Chamblee54

688

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on July 11, 2017








There was a comment at Chamblee54. “Steve Loehrer – So tell me what you know about Rose’s Cantina. I booked the music there from 1978-80 – Thorogood, Delbert, The Thunderbirds, The Fans, The Razor Boys and on and on. I was the one that did it. And I probably know you.” This blog has previously published features about the Great Southeast Music Hall, Richards, and the Georgian Terrace Ballroom. One more music venue post is not going to hurt anyone, and will be a good excuse to post some more pictures, from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.

688 Spring Street is a nondescript building, located down the hill from the Varsity. At one time, a company called Southern Tailors made wine jackets there. It is currently a Concentra Urgent Care Center. In between, it was the site of two rock and roll nightclubs, Roses Cantina and 688. One block over, at 688 West Peachtree, is a Catholic Construction management office.

House manager Rose Lynn Scott is quoted as saying “You know, we really aren’t sure exactly when it all started and ended,” Scott said. “Honest to God, we weren’t paying that close attention.”PG first knew about it around 1977, and really didn’t go very often. There is a running list for this post, and whenever a new band sinks into the mush, it is duly noted. Some band did “Love Gun,” which sounds remarkably similar to “Amphetamine Annie” by Canned Heat.

The punk rock revolution did not completely pass Atlanta by. A band called the Fans said they were making the pop music of the eighties. PG saw them twice and Roses, and they might be the only time he ever paid to get in. They were an impressive outfit, doing Velvet Underground and Telstar. Later, they opened for Talking Heads at the Agora, and were pretty awful. Much, much later, PG shared an apartment with the brother, of the drummer, for the Fans. Also living there was the brothers wife, a cable guy, seven snakes, a ferret, and a cat.

Back to the words of Rose Lynn, “It was a dive bar supreme and proud of it.” The stage was in the middle of the house, with a game room behind the stage. If you liked to shoot pool and listen to bands, this was the place. As for drinking, PG might get a beer or two, but mostly got bombed at other spots.

In those days, PG would go rambling from club to club, often accompanied by his friend Dinkson. One night, they stumbled in on a three piece band. They did a song called “Madison Blues”, with the guitar playing slinging riffs, and the bass playing playing the same notes over and over, never changing the look on his face. This was George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

One other night, PG stumbled in on the last few minutes of a show by the Brains. They wrote a song called “Money Changes Everything” that Cyndi Lauper did well with. This is another great local band that never seemed to get a national audience. Another night, some old black man, possibly John Lee Hooker, was playing guitar.

Around about this time, PG decided to either grow up, or take his childhood seriously. He wound up in Seattle WA. That wore off after a while. On the greyhound bus going home, PG talked to a young lady, who said something about a punk rock club in the Roses Cantina space. This was the 688.

A few weeks later, Iggy Pop did a week at 688. Here, through the miracle of copy paste, is the story. It isn’t plagiarism when you wrote it yourself.

At any rate, by the time PG got back from Seattle, some brave investors decided to have a punk rock club at 688 Spring Street. Soon, Iggy Pop would be playing a week there. In the seventies, the bands would play for five days at the great southeast music hall or the electric ballroom, two shows a night, and if you were really cool you would go on a weeknight before it got too crowded. Soon after that, it was one night in town only, and you either saw it or you didn’t.

PG had a friend at the Martinique apartments on Buford Hiway. There was someone living in the complex known as ZenDen, who sold acid. You would go to his place, wade through the living room full of grown men listening to Suzi Quatro, and purchase the commodity.

On to the the 23 Oglethorpe bus, and downtown to 688 Spring Street. Before anyone knew it, the band was on the stage. A veteran of the Patti Smith Group, named Ivan Kral, was playing bass. Mr. Kral sneezed, and a huge cocaine booger fell across his face. He was not playing when the show ended.
There was a white wall next to the stage, and someone wrote the song list on that wall. That list of songs stayed on the wall as long as 688 was open. “I want to be your dog” was on the list, as well as the number where Iggy pulled his pants off and performed in his underwear. Supposedly, in New York the drawers came off, but the TMI police were off duty that night.

The show was loud and long, and had the feel of an endurance event…either you go or the band does. Finally, the show was over, and PG got on the 23 Oglethorpe bus. You got the northbound bus on West Peachtree Street. You could look down, from Fourth street, and see the Coca Cola sign downtown. Freeway expansion sent that section of West Peachtree to old road hell.

Twenty years after that, PG worked in a building at that corner of Fourth and West Peachtree. If he had known about the future of working for Redo Blue, PG might have jumped under the 23 Oglethorpe bus, instead of getting on it. The Coca Cola sign was long gone by then.

There was band called Human Sexual Response in those days. PG caught their act at 688. They had three vocalists, wearing matching outfits, and sang a lot of lyric happy songs with really cool harmonies. The problem was, PG was not familiar with those oh so witty lyrics, and did not know what it was all about. At least he got out of the house.

Kevin Dunn played guitar for the Fans. (He had an ad for guitar lessons on the bulletin board at Wax and Facts. It said that raising racing turtles was more profitable than playing guitar.) One night at 688, he performed with his band The regiment of women. They opened for someone, possibly the Plastics, who we will get to in a minute. So, this guy plays guitar and sings, and a woman plays a drum machine. No skin pounding drummer, but a lady who twisted the knobs on a machine.

The Plastics were from Japan, and did a killer version of “Last Train to Clarksville”. It was about this time that PG got a job, and decided that he liked sleeping better than hanging out downtown.

One night, about 1983 or so, PG made an exception. The band that night was Modern English. Before the show, PG ate three z burgers from the Zestos on Ponce de Leon. During the show, the singer rubbed his stomach, and said to feel the music. About this time, the z burgers were making their presence known, and PG could feel something, but it wasn’t the music.

The last show PG saw at 688 was Hüsker Dü. The best guess is February 14, 1986. There was a totem pole, made of old TV sets, in the front part of the club in 1986. Here is the story.

Hüsker Dü means “do you remember” in Danish and Norwegian. PG saw them sometime in the eighties. It might have been the metroplex, but it might have been the 688. There is a list of shows they played, and the metroplex is not on there.

PG saw a show at the Metroplex the next night. The band is forgotten. The metroplex was a dark spooky building on Marietta street near the omni. The balcony was very dark, with everything painted black. PG tripped over a bench.

688 was a different story. PG saw a bunch of shows there, both as 688 and Rose’s Cantina. HD may have been the last show PG saw before they closed. PG was well into the work/sleep lifestyle that preoccupied his life after a certain point, and just didn’t make it out much anymore. A friend won tickets to the show or he wouldn’t have made it.

PG didn’t get into the show very much. HD was a trio, with the later-outed Bob Mould as the guitar g-d. For all of his musical skills, Mould is not much for onstage charisma. PG felt that if he had been more familiar with their music, he would have enjoyed it more. Some bands you can see without hearing their records and get into it right away, where others need a bit of familiarity.








The Kinks

Posted in GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on June 30, 2017

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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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The Last Night Of Judy Garland

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on June 21, 2017






“In march of 1969, Judy married her fifth husband, Mickey Devinko, better known as Mickey Deans, a gay night-club promoter. Judy had an unfortunate habit of marrying gay men. They lived together in a tiny mews house in Chelsea, London. The evening of Saturday June 21 1969, Judy and Mickey were watching a documentary, The Royal Family, on television, when they had an argument. Judy ran out the door screaming into the street, waking the neighbors.
Several versions of what happened next exist, but the fact remains that a phone call for Judy woke him at 10:40 the next morning, and she was not sleeping in the bed. He searched for her, only to find the bathroom door locked. After no response, he climbed outside to the bathroom window and entered to find Judy, sitting on the toilet. Rigor Mortis had set in. Judy Garland, 47, was dead.
The press was already aware of the news before the body could be removed. In an effort to prevent pictures being taken of the corpse, she was apparently draped over someone’s arm like a folded coat, covered with a blanket, and removed from the house with the photographers left none the wiser.
The day Judy died there was a tornado in Kansas…. in Saline County,KS, a rather large F3 tornado (injuring 60, but causing no deaths) did hit at 10:40 pm on June 21st, that would be 4:40 am, June 22nd, London time, the morning she died. I know the time of death has never been firmly established, but since Rigor Mortis had already set in, I think this tornado may very much be in the ballpark in terms of coinciding with time of death…. Other news articles suggest the tornado struck Salina “late at night” which could certainly also mean after midnight on June 22, or roughly 6:00 am London time…

The Toledo Blade for June 24th, also in an article located right next to a picture of Garland, in a write-up on the Salina tornado noted that “Late Saturday [June 21] and early Sunday [June 22, another batch of tornadoes struck in central Kansas.” So it seems the legend seems confirmed.”

The text for this story comes from Findadeath. You can spend hours at this site. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.






Duane Allman And The Coricidin Bottle

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on May 27, 2017





Gregg Allman appeared on Live Talks LA, selling a book, My Cross to Bear. Yes, he was coherent. Mr.Allman says something about going through rehab seventeen times. No one argues disputes that he has had an interesting life. This remarkable life ended May 27, 2017. RIP

The chat has a few parts left out. Dicky Betts and Cher are not mentioned. The title of “strangest dude I ever met” goes to Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, aka the black guy in the group. Gregg says he used to listen to stuff by Roland Kirk.

The story of Duane Allman learning to play slide guitar is good. Duane was sick. Gregg came to see his brother, who was playing the guitar in a new way. It seems the doctor had given him some pills called Coricidin. You take the pills out of the glass bottle, soak the label off, and you have a guitar slider.

When PG was a kid, his uncle was a representative for the company that sold Coriciden. There were boxes of samples in the house, which all came in the glass bottle. PG had not heard that name for forty eight years. The spell check suggestion is Coincidence.

Not everyone at amazon was impressed by the book. “the book was so damged the binding and jacket were ripped that a did not read the book and will not buy an more nick malick.”

This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress. There are two group shots, broken down into smaller images. One is a graduating class of a nursing school at Georgetown University. The photographer lists the date as between 1905 and 1945.

The other image is a line of people waiting to vote. The well dressed citizens are in Clarenden VA. The date is November 4, 1924. The democratic presidential candidate, John W. Davis, was nominated on the 103rd ballot of the democratic convention. He lost to Calvin Coolidge.





HBDBD

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music, Politics by chamblee54 on May 25, 2017








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

It was a late may morning in Atlanta GA, and a slack blogger was searching his archives. Yes, Issac Asinov never got writers block, and when he wasn’t going to the bathroom he was typing, but that is a lifestyle choice. Easy writing makes tough reading. So, anyway, in the may archive for 2011 there was a post about Bob Dylan’s seventieth birthday. People were taking bets on whether he would make it to thirty, and here he is at seventy five.

Hibbing MN is a cold place. At least it can claim to be the birthplace of Robert Allen Zimmerman. That’s Allen ,with an e, and double L, just like hell. The original initials were RAZ, which might be a good trivia question, or, with a silent W in front, radio station call letters. The problem is, he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, with no known middle name. Those initial are BD.

On May 24, 1941, the curly haired wonder boi arrived. The world was a different place. Europe was in flames, and eyeing the young men of America as fresh cannon fodder. This was twelve years, eleven months, and eighteen days before PG graced the planet. A twelve year old in Hibbing MN would have no reason to think of a newborn baby in Atlanta GA.

These days, not everyone knows who Bob Dylan is. Auto tuned automated canned music is the next big thing. If auto tune had been around in 1963, we would never had known how badly Mr. Dylan sings. In an age where rappers pay ghost writers to compose their tweets, being able to write songs is not valued. There is just no telling. And so it goes.
A.J. Weberman has made a life out of going through Bob Dylan’s garbage. He wrote a book, “The Devil and Bob Dylan”.
“THIS BOOK CHALLENGES ALL PREVIOUS CONVENTIONAL THINKING ABOUT BOB DYLAN. DYLAN IS JUST THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE HIM TO BE. BUT WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE EXPOSING HIM AS A RACIST, HIV POSITIVE EX-JUNKIE AND HOLOCAUST DENIER? NONE EXCEPT THAT OF TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. $17 INCLUDING POSTAGE! THE BOOK IS 500 PAGES AND FULLY ILLUSTRATED.
There was a comment on the Bob Dylan webpage…
Everybody knows by now that there’s a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I’m encouraging anybody who’s ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them. PG doesn’t write books. He did grow up in America, and has a few opinions about Bob Dylan. It ought to be good for a few hundred words here. (HT to dangerous minds ) (Chamblee54 has posted about Mr. Dylan before.)
The first time PG heard of Bob Dylan was probably at the record rack of Zippy’s dime store in Cherokee Plaza. There was an album of his greatest hits, and it came with a poster. The poster had a drawing of the man, with psychedelic waves of hair cascading in multi colored glory to the edges. PG never did buy the LP.

The former Mr. Zimmerman was never big on top 40 am radio. Somebody somewhere was getting a headache over those lyrics, but Atlanta GA was not somewhere in those days. By this time, Mr. Dylan had crashed his motorcycle, and gone into hiding. As the counter culture exploded (if only someone had disinfected that counter) the curly haired poet was in hiding, the subject of much speculation. At one point, people were stealing his garbage, and claiming to find evidence of investment in munitions firms. The neoscience of Dylanology continues to this day.

As PG got older and stupider, he heard more and more Bob Dylan music. In the summer of 1972, there was a performance at the Concert for Bangladesh. A couple of albums released during this era sucked, and some people stopped caring about Bob Dylan.

At the start of 1974, a tour was announced. The Band was to be the backing group. The circus came to the Omni, and PG got some of the mail order tickets. He couldn’t find anyone to use the second ticket, and sold it to a stranger outside the arena.

The show was nothing special. Bob Dylan excels at writing, is ok in the studio, and blah on stage. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was at the show, and was said to look bored. Mr. Dylan was invited to the Governor’s mansion after the show, and talked to the Governor. A lot of people in Georgia were surprised that Jimmy would want to run for President.
As the Seventies went me me meing into sex and drugs oblivion, Bob Dylan regained both his writing touch, and love of the spotlight. The Rolling Thunder tour happened, he got back together with Joan Baez, divorced his wife, became born again, became more Jewish, counted money, and generally lived the life. PG did his own version of all that, without Joan Baez or being circumcised again.

In the winter of 1991, America was consumed by war fever. Saddam Hussein had been elevated to next Hitler status, and had to be taught a lesson. One night, Bob Dylan played on a music awards show, and performed “Masters of War”. He played a discordant version of that ditty, with the result that few understood what he had said. By this time, Mr. Dylan had assembled a band, and gone out on the “Never Ending Tour”. A Bob Dylan concert had gone from being a special event, to being another name on the festival roster. Overexposure will do that.

On the last night of the Olympics in 1996, Bob Dylan played the House of Blues downtown. PG won a pair of the $80 tickets in a radio station contest. It was his only trip downtown during the games, and had to wait in a security line to get into Centennial Olympic Park.

The only celebrity, other than Mr. Dylan, seen at the House of Blues that night was Bill Walton. The band was competent…they impressed PG as being like a bar band that did a lot of Dylan songs, with a strangely authentic lead vocalist. The sound in the room was not good, at least in the spot where PG stood. The only song he recognized was “All along the Watchtower”, the Jimi Hendrix classic. Mr. Dylan got a cheer when he put his harmonica appliance on.











The aptly named dangerousminds has a link to a story about the recording of Blonde on Blonde, by Bob Dylan. It only happened once.

Bob Dylan was 24 years old, newly married, and had “sold out” i.e. started to play electric guitar. A bunch of Canadians known as The Hawks (later The Band) was touring with him. Barely a month after the release of “Highway 61 Revisited”, sessions started at a New York studio.

The New York sessions did not work, so a decision was made to go to Nashville. Al Kooper played organ, and served as a music director. A crew of Nashville players was recruited. A bass player named Joseph Souter, Jr. would become famous a few years later using the name Joe South. Kris Kristofferson was the janitor at the studio.

Most studios have bafflers, or sound proof room dividers, splitting the studio into cubicles. For these sessions, the bafflers were taken down, and the band played together as a unit.

The second session in Nashville started at 6pm and lasted until 530 the next morning. Mr. Dylan was working on the lyrics to “Sad eyed lady of the lowlands”, and the recording could not start until he was ready. The musicians played ping pong and waited. At 4am, the song was ready, and the record was finished in two takes.

PG had marginal encounters with two of the players on this album. He met a lady once, who worked in an insurance office. One of the customers was Joe South. His driving record file was an inch thick.

Al Kooper had a prosperous career after his association with Bob Dylan. The former Alan Peter Kuperschmidt produced the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums, sold that contract for a nice piece of change, and lived happily ever after.

One night, Mr. Kooper was playing a show at the Great Southeast Music Hall, and PG sat in front of the stage. During a break between songs, PG asked his friend “what time is it?”. Mr. Kooper heard him on stage, and said it was 11:30.










If it ever quits raining, PG is going to walk to the Chamblee library and return a book, and a cd. The cd is by Bob Dylan, and is a work of genius. The book is about the former Mr. Zimmerman, and is a piece of garbage. (BTW, Dylan is not the only Zimmerman to hit the big time. Ethel Merman was born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman.The Zimmerman telegram got us into World War I. The less said about George Zimmerman, the better)

When returning cd’s to a library, you need to get a check in receipt. Once, PG returned a stack of cd’s to the Brookhaven library. When checking them in, one was missed by the scanner. A few days later, there was a note in the mail about an overdue cd.

The good news was, the cd was on the shelf when PG went back to investigate, and the matter was quickly settled. It did not help that the cd was a collection of disco music called “Shake your booty”.

“The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was released in the early sixties, when the man was barely old enough to buy a drink. There is not a bad song on it, and several are classic rock staples. At a time when mindless pop dominated pop music, here were thoughtful, moving lyrics.

In 1991, with America in a war frenzy, Mr. Dylan appeared on a music awards show. He performed “Masters of War”, at a time when the majority would be appalled if they could understand what he was singing. Mr. Dylan has been reinvented many times, and often the lyrics get gargled.

Five years later, PG won tickets to a Bob Dylan concert. It was the last night of the Olympics, and the man was appearing at the House of Blues. (Tickets were $80, so the radio contest is the only reason PG went). It was like hearing a good bar band, that did nothing but Dylan songs, with the man as the vocalist. Due to the mix of the sound, PG could not recognize many of the songs.

The book is Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet by Seth Rogovoy. It tells the Dylan tale as a story of Jewish prophecy. PG got to page 16, where the author claims that “Like a Rolling Stone” “almost single handedly revolutionized rock’n roll music”. Huh?

PG was eating dinner, and did not have anything else to read. He got to page 38. Nothing in the next 22 pages changed his mind away from ditching the book. How does nonsense like this get published?








Amazing Grace

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 7, 2017

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This story was originally posted by Gartalker and chamblee54. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. It is probably fiction.
Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play my bagpipes at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back-country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost; and being a typical man I didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, and we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I was opening the door to my car, I heard one of the worker say, “Sweet Mother of Jesus, I never seen nothing like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

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Lene Lovich

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on May 4, 2017

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Lene Lovich was born Lili-Marlene Premilovich in Detroit, Michigan, March 30, 1949. She moved to England as a teenager, and met Les Chappell. He who played guitar in her band, and was her man.

As an art school student, she started to tie her long hair in plaits to keep it out of the clay while studying sculpture. Her recording debut was as part of an audience, when Chuck Berry recorded “My ding a ling”. This may have been the inspiration for “Lucky Number.”

Miss Lovich played in several bands, before winding up on the Stiff label. She put out two albums that became popular in the USA, and did a tour. After a while, she retired from music to raise a family. Miss Lovich has made a slight comeback in recent years.

PG had the privilege of seeing Lene Lovich at the Agora Ballroom, Atlanta GA, in the winter of 1980. The opening act was The Romantics. The show was taped for broadcast on the NBC radio network, and Don Pardo was on hand to introduce the bands.

The Romantics were unknown to the crowd at the Agora that night. They came on stage wearing costumes that looked like the Beatles of 1963. Every song they did was a bit better than the one before, and they got a big round of applause when the set ended.

Don Pardo had quite a career. He was the house announcer on November 22, 1963, and was the voice of NBC when he interrupted a soap opera to announce that John Kennedy had been “cut down with assassin’s bullets”. During his career as a TV announcer, Mr. Pardo could not use profanity. That night at the Agora, he made up for lost time…every other word he said was a cuss word. Dominick George “Don” Pardo, born February 22, 1918, passed away August 18, 2014.

Soon, Lene Lovich (spell check suggestion:lovechild) and her band came on stage. She was not the typical sexpot rock chanteuse… A bit chubby, with her long hair tied in plaits. Wearing a long sleeve black dress, probably stolen from a convent, she provided fantasy for only the kinkiest. Les Chappell was there, with his shaved head, to stop any trouble before it started, and play guitar.

The material came mostly from the first two albums on Stiff records. (At some point in the evening, someone…maybe Lovich, maybe Pardo…said “Be stiff”.) She introduced “Lucky Number” by saying “We have a song that goes ah oh aih oh”. During an instrumental jam in that song, she cried out “We have an American on keyboards”. The American was Thomas Dolby, who would soon go solo. He did not appear to be blinded by science.

The first encore was ” I think we’re alone now”, which had been a hit for Tommy James and the Shondells (spell check suggestions: shoulders, shovelfuls). Soon the night was over. Pictures are from the “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. This is a repost.

UPDATE: This comment was left on facebook “Those first two albums are GREAT. I probably saw her on this same tour; Dolby was with her. I was a club on South Street in Philly. She looked like a freaked-out Teutonic barmaid, the St. Pauli girl gone goth (before there was goth). Somehow, the sight of her playing sax was hilarious, and the concert was a blast. I bought a recent Thomas Dolby CD a couple months ago. Sucked, as, alas, did Lene’s last one.


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Doc Watson

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on May 3, 2017




This feature was originally posted May 29, 2012. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Fenno Jacobs took the pictures in May, 1942. The location was Southington, Connecticut.

Doc Watson died today. He was at “Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where he was hospitalized recently after falling at his home in Deep Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He underwent abdominal surgery while in the hospital and had been in critical condition for several days.” Doc Watson was a treasure of American music.

“Arthel Lane Watson was born March 3, 1923 in Deep Gap NC, about 100 miles northwest of Charlotte. He lost his eyesight by the age of 1 when he developed an eye infection that was worsened by a congenital vascular disorder … Watson took his nickname at age 19 when someone couldn’t pronounce his name and a girl in the audience shouted “Call him Doc!” … “Doc Watson’s son Merle began recording and touring with him in 1964. Merle Watson died, at 36, in a 1985 tractor accident.”

PG had the privilege of seeing Doc and Merle Watson in March, 1973. They played at The Great Southeast Music Hall. Doc, despite being blind, did not wear sunglasses. Merle led him on stage, and was a pretty good picker himself. They did “Deep River Blues” and “Thats All”… “If you can’t preach without going to school, then you ain’t a preacher you’re an educated fool”. The video embedded above, with the title “Doc,” is “Thats All.”

The duo had a new LP out at the time. PG handed it to Merle, and asked him to autograph it. Merle signed his name on one side, and signed Doc’s name on the other side.




Tim Curry

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on April 19, 2017






Tim Curry was born seventy one years ago today. It would be quite a while before April 19 was known as got a minute day. Mr. Curry is an actor, singer, and all around phenomenon. The role that made him a star was Frank-n-Furter in ” The Rocky Horror Show”.

Mr. Curry is best known for playing a flamboyant transvestite. His wikipedia page does not discuss his personal life. If you go to google, and type “is tim curry” the top five results are gay, married, dead, alive, died. A visit to some of the sites listed gave no definite answers. One of the sites tried to slip a *trojan horse* into this machine. Some things are better left a mystery.

After Dr. Furter went back to Transylvania, Mr. Curry made rock and roll albums. In 1978, a tour was put together to promote his vinyl debut. The first show in the United States was at the Agora Ballroom in Atlanta GA. PG was in the audience.

Riding into town on the 23 Ogelthorpe bus, PG got to talk to some ladies who were in town for a conference. They were worried about the crime. PG tried to reassure them by telling a recent news story. This lady was having breakfast in a downtown hotel, when she put her purse down on the floor. A handgun her husband had given her went off when the handbag hit the ground. The ladies breakfast companion was hit and killed.

Mr. Curry walked onstage eating a banana, grabbed a stool and turned it upside down. He appeared to be a bit tipsy. This did not affect his performance. Mr. Curry did most of the songs on his album, along with “Celluoid Heroes” by the Kinks. The latter song featured a Garbo impersonation.

Whoever put the band together for this tour had a lot of money. The guitar player played with Lou Reed on “Rock and Roll Animal”. The keyboard player, and musical director, was Micheal Kamen, formerly of the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble. (A song on the Curry album, “Sloe Gin”, was a NYRRE song, “Fields of Joy”, with new lyrics.)

The only song from “Rocky Horror” that Mr. Curry did was “I’m Going Home”. A few people were upset that he did not do “Sweet Transvestite.” He played another Agora show a couple of years later, and reportedly did perform “Sweet Transvestite.”

Tom Waits was scheduled to perform at the Agora the next night. PG was wandering through the balcony between shows, and saw Mr. Waits sitting at a table. A bodyguard was standing by, who said that it was just someone who looked like Tom Waits.

After the show was over, PG went to a nearby bar, and was talking to a friend about the show. A lady who was with the friend stood in front of him and screamed “What color are your eyes? They are brown, because you are so full of shit”.

Pictures for this repost are from The Library of Congress. Photographs of Cornell Fresh. 8 and Cornell 2d Varsity, 1914 are from the George Grantham Bain Collection




Born To Run

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on April 6, 2017


Born To Run, the Bruce Springsteen autobiography, is due back at the library. When PG requested it, there were 96 people ahead of him in line. Renewing a book this popular is not permitted. PG is on page 420, after the funeral of Frank Sinatra. It is time to write the book report.

Amazon has lots of Bruce product for sale. One suggested item is Bruce Springsteen: The Coloring Book: A Tribute to the Rock & Roll Boss Born to Run. One star reviewer Kevin P. said: “Sorry, but this is the creepiest thing ever.”

The story begins in New Jersey. Bruce lives in a lively neighborhood, with a troubled father. At some point Bruce starts to play guitar. His bands find success on the Jersey shore. They play a lot of shows, and many stories could be told.

Some how, they get a new years eve gig in California. Driving in shifts through the night, the two vehicles get separated. Bruce is forced to drive. This is a problem, since he never learned how. Somehow, the truck makes it to Big Sur in one piece.

The story goes on. Bruce signs a management contract with Mike Appel. This works well for a few years. Then Born to run, the album, comes out. Bruce is a superstar, but has little money to show for it. After spending a few years suing Mike Appel, Bruce is free to make more albums, and become a super duper star. Somwhow, Bruce made it work.

We should note at this point PG’s ambivalence about Bruce Springsteen, inc. The man has written some good songs, and is reported to give good concert performances. PG has long since gotten over seeing Bruce on the covers of Time, and Newsweek, at the same time. Bruce Springsteen puts his New Jersey britches on one leg at a time.

One of the problems of autobiography is the tendency of authors to put them self in the best possible light. Bruce does that, but still mentions that he sees a shrink, got divorced, and can be a ego happy control freak. It is lonely at the top.

If you are a fan, you will probably enjoy the book. It is better than most self help stories, and will probably motivate you just as well. It is not the greatest thing PG ever read, nor is it the worst. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

The Iggy Pop Story

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on April 4, 2017

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Speaking of Iggy Pop, and music merchandising, he has a collection of music for sale. Included in this package is a show he did at Richards, across the street from Grady Stadium. One night Iggy was singing at Richards, when Elton John appeared onstage wearing a gorilla suit.

The greatest achievement of Mr. Pop is living so long. (He was born April 21, 1947). He has done heroin by the kilo, jumps off stage into crowds of punk rock fans, and is a general mess. He still has a great smile, although it is not known how many of those teeth are his own.

One night in 1980, PG saw a performance by Iggy Pop. The site was the 688 club, a storefront on Spring Street, across the expressway from Georgia Tech. 688 Spring Street had been the site of Roses Cantina, where PG had seen George Thorogood. Some other blues band did Amphetamine Annie with the original lyrics…instead of speed kills, they said love gun.

Roses was a cool place, a long narrow space with the performers in the middle, and a pool table behind the stage. Nightclubs are a tough business for capitalists, and Roses shut down.

At any rate, by the time PG got back from Seattle, some brave investors decided to have a punk rock club at 688 Spring Street. Soon, Iggy Pop was playing a week there. In the seventies, the bands would play for five days at the great southeast music hall or the electric ballroom, two shows a night, and if you were really cool you would go on a weeknight before it got too crowded. Soon after that, it was one night in town only, and you either saw it or you didn’t.

PG had a friend at the Martinique apartments on Buford Hiway. There was someone living in the complex known as ZenDen, who sold acid. You would go to his place, wade through the living room full of grown men listening to Suzi Quatro, and purchase the commodity.

On to the the 23 Oglethorpe bus, and downtown to 688 Spring Street. Before anyone knew it, the band was on the stage. A veteran of the Patti Smith Group, named Ivan Kral, was playing bass. Mr. Kral sneezed, and a huge white booger fell across his face. He was not playing when the show ended.

There was a white wall next to the stage, and someone wrote the song list on that wall. That list of songs stayed on the wall as long as 688 was open. “I want to be your dog” was on the list, as well as the number where Iggy pulled his pants off and performed in his underwear. Supposedly, in New York the drawers came off, but the TMI police were off duty that night.

The show was loud and long, and had the feel of an endurance event…either you go or the band does. Finally, the show was over, and PG got on the 23 Oglethorpe bus to go home. You got the northbound bus on West Peachtree Street. You could look down the street and see the Coca Cola sign downtown.

Thirty years later,PG, like Iggy Pop, has a full head of teeth, which, in PG’s case are his own. PG has a full head of white hair, as apparently does Mr. Pop, although he does appear to touch up his hair. Maybe he really is a blond. This post should be over, but if there are 37 more words then we will have 688. The space on Spring Street is still standing, which is pretty good for Atlanta. It is now an emergency room, or something.

This is a repost. The original was posted seven years ago. Iggy is still alive. So is PG. 688 Spring Street stands. 23 Oglethorpe is the answer to a trivia question. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.


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RuPaul

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PG often does not fit into pigeonholes. Liberal or conservative. Ally or enemy. Racist or whatever. After a while, it becomes apparent that labels are part of the packaging, and usually have little to do with the product inside the box.

Then a facebook friend (a person who PG likes, and respects, in real life) put up a link to a RuPaul interview, Real Talk With RuPaul. The FBF is over RuPaul. PG read the interview, and found many things that he agreed with. Is it possible to be a conservative because you like RuPaul?

The Vulture feature is similar to the WTF podcast that RuPaul did. Chamblee54 wrote about that interview. The Vulture chat is better for bloggers, since it is a copy friendly text affair. When you see quotes, you can include them verbatim.

RuPaul has a talent for snappy sayings, to be remembered for later use. An example would be “I’d rather have an enema than have an Emmy.” Some unkind people say that if you were to give RuPaul an enema, you could bury her in a shoebox.

A persistent theme of RuPaul’s moving lips is “the matrix.” “Because you get to a point where if you’re smart and you’re sensitive, you see how this all works on this planet. It’s like when Dorothy looks behind the curtain. Like, “Wait a minute. You’re the wizard?” And you figure out the hoax. That this is all an illusion. There’s only a few areas you can go. First, you get angry that you’ve been hoaxed and you get bitter. But then, take more steps beyond the bitterness and you realize, “Oh, I get it. Let’s have fun with it. It’s all a joke.”

The Bosslady of “RuPaul’s Drag Race’ is an African American. Duh. In the Vulture piece, there are 4355 words. Racism/racist is not included. Could it be that America’s obsession with other people’s racial attitudes is part of the illusion? “Derogatory slurs are ALWAYS an outward projection of a person’s own poisonous self-loathing.”

RuPaul is not always politically correct. She supports Shirley Q. Liquor. RPDR was instrumental in the rise to fame, (or descent into the abyss), of Sharon Needles. “But if you are trigger-happy and you’re looking for a reason to reinforce your own victimhood, your own perception of yourself as a victim, you’ll look for anything that will reinforce that.”

This feature has gone on past the attention span of many internet denizens. It is time to wrap it up, and move on to the pictures. These images, of Georgia Tech football players in 1938, are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Before that, there are two more quotes from the Vulture.

“Regular, straight pop culture has liberally lifted things from gay culture as long as I can remember. And that’s fine, because guess what? We have so much more where that comes from. Take it!”

“Do you think it’s important for the younger generation to learn it?”” I don’t know. I don’t really care about them. The truth is, they’re on their own. They’ll figure it out. There’s nothing we can do to force them to say, “Look, this is important.” Humans don’t learn that way.”

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People are getting tired of talking about #transracial, or whatever that hairdo challenged woman is claiming to be today. An interview with RuPaul is usually more entertaining. Especially when a *possessive pronoun disputed* reality show is going to be shown in Great Britain, and needs promotion.The result: RuPaul: ‘Drag is dangerous. We are making fun of everything’

The article is about what you would expect. There was a comment about not wanting to drop “she-mail” from RPDR. This bit of language whimsy had the PC police on red alert. If you want to be old fashioned and read the article, just follow the link. The real fun starts in the comments. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

Celtiberico Rebel who dressed like “boy who fell to Earth” Is Illuminati lizardmen conspiracy true?

The article Celtiberico links to is full of zesty quotes.
“Drag Race is a brutal look at the underground world of radical homosexuality. Hosted by a lanky female serpent by the name of RuPaul … Drag Race is much more than a Gay Agenda plot to lure the heterosexual population into hardcore sodomy. By assaulting patriotic Christendom with seductively sensual transgenderism … It comes as no surprise, then, to learn that RuPaul ends each show with the ancient Freemasonic incantations of “Shan-te” and “Sa-che,” both of which are prayers spoken in the original Coptic and meant to invoke the Illuminati god of enchantment, Isis. … This unassailable evidence seems to suggest that Drag Race is an attempt to infect the media with viral images of shape-shifting sex vixens to make complete alien domination more comprehensible for the human race.”
BeckyP Although RuPaul has striven to make a positive contribution, and remains an excellent role model, the same cannot be said of Bruce Jenner..and yet Bruce Jenner appears on the front cover of Vanity Fair. Astonishing. Blythe Freeman Striven is a past participle, please rephrase. whood I strive. They strived. We are striving. They have striven. calm yourself down. RoyalSuperiority Aren’t both ‘has strived’ and ‘has striven’ equally acceptable here? Mihangelap “we strove” equally acceptable Pollik RuPaul? Positive role model? To whom? (Clue: it is not the trans community)

snecko Why not spend time being angry with people who disagree with you? I’d be willing to bet that, by and large, people involved in drag would share 99% of your worldview. I just don’t get this obsession of nitpicking at the habits of people who are essentially your comrades when there are actual bigots still out there. Drag’s ‘transmisogyny’ and racism, if it exists, is obviously not the intended message or the guiding values of the movement. To me, it seems to be about being who you want to be in a non-judgemental and loving atmosphere, which should be pretty groovy to anyone remotely on the left. I just don’t get why you would attempt to shit all over it for accidental transgressions which are debatable …

Pixles Counted Yep. The dress and all the makeup in the world cannot take all the chauvinism away from this kind of masculinist ideology. I’m sorry for whatever happened to you, Rupaul. You don’t have to follow the same cycle of abuse, you can choose to break the chains of violence. We are strong, and we don’t need your paternalistic neoliberal self-help philosophies to get us through the day. We have before you and we will after you. Step out of the way. georges1 Sorry, but who is this ‘we’? ArundelXVI Yeesh. Did RuPaul kick your dog or something?

vonZeppelinThis comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs.

bcnteacher Love Ru Paul but I am my own role model.

Toomuchstupidhere No, drag is boring and predictable – yesterday’s news. Trans is much more thought provoking. sUgadee I know this is the guardian, where British ignorance is highly valued and accepted, but the show has had a few trans contestants.

Sceptic101 I’m confused. The Guardian seems to habitually refer to transvestites, transsexuals, etc as ‘she’. Is this a new and realistic policy? chickenlover4 Either Ru specified to use the pronoun “he” or I think it’s a “he” because in the interview he is not in drag. If you’re in drag it would be “she” or “they”. I think pronouns are subjective to each individual and you just have to exercise sensitivity. People will forgive you for not using the correct pronoun. (PG is recovering from a run in with the pronoun police. *They* do not forgive.)

pineapplesage exhibitionist nihilism xesolor Self-gratifying troll.

Magnolia La Manga If drag is embarrassing these self-respecting gays (whatever that means), I think it’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to…

HelloKittyFanClub I had to scroll to the top of the page for a moment to check if I was on the Daily Mail comments section. Some of you seriously need to get over yourselves; between the veiled and not so veiled homophobic comments and the negative know-it-alls you sure know how to drag (ho-ho) down a show that is all about fun, entertainment, light and love.

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Years ago, PG worked with someone who liked to say “and a ru hu hu.” This was shortened to ru, and was usually said very loud. Ru became a greeting.

About this time, Ru Paul was living in Atlanta. Many people remember her (“RuPaul Andre Charles, best known mononymously as RuPaul”) as a spectacular self promoter. Ru Paul would sit in an apartment balcony, and wave at cars passing by. Posters for her band, Wee Wee Pole, were on telephone poles up and down Ponce de Leon Avenue.

One night, Ru Paul was working as a gogo dancer in a club called Weekends. During a break, PG went over to talk to her. The use of ru as a greeting was mentioned. Soon, some people came over, and PG started to leave. Before PG could get away, Ru Paul turned to PG, lifted her index finger, and said “Keep on saying my name.”

Ru Paul went on to become famous. Weekends was torn down, and is the site of the Federal Reserve Bank. PG is PG, with occasional excursions into R and NC17. PG does not watch much TV, and has never seen an episode of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” This is a TV show about a TV.

There is a recent controversy about RPDR. It seems that the phrase shemale has been used. Some people are offended by this. The expression is no longer used on the show.

PG has only one trans person friend. Sashia is the first person that PG heard use the expression shemale. PG does not know if Sashia still uses this expression. It has been a while since PG learned this expression, and ideas about language do change. Spell check suggestion for Sashia: Hashish.

The use of offensive language is to be avoided. If you know something is going to hurt people, then you should avoid saying it. There is a good possibility that Ru Paul knew what she was doing, and just didn’t care. The problem comes when you haven’t received the latest update from the language authorities. Keeping up with with is cool to say can be a full time job. Is it still ok to say ru?

This is a double repost. Pictures from The Library of Congress. The images are of women, training to be bus drivers and taxi drivers. This was in Washington DC, November 1942. The photographer was Andreas Feininger, working for the Office of War Information. The picture of a dipstick demonstration is #8d36666.

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RuPaul is no stranger to attention being thought strange. The latest bit of publicity… there is no bad publicity, and they spell the name right … is an article in the eyeball grabbing HuffPo, RuPaul Responds To Controversy Over The Word ‘Tranny’. (Spell check suggestion: Granny) PG gave into temptation, and clicked on the link. It seems as though there was an appearance on the WTF podcast. Why settle for a sensational sample, when you can hear the entire show?

If you have an hour and twenty four minutes to spare, listen to this show. If you like, you can skip the first thirteen minutes, which is host Mark Maron talking about himself. The show is highly entertaining. A theme is that the world is the matrix, a fake construction. Some people look behind the curtain and see the wizard. Some people believe the matrix is reality. You should already know which side RuPaul takes. He was not born blonde.

The quote about the T-word comes toward the end of the show. PG has mixed feelings about the whole affair, and does not completely agree with RuPaul. However, this human being is entitled to an opinion. Even if he wasn’t, he is going to share it anyway. RuPaul does not suffer from false modesty.

For a show that gets attention about language, it is a bit strange at times. While describing his career trajectory, RuPaul says he went through a phase of “gender f-word.” The show is called WTF. Twice a week, the host says fuck a dozen times in the first sixty seconds. And RuPaul said “gender f-word.”

Even more amazingly, RuPaul said that things were “n-word rigged”. RuPaul did break down and say the ultimate dirty word. When his mother saw his act on television, she said “N****** you crazy.”

RuPaul has had quite a career. He mentions that he has been sober for fifteen years, and had some therapy to get there. This was not the case when he lived in Atlanta. Many stories from those days are in the show. The bs detector went off a couple of times. PG saw the Now Explosion, and did not remember seeing a tall black guy.

This is a rich seventy five minutes. Like saying that Madonna is a curator, that most fashion designers don’t know how to sew. The part that is getting the attention is towards the end of the show, and is just a small part. It is all part of the matrix.

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