Saturday Odds & Sods: Chameleon

Chameleon by Franz Marc.

I don’t have much to report this week. The New Orleans City Council and Mayor Teedy are still at each other’s throats but that’s been going on all year, so it’s not particularly newsworthy.

The featured image is by the German expressionist artist Franz Marc. He liked drawing and painting critters of all kinds. I dig this reptilian image, which goes well with our reptilian theme song.

Thanks, Groucho.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Herbie Hancock was a supporting player in last week’s Wayne Shorter-centric post. It’s time to move the spotlight on the Herbster.

This week’s theme song was composed by Herbie Hancock, Bennie Maupin, Paul Jackson, and Harvey Mason in 1973. It’s the opening track of the classic Head Hunters album. The band adopted the Head Hunters name for subsequent albums and tours. It’s more complicated than that but I’m trying to keep it simple.

We have three versions of Chameleon for your listening pleasure: the studio original, Herbie live in 2013, and local heroes The Rebirth Brass Band. Let’s get funky:

While we’re on the subject of reptiles, here’s a number from a swell New Orleans band with a reptilian name:

Better late at night than never.

I wonder if salamanders and iguanas get along. They’re both bloodless, so I haven’t a clue. The preceding sentences are a mere pretext to post this Tull tune:

We begin our second act with a tortured tale of sports fandom.

Tales Of A Detroit Lions Fan: Tim Alberta usually writes about politics. I’m glad he broke the pattern by writing about his lifelong love of a losing NFL team, the Detroit Lions. The title will resonate with pre-Payton-Brees New Orleans Saints fans: The Thrill Of Defeat.

Alberta inherited his Lions love from his father. He tried not to pass it on to his children, but they’re as hooked as their father and grandfather. Woe is me.

Lions fandom ain’t easy. The obsession is odd in a town with more successful professional franchises: the Tigers, Pistons, and Red Wings. But the shortness of the football season breeds obsessive fans as do the Albertas.

Good luck this year, sir except on December 3rd when your Lions and my Saints collide. May the best team win.

I’ve bid adieu to most of my sports obsessions. I’m so tired of the endless money chatter that I want to make like The Supremes and say:

Let’s move on to a more serious subject, the latest development in the eternal JFK assassination saga.

The Unknown Bullet: Paul Landis was a secret service agent charged with protecting Jackie Kennedy. He was in Dallas on that terrible day in 1963. Landis has come forward with an astonishing claim that Vanity Fair’s James Robenalt believes shoots down the single bullet theory. Bang, bang, shoot, shoot.

Landis claims to have found a bullet on the floor of the presidential limousine. But he told no one of this discovery until 60 years after the fact, which casts doubt on his credibility. Robenalt spends way too much vouching for Landis as a man of integrity and honor. That may be true, but this story is too late to be of much use except for JFK assassination buffs. We’ve heard far too much from them since Jack Kennedy’s murder.

For the details, get thee to Vanity Fair.

The last word of our second act goes to two too late tunes:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I seem to be the only art history buff but who hadn’t heard that Ben Kingsley played Salvador Dali in a 2022 movie called Daliland. Let me know the next time this happens, y’all.

I’m going to avoid making surrealist jokes and let Thompson Twins drive this conversation:

I never expected to post anything by that 80’s synth pop band but life is full of twists, turns, and Thompson Twins.

The Movie List: I’ve had my countryman John Cassavetes on my mind of late. In addition to being a ground breaking indie director, he was a fine actor.

My Top Ten Favorite John Cassavetes Performances

  1. Rosemary’s Baby
  2.  The Killers
  3.  The Dirty Dozen
  4.  Edge Of The City
  5. Mikey and Nicky
  6. Husbands (also wrote and directed)
  7. Crime In The Streets
  8. Opening Night (also wrote and directed)
  9. Tempest
  10. The Fury

Speaking of things I just learned about, here’s a song with John’s last name in the title.

Who knew?

The Best Of Dick Cavett: I haven’t posted a Cavett clip in eons but this one is irresistible. It features Peter Falk, John Cassavetes, and Ben Gazzara running amok on Cavett’s show. I have the feeling that booze was involved.

That was more like a Marx Brothers movie with John Cassavetes as Harpo. Honk. Honk.

Now that we’ve seen three distinguished thespians acting like lunatics, let’s move on.

Your Weekly Oscar: Guitar great Herb Ellis recorded this Wes Montgomery composition with OP in 1969.

Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?

Saturday GIF Horse: I’ve been rewatching LA Law on Amazon Prime. They’ve made a mess of things by posting episodes out of order among other missteps. Still, I can’t resist revisiting one of my favorite lawyer shows. This is one of the craziest moments on a show full of them. It has David E. Kelly written all over it.

I suspect that gave Richard Dysart as Leland McKenzie the blues. We’ll post a Sonny Boy Williamson tune to console the fictional lawyer:

Richard Dysart died in 2018 but Leland lives.

The Junk Drawer: I haven’t a had a chance until now to post my Cheese collage. It alternates Michael F’s cheese head image and Chesebro’s mug shot.

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

Saturday Closer: For a brief shining moment, Herbie Hancock was a jazz funk pop star who made videos. That phase didn’t last long but it was fun while it lasted.

That’s it for this week. For the second consecutive week, the last word goes to Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter:

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