Thursday, December 13, 2012

If Not For You

Sometimes I forget how wonderful George Harrison is.

Just hearing his voice is so soothing.

This is from his 1988 interview with Joe Smith that was recently released to the Library of Congress:

"All Things Must Pass was like going to the bathroom... let it out."

"[Bob Dylan] makes William Shakespeare look like Billy Joel."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

and I felt like a pickled priest that was being flambéed

"Bring me Harold Pinter and I will argue that what I do is far, far, far more artistic than what he does"
- Pete Townshend

I've read quite a bit of Pinter, and I have to agree.

Also, I can't get over this picture:

According to Who I Am, the dog's name is Towser. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pete Townshend

This guy:

"I don't give a shit about making money. I think rock music is junk. I am a genius. The Who were OK but without me they would have all ended up working in the flower market, or worse - in Led Zeppelin."

"Mick [Jagger] is the only man I've ever seriously wanted to fuck."

So excited for Pete Townshend's memoir Who I Am.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

and I know when she thinks of me, she thinks of me as him

I've never been a rabid Who fan, but news of Pete Townshend's upcoming autobiography inspired me to give them another shot. After watching both Quadrophenia and Tommy recently, I'm kind of amazed.

Pete's lyrics are cutting. And he's weirdly sexy. Kind of an intellectual rock star wreck. I like a lot of his solo stuff too.

Roger Daltrey is also impressive as that messianic bare-chested Tommy. What wonderful hair...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

blind love for my father was the first thing I sacrificed to Mick Jagger

I've been really into Patti Smith lately. She's a strange, wild, enthusiastic writer. Also, she looks like Keith Richards.

Below is an excerpt from her 1973 Creem article about the Stones called "Jag-arr of the Jungle." It's a good example of her style and captures the particular masculine sexuality of rock 'n roll and the effect it can have on women.

"In full make-up and frills they still get it across. they know just how to ram a woman. they made me real proud to be female. the other half of male. they aroused in me both a feline sense of power and a longing to be held under the thumb."

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mick Jagger, 69

Mick Jagger speaking in an interview from the 80s. In honor of his birthday (yesterday):

"It's ridiculous. No-one should care if the Rolling Stones have broken up, should they? I mean, when the Beatles broke up I couldn't give a shit. Thought it was a very good idea. And I don't believe the fact that the Smiths' guitarist has left is of any import to anyone whatsoever. I don't think anyone should give a shit. But with me people seem to demand that I keep their youthful memories intact in a glass case specifically preserved for them and damn the sacrifices I have to make. Oh, the Stones, it's part of my youth, man, they say, because they saw you in Hyde Park 18 years ago and they have their fucking conservative little mental picture of you and they don't want you to change – not that they've bought a record of yours in 15 years. Why should I live in the past just for their petty ... satisfaction."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Growing Up

I'm a bit afraid of getting older and losing my rabid interest in art, music, and literature. I don't want to abandon my whimsical fantasies for cold, boring practicality. But it happens to so many people when they grow up, have a family, take on responsibilities, and enter the "real world." I'll just try to soak up as much creativity as I can in my early twenties, so if it dies when I start my career, I'll still have collected some beauty to hold with me in my later years. Or maybe I can do something creative work-wise, and maintain my mind a while longer.

Just a few quotations to remind me that imagination can live on:

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities."
-- Dr. Seuss

Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
-- W. Somerset Maugham 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bob Dylan

I just finished Bob Dylan's memoir Chronicles: Volume 1. It's mostly a great book, but at points he goes on and on about things I'm sure most of his readers do not care about. It's also interesting how he basically skips over the height of his career. He jumps from pre-fame Greenwich Village Dylan to late sixties hermit Dylan. I guess enough has been said about Blonde on Blonde. But anyway, his voice and insights are amazing. He writes his book like he croaks his song lyrics: Dylan has an unmistakable way with language. I'm now confirming that he's a genius (just kidding, no one cares what I think). Also, I came away with a lot of sympathy for a man I'd previously regarded as cold, cruel, and distant.

Dylan variously talks about his "wife" in different stages of the book. But I looked up his relationships, and it's not always the same woman. I'm not sure if he's being sexist or just vague and mysterious.

Strangely enough, the woman in this photo, Suze Rotolo, is the only lover he mentions by name. And from outside research I found that they never married and weren't even together very long. But she must have influenced him a great deal. Then again, maybe he used those "my wife" labels to protect certain women's privacy. He hardly says anything personal anyway. We know he has kids, but he doesn't tell us who their mother is or even their names. If you want to find that out, you need to look elsewhere (which of course I did). It's interesting to see Dylan's privacy maintained in a form so confessional as the memoir. 

As is the case with most musicians' memoirs I've read, Bob Dylan's Chronicles educates the reader with a wide range of background knowledge. From this book I've learned about folk music, the poet Archibald MacLeish, and Robert Johnson. I've picked up some new favorites including Brecht's song from the Threepenny Opera "Pirate Jenny" and Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Bells." My summer reading lists are often enriched by these kinds of memoirs. I can't even tell you how much I've learned from Marianne Faithfull's wonderful books (see William Burroughs and Bulgakov's  The Master and Margarita). I think most of these figures from the sixties are just highly intelligent, curious, and self-educated people.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Paul Newman

I've been meaning to do a Paul Newman post for a while, and since a friend and I just watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, now seems as good a time as any. After seeing his beautiful sad face in that wonderful Tennessee Williams movie, I'm particularly caught up in Paul Newman fever. So here he is, the most beautiful man in the world (seriously, science has already proven it):

With the lovely Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Here we have young and sexy. 

With good friend and fellow beauty, Robert Redford

Older, wiser, and sexy.

With wife Joanne Woodward, talented actress and luckiest woman in the world-- 
the "steak" he had at home.

Ah, whenever I watch Paul Newman movies, I just want to marry him.

Also, you know he's done some nice stuff: great actor, married to the same woman for 50 years, supporting civil rights and gay rights, and of course Newman's Own. But above all, those EYES!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall

Some images I found:

Great flapper dress! 

I think this is a paparazzi shot, but it looks so fabulously stylized.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

T. Rextasy

I've been obsessed with glam rock lately. This is mostly due to my discovery of Marc Bolan and T. Rex.

I'd been aware of Marc Bolan before mostly through his association with David Bowie, but I've started listening to his music and I just love it. He has an interesting and enticingly mellow voice.

Poor dear died in a car crash when he was only 29 years old.

What's interesting is that my parents (who were teenagers when he was most popular) have no idea who he is. I guess he wasn't as big in the US. (Neither of them were really into glam rock either.)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

carry on my wayward son

Supernatural is a pretty great show. Its mix of classic rock, beautiful men, supernatural action, and comedy is irresistible. The subject matter and humor remind me a bit of Buffy (one of my favorite shows). I also like the conceptual homage to On the Road: Sam and Dean traveling across the country like Kerouac's Sal and Dean. In a very cool vintage Chevy Impala nonetheless.

Also, nothing can break your heart like this guy's sad face:

Jared Padalecki. For those who remember his sweetness from Gilmore Girls, his sensitive (most of the time) Sam Winchester is just wonderful. Note the "puppy dog eyes."

This show always has me swooning. It's just so hard to be a Winchester! They're so pretty, but they have to deal with so much...

Haha, I'm a sucker for troubled heros.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jerry Hall, Patti Hansen, and Jo Wood

I'm not sure, but given the years these women were with their respective Stones, I would guess this dates around late 70s to early 80s. Anyway, I think it's kind of fantastic. It looks like they're backstage.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Some Stones

Recording Some Girls in Paris. Very cool, shadowy photos.

From rollingstonesofficial.tumblr.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Velvet Goldmine (1998)

This is a great film. It deals with a David Bowie-like character who leads the rise and fall of glam rock. Velvet Goldmine is visually stunning and well put together. Jonathon Rhys Meyes is just beautiful, Ewan McGregor is sexy, Christian Bale is adorable, and Toni Collette is charming.

The music is wonderful, including glam rock standards, covers, and original pieces that fit right in with the ambiance. Beautiful clothing and set design add to the glamour and decadence.

The film is very academic. One of my favorite details is the green gem that gets passed from character to character. It supposedly belonged to Oscar Wilde, a pioneering dandy and the first pop star. Oscar Wilde quotations abound in Velvet Goldmine, and his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray features prominently in the beginning. It works perfectly to introduce the themes of eternal youth, vanity, decadence, and bisexuality.

The one issue I have is the implication that David Bowie completely sold out in the 1980s. Give the man a break, he couldn't be Ziggy Stardust forever.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Raquel Welch

I just watched a Raquel Welch interview on the Dick Cavett show. The effect she had on everyone (especially the men) was amazing.

I've never seen any of them, but it seems like most of her movies weren't very good.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Big Jewelry

Wearing some rather large rings has led me to wonder: how did Elizabeth Taylor ever wear gloves?

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Today is David Bowie's birthday! He's 65 I believe.


When I was a kid he used to scare the shit out of me. My Dad played the Best of Bowie CD in his car and I liked the music so I looked him up. Then I read a bit about the guy and saw some pictures and completely freaked out. I couldn't even think about David Bowie for a few years. Then when I was about 16 I heard Suffragette City in a Gilmore Girls episode and it BLEW MY MIND. I've since been an avid fan.


David Bowie's got some great personae. I think my favorite is The Thin White Duke, although strangely I'm mostly unimpressed with his music from that period. It's interesting, some of his songs I absolutely love, but there are also a whole bunch that do nothing for me.

Some of my favorite Bowie songs:

Kooks: So beautiful and sweet. I know it was probably crazy living with Daddy David Bowie, but this is the best hymn to unconventional parenthood. 
Changes (of course) 
Suffragette City: What the HELL is this about? I've heard it's heroin, a wild liberated woman, Clockwork Orange... I'd say it deals with blowing off one love (whatever or whoever that might be) for another that is more exciting. Although somewhat incomprehensible, the lyrics are great. 
Rebel Rebel: This gave me some solace as I walked in misery into the depths of my soul-sucking high school.
Modern Love: it gets me to the church on time 
Life on Mars?: Nothing better to help you study for an astronomy exam. Also, I love Bowie's phantasmagorical take on getting lost in meaningless movie cliches. 
Starman: He's waiting in the sky... 
I Got You Babe: This one is kind of strange. As far as I know it hasn't even been released on any official album. But David Bowie did a weird duet of this Sonny and Cher classic with Marianne Faithfull in his 1980 Floor Show (which actually occurred in 1973). Marianne is brilliantly dressed as a nun, but she is way out of it. Bowie actually does an amazing job. These two give an edge to what before sounded just simple and sweet. The original just bores me now that I've heard their version. Bowie's performance is engaging and just hilarious.

And these are because I find it hard to do a post without mentioning Mick Jagger:

What was the scenario that prompted him to wear a bathrobe?