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Pat Speer

Bob Dylan tackles the Kennedy assassination: Murder Most Foul

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On 3/28/2020 at 8:28 PM, W. Niederhut said:

David,

       Have you seen Martin Scorcese's documentary, No Direction Home, about Dylan and Greenwich Village in the early 60s?

       I thought it was spell-binding all three or four times I watched it.   That was before my time, but I've been a folk (and rock) musician since the early 70s, and erstwhile Dylan impersonator, and I played music with some folk musicians from New York and New England in college.  (Mary Chapin Carpenter was a student at Brown in those days.)   Meanwhile, the Talking Heads had been in school down the Hill at RISD before moving to Manhattan and recording Psycho Killer in '77. The New England "counterculture" folk scene went the way of the dodo.

I agree that No Direction Home is amazing.  But, for me, it dug up so many memories that I had not really processed from those years that I have had to set it aside for now.  

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Not entirely OT -- A poem that I published earlier this month about the JFK assassination -- there is a Dylan reference too...

Days of Red Roses by Pamela Brown

The pompous teacher fills the classroom full of fire

shots ring out as bunsen burners take light

like Parkland, but was it only in her mind?

flames reduce, the class is quiet

measurements are taken

for the experiment.

“Only you and I would remember that there was World War II,” the teacher said.

She did not know what to do.

She had been trapped in that same room

two years ago while

a massacre raged in another state.

 

Shots ring out at noon, the limo

drags along.

“Get down!” People all around

standing

waving

as he crumples by her side,

red roses, thorns and leaves

between them.

Sun heavy with heat

There will be more.  Get out!

 

He watches her walk her little son to

St. David’s School

from his room on the second floor

where he is incarcerated by his parents,

on methadone.

Not far away, she watches the Zapruder at the

St. Charles Theatre

one showing only, shut down the next day

a secret none would even whisper about again

except for her…

the navy limo, golden cufflink, that smile

first seen in Philadelphia two years before.

the blood, white flesh

flying backward,

life to death in one moment…

 

He always gave her roses on that day

“They’ll die,” she said.

Their roots are cut away.

Besides, I don’t like red roses.”

That didn’t matter, he would say.

 

They married on that day, two years later

the minstrel and his Egyptian queen,

to stop the tumult in the vortex

to return what was to what had once been

But that all came apart

and in a public feud

She held her grace, but he

was in a vile mood

over the money he had lost

and how his name

was dragged through the mud.

All that was secret

was coming out

and all because of her…

 

She left the classroom and the school that day

breathing relief seeing the flag waving

cheerfully at full staff,

its scarlet stripes offset

by blue and white

no red roses today, she said

not today…

https://dylagence.wordpress.com/2020/03/13/days-of-red-roses/

 

 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Pamela Brown said:

Yes, I agree.  Just surprising, as my roommate and I saved up to go to the coffee houses in the Village and we saw some great people -- Mort Sahl, Dick Gregory, and a number of others. I really wish I had seen Dylan back then too...

I'm NYU 1983.  Lou Reed at the Bottom Line,

Edited by David Andrews

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Martin Scorsese (who's back making films since the 1960s, BTW) is the one

who made the Dylan documentary mentioned above.

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The subject of folk music back when reminds me of a trio that used to play at a club in St. Augustine around 1960. I forget what they called themselves (it was a gal and two guys like Peter, Paul and Mary), but their signature song was "I'm a-Crackin' Up from a Lack o' Shackin' Up." (I guess it was an original, I don't know.)

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2020 at 8:56 PM, David Andrews said:

I'm NYU 1983.  Lou Reed at the Bottom Line,

Nice!  I also saw the guy with the sinking of the Rice Krispies...and I saw James Earl Jones in Baal at the way-off Broadway 'theatre' Martinique, which was so small, he spat on me as I was seated on a bench that constituted the front row!

Edited by Pamela Brown

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19 hours ago, Joseph McBride said:

Martin Scorsese (who's back making films since the 1960s, BTW) is the one

who made the Dylan documentary mentioned above.

Yes...

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Pamela Brown said:

Nice!  I also saw the guy with the sinking of the Rice Krispies...and I saw James Earl Jones in Baal at the way-off Broadway 'theatre' Martinique, which was so small, he spat on me as I was seated on a bench that constituted the front row!

I saw Al Pacino in Richard III at Circle in the Square.

Edited by David Andrews

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20 hours ago, David Andrews said:

I saw Al Pacino in Richard III at Circle in the Square.

Impressive!

 

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21 minutes ago, Pamela Brown said:

Impressive!

 

It was nice to be in the house with Al, but it wasn't a convincing Richard.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, David Andrews said:

It was nice to be in the house with Al, but it wasn't a convincing Richard.

Can't picture Al Pacino as Richard III.

"A horse!  A horse, dammit!  My God d*mned kingdom for a f**king horse!!"  🤥

Edited by W. Niederhut

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, W. Niederhut said:

Can't picture Al Pacino as Richard III.

"A horse!  A horse, dammit!  My God d*mned kingdom for a f**king horse!!"  🤥

It was definitely a personal interpretation.  About thirty years later he did it on film, but not quite the way he did in in the early 1980s.

John Simon savaged the show in New York magazine.  That ought to still be kicking around on the 'net - it was one of his most famous put-downs.

After the show we got something to drink and had to walk back past the theater to get home.  People were waiting by the stage door alley for autographs.  Pacino came out, signed a couple programmes, and then got in a Land Rover with some people.  He raised his hand and said, "Hank you!"  I'll never forget how that sounded, in Al-speak and without the Th- sound.  Hank you!

EDIT: Here's the infamous John Simon review:

https://books.google.com/books?id=JdjFy4ez1IMC&pg=PA140&lpg=PA140&dq=John+Simon+Al+Pacino+Richard+III&source=bl&ots=O3UaaiYBVi&sig=ACfU3U0vKkqOH4QbNdvqw40_v9n_4nJPAg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj35MiRsMboAhWmlnIEHQ1pB7oQ6AEwAHoECA8QKQ#v=onepage&q=John Simon Al Pacino Richard III&f=false

Hank you!

Edited by David Andrews

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That was really funny.  I always liked Simon better as a theater critic than a film critic.  He was really a literary guy.

 

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Let me add something about the actual topic:

I am going to do some revisions to my article.  I never meant it to be comprehensive but some people have taken up where I left off and done some rally nice comments.

On top of that some others have talked to Dylanologists to add other insights.  Its really nice when it gets interactive.

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On 3/31/2020 at 8:32 PM, David Andrews said:

It was nice to be in the house with Al, but it wasn't a convincing Richard.

Oh no, I am sorry to hear that...

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