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Break It Down Baby Now


I’m not sure I can explain the appeal, exactly. It’s manifestly appealing, of course, but it’s the explainin’ that’s hard. Why do these rude little nonsense adult nursery rhymes have the allure they do?

That’s Junior Walker and the All-Stars. When all of my friends were listening to Aerosmith records, I was listening to Junior Walker.

I learned to play bass guitar from my older brother. It took two hours. I’ve forgotten some of what he taught me during that two hours. It’s still enough. He explained the difference between James Brown and the Beatles: The Beatles are a chord, James Brown is a scale. A minor pentatonic scale, generally, if you’re interested. The Beatles are a piano. James Brown is a drumset. Ten days later I was playing for money in a nightclub. Shotgun. Junior Walker is a scale, too.

A magnificent, rhythmic, hypnotic, urgent, swinging, insistent, soul-shaking, hypersexual, sensuous, clanging scale. The go-go dancers are fine by me, too.

His real name is Autry De Walt Junior. Heh.

You Didn’t Have To Love Me Like You Did, But You Did

Man oh man, a lot of people have been nice to me and my family this last week. We’re moving to Rumford Maine, and the old saw about moving is really true: A good friend will help you move; a great friend will help you move a body. Well, I had dozens of friends, relatives and neighbors helping me empty all the shallow graves one accumulates when you live in one place for a long time, and I’m profoundly grateful to everybody.

My new neighbors are extraordinarily thoughtful and generous and kind and convivial. Some have ugly dogs and beautiful souls — a common combination. Another is some sort of wild-eyed writer dude, and it appears he’s educated at it, although it doesn’t seem to have hurt him none. Like all decent people, I am always deeply suspicious of persons that understand the Harvard comma, but he exhibits his cap and gown behavior only when cornered, and talks dress-casual the other 364 days of the year, which is a help to me.

The magnificent Mr. and Mrs. Bird Dog sent us a jolly spray of spring posies, the first thing ever delivered to our house. He’s another sort of fellow that understands the Harvard comma but won’t let on that he does. Bird Dog’s wife is a great beauty and I’m sure he has trouble demonstrating the requisite feats of strength to impress her enough to keep him around, and I hope he continues, as the flower selection will no doubt suffer if she’s not involved.

Marvelous polyglot lot around here amongst the tall stands of Yankees. Ebeneezer from Ghana and I talked furniture over the barbeque yesterday. Speaking of feats of strength, our teenaged neighbors Yago from Spain and Luiz from Brazil helped shlep our stuff inside. I have a corroded soul and didn’t mention the cast iron everything a woodworker favors until the truck door opened. We told them they could play X-Box with the large heir when we were done, and having unblemished souls, they don’t know a carny’s come-on when they hear it.

I’ll spend time in hell someday for that one, which is fine with me — as it’s a hell of a lot warmer than Rumford, Maine.

Sere And Roebuck

In the amen corner with the Staple Singers in Montreux in 1981.

We just clapped our hands…

Happy Colon Day (2009)

[We interrupt our regularly scheduled Some Enchanted Place extravaganza to properly celebrate Columbus…er…Colon Day. More SEP after the holiday]

I remember Columbus Day because I used to play music in a hundred and one bands anyone that would have me and try to make money to eat and get cigarettes and I don’t smoke and there still was never enough money and I played at a tee-totaling biker association party for two members’ wedding not gay a man and a woman that arrived on a motorcycle with the woman I think wearing a white Wedding Dress and no helmet and we played for one hundred sober bikers and ninety-nine of them were like accountants and one was like a serial murderer but they all looked exactly the same so you had to assume they all would kill you if they got the chance instead of the more likely thing that they’d do your taxes if you asked nice and I never played Born To Be Wild for a Wedding Song before and the bride’s father was in jail I think so she had to dance with the groom twice and the whole thing was held at the Italian-American Club on Gano Street in Providence but everybody calls it Guano Street for a joke haha and it’s a real long time ago but it might have been the Portuguese-American Club I don’t remember but I do remember it was Columbus Day and I went into the bar to get away from the sober biker accountants and that one serial murderer that were in the function room and it didn’t matter if it was the Italian-American Club or the Portuguese-American Club or the Knights Of Columbus Hall haha that would be funny but I don’t really remember but I distinctly remember a guy with a knife a real knife not a just a knife a dagger that came to a perfect point and didn’t fold or look like you could do anything wholesome with it it just looked one hundred percent like it was designed and made to gut a bass player and that guy held that knife right under my chin and explained to me in Portuguese that Cristobal Colon was Portuguese and don’t you forget it and my Spanish was very sketchy and Portuguese sounds like Russian to me not Spanish anyway but believe me I understood every damn word he said and I advise you all to answer the question did you know Cristobal Colon was Portuguese in the affirmative at all times.

The end.

The Rarest Of Things

A Beatles performance where the audience isn’t acting like hyperactive spider monkeys on a three day crack binge.

Tag: songs i’ve performed in a chinese restaurant in los angeles in 1980

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