Thursday, March 19, 2015

WALDEMAR MATUSAK - Czech versions of Bob Dylan and Marvin Hamlisch

All right, I'll get the stupid puns out of the way as quick as I can. Just call me Praguematic. Slovackian legend Waldemar Matusak spent his last years in America, but certainly had a Czech-ered career. He was a star in his native land through the 60's and 70's. Waldemar (July 2, 1932 - May 30, 2009) was not only a popular singer, but an actor as well, starring in Lemonade Joe (1964), If a Thousand Clarinets (1965), The Phanto of Morrisville (1966), The Pipes (1966), Hotel For Strangers (1967) and All My Good Countrymen (aka "All My Compatriots) in 1968. He added more in the 70's including "A Night in Karlstein" (1974).

As is often the case with European performers, Matusak embraced a variety of styles, having hits with pop, folk and ethnic music. Aside from originals in his own language, he happily covered hits from other countries, including translations of French pop by Hugues Auffray and Gilbert Becaud among others, and American ballads originally done by Frankie Laine and Al Jolson. Like many a burly foreigner ("Ronny" of Germany comes to mind), Waldemar had a love of cowboy music, and scored with his tongue-twisting versions of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and "High Noon," the latter re-named "Bud Porad Se Mnou." And I think that rather than high noon, the gunfight itself took place at around 5pm, Prague time.

One way in which Waldemar was similar to the other pop stars of his day, was his early habit of singing through his nose. Dylan did it, and the cover here of "Blowin' in the Wind" seems pretty authentic. The effect isn't quite so romantic on the Marvin Hamlisch ballad "The Way We Were," but fans of the unusual, or even the eerie, will be most amused.

Given the stormy political climate of the Slovakian and Slovinian and just plain Slobby countries, it's no surprise that in the 80's, with Waldemar now living in Florida, the Commies found some reason or other to ban Waldemar's music. All was forgiven thanks to a change of leadership in 1989, and he was welcomed back home as a music legend. He divided his time between international touring, and the good life in the U.S.A. The po' guy died in 2009, but here, Monsieur Waldemar lives!

Waldemar Slýchám harmoniku hrát (The Way We Were)

Waldemar Vitr to Vi (Blowin' in the Wind)

"Detox Mansion" Warren Zevon 2/27/1990 for LIZA MINNELLI

"It's hard to be somebody. It's hard to keep from falling apart."

So sang Warren Zevon on "Detox Mansion."

The song somewhat comically referenced Minnelli (as well as Elizabeth Taylor).

So the other day, it was reported that after a decade of sobriety, Liza's had to check in for some treatment.

I'm no poofter, and I'm not exactly fond of hearing her sing "Life is a cabaret, old chum," but I've always had a soft spot for the lady. This is sad news.

Musically speaking, while she was never all that interested in rock, she sometimes worked outside of her show-tune-bombast comfort zone, covering "For No One," "Everybody's Talkin'," "Look of Love," and other songs that didn't require pipes like her mother or Ethel Merman. And while it's certainly disco-fruity more than cutting edge, the results weren't bad on her Pet Shop Boys collaboration from 1989, "Results," which included strong beats in a pulsating take on the sad Sondheim ballad "Losing My Mind."

That was the CD booklet she autographed for me. A mutual singer friend, older than both of us, was an alkie. He appreciated the Poe line I sometimes quoted to comfort him: "What disease is like alcohol?" To which he'd be prone to snort, "Ain't I a pain in the ass?" And yes, getting a call to come scrape him off a sidewalk after a bar binge did make him a pain in the ass sometimes. I have no idea what caused Liza's relapse, but it was probably one of her various physical ailments that required medication and unfortunately, some added self-medication.

I haven't glimpsed Liza in person in a long time; not since the debacle of her relationship with some waxy guy not worth mentioning by name. The weird thing was I saw those two in a local restaurant. She went out to have a cigarette, and he stayed behind, looking grim. He seemed so bored and miserable I thought maybe he was just a bodyguard, or some escort hired for the evening. They were not a love match. But shouldn't a hired hand have followed the lady outside, in case of photographers or some autograph hound? Later on, when their photos together appeared in the tabloid, I realized this fame queen (him, not her) was unfortunately for real, another bad decision in her life.

Zevon was right: "It's hard to be somebody." Especially if your mother was somebody, too. As for the chords of fame, yes, "It's hard to keep from falling apart." Liza probably wasn't even famous to most of the under-40 viewers of the Academy Awards show when she was STILL subjected to a zinger. She was sitting in the audience when a tranny joke slapped her in the face, courtesy of the normally oh-so-elfin and nice Ellen Degeneres. Charming Ellen singled her out, pointing at "one of the best Liza Minnelli impersonators I've ever seen in my entire life. Good job, sir."

Zevon tended to rock "Detox Mansion" with that arched eyebrow, suggesting that self pity is as dangerous as self-medication. So hopefully L.M. is getting that combo of tenderness and tough love to help her along. And, no, I don't think in Liza's case going into detox is a publicity move. Warren had a feeling some past-the-prime celebs do enjoy that kind of drama: Well, I'm gone to Detox Mansion, way down on Last Breath Farm. I've been rakin' leaves with Liza. Me and Liz clean up the yard..."

Warren Zevon Detox Mansion, Live In Minneapolis, February 27, 1990

Monday, March 09, 2015

Hey Boy George, "YES I WANT TO HURT YOU" - vintage sham pain from Georgie Girl

People who grew up in the 80's, and NEVER grew out of their love for shitty 80's mutant rock, keep saying "Please come back" to people who should get lost.

I understand what nostalgia is, but, right said Fred, "Fuck off!" I don't want to see sea gull hairstyles again. I don't excuse herpes just because "girls just wanna have fun." Synthesizers are almost as annoying as vocoders. Nobody still wants to eat a fucking Vegemite sandwich because some oddball Aussie sang about one. Hey Mickey, Hey Mickey, Hey Mickey…let's NOT dance to David Bowie's sea sick disco music OR the inane "Men Without Brains" camp-upchuck-punk "Safety Dance." And if you tell me "Don't Worry Be Happy" I'll say go eat a cannibal (it's incredible).

As for Boy George and his 1982 simpering and garish "Do You Want To Hurt Me?" WHAM! This is a new age, fellas. Don't keep hunting men's rooms for George Michael, or calling out the always outre and out Boy George. Boys acting like girls is out. Sex change operations are in. Just ask Bruce Jenner.

Why people still want this idiot Boy George to come back and "entertain" is just a sign of how brain-damaged they got from listening to 80's schlock. This was, after all, the VIDEO generation, where Falco, Duran Duran, Michael Jackson and all types of idiots used flashy visuals to disguise how rancid the music was. You were supposed to watch it, dance to it, fuck to it...but not actually LISTEN TO IT. The music was so crappy, it had to rely on fashion, and dopey posturing. Hungry like a wolf? Go throw up like a rat, you tasteless bunch of tweens.

Yet, ever since 1982, Boy George's anal followers have looked backwards in lust and desire, squealing "Please sir/madam, can we have some...MORE moronics?"

So the world was treated to a puffy, porcine Boy George or George posturing about in some new twist on androgyny, while singing forgettable junk that couldn't make for a comeback, and couldn't even make his most devoted fans come. Even so, he was never out of the headlines. He sure could give headlines. Even down and out, he made the papers. After an arrest and the punishment of community service: "Here's Boy George sweeping garbage from a Manhattan street" rather than trolling for garbage in a Greenwich Village alley.

So indelible is Boy George and that old wimpy anthem for uh, tolerance of pretentiousness, that there was recently yet another attempt to get him and his band back together. There was even a film crew to document this fetid germ of an idea. The result? Well, considering how snarky the gay community actually is, you wonder how many of his fans have been laughing AT and not WITH the joke he's become. It's possible only a few mewling middle-aged women took it seriously. Most viewers had to be rolling their eyes while watching the BBC4 cockumentary of caca, "Karma to Calamity."

This doesn't include ME, by the way. I've added this entry after having read about the recently aired TV show from a trustworthy blogger today. It had me recalling the "Georgie Girl" parody, so I thought I'd digitize it and add some fuel to the bonfire of The Boy's vanity.

The documentary was hoping to show the latest, and most triumphant comeback attempt of the yogurty Culture Club members and their vain diva leader, Goy Bore. Er, Boy George. Alas, thanks to George being even a worse queen than Ray Davies, the documentary hobbled to an end with NO big concert date, NO new album, and NOBODY being that upset over the squalid spectacle of a rock band and its leader not get along.

This blog returns to the glam 80's ONLY to prove that even back then, this simpering George Jackass was well-loathed. Shot down even worse than George Jackson, the comical assassins at the Rhino novelty label, hired "Georgie Girl" to sing fantasies of destruction. Her answer song, complete with death scenarios: "YES, I REALLY WANT TO HURT YOU." Just what led Rhino to figure a British androgyne could ever date a Jewish American Princess bitch, I have no idea.

Nasty "Georgie Girl" is seething because "that fageleh stuff was not an act!" More shrewish than Jewish, she sounds like Patti Smith after eating past-expiration date herring. Or maybe a more Jewy Lesley Gore after eating past-expiration date cunt. No, no, the problem with "Georgie Girl" is that her boyfriend has turned out to BE a cunt. Chorus:

"Yes I really wanna hurt you, yes I really wanna make you cry. Shove your dreadlocks on the burner, then I'll laugh as I watch you fry!"

An awful flash-in-the-bedpan singer gets what he deserves, an awful parody. At least "Georgie Girl" had the good taste to NEVER record AGAIN. No such promise has come from Oy George.

Georgie Girl Yes I Really Want to Hurt You

INVISIBLE - Martin Briley & Miserable "Invisible" Disabilities

Ripped out of today's headlines: "INVISIBLE DISIBILITIES."

This girl, testifying about just how sick she is (even if you can't see it), instantly had me thinking of that champion of the peculiar, Martin Briley. He could've written her story. Maybe he has, give or take a line.

The article that was on NPR's website today is below. It's all about the "Invisible Disibilities" this lady, and millions of others, have to deal with.

As for Martin Briley, his lyrics have sometimes been "invisible," or at least, misconstrued. Happily, sometimes it's been for profit. The best example is "Me Without You," which became a #1 on the "Christian" charts when it was mistakenly interpreted as a song about Jesus. Another fine example: "Invisible," which turned up on a Barbie movie soundtrack, and covered by a then-unknown Kesha, even though it's actually Briley's take on what one of the Columbine killers may have been thinking. "Like the wind I'll blow you all away" is the key line that gets lost, or diluted, especially when a chick is singing it.

"Invisible" disabilities are all around us:

See that guy on the bus who didn't give up his seat to a lady? Everybody's hating him and glaring at him. Should he tell them that he's a vertigo sufferer, and lucky that his meds even let him stand up long enough to get on a bus and go see his doctor?

Don't see the girl you thought would be at the party? That's because she's suffering a "flare," with an embarrassing ailment she keeps from all but her closest friends. She'd rather appear to be flighty or snooty than...defective.

With most song lyrics, some lines get through, some don't. The execs at Barbie who happened to hear Kesha's demo, heard only the lines about alienation, and feeling "invisible," which were things teenage girls could relate to. They didn't quite pick up on the line "I'll blow you all away," especially with the sweet vocalizing of this lady.

Today, on the blog, "Invisible" is being slanted as an anthem that could be sung by Carly Medosch (photo above). She looks normal on the outside, because her ailment is invisible. She is suffering the shitty world of Crohn's Disease, with its pain, fatigue, and embarrassing problems of digestive misery. There are no doubt, times when she'd like to "blow away" the well-intentioned idiots who say "surely, if you eat the right diet, you won't have a problem" or those who want to deny that the world is unfair, and say instead, "your doctor must be giving you the wrong meds."

There are wayyyyyy too many people in the world who seem to disappoint others by suddenly leaving a party, or backing out of a project, or lapsing e-mails because they are overwhelmed by anxiety, depression, or a physical ailment that just isn't evident. These suffers of "invisible" ailments can't point to a wheelchair, or a scar as the reason they can't do something. worse, there's usually a stigma attached to explaining the problem.

Who wants to admit to being a nervous nelly, or having a phobia, or having to explain that any minute they could shit their pants? Often a problem is denied with a disdainful, doubtful "You don't LOOK sick." People don't like being a nuisance, or seeming different, and it can be worse if a person looks normal and therefore gets no sympathy or even courtesy when there's a problem. Instead it's a surly growl of "You don't LOOK sick." People don't think: "Oh, maybe he didn't hold the door for me because he doesn't have the strength," or "she's walking slow because there's a problem."

You'll find the story on the website ("People with Invisible Disabilities").

The highlights are here:

Some writers of lyrics and poems prefer to leave some aspects vague. They like to let the reader color some things in, and "share" the experience and emotions. Sportswriter Bob Costas was delighted to think that Paul Simon's line "the cross is in the ballpark" had to do with the Pope coming to Yankee Stadium. Paul had to gently shake his head "no." And if "Invisible" has you thinking of Claude Rains, or Kesha nude, or a Crohn's girl walking calmly to the ladies room with a change of underwear in her purse...congrats to your imagination. You're entitled to personalize any song you hear. But all praise to the original author, Martin Briley.

Lots of lines in this song are quite universal, and beyond the world of Columbine or Crohn's:

"Maybe I'm just not like everyone. I fade a little more each's hard to feel when all you feel is numb...I could disappear without a trace..." KESHA sings Briley INVISIBLE, listen on line or download. No capcha codes, money requests, password with an ego-driven name like Zinfart, dopey ads or malware sneakiness.

Ron Nagle - FRESH BAD RICE! And listen to the BERBELANG

Yes, after 45 years, "Bad Rice" has been issued on CD. With bonus tracks including the perverse "Berbelang." So far it might be the best thing that's happened in 2015.

Back in 1970 Warren Zevon was nowhere close to writing "Werewolves of London." Randy Newman hadn't gone completely overboard with "Half a Man," about a horrific role reversal that began "This big old queen was standing on the corner of the street. He waved his hanky at me..."

But Ron Nagle was on the edge of weirdness. He wrote and sang about a blue-haired drag queen with an infra-red suntan and whooping cough. Though possessing a razor blade and a mirror for some high grade cocaine, this creature was a self-proclaimed disaster. Chorus: "No one could have worse luck than mine, 'cept someone bitten by the Berbelang."

Did people listening to the radio ask themselves WHAT is a Berbelang? No. Because Warner Bros. didn't release the song. After all, Warners hadn't had success with the songs on the one album they did release. Many were as bizarre as "Berbelang," too.

Many of Nagle's songs are checklists of depravity and dysfunction. The stanzas are more like Exhibit A, Exhibit B, and Exhibit C, with a chorus or two. The "Bad Rice" album included "Marijuana Hell," a set of case histories on pot smokers gone wrong. "Frank's Store" described a pathetic bodega ("warmest beer in cans, day old meat and toys made in Japan") that burns down, taking with it the dreams of a prideful simpleton with nothing else in his life. "Family Style" lists the singer's insidious uncle, the brother who stepped on a parakeet, and mom, "who picked dollars off the table" via her vaginal lips, ala the legendary Billie Holiday when she was working and being cheap. If there's not enough psychotic behavior in a character's life, the main obsession is simply repeated a few times, like homicidal Chuckie (of "61 Clay") kicking his mother's head again and again. Or the serio-comic Dad who just keeps repeating "the stork is coming one more time," as his house fills up with kids, and he obsessively dreams of the inane alternative of samba beats, and the garish joys of "mangos and gin, and pink tapioca."

Despite Ry Cooder guesting on a few cuts, production from legendary Jack Nietzche, and sticking "Family Style" on a "loss leader" sampler album, Warner Bros. was dismayed with the poor sales for the critically acclaimed "Bad Rice." So there would be no follow-up album, or a 45 rpm for "Berbelang." Oh. A berbelang is a mythical vampire legend in Malaysia.

Some of what went wrong, and right for Ron Nagle before and after "Bad Rice" is covered in the copious notes in the CD booklet for this re-issue. There's an extra CD of demo material from the era. Added to the CD with the complete "Bad Rice" are a few alternate takes (you'll hear Ron "cry cry cry" a long, long, long time on the alternate of "Frank's Store").

There's also "Berbelang" and what would've been the B-side, "Francine" (a song about S&M way before Grey). Let me add that these latter two items, though available for quite a while as "KSAN demos" and even available through the archive org site of stuff that is and isn't public domain, are PRISTINE on the CD. On the authorized version, you can really hear what sounds like a teeming bat-load of vampires roaring out of a cave. Or is it the sound of a drag queen's teeth becoming fangs and then crackling to pieces as they gnash together?

Your download below is the KSAN version of "Berbelang." It should be enough to give you some idea of Ron Nagle's brand of rocking raw nerve nutsiness...the kind of thing that perhaps influenced the direction Mr. Zevon would take, and what could be covered by one-time label mate Randy Newman.

Cooders (a variation on kudos) to the tiny company with the huge name (Omnivore) for the re-issue. Years ago, I had recommended a re-issue of "Bad Rice" to some execs at a few of the usual suspects in the re-issue field. The main problem was usually, "We can't deal with Warners. They want too much money." This, despite Nagle winning a Billboard poll that asked who their readers most wanted on CD. Also credit Omnivore with retaining the art work which helped doom the record, specifically the back-cover of gruesome "Chuckie" (complete with missing tooth) that some horrified disc jockeys assumed was Nagle.

At this point, with CDs on their way out, and nobody caring about liner notes, fans of Nagle at least have a lot to listen to. Aside from this 2 CD set, there exists a collection of material from Ron's days with the pioneering San Francisco group "The Mystery Trend," the "Taj Mantis" instrumental album, and a re-issue (with bonus tracks) of The Durocs.Through Ron's own you can order several solo albums he released independently, and learn more about his career with killer kiln work (he's a well-respected ceramic artist). The website also mentions his dabblings in movie soundtracks, and in mainstream music (songs on a Barbra Streisand album). If you reach the music part of his site and know that the picture of an open door leading to death via river drowning is from a Charlie Chan film, you ARE Ron's kind of fan!

Let's add that Ron Nagle also co-wrote what is probably the best song The Tubes ever recorded, "Don't Touch Me There." And if you'd like something visual, go over to YouTube and punch in "It Hurts To Be In Love" by The Durocs. In a music video that had to have frightened the vee-jays and va-jay-jays at MTV, they give a whole new spin on Gene Pitney's classic. The sleazefest features an oily pedophile, a hideous greasy spoon diner, and a nightmare of geeks and freaks trying to connect or avoid each other. Now on CD, it's not quite so easy to avoid "Bad Rice." If you've got the stomach for the posts here at this blog, buy a copy ASAP (and stay absolutely pathological).

Ron Nagle Berbelang, KSAN demo version. The real deal is on the new CD.

Rod McKuen - OUT THE DOR

Since last month, the grim reaper (as opposed to Kanye, the Grim Rapper) cut down a variety of celebrities. A little over a month ago, one of the victims was the poet, singer-songwriter and weird creator of novelty songs, Rod McKuen.

Obviously, it's his latter, neglected oevre that interests this blog. While a lot has been written about Rod McKuen (April 29, 1933 – January 29, 2015), much of it snarky, he was pretty hip in the novelty category for a while. So when Diane Keaton mewls "McKuen!" in Woody Allen's "Sleeper," let's think she meant "The Mummy," and not his greeting card poetry.

"The Mummy" credited to "Bob McFadden and Dor" was such a novelty hit, there was even a quickie copycat cover (by "Bubi & Bob") trying to snag away some sales. Not quite in the same league with "Monster Mash" or even "Purple People Eater," McKuen did create a cute, cartoonish single. McFadden (who supplied narration for a horror theme song album produced by Dick Jacobs, and would later voice Richard Nixon for a novelty album) was the nerdish mummy. Like Casper the Friendly Ghost, this spook didn't mean to frighten people. But did. The punchline comes via his encounter with a beatnik (Rod, alias Dor).

At the time, McKuen was doing hip readings in the same venues as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. As a folk singer (another huge fad at the time) the poet was making tentative steps toward a music career. Weirdly enough, his biggest success at the time was with novelty numbers, including the lesser known "Oliver Twist." "The Mummy" sparked the need and greed for a quickie album, featuring more horror comedy. The liner notes explained who Bob McFadden was, but there was only a nominal mention that Rod McKuen was Dor. After all, who was McKuen? Dor was barely a sidekick or secondary voice on a few tracks.

The McFadden and Dor album did include "Son of the Mummy," and other facile horror-comedy tracks, including "I Dig You Baby," with McFadden doing Karloff as a vampire, narrating a poetry-in-jazz number. The track includes the monster "in a jar" joke, which Spike Jones also used in a Paul Frees Frankenstein narration on his "In Stereo" album.

A more generic item, Rod's "Beverly Hills Phone Directory," gets its yocks by simply naming obscure performers. It might be the origin of the cruel "Sonny TUFTS?" line. In the goofy "Noisy Village" McKuen replicates odd and menacing noises in a sound cartoon mocking Martin Denny's exotica hit, "Quiet Village." "The Beat Generation" explored, and put down the more pretentious qualities of that era's hipsters. You get that one below, in stereo. It's one of the four tracks (including "The Mummy") actually written by McKuen alone.

Happily for Rod, he soon won infamy and fortune for his mainstream poetry books, and by buttering American lyrics onto some Jacques Brel tunes, notably "Seasons in the Sun." Rod's particular brand of bathos even impressed the "Chairman of the Broads," Frank Sinatra, who ended up doing an entire album of McKuen. Koo-koo, baby. Rod was savvy enough to own his own record label, Stanyon. The name was based on a street in Rod's beloved San Francisco.

The oddest thing about Stanyon was that it licensed a Kenneth Williams "Rambling Syd Rumpo" record for American release. Almost nobody in America had any idea who "Rambling Syd Rumpo" was, and barely knew or cared that Williams was the effeminate guy in "Carry On" film comedies. Call it a gay favor, or Rod never losing his oddball novelty interest. It was probably the least successful Stanyon release.

And so we say goodbye to the corporeal Rod McKuen, but, "listen to the warm," and you just might absorb some molecules that could be him, ladies and gays. Among the spiritually gooned, he's immortal for a few novelty 45's and for bringing the Marty Feldman-penned "Rumpo" songs (many originally done by Williams for radio's "Around the Horne" show) for Americans to ignore. Your download is below, and don't let Dor kick you in the ass on your way to it.

Bob McFadden and Dor Beat Generation

Straight Talk: Mumbling was part of Clark Terry's great legacy

Clark Terry died at the age of 94, on February 21st. He was living in Arkansas and had been in poor health for quite a while. One of his last great appearances was at Birdland in 2003, and among the admirers was Soupy Sales. I had to mention to Mr. Terry that, yes, I was "one of your Soupy fans…I first heard your music when Pookie (the puppet) danced around to the soundtrack of "Mumbles" on Soupy's show."

Though Terry was best known as a brilliant session player (trumpet and flugelhorn) and put out his own records and was a regular in clubs, and even spent some time in Carson's "Tonight Show" band, his foray into vocals provided his trademark. It's playing on his website ( and he recorded many versions of it over the years. Probably the best known is the one he did guesting with the Oscar Peterson Trio.

"Mumbles," aka the "incoherent blues," was a parody of hipster-speak as well as the old blues singers who seemed like they were saying something important even if nobody could tell. You could go from Sammy Davis Jr's cha-ka-sha-bow scatting to Bill Cosby's nonsensically histrionic vocal riffs (especially the theme song for his first sitcom) and it all comes back to Clark Terry.

All the greats knew and loved Clark Terry, from Miles Davis to Quincy Jones, from traditionals such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie to the farther out Thelonious Monk and Charlie Mingus. When Carson's "Tonight Show" moved to California, Terry stayed in New York to be part of the jazz scene there. He tooted and he tutored, and like so many musicians, songwriters and singers, he put the joy of his art above getting a day job. Unfortunately, a lot of dull people who have day jobs, and then get pensions, have no sympathy or appreciation for creative artists. In other words, it's "don't ruin our fun" when it comes to "sharing" (and don't call it "stealing") and don't interrupt our Communist rants of "everything should be FREE."

Now, contrary to what some Seniormole or Chris-Goes-Crumb or Devil Girl of Death or Kim Dotcom or other funny-named denizen of the blog world, forums or torrents might think, musicians can't tour into their 80's and 90's and sell t-shirts to make up for stolen music and lost royalties. They can't, like street panhandlers, deal with the humiliation of Spotify throwing pennies when it doesn't pay the rent. They couldn't work at some dull job all day, and magically tour the country or be up all night playing in those clubs that don't exactly pay that well.

Just how fucked up the situation was for Clark, might be gleaned from a page that was on his website.

Somehow, people who are not in the music business, who never interviewed a celebrity, who have no idea what the workings are in getting deals or maintaining a career in a competitive field, are the ones who are in the position to mind somebody else's business. Thanks to the Internet they can do everything from bully a teenager to death to steal royalties and send someone into poverty and a fatal state of depression. There's always a rationalization for the entitlement. It can be anything from simple surliness and the glee of being evil, to sanctimonious bullshit about "music should be free," or "the record labels and managers screw the artists too," so they can do it, and so can Lord Savior Spotify. Hey, posting a daily give-away of albums on the Net somewhere is "good publicity." You can tell the parasites: they just post music and ask for "nice comments" and if there's any text, it's stolen from Wikipedia or "All Music" and passed of as their own. Yes, it helps non-entities pretend they're in show biz, while kicking real artists OUT of show biz.

Clark Terry's choice was to be a freelance musician, and despite the odds he managed to make it a career. Too bad in an era of inflation and poor social security, and unions that couldn't cover his needs, he suffered at the end. It wasn't helped by piracy, the extinction of record stores, the cheapening of music via mp3s, or Spotify turning out to be no substitute for radio royalties.

Fortunately Clark Terry had friends to build a website for him (even if they couldn't pay for all his needs) and folks who visited and cheered him (even if they couldn't pay for all his needs). And in this world of mumbles (such are promises), where all things lie in jest, and where Clark Terry lies in Woodlawn Cemetery, here's a salute to a guy who put smiles on the faces, and made fingers snap and feet stomp. He even made a rubber puppet named Pookie dance.

Clark Terry Mumbles