Inkwell: Authors and Artists
Gerry Feeney (gerry) Wed 17 Jul 02 08:20
Michael Simmons (michaelsimmons) Thu 18 Jul 02 00:12
I'm not sure how to respond, Oliver. Terence McKenna and his ex-wife raised two kids. I know one of 'em, Finn, and he seems well-adjusted to me -- no indication that he didn't get his pants patched. I don't think that trying to transcend the mundane necessarily means abstaining from certain responsibilities although, of course, it can. In my own life, there are certain talents, like making money and holding on to it, that have evaded me completely. Is it a source of irritation for my family who've had to come to the rescue occasionally? Yes. But I try to make up for it in other ways. So Lord Buckley wasn't perfect? I never meant to imply that he was. According to your book, his kids were well-behaved, so I assume they got their pants patched. Buckley's imperfection -- "letting the chips fall" -- doesn't mean that he didn't have an idea how humans can evolve forward IN SOME ASPECTS OF THEIR LIVES (emphasis added). It's a fine line. Society says "These are the rules - a, b, c, d, and e". If one is unable to follow, say, rules d and e, is it necessarily the individual's fault? We live in a one-size-fits-all social construct and not eveyone -- thankfully -- will fit. I learned a long time ago that most of the humans I looked up to -- Abbie Hoffman, Lenny Bruce, Jerry Garcia, etc., et al, ad infinitum -- were woefully imperfect. Annabelle Garcia will tell you what a shitty father Jerry was. But he wasn't as imperfect as Henry Kissinger or Ken Lay or the boss at the Philly branch of some multinational who treats his workers like slaves. There are degrees of imperfection. Artistic types can be infuriating because of their inattention to certain details. Some of those lapses of attention -- taking care of one's kids -- are inexcusable. But others aren't. Again, one size doesn't fit all. I think you're using a broad brush, but in all fairness, I may have made the same mistake by implying that certain visionaries are super-human. I will agree that while they may be super-visionary, they remain all too human, with the attendant foibles and fuck-ups.
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Thu 18 Jul 02 02:34
May I am generalizing or even perhaps not exactly getting where McKenna is coming from at least in term of Lord B. I'm not sure Buckley was abandoning belief systems for more direct anything. It seems that he was trying to reinvent or refreshen the belief systems as a way conencting with them and the family of man with greater vitality. I think it's pretty clear that he was after a unified vision of spirituality and human expression/experience that brought together all the world's disparate traditions, cultures, icons, myths, and legends with humor and good-heartedness. I guess I'm also saying that he could also be a real pain in the ass to hang with. I would have loved to hang with the guy but, let's face it, it probably would have been easier to do in small doses. And yeah, I cop to the weighty possibilities in my mission of spreading his gospel personal warts and all. Let me put it this way: I'm not sure I'd want His Lordship, McKenna, Moondog, Garcia, etc. at the helm of the U.N. but I wouldn't mind a bit more of their influence.
Michael Simmons (michaelsimmons) Thu 18 Jul 02 21:54
Fuck you, Trager...MOONDOG FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL!!!!! OK, you're doing this WELL blab, you've done NPR, any other public plug appearances? What would be your dream public appearance to promote the Buckley book? Howzabout at General Assembly of the United Nations?
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 19 Jul 02 00:17
He also got reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle! http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/07/09/D D183829.DTL
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 19 Jul 02 00:18
E-mail from Michael Ambar: First off, congratulations on finally getting the book published! (You and I exchanged a few e-mails back in '97 or so, when I first discovered LBOnline.) Secondly, thanks for writing it. I first discovered His Hipness in NYC in summer of '66 and immediately became a fanatic, so I can honestly say I've been waiting for a book, any book, about Lord Buckley for thirty-six freaking years! Read it through twice and love it. Perfect title, too. Now, thirdly, I have a question: Could you expand a little on what you said here about your interactions with Buckley's kids? About "not being on the same page" w/them? Can you be more specific? Were they looking for a whitewash or something, about his non-monogamy w/their mothers, or what? And finally, have you had any feedback at all from them since the book came out? Do you know if any of them have read it or not? That's all for now...I've got a few casting ideas if they ever do make a movie, and I sure hope if they do it ain't Robin Williams in the lead...it should be someone fairly unknown. I can think of a few obscure character actors who both fit the bill physically, and could just kick ass in the part.
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Fri 19 Jul 02 02:09
And Sun Ra for NASA Chief! Dream appearance? How about throwing out the first pitch at the 7th game of the World Series at Yankee Stadium? I've done a couple of public appearances so far. The best was a reading/performance at 55 Bar on Sheridan Sq. I'm no Lord B but I can read the material well enough to impress even the hard-core...and I do dig being onstage. I'd like to do more but haven't really made too many efforts in that direction yet. I got a couple of bookstore gigs set up in the Boston area in mid-September. I could use a publicist/booking agent. Thanks for the kudos Mike. The title is pretty cool. Here's a secret: for years I was calling it "Stompin' The Sweet Swingin' Sphere." You asked about the Royal Family. Briefly, they were working on their own (apparantly still-unrealized projects), were suspicious of worthy souls like me, over-vaulued the material, had conflciting agendas amongst themselves, etc. All of this combined to make me decided to pursue my research and goals without them. I have had no direct feedback from them although I hear they generally approve of the story I told. And who are your casting ideas?
from WAYNE McGINNIS (tnf) Fri 19 Jul 02 18:30
Oliver, As soon as I get my wig screwed on tighter, I'll come up with the "tid" about jazz master Bob Dorough and The Lord. And thanks to Michael Simmons about the Dorough/Holy Modal Rounders reference---didn't know that. In parting for now, let me say how enjoyable this has all been--- so in there tight --- & also how deftly digging it is to hear of Robt. Johnson, Sun Ra, and others related to Magister Buckley---how 'bout Rashaan Roland Kirk, too?? Yours in the Lord, Wayne McGinnis
Michael Simmons (michaelsimmons) Fri 19 Jul 02 22:29
Oliver, while re-reading portions of your book a question occurred: how many of the oral histories were written and how many spoken (via phone, tape or live)? Some of them seem too damn well-constructed to have been knocked out of someone's head impromptu. But then you spoke to some erudite folks.
Berliner (captward) Sat 20 Jul 02 03:30
I'm about half-way through, as of last night, and except for some misinformation about record companies in there, I'm extremely impressed. One question: is there any possibility that the Lighthouse tapes, which you pretty much hold out as Buckley's best recorded work, will ever come out?
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Sat 20 Jul 02 05:17
Wayne: Certanly, I see Roland Kirk as being cut out of that same beautiful, multi-colored, gone, far-out, ever livin'/lovin' fabric as Lord B. and, in fact, Kirk is briefly mentioned in "DI!" as one of Keser's three all-time heroes next to Neal Cassady and Buckley. I doubt Buckley was aware of Kirk but I can believe, sound omnivore that he was, that Roland came across Buckley. A little coincidence: Welcome Rain (my publisher) also published "Bright Moments: The Life & Legacy of Rahsaan Rolan Kirk" by John Kruth. John does a Rahsaanian job of bringing it all back home and I highly recommend the book (now available in paperback). John is also a great muli-instrumentalist and has been giving me mandolin lessons recently. Michael: About 20 of the 110 odd witnesses were gathered from previously-published material (liner notes, magazine/newspaper articles etc.) but I did speak to some of those whose written material I include as well. For instance, some of Doc Humes's contribution is from the quill of his own pen and some it is what I collected from an interview I conducted with him late in his life. And, interestigly, I didn't hardly mess with the words of those I did interview except to clean up the syntax, make 'em sound a bit more literate and erudite here and there. But those kinds of cosmetics were the exception...these people are generally heavyweight champion raconteurs and had been telling these stories for so many years that they flowed from their lips as if they had been written by God's apprentice screenwriter. Nearly all the interviews I conducted were phoners (exception: Kesey, the Zaluds, George Greif, Plimpton, Grampa, Larry Storch, Doc Humes, Steve Ben Israel, Frank Speiser) and some were done by others like michael Monteleone or Doug Cruickshank and shared. Eric Bogosian's contribution, for instance, was gathered from what he wrote on an oversized postcard and mailed to me. Personally, I found it easier to do them over the phone. In other words, I think I tended to get better material from people when they were speaking to a disembodied voice. Berliner: While I do rave about that '53 Lighthouse gig and would love to see it released some day, the tapes of Buckley's '58-60 gigs are even better. The '58 concert for Henry Miller at Nepenthe, any of the Gold Nugget tapes from Oakland '60, the Lionel Hampton session, the '59 Bill Butler interview (available I think through the Pacifica Radio Archives in Southern California for a not-too-expensive price) on KPFA in Berekely, or the unabridged interview with Studs Terkel (we edited out some material for reasons mostly of space/time) are all incredible. Lord Buckley definitely got better with time. Regarding the eventual official release of this material, I have little to say. Aside from the copyright gray areas, I'm not sure what kind of demand there is for rare Lord Buckley recordings right now. Also Berliner, hip me...what kind of record company info did I mis? Perhaps I can correct it for future editions.
Berliner (captward) Sat 20 Jul 02 05:28
(fom) Sat 20 Jul 02 09:21
I am wondering if the name Sam Stout ever came up in any of your research. He was a brilliant Washington DC raconteur/writer with a Buckleyan, Casadyesque talent, back in the early to mid sixties.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 20 Jul 02 09:48
I am loving the book, and this morning I loved the first few tracks on the accompanying CD. I was taken by your statement that he "punctuated his roll- ing sentences with a one-syllable bleat that sounded like a trombone note," and I laughed out loud over my coffee this mornign when I heard it on the CD. EXACTLY like a trombone note, and surely that's exactly what he intended. I loved the Slim Gaillard story, too. "Story has it that he was so fond of the suffix -rooney (as in 'You got the federation blues-o-rooney') that when he was introduced to Mickey Rooney he asked what his last name was." Lots of wonderful show-biz lore in here. Like the phrase "playing to the haircuts," which is what the last act in a vaudeville show did 'cause so many people were walking up the aisle to leave as they worked. And, as a sometime producer of archival recordings, I would KILL to work on some Buckley stuff. And I know someone could be found to put it out. The big dinosaur record companies don't give a shit, but the Internet and technology have made it feasible to do short runs of CDs.
Berliner (captward) Sat 20 Jul 02 10:19
I've suggested, via e-mail, a box through Rhino (or, come to think of it, Rhino Handmade) with Trager-written notes. I know people there, including one who I'm pretty sure would go for it.
Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 20 Jul 02 11:12
I just got the book, myself, and I'm listening to the CD, as we speak! My very first exposure to Lord Buckley. Big time fun. I just don't understand how it is that up until this very moment, I've never heard this man before. (I also got a quick little sense of Jackie Gleason in the first few seconds of that CD...) Most of the conversation in this topic so far has taken place as if everyone has already heard of LB and is familiar with his work. I'd actually like some background so I can get an idea of who he is, where he came from, and how it is that he and his work, and the people who knew about it who might have turned me on to him, seem to have existed in a parallel universe that never intersected mine. May you always put it down solid in great truth and great beauty!
David Gans (tnf) Sat 20 Jul 02 11:15
I think a lot more people have heard "The Nazz" than know who did it.
"First you steal a bicycle...." (rik) Sat 20 Jul 02 11:47
Tod Rundgren, right?
David Gans (tnf) Sat 20 Jul 02 11:57
Ari Davidow (ari) Sat 20 Jul 02 12:01
I'm coming late to this, but I have to say that since I first dug up Lord Buckley material (possibly back 30 years ago in Israel) I have been a big fan. No one has mentioned my own, personal, all-time-favorite, "The Great Gann," which I thought encapsulated a lot that was hip about Gandhi in ways that no one else has been able to articulate. Buckley has been one of those inspirations, proof that if you tell it like it is, there are people who will listen (however few of us there are), and that it's worth telling. Too damn bad he passed before there was an internet.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 20 Jul 02 12:32
<scribbled by tnf Sat 20 Jul 02 12:32>
From MICHAEL MONTELEONE (tnf) Sat 20 Jul 02 16:51
I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on what he would have done had Lord Buckley lived another 10 or 20 years? A number of people in Oliver's book and some of the subjects of the documentary film have suggested that the "revolution" of the '60s would have embraced His Lordship. Buckley interpretor Tom Calagna has suggest that Lord Buckley would have been brought out on silk pillows at Woodstock (a very great an hiply noble image). But, has anybody goofed on the proposition? What direction he might have headed? Would have continued to work clubs? What kind of material might come from that hippest of wigs? Might he have found himself in an entirely different arena? -- Michael Monteleone Industrial Haiku
Michael Simmons (michaelsimmons) Sat 20 Jul 02 19:44
Michael M.'s question is intriguing. If Buckley had lived, how would he have fit in the '60s counterculture? The mind boggles. His Lordship and Abbie in Chicago (he more likely would've hung with the elders contingent (Burroughs, Ginsberg, Genet, Terry Southern). Speaking of the late, Great Terry, in many ways I see him as sharing similarities with Buckley. They were both deeply influenced by African-American patois, both affected mock high-Brit accents, both played with English to maximize its fun. I'm curious, did Buckley endure bad reviews during his lifetime? If so, how did he handle them? I know I've had a few in my career, including one by a poster on this list (Berliner) who wrote a letter to the Village Voice back in music days, chastising them for writing about me when he'd never heard me perform. 25 years later and I've neither forgotten nor forgiven. So, in the spirit of "What would Jesus do?", what would Buckley do?
double-axled haywains and Harpo Marx going honk-honk (lioness) Sat 20 Jul 02 22:32
I'm going to have to go find this book. I adore Lord Buckley. First heard of him in a Spider Robinson story, but then realized other people had been quoting him all along -- it was like showing up at a party and realizing half the guests were familiar already. Very cool. If somebody does do more compilations, I'd buy 'em. ("Laaaawd! Can you dig me in this here fish??")
Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 21 Jul 02 02:21
E-mail to me from Michael Monteleone, posted by permission: Hi, Linda, I was reading through the Inkwell discussion about Dig Infinity! and noticed contribution stating your desire to know more about Lord Buckley's background. I thought I'd write and tell you that there is a lot of background material about His Lordship at lordbuckley.com. If you go to the section called The Printheads you will find a number of articles about Lord Buckley. I might suggest the article titled "All Hail Lord Buckley" by Doug Cruickshank. It's a two part article and will give you a really good overview of his life and career. Beyond that there are articles about Buckley's art and his recordings and there's even an article in Swedish if you are so inclined. Beyond the printed material there are sections at LBC where you can read a compilation of the Lord Buckley's hip language (The HIPeasaurus) and there is a Who's Who called The Royal Gallery. [...] May the Sweet Lord Swing You up and keep you always in the groove, Michael Monteleone lordbuckley.com PS - thanks again for the great job you are doing for the Dig Infinity at Inkwell.
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