Robbie Fulks is a songwriter I had heard about a lot more than I’d heard until a few years ago he made an album with the Mekons. A good album.
Fulks is a good songwriter and player, the opposite of a star, but a lifer with a lot to offer if you dig in. I haven’t yet dug in far enough, but this unbelievably long and detailed analysis of Gordon Lightfoot’s life and performance and songwriting is a marvel of storytelling, aesthetic analysis and covering the whole of a subject.
For instance, Fulks listened to every Gordon Lightfoot song at least once. Except maybe not all of that last 2004 album, but many others more than once.
He relates the story of Cathy Smith, a groupie with amazing breadth who went to jail for administering John Belushi’s final fatal dose, with aplomb, because it is Lightfoot’s story too at a few points.
My point is this is well worth a read even though it is way long, and if you start to lose interest skim ahead a few grafs and you’ll be onto another Lightfootian topic that will amuse and astound, ending with an in depth analysis of Lightfoot’s writing, which is exacting and sharp and a lesson in poetry and lyrics.
This clip is another example of Mike Douglas’s magic. John Lennon meets Chuck Berry for the first time and they do a kind of weak Memphis Tennessee because Lennon seems to be insisting on sharing vocals.
On Johnny B. Goode balance is restored.
I’m a fan of Yoko’s, but her mike seems to be cut in the Johnny B. Goode mix. It’s just weird during Memphis Tennessee.
A few days ago Rolling Stone published a story about a song that appeared on the internet some years back and no one can figure out who recorded it, wrote it, or where it came from. It’s not a very good song, but it is kind of catchy, and suitably mysterious.
It was apparently recorded off a German radio show in the early 1980s.
It seems like there must be other music out there that is similarly unknown. Why did this one break out?
So Mötley Cruë made the movie of their story, and it’s on Netflix. It’s called The Dirt, and it is about the band’s life told through the voices of its members.
This is standard modern narrative. You have a narrator or narrators who know more than the characters, and who know where the story ends up, cracking wise while moving the story along quickly. And, if you like naked women, eye poppingly.
I spent all of watching The Dirt wishing I was sitting in my TV room with Steve Moyer, not because he admired the Cruë, but because he loved tales of rock ‘n’ roll life, and this is definitely that. I’m ambivalent. The scenes of debauchery are debauched, but are mostly offensive because the premise seems skewed. What is misogyny is played for the cutes. The naked ladies are jokes, at least until the lady leaves, at which point love is lost. Boo hoo, and boys are sad.
This isn’t a sophisticated look at the way the world works, but the movie feels like a somewhat accurate look at the adolescent rock life, and the way it changes with rehab and maturity. It way underplays the tunes, which you would think a movie produced by the band would try to promote. But they’re all sober now, and maybe better understand their weird moment in rock history.
Steve, how do you feel about this one? I watched the whole thing, even though Vince Neil looked like Wayne or Garth from Wayne’s World (I forget which one), which bothered me a lot. You may not have.
No link to a Cruë song. I never paid attention to them, but I did watch their movie. Weird.
I have had so many thoughts about what to write and who to write about here over the months since our friend Steve passed away, and nothing seems worthy.
My new band, Jackknifed Big Rig played The Clash’s Safe European Home our last set, and I dedicated it to Steve, and Diane even filmed it. But, the sound was funky and it was not worthy of a You Tube, although we have a fancy schmantzy gig coming up July 14, at the storied Hotel Utah in San Francisco, opening for Patrice Pike. And, the plan is to play it again then and try to film again and then post.
But, this Family Guy—The Griffin That Stole Christmas–has become a favorite cos of one-liners and cut-aways like this, and I know Steve would have busted up.
So, I return with this. And, since the ice is broken, well, more to come.