I finished this post before hearing the terrible news about Our Della Street. I usually apply another layer of polish before publishing but I wasn’t feeling it. If it’s disjointed, so be it. Apologies to our late night Odds & Sods readers, I wanted my Della tribute to be at the top until 8-ish. She would have insisted.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming:
A wee cool front hit New Orleans this week. It’s still hot but not as muggy. It’s nice to step outside without breaking into an insta-sweat. It’s a minor triumph but we’ll take what we can get. It will be gone just in time for the weekend. So it goes.
The big local story comes from St. Tammany Parish. It used to be country but morphed into white flight suburbia in the late 20th Century. It’s the most Republican parish in the Gret Stet and its residents are wont to lecture us depraved city folk about morals and crime. They should knock it off. Former St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain was arrested this week on rape and incest charges. He spent several nights in the jail he ran for 20 years. Schadenfreude thy name is Adrastos.
I still have the late Dr. John on my mind so this week’s theme song is his biggest hit: Right Place, Wrong Time. He wrote it for his 1973 album In The Right Place, which was something of a New Orleans musical summit meeting. It was produced by Allen Toussaint and The Meters were Mac’s backing band on the album.
We have two versions for your listening pleasure: the original studio recording and a 1996 teevee performance with Eric Clapton.
I’m desitively confused by this song. I actually called it Right Time, Wrong Place when discussing Our Mac with my barber the other day. Mac’s penchant for malaprops seems to be contagious even for a man of my edumaction. Let’s jump to the break before I get even more tongue twisted.
The story is that ELP heard Right Place, Wrong Time and were inspired by the “just need a little brain salad surgery” line to name one of their best albums, Brain Salad Surgery. It’s unclear if this is true or an urban myth BUT I like it. Besides, it gives me an excuse to post this prog classic:
I’ve often used “welcome back my friend to the show that never ends” as an Odds & Sods tagline. Now that I’ve given my unqualified endorsement to Karn Evil 9, here’s more Mac:
Let’s make time for one more Mac Rebennack story. It’s a tale I considered stealing but decided instead to quote my friend Paul who lived it:
My Doctor John memory was from a little more than a year after Katrina soon after the Uptown Whole Foods reopened. Dr. John was living Uptown during that rebuilding time and I found myself behind him and his young, attractive assistant in line at that Whole Foods. In front of him was a blue haired old lady that pulled out a checkbook to slowly pay for her groceries.
Dr. John turned to look at me with a “can you believe this” look and I shrugged back to commiserate. He must have felt like he needed to say something so he said “nice place.”
Me, without even thinking, quipped back “yeah….nice place, wrong line.”
He looked at me for a good two seconds before muttering “smart ass” with a hint of a smile and then turned his back to me to checkout….
We belatedly begin our second act with a tale of intrigue, espionage, and the world’s most inept Russian agent.
Adam Schiff’s Spy Case: A young prosecutor was assigned the case of a lifetime. It was an espionage case against a rogue FBI counterintelligence agent, Richard Miller. The facts of Adam Schiff’s first big case foreshadow the Maria Butina case as there was a femme fatale involved with Miller. He was the first FBI agent convicted of spying on his own government.
Prosecuting Miller gave Adam Schiff insight into how Russian intelligence operates. He put this knowledge to good use during the Kremlingate scandal. Zach Dorfman has the details at Politico Magazine.
Let’s move from the world of spies to the NBA.
Fallen Hoops Dynasty: The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. They expected to bounce back this season after signing LeBron James and bringing Magic Johnson in to run the team. Neither move worked.
There’s a great story by ESPN’s Baxter Holmes that gives us chapter and verse on the Lakers disastrous season.
The Slang Segment: I never expected to link to a Good Housekeeping listicle/slide show thingee, but life is full of unexpected surprises. Besides, I learned a few thing about slang timing. Who knew that DUH was such a venerable expression? Ya learn something new every day. I do not, however, expect to win the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth: The tweet below explains it all, y’all.
I love the Muppets. They’re magical.
Saturday GIF Horse: Speaking of magic, what’s more magical than The Wizard of Oz? And who’s more evil than Margaret Hamilton as Miss Gulch, the Toto snatching Kansan?
Let’s escape Kansas and take a trip to New Orleans.
Weekly Vintage Music Video: Our Dr. John tribute continues with this swell 1992 video.
Let’s shut this thing down with another tribute to Our Mac.
Saturday Classic: The Bonnaroo Festival is named for the title track of Dr. John’s 1974 LP, Desitively Bonnaroo. It seemed fitting to post the album since the festival is taking place this weekend. I’ve never been. I understand there’s dirt sleeping aka camping involved. Mongo prefer comfy hotel. On that note, please give it up for Dr. John.
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to New Orleans music legends Danny Barker, Dr. John, and Pete Fountain. The picture comes from the official Dr. John twitter feed. It was taken at the shoot for the Goin’ Back To New Orleans video. I guess Mac got hot in his Night Tripper regalia and slipped into something more comfortable. I wonder if he showed Pete and Danny his etchings.