thing to do is listen to Mr. Franzen on the Charlie Rose show. While this is playing, PG can work on a graphic poem, or stare out the window. The youtube comments are amusing. Nikolaos Mylonas “The interviewer is a famous journalist called charlie rose. Now he is discredited due to accusations of sexual abuse made by his employees” Drew “Interesting that he seems to find reading books so tremendously useless in his utilitarian, food-in-stomach type of way. Yet he writes … from this pleasure of uselessness? …”

At some point Mr. Rose says “We’ve gone this far without mentioning Oprah,” to which Mr. Franzen replies, “And what a pleasant twenty minutes it has been.” Apparently, Mr. Franzen and Miss Winfrey had a well documented disagreement. This dispute focused a lot of attention on TC, and may have helped Mr. Franzen more than it hurt. It should be noted that PG had not heard of the Oprah problem while he was reading TC.

A Million Little Pieces is another book with an Oprah problem. PG paid twenty cents for his copy of AMLP. In the chamblee54 book report, there is a book meme: ““Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.” For TC, this would be: “When he punted the box from Gary it exploded in a cloud of white styrofoam saucers.” Chip, the number two child in the story, is spending Christmas at home of his older brother, Gary. For some reason, Chip takes his gifts and tries to kick them up the stairs. This Christmas … much of the plot in TC involves another dysfunctional family Christmas … is in the middle of Chip ruining his academic career. Maybe kicking the gift, and having it explode in a shower of styrofoam, is a metaphor.

The third sentence on page 82 is typical of Mr. Franzen’s style. He writes lots of great quotes. Goodreads and schmoop have pages devoted to them.“And meanwhile the sad truth was that not everyone could be extraordinary, not everyone could be extremely cool; because whom would this leave to be ordinary?” “Fiction is a solution, the best solution, to the problem of existential solitude.” “Without privacy there was no point in being an individual.” “He couldn’t figure out if she was immensely well adjusted or seriously messed up.” tags: inspirational-quotes, writing-philosophy.

TC is plot challenged. The schmoop summary can help. TC is about the Lambert Family. They are so mid-western that it hurts, which may be why two children escape to Filthadelphia. Alfred and Enid are the parents, living in a place called St. Jude … it is tough to say what St. Jude is a stand in for, except that it is in the mid-west. Gary, the eldest, married with three sons, is an asshole. Chip, the package kicker, is fired from a tenure track job. He had an affair with a student. Denise, the youngest, a chef, is fired after having an affair with the restaurant owner’s wife. The details of those four sentences takes up about four hundred pages of TC. The macguffin is to get all three kids together for one last christmas. None of the five Lamberts mentioned above is a likable person. The closest thing to a likable Lambert is Jonah, the youngest son of Gary.

One of the side plots involves Lithuania. Chip takes a job there, as a computer geek, working for a post-communist criminal. It turns out this Lithuania exists only in Mr. Franzen’s mind. “In a loopy section of his novel that forms a kind of fantasy-ballet diversion from the main events, Chip, failed academic and failing screenwriter, becomes involved with an internet-based financial scam based in Vilnius. The Vilnius of The Corrections is a gangster’s paradise of teenage prostitutes, fraud, corruption and armed robbery. Although very funny, it is an account unburdened by research. Recently, looking up his own book on Amazon.com, he noticed that Lithuanian readers have begun posting snarly e-mails, in protest at his depiction of their homeland. “I’ve not been to Lithuania, although the ambassador has now invited me to come and see for myself that they don’t eat horse meat. The horse meat has really touched a nerve.””

TC rambles on for 567 pages, with lots of flashbacks and sub plots. Most of the detours are described in excruciating detail. And yet, PG finished the damn thing. TC did not change his life. It was doing good to change Alfred’s diapers. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Midtown

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive by chamblee54 on June 6, 2018

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The neighborhood along Peachtree Road has always been a great place to be a freak. For a long time it didn’t have a name. It is north of downtown, between Piedmont Park and Georgia Tech. Sometime in the early eighties, people started to call it Midtown, and the name stuck.

In the time after the War Between the States, this area was a shantytown called “Tight Squeeze”. It evolved into a pleasant middle class area. In the sixties, hippies took over. The area was known as the strip, or tight squeeze. Many stories could be told.

After the flower children moved on, the area went into decline. Gays started to move in, with the battle cry “Give us our rights or we will remodel your house.” Developers, worshiping the triune G-d of location, location, location, began to smell money. The neighborhood became trendy, then expensive, then more expensive. The freaks with money remain. This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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There is a nifty webcam up now. It shows the progress of a high rise going up now at 12th and Peachtree in midtown. The location of the camera itself is not certain, with the speculation centering on 999 Peachtree, two blocks south on Tenth Street.

A glance at the image reveals a curve in the road, between the two glass boxes under construction. Atlanta does not have wide, straight boulevards extending to the horizon. It is said that Atlanta did not build roads, but paved the cow paths.

People of a certain age will remember this area as the strip. The tenth street district was a neighborhood shopping area, up until the mid sixties. At some point, the old businesses started to move out and the hippies moved in. For a while, it was a festive party. Soon enough reality returned, and the area went into a crime filled decline.

The 999 complex is the neighborhood story in a nutshell. Before 1985, it was a block of small businesses. There was a hardware store, with the peace symbol set in tiles in the sidewalk. On Juniper Street stood the Langdon Court Apartments. They were named for PG’s great uncle Langdon Quin. Ru Paul used to stay there. He would sit out on a balcony, and wave to the traffic going by.

Across the street was a chinese restaurant, the House of Eng. A staircase on the side led to the Suzy Wong Lounge. Behind the building was an apartment building. It was one of the residences of Margaret Mitchell, while she wrote “Gone With The Wind”. She called it “the dump”, which was fairly accurate. The museum on that site would have amazed her.

PG went to the House of Eng for lunch one day in 1985. He noticed that he was the only customer in the house, at 12:30 pm on a weekday. After finishing his lunch, PG knew why.

At some point, it was decided to build a high rise there. Heery was one of the equity partners, along with a law firm and an ad agency. The building was designed by Heery (duh).The ad agency folded before the building opened, followed within a couple of years by the law firm. Heery was sold to a British company. PG does not know who owns 999 Peachtree now.

This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The building, at 12th and Peachtree, is finished.





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Happy Birthday Mr. Ginsberg

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Poem by chamblee54 on June 3, 2018








This feature was originally intended to honor the arrival of a certain poet in 1926. June 3 is also the birthay of Jefferson Davis (1808), Josephine Baker (1906), Paulette Goddard (1910), Tony Curtis (1925), Allen Ginsberg (1926). People who met their maker on June 3 include Ozzie Nelson (1975), Billy Joe McAllister (1967), Ruhollah Khomeini (1989), Rue McClanahan (2010), Jack Kevorkian (2011), Muhammad Ali (2016). There is a synchronicity to the demise of Dr. Kervorkian.

Allen Ginsberg would be 92 today, if nature had not made other plans in 1997. The son of Louis and Naomi Ginsberg arrived, in Newark NJ, June 3,1926.

Allen Ginsberg had a part in many new age dramas, with a few musicals and comedies thrown in for good measure. Hippie, beatnik, gay, artist, peace promoter, Buddhist convert…these are a few of the labels. He became famous for being famous, well known to people who never read a word of his poems. Two of the more famous were howl and kaddish.

Howl became scandalous in 1956 when it was busted for obscenity. It is mild by today’s standards, but almost landed Mr. Ginsberg in prison. PG heard about howl in the early nineties, and looked high and low for a copy. He could not find one. Today on the internet, not only is the text widely available, there are recordings of Mr. Ginsberg reading his work. (Here is an updated version: howl 2011)

The original plan was to listen to Mr. Ginsberg read while editing photos. PG was going to listen to the words, and think of something to say while listening to the bard. About the seventeenth time Mr. Ginsberg shouted “Moloch”, the plan began to fall apart.

The next poem was Kaddish. This is about Naomi Ginsberg, the mother of the poet, who evidently had some issues. This was tough for PG to listen to. The other night, PG had a disturbing dream about his own late mother. In this dream, a fearsome shouter came in wearing a black suit, which meant that he intended to do some scary shouting. PG went into another room, where his recently deceased mother was laying on a table.

1956 was the year of the obscenity trial for howl. This took place on the other side of america, from the Brookhaven where PG was two years old. This was the year when his brother was born, the year when the Georgia legislature voted in a new flag, for whatever reason. In 1955, President Eisenhower had a heart attack. Many wondered if it was a good idea to have Richard Nixon as the vice president.

Finally, PG could stand no more of that voice. The player was turned off, the files stored on an external hard drive, never to be heard again. PG just is not a poetry person. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.






Bob Dylan’s Birthday

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on May 24, 2018









This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Today is Bob Dylan’s seventy seventh birthday. This chamblee 54 birthday tribute is composed primarily of three previously published pieces of work.

This compendium was assembled in 2016. On David Bowie’s in 2016, PG created a computer playlist, and assembled a few blog posts into a birthday celebration. Three days later, David Bowie was dead. PG decided to do the same thing to Bob Dylan on his birthday. Instead of dying, Bob Dylan won the Nobel prize. A similar effort on RuPaul’s birthday had no effect on the performer.

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 seven.

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 Great Southeast Music Hall

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on May 20, 2018

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The Great Southeast Music Hall was an important part of life in Atlanta during the seventies. It was located in the elbow of a shopping center, Broadview Plaza. A bowling alley was downstairs, a two level K mart next door, and Atlanta’s first hispanic neighborhood across the street. Like almost everything else here, Broadview Plaza was torn down, and replaced by a more uppity set of stores.

When you went into the lobby of the Music Hall, you noticed the walls. Performers were given a magic marker, and encouraged to leave a message. John Mayall found the ladies room, and said he likes to be near the ladies. The late Phil Ochs said “Impeach Nixon and Agnew”. What happened to those boards is a good question.

The auditorium held about 500 people. The stage was only three feet or so above the floor. There was an empty space in front of the stage, and a few rows of bench backs behind that. When the place opened, there were lots of pillows on this floor, with the Music Hall logo. The carpet in this front area was fresh when the place opened, and got progressively grosser as the years went by. Beer was served in aluminum buckets, and inevitably some wound up on the carpet.

The show the Music Hall is most famous for is the US debut of the Sex Pistols. PG didn’t make it that night, but has heard from a few who did. The performance was said to be horrible. There are stories of Sid Vicious wandering through the apartments around Broadview trying to find heroin. Years later, PG was reading about that night in Please Kill Me, when the train he was riding pulled into the Lindberg Marta station. This is across the street from the Broadview Plaza, still standing at the time.

These days, the intersection of Lindbergh Drive and Piedmont Road (about a mile north of the park) is next to Hiway 400. When the Music Hall was in it’s prime, the land for the Highway was owned by the State of Georgia, which was fighting legal battles over the highway. The land had a network of dirt roads, one of which connected Buford Hiway to Lindbergh Drive. When you went from Chamblee to the Music Hall, the most direct route was over this dirt road. This dirt road is where Sidney Marcus Boulevard is today. Broadview Plaza was torn down, and replaced by a Home Depot.

Eventually, the business model for the Music Hall did not work, and the facility moved to Cherokee Plaza. This Music Hall was in a movie theater. The Cherokee Plaza Theater was the scene for the world premiere of Son of Dracula . This move did not work, for a number of reasons. The parking lot was too small, and people who wanted a loaf of bread from the A&P were blocked out during shows. Cherokee Plaza is just outside the city limits, on Peachtree Road. In the late seventies, DeKalb county was aggressively fighting drunk driving, and had roadblocks. Many of these roadblocks were outside the Music Hall, which kept many people from attending. Before long, this Music Hall closed.

Many years later, PG bought a second hand typewriter, and needed a ribbon. (Younger readers should ask an older person about this.) He went into an office supply store in Broadview Plaza, and soon realized that he was standing on the site of the Music Hall. He asked the clerk if he could have a bucket of beer, and got a very strange look in return.

One industrious afternoon during this era, PG made a list of shows he saw at the Music Hall. The memory cells are already protesting, but we are going to try and remember as much as possible about these shows. A big thank you to Wikipedia for help with spelling and names.

New York Rock Ensemble – PG walked into the auditorium during the last part of the first show, as the band played “A whiter shade of pale”. The bass player wore lace up boots, with the pants legs tucked into them. Before long, the second show came on stage. Keyboard player Michael Kamen was the central focus, acting out the lyrics to “Anaconda”.

Silverman Deborah McColl fronted this drummerless band

Al Kooper PG has written about an unfortunate incident involving Al Kooper during this show. This would have never happened in “The Catcher in the Rye”…the kids always knew what time it was in that story. Mr. Kooper did a solo show, including “Sam Stone” by John Prine.

Ellen McIlwaine/ James Cotton Blues Band Ms. McIlwaine was pregnant, and played slide guitar. Mr. Cotton played harmonica. One of his players started to fan him with a towel, because he was hot.

Breakfast Special/ Doc and Merle Watson Breakfast Special was a local bluegrass crew, who did “The coming down song”. The Watsons did ” Deep River Blues” and “Thats All”, among other things. PG had a copy of their latest LP, and asked Merle to autograph it. He wrote his name on one side, turned it over, and signed Doc’s name on the other side.

Mason/Atlanta Rythym Section This show was the night Led Zeppelin played Atlanta Stadium.

New Riders of the Purple Sage When the Music Hall opened, a performer would typically play from Tuesday to Sunday. NRPS was a one night show. They worked well in the packed hall, and shined on “Glenville Train”. The next year, they did a tour with Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen. Commander Cody opened, and raised hell. NRPS followed with a mellow rock show, and before long people were getting bored and leaving.

David Buskin / Loudon Wainwright III Chamblee 54 has written about this show before. Mr. Buskin talked about doing a show at Max’s Kansas City, the person sitting next to PG said “Gross”.

Steve Martin / Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Chamblee54 has written about the show by Mr. Martin . This was his last tour as an opening act. Nitty Gritty was a sight to behold. John McEuen played fiddle, and recited a poem about life.

Martin Mull / Melissa Manchester PG went to see Mr. Mull, who opened the show with a three piece band. (After the show, Mr. Mull said the name of the band was the (your name) (draws a blank with his fingers) orchestra.) The headliner was Ms. Manchester, little known at the time. She was a knockout. While standup comedy has it’s place, for emotional impact there is nothing like a singer.

Texas Gary Bennett / Weather Report Mr. Bennett played acoustic guitar, and sang, as an opener for a packed house of jazz rockers. It did not go well. At one point, trying to get some rapport with the crowd, he said ” has anyone here been busted at the Omni?” (The authorities had begun arresting people for smoking pot at the major concerts.)

Weather Report was amazing. Josef Zawinul had the loud keyboard sound, Wayne Shorter played his leads on soprano sax, and there was a drummer and percussion player. There was tons of rythym, to go with the electronic jazz sounds. When it was over, PG went up to Mr. Zawinul, shook his hand and, and said thank you. He was pouring a glass of beer from a pitcher, and looked a bit startled.

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David Pomerance / Rahsaan Roland Kirk Chamblee54 has written about this show before. Mr. Kirk was a force of nature, the modern miracle of the tenor saxophone. He did not suffer from false modesty. This was the night Richard Nixon resigned, which pleased Mr. Kirk no end. The blind Rahsaan said that he did not want to see his audience, because we were too ugly. At one point, his band had been jamming for about ten minutes, when PG realized that Mr. Kirk had been holding a single note the entire time. The three saxophones at one time thing was a visual shocker, but he got sounds that way that you cannot get from a single instrument. At one point, Mr. Kirk pulled his sunglasses off, and made a face at the crowd. It was an amazing evening.
Chic Corea / Return to Forever This was a disappointment. Tickets were $4.50, which may be the most PG ever paid at the Music Hall. The band only played about an hour. It was all electric, ignoring the acoustic instruments set up on stage. RTF was a four piece, all star band. They had Chic Corea on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Demeola on guitar, and Lenny White on drums. That sounds like a great show, but it turned out to be four solo artists jamming. There was no cohesion, and the overall sound was less than the sum of the individual parts. Corea leaned over his keyboard, twisted knobs, and made faces, as if to say “look at how intense this is”. It wasn’t.

Mccoy Tyner The former Coltrane sideman played a very nice show. He had a percussion man, with several tables covered in exotic instruments. PG took a break after to first show to hang out at a neighborhood disco. When he got back, there was no doorman checking tickets, and anyone could walk in for free. PG took advantage of this discovery many times over the next few years.

Bill Crystal / Jean Luc Ponty Former Frank Zappa player Jean Luc Ponty played at the Music Hall, with a bass player who was a fellow Zappa alumni. The surprise of the evening was then-unknown Bill Crystal. A few weeks after this show, “Soap” would premiere, and make him a star. Mr. Crystal did a killer impersonation of a gila monster.

Between shows, Mr. Crystal had been entertained by a local musician. During the second show, he held his finger to his nose, made a snorting sound, and said thank you. PG heard this, and yelled “Locker Room”, the name of a “deooderizer” that some liked to get a buzz sniffing. Mr. Crystal said “Locker room. Jeez, I need to get the hecklers rosetta stone to know what he means”. Good times.

Keith Jarrett This is another show that might have been better than PG’s enjoyment. At one point early in the show, PG moved over to the front of the stage, to look at Mr. Jarrett’s hands. After the show, people told PG that the player had been giving him dirty looks when he did that. PG asked Mr. Jarrett about it, and he said that PG had interfered with his concentration.

This show featured a quartet, instead of a solo piano. The bass player was Charley Haden, who seemed a bit puffy faced. PG later learned that he had been addicted to heroin at the time.

Melissa Manchester Ms. Manchester came back for another week at the Music Hall, about a year after her first appearance. At one point, she asked the band if they were ready to do a new song, and then performed “I got eyes” for the first time in public. This was later the b side to “Midnight Blue”. One of the players in her band was a man named James Newton Howard. Part of the deal for touring with her was that he could play a solo number on piano, called “Newton’s Ego”. He later played with Elton John, and became wealthy writing film scores.

Flora Purim /Airto Moreira On PG’s 23rd birthday, Flora Purim played at the Music Hall. At the time, PG had a profound appreciation of her albums. The band had a nice sound, and was the equal of her records. The Chic Corea tune “Light as a Feather” was a standout. Her husband, Airto Moreira (eye, ear, toe) fronted the band on some of the numbers, and had some funny routines. Ms. Purim held two microphones throughout the show, with one connected to some audio filters. PG found holding two microphones to be visually distracting. PG had known of the Jewish ancestry of Ms. Purim, but had not thought much about it. Then he saw her live, and realized that she does, indeed, look Jewish. A Piedmont Park show in 1987 was rained out.

Hot Tuna Hot Tuna is a dependable, though not spectacular, band. On a previous show in Atlanta, they went on stage at 10:55, and played without a break until 2:50. This night, a fried of a friend was working at the Music Hall, and PG got in before the crowds, to get a prime spot, in the first row of benchbacks. At one point, PG was rocking back and forth against the benchback, and a neighbor asked him to quit. Those buckets of beer were influential.

Shakti This was an acoustic, Hindu oriented band fronted by guitar superman John McLaughlin. The numbers seemed to go on forever.

David Manion / Mark Almond This was a long awaited Atlanta performance by Mark Almond. (This is a jazz/blues band, totally different from the Soft Cell vocalist with a similar name.) They played two sets, which were only an hour or so long. This was disappointing to the people who could not wait for the second show. In the second show, they “took the shackles off” saxophone player Johnny Almond, and he played a wild solo during “The city”.

The incident we are about to describe may or may not have involved David Manion. What happened was, a small portable radio was playing on the edge of the stage. The spotlight was on the radio, which sounded like gibberish to most of the audience. Gradually, the chattering audience got quiet, and tried to listen to the radio. After a few minutes, a man came out, and stood in darkness behind the radio. The PA speaker announced “The new force of rock in Atlanta”. The man then dropped a large piece of granite on the radio, smashing it into bits.

Laurie Chapman / Stomu Yamashta Laurie Chapman was a singer/piano player, with some good stories. She told of a trucker, driving beside her and talking to her on a cb radio. ” You better get that drink out from between your legs before it gets too hot to handle”.

Stomu Yamashta is somewhat of a star in Japan. The show here was filmed for showing on TV there. His band, Go, was an all star collection, including Ava Cherry. She was a backup vocalist, and girlfriend, with David Bowie. After the show, PG was introduced to Spencer Davis in the lobby.

The next few shows were at Cherokee Plaza.

Martin Mull Mr. Mull was a solo star this time. He did a song about doing nothing, adding that dead people can do it too. The parking lot was packed, which was a major problem at the new location.

The week before the Super Bowl in 1994, Mr. Mull filmed a Comedy Central show in Woodruff Park. The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders were kicking field goals. After the filming PG stood a few feet away from Mr. Mull, but could not think of anything to say.

Sun Ra PG went to a wedding, and a bunch of people from there went to see Sun Ra. This was an entertaining spectacle, with a big band and dancers. After the show, PG asked Sun Ra how he could afford to take a band like that on the road. He said he was doing it for beauty.

David Bromberg This was another big band production. PG showed within a few minutes of the gateman leaving his post, and saw about 45 minutes without buying a ticket.

Lester Flatt/John Hartford One boring Saturday night, PG walked up to the Music Hall, and saw the two fiddle players jamming. A few weeks later, Lester Flatt passed away. This is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. As a bonus to the reader(s) here, we are reposting Great Southeast Music Hall Stories. It is a collection of comments from an earlier posting of this feature.

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Chamblee54 posted a tribute to The Great Southeast Music Hall a few years ago. This was a concert venue, with no hard liquor and a 500 person capacity, next door to a bowling alley on Piedmont Road. It was about a mile north of Piedmont Park, and in front of the dirt road that became Sidney Marcus Boulevard. GSEMH hosted some great shows. This was when record companies would invest in new bands by putting them on promotional tours, and Atlanta was a popular stop.

The chamblee54 post attracted 85 comments. This is a slow day for Matt Walsh, but is a record for chamblee54. Most of the comments were boring … great place to play, I saw Steve Martin there and drank too many buckets of beer. A few of these comments tell stories. This post puts the best of the GSEMH comments in one place. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. See if you can guess which one was taken at GSEMH.

Neal B. – Som Records June 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm Great reading! Brought back some memories. I saw three shows at the Music Hall – The Dixie Dregs, Elvin Bishop and David Allan Coe. I saw Coe the night before my SATs in 1978 or ’79 and it was (and still is) the most bikers I’ve ever seen in once place. Elvin Bishop just tore it up, really good.

jake lamb May 17, 2011 at 11:34 am Great stories of our past. I can’t remember the shows I went to, but after reading your post it certainly helps clear the fog. As I went thru the list I noted, “Yep I was with CG at that show, that one too, oh yeah, I remember Al saying to you what time it was but didn’t you delete the expletives? Odetta blasting the audience for not showing her the proper respect…what a crybaby! The autographed Marc Almond Album, meeting them backstage to learn how the finger was ripped from Jon’s hand after a tree limb caught on his ring finger when he jumped out of a tree during a photo shoot, resulting in having to learn how to play the saxaphone with one less digit ala Jerry Garcia, and the Hot Tuna Show with Papa John Screech. Flora and Eye Ear Toes logo on his equipment. Was it there that we went on Halloween, me dressed as a bagman for Nixon (A paper sack over my head) and you going as a Bee-keeper (a vegetable strainer over your head)? God we were hilarious! It’s all beginning to come back, but what never went away was remembering the great friend I went with.

Eugene Gray June 24, 2012 at 11:30 am I grew up in Atlanta so thanks for the memories about the shows at The Great Southeast Music Hall. I attended numerous shows between the years 1974 and 1977. From what I can remember (I do have “70s Memory” after all), here’s some highlights: Kinky Friedman — Smoked a huge cigar throughout the show and tipped his ashes in an ash tray attached to his microphone stand. Brought the house down with ‘Sold American.’ David Allan Coe — Played the first half of the show in his “Country Crooner” persona wearing a white suit and white cowboy hat; then played the second half as The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy complete with rhinestone jacket and black mask. Played a hard-rockin’ version of ‘Bossier City’ to close out the show. Best memory: New Riders of the Purple Sage Show opened late with only John Dawson (acoustic guitar) and Buddy Cage (pedal steel) taking the stage. Seems their limo made the right exit off of 285 but the other limo kept going. After Dawson telling us that, he said, “Well, you might not have all of us but you do have two.” He and Cage then played a short set together including a beautiful version of ‘Gypsy Cowboy.’ The other members trickled in and started playing, all having a good time with the audience about their site-seeing tour of Atlanta via 285. Fantastic show and my best memory of The Hall. Weirdest experience: For lack of something to do, went to see the New Zealand group Split Enz. A fun but bizarre show with a group outside my typical taste. Sort of a cross between Devo and Bowie and the Bay City Rollers. Truly a strange show. Worst experience: Pure Prairie League — I was always, always let in and served beer before I turned 18 in ’76. Except for one time. Missed Pure Prairie League because we were all carded; the only time I was ever asked for my ID here. Always regretted missing them since the original band broke up right after this tour. Damn. Thanks again for a spot to remember one of the best concert venues (ever) in Atlanta.

Anonymous July 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm Saw many great shows at the Music Hall; Leon Redbone, Don McLean, Bruce Cogburn, but the funniest thing was at Darryl Rhoads show. My girlfriend (now wife of 30 years) went missing when she left to go make the parent check-in phone call. I found her coming around the corner in the hallway, mad at some guy who wouldn’t get off the phone in the lobby. The “guy” was Darryl and he made a few comments to her from the stage during the show just to keep her pissed. It’s funny now, but I could have died then…

Pharmacist Jim April 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm How about when Jimmy Buffett opened for Billy Joel there in 1974. I was a Pharmacist at Eckerd Drugs in the plaza at the time when Jimmy called me and asked me to call his physician in Key West for a prescription–a musician who wanted to get a legitimate prescription, unheard of!!! I was already a Buffett fan, but this just made me respect him that much more and I’ve been a “Parrot Head” since, now so more than ever since I live in Florida.

Anonymous October 23, 2013 at 8:29 am My best friend and I moved to Atlanta (on purpose) for just the summer of ’73 and attended MANY MANY great shows at the Music Hall. It was SO awesome. Saw Billy Joel right around the Captain Jack release time and he asked me out after the show. Of course, I answered with a resounding “NO! Thank You!!” (you see, I was ABSOLUTELY too cute for him…hehe — not to mention, I thought his nose was entirely too big.) Also, saw Jimmy Buffett who talked to us from the stage because we were from Hattiesburg, MS and he had gone to school there at the University of Southern Mississippi. SOOO COOL!!!

Rod Pearman May 28, 2015 at 10:00 am Couldn’t help but have a smile on my face as I read all these comments. THE Great Southeast Music Hall and Emporium………man, the memories. Sometimes I think I could write a book. My roommate and I lived at Bordeaux Apts. on Buford Hwy, which was just a hop skip and jump over to The Hall via the dirt road which is now Sidney Marcus……..we lived there from 1972 to early 1980, which might be a record for two dudes that were party animals to have survived that long in one apartment complex. Anyhow, we frequented GSEMH about once a month when an act we wanted to see was to play there. A couple of my fondest memories now that I’m in my mid 60’s is, it had to be sometime in ’75. We went to see The Dirt Band (one my favorites of all time) The opening act was this guy named Steve Martin, who at that time, no one on the planet had ever heard of him. Well he comes out, and within 30 seconds he has us so cracked up we’re shooting beer out our noses from his comedy. Really funny stuff, and had no idea it was coming. Well, he does his gig, then the Dirt Band comes out. They play a great set, take a little break, and when they came back out on stage, here comes Steve Martin with a banjo over his shoulder. So we’re all thinking this will be something funny, this guy with a banjo. This guy took off on his “ban-jer” and everybody’s jaw hit the floor. He really tore it up. Then the Dirt Band joined in and he played a few tunes with the band. The guy was incredible on the banjo. Then a few months later, Saturday Night Live did their first show, and there’s Steve Martin on TV. I look over at my roommate as he’s looking at me, and we’re both saying in unison, hey, that’s the guy from The Great Southeast Music Hall. Pretty neat that we got to see him when nobody had a clue of his talent. … I got home later that night, and my roommate (yeah, the same guy I mentioned in earlier chapters of this book….) said he saw something on TV that I wouldn’t believe. Turns out, one of the local TV stations (2, 5, or 11) had sent a reporter over to cover the final show of The Great Southeast Music Hall, and while reporting out front of the establishment, there were about a dozen folks standing there sorta behind the reporter. Well, this one fair lady decided to nonchalantly pull a boob out of her tank top and display it for all the world to see, right there on live TV. My roommate said it was something he’d never forget, and we tell the story often. (I wonder who that young lady was sometimes……) but I digress……..

alun v September 23, 2014 at 11:54 am As the Audio Engineer and last guy to walk out the door @ the Lindbergh (and Cherokee Plaza) locations, the walls, painted and autographed by many of the acts, were destroyed; (legal issues I guess). I still have the door to the tech room, signed by Cowboy, a personal favorite. BTW, I saw the concrete sidewalk @ Peaches, with hand / foot prints and signatures, also destroyed and hauled off………lawyers.

julia guthrie November 26, 2015 at 10:38 pm I just caught the 50th anniversary! of Alice’s restaurant masacree on pbs. Brought back the memory of seeing Arlo at the Great Southeast Music Hall. I was drunk(and maybe other) and it was my birthday, so my bf said I should try to talk to Arlo because my name is Guthrie! I was just drunk and young enough to do just that. I finagled my way to the tourbus door(was pretty good at talking my way into things back then), announced that I was a cousin, and ended up sitting at the little bus table, smoking and talking with Arlo and fam. Pretty sure all I added to the conversation was a shit-eating grin, but it was one of the highlights of my youthful escapades. Loved going to the Music Hall! Ah…youth and happy times. I also lived at Bordeaux apts for a while! Peace:)

Rod November 27, 2015 at 11:06 am You can’t beat Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. I used to have an annual tradition of listening to that song on my Technic’s turntable for probably 30+ years, but somehow that tradition faded out a few years ago. (Maybe because my turntable is sitting on a shelf in my closet Definitely great memories at the Hall. Hard to believe it’s been 40 years ago, give or take. I lived at Bordeaux for 7 years through the ’70’s, which might be a record. We were in G building, and had some of the best parties in NE Atlanta. It was standing room only, kegs on the deck, music crankin’ just below distortion level. Those were the days!

BRIAN HOLCOMB June 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm I was a freshman student a GSU in 74 After one of the shows (can’t remember who) I was standing outside in the corridor waiting on some friends. When out the door came my General Chemistry Professor Dr Sears arm in arm with the best looking girl in my class. They turned beet red turned and got away from me as quick as they could. I often wonder if I could have went and bribed an A out of him. LOL

SideShow Bennie December 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm I just stumbled across this article when I Googled GSMH. I lived in Atlanta in 1972-73 and attended a lot of shows at the Broadview Plaza location. I was at one of the Howdy Doody Revival shows that is on the poster pictured in the article. I remember Bob Smith hitting a bad note on the piano, reaching inside and pulling out a pack of ZigZag rolling papers saying, “Clarabelle leaves these things everywhere.” Other shows I remember seeing were Johnny Nash with Sons of The Jungle (The first actual Jamacian Reggae band I ever saw) John Hartford, The Earl Scruggs Revue, Joe Walsh with Barnstorm, Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, Doc Watson, The Hahavishnu Orchestra, Martin Mull, Doug Kershaw. I am pretty sure I was at the Ellen McIllwain and the Breakfast Special shows you mentioned but there were show where a lot of beer buckets were emptied so a lot of those shows are a little hazy. I still have a bucket or two around the house here somewhere. Thanks for the memories!!

chamblee54 May 20, 2018 at 12:31 pm There was a facebook meme. The idea was to say 10 things about yourself, 9 of which were true. Facebook nation was supposed to guess which one was false. PG posted a GSEMH version. He listed 10 acts, 9 of which he saw at the Music Hall. (PG never said Great Southeast, just *the music hall*). The 10 acts listed: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steve Martin, Martin Mull, Weather Report, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sex Pistols, Melissa Manchester, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Doc and Merle Watson, Atlanta Rythym Section. You will have to read the post to see what act is the lie, and the 9 acts that PG did see.
David Manion May 20, 2018 at 12:54pm Yes I smashed a transistor radio just before my opening set for Marc almond.
Doug DeLoach May 23 2018 at 4:20 pm “The performance [by the Sex Pistols] was said to be horrible.” You must have exclusively heard either from people who weren’t there or scene trolls who hated punk rock in the first place. The show was about as awesomely punk as punk can get.

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