It’s been a long week at Adrastos World HQ. I’ve been tidying up my study/home office to make it easier for an AT&T tech to upgrade my internet service. It’s a daunting task. I’m a notoriously bad housekeeper so I’ve discovered dust bunnies the size of the late, great Paul Drake as well as the odd desicated peanut and Cheerio under the desk and book stacks. Clutter thy name is Adrastos.
Because of my clean-up attempt and hours spent watching the inauguration, I’m keeping this short by ditching our second act altogether. Who has time to write about longread-type articles when you’re at war with dust and clutter?
This week’s theme song is a lesser-known John Hiatt rocker. It’s a particular favorite of mine. It’s a road song that was written in 1997 for the Little Head album.
We have two versions of Pirate Radio for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a 1997 live version with Hiatt’s then crack band, the Nashville Queens:
While we’re being all piratical and shit, here’s ELP with a prog pirate song:
It’s time to shiver me timbers and jump to the break.
I hate to blaspheme the memory of Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall, and Thelma Ritter, but tough times call for action. The My Pillow Guy, whose name I refuse to type or even remember, has surfaced as a close adviser to President* Pennywise. That’s right, the mustachioed jerk who hawks his wares on cable teevee.
MyPillow CEO Michael Lindell brought notes with him to a meeting in the West Wing Friday that zoomed-in photographs appear to show contained the phrases “martial law,” “Insurrection Act” and “foreign interference in the election.”
The paper also included a line reading “move Kash Patel to CIA Acting,” a seeming suggestion for President Donald Trump to fire CIA Director Gina Haspel and move Patel, a Trump loyalist recently installed at the Pentagon amid a purge of senior civilian officials, to fill the role.
Martial law? I wonder if he’s talking about a fellow denizen of cable teevee, Marshall Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke fame.
I don’t know about the martial part, but he was the law in Dodge City for 20 seasons.
One tip for the Gunsmoke gang: keep the Impeached Insult Comedian away from Miss Kitty, he’s apt to grope her. That would make Festus ornery and we can’t have that.
The mere fact that the My Pillow Guy is suddenly a Trump crony is an example of how small President* Pennywise’s inner circle has become in the final days of his misadministration. Why he’s advising Trump about the CIA is beyond me. Of course, spooks have pillows too so…
I wonder if Trump thought of this 1945 movie before inciting the Twelfth Night Dipshit Uprising:
For all we know, a pillow of death was discussed when the My Pillow Guy was at the White House. Pillow talk matters.
Questions are all I’ve got right now. Answers are in short supply, but pillows are not. We have pillows up the wazoo whatever the hell that is.
The cold weather is still with us in New Orleans. I’m getting more use than expected out of the light flannel shirts I bought on sale at the end of last winter. I call them my Fogerty shirts after a certain singer-songwriter you might have heard of.
The big local controversy involves the Houma based grocery chain Rouses. They came to New Orleans after Katrina. I’ve known for four years that former CEO Donny Rouse Senior is a Trumper. I processed the information back then and continued shopping there. Why? The employees at the nearby Tchoupitoulas store are so damn nice; many of them know Dr. A and me by sight and some by name.
It came out that Rouse Senior attended the Twelfth Night Trump rally. Despite claims to the contrary, there’s no evidence that he took part in storming the Capitol. A boycott movement has arisen, which I get. What I don’t get is how so many people didn’t already know about his politics. It was no secret.
I’m still where I was four years ago because 90-95% of Rouses employees in New Orleans are Black. They’re the ones who will suffer from a boycott, not the Rouse family who have stores in redder parts of the Gret Stet. Rouse Senior’s politics are terrible, but he’s retired. Additionally, the other major grocery chains are GOP donors. Boycotting Rouses to support Wal-Mart makes no sense whatsoever. I guess this means that I’m not woke. That’s okay because the idea of being woke puts me to sleep.
John Hiatt wrote this week’s theme song for his 1995 album Walk On. It’s one of the biggest-selling albums of his career.
You Must Go is the second track on the album. I’m using it to send a message to President* Pennywise: “there’s a place, you must go.”
Another reason I love You Must Go is that Jayhawks Mark Olson and Gary Louris sing back-up vocals. We’ll get to them later.
We have two versions for your listening pleasure: the Hiatt original and a recent cover by his daughter, Lilly.
I’m not quite ready to let go. What about you: Are you ready to go? Asia sure was:
One more go song, make that Go-Go’s:
My get up and go seems to have gotten up and went or some such shit. Maybe jumping to the break will revive me. Let’s go.
It’s been cold every day this year. Not Chicago cold, but New Orleans cold is damp and gets in your bones. It makes one feel creaky and cranky. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t need anything to make me feel crankier in the waning days of the Trump regime. We all just want him to exit the national scene before he wreaks more havoc. He plans to stick around but the events of the last week may make that harder than previously thought. Stay tuned.
I didn’t plan to make January John Hiatt-Edward Hopper month. It just happened that way. Once I used Stolen Moments for Album Cover Art Wednesday, the die was cast or did the cast die? I prefer the former.
John Hiatt wrote this week’s theme song for the aforementioned album in 1989. It’s a lovely mid-tempo ballad that I saw him open a show with in the late 1990’s. He sang it without accompaniment, then the band joined him for Drive South. Twas a great show.
We have multiple versions of Through Your Hands for your listening pleasure. We begin with the Hiatt original followed by covers from Joan Baez, David Crosby, and Don Henley.
Don Henley’s version was in the Nora Ephron-John Travolta movie Michael, which was about an angel come to earth. At least I think it was: I saw it in a movie theatre when it came out many years ago. I could Google it, but I’m on a roll so I won’t.
I miss attending the movies less than expected. I loved the outing and the big screen BUT I despise people who talk during the show. I’m a shusher from way back. The only one I have to shush now is Claire Trevor as she demands a handout. You’d think that the namesake of a movie star would have more respect. Cats: can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
Let’s strap on some angel wings and fly to the break. I’m tired of jumping.
I love black comedy and dark humor. A friend once told me that I could shift from comedy to tragedy faster than anyone she’d ever met. My passion for outré humor is one reason for my obsession with The Sopranos. There’s also something damn funny about New Jersey beyond the table flipping, cake throwing Real Housewives of New Jersey. Everything in Jersey is BIG: from the hair to the corruption to the people to Big Pussy.
You’re probably wondering what I’m on about. A common issue for my readers. Here’s what: the HBO Max documentary about the world’s craziest and most dangerous amusement park, Action Park in Vernon, New Jersey, which operated from 1978 to 1996. Class Action Park has been out 4 months, but we saw it for the first time on Friday night. Better late than never.
Action Park was the brainchild of a sleazy stockbroker, Gene Mulvihill. He’d lost his trading license and turned his attention to creating the world’s weirdest water park in the sylvan setting of rural New Jersey. That’s right rural Jersey: if you don’t know what I’m talking about you’ve never seen the Pine Barrens episode of The Sopranos. It’s unclear if that makes you a barbarian or more civilized than me. Just don’t ask David Chase what happened to the half-dead Russian guy Paulie and Chris dumped there.
Back to Action Park. Mulivihill’s brazen disregard for safety made it what it was. Most amusement park rides are designed by engineers, not at Action Park. Most amusement parks are run by adults, not Action Park: the teenagers were in command. That’s right, the inmates were running the asylum. Why the fuck not? It’s Jersey.
Class Action Park was written and co-directed by Seth Porges who’s also one of the talking heads. The documentary has three acts: the beginning of Action Park, the rides that became increasingly dangerous, and the human costs of this libertarian hellscape. The first two acts are played for laughs but they’re edgy dark laughs. Just how I like them.
My two favorite talking heads are comedian Chris Gethard and actress Alison Becker both of whom were guests. The remainder are mostly the folks who worked there as youngsters. A word I have never used before. I’m getting old, y’all.
Gethard is profane and hilarious, always an excellent combination. Here’s a quote about how hot the asphalt sidewalks were at Action Park: “If you didn’t bring your own flip flops or shower shoes, you were going to suffer from chopped meat feet.”
Ouch. That’s what they call ground meat in New York and Jersey. Dr. A lived on Long Island until she was 8 years old, but she still calls it chopped meat.
Here’s Alison Becker imitating the rowdy dudes who heckled timid guests, “You fucking pussy. This is Jersey. Do it or get out of Jersey.”
Action Park was no place for the faint-hearted. It was a genuinely dangerous place that narrator John Hodgman describes as a “cross between Ayn Rand and Lord of the Flies.” That hurts even more than chopped meat feet.
Mulvihill was an OTT character who was alternately charming and intimidating. If you sued the park, they never settled. A good thing because they had fake insurance. I am not making this up.
It’s unclear how “connected” Mulvihill was but there were a few wise guys in the woodpile. It reminded me of the Sopranos episode, Camelot, in which Tony meets his father’s mistress and learns that she was screwed out of her share of a dog track owned by Johnny Boy Soprano, Heshy, and Phil Leotardo. It wouldn’t surprise me if their real-life counterparts had a stake in Action Park.
In the final act of Class Action Park we meet Esther Larsson whose 19-year-old son George died on the infamous Alpine Slide ride. Ms. Larsson calls Gene Mulvihill “a piece of shit” and reminisces on how she toasted his death in 2012.
They don’t make them like Gene Mulivill or Action Park anymore. That’s a good thing. Despite the hilarity of the earlier acts, the movie closes on a somber note with the talking heads expressing amazement that they survived Action Park.
Class Action Park is streaming on HBO Max. I give it 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll crave chopped meat.
The last word * should* go to Bruce Springsteen or The Smithereens but I’ve had an era appropriate earworm since seeing the documentary:
A friend asked me the other day if I felt different now that I’m the publisher of First Draft. Not at all; other than nervousness at having to follow Athenae in the role. There are worse things than having a case of the jitters. I’ll take them over the heebie jeebies any day.
I considered asking Tommy and Michael to call me Chief so I could make like Perry White and do this:
I decided not to do that, but I may start saying “Great Caesar’s Ghost.” It has a nice retro ring to it. It reminds me of my salad days…
This week’s theme song was written in 1990 by John Hiatt for his Stolen Moments album. The main reason I selected it was this verse:
It’s a new light, a new day
Listening for new meaning learning how to say
It’s a new place but you’ve always been here
You’re just listening to old voices with a new ear
I thought that fit the moment as we break ground on a brand-new year.
The late folk singer Odetta also recorded Listening To Old Voices but I have been unable to find it online. The Hiatt original will just have to do.
Before we jump to the break, here’s the title track from that album:
If you have a stolen moment, let’s join hands and jump to the break together.
While searching for NYE related material, I stumbled upon Repeat Performance at classicfilmchat.com. It’s a film noir that I’ve yet to see but this description is enticing:
It stars Joan Leslie, Louis Hayward, and Virginia Field and features Richard Baseheart, Tom Conway, and Natalie Schafer. It’s film noir (with a touch of fantasy) about a lot of unpleasant people in the theatahhh in New York.
The story opens with murder, and when the star wishes she could live the year over again she is, of course, magically able to. But she discovers the results frightening.
We don’t want to give away any of the intricate plot points. Just take our word for it. It’s a unique take on New Year’s resolutions. It’s a true classic
At the risk of repeating my performance, it sounds enticing. We begin with the poster:
Holy smoking gun, Batman.
It’s lobby card time:
The trailer isn’t online BUT Eddie Mueller’s Noir Alley introduction is:
How the hell did I miss that? I am a sinner in the church of the Noir Czar.
A major wave of corrupt pardons by the crooked president* came last night on Christmas Eve Eve. There may be more to come on Christmas Eve itself. In All About Eve, Margot Channing warned us that we were in for “a bumpy night.” Who am I to argue with a Bette Davis character? Remember when Bette served Joan Crawford a rat in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? Those broads played rough…
It’s time for another Life Imitates The Sopranos moment. Santa Donald has spent the week bestowing gifts on the grifters who refused to rat him out. A reminder that playing St. Nick can be dangerous. The two Sopranos characters who played Santa at the Pork Store Christmas party were wacked: Big Pussy and Bobby Bacala. Not a happy precedent for Paulie and Roger.
I have New Jersey on my mind because of the pardon of Jared Kushner’s father, Charles. That sleazy real estate developer was successfully prosecuted by Chris Christie who used his fame as a portly prosecutor as a springboard to the Governorship. Slumlord Jared still nurses a grudge against former Gov. Asshole who must be fuming right now.
The Impeached Insult Comedian clearly thinks pardoning his Kremlingate cronies is a clever move. I wouldn’t be so sure of that, Donald.
Here’s what former Mueller man and Manafort prosecutor Andrew Weismann said about it on Twitter:
The fifth amendment issue is a non issue. Yes, those pardoned may still have a colorable fifth amendment claim but, even if they do, the government can immunize them and require them to testify in the grand jury. If they then lie they face criminal prosecution.
Who’s next? Steve Bannon knows where the early skeletons are buried. He’s one possibility as is Rudy and the odd Trump family member. A reminder that Trump will only pardon relatives if they have something on him. He won’t do it out of love or loyalty. He doesn’t know the meaning of either word. The only love he’s capable of is self-love
Speaking of Who’s Next, I think the Who album cover sums up the situation: Trump and his enablers are peeing on the national obelisk instead of leading. It’s not a good Bargain for the American people:
“Hand them a shit pie so gross they will choke on it.”
It’s what they given the country, after all. Turnabout strikes me as fair play.
Finally, a few thoughts for those folks who believe that a Trumpist coup is a possibility instead of a fever dream. A leader who is planning a golpe de estado to keep himself in office never leaves the capital. (When Gorbachev left Moscow in the summer of 1991, that’s when the Soviet dead enders struck.) Why did Trump go to Florida if he wants to declare martial law? There’s no plan. There’s never a plan with this guy.
One of the worst things about the Trump era is how conspiratorial thinking has spread across the political spectrum. I hope the trend dissipates after he’s gone, but some usually sensible people on the left have been spouting nonsense about pocket vetoes leading to what Latin Americans call an “auto-golpe.” That’s a coup intended to keep a leader in power. They know about coups in South America. Americans don’t know shit about coups, and it shows every time people mutter about them online and elsewhere. Leave the conspiracy theories to QAnon and Alex Jones, y’all. Please.
The last word goes to Southern Culture On The Skids with a countrypolitan classic whose full title is (I Beg Your Pardon) I Never Promised You A Rose Garden:
Rumor has it that shit pies make excellent fertilizer. I wouldn’t know first-hand: plants die if I so much as look at them.
The weather has been god awful in New Orleans most of the week. Cold, cloudy, and gloomy. It’s enough to make me mutter “Bah Humbug” under my breath as I write this. I also envy Claire Trevor her fur coat and ability to lie close to the space heater without catching on fire. One of our former cats, Window, singed her whiskers on an old-fashioned wall space heater in our old place on Pine Street. So it goes.
I’ve been listening to The Band a lot the last few weeks. Just call me a throwback music buff. Robbie Robertson wrote this week’s theme song for The Band’s 1975 album Northern Lights Southern Cross. The album remains overlooked and underrated; I’ve always liked it, especially this song. It’s a perfect album opener and a fine Odds & Sods theme song.
We have two versions of Forbidden Fruit for your listening pleasure: the studio original and the Band live in 1976.
Now that we’ve tasted the forbidden fruit and been banned from the garden of eden, we might as well jump to the break.
December 8, 1980 is another day “which will live in infamy.” It was the day that John Lennon was murdered. I keep meaning to mark the day here at First Draft but somehow keep missing it. This year, it was Athenae Tuesday so at least I have a good reason.
All Beatles fans who were alive and sentient 40 years ago remember where they were when they heard the news. I was a typical college kid: I was doing laundry at my parents’ house and watching Monday Night Football with my father. Howard Cosell made the announcement. I was shocked and saddened. Lou made it worse by saying, “He was probably buying drugs on the street.” My mother shushed him but my aggravation level hit 100. That’s the not terribly interesting story of where I was when John Lennon was killed.
John Lennon wrote Watching The Wheels in the year of his death for the posthumously released Double Fantasy album. He was returning home from a recording session when he was murdered. I should have told my dad that rock stars didn’t score on the street but had their drugs delivered to them in the studio.
We have three versions of this swell song for your listening pleasure: the Lennon original and covers by The Samples and Chris Cornell.
This is the second time this fall that I’ve used a wheelie tune as the Saturday post theme song. Here’s a Kiwi wheelie song before we jump to the break:
Now that we’ve been fortified by the Crowdies, let’s do it. See you on the other side.
President-elect Joe Biden and his transition team are reportedly already making plans to ensure that the White House, which has been plagued with a series of COVID-19 infections thanks to President Donald Trump’s disregard for protective measures against the virus, is safe enough for the 78-year-old Biden to move in come January 20.
According to Politico, Biden’s transition team will have the White House fully cleaned by General Services Administration (GSA) staffers hours after Trump leaves the building.
A spokesperson for the GSA told Politico that the staffers will “thoroughly clean and disinfect” every area of the East and West Wings that people have touched, including furniture and doorknobs.
A private contractor will also reportedly provide “disinfectant misting services.”
You say disinfect, I say delouse. Let’s call the Trump presidency off.
I hope they plan to tent the place for literal insects and set extra-large rat traps just in case some human vermin linger. I’m speaking figuratively.
Since Joey B Shark is a good Catholic, he should have the house blessed and an exorcism performed if need be. Literally or figuratively.
The last word goes to Father Merrin of The Exorcist. He might be needed in case Ivanka refuses to leave:
There’s a lot of chatter on the Tweeter Tube about the man who convinced John McCain to put Sarah Palin on the ticket, Steve Schmidt. He’s currently the Lincoln Project’s honcho or co-honcho or big cheese or some such shit.
Schmidt’s new teevee persona is old testament prophet warning the world about Trumpism in hyperbolic terms. He often gets red faced as he rants, which happened yesterday on Nicholle Wallace’s MSNBC show.
I take Schmitty’s grandiose ranting with a grain of salt. He’s gone from an overly literal conservative true believer to overly literal Never Trumper. He’s also quite the drama queen. He’s one of those guys who insists on calling the absurd antics of Team Trump a coup. It’s not even a putsch, it’s an extended tantrum or hissy fit. Calling it a coup gives it a gravitas that it doesn’t deserve. Schmidt should cease the coup chatter, drink a Big Golpe, and import some edibles from Colorado. Calm the fuck down, man.
Warning: Baseball analogies ahead.
As a pundit, Schmitty usually swings and misses. If there were a Mendoza Line for pundits, he’d be below it. In this instance, that means he’s a .200 hitter who thinks he’s a slugger because of his orotund vocabulary.
Steve Schmidt is no Mike Schmidt who struck out 1,883 times, but also hit 548 homers in his 18 years with the Philadelphia Phillies. Steve Schmidt wanted to be the MVP of this campaign but he’s no Mike Schmidt who was a three-time National League MVP. Both, however, would be booed in Philadelphia: Steve because he’s a former GOPer, Mike because he’s a retired Phillie. They boo everyone in Philly; even the greatest player in the history of their baseball team. End of the Schmidt comparison part of the post.
Occasionally, Schmitty digs through his over elaborate vocabulary and hits it out of the park. Hell, even Mario Mendoza hit 4 homers in his 9 years in the majors. I said we were done with Schmidt comparisons, not baseball analogies.
“People try to analyze Lindsey through the prism of the manifest inconsistencies that exist between things that he used to believe and what he’s doing now. The way to understand him is to look at what’s consistent. And essentially what he is in American politics is what, in the aquatic world, would be a pilot fish: a smaller fish that hovers about a larger predator, like a shark, living off of its detritus. That’s Lindsey. And when he swam around the McCain shark, broadly viewed as a virtuous and good shark, Lindsey took on the patina of virtue. But wherever the apex shark is, you find the Lindsey fish hovering about, and Trump’s the newest shark in the sea. Lindsey has a real draw to power — but he’s found it unattainable on his own merits.”
That’s why I used the poster for the 1964 Don Knotts flick The Incredible Mr. Limpet as the featured image. In his Sixties heyday, Knotts’ persona was that of a nebbish who thought he was a tough guy. That’s Lindsey Graham in a wingnut shell.
When Don Knotts played Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, kindly Sherriff Andy wouldn’t let him load his gun. I suspect kindly Senator Walnuts didn’t let Lindsey put bullets in his gun either. But President* Pennywise is a reckless predator who allows pilot fish Lindsey to load his gun. That’s the Trump-Graham relationship in a wingnut shell.
That concludes this basebally fishy post. The last word goes to The Jayhawks:
It’s a been a cold week in New Orleans. Not Minnesota cold but our hundred-year-old raised house is designed to stay coolish in the pre-AC era, not stay warm in the winter. It’s drafty but we love it anyway.
It’s runoff election day in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. I discussed the DA’s race at Bayou Brief but there’s also a local ballot measure that would mess up our public library system, which is one of the few things that works well in New Orleans. I’m voting NO and if you’re in the Crescent City, you should too. If you don’t believe me, read this piece by my friend Kevin Allman.
This week’s theme song was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter for the Dead’s 1975 album, Blues For Allah. The attached instrumental Slipknot came out of a jam by the whole damn band.
I selected Help On The Way to remind our readers that the Trump regime will only be in power for 46 more days. Help is on the way, y’all.
What’s a Grateful Dead theme song without a live version? It’s not only helpful, it rolls away the dew too:
I’m in a helpful mood right now, so here are songs by The Beatles and Joni Mitchell that should help elevate your mood:
Now that I’ve extended a helping hand, let’s jump to the break.
Today is our last day under quarantine. I’m relieved that neither of us were ever symptomatic. We were damn lucky.
This week’s theme song was written by the great Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland in 1964. It was originally intended for the Supremes but wound up being recorded by Marvin Gaye. Its real title is Baby Don’t You Do It but I prefer The Band’s re-titling, Don’t Do It. Either way it’s a great song that’s been recorded oodles of times or is that scads? Beats the hell outta me.
We have five versions of Don’t Do It aka Baby Don’t You Do It for your listening pleasure.
The IT in question is “don’t you break my heart.” Here’s a Stones song that says doo doo doo doo instead of don’t:
Now that we’re all heartbroken and shit, let’s jump to the break.
It’s no secret that I have contempt for the dimmer and more gullible Trump supporters around the country. It may not be nice, but the feeling is real. The MSM still seems fascinated with what makes Trumpers tick. The elite media is primarily an urban East Coast thing so they regard rural Trumpers as exotic creatures like Kaspar Hauser. I regard them as bitter people whose hobby is “owning the libs.” I’m not for sale. They can fuck off.
Perhaps the weirdest manifestation of extreme Trumpism is playing out in Georgia. President* Pennywise’s supporters have bought his spin about election fraud and some are threatening to boycott the Georgia senate runoff races. I am not making this up.
Democrats can take control of the US Senate if both Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeat Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the upcoming runoffs. But Trump has been hurting his party’s cause by attacking two state Republican officials — Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican Trump has demeaned as a “RINO,” or Republican in name only —for their supposed involvement in a far-fetched scheme to throw the state’s presidential election for Joe Biden. (In reality, both Raffensperger and Kemp are Trump supporters.)
The notion that Trump fans should boycott the Georgia runoffs as a form of punishment for establishment Republicans has resonated beyond Parler. At a “Stop the Steal” rally held in Georgia over the weekend, for instance, a speaker was cheered while he attacked Raffensperger and Kemp as “traitors” and said, “Any Republican who allows this to happen is complicit and we will finish you! … We will do whatever it takes to completely destroy the Republican Party.” (Trump tweeted his support for the rally.)
Please boycott. It could have the same effect as disgruntled Berners voting for Jill Stein in 2016. Make it so, Trumpers, make it so.
It’s unclear just how many Trumpers are this stupid but as the runoffs appear to be as tight as a tick it could make a difference.
This extreme stupidity has the virtue of giving me a post title that evokes the stupid/funny Farrelly Brothers movie Dumb and Dumber.
That image is a bit too classy for the worst Trumpers. Let’s try a messier one:
I should apologize for that gross image, but I won’t since my taste for lowbrow slapstick humor is well-established. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
I hope Georgia Trumpers do NOT come to their senses and continue to be Dumb, Dumber, Trumper and pay heed to these billboards:
For the second time today, Little Feat gets the last word:
We’re counting on you, Atlanta. Vote your crooked plutocratic senators out.
It’s been a difficult week in New Orleans. Dr. A tested positive for COVID and we’re under quarantine. Mercifully, we’re both asymptomatic.
This is an excellent example of how contagious COVID-19 is. As a scientist, Dr. A is careful and cautious in dealing with the virus. She caught it at work, not socializing. If you’re thinking of having a normal Thanksgiving, please reconsider. Anyone can catch this virus if they let their guard down. Help is on the way but it’s going to take time to vaccinate the entire population. Please be careful out there.
This week’s theme song was written by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko in 1967. It was first recorded by The Band on their debut album, Music From Big PInk. It’s been covered by a wide variety of artists over the years and was the theme song of the OTT British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.
We have four versions of This Wheel’s On Fire for your listening pleasure: The Band live, The Byrds, Julie Driscoll, and Guster.
I have a confession to make. I’m a hardcore fan of The Band but I’m not crazy about Big Pink. It’s a brilliant collection of songs but they don’t swing like the Band did live. Hence the live burning wheel. I hope this won’t consign me to rock hell as the CW on Big Pink is that it’s one of the greatest albums of all-time. I like it but don’t love it.
Another song from The Band with Rick Danko on lead vocals:
Now that we’ve walked that highway til we die, let’s jump to the break.
I rarely use compilation album covers in this feature. This is perhaps the greatest greatest hits album cover of all-time. The band Alice Cooper had played its last note, frontman Vincent Furiner took his stage name and forged a successful solo career.
The artwork is by Drew Struzan and was inspired by gangster movies. The LP was in the gatefold format. I’m posting the front cover and one of the inside panels. They’re the best and most interesting of the foursome. The package allows one to play spot the movie star.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still beat from the election and its aftermath. My sleep pattern resembles a crazy quilt right now. Hopefully, it will return to normal soon. I may have to perform some sort of sacrifice to Morpheus if it doesn’t.
In an indication that climate change is real, there was another late season tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico this week. It didn’t visit the Gret Stet of Louisiana so we should be grateful for small mercies. I’m also grateful that Team Biden plans to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords. Shit has gotten weird with the weather, y’all.
This week’s theme song was written on the fly in 1971 by Robbie Robertson and Van Morrison for The Band’s Cahoots album. Robertson had already started the song but finished it with the Grumpy One after he dropped by the studio.
We have two versions of 4% Pantomime for your listening pleasure: the studio original and an alternate version. The song features a duet between two great singers: Van and Richard Manuel and is loaded with card-playing imagery hence the featured image.
Now that we’ve gotten “wrecked, checked” let’s jump to the break. There’s more music awaiting us on the other side.
I spent part of Tuesday and all day Wednesday fretting about Hurricane Zeta. That didn’t leave much time for assembling a proper Odds & Sods post. Instead we have an improper one. Of course, Halloween is for trick or treating. Consider this edition a trick.
This week’s theme song was written by John Fogerty in 1969 for CCR’s Green River album. In concert, Fogerty is known to substitute “there’s a bathroom on the right” for “there’s a bad moon on the rise” on the final chorus of the song.
We have four versions of Bad Moon Rising for your listening pleasure: the Creedence original, John Fogerty live, Emmylou Harris, and Queen Ida.
There’s no jump or second act this week. Damn hurricane. I did, however, prepare two third act segments before Zeta roared into town.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Tricky Dick is the man I love to hate. I hate Trump more but he’s not as interesting as the Trickster.
Here’s a Tricky Trio: Anthony Hopkins, Frank Langella, and the man himself.
True story: I fell asleep while seeing Oliver Stone’s Nixon bio-pic on the big screen. Stone’s movies usually give me a headache.
Saturday GIF Horse: I love the old Universal horror movies. I used to watch them on Creature Features on KTVU when I was a tadpole. Bob Wilkins was the host. So every time I was admonished for my Dwight Frye as Mr. Renfield impression, I’d blame Wilkins. It was actually Dracula’s fault.
That’s it for this whirlwind edition of Halloween Odds & Sods. The last word goes to Bela Lugosi and Dwight Frye: