Saturday Odds & Sods: Touch Of Grey

The Party In Seillans by Max Ernst.

It’s my birthday. The last time my birthday fell on a Saturday was in 2017. I used the same theme song but used the wrong spelling of grey in the post title. I hope the ghost of Robert Hunter forgives me.

August 5, 2017  is noteworthy locally for massive street flooding that obliged me to call Brigtsen’s, the restaurant at which we dined, to learn if the streets were flooded in that part of town. They were not. We’re dining there tonight as well. Yay, Brigtsen’s.

We’re still smashing unwanted heat records here in the Big Sweaty. I’ve already kvetched about that this week, so a link will suffice.

Our theme song continues this week’s  Jerry Garcia theme. How thematic is that?

Touch of Grey was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter for the 1987 album In The Dark. It was the Dead’s biggest hit single:

Since we’re wading in grey water, here’s an old Roxy Music tune:

I confessed to using the wrong spelling of grey six years ago. Here’s a gray song:

We begin our second act by taking a trip to Philadelphia.

Muttering In Philly: There’s a shitstorm brewing in Philadelphia over a bizarre collection at the Mutter Museum:

“There are few places in the world like the Mütter, where the living come to learn from the dead. Since 1863, the museum has collected and displayed historical medical implements, anatomical models, and human skeletons and body parts, which are categorized as “wet” (preserved tissue in jars of liquid) or “dry” (desiccated remains). For those who have a comfortable relationship with their own mortality, it is a beautiful, peaceful place.

Until recently. As Eisenstein perused the exhibits, a security guard followed him — a sign that something was amiss in the land of the living. For the past few months, the Mütter has become an ethical battleground for various groups of stakeholders: a museum leadership that wants to usher it into the 21st century, representatives from historically disadvantaged groups who wish to either preserve or dismantle it, staff members and academics caught in the middle, and fans of the museum — doctors, morticians, goths, the morbidly curious — who feel a special connection to this meaningful and macabre place in Center City.

The bone of contention: While some of the bodies in the museum come from contemporary donors, many had been acquired in an era before medical consent was codified. In the 19th century, doctors who wanted to learn with real bodies would claim the remains of prisoners, suicide victims, poor people, prostitutes, enslaved people, Native Americans and other underprivileged groups — or they would pay off gravediggers and steal from cemeteries.”

That was a long ass quote but the WaPo’s Maura Judkis said it better than I could.

The issue of consent is real but, I hope the collection of remains remains on public display. There was a similar display at Tulane Med School. I dug looking at it when Dr. A was a grad student there. I don’t know if it still exists. I’m too lazy to google such a ghoulish question.

Let’s close the segment with a lesser known Philly song:

Mark Knopfler *and* James Taylor. I’d never heard it until this week. Thanks,

Paul Reubens, R.I.P. There was an outpouring of love when the news of Paul Reubens’ death at the age of 70 hit the internet. Paul was the creator of the lovable brat Pee-wee Herman. I was a grown man when Pee-wee’s Playhouse aired but I still watched it from time-to-time. It’s timeless comedic surrealism with a campy twist.

I first saw Paul play Pee-wee on Late Night with David Letterman. He made me giggle, guffaw, and cackle. A clip from one of his appearances will pop up later.

There’s a swell tribute to Paul Reubens DBA Pee-Wee by Matt Zoeller Seitz at Vulture. Nobody does it better than MZS. I have a slight quibble with the passage about Paul’s post malakatude arrest comeback. MZS fails to mention that Reubens did a six show stint as one of Murphy Brown’s harried secretaries.

Here’s Paul and Candy Bergen.

The plot of Pee-wee’s Great Adventure revolved around the star’s missing bicycle. The last word of our second act goes to Queen:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I’ve had the King of Swing on my mind this week. Benny Goodman was played onscreen in 1956 by OG Tonight Show host Steve Allen.

Steve Allen looks focused on his licorice stick, which is arcane slang for a clarinet.

Licorice be damned, Benny was all about the music:

Your Weekly Oscar: OP walks in the land of giants in this sweet 1958 performance.

Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson? I’m fond of trumpeter Harry Sweets Edison as well. Was the Candy for him?

Best Of Letterman: Here’s the promised Pee-wee clip. He and Dave hit the road together. I’m not sure if Jack was invited.

Saturday GIF Horse: More Pee-wee. This time with everyone’s favorite piece of furniture, Chairy.

Was this Elvis Costello song written about Chairy?

Tweet Of The Week: When movie trivia intersects with music trivia.

I wonder if LA Woman is Harrison’s favorite Doors song. It’s mine:

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

Saturday Classic: I’ve decided to let Stevie Wonder sing at me on my birthday.

Only Macca and Stevie are allowed to do so. I’ll give Macca the floor.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Padma Lakshmi and Pee-wee Herman and Padma Lakshmi on Top Chef Texas.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Touch Of Grey

  1. Great post and Happy Birthday! Harrison Ford was also Joan Didion’s carpenter/repair man when she lived in California. He was invited to all their parties. He was always made to feel comfortable amongst the literati.

  2. Happy Birthday! Sailing to Philadelphia is one of my all-time favorite songs! I have the album (found it at my public library & copied/burned it), it’s one of Knopfler’s best IMHO but Sailing to Philadelphia is definitely the gem.

  3. In one of those sad/sweet moments I heard Touch of Gray yesterday … in the supermarket. It’s been fifty-five years since I last hitch-hiked out of LA, I still don’t miss it …

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