Five Things: Wednesday 25th September

I Liked This Painting


Glanced through the window of the Riflemaker’s Gallery – once the Indica Gallery where Yoko Ono’s show in November 1966 had one J.Lennon as a visitor – a rather lovely painting with stylistic echoes of John Currin. Take the Night off (Laura Marling) by Stuart Pearson Wright [oil on canvas, 2013, 60 x 40 cm].

I Liked This Email
From Our Woodstock Correspondent, John Cuneo:
“I thought of you after reading that lovely Springsteen/burger story on your blog, and then 20 minutes later when I went out for a walk and said hello to a passing David Sancious  (he of the early E Street Band, and, I gather, just back from the road touring with Sting). We were about  mile out from downtown, across the street from the Bear Cafe  (the restaurant that Albert Grossman opened) and right at the bottom of Striebel Rd (where Dylan had his bike spill). I’ve never spoken a word to the guy before, but there was no one else around and it would have been awkward to not acknowledge each other, so I smiled and blurted out a “Hello David”, as if we see each other every day. Being from Jersey, I feel it’s my inherited geographical privilege to refer to all the E St. members by their first name ( I plan to go with just “Steve”, not Little Steven, if the opportunity presents itself).

I Liked This Poem
Bob Johnson, at the end of the Another Self Portrait Short Documentary.
“Down the kerb and around the bend he came and
It’ll never end now because he’s been on this rollercoaster ride ever since he left Minnesota.
He’s been brutalised, sunrised, baptised in the waters of the Village.
Still it goes on, from Soho to Moscow to Oslo.
They speak of this trip, this battleship, who sailed in the harbour of Tin Pan Alley and sank it with his Subterranean Homesick Blues.
There isn’t but one Bob Dylan.”

BobAnd now Bob,
metalwork artist,
is Cold Irons Bound
(or, as the Guardian
would have it,
singing “Ballad of
a Tin Man“).

I Liked Seeing Jimmy Nail On ’Later’
Just after the Kings Of Leon had vied for the title of World’s Most Unexciting Rock Band (they looked to be boring themselves to death with the sludge coming out of their amps), it was excellent to spy Jimmy Nail (Spender!) singing backing vox for Sting, looking in great shape. I remember our friend Sarah doing the costumes on Spender, and saying that she was off to work with Jimmy again on a “Country-singing-Newcastle-Boy-goes-to-Nashville“ story and that they were searching for an American actress who could sing. I remembered “Too Close”, sung beautifully by Amy Madigan on Ry Cooder’s Alamo Bay soundtrack and gave Sarah the record to play to the director and producer. Lo, they hired her! I hadn’t realised (’til a quick search told me) that Amy had form: throughout the late 1970s she played keyboard, percussion, and vocals behind Steve Goodman on tour. Sting’s luxury brand of Steely Dan Light™ came dripping with expensive guitar playing, like so many Swarovsky crystals flung over a bolt of minor ninths and flattened fifths. It was the aural equivalent of a Gucci Ad. For songs about the shipworkers of Newcastle, that’s sort of weird.

I Liked Zigaboo Modeliste At The 100 Club
A party in the summer of ’75 in Kennington. My friend Mick Gardner commandeers the deck and puts on the newly released album by the Meters, Fire On The Bayou. The evening had been a whirl of great funk records but this topped them all, and I recall thinking I would never in my life hear something funkier than this. I thought of that night on Sunday, listening, or rather feeling, the viscerally thrilling drumming of Joseph Modeliste, the Meters drummer. It was a terrific show, presented with avuncular charm (should that be afunkular?) by a master. Mark pointed out that the band were obviously inspired by the girls joyfully dancing at the foot of the stage, rather than the less-well coordinated gaggle of middle-aged white men behind, offering a variety of dance styles that covered the waterfront. To be fair, it was impossible not to dance, such was the floor-shaking power of Zig’s snare and hi-hat. Most things that you wanted to hear were played (“Africa”, “Just Kissed My Baby”, “People Say”, “Hey Pocky Way”), each better than the last.

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