Saturday Odds & Sods: Uncle John’s Band

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso.

It’s been a long week in New Orleans. I’m still in recovery mode from the epic 3-ish mile Krewe du Vieux trudge last week. My back feels like it’s at least a century older than I am. Woe is me, bop.

Thanks for all the kind words about my KdV post, Spank 2023: That’s Not How We Bowl. I was blunt about problems with some of the other krewe’s floats. I thought it was best said by an insider.

When you’re in a parade, you don’t see it, so I didn’t see all the floats until mid-week. I’ve now seen more pictures and all but one of the Cantrell floats blackened her. That’s the peril of white people doing caricatures of Black folks. Minstrelsy is still minstrelsy even when it’s clueless.

I’m keeping it short this week because my back insists.

This week’s theme song was written in 1970 by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter for Grateful Dead’s first fully realized studio album, Workingman’s Dead.

We have three versions of Uncle John’s Band for your listening pleasure: the studio original, the Dead live in 1989, and Indigo Girls from the tribute album Deadicated.

The Indigo Girls version is dedicated to my friend Chrissie. She’s an Indigo Girls stan who is battling cancer. In the immortal words of Robert Hunter:

Well the first days are the hardest days, don’t you worry any more. ‘Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.

Here are two more songs with band in the title before we move on.

Ace is listed as Bob Weir’s first solo album but the whole Grateful Dead played on it.

We begin our second act by skipping it altogether. But we still have a last word by Grand Funk Railroad from an album produced by Frank Zappa:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth: Eddie Muller recently referred to actor Steve Cochran as the Elvis of film noir. I concur.

The Movie List: Steve Cochran was a fine actor who usually played villains. He was one of the handsomest actors of his era, so it’s a pity he didn’t get to play some romantic leads. He should have been a major star.

I omitted one of the best films Cochran appeared in The Best Years Of Our Lives because he had a small part.

The Steve Cochran Dozen

  1. White Heat
  2. The Damned Don’t Cry
  3. Highway 301
  4. Tomorrow Is Another Day
  5. Storm Warning
  6. Private Hell 36
  7. A Song Is Born
  8. Slander
  9. Carnival Story
  10. I. Mobster
  11. The Chase
  12. Operation Secret

Best Of Letterman: It’s a special clip of Dana Carvey on Late Night. Isn’t that special?

This song has nothing to do with the Church Lady, but it’s a good one. Hit it, Lyle:

Saturday GIF Horse: I’ve had Buster Keaton on my mind this week. I gave him a shout-out in two posts: Sarah Snarl and The Balloonatics.

The first GIF is from Sherlock Jr. followed by Buster hanging on for dear life in The Balloonatics.

Holy primitive special effects, Batman.

Burt Bacharach, R.I.P. The great pop music composer died this week at the age of 94.  I took piano lessons as a kid. I was mediocre at best. My teacher didn’t like rock music, but she loved the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, so she let me play their music.

The last word goes to two of Bacharach’s finest songs as interpreted by one of his favorite singers:

That’s all for this week. Jimmy Cagney and Steve Cochran have something to say: