Saturday Odds & Sods: Summertime Blues

Two Boats by Henri Matisse.

I’m keeping the nautical theme this week. That harbor water looks cool as well as cooling. Anything to beat the August heat in New Orleans. Merci, Monsieur Matisse.

Dr. A is visiting family in Richmond, Virginia. She’s braver than I am and flew. She double masked on the flight and seems to have survived nicely. My goal during her absence is to convince young Claire Trevor to become a lap cat. Last night, she sat on an end table by the couch and nearly jumped in my lap. Close but no cigar. Stay tuned.

I did something last Monday that I never do on First Draft. I complained about restaurant service in a post about the difficulty of living in TFC: This Fucking City. It’s important to me since I come from a restaurant family. I suspect you’ve heard of Greek diners. My folks never ran one, but my extended family is honeycombed with restauranteurs.

In this case, a public complaint resulted in burying the hatchet (cleaver?) with the eatery in question:

Stay tuned.

This week’s theme song was written in 1958 by Eddie Cochran and his manager Jerry Capeheart. It’s been covered many times but I’m sticking to three versions. We begin with the Cochran original followed by Brian Setzer who played Eddie in the 1987 Richie Valens biopic La Bamba,

As far as I’m concerned, the definitive version of Summertime Blues is by The Who. It’s long been a highlight of their live shows, especially when John Entwistle was still with us.

We’ll continue our search for a cure for the summertime blues after the jump.

There ain’t no cure. A plate of mussels with butter and garlic might help. It couldn’t hurt.

We begin our second act with a fond look at one of my favorite subjects, the New Deal.

The Descendants: There’s a swell piece by Ruby Cramer at Politico Magazine about how the political past is prelude or some such shit. The folks below are trying influence President Biden to be more like FDR:

In a sign of how much things have changed both Henry Wallace and Harold Ickes began their political lives as Republicans of the Bull Moose variety.

I think the descendants have a good shot. A reminder that FDR ran as a moderate budget balancer in 1932. Biden’s platform was well to the left of that. Stay tuned.

The last word of the segment goes to The Police.

Sam Jasper, R.I.P. A friend of mine died earlier this week. I think this Facebook post says it pretty well, so I’m sharing it here:

I posted that here because Sam was a regular reader. She was particularly fond of Saturday Odds & Sods. She rarely commented publicly, but I’d hear from her through other channels. She’d chide me on occasion, but it was constructive criticism worth listening to.

One thing I omitted in my FB post was what a wonderful storyteller Sam was. I suspect many of them were embellished but I have no objection to that. She loved telling me about the Richard Thompson video she’d worked on; I don’t recall which one, alas. She knew how much I loved RT’s music. I don’t mind being pandered to. When it comes from a friend it’s similar to pampering. Who among us doesn’t like being pampered?

The last word of our second act goes to Richard Thompson. It’s a mournful song he wrote at the age of 17 after a fatal accident involving Fairport Convention’s tour van.

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Speaking of New Dealers, this segment features one of the greatest of them all: Solicitor General/Attorney General/Supreme Court Justice/Lead Nuremberg Prosecutor Robert Jackson. He was portrayed by Alec Baldwin in a fine 2000 teevee movie, Nuremberg.

Alec Baldwin may be a temperamental jerk but he’s a helluva actor. Besides, Jill Hennessy is in Nuremberg as Jackson’s right-hand woman or Girl Friday as they called them back then.

Movie List: Gene Hackman retired from acting in 2004. Apparently, he decided to leave all the good old man roles to Chris Plummer. Mercifully, Hackman is still very much alive.

This was another difficult list to compile. The man was in many 4 star movies. Here are ten of them.

My Top Ten Favorite Gene Hackman Movies

  1.    Unforgiven
  2.    Bonnie and Clyde
  3.    Night Moves
  4.    The Conversation
  5.    The French Connection
  6.    The Royal Tenenbaums
  7.    Under Fire
  8.    Get Shorty
  9.    No Way Out
  10.    Hoosiers

Dr. A and I watched Night Moves during TCM’s neo-Noir festival. Hackman has been quoted more than once that private eye Harry Moseby was one of his favorite characters. He’s one of mine too,

Bob Seger’s Night Moves was inspired by American Grafitti not by the Gene Hackman classic but it’s a great summer song so here it is.

We haven’t checked in with Michael Imperioli and Steve Schrippa for a while. Let’s see what they’re up to.

Talking Sopranos Moment: Rock legends are not like mere mortals. Michael Imperioli tells a hilarious story about how Prince’s bodyguards ordered him not to look at their boss at a party. Despite this deeply silly incident, Michael is still a fan of Prince’s music.

Michael mentioned this Princely performance in the clip:

Saturday GIF Horse: Speaking of rock legends. See Pete windmill. See Keith drum. Windmill Pete. Drum Keith.

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Classic:  The Pretenders 1986 album Get Close was the follow up to Learning To Crawl. It didn’t get as much love as its predecessor, but I like it as much.  I saw them on this tour at the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans and was blown away.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to the Roosevelt cabinet; same picture, different meme.

3 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Summertime Blues

  1. waltauvil says:

    “I suspect many of them were embellished but I have no objection to that.|” Amen. As a life-long West Virginian, stories evolve toward perfection with each retelling. I often preface mine with an admonition to my long suffering Ohio born bride, “Dear, please don’t interrupt with the truth.”

  2. Peter Adrastos Athas says:

    I recall asking my own father about his habit of embellishing stories. “It’s just good manners. I don’t want to bore people who’ve heard a story before.” It was said with a wink.

  3. H-Bob says:

    Summertime Blues – what about the version by a band on crystal meth? Surprisingly, not frenetic at all.

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