November 5, 2007

at two hundred tons its hard to dance

Harry Callahan, Eleanor in Chicago, 1948

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

6. Pat Buchanan

"Seems that these days you can't turn on MSNBC without seeing Pat Buchanan's ugly mug. I mean, seriously, he's on there like 20 hours a day. (He needs the other four hours to recharge his outrage batteries.)

"Yes, Pat has certainly rehabilitated his image since 1992 when he gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention and railed against radical feminists and abortionists and militant homosexuals in a speech which the late great Molly Ivins said "probably sounded better in the original German." These days he can manage to blather on cable news for hours a day without revealing his true nature.

"Well - almost. Here's Pat discussing Barack Obama last week:

This is not a street fighter, and he doesn't have the eye of the tiger. It is quite apparent. I think Chuck is exactly right. He's up there, sort of holding forth. I mean, he's not what you would expect from a black guy from the South Side of Chicago.

"Oh really Pat? Care to clarify? What exactly would you 'expect' from a black guy from the South Side of Chicago?

"Tell you what, next time you're in Harlem why don't you meet up with Bill O'Reilly to discuss it over a nice glass of M-Fing iced tea at Sylvia's restaurant."

* From a 1970 interview of Sterling Morrison. excerpt:

Q: I heard many rumors as to why Nico left the group. Would you clarify that?

Morrison: It was all very informal. We stopped working for a while. We used to do that periodically - just refused to do anything. Nico needed money so she went out on her own. She was working downstairs at the Dom (Stanley's) and we said sure, do anything you want, and so she was doing that. We'd take turns backing her up. I'd do it for one week, then John Cale, Lou, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Jackson Browne - everyone was showing up as Nico's accompanist. When we decided to start work again we told her about it, and she said, oh, I have three more weeks here. So we told her to decide what she wanted to do and she decided that perhaps she could go on her own and be a big star, and we said okay. There never was any ill feelings. For instance, Lou played and composed some of the selections for her first album on Verve.

Q: Didn't you help compose the song, "Chelsea Girls" for her?

Morrison: Yes I did some meddling with chords.

Q: I liked the first album she did. It was mostly Jackson Browne but it did have some Dylan on it.

Morrison: Dylan was always giving her songs.

Q: There have been rumors that he wrote several songs with her in mind?

Morrison: I don't know, perhaps. It's very hard to avoid these people in New York. Dylan was always lurking around.

Q: Didn't Andy use Dylan in a film?

Morrison: There was one film with Paul Caruso called, The Bob Dylan Story. I don't think Andy has ever shown it. It was hysterical. They got Marlowe Dupont to play Al Grossman. Paul Caruso not only looks as Bob Dylan but as a super caricature he makes even Hendrix looks pale by comparison. This was around 1966 when the film was made and his hair was way out here. When he was walking down the street you had to step out of his way. On the eve of the filming, Paul had a change of heart and got his hair cut off - closer to his head - and he must have removed about a foot so everyone was upset about that. Then Dylan had this accident and that was why the film was never shown.

Q: What was the general reaction to The Velvet Underground's second album?

Morrison: They were stunned.

Q: To the fact that Nico wasn't on there?

Morrison: Oh no. By what the album was - kind of raw electronics (most of it). We liked the album very much. Generally reaction to our albums is late in coming. They just lay around for a year and then people start to pick up on them. There isn't much you can say about your own albums.
Q: Do you think the group misses John Cale and his presence or not?

Morrison: Yes... no... it's hard to answer.

Q: I miss the viola.

Morrison: Yes, but it wasn't used that much, and it wasn't an essential ingredient as far as we were concerned. Everyone thought when we first showed up doing that that it was a gimmick. It wasn't that at all. You could get a sound out of it that we thought suited the song. It was used only for about three songs.

Q: I think It's a Beautiful Day makes excellent use of the electric violin.

Morrison: The electric viola works better than the electric violin. One might say it's an electric violin but it's not. The electric viola registers a little deeper, so it has a nicer sound.

Q: Have you heard John Cale's Stooges album?

Morrison: No, I haven't listen to that yet.

Q: Have you heard The Stooges at all?

Morrison: No.

Q: Have you heard John's album with Nico, The Marble Index?

Morrison: Yes I like some of the songs on there. I haven't heard The Stooges album, I'll have to do that.

* "I never thought about being a writer as I grew up. A writer wasn't something I wanted to be. An outfielder was something to be. Most of what I know about style I learned from Roberto Clemente." -- John Sayles


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