Friday, October 8, 2010

You'd be surprised there's so much to be done


Yes, I know the meme is officially FRIDAY RANDOM TEN, but I don't have the time for ten and barely have time for four. (Admittedly, I insist on editorializing about my music, which consumes valuable blogging time!)


Serious movie geeks will recognize the following lines... Mr Daisy and me are currently arguing about who actually wrote them, Orson Welles or Herman Mankiewicz? (Both of us agree that we used to know that stuff.) (((sigh))) I am unable to locate Pauline Kael's invaluable Citizen Kane Book, which every home should own.

Googling, I find that the consensus is Mankiewicz. I think of it as 'the parasol story':

A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl.
And here is mine.

Giving Kenny Loggins all due respect for his wonderfully delightful tune... although I find his various folkie versions somewhat sad and melancholy. The hit version is below, and it's suitably sprightly and sweet, as a childhood melody should be.

I first heard it in 1970; notably, as I was exiting my own childhood... the angst of adolescence was taking over, and I recognized the child-consciousness in the song as something that had passed. I suddenly realized I was no longer a child.

The song is simply a work of art; it has always made me indescribably happy. And you know, I'll bet a month hasn't gone by that I haven't thought of the lines--
You'd be surprised there's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
House at Pooh Corner - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (song starts at about 18 seconds in)


When you cross David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Evelyn Waugh and a multitude of psychedelic drugs, you get the following amazing song.

It only tips over into excessive verbiage once, but it's a whopper. I could do without the Waughish line: He's Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature. Okay, enough British alliterations, we know how smart you are! But since this is from a very early Bowie album, Hunky Dory, I will overlook it, since he was still establishing his genius. He probably felt Waugh impersonations were necessary. (The Dylanesque lines are perfect.)

Although Bowie later claimed the song made no sense, I find that it makes a lot of sense when you learn that Bowie's stepbrother was locked up for schizophrenia (also the subject of the song All the Madmen; caution, disturbing old insane-asylum images on YouTube version)... and BROTHERS is the name of the song, after all. Lots of people have also read a gay subtext into the song.

The Bewlay Brothers is chock-full of lovely, lyrical poetry, such as:
I was Stone and he was Wax
So he could scream and still relax
And we frightened the small children away
If you have ever had a compatriot or comrade who was brilliant and mercurial... if you ever followed a guru... if you ever belonged to a cult or similarly tight-knit group? This is for you.

And the solid book we wrote can not be found today.

The Bewlay Brothers - David Bowie

We were so turned on
By your lack of conclusions


Special dedication time! This is for my own Sister Ray! :)

I was dumbfounded when I saw Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson talking to Charlie Rose, whilst Laurie's little dog sat nestled in her lap. HER DOG. She brings the dog to PBS for an interview? With LOU REED?!? Momentarily confused, since I would not leave my dog with the Velvet Underground, not even in a TV studio.

Then I am reminded of the Buddhist lesson of impermanence, and the fact that the Lou who lives with Laurie (and her dog, presumably), is most assuredly NOT the youthful author of SISTER RAY. (Lord have mercy, are we middle aged or what?)

If you can listen to all 8 minutes and 41 seconds, you are hard core! If not, don't feel bad; usually only punk rockers are completely hypnotized by the song... and if you are into punk? BEHOLD YOUR KING. (And try to forget that this man now lives with a woman who gives interviews with her little terrier on her lap.)

Lyrics kindly linked, in the event you'd like to sing along.
Rosie and Miss Rayon
They're busy waiting for her booster
Who just got back from Carolina
She said she didn't like the weather
They're busy waiting for her sailor
Who's big and dressed in pink and leather

Sister Ray - Velvet Underground (NSFW)



And my semi-official FALL FOR GREENVILLE tune... used at this time and in this space last year.

I wondered why the Swedes in this video weren't acting like Texans, enthusiastically tossing beer cans, thongs and whatnot at ZZ Top, when one of my commenters schooled me about the ways of Swedes: these people are too stoned to move.

Of course, that makes total sense; so sorry I underestimated yall! Party on, Swedes!

Party on the Patio - ZZ Top


JoJo said...

Hunky Dory is one of my fave Bowie albums. I think Life on Mars and Kooks are my fave songs on it. Oh, and also Andy Warhol.