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some sense later
i wonder what is going on. i've started reading Gone with the Wind and am watching The Last Waltz.

Years ago Margaret Mitchell's prose seemed silly and shallow, failing to give life to a time both hideous and archaic yet portent with still unresolved and still killing us threads.

And even though I had liked the 1st two The Band albums by 1978 I was quitting my job in a retail record store to go form a rock and roll band with like minded fanatics. The Band by that time seemed tired.

Maybe I've been in NYC too long. So long that mainstream artifacts of the past are becoming exotic.

Maybe my pendulum has moved from exploring new vistas to looking at where I've passed before.


Current Mood: satisfied Rockin'
Current Music: Muddy Waters - I'm a Man

5 comments or Leave a comment
spacemummy From: spacemummy Date: December 14th, 2004 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Band saved my life. In 1990, I was in a deep depression. For some odd reason, the only salve for my wounded psyche was The Band. It was a random choice from my absentee roommate's collection. I had never particularly liked them, thought the Cripple Creek song was inane. Just to show you where I'm coming from, bands like King Crimson were among my favorites, with a wide detour through punk rock. But Music from Big Pink soothed a running four day panic attack, then got me to sleep. Then I got a copy of the Basement Tapes and that was all it took. I wouldn't call them one of my favorite bands, more like a friend that took me through hard times.

I feel like I just stood up to speak at my first AA meeting. Shucks.
From: wrayb Date: December 14th, 2004 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

speak brother speak

funny, even with those tattered wrappings you don't look that old. Yes, Big Pink is primal.
spacemummy From: spacemummy Date: December 15th, 2004 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: speak brother speak

I got mummified early, so I have a youthful cast that evaporates at short distances.

"Tears of rage, tears of grief. Why must I be the one who plays the thief?" Seemed to sum up the realizations I was having.
dreamlifeof From: dreamlifeof Date: December 15th, 2004 04:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know about Margaret Mitchell, but I think the Band seem exotic today simply by contrast with what has come after them; endless reworking of former glories, with only occasional lights bright enough to eclipse for long the sunlike brilliance of the best 60's bands, among whom I would definitely include The Band. I actually believe The Smiths are the only musical act since THE LAST WALTZ was made who have truly left a legacy to equal that of the Beatles, Stones, Who, Beach Boys, Byrds, Kinks, Band et al.

I think there are a couple of reasons at least why The Band come off so magnificent and mighty now. Rock'n'roll was still venerated in a much more intense way by fans in 75 than today; there was still a sense that rock actually *meant* something, and that belief became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, I think THE LAST WALTZ is a greater film than Scorsese or Robertson or anyone else could probably have envisioned in the seventies, because it can now be seen as an elegy for a music already dying, presented by five musicians with a broader grasp of the musical terrain they had crossed, and the musical times they had witnessed, than almost any of their contemporaries.

However, I believe it is that same musical articulacy, and respect for roots, combined with the iconoclastic restlessness and inventiveness of rock, that marked many of the best bands of the sixties. It gets almsot comically tedious to hear how every great band from The Beatles to Spinal Tap started out as an r'n'b outfit, but I think there's considerable significance to the way bands in the sixties respected the lineage of the music they loved. By contrast, a band like the Stone Roses clearly hark back no further than the Beatles and Zeppelin; the only 'blues' the Roses play is the third-hand, and rather stale, variety Jimmy Page purveys. And I can't imagine you could have much of a conversation about Sonny Boy Williamson with John Squire. Music has gradually starved itself of musicians who meaningfully drew on the origins and wellspring of the music they love. Bands and record companies been slowly stripping rock of its natural assets, and now they're pretty much all gone; no more diamonds, only zirconia. But back in the Band's day, the raw materials were bountiful and seemed limitless. And it was a glorious thing.

Sorry - didn't mean to write so much! Now I'll have to copy this and paste in my own journal so I don't lose my thoughts forever.
From: wrayb Date: December 15th, 2004 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

welcome to write all you can

i have some replies i wish to make but will try on another day when i'm not so sleepy.
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