Saturday Odds & Sods: Friend Of The Devil

Satan Smiting Job with Boils by William Blake

The heat dome is gone. We’re back to our normal hot summer weather in New Orleans. It was the hottest June in recorded history. Oy just oy.

In local political news, Mayor LaToya Cantrell is blaming her unpopularity on the mean old City Council. As far as Mayor Teedy is concerned her tendency to bully and browbeat people has nothing to do with it. She is quite simply the most annoying person in town.

I usually try to pick featured images in which the top of the image is not cut off by the WordPress template. As of this writing, I’m not sure what will happen with the William Blake image. It could be risky to decapitate Satan. [He lost his head but nothing happened to me.]

I don’t really believe in Beelzebub. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Evil, the swell CBS streaming series about demons and such. What’s not to love about a show in which my countrywoman Andrea Martin plays a psychic nun?

This week’s theme song was written by Jerry Garcia, John Dawson, and Robert Hunter for Grateful Dead’s 1970 album, American Beauty. It’s simultaneously friendly and devilish.

Friend Of The Devil evolved over the years from a bluegrass romp into a mid-tempo rock waltz. Either way it’s blue. We have four versions for your listening pleasure: the studio original, a 1990 live version followed by Lyle Lovett and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

Enough deviltry, pass the deviled eggs. Mmm, deviled eggs. Before we begin our second act in earnest, a song by Chris Isaak:

Let’s put down our phones and set the Wayback Machine to 1942 with a story about spies, politics, and journalistic malpractice.

Outing Senator X: In 1942, the New York Post was a liberal newspaper. It would remain so until a certain evil Aussie bought it in 1976. Massachusetts Senator David Ignatius Walsh was a Democrat and the Chairman of the Naval Affairs committee. He was an enemy of FDR as he was an isolationist before Pearl Harbor.

The Post went after Senator Walsh implying that he was gay and a patron of an establishment in Brooklyn that was a nest of spies and gay men. They called Walsh Senator X and never used his name, but the damage was done. Walsh was defeated in the 1946 Republican wave election.

It was an ugly stunt: a liberal paper outing a senator before that word had been coined. Homophobia was bipartisan in those days.

There’s a great story about this disgusting episode by James Kirchick in the WaPo magazine. It’s another excerpt from his book, Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington.

Get thee to the WaPo for the details.

Joan Osborne has the last word of the segment:

The Only Murders In The Building Building: My spell checker had a meltdown over that repeated word. Dr. A and I just watched the first two episodes of season 2 of the charming Hulu series Only Murders In The Building with Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez.

That threesome came together because they all live in the same imposing apartment building. It’s called the Arconia on the show but it’s really the Belnord. There’s a swell piece in the NYT by Penelope Green about the wild and wonderful history of the Belnord, which was the site of New York’s longest rent strike.

Strike while the iron is hot and go to the NYT.

The last word of our second act goes to J.J. Cale:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: There’s an argument to be made that Christopher Columbus was a devil. Most movie portrayals have been positive but Native Americans beg to differ.

The Movie List: Ida Lupino was a brilliant, beautiful, and talented woman. She was almost as good a director as she was an actress. We’ll be focusing on her acting today.

My Top Ten Favorite Ida Lupino Movies

  1.   The Man I Love
  2.   Road House (1948)
  3.   High Sierra
  4.   They Drive By Night
  5.   The Hard Way
  6.   On Dangerous Ground
  7.   While The City Sleeps
  8.   The Bigamist     (directed)
  9.    Private Hell 36   (co-wrote)
  10.  The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes

It’s time to break the devil song spell:

I’m proud of myself for not posting the most famous rock devil song of all. I proved that I can resist temptation but I feel the need to post something from Their Satanic Majestics Request:

Since I’ve gone on about SCTV alums Andrea Martin and Marty Short, here’s a new feature.

The Best Of SCTV: They were a hilarious and edgy comedy troupe that in addition to the Martins above featured: Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis, and John Candy. We begin with the Taxi Driver variations:

Rick Moranis did brilliant impersonations. You’ll see more of them in the coming weeks. His George Carlin is to die for.

Tweet Of The Week: How about a little politics, Scarecrow? Few people are scarier than Huckabee spawn, Sarah Sanders. Here she is with a bit of unintentional comedy.

We need to lighten things up after contemplating Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Saturday GIF Horse: Steve Martin and Marty Short to the rescue. They are not clapping for the former Trump press secretary.

Steve and Marty have been cracking me up for longer than I care to admit.

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

Saturday Classic: It’s back with a 1971 Fleetwood Mac bootleg featuring Peter Green and Danny Kirwan on co-lead guitar.

That’s it for this week. The last word goes to a smoking and bowling Ida Lupino in Road House:


2 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Friend Of The Devil

    1. He did many over the years, especially Byrds songs. TP was a great songwriter who respected other tunesmiths.

Comments are closed.