Don’t You Think It’s Sometimes Wise Not To Grow Up?

I like to think I stayed childlike,
Not childish.
Nowadays I avoid bad red wine,
Even at parties.
That’s childish.

I hum a tune,
Bust a step or two.
Others join in.
Sometimes,
It’s wise not to grow up.

“Went out walking through the wood the other day
And the world was a carpet laid before me
The buds were bursting and the air smelled sweet and strange
And it seemed about a hundred years ago
Mary and I, we would sit upon a gate
Just gazing at some dragon in the sky
What tender days, we had no secrets hid away
Well, it seemed about a hundred years ago
Now all my friends are wearing worried smiles
Living out a dream of what they was
Don’t you think it’s sometimes wise not to grow up?
Went out walking through the wood the other day
Can’t you see the furrows in my forehead?
What tender days, we had no secrets hid away
Now it seems about a hundred years ago
Now if you see me drinking bad red wine
Don’t worry ’bout this man that you love
Don’t you think it’s sometimes wise not to grow up?

You’re going to kiss and say good-bye, yeah, I warn you
You’re going to kiss and say good-bye, oh Lord, I warn you

And please excuse me while I hide away
Call me lazy bones
Ain’t got no time to waste away
Lazy bones ain’t got no time to waste away
Don’t you think it’s just about time to hide away?
Yeah, yeah!” — The Rolling Stones, “100 Years Ago,” Goats Head Soup (1973)

Satori Must Be Something

“The Children of the summer’s end
Gathered in the dampened grass
We played Our songs and felt the London sky
Resting on our hands
It was God’s land
It was ragged and naive
It was Heaven

Touch, We touched the very soul
Of holding each and every life
We claimed the very source of joy ran through
It didn’t, but it seemed that way
I kissed a lot of people that day

Oh, to capture just one drop of all the ecstasy that swept that afternoon
To paint that love
Upon a white balloon
And fly it from
The topest top of all the tops
That man has pushed beyond his brain
Satori must be something
Just the same

We scanned the skies with rainbow eyes and saw machines of every shape and size
We talked with tall Venusians passing through
And Peter tried to climb aboard but the Captain shook his head
And away they soared
Climbing through
The ivory vibrant cloud
Someone passed some bliss among the crowd
And We walked back to the road, unchained

The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We’re Gonna Have a Party.” — David Bowie, “Memory of a Free Festival,” Space Oddity (1969)

The Point of the Story is the Telling

I can’t thing of any other recent songs that tell a tale. Maybe, it’s just that this one is so well done that it blots out all the others.

It’s not a gentle ballad either. It’s a proper mystery thriller. Dissonance, strings, and banshee background vocals. All packaged in a whirl that slowly speeds up to the climax followed by a moment of madness that abates with the lowering of the  adrenalin levels.

You’ve heard the story; The mystery remains.

Raconteurs tell stories. They’re also gossips.

“I’m not sure if there’s a point to this story
But I’m going to tell it again
So many other people try to tell the tale
Not one of them knows the end

It was a junk-house in South Carolina
Held a boy the age of ten
Along with his older brother Billy
And a mother and her boyfriend
Who was a triple loser with some blue tattoos
That were given to him when he was young
And a drunk temper that was easy to lose
And thank god he didn’t own a gun

Well, Billy woke up in the back of his truck
Took a minute to open his eyes
He took a peep into the back of the house
And found himself a big surprise
He didn’t see his brother but there was his mother
With her red-headed head in her hands
While the boyfriend had his gloves wrapped around an old priest
Trying to choke the man

Billy looked up from the window to the truck
Threw up, and had to struggle to stand
He saw that red-necked bastard with a hammer
Turn the priest into a shell of a man

The priest was putting up the fight of his life
But he was old and he was bound to lose
The boyfriend hit as hard as he could
And knocked the priest right down to his shoes

Well, now Billy knew but never actually met
The preacher lying there in the room
He heard himself say, “That must be my daddy”
Then he knew what he was gonna do
Billy got up enough courage, took it up
And grabbed the first blunt thing he could find
It was a cold, glass bottle of milk
That got delivered every morning at nine

Billy broke in and saw the blood on the floor, and
He turned around and put the lock on the door
He looked dead into the boyfriend’s eye
His mother was a ghost, too upset to cry, then
He took a step toward the man on the ground
From his mouth trickled out a little audible sound
He heard the boyfriend shout, “Get out!”
And Billy said, “Not till I know what this is all about”

“Well, this preacher here was attacking your mama”
But Billy knew just who was starting the drama
So Billy took dead aim at his face
And smashed the bottle on the man who left his dad in disgrace, and
The white milk dripped down with the blood, and the
Boyfriend fell down dead for good
Right next to the preacher who was gasping for air
And Billy shouted, “Daddy, why’d you have to come back here?”

His mama reached behind the sugar and honey, and
Pulled out an envelope filled with money
“Your daddy gave us this,” she collapsed in tears
“He’s been paying all the bills for years”
“Mama, let’s put this body underneath the trees
And put Daddy in the truck and head to Tennessee”
Just then, his little brother came in
Holding the milk man’s hat and a bottle of gin singing

La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la la, la la la la, yeah
La la la, la la la…

Well now you heard another side to the story
But you wanna know how it ends?
If you must know the truth about the tale
Go and ask the milkman” — The Raconteurs, “Carolina Drama,” Consoler of the Lonely (2008)

I Dig Where You’re At

I never found television’s version of Beatnik jazz.

I listened to Miles, Mingus, and Monk.
Jazz, Bebop, Jive.
The Weather Report improvised otherwise.

Juliette Greco’s black clothes,
Dizzy Gillespie’s beret and beard,
Finger-snapping, hunched-over walk.

Seedy village bars,
Air, smoked-filled.
A handful of musicians improvising.

The upright bass going be-dum-dum-dum.
The brushes stroking the cymbals.
The bongo player tripping on his own beat.

The trope was strong.

“Relax man.
Scat beat poet
Stays out late
Hip daddy bongo man
Beatnik psycho
Wears the glasses
Smokes his pipe
Shirt so stripy
Pants worn tight
Beatnik soldier
His weapons are his bongos
Beret and a goatee
Scat daddy scat daddy
Hip daddy bongo man
Scat beat poet
Hip daddy bongo man
Beatnik daddio
Lurks in bars
Lurks in the shadows
Drinks and smokes
Steals peanuts when there is no one looking
Girls love daddy
They let daddy drive him home
But when gets them home
Plays them bongos
Got wine on the table
Cheese on the plate
Stains on the table-cloth
Play daddy play daddy
Hip daddy bongo man
Scat beat poet
Hip daddy bongo man
Beatnik daddio
Hip daddy bongo man
Scat beat poet
Hip daddy bongo man
Beatnik daddio
Hip daddy bongo man
Scat beat poet
Hip daddy bongo man
Beatnik daddio
Hip daddy bongo man
Hip daddy bongo man
Scat scat scat
Beat beat beat” — Inchkii, “Hip Daddy Bongo Man” (2011)

Could You Walk On Water?

The Rolling Stones almost offended the Christian South before John Lennon did. Decca stopped them. The aftermath was Aftermath which did not contain talk of pseudo paperbacks covering Chaucer to Steinbeck.

You’re gettin’ tired babe, sittin’ there on the side
Ain’t in the right place, to try and change the tide

You sit and read, but all you do is moan
You sit and read, but all you do is moan
Ain’t no wonder, you’re sittin’ there on your own

You’re readin’ the cover of a pseudo paperback
You’re readin’ the cover of a pseudo paperback
Displays about writers, Chaucer to Steinbeck

You’re lookin’ tired babe, sittin’ there on the side
You’re lookin’ tired babe, sittin’ there on the side
It’s only yourself, you’re takin’ for a ride

You say you won’t change, but do you really care
You say you won’t change, but do you really care
You can’t do much just sittin’ there in your chair

I said, hey babe, hey where you been all night?
I said, hey babe, hey where you been all night?
Your clothes all tangled, sure ain’t talkin’ right

You’re lookin’ tired babe, sittin’ there on the side
You’re lookin’ tired babe, sittin’ there on the side
You ain’t in the right place, to try and change the tide” — Rolling Stones, “Looking Tired” (1965)

Lyric of the Day — December 11th 2015

“When I was young and full of grace, and spirited a rattlesnake
When I was young and fever fell
My spirit, I will not tell
You’re on your honor not to tell

I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract
Explain the change, the difference between
What you want and what you need, there’s the key
Your adventure for today, what do you do
Between the horns of the day?

I believe my shirt is wearing thin
And change is what I believe

When I was young and give and take
And foolish said my fool awake
When I was young and fever fell
My spirit, I will not tell
You’re on your honor, on your honor

Trust in your calling, make sure your calling’s true
Think of others, the others, they think of you
Silly rule golden words make, practice, practice makes perfect
Perfect is a fault and fault lines change

I believe, my humor’s wearing thin
And change is what I believe in

I believe my shirt is wearing thin
And change is what I believe

I believe in example
I believe my throat hurts
Example is the checker to the key

I believe, my humor’s wearing thin
And I believe the poles are shifting
I believe my shirt is wearing thin
And change is what I believe in” — R.E.M., “I Believe,” Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)

Bagpipes Calling

I’ve never been to Melbourne.

New world cities in the seventies. Red brick buildings offset by more recent concrete. It reminds me of home, Vancouver. Walking to downtown on the Cambie Bridge, back when it had wooden sidewalks.

The story, heard and repeated many times, is that bands doing the outback circuit played behind a net. You either rocked the place or got a beer shower.

Three Scotsman and a couple of Aussies. They’re climbing the stairs and tell the story, with a hat tip to their roots, of the first steps.

The bar rocks.

“Ridin’ down the highway
Goin’ to a show
Stop in all the byways
Playin’ rock ‘n’ roll
Gettin’ robbed
Gettin’ stoned
Gettin’ beat up
Broken boned
Gettin’ had
Gettin’ took
I tell you folks
It’s harder than it looks

It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
If you think it’s easy doin’ one night stands
Try playin’ in a rock roll band
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll

Hotel motel
Make you wanna cry
Lady do the hard sell
Know the reason why
Gettin’ old
Gettin’ grey
Gettin’ ripped off
Under-paid
Gettin’ sold
Second hand
That’s how it goes
Playin’ in a band

It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
If you wanna be a star of stage and screen
Look out it’s rough and mean

It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll

Well it’s a long way
It’s a long way, you should’ve told me
It’s a long way, such a long way” — AC/DC“It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll),” T.N.T. (1975)

Just Dropped In

“Careful, do you realize what state I’m in?” The Gonzoesque statement to the driver that cut me off makes me self-justify my condition.

I’m seeing more Ferraris; Things must be going well for the rich.

Biophilia, is the word the word I was looking for in Amsterdam. I’m not convinced of the instinctive bond between human beings and nature. I get similar feelings looking at man-made monuments or driving with the music on loud. Then again, it could be a manifestation.

“(Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in)

I woke up this mornin’ with the sundown shinin’ in
I found my mind in a brown paper bag within
I tripped on a cloud and fell-a eight miles high
I tore my mind on a jagged sky
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

(Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in)

I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in
I watched myself crawlin’ out as I was a-crawlin’ in
I got up so tight I couldn’t unwind
I saw so much I broke my mind
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

(Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in)

Someone painted “April Fool” in big black letters on a “Dead End” sign
I had my foot on the gas as I left the road and blew out my mind
Eight miles outta Memphis and I got no spare
Eight miles straight up downtown somewhere
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

I said I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in
Yeah yeah oh-yeah” — Kenny Rogers and the First Edition“Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In),” Harlequin Melodies (1968)

OK, Well, …

The phone sings. His greeting is answered by a tidal wave of words. He brings the phone back to his head.

“We’re lovers. I do like that. I tell you again, that’s the limit. You’re not my kind; I’m not yours.”

A second wave. The light on the left side of the bed is on. So are the ones on the desk and in the hallway.
“Oh, babe. You act your age. You are a child, I have a child.”

His daughter was in a new country. His sister is also there. Help in case of need.
“It was still early when we kissed good-bye. I know you hate it when I go. It’s business.”

A room just like all the others. A king-sized bed, a desk and a 27″ flat screen TV.
“It’s too far, I can’t just come back.”

He interrupts her chorus.
“OK, well, I don’t run from heat. I’m working. I wear black shoes, you wear sandals.”

He listens.
“You’re going. I get it. Friends. I’ll be here. Just friends.”

He puts down the phone, picks up a condom.

“You are my lover and I do like you
But what’s the limit, tell me what to do
I’m not your kind
And you’re not mine

Oh sugar I’m too young for you
Not like my number but in everything I do
I am a child, you have a child

You wake up early, I do anything I can
But I can fake it while you go and meet the man
And make some money (money!)
To make the money

Baby baby
Tell me where you are
I’ll come and meet you
But you know I can go far
And take some time
You can’t have mine

Well OK honey
But I’m too hot for you
Ain’t got no money
And I wear the hippie shoes
I am a hippie (hippie!)
I am a hippie

Into another
I hope you understand
I’ll need you later
I want you in my band
I am your sister (sister!)
You’re like my brother” — Jenny O., “Well OK, Honey,” Home (2010)

Born, Never Asked

Saturday
10:00 AM
Gifts!

All strangers. Echoes of “Sorry – Free?” identify the last to arrive.

Whisperings.
“Hi, I’m Joe.”
“Do you know what this is about?”
“Just the invitation.”

The curtain parts, an elderly man steps up to the microphone.
You were born.
And so you are free,
So happy birthday.

“It was a large room
Full of people
All kinds
And they had all arrived at the same building at, more or less, the same time
And they were all free
And they were all asking themselves the same question:
What is behind that curtain?

You were born
And so you’re free
So happy birthday” — Laurie Anderson, “Born, Never Asked,” Big Science (1982)