" . . . you've got to stand up for the imaginative world, the imaginative element in the human personality, because I think that's constantly threatened . . . People do have imagination and sensibilities, and I think that does need constant exposition." -- John Read
"To disseminate my subjective thoughts and ideas, I stealthily hide them in a cloak of entertaining storytelling, since the depth of my thinking, shallow at best, might be challenged by erudite experts." -- Curt Siodmak
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Thursday, December 31, 2015
|'Where Eagles Dare' -- a righteous bloodbath|
This was our male paradigm. The warrior, reluctant to kill but grimly determined to defeat the enemy, ready to sacrifice his own life if need be. The G. I. Joe doll, Sgt. Rock, "Star Spangled War." The same archetype adored by the fanatics, the suicide bombers, the mass murderers. No cause is unrighteous in its own eyes. A fart has no nose.
Of course, the Nazis were the perfect enemy. Evil personified. No problem killing them and anyone associated with them. Our polar opposite, we thought.
Sound familiar? In a year when our shadow selves seemed to leap into the light, brandishing weapons and killing innocent strangers in the name of slaying dragons, I hope we can learn that these arbitrary distinctions shouldn’t endanger us, that the misperceptions of others won’t get us killed, that our superficial characteristics don’t mark us for a beatdown or worse.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Why was it written? To whom? Burnett told a story abut waiting for a woman (presumably his wife) for eight hours at the train station; Norton spins a tale about being sweet on a Denver waitress. Despite the desire to getting nailed being the wellspring of most romantic tunes, neither of these anecdotes is likely. "My Melancholy Baby" is an inspired piece of hackwork.
So who sang it first? Bennett, the original publisher, claims he gave the debut performance of it at his club, the Dutch Mill at 811 16th Street, in 1912 -- not Frawley. Two original copies of the sheet music feature two different artists pasted into the cameo center of the cover – “That Singer,” Jack O’Leary, and “winsome June Le Vey.” At this point, the song was still titled “Melancholy.” It was changed to “My Melancholy Baby” in 1914, and a year later Bennett folded, selling the song to Joe Morris Music Company in New York. Burnett claims he convinced Sophie Tucker to sing it, which began its rise to popularity.