Its . . . . . .
Monday, May 31, 2021
Sunday, May 30, 2021
In 1979, Bob Dylan released 'Slow Train Coming', an album of strictly devotional songs. He declared he had found God and had been undergoing regular training and Bible study with The Vineyard Movement a neocharismatic evangelical Christian consortium of independent Protestant churches that arose out of the Calvary Chapel movement following the teaching of John Wimber for some 3-5 months. For the following two years, accompanied by a unique collective of musicians including a bemused Mark Knopfler and the finest gospel singers as backing, he toured with a repertoire solely of songs expressing this new-found faith.
I was going to review in detail one of the Dylan programmes I hadn’t seen before on the so far disappointing BBC schedule tribute for his 80th. However the ‘god bothering’ phase is well covered elsewhere. No sign yet of Scorsese ‘No Direction Home’ let alone The Rolling Thunder Review but that would have cost money I am guessing let alone any BBC department actually trying to approach Dylan with the idea of even trying talking to him at 80 (wherefore I’m Not There, Renaldo & Clara even The Last Waltz, Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid or even Concert For Bangladesh instead of these half baked and frankly bonkers list of documentaries) . . .. . but the story of ‘Bob Dylan: Trouble No More’ is so wide of the mark I researched the ‘born again’ phase of Bob’s career and I find it it really well covered by Wikipedia alone let alone other blog spots and articles and I suggest you read that if still interested . The point is it is not at all a case of ‘Trouble No More’ but Trouble In Mind still as he seems to me to have been in very deep, deep trouble.
I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail
Poisoned in the bushes an' blown out on the trail
'Shelter From The Storm' Bob Dylan
Bob’s punishing schedule of a world tour post Rolling Thunder around the late 70’s really showed him suffering from what we would now call nervous exhaustion or what in common parlance then would have been called a nervous breakdown (not a term I like or use). Recently divorced from Sara, the love of his life and mother of his five children (one adopted daughter from Sara’s previous marriage) it must have been excruciatingly hard for Bob to come to terms with alongside a punishing touring schedule.
The facts are that nothing (or next to) of this period really of two years and two albums ( Slow Train Coming & Saved) still stand or signify in the maestro’s canon to this day. The re-release of the Bootleg Series bearing the same name Bob Dylan 'Trouble No More' The 13th Bootleg series 1979-1981 covers it well enough and as Bootleg series goes is less than essential. I don’t include the third album for reasons I will try to explain. That it was a difficult time is a given. Disastrous in terms of audiences and album sales somehow strangely less so, Bobs prolific outpouring at this time is curiously unfiltered and yet I don’t include the third album in 'Shot Of Love' because of the emergence of the secular song again (despite 'Every Grain Of Sand' being amongst his best written songs IMHO) “Heart Of Mine”, and "The Groom's Still Waiting at the Altar” not to mention “Lenny Bruce” or “In The Summertime” and the discarding of the previous album's gospel flavoured band in favour of a more rock oriented ensemble including Ringo and even Ronnie Wood for pity’s sake leaving off outtakes the calibre of 'Caribbean Wind' this was no ‘Saved’ despite the presence of the bible thumping “Property of Jesus”
Even Lennon shortly before he was shot dead by the psychopath Chapman responded to Dylan's browbeating 'Gotta Serve Somebody' with a bootleg song never really officially released 'Serve Yourself!"
Hear the voice of self doubt in his songwriting and it’s welcome questioning returning from the didactic, hectoring and evangelical:
“I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn and there's someone there;
sometimes it's only me”
The additional sermonising between takes read by an actor (why IS that?) a series of sermons between the songs, all specially written for the film by Luc Sante and ‘preached’ by Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water, Boardwalk Empire etc) is almost offensive given the context of the evangelical preaching tone steeped is it is in an attack on a vulnerable, burned out Bobby. It is at face value an advert for organised religion whereas it could have been an expose or exploration of how organised evangelicals take advantage of the weak and the famous alike. A missed opportunity and no mistake. Praise be, sing Glory Hallelujah!
Saturday, May 29, 2021
More lazy programming from the BBC with its 'tributes' to Bob around his 80th birthday with two items late last night the ever fascinating but maybe for fans only, film of 'Masked & Anonymous' what 'Tarantula' is to literature M&A is to film! but this time is really dragging the bottom of the barrel in exploring the delusional sociopath Alan Jules Weberman and his pointless obsession
Devoting a documentary to this one man is like interviewing Wordsworth's postman or Philip Larkin's grocer! Actually that is flattering to Weberman, he is merely yet another irrelevant fan with a level of social dysfunction the only notable unique aspect that separates him from the rest of us. If it weren't so staggeringly sad it would be funny and sort of is between the takes, not least with Aaron 'Pieman' Kay and David Peel and A.J hisself and his staggering elephantine ego. All indicative as to what a lifelong commitment to drug use and fandom combined leads to the road of delusional madness! Weberman seriously believes he has influenced Dylan and operates as his Verlaine to Dylan's Rimbaud (sic) which is as about as delusional as fandom is possible to get! You nearly feel sorry for him.
Closing quotations at the end of this useless exploration and his ahem, somewhat unique take on song interpretation, leads Weberman to reveal that Bob's use of a reference in a discarded lyric of the phrase 'sack time' as a reference to heroin! Common parlance idioms become transformed into one man's deluded hallucination, he cites John Wesley Harding's 'Down Along The Cove' as proof of this reference as it is well known (sic) that 'my little bundle of joy' is a drug reference also as a "'bundle' is 12 bags of heroin" reference!!! You couldn't make this stuff up . . . . . oh wait!
If you spend any time with Weberman's printed output on Dylan you truly realise how delusion becomes quasi-rational in that it only contains some internal logic if you are familiar with drug use and hallucination. It all means less than nothing
As documentaries go chronicling the life, pathetic times and criminal behaviour (he is a convicted drug dealer) of notorious Bob Dylan obsessive and 'garbology' inventor AJ Weberman. the Beeb say "It's an irreverent and witty exploration into one man's obsessions" [no it really isn't!], the boho life lived in squalor on the Lower East Side with David Peel et al the dregs of New York fringes and a uniquely twisted take on the American dream turned indigestible nightmare. It is as close to pointless as it is possible to get while somehow retaining a smidgeon of car crash TV tantalisation that anyone could be quite that stupid.
Bob Dylan once said 'I don't think I'm gonna be really understood until maybe 100 years from now'. You could see how Dylan might have ended up thinking this after his torrent of idiotic brushes with the media after endless interviews with 'Mr Jones' but Bob we get it. Most fans who spare any time understand full well that you are singing about the human condition and of course we love your poetic exlorations of the human clay in all its wonder.
Weberman however is author of the 'Dylan To English Dictionary', a 'Dylanologist' so called and originator of 'garbology' (the practice of rooting through people's discarded rubbish in order to gain insight into prominent people's lives), Weberman has made it his life's work to try to understand Dylan.
At times both hilarious and disturbing, the film is not only a bizarre companion piece to Scorsese's 'No Direction Home' but an interesting observation on our collective unbalanced desires to know more about celebrities and how far we are willing to go to get that information or even become a part of their lives. Mark Chapman isn't far from our thoughts here
Weberman does not see himself as a stalker (he is!) and insists that Dylan should be grateful that he is around: 'how was I to know I would have become to Dylan what Verlaine was to Rimbaud'. It's hard to see this as a tale of poet and critic, but rather a look at the bizarre relationship between the obsessed and the object of his obsession and how it can completely take over a man's life with nothing better to do as he and his cohorts are largely unemployable in any other productive walk of life
Beginning in the 1960s when Dylan was at the height of his early fame and regarded as something close to a prophet or a seer by the American counter-culture, Weberman has sought to try and climb inside Dylan's head by going through his rubbish. Back then he pursued his obsession relentlessly.There is the truly saddest moment in the film where he goes to his brother-in-laws house where his "secret archive" collection of Dylan garbage is 'housed' under lock and key when he finds a file in a small card box of the remnants containing such little of scant interest the pathos is truly revealed with a collection of shopping receipts from Sara Dylan a couple of meaningless and literally throw away typed lyric remnants which signify well, if not quite nothing, then certainly next to!
A semi-amusing telephone conversation between Weberman and Dylan, recorded in the 1970s, punctuates the film in the form of animations, creating connections between Weberman's past and present.
The film also features an unforgettable cast of supporting characters close to Weberman, including New York street singer David Peel, former child dancer Jay Byrd and former Yippie Aaron Kay aka 'The Pieman', and enjoys a vividly amateurish Americana soundtrack performed by cast members, adding an extra thin veneer of strangeness to Weberman and his exsanguinated and meaningless universe.
"I got a mixed up confusion and man, it's a killing me!"
and Enoch excels himself as far as I am concerned this morning by posting another gem over at
THE VOODOO WAGON
David Green - Drums
Mike Randle - Lead Guitar, backing voc.
Wow Enoch and the boys over at my favourite blogs are on first this morning! Two main men (Van Vliet and Lee, Arthur that is) and heavy duty too for sure.
Floppy Boot Stomp appropriately posts a Captain Beefheart set from Portland Oregon 1981
and while it warns it is slow to get the balance right from hiss and voice being mixed too far down it is highly listenable and a rare treat fro fans and let's face it who isn't?!?
Thursday, May 27, 2021
THE ROLLING STONES
"Sympathy For The Devil"
“Sympathy for the Devil” is the opening track on the Stones’ 1968 album Beggars Banquet. It is considered one of the best songs of the popular music era, and is ranked #32 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.
It was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, but both say it is largely a Jagger composition. The working title of the song was “The Devil Is My Name”, having earlier been called “Fallen Angels”. Jagger sings in first person narrative as the Devil, boasting his role in each of several historical atrocities. The singer then ironically demands the listener’s courtesy towards him, implicitly chastising all for their collective culpability in the listed killings and crimes. In the 2012 documentary Crossfire Hurricane, Jagger stated that his influence for the song came from Baudelaire and from the Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita (which had just appeared in English translation in 1967). The book was given to Jagger by Marianne Faithfull and she confirmed the inspiration in an interview with Sylvie Simmons.
In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Jagger said, “..that was taken from an old idea of Baudelaire’s, I think, but I could be wrong. Sometimes when I look at my Baudelaire books, I can’t see it in there. But it was an idea I got from French writing. And I just took a couple of lines and expanded on it. I wrote it as sort of a Bob Dylan song." It was Richards who suggested changing the tempo and using additional percussion, turning the folk song into a samba.
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Blondie - Live The Old Waldorf 1977
Originally posted May 26, 2014
Here's an excellent/superb KSAN FM pre-FM source recording of two Blondie shows from 1977 and on the same day. This was to be a KSAN FM broadcast over the FM airwaves at some point. This is both shows from the venue this day in 1977. It also contains the soundcheck from before the first show.
Soundcheck Tracks 101 - 108
102. In The Sun
103. Cautious Lip (abort)
104. Cautious Lip
106. Kidnapper (take 2)
107. Playing With Fire (abort)
108. Playing With Fire
First Show Starts
110. My Obsession
111. Kung Fu Girl
112. In The Sun
113. Little Girl Lies
114. You Look Good In Blue
115. Man Overboard
116. In The Flesh
117. Shark In Jet's Clothing
118. Rifle Range
119. Detroit 442
121. Rip Her To Shreds
122. band intros
Second Show Starts
202. Youth Nabbed As Sniper
203. Fan Mail
204. Cautious Lip
205. I'm On E
206. Detroit 442
207. I Didn't Have The Nerve To Say No
208. Bermuda Triangle Blues
209. (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear
210. Contact In Red Square
211. Shark In Jet's Clothing
212. In The Sun
213. Heart Full Of Soul
214. Playing With Fire
215. Moonlight Drive
Stone me people if you don't have this it's a MUST HAVE! Astonishingly good quality FLAC or MP3. It is simply the best recording of them live PERIOD! (Thats'a FULL STOP here in the UK!?!) THE BEST!