Memphis Jolly-Up, May 26-30, 2005.

Backslapping time. Well done us. We are fantastic.
Six String
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Postby Six String » 30 May 2005, 23:42

I've arrived home safe and mostly sound. Actually I feel like I was a victim of a blanket party, but it was worth it. I was a little concerned when I first came into town because I couldn't find a bar or liquor store near the hotel. WTF? The bar at the hotel was temporarily out of order because they were doing an inventory, so I walked around thinking I could find a drink SOMEWHERE! I gave up after about eight blocks or so and ended up in the Mariott bar next door to my hotel. That was a mistake. I ordered a double Saphire and tonic that set me back 17.00!
I was thinking, damn, I've only been in this town a half hour and I've spent fifty dollars and all I have to show for it is my ride from the airport and that drink. I took the trolley down to the Flying Saucer and met T Berry and the gang for a couple of big ass beers. Not the BAB that Baron was talking about on Beale. These were very tall glasses with maybe a pint and a half. I'm not sure, but it was happy hour, so we had to go with the big ones. They had a good selection of beers on tap and quite a few in bottles too. The restaurant Baron mentioned already was actually a decent southern style restaurant with live jazz going. Some of us stayed out till well after midnight that night. I think I got to bed around 1:00 a.m.
myself and had to get up early to be at Sun by 10:00. I had breakfast with Takes_5D and we met up wit Fish and Livet afterwards and made our way down to the museum. I thought the presentation was pretty good there and it was cool being in such a hallowed place of so much good music. We had a great time at the end of the tour posing with the microphone that "Elvis used" when he recorded hear.

Stax was great and one of the highlights of the weekend. They did an excellent job of presenting the history and the music. That cadillac of Isaac Hayes was really something to behold. Both Sun and Stax had some great t shirts for sale. It was great fun recreating the McLemore Ave. cover too. I hope they look as good as we felt doing it. The soul food afterwards was a real treat in terms of ambience and the catfish was actually very good, though the breading was a little too salty for Yomp's taste. The lemonade was so sweet, it didn't taste like lemonade.

The fireworks were a nice touch. Glad that the city realised that there were doyens in their midst and were able to hastily put together a little show in the sky. Several people had these 6 lb. smoked turkey legs that were being cooked on the street nearby. T Berry was trying to get me to eat one and I said, " I can't see myself standing on the corner of 3rd. and Beale eating a six lb. turkey leg." Instead I opted for a bar b que pork sandwich at Corky's. Not the best the city had to offer, but still pretty tasty. I never got to The Rendevous for some meat, but I hear it was very good.

Graceland was interesting but it took forever to get through it. One of my favorite rooms was the Jungle Room with all the had carved tiki style furniture and the shag carpet on the floor AND the ceiling. Elvis ended up recording one of his later albums there. Yomp can probably tell you which one. I'm certainly not the Elvis expert.

T Berry, his brother, Yomp and I ate some Mexican food at Pancho's, complete with some refreshing margaritas and then headed to the Civil Rights Museum. What a sobering experience. I was on the edge of tears many times as I walked through there. To see the room that MLK was staying in when he was assassinated and then crossing the street to the boarding house where Ray shot him from was very chilling. They had the actual rifle there on display as well. I wish we had been able to spend more time there. It needed three hours at least and we only got one. It was still worth going through.

Sunday night most of us, Baron and the Baroness had headed out already,
met at the Blue Monkey which was in the area of where a lot of Mystery Train was shot and away from Beale Street. In fact, there really wasn't much else around there open at all. It was pretty decent place with food and great selections of bourbon, single malts, gins, hell, everything you could possibly want to get jolly with, except Belgian ale. I got to bed around 11:00 that night, which was the earliest bedtime I had the whole trip. It was pretty rough getting up at 5:00 to leave, but T Berry and his brother were gracious and gave me a ride to the airport, saving me thirty dollars. 8-) We stopped by the Heartbreak Hotel and said goodbye to Sambient and Yomptepi, then I sat in the airport like a zombie waiting for the plane to leave. It was wonderful experience and it really felt like a TRUE Jolly Up with such a large group and when I recover from the lack of sleep and the stuffy head from the air conditioning, I'll be looking back at this trip with very fond memories. Thanks to everyone for making it such a great time. Thanks especially to T Berry for his excellent Cuban style Dominican rum :D and for making me feel like a long lost brother.
Last edited by Six String on 31 May 2005, 01:22, edited 1 time in total.

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T. Berry Shuffle
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Postby T. Berry Shuffle » 31 May 2005, 00:05

Well I have to say that both the Baron, Eelpie and Six String have done a much more impressive job of describing the Memphis jolly than I ever could. It was absolutely amazing, very loose and incredibly fun for every moment of the trip.

Everyone was just as I hoped they would be and so much more besides. I'm too fried to compose anything sensible now but I will try miserably to recount the events as soon as I can. I'm almost afraid to try to write down everything that happened because I think inevitably I'll forget something or fail to detail how enjoyable everyone was.

Pictures will be forthcoming soon, more tomorrow. Thank you to everyone for making the whole weekend a really amazing experience.
You read that in a book, didn't you?!

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take5_d_shorterer
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Postby take5_d_shorterer » 31 May 2005, 02:21

There're still plenty of stories to be told. The Riverside Hotel is a long post in and of itself (headline: ``I Had Fun''), but I'll leave that for later. Here's my account of Graceland.



I went to Graceland (with substantial reservations). There's a passage in (probably) part one of Peter Guralnick's biography on Elvis in which Elvis said to his father just after his mother, Gladys, died: I guess Mama won't be feeding chickens on the lawn any more.

I've probably botched the quote in some important way, but I like the sentiment, and I like the image that it makes about Graceland--there's something sort of hilarious and practical about using the front yard of a mansion to spread chicken feed. You can tell that Gladys was a sensible woman. (James Agee would have liked her.) I can tell why Elvis missed having this person in his life. These are the images that I didn't want to spoil. I didn't want to have that replaced by the image of shag carpeting (see the Jungle Room) or other examples of vintage furniture from 1974 (the year Elvis did had the substantial remodelling of the place), and I knew that going through Graceland would do something to that.

It did*, and I regret that, but I did find out things that I otherwise wouldn't have known. I got to see a copy of an article that I had heard about a long time ago from my father, who was not anything of an Elvis Presley fan, although he also had nothing against him either. Elvis was just another part of American culture that he had heard about in passing, in this case in a manner typical of the way I also hear about American culture, that is, from some art history professor who prepared a lecture in which he compared Elvis's facial features to classical Greek statuary. Now when I hear about this, I think about George Melly's ``Aeolian cadence'' article about The Beatles, but another part of me sort of likes the fact that this academic in 1956 was open-minded enough to say that ``hip-swivelin' man'' (as Ringo called him) was this classically beautiful figure. I like this because it underlines part of what I've mistrusted about Elvis--early Elvis, anyways. He was good-looking, too good-looking in a certain sense, to have anything to do with real rock and roll. Little Richard--now that's what rock and roll is supposed to be: six-inch pompadour, gay, maniacal, beautiful, but in fundamentally bizarre and eccentric way. Little Richard is what Elvis aspired towards in his gold lame suit. Little Richard is the person I would like to have appear at Al Green's sermon when he starts preaching against homosexuality. ``Wooooooooooooo...ooh mah soul'' You can imagine it now, and if you can't, there are kinescopes of Little Richard's appearances on Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett in the late 1960s in which he runs up and down the aisles and displaces the host, his face filling up the camera. You can imagine it, Rev. Al Green delivering his little homily against being gay, and Little Richard, called to action, feeling the spirit, rushing the pulpit, scaring away Al Green, commandeering the stage.

*Although it also raised some odd questions I haven't been able to figure out. Why is it, after all, that the white fur on the inside of Isaac Hayes's Cadillac (from the Stax Museum) works, but the shag carpet on the CEILING of the Jungle Room doesn't. Both are outrageous, although not as outrageous as Meret Oppenheim's Le Déjeuner en Fourrure (Breakfast in Fur/Fur Teacup). 1936. But Isaac Hayes's Cadillac has style (sort of the equivalent of The Coasters' ``Shopping for Clothes'' or Chuck Berry's ``No Money Down''; Elvis's Jungle Room doesn't. You'd want to ride in Isaac Hayes's car. You wouldn't want to live in Elvis's room.

Image



What else at Graceland? I stupidly forgot to write down the title, but there was a book that was open in Elvis's study. I leaned over to get a better look, but the automatic alarm system said droll-ly, ``do not lean into the exhibit, blah blah blah.'' It was some fairly old book from the 19th century or early 20th century about the ``utility of women'', but that's not exactly it. It was some other phrase I don't remember about women, not explicitly political as in the suffragist movement, but along the same lines, and I didn't know what to make of this: that is the image of Elvis reading and UNDERLINING this book about women's movements in the early 20th century. I like that thought, the idea of Elvis getting hip to the early history of women's liberation.

There are a lot of things I don't really understand about Elvis, and those are the things I usually enjoy the most. There's this passage from a book that Stanley Booth wrote about Memphis that I've been carrying around for 14 years.


(Calvin Newborn speaking) One night, probably in late 1952, a teenaged white boy `came in there, didn't have on any shoes, barefooted, and asked me if he could play my guitar. I didn't want to let him, I don't usually -- I didn't know him from Adam. I'd never seen him before. In fact, he was the only white somebody in the club. He made sure he won that one. He sang ``You Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog'' and shook his hair--see, at the time I had my hair processed, and I'd shake it down in my face -- he tore the house up. And he tore the strings off my guitar so I couldn't follow him.' The boy turned out to have a name even more rare than Phineas Newborn -- Elvis Presley. he became friends with the Newborn family, and Mama rose has recollections of going off to church with Senior, leaving Junior and Calvin with a fresh-cooked ham in the kitchen, and coming home to find that Elvis had been there and left only the hambone. Elvis often remembered the Newborns with Christmas cards and presents, and on the day he died, Junior, touring Japan, dedicated the evening's concert to his memory.

Stanley Booth, Rythm Oil: a Journey Through the Music of the American South, ``Fascinating Changes'', page 202, Pantheon Books, 1991



There are details that I don't quite believe, particularly the bit about Elvis being barefoot--that just doesn't feel quite right. It sounds too hokey--but I want to believe the basic gist of the story, which is that Elvis knew the Newborn family and that he grew up with Phineas Newborn, Jr. I want to believe this because just about the same time as I read Stanley Booth's essay, I first heard Martin Williams's anthology, The Smithsonian Collection of Jazz Piano (included on the Memphis JU CD) in which he included one track by Newborn, which was his rendition of Bud Powell's ``Celia'' albeit it at a blinding speed (approx. 350 quarter notes a minute). It's one of those performances in which you don't even bother thinking about how fast the playing is because you're thinking about how fast the thinking is, that is, the speed at which Newborn had to think to improvise over those changes is where the real virtuosity is. It's intellectual virtuosity, not playing playing thousands of notes, which is why it doesn't feel sluggish (think ``Blueshammer'') the way so much blues rock feels. It feels light as if it's the rest of us that are moving in slow-motion.

The possibility that this a pivotal figure like Elvis knew this great jazz musician and ate the family ham from underneath the household is what I want to believe (even though there's a part of me that doesn't believe it) because there's a part of me that wants to have had something to have talked about with Elvis, even though he is as dead as he ever will be. I want to have thought that in a hypothetical world in which Elvis were still alive and in which he happened to have been momentarily freed from Col. Parker and the dungeon that Graceland is and all the hangers-on around him, that we would have had something to talk about (because you can't really talk about chickens on the lawn. That's just too private.): ``so...uh...you knew Phineas Newborn, Jr. when you were growing up, right? Did he play as fast when you first heard him play?''

Anything else? There's something very sad about Graceland. When you look at the graves, you gloss over the Biblical passages (or I did). The dates stand out, or they did for me. Elvis dead in 1977; his father dead in 1979, his paternal grandmother dead in 1980 at the age of 90. The order is entirely wrong, and you get the feeling that the tragedy is also a familial one and that a line has simply died out.

I've been thinking about Elvis as long as I've been reading what Greil Marcus has had to say about Elvis, but the older I get, the more I think that it's what Lester wrote about Elvis that resonates the most with me. Marcus's reading of Elvis is brilliant, but it makes no sense in some essential way to me. Lester though is different. Lester wrote what I would have wanted to write, or what I would have wanted to have seen written on the graves even though I knew in a million years that the corporation that elvis.com has become would never have this.

It's what Lester wrote that got down what is the most poignant thing about Graceland, which is that you see all these fans coming to say goodbye to this performer--but in reality, the process of saying goodbye to Elvis began years and years before he died, maybe sometime in the late 1950s or the early 1960s. The final entombment in the back garden is unexpected end product of something that started long before and that probably Graceland was in part responsible for, even though I know it's ludicrous to blame an aedifice alone for the metaphysics of isolation.

If love is truly going out of fashion forever, which I do not believe, then along with our nurtured indifference to each other will be an even more contemptuous indifference to each others' objects of reverence. I thought it was Iggy Stooge, you thought it was Joni Mitchell or whoever else seemed to speak for you own private, entirely circumscribed situation's many pains and few ecstasies. We will continue to fragment in this manner because solipsism holds all the cards at present; it is a king whose domain engulfs even Elvis'. But I can guarantee you one thing: we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis. So I won't bother saying goodbye to his corpse. I will say goodbye to you.

--Lester Bangs, ``How Long Will We Care,'' Village Voice, August 29, 1977

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LeBaron
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Postby LeBaron » 31 May 2005, 03:14

goldwax wrote:Great job, T5D!


Seconded. Very good!

It's cool to hear Take_5's voice now when I read the posts. 8-)
Quaco wrote:Are you fucking high?

take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.

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Postby LeBaron » 31 May 2005, 03:45

goldwax wrote:
Baron wrote:
goldwax wrote:Great job, T5D!


Seconded. Very good!

It's cool to hear Take_5's voice now when I read the posts. 8-)


Um, high-pitched or low-pitched, would you say?

(Can't blame me for trying.)


Take_5 could be a broadcaster.
Quaco wrote:Are you fucking high?

take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.

Piggly Wiggly

Postby Piggly Wiggly » 31 May 2005, 08:01

Well, there's no way I can get it all in one post - it just wasn't that type of weekend.

I'll pop in and remember it periodically as it comes back, and in no particular sequence.

(Luckily, I did take some photos which will aid both my remembering and your understanding of this remarkable experience.)


Highlights?


I LOVE Memphis, and I can't even begin to describe how fully I enjoyed the company, food, laughs, drinks, conversation, music, and unyielding good times of these past few days.


The only real let down was the much heralded STYX MUSEUM (pictured below).



Image


As you can see, the restored facade is impressive, and does give some sense of what the Paradise Theater might have been like in its heyday (I gather it went through some rough times prior to renewed interest in local musical heritage - abandoned, demolished, graffittied, basically left for dead).

However, the overhaul is as much historic as it is cosmetic. Once inside this much anticipated facade, I was more than a little dismayed to find nary a trace of what one would expect from a so-called Styx Museum. Kilroy was most certainly NOT here! Where was the Crystal Ball? The Pieces Of Eight? The Angry Young Man? The stage uniforms from the Caught In The Act Tour? (All exhibits and artifacts that I rightly expected to see on display)

As far as trade descriptions go, this was a real bait and switch act (and to have heard Jamie, Baron, and all the others raving about this goddamned Styx Museum all day and night on Saturday...you can imagine that my expectations were at fever pitch). Well, the jig is up, Memphis! The news is out: as breathtaking, moving and inspiring as endless and priceless Booker T. and The MGs, Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Staple Singers, Sam And Dave, and Isaac Hayes performing and recording artifacts were (and they were stunning), I'm not quite certain that they had any place in a Styx Museum - and I still don't know quite why my fellow Jolly Up attendees found this bitter pill so easy to digest.

Having gotten this minor hiccup out of the way (and, no - I refused to let it spoil an otherwise fantastic and exceptional weekend), I am now free to focus on happier memories.

My absolute favorite piece of memorabilia was legendary guitarist Steve Cropper. We came upon him outside of the museum - and he damn near "wrassled" me for my gigantic turkey leg (and, for the record, they ARE absolutely fucking delicious). As good friends always do, the ever reliable Phenomenal Cat distracted him with a Big Ass Beer while I protected my food. Here is a photo of STEVE CROPPER making rather short work of P. Cat's Beer.


Image


You just don't get this kind of moment in Chicago, I'm afraid to say.


You know what else you don't get?



THE FUCKING BARON!


Image

Man, oh, man! And to think that:
Big Ass Baron wrote:Loveless was more animated than I might've imagined.


Right back at you, bro! I return the compliment - and add quite a few of my own. People, I cannot tell you how cool this guy is. I regret that we only shared one JU day, cause I could have hung with him for years! His girlfriend was a superstar as well. I'm definitely planning to get down to TX soon, and I'm even thinking of calling ahead. (P.S. Those David Lee Ralph CDs will be on their way soon, Michael. And the Gulf Coast Jukebox is top notch.)


Another long overdue introduction was to the entirely affable and much appreciated metal maniac SHAGGER DAVE (pictured below graciously and candidly answering questions from the BCB cognoscenti):



Image


His brother Carl? Also a treat. And a local.

There are rumblings of a New Orleans jolly up next March/April (crawfish season, basically) - and I can only hope that these fantastic folks will participate.

Anyhow - I haven't even begun to discuss so many other of the weekend's equally righteous events and people (T. Berry Shuffle, geoffcowgill, The Bob Seger System, The Fish, ribs, Livet, Yomp, The Eelpies, Blueshammer, Sambient, "Never Forget" - a memorial day tradition in Memphis, Six String, Velvis, and a downright hilarious Weekend At Bernie's scenario involving the original party animal - take 5d), but I am exhausted and might make a better job of it tomorrow.

Till then.....

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Postby RAT » 31 May 2005, 14:05

Baron wrote:

Clarksdale was more than I expected. Perhaps that's largely due to T-Berry's suggested trip to the Riverside Hotel. I will leave the telling of that story to others and to pictures that are sure to be forthcoming. It is already one of the most-referenced events of the weekend.Here is a good rundown of what's really going on over there. To be short, T-Berry was telling us what it was all about after we pulled up. He couldn't have known it, but, no matter what he may have read, the term "Boarding House" used in reference to the Riverside Hotel is not welcome by the proprieter. After extensive corrections (despite the obvious fact that if ever there were a "boarding house," this would be it) we went inside. I'll leave the rest to the rest of y'all who were there, but "Rat" is very generous with his time and we were lucky to get out of there by sundown. To be honest, I think I pretty much knew what we were in for from the time he took us inside. It was a trip. There was a priceless clipping from JFK Jr.'s visit down there. The headline? "I Had Fun."


Now see this here, this is what I mean. They already still saying this is a boarding house when I showed 'em the sign say Riverside Hotel and Cafe. And he right, he can't tell you about my place because you got to come to me to find out about my place. Listen - I been owning this place since 1944. It was my mothers palce and when she die I took over. I kept everything just like it was. The outside, o.k., I don't touch. I make the inside nice but the outside look just like it did. This what happen when some tour guide come up and start talkin about its a boarding house - now I'm not angry he called it a boarding house. He read it in a book and that's why books aint no good. You got to come to me to find out about my place. John did stay here too, he stayed in room eleven right down here - it used to be the woman's ward, part of it was the bathroom. I didn't even know who he was - he was staying with my mother right in the other room and she said "child you better get in there and get you some sleep" I didn't even know who he was. I got the sheets put up in the other room in a bag. But this wasn't never a boarding house. I mean I'm not mad about it I just want the story to be straight. I got people who come in here from all over the world. This is home, o.k., when people come here they comin home. I got people been livin' here from 2 months to 20 years been livin here, this is home. But it ain't never been a boarding house. That sign say Riverside Hotel and Cafe.

Image
My family been owning this place since 1944, it ain't never been no boarding house.

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Shagger Dave
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Postby Shagger Dave » 31 May 2005, 14:40

Well, I am currenty winding down my stay in memphis, sitting at the hotel computer before breakfast. I don't know if I can elaberate on what others have written, but I'll try.

My highlights-
1) Matching Yomps booming voice to his avatar face. Sounds like he looks, and he's a lot of fun!

2) Seeing Livet give in to the demon bourbon. I have a feeling they'll be no more Johnny Walker Black for this gal at the next NY jolly.

3) The BCB contigent needed to be asked to leave the Sun Studio after outstaying our welcome with Elvis's microphone.

4) The Stax tour. Outstanding. Presented everything in a great way. We got to see the wah wah pedal that was used on Shaft and see several BCBers risk their life to recreate a Booker & the MG's cover.

5) The Kings microwave.

6) Civil Rights Museum. A fantasic, information dense, non-dumbed down walk through the struggle of some very brave people.

7) The actual Jollying at the Flying Saucer, Afreds, and the Blue Monkey. I had only met Livt and Take 5 previously, so it was great to finally meet y'all (any of the rest of you notice how easy that flows from Baron in conversation).

8) Phenominal Cats fantastic reaction to the Blues Hammer launching into Mustang Sally. Also, Blues Hammer doing what I thought to be the impossible- making Stevie Wonder's Superstition non-funky.

The one lowpoint- my car accident Monday afternoon. There's a green light on Union, but someone's trying to make a left turn three cars ahead. All three cars ahead of me are stopped. So, I stop. The person behind me decided not to. BAM. I'm fine, she was fine, her front end was pretty much gone and my rental got some scratches and dings on the rear bumper, nothing major but I'm sure the rental agency ain't gonna be happy!

And Shagger Brother had a good time. He's been in Memphis a year and hadn't been to any of the places we went to, and he enjoyed himself. I told him to check out the board and he said if he did he'd just "lurk".
He tries.

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Postby Shagger Dave » 31 May 2005, 14:50

Oh, and another thng I found disconcerting? Going to Stax and seeing picture of Phil Collins. Then going to the Civil Rights Museum and seeing picture of Bono :(
He tries.

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Postby take5_d_shorterer » 31 May 2005, 18:02

A few remarks about hearing some bands on Beale St. at The Black Diamond

This incident has been briefly talked about. I will leave it to others to go into further detail about the band that appeared at the Black Diamond on Saturday night, May 28th, but for here, I wanted to mention something that Pauline Kael said, some quote that I can't exactly remember about a remark that Auden made that ``books and films were characters in our own biographies.''

One can add that books and films that are mutually known are like shared acquaintances (``oh, you know so-and-so as well?''). Sometimes this can be both a great relief as well as a sort of shorthand.

Others at the Memphis JU can (and will, I'm sure) supply the details about the passage below and its relevance to that last weekend.

GROSS: My guest is Terry Zwigoff. He directed the film "Ghost World" which he co-wrote with Daniel Clowes. The film is based on Clowes' comic book of the same name. It's about two smart and cynical teen-age girls who see themselves as misfits. Steve Buscemi plays the middle-aged guy who collects blues 78s.

I really love the record-collecting scenes in this. There's a scene that I particularly like later on in a bar. You know, Enid and Seymour are going to a bar to hear an old perform who Seymour quite likes and is really disappointed that this guy isn't the headliner. And the headliner is this...

Mr. ZWIGOFF: Like, Blueshammer is the headliner.

GROSS: Yeah, they're this really awful bar band. And so Buscemi is sitting next to a woman at the table, and she says, 'Oh, I really love the blues,' after this performer that Buscemi likes has performed, and he corrects her. And he says...

Mr. ZWIGOFF: Can't help himself.

GROSS: Yeah, he says, actually...

Mr. ZWIGOFF: He has to correct her.

GROSS: He says, 'Actually, technically what he was mostly playing would more accurately be classified in the ragtime idiom, although, of course, not in the strictest sense of the more classical ragtime piano music like that of Scott Joplin or Joseph Lamb.' I thought it was really funny the way he corrected her. And then she goes on to say that she really loves the blues and that, you know, if he loves the blues, he's got to see this band Blueshammer because they're so great. And, of course, they're really horrible and they're everything probably that he hates about ersatz contemporary blues bands.

Mr. ZWIGOFF: White guys singing about plowing behind mules.

GROSS: Yeah, and singing in black dialect and singing about being old and...

Mr. ZWIGOFF: I've been through that experience many times.

GROSS: Have you? Uh-huh.

Mr. ZWIGOFF: I cannot tell you how many times I've been dragged to a bar by some--usually not a girl I'd met at the bar, some girl I just started dating. And, 'OK. We'll go hear some blues,' try to find some middle ground in the relationship and something like that would happen. The problem in that scene was how far to push it before the audience actually got it. I could have made that a lot more subtle. But it's hard to tell, hard to be objective.

GROSS: Is that as alienating for you as it is for the Buscemi character when someone says, 'I really love blues,' and you think, 'Oh, a bond, a connection,' and you realize what they love isn't anything like what you would call blues?

Mr. ZWIGOFF: Yeah, I don't even bother to try to turn people on to old music anymore. They come to my house, they always, out of politeness, say, 'Oh, all these old records. Let's hear some.' I said, 'No, that's all right. My record player isn't working.' I'm happy to keep it for myself. I don't care if anybody else ever hears that stuff. It just drives the price up. What do I care? I can't afford to buy the records I want on eBay anymore.

GROSS: Now you wrote or co-wrote the bar band's song, the Blueshammer song, didn't you?

Mr. ZWIGOFF: Yeah. Yeah, I did.

GROSS: Tell me about writing it. Did you write the lyrics and the music or just the lyrics?

Mr. ZWIGOFF: It's just sort of a generic, you know, three-cord, 12 bar blues things that a friend of mine, Craig Ventresco, who did a lot of the soundtrack on "Crumb" actually did most of the music behind it. He actually played the slide guitar part. Even though he only plays like old-fashion music, he's able to like play all the parts of that modern band. And I just came up with those stupid lyrics. They're were jsut so offensive to me that some white guys--but it's not that far from reality, white guys singing like that in black dialect, talking about, you know, plowing behind a mule, lordy, lordy.

GROSS: Well, let's hear the recording. It's actually on the soundtrack of "Ghost World."

(Soundbite of music)


BLUESHAMMER: (Singing)

Well, I've been plowing behind a mule, son, picking cotton all day long.
Yes, I've been plowing and picking cotton all day long.
I said, 'Lordy, baby, oh, my woman, she be gone.'


SHOW: Fresh Air (12:00 Noon PM ET) - NPR
September 6, 2001 Thursday
HEADLINE: Director Terry Zwigoff discusses his new movie "Ghost World"


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T. Berry Shuffle
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Postby T. Berry Shuffle » 31 May 2005, 19:13

Shagger Dave wrote:.

The one lowpoint- my car accident Monday afternoon. There's a green light on Union, but someone's trying to make a left turn three cars ahead. All three cars ahead of me are stopped. So, I stop. The person behind me decided not to. BAM. I'm fine, she was fine, her front end was pretty much gone and my rental got some scratches and dings on the rear bumper, nothing major but I'm sure the rental agency ain't gonna be happy!


Ugh! Dave, that sucks man. I'm sorry to hear that, and I recall you voicing your dismay over the abilities of Memphis drivers on Saturday. I hope that you didn't have too much problem with the rental folks.
You read that in a book, didn't you?!

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T. Berry Shuffle
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Postby T. Berry Shuffle » 31 May 2005, 22:01

At Graceland the guitar fanatics among us were mightily nonplussed by this beast:

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Some strange Gibson double-neck SG mutant used by Elvis in the movie Spinout,

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Take 5_D reckoned that it was a combination Baritone/Standard scale guitar while I argued that it was a six string bass/standard scale hybrid - which also seems an unlikely match. It is quite unique. I’ve never seen another Gibson Double Neck like it. The strings appeared to be bass gauge and the frets were huge. It had Gibson bass style tuning gears on it. I wonder if it was a one-off for the movie.

Guitar Attack seems to think that it's a Bass/SG Standard tho' I'm not sure we should believe them.
You read that in a book, didn't you?!

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Postby Phenomenal Cat » 31 May 2005, 22:30

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"How many Home of the Blues is there?"


As you may have ascertained from my posts at the BCB, I have a rather pathological attraction to mediocrity. Yes, I watched Blueshammer with great interest. To say they were some sort of white-boy ersatz pluck and groan blues act is a bit of a misrepresentation of their rather unique skills in interpretive beer rock. They performed one of my all-time Memphis name-dropping jams, "Honky Tonk Women", and managed to sing the same verse all three times (actually, "She blew my nose and then she blew my mind" really picked up steam with repetition) and the guitarist played four solos! What killed me is that the drummer didn't have a fucking clue how the songs really went. Ever meet somebody who's never heard "Sweet Home Alabama" in his life? I have now. Speaking of mediocrity....

I have to strongly disagree with Loveless and his shockingly negative review of The Styx Museum. Sure, we never did find out who inspired the likes of "Lady" and "Babe", and we may never know if "Suite Madame Blue" is indeed a commentary on post-World War II American Imperialism, but didn't Dennis DeYoung once say that he knows what is best for Styx? Now I ask you, Legless, or whatever your fucking name is: What would you rather see - Isaac Hayes' gold-plated Cadillac, or the piano that DeYoung used to write "Lorelei"? If it was indeed all a Grand Illusion, at least it had a Parliament-Funkadelic display. Top tour.

And then there's the Baron. I was thrilled beyond belief to meet everyone, and to find them very friendly and with amazing libational stamina. But the Baron is a force of nature. Loveless spent all day Saturday and Sunday speaking like The Baron and firing imaginary guns into the air to punctuate his sentences. Lady Baron bought me a Big Ass Beer, and then kept grabbing it back from me to drink from it. Or maybe we were sharing it. Who remembers? The Fish is a top soldier. The man would not go down, and we were finally (and politely) asked to leave The Blue Monkey at 3:00 A.M. on Sunday. It's just as well, because by that point I was trying to argue that Paul Westerberg is a drunken sham, and The Doors' "The End" is better than anything The Velvet Underground ever did. I think Livet was gonna clock me.

I had a wonderful time, and I am sorry that I didn't get to hang with the crew more than I did. The truth is, we just couldn't drag our asses out of bed Saturday morning to make it to Graceland by 11:00. We ended up going to lunch instead, visiting Stax and the Civil Rights Museum, and then drinking obscenely strong tropical drinks at Pat O'Brien's for dinner. I may have yelled at a bartender for playing The Mars Volta too loud. At least I managed not to urinate on the pavement. (I'm turning into my dad).

While I was not entirely impressed with the Sun Studios tour (and I forgot to ask to see the basement), I think renting it at $75 an hour is a steal. That includes all the equipment and an engineer! So if there is a next time, me and Yomp can always duet on "Bear Cat".

I had a great time in Memphis. I got home at 12:30 this morning, slept for 6 hours, and then went to a job interview at 10:00. I was interviewed by four very helpful people who assured me I was coherent. I should recover by Thursday. So, my best wishes go out to the very tall T. Berry and bro, Eelpie and wife, Livet, The Baron and Baroness, Geoff, Yomp, Take5 (if that was really you), Six String, Velvis, Sam, Shagger Dave and bro (sorry to hear about the car), Loveless and The Fish.

I had an absolute blast.
Last edited by Phenomenal Cat on 31 May 2005, 22:49, edited 1 time in total.
Now, I’m liberal, but to a degree
I want everybody to be free
But if you think that I’ll let Rick Santorum
Move in next door and marry my son
You must think I’m crazy!

But somehow when you smile, I can brave bad weather.

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Postby The One Man Gang » 31 May 2005, 22:36

Its pissing down here in New orleans, and as hot as hell. Still, I guess its better than London anyday!!
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Postby Piggly Wiggly » 31 May 2005, 23:16

What else can I tell you?

We stayed at a Super 8 Motel on Metal Museum Drive. Sadly, the Metal Museum (by the looks of the brochure) seemed even more misleading than the Styx Museum.

The Sun Tour (which I took in 1993, as half of a group of two) did leave a bit to be desired. It WAS a treat to be in the room where history was made, though our tour group numbered 40 and IT'S A BIT OF A CONFINED SPACE. I just wanted to see more STUFF, truth be told.

The Civil Rights Museum was pretty stunning (mostly due to the location, though the historical timeline was really something else) - though having concluded the tour from the spot at which MLK was assasinated, I opted not to go across the street for the second wing (which, according to T. Berry, was downright eerie).

Speaking of OUR JAMIE, here is a candid photo of he and I sharing a laugh on Saturday:



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As Slider predicted, Jamie and I got on like a house on fire. Top, top man. The Donovan of BCB, really. He and his brother (not pictured) were great to meet, and Jamie is that rare person who makes everyone in the room feel like a superstar.

Another highlight of my trip was meeting the esteemed Livet (call her Rita, boys). A Van Der Graff expert with a real lust for life (loves to laugh, and not afraid to put away the bourbon) - her and The Fish were an absolute joy on the last night of our trip, and were not afraid to laugh it up until the bitter end with us.

Here's a photo of THE FISH blending in at the Styx Museum.



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More to come, as promised in the earlier post. (For one thing the Take 5d story has not yet been sufficiently told, and there has been an eerie silence vis a vis the Bob Seger System).

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Velvis
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Postby Velvis » 31 May 2005, 23:40

goldwax wrote:
Baron wrote:
goldwax wrote:Great job, T5D!


Seconded. Very good!

It's cool to hear Take_5's voice now when I read the posts. 8-)


Um, high-pitched or low-pitched, would you say?

(Can't blame me for trying.)


I think he/she took elocution lessons from George Takei.
Last edited by Velvis on 01 Jun 2005, 11:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Velvis
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Postby Velvis » 31 May 2005, 23:43

Lets Hear It For Loveless wrote:
Speaking of OUR JAMIE, here is a candid photo of he and I sharing a laugh on Saturday:



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Well, he ain't so big. He's just tall, that's all.
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Postby LeBaron » 01 Jun 2005, 00:33

I'm very annoyed I missed a night of whisk(e)y with Fish, Livet, and the midwestern homies.

Or maybe it was for the best. That stuff has a pronounced effect on me.
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Postby Quaco » 01 Jun 2005, 01:10

Baron Had Fun wrote:...There was some talk of taking the stage for A Quick One, but sadly, it didn't materialize. ...

Hunh?*



* Alternately -- Why the fuck not?!
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T. Berry Shuffle
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Postby T. Berry Shuffle » 01 Jun 2005, 01:12

Saturday was the middle point of an insane streak of jollying, perhaps just as we were somewhat tiring the gang from Illinois steamed in and supercharged the entire group with their hurculean alcohol imbibing and uncontrollable hilarity. My voice was completely fucked the rest of the weekend from laughing so hard.

The upper deck of Albert's, or Abert's, or Eggbert's which ever it was I'm uncertain, I believe it was all three at various times during the night spat us out after a surprise monumental fireworks display that coincided well with our visiting minor royalty. We all poured into the street and dispersed momentarily into various directions - some in search of food, others alcohol and verily to my room for a tasting of rum which the lovely Baroness, Six String and myself pulverized into invisibility.

Returning to the street we found our party located at the Black Diamond and were regaled with reports of the band's thorough destruction of songs that most people admire if not adore. The Cat, Lovenest and I conspired on taking the stage ourselves for a impromptu "A Quick One." We rehearsed the accapella intro with genuine robust exhilaration for the adoring spectators but failed miserably at conjuring the following segment despite the motivational energy of watching The Cat's incredible jumping air drumming and being a mere few yards from genuine souvenir hoodoo gear available for a small fee from Tater Reds. We just couldn't manage it and soon Blueshammer retook the stage and pontificated about the myth of pluralism where it regards "homes of the blues." We restrained Loveless as the slapdown was laid upon Chicago.

The lot of us suffered on admirably as Superstitious was delivered with painful disregard for musicality. I though Six String might collapse in an instant. A pause of a few seconds did little to prepare us for thee most tuneless proclamation of Wilson Pickett's legendary declamatory opening of "Mustang Sally" I have ever heard precipitating one of the funniest moments of the night as a look of pure unbridled terror overtook Phenomenal Cat's countenance and caused him to flee for his life into the crowds of Beale Street.

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We all laughed uncontrollably and Baron had to keep me from falling on my ass; seconds after Take 5_d was seen desperately shoving earplugs into his/her earholes. Everyone fortified themselves with big ass beers and then we were on the move again.

Somewhere we lost a few members and the remaining group plowed into an incleavable crowd of upper Beale. After staggering around looking for another location to invade we set our sights on the park - stopping just long enough to pose under an enormous banner chastising the sinning masses on Beale. We (Baron, Baroness, Livet, Geoff Cowgill, Take 5, The Cat, Loveless, T Brother and myself) found an unoccupied corner of the park where absolute hilarity ensued as the food in our stomachs was replaced with flat hot beer and combined with devastating comedic counter punches from the Baron.

The man was on fire. Something clicked, nothing slowed him, it was as if he suddenly opened a floodgate and let a lifetime of absurdity flood out over us. It was amazing - easily one of my favorite, if not my favorite moment of the entire weekend. There he sat, leaning back, face turned slightly skyward, eyes closed, unleashing it all without a pause. Soon we were praising the great musical Ralphs of the music world. Everyone was dying, with the exception of Take 5 who had suddenly gone narcoleptic on us and was in fact feared dead.

Time slipped away as the clock pulled a few tricks and we suddenly discovered that it was just nearly 2:00 a.m. Beale was still heaving as we cut our way thru the crowd (none as skillfully as the Baroness) and said very sad goodbyes indeed upon parting as the Baron Duo disappeared into the night and back to Texas in the morning.
Last edited by T. Berry Shuffle on 01 Jun 2005, 01:23, edited 2 times in total.
You read that in a book, didn't you?!