Friday, February 01, 2013

Shakespeare, he's in the alley with his pointed shoes and his bells ...

Eighty-eight is plenty for most people.  My father used to say anything over 75 was gravy.

I'm sure Ed Koch wanted more.  But he died yesterday.

Exit, pursued by a bear.

My girlfriend and I moved to New York City in 1979 so she could go to the School of Visual Arts and I could find myself on several levels.  Oddly, given how fond I now am of New York, I initially resisted.  But she insisted.  So hey, Maureen -- I owe you one.  There were times, as uncomfortable as it seems now, when the whole thing felt like Barefoot in the Park.  With a crappier apartment.

At the time, New York was at a low point.  Remember this?

This was in 1975, I believe.

In 1975, the Daily News was a real newspaper.  In 1975, a 12-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average was called a skid.  In 1975 you could walk 42nd Street, from 8th Avenue to 7th Avenue, with the same odds of emerging unscathed as those of a 2nd Lieutenant spending 13 months in Vietnam.  It's like fucking Disney Land now.  Not so much then.  But a couple of years later they elected Ed Koch and the rest, as they say, is history.

Me?  I'll miss the old bird.

Horatio, Hamlet's friend, jumps to mind ...

Now cracks a noble heart.  Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

And, of course, Bob Dylan  (because on a sad day like this you deserve the full treatment, with chords if you want to strum along) ...

        C            Am
Oh, the ragman draws circles
C                   Am
Up and down the block.
    C                Am
I'd ask him what the matter was
      F                  G
But I know that he don't talk.
        F               C
And the ladies treat me kindly
    Am              C
And furnish me with tape,
    Am             C
But deep inside my heart
  F             C
I know I can't escape.
Em
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
      C       G       F
To be stuck inside of Mobile
C        G11            C
With the Memphis blues again.
  :   .   .   .   ;   .   .   .
|---------------------------------
|-1-------------------------------
|-------3-----0-----3-----1-------
|-----------------------------3---
|---------------------------------
|---------------------------------
Well, Shakespeare, he's in the alley
With his pointed shoes and his bells,
Speaking to some French girl,
Who says she knows me well.
And I would send a message
To find out if she's talked,
But the post office has been stolen
And the mailbox is locked.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.
Mona tried to tell me
To stay away from the train line.
She said that all the railroad men
Just drink up your blood like wine.
An' I said, "Oh, I didn't know that,
But then again, there's only one I've met
An' he just smoked my eyelids
An' punched my cigarette."
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.
Grandpa died last week
And now he's buried in the rocks,
But everybody still talks about
How badly they were shocked.
But me, I expected it to happen,
I knew he'd lost control
When he built a fire on Main Street
And shot it full of holes.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.
Now the senator came down here
Showing ev'ryone his gun,
Handing out free tickets
To the wedding of his son.
An' me, I nearly got busted
An' wouldn't it be my luck
To get caught without a ticket
And be discovered beneath a truck.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.
Now the preacher looked so baffled
When I asked him why he dressed
With twenty pounds of headlines
Stapled to his chest.
But he cursed me when I proved it to him,
Then I whispered, "Not even you can hide.
You see, you're just like me,
I hope you're satisfied."
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.
Now the rainman gave me two cures,
Then he said, "Jump right in."
The one was Texas medicine,
The other was just railroad gin.
An' like a fool I mixed them
An' it strangled up my mind,
An' now people just get uglier
An' I have no sense of time.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.
When Ruthie says come see her
In her honky-tonk lagoon,
Where I can watch her waltz for free
'Neath her Panamanian moon.
An' I say, "Aw come on now,
You must know about my debutante."
An' she says, "Your debutante just knows what you need
But I know what you want."
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.
Now the bricks lay on Grand Street
Where the neon madmen climb.
They all fall there so perfectly,
It all seems so well timed.
An' here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice.
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis blues again.


Which we're playing as we type.

Cindy Crawford, back when she was dating Richard Gere, was once asked -- given the age difference between the two -- what the biggest difference between her and Gere was.

"The biggest difference," she explained, "is that I don't think Bob Dylan is God."

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