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But The Original’s Still The Greatest…

Lawrence Brown moved to Los Angeles and they told him no one named Lawrence Brown was gonna get hired so he named himself after Dobie Gillis, and Sonny Bono got him a gig and he had a hit. Later on he grew the requisite 70s fro and had a bigger one. He’s dead now — as dead as the faux-Motown show he had going on. There’s probably a little puddle of cool where he was standing, though, right up to this very day.

Then Ramsay Lewis got ahold of it. Jazz musicians gotta play something. Might as well be that. It’s a big cow and he’s still milking it, as far as I know. He’s really swinging it here, and the snare drum is a metronomic gunshot blast, and the bass player’s just toying with it, trying to keep the greezy line reined in, because he wants to stretch out. Then at a minute and a half Ramsay loses his shit and starts playing the sort of stride thing that audiences applaud, but I notice it very shortly sends them on their way to the john or out for smokes. Let’s go out for white bread.

Pet Clark’s gonna give you the version you need if you think The In Crowd requires perfect diction. She clips her syllables like a German prison camp commandant, and sounds about as cool as Algebra class. There’s more brass than a foundry, and they sound like they’re all pounding some sort of big, musical nail.

No, we need the absinthe and hashish version. We need the version playing in de Sade’s elevator. We need to get an unstructured evening coat with a shawl collar and slink around the pool like a skink. We want mothers to reel in their children when we walk down the sidewalk — except we don’t walk on the sidewalk, ever. We step from the car, over the gutter full of butts and broken glass, to pass through the velvet rope, held aside.

There’s a drink on the polished mahogany bar for you, but you’re already carrying one.

Tag: Dobie Gray

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