portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Themes Dreams and Schemes with Uncle Bob!



with your host



To paraphrase Alexandre Dumas, in “The Count of Monte Cristo,” 
I’m so delighted to see you here. It makes me forget, for the moment, that all happiness is fleeting.”



Part One
1/ “Quiet Whiskey” — Wynonie Harris
2/ “If the River Was Whiskey” — Charlie Poole
3/ “Whiskey River” — Willie Nelson
4/ “Bottleneck Blues” (excerpt) — Sylvester Weaver and Walter Beasley
5/ “Whiskey Sununu Odia” — Edmund Tagoe and Frank Essien
6/ “He’s Got All the Whiskey” — Bobby Charles
7/ Good Whiskey (And a Bad Woman) — Timmie Rogers
8/ “The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter” — Laura Cantrell
9/ “Drinking Again” — Frank Sinatra
10/ “I’ve Been Drinking” (excerpt) — Jeff Beck / Rod Stewart
11/ “Corn Whiskey” — Jimmy Witherspoon
12/ “Ain’t That Whiskey Hot” — Billie Harbert
13/ “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer” — Alfred Brown
14/ “Rye Whiskey” — Harry Choates

Part Two
15/ “Coming through the Rye” — John C. Reilly
16/ “Coming Through the Rye” — Julie London
17/ “Mountain Dew” — The Stanley Brothers
18/ “Moonshine Whiskey” — Van Morrison
19/ “Bourbon from Heaven” (excerpt) — Dean Martin
20/ “Mack the Knife” (excerpt )— Louis Armstrong 
21/ Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) — Lotte Lenya
22/ “Jockey Full of Bourbon “— Tom Waits
23/ “Tennessee Whiskey” — George Jones
24/ “Whiskey in the Jar” — Thin Lizzy
25/  “The Parting Glass” — The Clancy Brothers
26/ Hangover Blues — Byllye Williams
27/ Bob Reads Hayden Carruth ‘Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey’
28/ “Tuff” (excerpt) — Ace Cannon
29/ Let’s Go to the Liquor Store — Tuff Green
30/ “Top Cat” (underscore) — Hoyt Curtin

                                                              Aftermath of the Great Molasses Flood, Boston, MA

Alison Janney

Heaven’s Door Whiskey is contributing the equivalent of four meals per bottle sold (and one meal per Heaven’s Door cocktail sold) to a variety of food banks through October 31, 2020. You can learn more and find local distributors/bars in your area at Heaven’s Door #ServeSomebody.

Monday, September 28, 2020


The news letter just arrived from Aquarium Drunkard and it featured some really interesting items

The Velvet Underground: The Second Fret, Philadelphia, January 1970
 …fiery renditions of “White Light / White Heat,” “Sister Ray” and “Foggy Notion” (Sterling Morrison sounding especially killer on the latter tune). There’s a rare take on the lovely “Over You,” for some reason never attempted in the studio — here, Lou Reed calls it his “Billie Holiday impersonation.” And then there’s “Sweet Jane,” still in its original, slow-and-steady incarnation, Reed making up lyrics as he goes. Lo-fi quality? Yeah. Hi-fi experience? Oh yeah.

Ron Cobb, a Pioneer in Science Fiction Design, Dies at 83
Via the New York Times, Jacey Fortin looks back at Ron Cobb, whose designs helped create the lived-in worlds of Star Wars, Back to the Future, Conan the Barbarian, Dark Star, and other science fiction and fantasy classics. 

All Things Are Quiet Silent: A Mixtape
It's Folk Rock Season, friends! 

Third Ear Band – Stone Circle ++ Dando Shaft – Rain ++ Keith Christmas – Ice Man ++ Steeleye Span – All Things Are Quite Silent ++ Lindisfarne – Winter Song ++ Sandy Denny – Late November ++ Pentangle – Bells ++ The Woods Band – Dreams ++ Ralph McTell – Wait Until the Snow ++ Hunt & Turner – Silver Lady ++ Roy Harper – Black Clouds ++ Dick Gaughan – The Snows They Melt the Soonest ++ Gary Farr – Curtain of Sleep ++ Clifford T. Ward – Cold Wind Blowing ++ Bert Jansch – In the Bleak Mid Winter ++ The Wooden O – Sad Tune ++ John Renbourn – Winter Is Gone ++ Dave Evans – Grey Lady Morning ++ Rick Hayward – Breathing Space ++ Stealers Wheel – Gets So Lonely ++ Richard & Linda Thompson – Night Comes In ++ John Martyn – When It’s Dark ++ Caedmon – Storm ++ Tony, Caro & John – All On The First Day


Leonard Cohen by Richard Avedon

Song for 2020

Give me back my broken night
My mirrored room, my secret life
It’s lonely here
There’s no one left to torture

Give me absolute control
Over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby
That’s an order!

Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that’s left
And stuff it up the hole
In your culture

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
I’ve seen the future, brother:
It is murder

Things are going to slide, 
slide in all directions
Won’t be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore

The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold
And it has overturned
The order of the soul

When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant

You don't know me from the wind
You never will, you never did
I'm the little Jew
Who wrote the Bible

I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
But love's the only engine of survival

Your servant here, he has been told
To say it clear, to say it cold
It's over, it ain't going
Any further

And now the wheels of heaven stop
You feel the devil's riding crop
Get ready for the future
It is murder

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul

When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant

There'll be the breaking of the ancient western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
There'll be fires on the road
And the white man dancing

You'll see a woman hanging upside down
Her features covered by her fallen gown
And all the lousy little poets coming round
Tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
Give me Christ
Or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby
It is murder

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul

When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT

–  Leonard Cohen

An occasional series on extraordinary women . . . . . . . . 



On this day 100 years ago, 28 November 1919, Faye Schulman, photographer and Jewish resistance partisan, was born in Lenin, Poland (now Belarus). 

In 1942, the Nazis murdered 1850 Jews in the Lenin ghetto, leaving only Faye and 25 others alive, making Faye take and develop photos of the massacre. Covertly she made copies of the photographs for herself. She soon fled and joined the partisan resistance, serving as a fighter and nurse. 

While on a raid in Lenin with her unit, Faye managed to retrieve her camera equipment, and then began documenting the resistance movement, developing her photos under blankets.

“I want people to know that there was resistance. Jews did not go like sheep to the slaughter. I was a photographer. I have pictures. I have proof.” 

Faye survived the war and currently lives in Canada. (101 next birthday!)



More on Mazza!


“I sometimes felt I was hooked on sex; the way an alcoholic is on liquor or a junkie on dope. My body turned all these people on, like turning on an electric light, and there was barely anything human in it. Marilyn Monroe became a burden, a - what do you call it? - an albatross. People expected so much of me, I sometimes hate it. It was too much of a strain. I still feel that way. Marilyn Monroe has to look a certain way – be beautiful - and act a certain way, be talented. I wondered if I could live up to their expectations. 

There were times on The Misfits, in those emotional scenes, when I had a feeling I’d fail however hard I tried, and I didn’t want to go on-site in the morning. I was sorry that I wasn’t a waitress or a cleaning lady and free of people’s great demands. Sometimes it would be a great relief to be no longer famous. But we actors and actresses are such warriors, such – what is your word? – narcissus types. I sit in front of the mirror for hours looking for signs of age. I like old people; they have such qualities younger people don’t have. I want to grow old without facelifts. They take the life out of a face, the character. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I’ve made. Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you would never complete your life, would you? You never totally know yourself.” — Marilyn

from Conversations with Marilyn by W.J Weatherby. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Helen Hulick 1938


                                               Jailed for wearing slacks in court in 1938 

Why is this young woman important? A nondescript looking ordinary young woman by any standards especially today but this is Helen Hulick who appeared in court as a witness in 1938 wearing trousers and was sent away by a judge to change into something more formal and suitable.  1938?! This is what we were up against back in the day that looks embarrassingly gauche and archaic in retrospect

Helen Hulick - 

was a kindergarten teacher in 1938.  She was also a witness in a trial against two burglaries, but ended going to jail herself for showing up twice in pants, which infuriated the judge.

              “Listen,” said the young woman, “I’ve worn slacks since I was 15. I don’t own a dress except a formal. If he wants me to appear in a formal gown that’s okay with me. I’ll come back in slacks and if he puts me in jail I hope it will help to free women forever of anti-slackism.”            

Held in contempt when she came back in slacks, Hulick was given a five-day jail sentence. A higher court overturned the contempt citation, clearing the way for women to wear trousers in courts of law.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Ron Cobb



I've said it before but I am of an age now where so many of my early heroes are dying and today is no exception as I learn of the death of Ron Cobb earlier this week : September 21, 2020 - Cobb, probably best known now for being the production designer for several major films, has died at 83 years of age. 

Cobb brought to life several cantina creatures for Star Wars (1977) and came up with weaponry and sets for Conan the Barbarian (1982), the exterior and interior of the Nostromo ship in Alien (1978) and the earth colony complex in Aliens (1986), and the DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future (1985).
More interestingly, to me at least, is that in the 1960s and 70s he was a great radical political cartoonist, and sadly, many cartoons of those days are still just as relevant today. He was a great hero to me then. Check the dates on these . . . . . . .

I am ashamed to say I wasn't aware of the full extent of his work around the film world and here's some prime examples but do check out his webpages (see below)

Designs for the DeLorean for 'Back To The Future' - beautiful drawings

Vogon Poetry Reading - for an unused design for a US TV series of 'The Htichhiker's Guide To the Galaxy' - Cobb expressed sadness that nothing came of it except "a friendship with Douglas Adams"

Friday, September 25, 2020


An extraordinary document from Big O today. Lou Reed around the time of Coney Island Baby (1976) when Lou was touring with this fine fine band Michael Fonfara on keyboards, Bruce Yaw on bass, Marty Fogel on sax and Michael Suchorsky on drums. It start with the obligatory nearly ten minutes 'jazz' improvised introduction to 'Sweet Jane' that his not so much the Rock n Roll Animal stylie but fascinating none the less as we wait for Lou to finish what ever he's doing back stage (this is the time of his alleged full blown methamphetamine and alcohol addiction, his marriage to transexual Rachel and yet  . . . . . .I always figured from Coney Island he was using a lot of coke but the story tells it otherwise  . . . . . this set is smoking'!) This is Live Radio broadcast from the Roxy in Los Angeles 13 of the supposed 22 song concert. Very good KMET-FM the legendary boot 'Winter at The Roxy' from the Rock 'n' Roll Heart tour - enjoy!

Lou Reed - LA 1976

Thursday, September 24, 2020

 Just bumped into this . . . . . . . . the Guvnor!

I got the blues . . . . . . . .

A favourite, the How Long Blues or just merely 'How Long' and a classic too, by Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell. This song, recorded on June 19, 1928 in Indianapolis, appears to be the first one Carr and Blackwell ever recorded together.

Beautiful stuff . . . . . . . How long has that old evening train been gone?


B  O  W  I  E 

Wow, brother Jobe on form this morning over at the Floppy Boot's Sister page Voodoo Wagon. . . . . . the rehearsals tapes from Elstree Studios in Boreham Wood of Bowie doing the going Outside tour to celebrate our having to stay in!!!

If you're a Bowie fan (who isn't?) then you NEED this! It is little short of a staggering piece of work. The band here are just exceptional and from the trio that is Dorsey, Gabrels and Alomar can do no wrong for me but augmented with keyboard player Mike Garson and the rest (Peter Schwartz - Synthesizer. Zack Alford - Drums and George Simms on Backing Vocals) this band is tight as a gnats chuff (musical technical term)

Enjoy and TURN IT UP! Superstuff! This made my day . . . . . . . 

Thanks Jobe!

Bowie:OUTSIDE Tour Rehearsals 1995 - Voodoo Wagon

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


A nice set from Sandy Denny from Enoch over at Floppy Boot Stomp. A bit 'noisy' but highly listenable and well worth having as there are scant few recordings of her these days and while standards are improving all the time this is from 1977 so not faultless but really nice to have. Thanks guys at FBS and Enoch in particular . . . . . . 

Denny is of course a tragic figure in folk and taken way too early but drinking, drugs and poor mental health took her way too early. The substance abuse possibly as some early misguided attempt to self medicate and this caused breakdowns of relationships with bandmates, friends and most notably with her husband, fellow musician Trevor Lucas who after this concert here, eventually fled with their daughter Georgia, back to his native Australia fearing for their daughter's safety whilst in the charge of a drunken parent, only to return a short time later to attend the hospital and turn off her life support after a 'fall' down the stairs at her home in Byfield (Northampton) and this, while possibly intoxicated, saw her tragically premature death at 31.

check out the twelve string here

Sound Circus
The Royalty Theatre
 London UK

01. Solo
02. The North Star Grassman & The Ravens
03. Nothing More
04. Gold Dust
05. The Sea
06. Tomorrow Is A long Time
07. The Lady
08. Wretched Wilbur
09. Stranger To Himself
10. For Shame Of Doing Wrong
11. One More Time
12. Who Knows Where The Time Goes

Sandy Denny - Vocals
Trevor Lucas - Guitar
Jerry Donahue - Guitar
Pete Wilsher - Steel Guitar
Pat Donaldson - Bass
Dave Mattacks - Drums

Sandy Denny - Live in London1977

Denny was a complex, damaged and vulnerable person and possibly in retrospect what we now would describe as bi-polar (manic depressive at the time) and frequently self harmed often hurling herself off things and down stairs so frequently it became known as her 'party piece' to garner attention. This tour to promote the poorly received last album 'Rendezvous' was completed at the Royalty Theatre and this was the last time she would play in public. 5 months later she was dead. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

 This . . . . . . . . . . 

Emily says:

Lyrics to 'When Stars Cannot Be Found' from my new album, 'A Dark Murmuration of Words'.
Please turn up and sing along!
I wrote this song with my niece who is six years old, my grandparents - sadly no longer with us, and my heroes in mind.

buy the album here . . .

Monday, September 21, 2020


‘Ship In A Bottle’ - first music from the forthcoming Brian Eno album ‘Film Music 1976 – 2020’

 and over at The Voodoo Wagon . . . . . brother Jobe has been in a posting frenzy and listed a positive plethora . . . . . . 

N.B. now I don't normally post things for officially released stuff but these are rarified enough to garner differing re-masters and differing editions it really behoves your attention . . . .although obvs you will have the originals on vinyl like me chez Swappers Mansions (down in the vaults passed the dungeon and round the corner from the Ha-ha . . .you know were 'tis!) so for once  . . . . . .  

have at it yee boundless cads and bounders . . . . . 

amongst others:

a Swapper's favourite Wings : Wild Life "What's gonna happen to, the aminals in the zoo?" 

two (count 'em = 2) Jools Holland big band stuff! including the Swing album . . . . . . 

two (count 'em = 2 ) Everything But the Girl priceless gems

and Elvis' 'Get Happy'

Can't say fairer than that . . . . . .                       or can you? . . . . . . . . . . . .I think not . . . . . . . . 

check this action

Aquarium Drunkard's newsletter is out just now . . . . . . . Highlights including a Lagniappe session including JJ Cale, Swamp Dogg (+ John Prine), Lou Reed interview from the Eighties and of course fuss 'n'n stuff about Bob Dylan's new Theme Time Radio Hour and the Pretty Good Stuff (no 9) . . . . no.9, no. 9 . . . no.9, . . . . no.9

The Lagniappe Sessions: Austin McCutchen
For his first ever Lagniappe Session, Liberty Hair Farm-based Austin McCutchen decided he’d look towards the sky. Recorded in quarantine and produced by Dan Horne, McCutchen’s takes on Jim Sullivan’s “UFO” (ft. Horne) and J.J. Cale’s “Cajun Moon” (featuring the Western Stars) offer us all a little respite from a weary world. 

Transmissions: Swamp Dogg 
Our guest on the latest episode of our weekly talk show Transmissions is Jerry Williams Jr., but if you know your musical cult heroes, you probably know him by the name Swamp Dogg. Since the early ’50s, he’s lived as a true record man—writing songs, producing artists, self-releasing music, and putting out major label flops that have gone on to achieve lost classic status. He’s always walked the line between R&B and country, making a joke of the music industry’s intentional segregating of white and black audiences. His latest is called Sorry You Couldn’t Make It, and it pairs him with producer Ryan Olson, Bon Iver, Jenny Lewis, and the late John Prine. Over the many years, Swamp Dogg has embraced auto-tune, twang, and ambient flourishes. He joins host Jason P. Woodbury to discuss it all

Bob Dylan: Pretty Good Stuff (Episode 9) 
The same week that saw the announcement of the imminent return of Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour saw the release of the penultimate episode Pretty Good Stuff, Dylan historian James Adams’ hour-long, monthly, program diving deep into the depths of all things Dwarf Music. Listen to the show below, and to explore further, support our Patreon for the individual tracks and more.

Lou Reed: The Night Flight Interview 
Want to hear Lou Reed break it down, circa 1984, sharing his thoughts on hip-hop, the Velvet Underground's legacy, Metal Machine Music, and the difference between writing a novel and song? Us too, and this Night Flight interview has got it covered. Via Spotify.



102nd - WHISKEY 

brought to you by Heaven's Door Whiskey


Theme Time Radio Hour series, which will take over SiriusXM’s Deep Tracks (Ch. 27) as a limited-run pop-up channel on Monday, September 21 at 12pm ET.

Sunday, September 20, 2020


Some times it is easy to forget that Beatles' manager Brian Epstein with his company NEMS promoted and put on other bands and their concerts . . . . . . . . 

We were used to psychedelic posters coming from the West Coast and American gigs even when they promoted British bands

But these two designs show Brian Epstein promoting British bands in the UK and poster designers like The Fool (Applestore?) and Hapsash and The Coloured Coat, Martin Sharp and others did us proud in that respect