ANOTHER SET OF WORDS FOR YOU TO READ -/THEY QUALIFY AS LEAF AND BRANCH AND SEED...
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
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Thought up recently ten lines of dialogue for a porn movie – specifically, for the young female lead – aged, like, eighteen. Here they are – oh, the thing would be called On the Ground. And the name attached to it would be Rash Sagey – had been wanting a new name for a while. Anyway, here they are:
1. “Fuck th’ dogs!” (This character is a cat person. Also, she talks, in this role, only in exclamation pointed sentences, and short ones at that.)
2. “Cyclops!” (Was watching Krull on Comcast while thinking this up – there’s one of those mythic creatures in that Eighties science fiction flick.)
3. “Inspired!” (Also been listening lately to a Wayne Dyer inspirational audio book – he talks about inspiration a lot.)
4. “Dick Tracy’s lords!” (Not sure what that means exactly – a reworking of the name “Traci Lords”.)
5. “Lyin’ eyes!” (A reference to the Eagles song – the character would like that band a lot.)
6. “Henley, Don Henley!” (The Eagles man’s name said in the way James Bond would say his.)
7. “Science fiction, rock ‘n’ roll, love…and gots to be funny!” (The character’s idea of elements of a good movie – kind of a lot to say, tho’.)
8. “Bound!” (Reference to the Gina Gershon/Jennifer Tilly movie by the Wachowski Brothers, one before their Matrix stuff.)
9. “Secret weapons!” (Not sure what this means either, but it sounds appropriate.)
10. “Hello, I love you!” (Reference, of course, to the Doors song…she, the character, is a fan of Sixties, Seventies rock, even though only eighteen.)
So there you go…I think Sasha Grey would be one for this part…first heard about her in a recent issue of Los Angeles magazine I found at a Bank of America when I was transacting business there.
Monday, November 27, 2006
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Recently found a friend’s copy of an Alan Watts paperback, Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship. One of the man’s more intellectual and scholarly works – although I must say I like better his simpler, shorter, more fun offerings, such as The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, or the many extant audio tapes of lectures. Well worth looking up – run his name and the Marin town of Olema through a search engine and you’ll find a way to get these. The Frisco public has a CD disc set, but there are better lectures out there. His later Sixties output is more, uh, groovy and fun.
Also, Roy “Of Hollywood” Tuckman, through the auspices of the radio airwaves of KPFK down in the L.A. area, apparently stills broadcasts at least an early morning hour a week of Watts material. So that’s one of the greatest things about being down south…and maybe KPFA in the Bay Area of San Francisco also keeps the spirit of that Sausalito sage alive…
And: what I liked about the above-mentioned book is that Watts wrote the preface to it in Sausalito in ’64. Been planning to get over there again soon…a friend’s moving to Reno very shortly and we had planned to get over there by ferry, hit a specific woodsy-feeling bar I remember, one with a great jukebox. Might still get to that before he makes his move east.
Well…been the last four nights out of the Tenderloin, visiting friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. Have had at least one major insight about what can happen next for me. Need to meditate on it and consider what’s the best thing. And: have had a lot of sugar these past days out in the suburbs, in the form of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and a whole lot of leftover Halloween chocolates – I need to avoid sugar, but let myself go a bit. And there was a bit of mint chocolate chip ice cream – my favorite flavor – in there as well.
And have been watching a lot of cable…took some notes on my viewing and will get to those in the next postings. Yesterday saw an episode of Alias featuring an extended cameo by David Carradine, looking straight outta his Kwai Chang Caine role. Up in a Nepalese monastery. And on the side of super-agent Sydney, who tries to rescue him from bad guys, to no avail. There’s a new box set of some season of Alias out soon, or out now – I’d get that, really get into it. Garner’s a great action talent, and I’ve enjoyed her work on the tube and in movies, namely in Elektra and, in a lighter and comedic style, in 13 Going on 30. A Hollywood mommy now, good for her.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
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Yeah, found those Halloween mini Snickers – down to now, I think, five, since I had one. But I’m back at that friend’s house in South City and have access to some more leftover candies – I believe I can score a dozen or more of those for you…
And: am responding to your e-mail of three days ago – the computer at the place I’m staying is down, and I’m using the local library’s computer…haven’t had access for these past days…so – birthdays for Goldie Hawn and Marlo Thomas. Old(er) school cuties…especially Goldie…her daughter Kate Hudson’s carrying on with the cute blonde thing well…and both Scorpios. Same sign for Winona Ryder, Julia Roberts, Grace Slick…
Will probably be back in Frisco later today, Saturday. With those chocolates… oh, and the pirate style of your message...I can dig it...
Guess I’m in basic total agreement with your last e-mail about school shootings. You have your beautiful kids so, well, you especially are concerned about such horrors. I wasn’t brought up a Christian, but my parents had their good principles anyway, and I was raised, even in the age of both Mr. and Dr. Spock, in a fairly strict manner. My father didn’t “spare the rod” (his fist on my head), that’s for sure. But he resorted to that in what I think, in retrospect, was a justified manner. Really get his message about proper behavior across. Not sure if I was a parent I’d get that medieval, though – hard to say unless you’re there.
I see what the message you just sent means about condoms, so much sex on the Internet, abortions, the entertainment industry, all that, all contributing factors to the lessening of morals in America and the world. What can be done? A lot of praying, for one thing, and the setting of examples.
Anyway…still out in South City today, using a public library computer since the one at the place I’m at is down…thank you and Melinda so much again for your hospitality – enjoyed myself much, and it was fun meeting and
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hanging out with your sister and Isam – both good people I’d like to be friends with in times to come.
As far as our mutual friend Dave is concerned – he’s outta the city soon, maybe around the first, to his new life in Reno. He would probably like a visit out to your place before then. Give me a call and we can set that up, if you like. I sure wouldn’t mind another trip to the seashore, bro’!
To Gonzo (and all the rest of the Fabulistic 50 on my e-mail list):
Thanks for the Thanksgiving message, bro’! Same back to you and yours.
Myself, spent the holiday out at the South City home of people I’ve known for about thirty-five annums, since (as it may go in my planned memoirs) “The Junior High Years”. Great to be out of the Tenderloin…actually, have come to a conclusion just this morning about a major move – won’t give details yet, but you, Gonzo, and the rest forty-nine rest of you, will be among the first to know when the time comes, and I’d say it’ll be soon.
And: Gonzo, you and Tony and I and maybe Carmen have got to get together at Original Joe’s sometime as we’ve been planning…maybe after the holidays. Seems like you are all so busy and it’s hard to coordinate schedules…
Thanks for the joke about Vaseline – I’m not big on jokes, particularly – I mean, telling them myself – but I like laughing…
Well…just filling up a few lines to complete this blog posting – the last message I sent you and this one are part of my latest starplane.blogspot.com offering, so you may check that out…
Uh…might as well express my thanks again to you and your beautiful family for the fine time I had out your way a couple of days ago…yours is the kind of life my father and mother themselves would’ve wanted for me. Didn’t work out that way…not sure if it ever will. Don’t think I really want that. But a good woman in my life would be quite the thing, for sure.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
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To Sue Adolphson:
You asked for comments about the “Pink Section” – I haven’t been in the habit of reading it lately, but a copy happened to pass through my hands this weekend, so here are the eighteen items I found of interest, not in any particular order of relevance:
The Rat Pack show at the Marines Memorial – that’d be a fun one to see. Guess it replaced that Janis Joplin performance at that venue.
The new de Young – haven’t been. Not into art museums much, so much more into libraries. But the son of a friend works at the café so that would be a reason to go there, maybe look at a canvas or two or such.
At the Asian Art Museum, the “Hidden Meanings” show of Chinese art.
The new multi-disc Doors box set called Perception, out this week. At a hundred-and-50 smackers, only for the real and monied fans.
Denzel Washington in Déjà Vu. Learned that he’s 51 years old. Just saw him recently in Training Day – a very effective, convincing performance.
The Pursuit of Happyness, the Will Smith movie filmed a few months back in the Tenderloin, out December 15th. I live in that area so it’d be interesting to see just what parts of the neighborhood are shown, and how.
Rachel Weisz in The Fountain. She’s very good, and very cute – a winning synergy. And it’s science fiction, so that’s a plus as well to the likes of me.
Casino Royale. Would see this at the AMC. Me and Bond, James Bond go back to the beginning, so I’d actually go to a theatre to see this, which I rarely do. (Did research on this since a reviewer said this was the third treatment of the novel. Knew about the late 60s spoof, but a third one? Turns out it’s an hour adaptation done for American television in the Fifties…so that, really, doesn’t count. Additional factoid: Peter Lorre plays Le Chiffre.)
In the “A Critical Consensus” listing, scanned for what would be my own
pick to see. Frankly, none of them – me, it’s at the point that if I never saw
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another flick again, I wouldn’t be crying in my unsweetened yerba mate tea. But if I had to pick one, it’d be the Jet Li.
Werner Herzog retrospective at SFMOMA. (Was a fan of the man’s when I was a student at Berkeley years ago – the untranslated Herz Aus Glas, loved that. Fassbinder, of the same era, a bit too intense for me.)
The Paul Madonna image in his All Over Coffee of those stone steps. Recognized them – near the S.F. Art Institute on Chestnut, that area.
The Ben Fong-Torres article on radio. (Recently scanned through a Rolling Stone interview the man did in the early 70s with Grace Slick and Paul Kantner. He and Ray Manzarek recently at the Mill Valley Film Festival.)
Mixt Greens review – one-20 Sansome. I am tending towards the organic and vegan, and this is a place for that. Reviewer mentions the concept of “San Francisco values”, how this restaurant exemplifies those.
Scanned through the list of art galleries, and wasn’t pleased to see that my two favorites ones weren’t part of it – these being the rock and rolling San Francisco Art Exchange and Warholian Martin Lawrence, both on Geary, just west of Powell. These two are special to me, very.
Amoeba, on Haight, a free show there. The one listed, not particularly, but like the concept of free music shows there in general.
The Mechanics’ Institute, something there at the library. Am meaning to become a member by and by. Not that the S.F. Public isn’t a superlative institution, but I would much enjoy the greater level of exclusivity at this place.
Joel Selvin, on KSAN, 11pm, Sunday evening, a show focusing on Moby Grape.
And finally, a lecture about South India avatars – an avatar is “the earthly incarnation of a higher being” - at the Cultural Integration Fellowship, Fulton at 3rd. I suppose I could sit through this one. (Relatedly, just read some of Beyond Theology by the great Alan Watts.)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
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Well, might just make this an even ten pages and fill this tenth one out…back to notes about Searching for the Sound, the Phil Lesh memoir about life with the Dead – mucho recommended for one and all…
Liked this quote about the “group mind” of the band, that it was, “in essence, an engine of transformation. As such, it had no morality of its own – it made no judgements, took no positions. It merely opened valves for music to pour through. As long as the only things we cared about were exploration and ecstasy, that’s how long it remained pure.”
And: quote from William Blake’s poem Jerusalem at the very end…
Well, I’ve still got dozens of pages of handwritten notes to work from, but they’re not seeming that relevant just now…been over the same sort of material over and over in the three years I’ve been typing out this blog…
But, fear not, I have some new plans for these pages…
Well…happy to be ensconced for now at a friend’s place away from the bustling hustle of San Francisco…
Really need to take more time away like this, to keep my mind and body together, and happily so…
Going to get my bicycle out of the shop soon, and that’ll make a difference in my life…
And: have access here to plenty of wine – had a bottle and a half of vermouth when last I was out here – but have desisted from imbibing.
Really need to eat better, drink less wine, if only for the sake of vanity. This isn’t to say that some red, red wine doesn’t at times contribute to happiness.
So…just filling in the final space on this page…got some Comcast downstairs to get to. Heck, maybe hit some of the vermouth…
The current cable pick is the Ben Stiller/Jennifer Aniston one, Along Came Polly. Now that I’m done with this, it’s on to that…see you next time…
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And…been thinking for some reason that I’ve got to get more into Alvin Lee, Ten Years After. It’s what my intuition suggests…new territory, musically, for me…could see really getting into him and his sound.
There’s a lady I know in the hotel I’m in, in the Tenderloin, who was quite the intimate one vis-à-vis Lee, back in the day, and I believe her. Did he just die? Heard this the other day…Googling…
There AlvinLee.com, the official site…not necessarily the best or most interesting one, though…
Something called Alvin Lee in Tennessee looks to be the newest – nice rhyming title…guess he’s a Jed from that state…
There’s an interesting note saying that Lee’s not playing with the band currently touring as Ten Years After…
And there’s the Gibson guitar logo at this official site – his choice of “axe”, I guess…
So far, no notice of the man’s demise…notice for a European performance this last September in Austria, some motorcycle event. Me, not into that sort of bike, but I can overlook that, perhaps…
Gibson has released a limited edition of fifty new guitars named after the man. A “production model” to follow.
And: that Tennessee album came out two years ago.
Same year, an anthology – song list there…two discs, 24 songs in total…like the titles…could be a purchase in the near-future…
Notice of a two-thousand-four U.K. tour with Edgar Winter…
Googled on “alvin lee death” – nothing definite so far…biographical info at the official site – born 1944, England – thought he might be American…hmmm…all sorts of details…might just, myself, focus on the Ten Years After material, yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket…
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Now, as promised, some comments about a 1997 document posted at TheSmokingGun.com, stuff in Jerry Garcia’s estate…
Hmmm…full first name, Jerome. After Kern. Middle name, John – didn’t know that. J.J. (Janis called “J.J.” in Phil Dick’s A Scanner Darkly.)
Interesting details: 25 percent ownership, a hundred shares, in Grateful Dead Productions. Worth at that time, nearly a decade ago, two years after the man’s perhaps ungrateful death, about three-hundred-and-fifty grand.
There’s a comic book collection valued at about 30 grand. Details not specified. Would love to see this…bet he had complete runs of all those, uh, groovy underground comix. Probably all those great Sixties Marvels too.
Instrument collection valued at about a quarter mil. This, personally, have no use for – but those comic books…but: were I in charge of dispensation of this estate, I know a musician or two who’d find those instruments of no little interest. I’d be focusing on the acoustic guitars, if any.
And: Item 13 on these ten pages, Jerome’s own artwork – valued at at about 300 grand. Subsequently these have been featured well on many things, including, personally, a neck tie or two I’ve had in the past.
Item 20: five bucks and 74 cents, Warner Bros. residual for the Petulia soundtrack. Item 30: Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia royalties – 45 grand, about. Item 32: six bucks even, New Zealand record sales royalties.
Item 36: 13 bucks and change, recording session fee for some Dylan work. (Now Dylan…Garcia’s estate is nothing, I’d say, compared to what’s there with Mr. Tambourine Man.)
Well, it just goes on and on…going quickly through the pages…about a mil and a half appraised value for a residence at 55 El Mirador Drive in Nicasio…74 grand for some interest of Jerry’s in property in Laytonville…San Rafael property appraised at six-hundred-80 grand…
Well, of course, the man’s real value was his role in all the fantastic and influential music – all the above, well – you fill in the blankety-blank…
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And…still more from the Phil Lesh memoir, Searching for the Sound…apparently the man is currently using a Modulus brand six-string bass…featured on the cover of the compact disc set of his book – me, I’m not a musician, but I still symbolically raised an eyebrow at the instrument he was holding – didn’t bass guitars have only four strings? He says he was scanning magazines for half a year until he found this, an “instrument that speaks more articulately” than previous ones he’d used. I enjoy listening to what musicians have to say – and Phil, well, he’s a ne plus ultra in that particular department of human artistic affairs. (Look at me, usin’ Latin!)
And: in more current personal Dead news, was doing a little work for Odd Fellow brother P. the other day, zig-zagging through alleys on the way to a destination south of Market, and found a restaurant bar I’d not heard of called Tempest – liked it ‘cause it’s very out-of-the-way, at Mary and Natoma, ‘round the back of the Chronicle building. Four-thirty-one Natoma is the precise number – phone is four-95, eighteen-63.
Now, besides the unusually discreet – that is to say, not-on-a-main-street – location, what I have to say in favor of the joint is this – passing it a second or third time, went in – might not be an establishment that opens really early – went in after noon one day, I think it was…went in and was pleased at the presence of a jukebox. Went over and looked at the contents – a Dick’s Picks Dead collection caught th’ eye – that was enough to make me a believer about the box and the venue itself. “Dire Wolf” on there, probably a version I haven’t heard before. So there you go. Also, the close proximity to the newspaper probably indicates that journalists hang out there, so for me that’s an additional plus, not to mention a ne plus ultra.
And…details in this Lesh memoir about Garcia’s funeral – held, appropriately, at St. Stephen’s Church, in Belvedere. Also: dispute about the fate of Jerry’s guitars after his passing – he wanted ‘em returned to their makers, but Grateful Dead Productions figured they’d bought ‘em for the man so they could do what they wanted with ‘em, which didn’t mean giving them back for nothing to whoever made ‘em.
Not sure what the final disposition of said instruments was – probably GDP kept ‘em. And: reminds me – at TheSmokingGun.com saw a while back there a list of stuff Garcia left behind – will get to that the next posting.
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And: more about the history of the current Hyde Street Studios – formerly the Wally Heider facility…Creedence recorded, says then-employee Stephen Barncard, over four albums there, beginning with Green River, including Cosmo’s Factory…which name was in fact referring to Studio C...
And…other interesting detail: another studio in the place, D, was where Jerry Garcia recording the steel guitar overdub for CSNY’s “Teach Your Children”. Also, Norman Greenbaum did “Spirit in the Sky” in Studio C…Brewer and Shipley did “One Toke Over the Line” there…Seals and Crofts passed through those doors as well…Eric Burdon and War did “Spill the Wine” on the premises being discussed…and the Dead’s American Beauty came out of the place. Not too shabby at all…
Well, it just goes on and on – am wanting to move along with my own notes, but I think you get the message about that particular historical location in the Tenderloin…haven’t been in there myself – got a friend who interns there, so I can probably manage to get a little tour, see photos on the walls, all that.
Just Googled for the Cosmo’s Factory song list – like the bicycle featured on the album cover…well, this record contains several of the big Creedence hits, like “Travelin’ Band”, “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”. (All those apostrophes…America was/is another band that favors that grammatical casualness, the droppin’ of th’ final g.)
Now, back to the Phil Lesh memoir…liked the phrase “collective lexicon”, about how the Dead line from “Truckin’”, “what a long strange trip it’s been”, has entered that…
And…Lesh discusses the massive and complex “Wall of Sound” system used by the Dead for forty shows in the, I think, early Seventies – he says these performances are generally considered the best of their entire career, in terms of the sheer technical achievement accomplished.
And: he mentions a place called Nave’s, in Fairfax – him drinking all day there during an unhappy time. But no shortage of “complacent females” to offer sympathy to the devil in him…20 Bolinas Road for those interested – in the four-one-five, 457-three-two-two-zero…
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More from the Phil Lesh Dead memoir, Searching for the Sound – have it out on several compact discs from the inestimably valuable San Francisco Public Library: the band in, he says, a “dire financial situation” circa 1970, around the time of Workingman’s Dead. (Guess they were in such straits well into the Eighties, when they began finally to earn really big bucks through touring, and also gain very massive popularity.)
Also, quote from Lesh these days about preferring to relax and let Heaven find him, instead of “storming Heaven”. (Reference to the excellent lysergic acid history Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream, by Jay Stevens.)
And this quote about the Wally Heider recording studio on Hyde near Eddy: “the magnetism of the scene” there. Currently, it’s called Hyde Street Studios – friend Jayson was and probably still is interning there…much fine music emerged from the place. Googling…Wikipedia has an entry, a short one…Michael Ward is the owner – took the place over in 1980…I am wanting specifics about what exactly was recorded there – I believe the first four Creedence Clearwater Revival albums, so that alone is something to make one wonder…
HydeStreet.com has an excellent few pages written by one Stephen Barncard, Heider staff member in the late Sixties, early Seventies era being considered here…he says the Airplane recorded their first four there, Creedence their first two…oh, uh…no, got it wrong – those were done at some facility in Hollywood, geez…okay – I cleave to accuracy in this as much as inhumanly possible…
Nice anecdote about Grace Slick their – wanted to be surrounded by a ring of light while singing – so they got together a set-up with twelve sources of illumination on the ceiling, circular.
Also, as far as Mr. Barncard can determine, the first recording of this particular interest out of the place – two-45 Hyde, and Studio C specifically – was the Airplane’s “Volunteers” – that in ’69, summer. In August, Creedence did the Green River album there…the great title track is on that one, plus “Lodi”, “Bad Moon Rising”…also around this time, the place was used by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and also the great Steve Miller.
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Continuing to process handwritten notes into the blog: Quicksilver Messenger Service reference, and their place in Olema, just north of San Francisco – this in the Phil Lesh Dead memoir, Searching for the Sound. Read recently about a major marijuana bust in Olema.
And: struck by the observation in the Lesh book that all the women cooked and cleaned for the band. Hmmm…well, the boys were working, and the ladies were doing their housekeeping tasks, I guess. Seems a bit sexist. This at the famed seven-10 Ashbury domicile. Lesh says that there was “truly magic in the air in those days.” Not the only thing in the air.
And: Lesh mentions the San Francisco Mime Troupe – he pronounces “Mime” to rhyme with “dream”, not “time”, so I guess that’s the right way – been saying it the other way myself, so I stand corrected.
And liked this line about lyricist Robert Hunter, who brought a “poetic sensibility we’d been lacking.” And: interesting in the book is the man’s technical analysis of the Dead’s music – and very technical it was and is…
And…the time of the taking of these notes I’m working with, noted the name of a woman I was fancying then. Generally I don’t see (let alone meet) women that capture my attention and get me thinking subsequently of them – well, this one was one of those. She was working at that food market on 8th near Howard, sibling to the Harvest Ranch Market on Market itself towards the Castro. Haven’t seen her since – probably gone on to other things.
And, back to the Lesh book – he says: “There are no mistakes, only opportunities.” And: he mentions suggesting a musical passage featuring twelve bars of eleven, then eleven bars of twelve. He was insistent about this complexity and says he was “pulling a Toscannini.”
And: at one point Bob Weir and Mickey Hart moved to Novato – they may still be there – other band members in other parts of that area…and wasn’t sure if I heard right when Lesh mentions “border ballads”. “Border”? Just Googled – yeah, a category…apparently from, says a site, the “debateable land” south of Scotland…and…trivia question: did Pigpen play at Woodstock? And, mention of Altamont – Lesh says the Stones waited until sundown to play, keeping the crowd waiting, for better filming conditions.
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…back to dealing with the dozens of pages of handwritten notes I took a few weeks ago, this to help “loosen my load” (Eagles reference, “Take It Easy”) for my intended move before much longer to a new hotel on Mason near Market, a few blocks east from my current location in the heart of the T.L.
…uh…there’s something in this mistake about a Chicago song title: wrong is “If You Love Me Now” – it’s “Leave”, not “Love”. For sure anything I myself would write or like to read by someone else has song references, pop/rock stuff. Been listening to the audio book of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (absolutely, unmitigatedly remarkable!) and Hunter Thompson sometimes drops the names of early Seventies songs I myself like a lot – Brewer and Shipley’s “One Toke Over the Line” for one at least.
And: been burning in my room a lot of Nag Champa incense lately – a dollar a box in the Tenderloin (had been paying two-and-a-half for other stuff from Bangalore I can’t locate a source for right now). Associated with guru Sai Baba…uh…the Odd Fellows, particularly brother Richard Perri, held an art show at the 26 7th Street lodge building a couple of days ago and I attended, bringing along a box of it – I’m certain the fragrance added something good to the proceedings.
And: still have out from the library the audio book of Phil Lesh reading his own Grateful Dead memoir, Searching for the Sound. Getting many details from the very inside about the band…like: their ’66 move to Los Angeles. Mr. Lesh says he doesn’t know exactly why they did it…Owsley’s suggestion, perhaps. Maybe it was because the Merry Pranksters were moving down there. A must-read/listen for fans of those folks.
And…haven’t been back to the very excellent Bibliohead “formerly owned” bookstore on Gough at Hayes since the time of the penning of the notes I’m working from – recommended place. There was, last time there, the thick one-volume Robert Anton Wilson Illuminatus! I wanted for myself, and a volume on Zen for friend K. Also, surprised to see one of those advance copies for the Barney Hoskyns history of the Laurel Canyon (and environs) music scene, Hotel California. Almost went for it then, but waited until the library got a copy to me after weeks and weeks. Should have my bicycle out of the shop very soon, so I’ll probably be out past there again shortly. Good collection of paperbacks out front for those who are conscious of costs.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
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And to continue transcribing notes…am not seeking a storyline here, necessarily:
Got to get back to Rainbow Grocery and look into their various bulk bin nutritional powders. One that caught my eye contained soy along with spirulina, I seem to remember. Really have to improve my nutrition in general. (Bulk hijiki seaweed, need to eat that also – Rainbow’s got it.)
Had for a time several herbal pills, special ones. One recent time covered in the notes I’m working with just now set aside seventeen for a friend, to form a repayment of money given me to purchase something for him, which transaction never happened. Used a yerba mate tea bag wrapper to contain these pills.
And: had for a time a book called Number Synchronicity: A Beacon of Light for the Soul’s Journey, by one Skot Jonz – someone had left this interesting volume on the book shelves in the hotel’s lobby. He describes how he finds useful meaning in all the numbers that surround us, including seemingly random ones found in newspaper articles or glimpsed on the street.
Had a cassette copy of the Grateful Dead’s Terrapin Station for a while – gave it away recently, along with many other tapes – am divesting myself of sheer stuff. Noted that the entire second side was only about fifteen minutes.
And found myself thinking that many writers I like have last names beginning with the letter B, including Burroughs, Bukowski, Bowles. Brautigan’s in there also.
Name for a bookstore: The Higher Shelf. Also, Indicate Books. (Having a part in a bookstore/record shop would be fun – selecting some of the merchandise, I’d enjoy that.)
And: have often in the hotel room I’m in used the radiator to dry clothes – save myself two quarters in the laundromat around the corner. Did this once to a pair of Silver Tab grey cords I’d found on the street. Effective, cost-free.
And a title for something: Down Loose. As opposed to Uptight. Maybe I’ll get around to writing some fiction one of the nights or days, maybe porn.
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Got away from San Francisco at least for this night, maybe for the next one, maybe more than that, even – glad to be out of the Tenderloin and that hotel room there I’ve been in for three years. Am considering moving a few blocks east to a hotel on Mason near Market – noticed the other day that Mason seems to be the borderline on the east for the T.L. – closer to the commercial fun zone of Powell – a whole ‘nother zip code area, in fact, from where I am now, which is a good thing indeed.
Another good thing are the four 24-hour places near there, including my favorite, the Café Mason, which features an excellent jukebox. So for now this move seems like a done deal – just have to apply. I’ve been pretty good behavior-wise at my current place so there shouldn’t be any problem in the acceptance department.
Anyway…brought along a sheaf of dozens of pages of handwritten notes to work on during my little vacation away from the madness (and, I must add, the meaning and the frequent mirth) of the Tenderloin. Basically the same sort of content I’ve covered perhaps to the point of total tedium in the hundreds and hundreds of previous postings, but I may be able to bring something new to the material with my ever-increasing emotional distance. As far as the T.L. goes I feel I’m, like the Eagles song, “already gone”, but living there has been affecting and I think I can convey some sense of it.
Now, to the notes…dozens and dozens of pages, as I said…maybe I won’t even bother putting them into any semblance of a narrative…I really just want to unburden myself of the plain physical weight of them, don’t want to bother lugging them over to any new place I go to…but I also want to show them some respect – they represent a lot of work. I don’t value all that much on the material level, but ink on paper can mean something to me…
So…uh…there’s a pun involving the word “coy” and the name of the fish that sounds the same…and: noted that the words “geometry” and “geometrical”, while similar, have accents in different places. Instances like this make it very difficult for those new to English to become skilled in its use…and: noted my five-page analytical review of a cheap porn paperback I’d bought at the Adobe Bookstore on 16th…and: a Scarlett Johansson TV appearance – thought her breasts didn’t look as big as they’d seemed at a previous time. And noted liking her use of the word “bioluminescent”…
Friday, November 17, 2006
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Just got Comcast cable again…here are some notes about that…Pacino on the Lipton Actor’s Studio program was good – two hours – usually it’s just an hour. But Mr. Scarface deserves the extra time. Clip of Pacino in Looking for Richard good, him with Winona. Lipton said this was the ultimate scene in all of Shakespeare, which amazed me, that assessment.
Also watchable, the second Leone/Eastwood…with the remarkable Lee Van Cleef reading a bible on the train to Tucumcari in his job as a bounty hunter/killer. Just Googled on Tucumcari – in New Mexico. Population still only seven thousand. Motel 6 in the place is 35 a night. I’d go there.
Also watched, the second, I think, Conan – the one with Grace Slick – I mean, Jones. And the cute blonde…Googling just to get that superfox’s name…Olivia D’Abo, I think…sister also in the film biz…in a Bond one, I believe. Also for free watched some of The Great Escape. McQueen, Bronson – enough said. And some, for free, on the On Demand function through Comcast, Take the Money and Run. Funny stuff, early Woody.
And Auto Focus was also now on for free…could watch the shenanigans of Bob Crane when he wasn’t messing with Colonel Klink and Shultz. Dafoe also excellent. And, y’know, excellence is what I’m after, not money. Excellence first – case closed, across the board and the bored.
And today got my fifth and final credit bottle of the month of Carlo Rossi from the superlative New Princess corner market at Eddy and Hyde…wanted the sangria, but had to settle for the Paisano – not sweet enough for my taste, but, what the heck…
And…there was a coupon in my new Comcast package for a free three-buck-and-99 cent flick – got Ultraviolet, the Milla Jovovich…I’m the kind of person who will watch a movie just for the great woman in it…uh…and: Factotum, the Matt Dillon Bukowski, is five-99 to rent, which surprised me…and…16 Blocks was a three-and-99 one, which I didn’t chose, but I could probably watch it…and: surprised that the Screen Gems name is attached to Ultraviolet. And…currently have chosen Boxcar Bertha and a “special edition” of Dune (Alan Smithee directing)…going back to my room after this to that wine and these two…especially the Barbara Hershey/Dave Carradine – Scorsese’s first, I believe…he’s done well enough for himself.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
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Various fairly disconnected notes I wrote by hand will be elaborated upon these two pages. Am currently no longer monitoring absolutely every thought and action of my life as I’d done for months and months – I think I’ve gotten that mode across – so am shifting angles and energies a bit now…
Uh, current top book for me is Hotel California, by Barney Hoskyns – all about the country rock sound coming out of L.A. from ’67 to ’76. The Eagles are the most famous and influential of the artists emerging from that scene, probably – certainly the biggest group. And: am waiting for, from the library, one called Laurel Canyon, by Michael Walker, another one about the same time and place.
And…thought of a good pun lately, or the makings of one: the play on words would be “female anatomy” versus “female autonomy”…
And: liked the phrase “denim desperadoes” in the Hoskyns – about Henley and Frey, those guys, their cowboy thing.
And: current top disc now for me is one I bought on the street, a dollar Neil Diamond best of. The standard classics…the one new one for me is called “You Got To Me” – special because I wasn’t familiar with it.
And: the Pet Shop Boys were recently at the Bill Graham, or will be. Not familiar with their music so much…but “West End Girls” is very great, one of my all-time favorite songs.
And was at Jonell’s at Jones and Ellis a recent evening, after attending the Generocity magazine launch party at Cityspace 46 floors above the streets of San Francisco. Had myself an Irish coffee and played these nine songs on their excellent box, just to start with:
“This Time It’s Real”, Tower of Power
“Get Over It”, Eagles
“Superstition”, Stevie Wonder
“Wasted Days and Wasted Nights”, Freddie Fender
“Tush”, Z.Z. Top
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“Without Love”, Tom Jones
“Free Fallin’”, Tom Petty
“What Is Hip?” (T.O.P again)
“I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”, England Dan and John Ford Coley
But: learned a lesson about the Jonell’s music box – select that last Seventies one-hit wonder and you get Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself” – a hyper-maudlin tune that I don’t need to hear ever again. And I and the other patrons had to endure it at least twice, so much did I want to hear the other more upbeat song…
And: about Jonell’s, a real Tenderloin classic…liked the Madonna photo on the wall – from the time of the Erotica album…and the scuffed horseshoe-shaped counter is most excellent there as well…and liked it that one of the Asian ladies behind the counter remembered me from, like, three years ago when last I visited. Doing the same thing, she noted, me, writing notes by hand, listing the songs…
And: told her, about me, “Same thing, different decade.”
And…thought recently of three titles…Easy Limits, Laid Back, and Casual Business. That first inspired by two Eagles titles, “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” and “Take It to the Limit”. The second could be the name of some porn thing.
And, and…well, this posting’s a bit disjointed…just filling in lines…
Was at the recommended Ananda Fuara yesterday – had an hour to fill and bought myself a cup of their “Prana Life Force” tea – it “may enliven and energize”, says the menu…two-ten plus 18 cents tax, and 72 cents as a large tip brought the grand total to three bucks…
While there, enjoying the spiritual ambiance of the place, glanced through the Castro Theatre new schedule – coming up at a midnight show is Cool As Ice, from the early Nineties, when star Vanilla Ice was so happening. Or at least appeared to be. Also looked through a copy of the L.A. X…Press I’d found – pulled out a list of Tinseltown clubs, and one of 24-hour places there – Canter’s, the deli on Fairfax near Beverly, made it on both lists.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
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First, a couple of paragraphs from this week’s Rob Brezsny Free Will Astrology newsletter:
He begins with a quote from J. Krishnamurti, applicable to all: "Humans cannot come to Truth through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest, or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. They have to find it through the understanding of the contents of their own minds, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection."
And his reading for Scorpios: "Talent hits a target no one else can hit," said German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. "Genius hits a target noone else can see." That could and should apply to you, Scorpio, at least during the month of November. I believe that you have a heightened ability to access special talents that have been partially dormant up till now. If you summon the gall to be almost crazily confident, you'll soon bescoring bull's-eyes on targets that no one else can see, let alone hit. And now, something I’ve been meaning to get to for six months: my selections from the SF Weekly’s “Best of San Francisco 2006”. This issue came out a half a year ago and I’d promised back then to get to it – I like to fulfill my promises, so here it goes, my picks among the dozens of the ones they published – very glad to finally get to this:
In the “Best Bar Snacks” category, The Owl Tree at Post and Taylor was one of three selected. Great place, great jukebox. But heard from friend and e-mail correspondent Cathead that proprietor C (apparently no period) Bobby has just passed – too bad. I remember the man. Now, this category is best bar snacks, and those I recall – sit down, even before ordering, and there he placed before one a bowl of Chex party mix, as the SF Weekly mention had it. Also, a phrase about the man: “crusty professionalism and sardonic wit endemic to old-school San Francisco.” (Have to look up “sardonic” – it’s “like sarcastic, but more in order to cause amusement than insult.”)
Next category: “Best Corporate Movie Theater” – this goes to the one at the Embarcadero Center. Been there a few times – saw there for free Bertolucci’s The Dreamers with my Former Lady Roommate. And also Committed, the Heather Graham one from some while back.
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“Best German Restaurant” goes to Walzwerk, 15th and South Van Ness. Never been, but I would. A few Deutschland eateries in town, more than French. Have a nice light meal of a ten-inch bratwurst with potatoes.
“Best Freebies”: olives and cheese at Rainbow Grocery. Yup, have had an olive or eight there. Absolutely one of my favorite places in the city.
“Best Sangria”: the Cha Cha Cha at Haight and Shrader. Never been. I’m partial myself to sweet, red wine, despite the staining it does to my teeth.
“Best Cheap Curries”: Chutney, Jones at O’Farrell. I think I picked this because it’s in the Tenderloin, which isn’t represented much in the Weekly’s choices. Though I do like Indian food as long as it isn’t too hot.
“Best Cheap Records”: Green and Grant, the 101 Basement. Yeah – lived in North Beach for three years a few years back, and this is a real source for music. Haven’t been there in a while – Tom’s the name of the main man there. The review says LPs are all no more than five bucks, and the basement has thousands – for some that would be a form of paradise. Me, I’m into CDs – haven’t yet made the jump into the hyperspace of digital, of the MP3 – and not records, actual albums. Had a copy of Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy a Thrill not long ago but gave it to a guy in the hotel I’m in who has a turntable and is very, very into music. He appreciated that vinyl.
“Best Bulk Shopping”: FoodsCo, Folsom at 14th, just down the street geographically from Rainbow, though a million miles away philosophically and content-wise. Never been…maybe I picked this review because it uses the word “sanctimonious” to describe Rainbow. And…gotta move this along: “Best City Amenity”: “the evolving bike lane network”. “Best Brewpub”: the San Francisco Brewing Company (Pacific and Columbus). “Best Place to See a Man Masturbating in the Street”: Folsom Street Fair (a reason I’ve never been to it). “Best Cult”: Church of Scientology at Montgomery and Washington in North Beach. “Best Surreptitious Drink with a View”: San Francisco Art Institute (Chestnut and Jones) – have to bring your own bottle. “Best Emergency Bathroom Break”: five-star hotels – been to the former Pan Pacific (now a Marriott) Hotel when a friend used it for this purpose. [Well, had three other picks but don’t have room now. But you get the gist: the city has so much to offer – that’s one idea you can take away from this…]
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
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[In the interests of both providing blog content as well as responding to and writing e-mails, will again this posting make it up of Hotmailed messages, thereby thrilling two bards with one stoned.]
Okay, no status as a true music band for Steely Dan...and: I've heard - read - similar tales of how Fagen and Becker are such demanding recording studio taskmasters. Not sure that I can tell that when listening to their music, but it must for sure be part of why I love them so much. Good quotes in the Barney Hoskyns book Hotel California by the two - will type them out verbatim at some point. One thing is, in terms of the context of that book, the Laurel Canyon music scene from '67 to '76, that they didn't fit in at all into the "cowboy" metaphor that the Eagles typified – New York guys they remained even in Los Angeles. But I love 'em still.
And: the "true band" idea...the Dead, King Crimson. There must be more..."where the individual players play what they feel is right for the song"...hmmm. Happens more in jazz, I guess, than in rock and pop.
And: currently, have been listening a lot to a Neil Diamond best of disc I got on the street for a dollar. Two wine songs – “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “Red, Red Wine” – aren’t really helping with the abstaining from the Carlo Rossi…”Solitary Man” I can identify with a lot – there’s a very affecting quaver in his voice on some words. Tarantino, of course, comes to mind for his use in Pulp Fiction of “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon”. Strange, sort of, to hear the man do his own “I’m a Believer”. The only one I really like and didn’t know is “You Got To Me”.
There’s a second disc that goes with this one – the collection is called The Essential Neil Diamond – but, true sometimes to items purchased on the street, it wasn’t in the jewel box. That one has a live version of “He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother” that I’d like to hear a lot.
And the other fairly memorable listening experience lately were two Gordon Lightfoot jukebox tunes at the 21 Club at Turk and Taylor – made a special pilgrimage there to play especially those, along with sixteen others, one recent day. Printed out the lyrics to “Sundown” the other day also, and am attempting (very slightly) to sing that to myself. There are extremely simple chords that go with it that even I could work on a guitar, with a little help. But that probably won’t happen – I leave music to the professionals, and amateurs that want to go there.
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Had a very, very wonderful time last night at the launch party for Generocity magazine, more so than I can easily express, especially since I didn't take any notes and must rely on memory. But there are certainly many fine memories - "magic" was the word I used to you just before leaving, and I mean that. Frankly, bro', the whole experience seems something like a dream now the next day. A world I'm not generally a part of - thank you much for inviting me.
One very distinct memory is the gorgeous view of San Francisco from those four-hundred-and-sixty feet up - ten for every story of that Hilton tower. When night came on and the city lit up like a gigantic jewel with thousands of diamonds, well, that was absolutely straight out of one of your father's effusive tribute columns. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it look so pretty, so magical. Heck, even the Tenderloin looked good from that high, geez.
You know, I first got there and then left after a few minutes – mainly wanted to meet you and your wife, and see the view from the 46th floor. But got back to my crib and lay on my bed, then figured that I don’t get a chance to be part of such elevated social luxury all that often, so changed my clothing slightly and took the short walk back – glad I did. Got myself a glass of wine (or two), mingled, took in the fine scene with a constant smile.
So: sorry I couldn’t get a copy of the magazine – you were certainly clutching the one you had tight to your bosom. But I got a good sense of it on that big screen presentation of pages at the party. The cause, its reason for being, is a great one, of course – if there’s anything I can volunteer in the way of grunt work for future issues – typing, proofreading – let me know. I think you’ve read my blog enough to know that I’m handy enough with the ol’ verbiage on a keyboard, so if I can help just say the word. It would be a pleasure.
I’ve been in the T.L. nearly three years now, and in other parts of the city across decades – not a native, but a close approximation - so I have a knowledge of and a love for the forty-nine square miles – not to mention my own personal generosity. About that you can ask most who know me.
Monday, November 06, 2006
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Recommended Tenderloin Frisco dive jukebox now is the magnificent one at the 21 Club on Taylor – 98 Turk, near Market. Put five bucks in there recently and selected eighteen tunes – mainly there to hear Gordon Lightfoot, but there are very many other artists represented that I like much.
The picks are:
“Sundown”, by Sir Mister Your Honor Lightfoot. “Buffalo Soldiers”, Bob Marley. “Macho Man”, the Village People. Bob Seger, “Night Moves”. “More Than a Woman”, Bee Gees. “Help Me, Rhonda”, Beach Boys.
“The First Cut is the Deepest”, Rod Stewart. Dead, “Sugar Magnolia”. Doors, “Break On Through”. Patsy Cline, “Crazy”. “The Boxer”, Simon and Garfunkel. “Dead Flowers”, Stones (from their live Stripped album).
“Missundaztood”, Pink. “Crosstown Traffic”, Hendrix. “Melissa”, Allman Brothers. Eagles, “One of These Nights”. “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”, Waylon Jennings. And “If You Could Read My Mind”, to wrap up the Lightfoot sandwich.
About a quarter a song, so that’s a good, fair price at any estimation.
Was there on my own, but seated at the bar was a friend from the hotel – picked that Patsy Cline for him since that seems to be his favorite singer.
Picked “The Boxer” as well for him, since he used to be one. Guess he still is, but not on a professional basis. But he’s still as feisty as they get.
The Marley one I picked for the man as well, since he’s former military.
And the Village People one could be construed as a humorous comment on him and his manfully manly ways.
The Rod Stewart cover of the Cat Stevens original…now the man is Yusuf Islam, but he’s got a new album of songs due very shortly. It’s called An Other Cup…
Googled on this: eleven songs…haven’t heard any…would buy it…not, it
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seems, judging by the titles, too heavy into the Muslim thing, which would be death in the American marketplace.
And: was listening the other day at the Virgin Megastore to Rod Stewart’s new collection of rock classic covers. Liked it much. Rated when I was there number twenty in the local market by Virgin’s estimate.
The Dead…been listening lately to the Phil Lesh memoir, Searching for the Sound, a must for fans of the band.
Eagles…have begun reading Hotel California, the new Barney Hoskyns history of L.A. folk rock from ’67 to ’76. The band was a major player in the later years there, and Don Henley, while not God, surely is at His right hand.
And: the Waylon Jennings one – I generally like any song with “cowboy” in the title, such as Steve Miller’s “Space Cowboy” and Paula Cole’s “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?”. So very often, picking songs at a bar, this flavor of music works very well for myself and for the other patrons. At Harrington’s the other day, on the western side of the Tenderloin, selected Merle Haggard’s “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink”, which about sums up a San Francisco (or anywhere) dive bar philosophy in eight short words.
And the eighteenth and final pick, that extremely great Gordon Lightfoot…for me, if that was the only one he’d ever written, it would be enough. “Sundown” is also good, though it tells a rather dark tale of, as they say, “love gone bad”. Am trying to think of a third one by the man…
And just Googled on his complete song list…okay, “Carefree Highway” would fill out a trinity of tunes that I can listen to over and over and over. Most of these listed I haven’t heard, though…there are sure to be some greats in there, a reason to give it up for a box set.
And: a fourth would be “Rainy Day People”…also listenable, very, but not, I’d say, in the same class as the previous four, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, that ballad of saltwater tragedy…so: there you go – want to reiterate about the quality of the jukebox there at the 21 Club at Turk and Taylor – pure rock and roll. The 65 Club a half block south on Taylor is more of a subdued, woodsy establishment, and the box there reflects that.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
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Will give you an extended reply to your question about which America songs I like the best – there are dozens and dozens on that complete list of their work I sent to you and others, and while at Harrington’s the other day, a local Tenderloin bar, putting back a pint or three, or a drink or two (I made a note that I had some sweet vermouth), made my selections of the top twelve, in my humble opinion.
There are dozens and dozens that I’ve not heard before, and it’s a happy thing to figure that there are certain to be a few of those that I’d love. When I get down to see you that’d be a thing to do, go through your vinyl by them and compile a selection of ones my ears haven’t been blessed by yet.
Anyway, in alphabetical order, the list is: their version of “California Dreamin’”, “California Revisited (Everyone I Meet is from California)”, “Comin’ Into Los Angeles”, “Daisy Jane” (perhaps my number one favorite of all these favorites), “Hollywood”, “Lonely People”, “Sister Golden Hair”, “Tin Man”, “Today’s the Day”, “Ventura Highway”, “Woman Tonight”, and “You Can Do Magic”.
Well, those are such the big, obvious hits. Perhaps a bit played out for me, but I still love them much – they are very meaningful to me. Uh…that Arlo Guthrie drug smuggling song…don’t think I’ve heard America’s version, but I’m sure to love it…
Uh…other observations or comments: apparently they did a Spanish version of “Sister Golden Hair” entitled “Con Tu Pelo Tan Dorado”…”pelo” is, I guess, “hair”, and “dorado” is gold, as in “El Dorado”…
Also: guess I’d throw in the nameless equine one. And maybe “I Need You”, though it’s a bit too sappy for me…and: on that complete list, you may have noticed, there’s a Japanese import for a number called “Simple Life” – you being so into the Land of the Rising Sun, that would be of interest to you.
And: both of us are into precision about exact song titles, you maybe even more than me, and that’s saying a lot. So on the list there’s “Last Unicorn” as well as “The Last Unicorn” – I’d imagine it’s the second way. Whoever
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compiled the list wasn’t absolutely perfect about the precise spellings.
And moving on: while at Harrington’s having those beverages, as is usually the case put a few dollars into the jukebox and selected over thirty songs. To fill out this second page of this posting will run a few of those titles by you – we are both music freaks so you might find it interesting…
First was “All I Really Want” by Alanis Morissette. I remember when she was first hitting the big time in L.A. about ten years ago – I liked her work then, and still do.
Then Led Zeppelin second, “Whole Lotta Love”…then some Shania Twain – “That Don’t Impress Me Much”. I’m not massively familiar with her catalog, but the few I do know I like a lot. (Unusual fact: husband and producer “Mutt” Lange also produced some AC/DC.)
Fourth pick that day last week, Eagles, “Lyin’ Eyes”. (Reminds me: finally just today at the library picked up a book I’d requested weeks and weeks ago and that finally got to me since it’s so popular, Hotel California, by British journalist Barney Hoskyns, all about the Laurel Canyon music scene that produced the Eagles and Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell and several other of the usual suspects.)
Fifth: Duran Duran, “Girls on Film”. Then to mix up the sound a bit, Sinatra, “Summer Wind”. Then Billy Idol’s cover of “L.A. Woman”, and a very impressive cover it is.
Then Dire Straits, “Lady Writer”. Then mid-Nineties Madonna, “Secret”. Then two more by the woman: “Crazy for You” (from the Vision Quest soundtrack), and “Take a Bow”…then, twelfth, more Dire Straits, “Money for Nothing”…
And onward and onward that Harrington’s morning through another nearly two dozen tunes. I think you get the idea from the above…I was never a professional radio deejay like you, my man, but it’s something I could do well – for certain I’ve had much experience standing at a dive bar’s jukebox and picking on the fly. [So that’ll do it for now, bro’…I’ll be in contact with you…whenever you’re in town please let me know and we can hang out…]
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