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 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 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’m not alone in heaving a sigh of relief over the Impeached Insult Comedian’s imminent defeat. The extended election season made it difficult to do a typical Odds & Sods post. So, I’m going to do something different and post this week’s theme song at the end of the post.
Unlike the current occupant, I’m passionate about the right to vote. I agree with Joey B Shark that the “right to vote is sacred.” There have been a series of struggles over that precious and fundamental right. The 14th Amendment granted the right to vote to all males over 21. The goal was to enfranchise the freed slaves. The Southern states had a different idea. It was called Jim Crow.
Women were not enfranchised nationally until the 19th Amendment. They helped elect Warren Gamaliel Harding in 1920 but nobody’s perfect.
Black citizens were not fully enfranchised until the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The arc of history may bend towards justice, but it does so slowly.
The featured image is a poster from the 1944 campaign by the legendary lefty artist Ben Shahn. It was commissioned by the CIO, which was more militant before merging with the AFL in 1956.
The CIO were key players in the Roosevelt coalition. CIO leader Sidney Hillman was so influential that FDR allegedly told his people to “Clear it with Sidney” or that’s what their opponents said. Hillman was Jewish so that led to anti-Semitic attacks from the GOP:
Hillman’s nose was not that large. Anyone surprised? The same thing happened to Jon Ossoff this year. The more things change the more they remain the same.
The comparison of the New Deal to “foreign isms” was particularly odious. Negative politics are as American as apple pie. This pie had a worm in it.
Finally, this week’s theme song is an anthem of defiance written in 1973 by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Don’t give up the fight.
We have three versions of Get Up, Stand Up for your listening pleasure: the Wailers original, Peter Tosh, and a live version from the Amnesty International Conspiracy Of Hope tour.
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris:
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:
John Fogerty wrote this week’s theme song in 1969 for Creedence’s Willy and the Poor Boys album. It’s an unusual protest song in that its protagonist is a soldier lashing out at the rich kids for whom he’s fighting. Fogerty recently enjoined the Trump campaign from playing it at their rallies. They don’t get the irony: Donald Trump is precisely the sort of Fortunate Son that’s lambasted in the song.
We have three versions of Fortunate Son for your listening pleasure: the CCR original, John Fogerty live, and Fogerty live with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.
I have “It aint me. It ain’t me” stuck in my head. Let’s dislodge it with this Dylan cover by Bryan Ferry:
Now that we’ve been mellowed out by Ferry’s silken tones, lets languidly jump to the break if such a thing is possible.
We’re not playing hurricane dodgeball this week in New Orleans. It had to happen. In fact, we’re experiencing what some observers insist on calling a “cold front” but I call a cool front. As always, it’s likely to lead to an orgy of overdressing by locals desperate to wear non-summer clothes. My coats will remain in the closet. I might, however, be daring and wear a long-sleeved shirt. That’s as rad as I’m gonna get for now. It will be back in the eighties next week.
In his autobiography, Dixon explained that the phrase “wang dang doodle” “meant a good time, especially if the guy came in from the South. A wang dang meant having a ball and a lot of dancing, they called it a rocking style so that’s what it meant to wang dang doodle”
We have four versions of Wang Dang Doodle for your listening pleasure: the original recording by Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor’s hit version, the Pointer Sisters, and the good old Grateful Dead who performed the song 96+ times. All night long, all night long.
Now that we’ve pitched a wang dang doodle, let’s jump to the break.
It’s been an unduly stressful week in New Orleans. For the sixth time this hurricane season, we were in the cone of uncertainty. My friend Chef Chris DeBarr calls it “hurricane dodgeball.”
Hurricane Delta obeyed what could be called Adrastos’ First Rule Of Hurricane Forecasting: If there’s a bull’s eye on New Orleans 4 or 5 days before a storm hits, it will not come here. It happened again. It’s pure luck but it beats the hell outta the alternative. Delta is following an eerily similar path to Hurricane Laura, alas. Best wishes to everyone in Southwestern Louisiana.
All is not gloom and doom in the New Orleans area. In suburban Pearl River, a man saw a Catholic priest having sex with two women. In the church. On the altar. The scene was being recorded. Instead of beating off like a proper pervert, the peeper called the cops. One could call this an altercation. But were they doing it dog collar style?
This story is funny because it involves consenting adults, which makes it an anomaly for the Catholic church. It turns out the women were rough trade. There’s been a raging dispute as to the plural spelling of dominatrix. Some say dominatrices but I’m sticking with dominatrixes because X is a funnier letter than C.
I’m feeling terse this week, so this will be a relatively short Saturday Odds & Sods. We will dispense with our second act altogether. I’m worn out from all the presidential* acting up so one less act sounds good to me.
This week’s theme song was written by Leon Russell in 1969. It was first recorded by Joe Cocker but I’m still putting Leon’s version first. I don’t want to trip over his beard or some such shit. Of course, both Leon and Joe are no longer with us.
We have three versions of Delta Lady for your listening pleasure: Leon Russell, Joe Cocker live with Leon Russell, and a mostly instrumental version by the great Rick Wakeman. It’s unclear if his cape attended the session.
One reason for the avian Walter Anderson featured image is that Leon Russell also wrote a song called Hummingbird:
Let’s fly or hover to the break. There may be pollen on the other side. Achoo.
Some call it fake fall, I call it a tease. Whatever you call it, the weather has been mild and temperate all week. I’m not going to say more about it because I don’t want to jinx it.
The city of New Orleans is entering Phase 3.1. They’re loosening more pandemic-related restrictions since we did not have a major post Labor Day spike. I thought we would, but I was wrong. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last. Punditting is risky business. I’m still not going inside bars or restaurants but I’m hoping more of them will be able to survive. Let my people go-cup. You’ll have to read 2020 Fatigue at Bayou Brief to get the reference.
Stephen Stills wrote this week’s theme song in 1966. It’s the protest song’s protest song. It was originally written about clashes between hippies and cops on the Sunset Strip, but it’s become a universal protest song. It’s still relevant in 2020.
We have four versions of For What It’s Worth for your listening pleasure: the Buffalo Springfield original; CSN live with Tom Petty; Keb Mo, and Billy Porter with Stephen Stills from this year’s DNC.
Now that battle lines have been drawn, let’s jump to the break.
I’ve never done this before but here’s a comment so good that it deserves its own post. It comes from the most recent Saturday Odds & Sods post and was written by my old friend Mike Shapiro:
Ooh a chance for my favorite Anne Murray story! In 1974 Schaefer Beer sponsored a summer concert series in NYC’s Central Park. One week it was supposed to be Boz Scaggs headlining, Anne Murray middle, and Brewer and Shipley opening (honestly can you get more 1974 than that line up). At the last minute Boz Scaggs pulled out and the producers had to scramble to find another act. They decided on a local guy and his band who happened to be available, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
The producers bumped Murray to headliner and told Springsteen he’d be the middle act. Springsteen’s manager, the notorious Mike Appel, went to Murray’s manager and said you need to let Bruce headline. Murray’s manager was incredulous. Murray had two #1 hits and Springsteen was nothing but a songwriter with a band. Appel tried to reason with him, saying if this was Toronto or even someplace in the Midwest he’d be right, but this was NYC and you don’t want your client going on AFTER Bruce in NYC. The compromise they settled on was Murray would still go on last, but Bruce would get to do his full 80 minute show.
Bruce then went directly to Anne Murray and repeated how she didn’t want to go on after him, but she blew him off as some cocky New Jersey bastard (her words according to legend). So the night of the concert 5000 people cram into the makeshift venue built for the concert, suffer through Brewer and Shipley, go wild when the E Streeters hit the stage, and when Anne Murray walks on stage she discovers the crowd has now dwindled down to less than a thousand people. Appel and Springsteen had been right, you follow Springsteen at your own risk.
This reminds me of similar stories about Jimi Hendrix and The Monkees in 1967, I like The Monkees but how the hell can you follow Jimi Hendrix or Bruce Springsteen?
The last word goes to The Boss with an early NYC performance of Jungleland at Avery Fisher Hall in the same year the E Street Band blew Anne Murray off the stage:
It’s been cool all week in New Orleans. It’s unclear if Fall has fallen or it’s a cruel hoax. My money is on the latter. The heat doesn’t usually break here until sometime in October. The good news is that we’re not under threat of a tropical system. It feels odd not to be checking the spaghetti tracks every few hours but that’s another autumnal augury. End of obligatory weather-related opening passage.
This week’s theme song comes from one of my favorite Beatles albums, Rubber Soul. It was one of the first albums I ever owned. When my father saw the cover he said, “Those are the ugliest women I ever saw.”
To this day I’m uncertain whether or not Lou was joking. The only one who would have made an ugly woman was the drummer. Sorry, Ringo.
You Won’t See Me is a Macca song, but it’s credited to Lennon & McCartney as were all the pair’s songs. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
We have three versions of You Won’t See Me for your listening pleasure: The Beatles original, and covers by Bryan Ferry and Canadian songbird, Anne Murray.
I never expected to post an Anne Murray song at First Draft, but I might as well go big and post her monster hit from 1970:
Let’s spread our tiny wings and fly away to the break.
New Orleans dodged a wet and windy bullet earlier this week. Hurricane Sally dumped two feet of rain in some areas on the Florida-Alabama border. I don’t guilty for being relieved. If I were Poseidon, I’d send all tropical systems out to sea. I do, however, feel bad for folks in the affected areas. They got slammed by that evil bitch Sally. Blow ill wind, blow.
I had put this feature to bed and tucked it in when I learned of Justice Ginsburg’s death. I wish everyone would dial their predictions back. It’s unclear what impact RBG’s death will have on the election. I also wish that those who admire Justice Ginsburg would show more respect for her passing, especially since it’s Rosh Hashanah. There was, however, a moment of unintentional levity when the crowd outside the Supreme Court started singing Amazing Grace. It’s a Christian hymn, y’all. I’ll have more on Ginsburg’s passing on Monday.
In some ways, this week’s theme song matches the featured image. Three Musicians = Crosby, Stills & Nash. Graham Nash wrote Wasted On The Way for CSN’s 1982 Daylight Again album. Eagle Timothy B. Schmitt added harmony vocals making that Four Musicians. So much for the Picasso analogy. Oh well, it was imperfect to begin with.
We have two versions of Wasted On The Way for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a live version without Timothy B. Schmitt. Go, Team Picasso.
Stills’ intro to the live version is poignant. I rarely do poignant but sometimes the mood strikes me.
Before we jump to the break, a Neil Young song from the Buffalo Springfield days:
Holy Wall Of Sound-style production, Batman.
Time to take the plunge. See you on the other side.
It’s September and it’s still hotter than hell in New Orleans. Pandemic fatigue is widespread here just like everywhere else. Unfortunately, America didn’t do the work needed to suppress COVID-19 so we’re still muddling through.
The NFL season opens this week and I find myself utterly indifferent. I’m mildly amused by wingnut fans who say that they’ll boycott the season because the NFL has gone BLM on their asses. These are the same people who claim they want sports and politics on separate plains, make that separate planets. The Saints will be playing on Sunday at an empty Superdome. It’s hard to get excited about any of this. So it goes.
This week’s theme song was written by Tim Finn in 1982 for Split Enz’s Time and Tide album. It refers to the amount of time that it took British pioneers to sail to New Zealand and is also a metaphor for the songwriter’s nervous breakdown. That’s a lot of substance for a song that still rocks like crazy.
We have three versions of Six Months In A Leaky Boat for your listening pleasure: The Split Enz original; a 2000 live version by Tim Finn, Bic Runga, and Dave Dobbyn and a 2006 performance by a reunited Enz featuring some stellar keyboard work by the great Eddie Rayner.
Kiwi singer-songwriter David Dobbyn has his own nautical classic:
Now that we’re all seasick, it’s time to don a life jacket and jump to the break.
I’ve been rationing my Twitter use lately so I missed out on Trump soup canapalooza. This week’s featured image is my sole contribution now that it’s been beat to death. I’m also tired of talking about the Impeached Insult Comedian. It’s Joey Shark’s secret weapon in the campaign: people would like a break from politics from time-to-time. I’m not the only one suffering from Trump fatigue.
It’s time for a First Draft housekeeping note. The Friday Cocktail Hour was bumped so My Uncle Was A ‘Loser’ wouldn’t have to share the spotlight. I put a great deal of emotion and passion into that post. The reaction has been most gratifying. The Friday Cocktail Hour will return next week with a Duke Ellington song. Nothing but the best for my readers.
This week’s theme song was written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford for the 1980 Genesis album, Duke. Rutherford’s lyrics are about someone who watches way too much teevee and confuses it with real life. Much like the Kaiser of Chaos. So much for my avowed Trump fatigue.
We have two versions of Turn It On Again for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a live version:
One could even describe the character in this week’s theme song as follows:
Since we’ve reached a turning point in this week’s outing, let’s jump to the break.
We’ve been catless since PD’s passing. It’s the first time in 35 years that I have not been owned by a cat. I miss having the silly buggers around so we’re looking into adopting. I regret not having given Paul Drake a furry sibling after Della’s passing but I was so traumatized by dealing with our former vet that I was slow to pull the trigger. Please don’t try to give us a kitten: we’re looking at older cats. They have a harder time getting adopted. It worked out well with Oscar and PD, after all.
If it’s a boy, Dr. A and I might have to fight over cat names. I want to keep the shamus tradition alive and call him Jim Rockford. She’s in favor of CK Dexter Haven, the name of Cary Grant’s character in The Philadelphia Story. I like both names, so it won’t be much of a tussle. Stay tuned.
This week’s theme song barely needs an introduction. It was written by Lennon and McCartney in 1965 and is one of the songs from that period that sounds like both songwriters were involved. It combines Macca positivity and Lennon’s mordant wit.
We have three versions of We Can Work It Out for your listening pleasure: the Beatles original and covers by Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan.
We Can Work It Out was selected as my high school class’ graduation song. It provided a swell send-off not that I remember much about those days. They’re a bit hazy, which makes posting this song mandatory:
Now that we’ve established that we’re experienced, let’s jump to the break.
Illustration From Dante’s Divine Comedy by William Blake.
The weather in New Orleans has been beastly. We’ve alternated between extreme heat and extreme thunderstorms. Not an unusual summer pattern but the intensity has been, well, more intense than usual. Extremely intense or is that intensely extreme?
My birthday came and went last week. Birthdays are best celebrated when you’re a toddler or a dodderer. In my case, it’s just another tick of the clock or some such shit. All in all, it’s just another brick in the wall. Holy crap, I sound like a mason. Lest you think I’m as Thick as a Brick, I should stop rambling and get down to this week’s post. I don’t want this turning into a Trump press conference. Believe me.
Keyboard wizard Tony Banks wrote most of this week’s theme song in 1972, but it didn’t see the light of day until Peter Gabriel left the band. It was the title track of the band’s first post-PG album. The album is one of the best things Genesis ever did and sent the message that they were here to stay. Oddly, the departure of lead guitarist Steve Hackett in 1977 had a bigger impact on the band’s sound than the exit of Gabriel. Go figure.
A Trick Of The Tail was inspired by William Golding’s novel The Inheritors. We have two variations on it for your listening pleasure. First, the audio track followed by the first promo video Genesis ever made.
Phil Collins later described the video as the most cringeworthy thing he’d ever done. This from the man who wrote and recorded Sussudio, In a word: UGH. Other than the Face Value album, I’m not a fan of his solo work. Is UGH a word? If not, it should be.
I’m still feeling tricky so here’s a Who song:
Now that we’ve figured out that we’ve got no horns and no tail, let’s escape the light by jumping to the break.
It’s been a challenging week at Adrastos World HQ. In addition to Paul Drake’s passing, I’ve had computer issues. I’m transitioning to a new-ish PC because the old one warned me that its hard drive was failing. I’m hastily transferring stuff via flash drive but it’s a slow process. Oy, such a week.
That was a roundabout way of saying that I’m not up to writing a full-blown Saturday post this week. There’s a lot to write about but my energy level is low, low, low.
We do, however, have a theme song that sums up my ennui. Todd Rundgren wrote The Want Of A Nail in 1989. It was the opening track of his Nearly Human album, which is, perhaps my favorite solo Todd record.
We have three versions of this Todd Tune for your listening pleasure: the studio original; a 1990 live version and a duet from Live at Daryl’s House.
That’s it for this week. In honor of my dearly departed cats, the cast of Perry Mason gets the last word and I’m not talking about the sad sack HBO show:
I’ve gone on about NOLA rain in this space this summer. It was the wettest July in recorded history, and it happened without any tropical systems getting too close for comfort. That much rain can be inconvenient, but it keeps the temperatures down. That concludes this brief weather report. If I had a green screen, I’d go on longer, but we don’t have the budget for it.
Like everywhere else in the country, life has been grim in New Orleans of late. Small businesses, especially restaurants have been failing daily. It’s estimated that up to 50% of restaurants here will close for good. They need help and since the government ordered them to close, it should come from them. I am not optimistic that Moscow Mitch and his merry band of miscreants will reconsider and ride to the rescue. In the immortal words of Mel Brooks:
This week’s theme song is an ironic choice for this moment in time: ain’t no bands on the run or even on the road.
Paul McCartney wrote Band On The Run in 1973. It was the title track of Wings’ smash hit album, Band On The Run. Was that a run-on sentence? Beats the hell outta me. I’ll stick a band-aid on it just in case.
We have two versions of this Macca classic for your listening pleasure: the Wings original and a raucous cover by Foo Fighters.
Let’s run to the other side of the break. I think I hear band music in the distance.
The tropics have been busy this week. There are two named storms in the Gulf. Neither is headed our way, but it’s been a wet week. Oh, to be on the dry side of a storm.
It was qualifying week for the 2020 election in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Senator Double Bill Cassidy gained a name opponent when Democratic Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins filed to challenge him. He has his work cut out for him: he’s not well known in South Louisiana. The spineless incumbent remains a heavy favorite.
The most interesting local race is for Orleans Parish District Attorney. Incumbent Leon Cannizzaro is retiring, which makes it a wide-open race. City Council President Jason Williams looked like a very strong candidate until he was indicted on federal tax charges. The funniest moment of qualifying week was when Williams told us not to be distracted by his indictment. Dude, you’re running for DA. You need a better argument than that.
This week’s theme song was written by Stevie Wonder for his smash hit 1973 album Innervisions. It’s about reincarnation or some such shit but I like it for the funky groove.
We have two versions of Higher Ground for your listening pleasure: Stevie’s original and a 1989 cover by Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Glad I was able to funkify your lives today. I took lessons from the Meters:
That George Porter Jr. bass line makes me want to jump…to the break. See you on the other side.
The weather in New Orleans has been almost as crazy as President* Pennywise this week. We’ve had record heat as well as torrential rain that caused some street flooding. There were thunderclaps so loud that they interrupted PD’s beauty rest. Now that’s loud.
It’s also lizard season in the Crescent City. They’re everywhere. I have to look down as I descend our front stairs to avoid stomping on them. The cat is obsessed with capturing and tormenting lizards whenever they get inside. I’ve rescued several already this year. Leapin’ Lizards.
A new Jayhawks album dropped last week. XOXO is more of a collaborative effort than past records. It features songs and lead vocals by band members who are not named Gary Louris. Tim O’Reagan and Karen Grotberg’s lead vocals are a welcome addition to the Jayhawks’ musical arsenal.
This week’s theme song, This Forgotten Town, is the opening track on the new album. It was written by Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, and Tim O’Reagan. We have two versions for your listening pleasure:
This is not Gary’s first town tune. There’s also this unforgettable song from Smile.