Tag Archives: Bob Dylan Murder Most Foul

The little baby elephant has left the building

I slept 11 straight hours last night, and somewhere during the worst thunderstorm I can remember hearing in a long time, my fever broke and I awoke this morning to find that the cute little baby elephant who’s been sitting on my chest since Sunday night had departed.

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I’m still having trouble breathing but that horrible weight in my lungs is gone.

However, before I collapse right back into bed again, I want to give you a few happy updates!

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds have posted the new dates for their UK & European Ghosteen tour!  (And now that I know I will be in Zurich on June 3rd, 2021, this pretty much means that I can count on everything important in my professional life, in the US and Canada,  being scheduled for June 3rd, 2021, as well!!)

Okay. I sure hope I’m kidding about that!

Also, Nick Cave sent out another Red Hand Files letter today, this one talks about the new, utterly amazing Dylan song, “Murder Most Foul.” (I’m still listening to it, gang. And when you consider that the song is 17 minutes long, it’s quite an investment of focus.)

An interesting thing about the song — I texted YouTube links for the song to all of my friends right when the song came out. Well, to the ones that I knew liked Bob Dylan. And Kara was the first one who texted me back about it, and she had the same first-response that I did. And she nailed it: “That violin…” she said.

I know. That violin. It sears right into you; it manages to both chill and awaken your heart. It’s incredible.

All right. I need to get back to bed, so I will post the sad news. John Prine had been struggling with COVID 19 since the end of March and he finally succumbed last night. He was definitely one of those people who had seriously complex underlying health issues, so I’m sad to say that I was not surprised he succumbed. Still, I wish he could have gone in a less horrible way.

John Prine’s songs were a huge part of the 70s and 80s for me, being that, at that point in my life, I was a country/folksinger-songwriter myself. And  into the 90s, when I met Wayne and we got married, etc.,  Wayne was also a big John Prine fan. And Prine’s album, The Missing Years, was one of the cassettes (!!) we played relentlessly in the car when we drove cross-country on our honeymoon.

So I’ll leave you with 2 distinct types of John Prine songs. The bluegrass type that I feel he was best known for, and then a song from The Missing Years, that features Tom Petty, and is about James Dean, a movie star I totally love (and it also mentions my beloved Grandma’s first cousin, John Garfield!! ).

I’m gonna close now because I’m super tired, gang. Sorry for any typos. But thanks for visiting. I love you guys. See ya!

“That’s The Way That The World Goes ‘Round”

I know a guy that’s got a lot to lose.
He’s a pretty nice fellow but he’s kind of confused.
He’s got muscles in his head that ain’t never been used.
Thinks he owns half of this town.

Starts drinking heavy, gets a big red nose.
Beats his old lady with a rubber hose,
Then he takes her out to dinner and buys her new clothes.
That’s the way that the world goes ’round.

That’s the way that the world goes ’round.
You’re up one day and the next you’re down.
It’s half an inch of water and you think you’re gonna drown.
That’s the way that the world goes ’round.

I was sitting in the bathtub counting my toes,
When the radiator broke, water all froze.
I got stuck in the ice without my clothes,
Naked as the eyes of a clown.
I was crying ice cubes hoping I’d croak,
When the sun come through the window, the ice all broke.
I stood up and laughed thought it was a joke
That’s the way that the world goes ’round.

© 1978 John Prine

“Picture Show”

A young man from a small town
With a very large imagination
Lay alone in his room with his radio on
Looking for another station
When the static from the mouthpiece
Gave way to the sound below
James Dean went out to Hollywood
And put his picture in a Picture Show.
James Dean went out to Hollywood
And put his picture in a Picture Show.

[Chorus:]
And It’s Oh Daddy get off of your knees
Mamma why’d you have to go
Your darling Jim is out a limb
I put my picture in a Picture Show
Whoa Ho! Put my picture in a Picture Show

Hamburgers Cheeseburgers
Wilbur and Orville Wright
John Garfield in the afternoon
Montgomery Clift at night
When the static hit the mouthpiece
Gave way to the sound below
James Dean went out to Hollywood
And put his picture in a Picture Show.

[Chorus]

A Mocca man in a wigwam sitting on a Reservation.
With a big black hole in the belly of his soul
Waiting on an explanation
While the white man sits on his fat can
And takes pictures of the Navajo
Every time he clicks his Kodak pics
He steals a little bit of soul.
Every time he clicks his Kodak pics
He steals a little bit of soul.

[Chorus]

Yie Hi! Put my picture in a Picture Show
Here we go!
A young man from a small town
With a very large imagination…

© 1991 John Prine

A Break in the Weather!!

Well, so far, it’s only been mild rain so no more of my bathroom ceiling has landed on my bathroom floor.

(Btw, I don’t have an actual leak in the roof — there is a seam between where the roof meets the side of the house that needs re-sealing, and when extended torrential rains come with high winds, the water blows down in through that seam and then collects in the ceiling in my downstairs bathroom, and then — voila! Ceiling meets floor! Well, at least the plaster lands on the floor; it’s not the actual ceiling. But it does make a big fucking mess and now the ceiling needs re-plastering, too.)

Anyway, it is incredibly lovely here in Crazeysburg right now. The sun is up and the birds are singing and the temperature is  mild enough to have several of the windows open already. The cats are quite happy with this development! But by midday, we are supposed to get more rain…

If you follow my Instagram feed, you will no doubt have noticed that my joyful new coffee cup arrived yesterday!! “I like pretty things and the word Fuck”.  (You can see a photo of it down on the left there, if you’re on a computer, that is.) A woman artist, named CynthiaF, created this coffee cup design. She has many designs, in fact, that are quite flowery and that prominently feature the word “fuck” and they all make me laugh. But this one just really spoke to me, gang! (Other close favorites are: “Yippee Ki Yi Yay, Motherfucker!” and “Fuckity fuck fuck” and “She believed she could but she was TOO FUCKING TIRED so she didn’t” — that last one is a play on a popular girl-empowering slogan: “She believed she could so she did.”)

I’m gonna wait until after Easter to use my flowery new cup, though.

Also in yesterday’s mail, I got a collection of old photographs that my dad wanted me to have. I absolutely love photographs. Actually, even if I don’t even know the people in the photos — I love photographs.

Here is one that really startled me, though, gang. And not really in a good way. I remember this tree really well. This is back in Cleveland, summer 1968. I don’t remember the photo being taken. I think it’ s a sort of wistful picture of my older brother. Although I don’t remember him ever having bangs! (aka “fringe”) And I love the fact that he climbed that tree barefoot.

What startled me, though, was how sad I looked. And it’s obviously a candid shot; I’m not trying to look one way or another.  And looking at the photo yesterday only reminded me of how intensely intense my whole fucking childhood was, because every single moment of it was determined by the unpredictable, wildly-swinging moods of my adoptive mother. I hate to say that I’m glad it’s over — there is so much about my childhood that I loved. But I guess I’m glad it’s over — all the relentless stress of it.

Me and my older adopted brother, summer, Cleveland, 1968

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And speaking of the 1960s in America… WOW, is that new Bob Dylan song, “Murder Most Foul,” amazing, gang. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to it already. It is just chilling.

I’m guessing you need to be a Bob Dylan fan to like the song, and maybe you need to be of a certain age or era, to fully appreciate the many, many cultural references. And maybe you even need to be an American to get all of the horrific references to the conspiracy behind Kennedy’s murder. Still, it is just a staggering song. After my first listen (the song is 17 minutes long), I felt like: Okay, I guess I can die now because this is the scope of my whole life, summed up, right here.

It really felt that way.

I know a lot of people hate Americans. And I personally know a number of Americans who hate Americans and America, even though they still live here. But I have always loved being an American, even with all its turmoil and all its terrible things. I still love America. And “Murder Most Foul” really captured for me the paradox of that love.

But one of the truly exciting things for me was that the song “Nature Boy,” by Nick Cave & the Bad seeds, is referenced in the song. I was so fucking thrilled. They are now part of that landscape for all time.

So. Abstract Absurdity work did not happen yesterday. It just never got off the ground. Which is okay. We have time. There is no need to force it, you know, when emotions are high there over the virus stuff.

I got a text from Sandra yesterday that new pages of revisions on our other play will be coming my way starting today. (The Guide to Being Fabulous, which is now back to its original title of Hiding in Plain Sight. Although I kind of get the feeling that a third, as yet unknown, title will ultimately be chosen. We will find out!!)

But I’m excited to get back to work on this play.  It is still set to go into production later this year in Toronto — of course, the timing will now hinge on how long everything in the world is held captive by this virus. Eventually, though, the world will get back to normal, and, as they say, the show will go on!  And I, for one, am living for that moment!!

All righty, gang.  I’m gonna get started here.  Still not sure what I want to work on regarding my own stuff. We’ll see. (And now I really look forward to the evenings around here because I am really enjoying those reruns of DCI Banks!)

So things here are good. Tomorrow I need to go back into town, though, to go to the market. So we’ll see if I have another paranoia attack over everything I touch when I get home. (The county where the market is located has 3 confirmed cases of the virus now.) Regardless, I’m guessing tomorrow will be all about washing, washing, washing!! But today will probably be a nice, quiet one.

All righty. Thanks for visiting! I hope good things are coming your way today, wherever you are in the world. I leave you with “Nature Boy,” from the 2004 hard-to-spell double-album, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. If you’ve never heard it before — enjoy! (I guess, if you have heard it before, enjoy it again!!) Okay. I love you guys. See ya!

“Nature Boy”

I was just a boy when I sat down
To watch the news on TV
I saw some ordinary slaughter
I saw some routine atrocity
My father said, don’t look away
You got to be strong, you got to be bold, now
He said, that in the end it is beauty
That is going to save the world, now

And she moves among the sparrows
And she floats upon the breeze
She moves among the flowers
She moves something deep inside of me

I was walking around the flower show like a leper
Coming down with some kind of nervous hysteria
When I saw you standing there, green eyes, black hair
Up against the pink and purple wisteria
You said, hey, nature boy, are you looking at me
With some unrighteous intention?
My knees went weak,
I couldn’t speak, I was having thoughts
That were not in my best interests to mention

And she moves among the flowers
And she floats upon the smoke
She moves among the shadows
She moves me with just one little look

You took me back to your place
And dressed me up in a deep sea diver’s suit
You played the patriot, you raised the flag
And I stood at full salute
Later on we smoked a pipe that struck me dumb
And made it impossible to speak
As you closed in, in slow motion,
Quoting Sappho, in the original Greek

She moves among the shadows
She floats upon the breeze
She moves among the candles
And we moved through the days
and through the years

Years passed by, we were walking by the sea
Half delirious
You smiled at me and said, Babe
I think this thing is getting kind of serious
You pointed at something and said
Have you ever seen such a beautiful thing?
It was then that I broke down
It was then that you lifted me up again

She moves among the sparrows
And she walks across the sea
She moves among the flowers
And she moves something deep inside of me

She moves among the sparrows
And she floats upon the breeze
She moves among the flowers
And she moves right up close to me

© 2004 Nick Cave, James A Sclavunos, Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey

Nothing Beats Home Sweet Home!!

…day after day after day after day…

[UPDATE: Wow. Bob Dylan’s new song, “Murder Most Foul,” is incredible, gang. See below.]

Yes, gang! Here I am again. When I awoke this morning, I decided: What the heck — it just looks like more rain, so I think I’ll just stay home today!

My goodness. It is starting to feel a little endless.

I don’t mean any disrespect to any of my readers who might have the virus. I know for sure that a couple of you are quarantined in Europe with family members who do have the virus. So I don’t mean to be disrespectful of what any of my readers are going through. However, here in Muskingum County, we still have no confirmed cases of the virus (and a couple of the counties next to us that are also primarily farms do not have the virus), but of course the numbers from the urban areas all over Ohio go up daily and there are pockets of hysteria caused by the TV news media.

And here where I live, even while we’re also on Stay at Home orders, absolutely everything is exactly the same as it was.

So the strangeness of it all can get unbearable — the numbers of people getting sick, the amount of people dying, the news trying to get people to panic, it seems, since they don’t focus on any of the thousands of people getting tested here who aren’t sick  — or even the daily listings in the online newspaper from the nearest city, how many people die there every day who don’t have the virus. You know, people are just dying anyway.

And still Crazeysburg is absolutely the same as before. It is hard to process.

So, I slept ten hours last night. That is just unheard of for me. I usually sleep about 5 or 6 hours. But I am trying not to get depressed. So, every time I awoke and felt those creepingly bad thoughts at the edges of my brain, I forced myself to go back to sleep and not let my brain go in that direction.

It seems to have worked. I’m in a much better frame of mind here this morning! And even though I overslept, I can’t really tell myself that “the day is half gone” because tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow [Is that one of the best soliloquy’s of all time??!! — Ed.] will more than take care of any time I think I might have lost by oversleeping this morning.

And all that oversleeping gave me the chance to have a really strange dream about Nick Cave — over and over and over. I kept bringing him the same 3 bottles of white wine.  One at a time, I mean. One at a time, I kept bringing him 3 bottles of white wine. I don’t know what kind of wine it was — they were each in a Bordeaux-shaped bottle. Still corked. Ice cold and sweating. One time I actually brought an ice bucket. But other than that, it was  just on repeat, forever it seemed.

I personally don’t like white wine. Plus, I’m not sure that he even drinks anymore in real life. So I have no clue what was going on with that endlessly repetitive dream. But there you have it: my rest-filled night.

Today is an Abstract Absurdity Productions day. I hope. It didn’t go so swimmingly on Tuesday. Our phone meeting lasted less than 2 minutes. And even while I am prone to exaggerate, I am not exaggerating at all about that. It was quick and brutal and awful.

So here’s hoping today is better. I really don’t want to go for the entire quarantine not working on Abstract Absurdity stuff with Peitor. But I also want to give everybody all the space they might need right now, since everyone in the big cities has so much more on their plate right now than I do.

Plus, I also need to find a way to turn off the many voices in my head these days, because it is really interfering with me being able to write anything at all worth keeping. The words come but they don’t feel very inspired, so I don’t keep them.

It’s something I really want to start working on, beginning today — tuning in to words that can be productive and creative right now, since God knows, I’ve got all the time in the world to work on everything.

If you’re a Bob Dylan fan, he dropped a new song during the night. I haven’t heard it yet. It is called “Murder Most Foul” and is available on all streaming platforms. It’s about the Kennedy assassination and is apparently 17 minutes long. I will check it out momentarily.

Meanwhile, I guess I will get started around here. I hope the day is good to you, wherever you are in the world.  Thanks for visiting, gang. I leave you with something appropriate for all this rain we’re getting here, as well as a sort of reminder that we’ve been through Hell before and we’re still here. Okay? (The great multitude of lyrics are in the video.) All righty! I love you guys. I might check in again later. We shall see!