April 2006

Humor&Music&Personal24 Apr 2006 09:06 am

James Booker

A recent SF Chronicle article highlighting New Orleans paino great James Booker led to my contacting Bill Roberts, who took part in the Maple Leaf Bar’s weekly Sunday afternoon poetry readings along with Everette Maddox. Bill recalled Booker playing there frequently, and related a story.

While waitering at Commander’s Palace Bill worked a party for the upper crust of New Orleans society: bankers, judges, and business owners. They made a special request for James Booker to play at the party, and Bill describes what happened…

The piano keys under the spell of James Booker had unleashed such powerful, raw blues on the psyches of the elite of New Orleans, members of the old line secret Krewes (Rex, Comus and Momus) of Mardi Gras, that it decimated their sense of decorum.

James Booker was oblivious and indifferent to their transformation. He just kept pounding away on the keys, and would not free the ladies and gents from his enchanting grip.

The place went crazy. They were dancing wildly and bumping into each other. They became unravelled, they came apart under the influence of Booker’s playing. A judge was even dancing around in his official robes.

When the party was over I found the judge’s robe on the floor. I didn’t know what to do, so I brought it home, and then brought it back to Commander’s the next time I worked there. They almost fired me over it.

Mayor Landrieu was still in office, the last white Mayor of New Orleans.  Maybe the event portended the seismic shift in political  power in the Big Easy.

If one subscribes to the belief held by the Black Clergy of the Mississippi delta during the 1920’s,30’s and 40’s, that Blues was the Devil’s music; then truly I declare that it was Mephistofiles himself playing that night to Dr. Faust.


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Music&Politics17 Apr 2006 08:26 pm

Neil Young

Neil Young is prolific indeed, writing and recording LIVING WITH WAR, a ‘metal folk protest’ album in 9 days. Nothing stirs up the creative juices like righteous anger over an unjust war. The Neil Young fan news site, Thrasherswheat.org has all the details, including outside opinions on his new album, including a song, “Impeach The President”. Thrilling, blood boiling stuff from a man who is fully alive, ringing that bell of freedom with musical hammers of justice.

Music&Personal15 Apr 2006 03:55 pm

Captain Beefheart, Jeff DeMark, Mike Demark, 1980 photo

Earlier this year I was contacted by Sony BMG Music’s London office in a request to use one my photographs of Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart found on this web site. I was curious about how they were going to use this photo for a CD, since I don’t consider it as one of my best. It was a surprise to see the result (below) when it was recently released. The fisheye lens motif is an echo from the original Safe As Milk album cover.

Captain Beefheart apparently has a faithful following in Great Britain, since this is the third British Beefheart album cover publishing one of my photos. A fourth is due to come out later this Spring.

Part of the fun of this has been getting back in touch with my friends who are in this 1980 photo, Jeff and Mike DeMark. We went to that show toether, and they’ve written their recollections of the Beefheart performance and lounging around with him in the hallway of his hotel after the show when the photo was taken. Click here to begin reading about the strange evolution of this CD cover.

Safe As Milk Album CoverBeefheart The Buddah Years CD Cover

Book Review&Media&Politics&Spiritual13 Apr 2006 09:13 pm
Ann Coulter 666 on Godless Liberals

The howling idiot wind of the Republican noise machine is in danger of drowning itself out. With so many lies and explanations for poor intelligence swirling around, how’s a hysterical shrieking banshee to distinguish herself and make a living here? You produce a provocative title such as Ann Coulter’s upchucking, I mean upcoming, Godless: The Church of Liberalism. Holy Cow, are we back on the first grade playground again? I had been musing that some creative events might be planned for 6-6-6 day, but the June 6th release of a template for condemning millions of souls was beyond my sweet little imagination. She really must be nuts.

To cast out the demons from Ms. Coulter’s troubled mind, I recommend religious scholar Garry Willis’s book, What Jesus Meant. On a recent radio interview Willis placed Jesus above politics and systems of justice. He quotes Jesus as saying, “What you do to the least of these, you do to me.” This should be enough warning to the intolerant, holier than thou, would-be Christians.

But listen up people, when a Conservative says it’s true, it’s just true. Believe it, or else you have no faith and are Godless.

Music09 Apr 2006 08:01 pm

Great music in the works as Dweezil Zappa prepares to launch the ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA tour with many band members from original Frank Zappa touring bands. I’ve got my tickets for the San Francisco show at The Warfield.  The Frank Zappa pages on this web site have photos of some of the guys who will be on this new tour.
Here is a reallly cool frappr map of some online Zappa fans.
Concert Tickets


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Music09 Apr 2006 07:22 pm

Whipped Cream & Other Delights

This is a visual supplement to The New Yorker article which describes without pictures this famous LP album cover and its positive marketing factor in Herb Alpert’s success as a recording artist. Above is the original version, shaving cream on the body of the beautiful Dolores. Below is the new version of the album, with the new Dolores, Bree Condon. As with most things, I like the original better, not that I would turn down a little taste of Bree. More about Herb Alpert albums.

Re-Whipped Album Cover

Politics04 Apr 2006 12:44 pm

Tom DeLay

This creep didn’t just step down, he wimpered, fell to his knees, bent over and is crawling away from Congress into a spider hole of darkness. Expect the Tom zombie to resurface in D.C. as a K Street lobbyist where the blood sucker’s pockets will be lined with fresh cash from unwitting Sunday morning collection plates.

Last week Andy Card, this week DeLay, next week Rumsfeld? We can only hope.