John Byrne Cooke, the son of public television star Alistair Cooke, had gotten a liberal arts degree from Harvard. He stumbled into a job filming the Monterrey Pop Festival. Like the rest of America, he was impressed by Janis Joplin. Soon, Mr. Cooke got a job as the road manager for Big Brother and the Holding Company. One result is a book, On the Road with Janis Joplin.
The management of Big Brother did not want the band filmed at Monterrey. After their saturday afternoon show, the film makers realized that Miss Joplin was important to the film. A second show was arranged for sunday night. This show was filmed. When you see Cass Elliot saying oh wow, that was saturday afternoon. The film crew filmed the crowd during that show.
Mr. Cooke arrived in San Francisco as the summer of love was playing out. Many old timers on the scene were already getting out. At first it was an uneasy fit with the band… the eastern bluegrass player, and the hippies. There was one meeting, where Mr. Cooke thought he was going to be fired. Things were patched up, and the show went on.
There were a lot of people who knew each other. Mr. Cooke had been trying to romance a California girl. It turns out she was a friend of someone, possibly Linda Gravenites, the roommate, and close friend, of Miss Joplin.
Peggy Caserta was another connection. Supposedly Miss Caserta had a lesbian thing going with Miss Joplin. Whatever did, or did not, happen, Miss Caserta wrote an awesomely trashly book, Going Down With Janis. The opening line: “I was stark naked, stoned out of my mind on heroin, and between my legs giving me head was Janis Joplin.”
The year spent with Big Brother was 1968. Miss Joplin was staying in an apartment on Noe Street. Robert Kennedy made a campaign appearance on nearby Castro Street, with Miss Joplin in the crowd. When Mr. Kennedy was killed, after winning the California primary, the band was in Los Angeles. Mr. Cooke sought solace with Judy Collins that night.
Around this time, some people convinced Miss Joplin that she should leave Big Brother. There was three weeks between the last Big Brother show, and the first show as a solo artist. The Kozmic Blues band never really worked. Miss Joplin felt she was a failure. Miss Joplin started to use heroin frequently. Except for a European tour, 1969 was a bad year.
In 1970, Miss Joplin quit using heroin, and started to play with Fult Tilt Boogie. Things wer going well. The band was in Los Angeles recording an album. One night, Miss Joplin got some extra strong heroin. Mr. Cooke found the body.
This book report leaves a great deal of the story out. Miss Joplin broke a whiskey bottle over Jim Morrison’s head, and got into a fist fight with Jerry Lee Lewis. There were three appearances on the Dick Cavett show, 1969, 06-25-70, and 08-03-70. At 1:12 in this video, Miss Joplin observes “you’re a real swinger I can tell by your shoes man.” (Here is a screen shot from 1969, with heroin, next to another from clean 1970.)
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The 1927 pictures were taken at “California Beauty Week, Mark Hopkins Hotel, July 28 to Aug. 2, auspices of San Francisco Chronicle.”
The first time PG saw the word Zappa, it was on an item at the Poster Hut. It showed a man sitting on a commode, with the words Phi Zappa Krappa rendered above. The poser, Frank Zappa, later said “I’m probably more famous for sitting on the toilet than for anything else that I do.”
It was 1969, give or take a bit. FZ was already well known in some hip circles. His band, the Mothers of Invention, played at something called the Cosmic Carnival at Atlanta Stadium, where the music lovers were actually allowed onto the field. PG paid $1.98 for a copy of We’re Only in It for the Money at the Woolco on Buford Hiway. Years later, he would pay $16.00 for a CD of this piece of work.
The records started to come out like clockwork, with or without the Mothers. FZ started to become a star, with an appeal to druggies who fancied themselves intellectual. It should be noted that FZ was notoriously anti drug. His music made fun of the establishment and counterculture with equal glee. FZ was also a capitalist, known to be tight fisted when it came to paying hired hands. He stayed with his second wife, Gail, until his death, and produced four children… Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.
The concerts came to town every year or so, and people liked them. A show at the Fox Theater in 1974 may have caught FZ at his peak. PG heard the raves about this show until he bought a ticket for his next show. This was in 1975, at the Municipal Auditorium. PG brought a half pint in with him, and didn’t remember a lot later, except some song about the Illinois Eneman Bandit.
Life goes on. Nine years later, FZ was in legal hell with a former manager, and could only make money by touring. One night, a friend had an extra ticket to a show. PG arrived after the band had started, and FZ was playing a fine guitar solo. This was going to be good.
Only it wasn’t. The rest of the show was social commentary. The man had opinions on everything, and was generous with them. At one point, the band started to sing “He’s so gay”, while a double headed dildo was lowered from the ceiling. PG thinks he heard FZ sing “one day you might be gay too”, but by then it really didn’t matter.
Frank Zappa was many things to many people. He had lots of opinions, which were dutifully recorded by the press. Here are a few .
Rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, in order to provide articles for people who can’t read. // I think that if a person doesn’t feel cynical then they’re out of phase with the 20th century. Being cynical is the only way to deal with modern civilization, you can’t just swallow it whole. // When God created Republicans, he gave up on everything else. // Let’s not be too rough on our own ignorance; it’s what makes America great! // The U.S. is a mere pup tent of a civilization. We’ve got two hundred years of stupidity behind us and we think we’re right up there with everyone else who’s been doing it for thousands of years. // Beauty is a pair of shoes that makes you wanna die. // After all, he wrote this book here, and in the book it says he made us all to be just like him! So if we’re dumb, then God is dumb — and maybe even a little ugly on the side. // Remember there’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over. // Do you think you are protecting somebody by taking away seven words? // For the record, folks; I never took a shit on stage and the closest I ever came to eating shit anywhere was at a Holiday Inn buffet in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1973. // If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT. // There is no hell. There is only France. // The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced. // Children are naïve — they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you’re asking for trouble. // People make a lot of fuss about my kids having such supposedly ‘strange names’, but the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble. //
The reviews at Amazon sometimes have insights into the truth about an artist. Here are a few one star reviews of We’re Only in It for the Money.
I just don’t get this October 11, 2010 By Neomorphus “Neomorphus” (Superior, Colorado)
This is unlistenable. I could only get half way through before giving up. Too clever for me.
Put the kettle on June 7, 2006 By Noddy Box (New York)
This high-pitched snit fit might rouse the odd smirk if all you’ve consumed is a cup of tea and a Digestive biscuit but on no account listen to it under the influence of anything stronger because then you’re liable to prang right into a hectoring bore who comes off like some renegade member of the school debating team rehearsing his–fnarr fnarr–naughty rhyming rebuttals. Farting around in Edgar Varese’s old corduroys is all well and good but this breathtakingly condescending harangue sounds depressingly like–dear oh dear–social commentary. Jacobs Cream Crackers but is there anything more tedious than windy social commentary set to popular music? And the exhortation to read Kafka in the liner notes? Please Frank, rock stars should never mix their drinks, or at least not so the stitches show. Zappa is much more bearable when he takes his own advice, shuts his cakehole and plays guitar. Like on Hot Rats, where the only vocal is the sublime Beefy on Willie the Pimp and Frank in the kitchen the whole time cooking up a kettle of wordless aural gumbo–a movie for the ears I think he called it, something like that anyway, it’s right there on the sleeve, good description at any rate of one of the authentically crunchy Zappa records. Well he did release over sixty of them after all, I mean he was bound to get it right once or twice, wasn’t he? So toss this turkey on the fire and get yourself out onna porch of the Lido Hotel.
This is a repost. Your archive is your friend.
Billie Holiday had a hit with Gloomy Sunday in 1941. The legend is that people would listen to the song, and kill themselves. As a result, the song was banned from the radio. Or was it?
Gloomy Sunday was written in 1933 by Rezső Seress. Additional lyrics were later written by László Jávor. It became known as the “Hungarian Suicide Song”, and was reportedly banned in Hungary. An English translation (which is said to not do justice to the original Hungarian) was rendered.
Gloomy Sunday has a melancholy sound, even as an instrumental. The story is about a person…it is not gender specific…who decides to join a loved one who has died. A third verse was added, to the english version, where the singer says it was all a dream.
Gloomy Sunday became popular in the United States. And the suicide stories started to spread, along with rumors that the song had been banned from the radio. (It was indeed banned by the BBC.) There are indications that these rumors were part of a publicity campaign.
The urban legend busters snopes. calls the story “undetermined”. Legends like this get a life of their own. A grieving person hearing this song on a dreary Sunday is not going to be uplifted. One thing is known for sure…the original composer did take his own life.Rezső Seress jumped off a tall building in Budapest in 1968. The legend is he had never had another hit song after writing “Gloomy Sunday”. This repost has pictures from The Library of Congress.
A meme appeared on facebook, “GHANDI’S 7 DANGERS TO HUMAN VIRTUE.” Below the misspelled name were seven concepts, written in all caps. This got PG thinking.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (M.K. Gandhi) “was born was born on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar, a small town on the western coast of India.” At some point the title Mahatma was applied, and is often used as though it was his name. Exact transliterations between languages using different alphabets is tricky. What is the “correct” spelling of this man’s last name? Most sources today use Gandhi.
Another term, Gandhiji, turns up in the research. “‘Ji’ in Hindi or Urdu is a suffix used after the names of respectable persons and elders like father and mother. It is used every day by millions of Indians to address their elders.Hence Gandhiji is but Mahatma Gandhi,father of our nation,addressed reverently and respectfully. We call mother mataji. Mata means mother.”
The quote in the meme is real. It is found on page 135 of Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Vol. 33. It was in an article found in Young India on October 22, 1925.
“SEVEN SOCIAL SIN The same fair friend wants readers of Young India to know, if they do not already, the following seven social sins: Politics without principles, Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice. Naturally, the friend does not want the readers to know these things merely through the intellect but to know them through the heart so as to avoid them.”
The next entry in the collected works is interesting. “79. THAT ETERNAL QUESTION However much I may wish to avoid it, the Hindu-Muslim question will not avoid me. Muslim friends insist upon my intervention to solve it. The Hindu friends would have me discuss it with them and some of them say I have sown the wind and must reap the whirlwind.”
The meme had comments. Lloyd Lachow Gandhi was intensely racist. Joanne Gibson Gandhi was not intensely racist. Fighting racism was his first cause. John Janiga Gandhi racist??? John Taylor Lloyd, were you born an idiot, or did you have to work at it?
This looks like a job for Mr. Google. When you type the phrase “Is Gandhi,” suggested searches include “sill alive” and “on netflix.” This does not help if you want to know if someone is racist.
Mr. Gandhi lived in South Africa from 1893-1915. During this time he was offended at the treatment of Indian nationals, which led to a decision to fight for Indian rights. Unfortunately, these rights were not to be extended to the native South Africans.
… there’s no doubting that Gandhi had little time for black people. During his 21 years in South Africa, he repeatedly expressed contempt for the native population, claiming they were no better than the “untouchables” of Indian society. One speech in particular stands out. In 1896, he was quoted as referring to black South Africans as the “raw kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.” For those of you who aren’t up on your South African slang, “kaffir” is a direct equivalent of our N-word. Another time, he complained about finding himself in a “kaffir” prison, claiming Indians were “above” natives, who “are troublesome, very dirty and live like animals.”
There is the story of the Durban Post Office. “The first major accomplishment of the Natal Indian Congress was to further entrench racial segregation into South African society during a time of massive racial strife. At the time, the Durban, South Africa post office had two doors. One was for whites and the other for Indians and black natives. Gandhi was so disgusted at having to share a door with blacks that he initiated a campaign for the creation of a third door. … A year later, after the issue had already been resolved, Gandhi chose to expound upon his reasons for raising it in the first place. In his August 14, 1896 letter, “The Grievances of the British Indians in South Africa: An Appeal to the Indian Public,” he called being “put on the same level with the native” a “disability.”
This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
Towards the end of his Booknotes chat, Nat Hentoff talked about censorship. As a journalist, his views were predictable.
Mr. HENTOFF: Any words at all. Words are–I mean, there is a great–there was a great scene in New York once when Lenny Bruce, who was a friend of mine, was on trial for his words. And Richard Cue, the assistant district attorney, was making a name for himself trying to blast all of the witnesses for the defense. And he got Dorothy Kilgallen, who was a very famous then syndicated columnist, a devout Catholic, a conservative and a great admirer of Lenny Bruce. And he con–he strung together, Cue did, all of the words in Lenny’s monologues that could be considered terribly offensive, and he hit her with them. It was a barrage. `What do you think then, Ms. Kilgallen?’ `Well,’ she said, `they’re words. They’re words. That’s all. Words.’ That’s the way I feel.
When PG heard this, he remembered reading about this trial. With the aid of Mr. Google, a transcript turned up. If you like to read about lawyers saying dirty words, this is the place for you.
Dorothy Kilgallen was, to put it mildly, a piece of work. She wrote for the N. Y. Journal American, and stepped on more than a few toes. A biography, Kilgallen, tells a few of the tales. Today, Miss Kilgallen is best known as one of the original panelists on “Whats My Line?”
The People v Lenny Bruce (Cafe Au Go Go Trial) was tried June 16, 1964 to July 28, 1964 in New York City. The Per Curium Opinion of Judge John Murtagh sets the tone. “All three performances of the defendant, Lenny Bruce, were obscene, indecent, immoral and impure within the meaning of Section 1l40-a of the Penal Law. While no tape is available as to the first performance [past midnight, March 31-April 1], this monologue, according to the testimony, was essentially the same as that of the second [April 1, after 10:00 p.m.] and third [April 7, after 10:00 p.m.] performances. In the latter two performances, words such as “ass,” “balls,” “cock-sucker,” “cunt,” “fuck,” “mother-fucker,” “piss,” “screw,” “shit,” and “tits” were used about one hundred times in utter obscenity. The monologues also contained anecdotes and reflections that were similarly obscene.
Dorothy Kilgallen was called as an “expert witness”. In lawyerly fashion, the prosecutor claimed she was not a genuine expert. After her credentials were established, there were questions like “Will you tell us what the artistry, or the social value, or the merit, or the good is, in the Bruce story of sexual intercourse with a chicken?” After the testimony described by Mr. Hentoff, Miss Kilgallen talks about something that does offend her.
Q. I wouldn’t take much time, but we did discuss before Lenny Bruce’s use of the words ‘mother fucker’ at his audience. Can you tell me when James Jones or Norman Mailer or Arthur Miller has called his audience ‘mother fucker?’
Mr. Garbus: Your Honor, may I object? We are talking about books against monologue. It’s completely an irrelevant question.
Judge Murtagh: We will allow it. Objection overruled.
A. I can’t tell you anything verbatim from the books, because I read them a couple of years ago or more. I would imagine–this would be my best guess–that they did not call their audiences anything. There’s another book called The Naked Lunch which I couldn’t even finish reading, but it’s published, and I think the author should be in jail and he used–
Q. Unfortunately we can’t do everything at once, Miss Kilgallen. Are you judging the non-obscene quality and the artistic quality of Bruce by the fact that The Naked Lunch is a book which, as of this date, is sold in the community?
A. No, I’m not. I just mentioned it because you asked me for some books.
Q. And The Naked Lunch is a book you found impossible to read, is that correct?
A. Yes, I found it revolting.
Q. What was revolting about it?
A. Just the way it was written.
Mr.Garbus: Objection, your Honor.
Judge Murtagh: Objection overruled.
A. It seemed to use words for shock value, not for any valid reason, and I object to that.
Q. And when Lenny Bruce–I ask you to turn to the April 1st tape . . . and read the portion starting–‘tits and ass, that’s what is the attraction, is just tits and ass and tits and ass’–and goes on all through the page, and ask you if you find some shock value in that?
A. No, I don’t think it’s particularly shocking, it’s just a word.. . .
Q.. Do you, in your column, use the words tits and ass?
Q. You know exactly what Lenny Bruce was talking about?
A. Yes. . . . I think there he’s being critical of the monotony of what is on view in Las Vegas.
Dorothy Kilgallen died November 8, 1965. Lenny Bruce died August 3, 1966. Kilgallen biographer Lee Israel was convicted of selling forged celebrity letters. Nat Hentoff died January 7, 2017. This is a repost. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These images are Union soldiers from the War Between the States. The spell check suggestion for Kilgallen: Millennial.
Two days ago, 99invisible posted a show, The Bathtubs or the Boiler Room . It seems as though an NPR reporter likes to go places she is not supposed to be in. In the basement of the US Capitol, she found a bathtub, carved out of a chunk of Italian marble.
“The bathtubs were installed around 1860 during the expansion of the Capitol. DC is known for its swampy summers, and legend has it that senators could be banished from the chamber if they were too smelly. But lawmakers—like most Americans at the time—didn’t have indoor plumbing at home. They needed a place where they could wash up. So, the Architect of the Capitol ordered six marble bath tubs, each three by seven feet and carved by hand in Italy, to be installed in the Capitol basement—three on the House side, three on the senate.”
The tubs were imported from Italy, and sent to the port of Baltimore. They arrived just in time for the War Between The States. They were quite a luxurious item. Today, they are forgotten, surrounded by HVAC machines, with one covered with plywood and file cabinets.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
The happy historians at backstory have a timely feature, Four More Years: Presidential Inaugurations in America. There are a few stories.
George Washington was afraid of acting like a king. No one knew just how the office of President would turn out. Honest George stood on a New York balcony, took the oath, and gave a tasteful speech. The wooden teeth worked well.
Probably the most exciting inaugural was in 1876. The country had endured eight years of Ulysses Grant, and was ready to elect a Democrat. The Republicans were good at dirty tricks, and got Rutherford Hayes elected, despite losing the popular vote. The Democrat, Samuel Tilden, had a power base in New York, and was rumored to have an army. The possibility of an armed fight over the election was real. Cooler heads prevailed. Mr. Hayes was allowed to take his ZZ Top beard into the oval office. Four years later James Garfield was sworn in, not knowing what was in store.
In 1865, the country had endured four brutal years of internal war. Abraham Lincoln wanted to start the recovery process. His speech is regarded as the best inaugural speech ever.
Backstory makes a point that few have thought about. They said that Mr. Lincoln was a lousy public speaker. The reason his inaugural speech is famous today is because copies of the text were printed in newspapers. This makes sense, as less than an hundred people probably heard his unamplified, unrecorded, address. This would also account for the popularity of the Gettysburg Address.
Today, it is the medium, rather than the message. We are inundated with clever words, designed to uplift, improve, educate, and motivate. With everyone screaming, no one is heard. It is tough to imagine an inaugural today having the impact of the ones in history.
This repost feature was written like H. P. Lovecraft. The pictures are from The Library of Congress. The images are Union soldiers, from the War Between the States.
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.)
Lost Atlanta is a coffee table book. The content is the buildings, and institutions, that no longer exist. Atlanta has a long love affair with the wrecking ball. General Sherman was a minor player.
PG is a native, and knows a few things about the city. While looking through LA, he began to take notes of things he did not know. The names behind the Ferry Roads is one. Plantation owner James Power established Power’s Ferry in 1835. Hardy Pace established his ferry in the 1850s. The fare was 62 cents for a full wagon, 50 cents for an empty wagon, 12 cents for a man and a horse, and 4 cents per head of cattle. The last ferry to cease operations was the Campbellton Ferry, in south Fulton county. The Campbellton Ferry ceased operations in 1958.
Wheat Street Baptist Church is a prominent Atlanta institution. If you look for Wheat Street on google, all you see is Old Wheat Street. It turns out that Wheat Street was renamed Auburn Avenue. “Originally called Wheat Street, the road was renamed in 1893 at the request of white petitioners who believed Auburn Avenue had a more cosmopolitan sound.”
Bald Hill, aka Leggett’s Hill, was leveled in 1958 to make way for the East Expressway, later known as I-20. On July 22, 1864, the Battle of Atlanta was fought there. After the unpleasantness, Frederick Koch bought farm land on the site. His house was at 382 Moreland Avenue. The house was demolished in 1953. South of I-20, 1400 McPherson Avenue has a monument. Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson was killed at that location.
The outfield wall at Ponce De Leon park was covered with advertising. One sign was for Southern Bread. The picture had a “Southern Colonel”… apparently the only type of officer in the CSA … saying “I’d even go North for Southern Bread.” This ad was also painted on the side of a building on Tenth Street, just off Peachtree. The late Jim Henson produced a tv ad for Southern Bread.
Jacobs Drug Store was a prominent chain at one time. It was founded by Joseph Jacobs. Mr. Jacobs had a store in the Norcross building, on Peachtree Street at Marietta Street. In 1886, the soda fountain mixed John Pemberton’s patent medicine with carbonated soda water. The rest is history.
There are a few notes, which do not justify a paragraph. The Governor’s Mansion was at 250 The Prado, in Ansley Park, until a new GM was built on West Paces Ferry road. The Henry Grady hotel did not have a thirteenth floor, but went from 12 to 14. This did not stop the building from being demolished, to make way for the Peachtree Plaza hotel.
When Laurent DeGive built his grand opera house at Peachtree and Houston (Now JW Dobbs,) people were horrified. The central business district was south of five points. The area north, where the opera house went up, was residential. In 1932, the opera house was renovated, and opened as the Loew’s Grand. In 1939, it hosted the world premiere of “Gone With The Wind.” On the other side of Houston Street was the Paramount Theater, and across Peachtree was the Coca Cola sign. The GP building occupies the site today.
Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
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. This is partly the legacy of the Voting Rights Act, which requires the voting districts in Georgia to be approved by Federal authorities. Today, PG is in the 6th district, represented by Republican Tom Price.
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.
John Lewis is the latest target of Donald Trump’s uncontrolled personality disorder. The congressman said something the PEE-OTUS did not like.
@realDonaldTrump Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to…… @realDonaldTrump mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad! The response came at 8:50 AM – 14 Jan 2017.
The fifth district is based in the city of Atlanta. While there are sketchy neighborhoods, overall the city is booming. Mr. Lewis, one of the heroes of the cival rights movement, has represented this district since 1987. Mr. Lewis is greatly respected in Atlanta.
PG saw John Lewis in action once. The 72 year old Lewis was a participant in the 2012 Gay Pride parade. He did not ride in a limousine. Mr. Lewis walked the sidewalk, shaking as many hands as he could. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
It has been a strange week for 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.”
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 realised 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 69 today. Elvis is ageless, and Sarah Palin is obsolete. 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. (It is here on “A Portrait In Flesh” (Full show L.A. Sept. 5th 1974)) 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.
This David Bowie Death Day tribute is a triple repost.
Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Tag some others who might enjoy this. You can’t use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think! Re-post as “my life according to (band name)”Pick your Artist: David Bowie
Are you a male or female: The Bewley Brothers
Describe yourself: Quicksand
How do you feel:Always crashing in the same car
Describe where you currently live: Life on Mars
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Width of a circle
Your favorite form of transportation: Queen Bitch
Your best friend is: Young Americans
You and your best friends are: Kooks
What’s the weather like: Changes
Favorite time of day: Eight Line Poem
If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Scary Monsters
What is life to you: Panic in Detroit
Your relationship: Fame
Your fear: Sound and Vision
What is the best advice you have to give:Somebody up there likes me
Thought for the Day: Hang onto yourself
How I would like to die: Ashes to Ashes
My soul’s present condition: Moonage Daydream
My motto: Andy Warhol