Inkwell: Authors and Artists
devious and sincere (kurtr) Mon 29 Jul 02 12:52
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Wed 31 Jul 02 03:01
Love your ethereal messages Wayne. Re: the William Blake/Lord B connection. Not sure if Buckley read any Blake per say but his admiration and quick/hip adaptation of Joyce Cary's "Horse's Mouth" indicates to me that he was at least exposed to Blake. Gulley Jimson is the penniless artist hero of Cary's novel (itself adapted into a late '50s film starring Alec Guiness in the lead) whose penury forces him to find oddball surfaces around London to paint on. Blake is one of Jimson's passions and he is constantly quoting him through the novel (an excellent, now semi-obscure must-read mini-masterpiece) in much the same way Buckleyheads, Deadheads, Dylan freaks or who/whatever find just the right quote to fit the situation. Anyhow, the book is steeped in Blakeisms and that Buckley acknowledges on recording that he had read the book, it is fair to assume that he absorbed some of William B's pixie dust too.
WAYNE McGINNIS writes... (tnf) Sat 3 Aug 02 09:40
From Wayne McGinnis: Thanks for your reply to my #143, Oliver---it is veriest juice of the perceptive & right on the mark. I've read "Horse's Mouth" but forgot the Blake connection---& you're right about what a neglected book it is. There's been nothing ethereal about your answers throughout this conference! I dig your wig, if I may say so! You've done a splendid job, Oliver. May the bust of Pallas sit by your chamber door & inspire you Ever-more! Yours, Wayne McGinnis
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sat 3 Aug 02 10:23
<suddenly realizing why my Blake professor in grad school was incessantly quoting Horse's Mouth>
reality is an opinion (sd) Sat 3 Aug 02 14:21
heh, and thanks for inspiring me to dig out and dig my lord buckley in concert lp..
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Sun 4 Aug 02 04:40
are you there?
David Gans (tnf) Sun 4 Aug 02 09:55
Here! Talk to us!
Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 4 Aug 02 11:40
Hi Oliver! Speak up!
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sun 4 Aug 02 16:45
You're coming in loud and clear!
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sun 4 Aug 02 17:31
We can dig you in this fish!
Berliner (captward) Mon 5 Aug 02 03:52
No, no. He means, are you THERE!
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 5 Aug 02 05:57
Oh, no... still in transit, if you put it that way...
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Mon 5 Aug 02 12:31
or was that "are YOU there?" Any way you wish to accent the phrase, it was by lord b as a kind of zen hipster's "what is the sound of one hand clapping" koan. Any youse guys finish the book yet? This mill needs some more grist before I leap back on that cyber stump and begin preachin' David G: Michael M is working on the CD for the show.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 5 Aug 02 12:39
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Fri 9 Aug 02 03:27
LORD BUCKLEY FIELD TRIP REPORT About six weeks ago I got an email from a fellow named Matt Sohn, archivist of the Louis Armstrong collection at Queens. Seems, in his tape-by-tape transferring from magentic to digital, he came across a tape Lord Buckley and a few fellow musicians made for Louis...kind of a group letter on a tape. Matt figured that there must be somebody out there who'd like to hear it so he got online, quickly found lordbuckley.com and nearly just as quickly found me and invited me to pay a visit. What a guy! So yesterday at 8:30 am, I found myself strutting across the Queens Collge campus (site of a 1970<?> Grateful Dead show at Colden Hall) and into the library where the Armstrong collection is kept. For those out of the loop, Pops was an awesome pack rat. Not only did he save everything [retty carefully, he made hundreds of hos own tapes, took photographs, wrote prolifically. Virtually his entire collections was bequeathed to Queens College and is administered by a group of enthusiastic caretakers, curators and the like. Louis lived in Queens at a house in Corona which is being rehabbed for public visits. For more, check out www.satchmo.net. Anyway, after a customoary meet and greet, Matt sat me down with the CD he had burned and let me be. The tape was almost exatly hour long, recorded on 9/17/53 in Boston, Mass. though I would have guessed a few years later based on very cicumstantial, nuanced hints in Buckley's style and choice of material. The general flow of the tape consists of Lord B and his friends paying verbal tributes to Louis interspersed with performances by Buckley ("The Nazz," the very rare and fab "Golden Ass," "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," "I Love Louis" sung to the tune of "I Love Paris," "Myrtle the Turtle"), some augmented with participation by the musicians, and a codified bawdy comment or three...no doubt for Pops's pleasure. Sometimes it almost sounded as if the group, especially Buckley, were using the opportunity to audition for Louis. Other times it felt like a stoned, spontaneous goof. Either way, a wonderful little audio Poloroid of a 49-year old scene of extreme hipsterism. My general impression of the tape was to be reminded of what a strong influence Armstrong had on Buckley, arguable more than any other single individual. The way in which Buckley and his friends extoll Pops is to hear men truly taken and shekn to the core, profoundly humbled by the genius that remain Louis Armstrong. Truly, they speak to him as if they were speaking to a deity. A very cool deity, but a deity nonetheless. When the disc-spinning session was complete, Matt gave me a lil ol' twenty-five and a half cent tour of the collection. Highlights included boxes of photographs and a look at Louis' tape collection which, btw, he hand-decorated: each box is adored with photographs and/or drawings, scribblings etc. just like you or I might visually embellish a casette case. As such they reprsented a nice touch of Louis' folkartist instincts. But the creme-de-la-creme, the shining moment, the mariscino cherry on top of the whip cream on top of the vanilla ice cream on top of the Victoria's Secret model, came when when he brought out a huge case. He opened the case. Four of Pops' trumpets! I got to hold them! Better than Garcia's Wolf or Bird's white plastic alto. One in particular (presented to him by the King of England) was engraved with an intricate floral design over over square milimeter of its surface. A truly extraordinary object even without its very significant history. Those few minutes with the instruments were scary. I was getting wobbly legged and even a little teary...like holdin' the Pope's yarmulke or somethin'. For the record, the archive is not allowed to make copies of any of their audio material so the possibility of ever receing a copy our archives is extremely remote...so let's just drop that subject now. However, anybody wishing to listen to the tape could probably set up an appointment with Matt for a listening session...but don't quote me on that. Also, Matt will be out of work when the transfer of the arhive is complete, probably in about two years. Anybody with any ideas or connections for his next gig? The Dylan archives? The Moondog Archives? The Sun Ra archives? The Famin' Groovies' Archive? He is also a mix-wiz. He gave me a WILD, very trippy mix of Lord B's "Subconscious Mind" and other sounds that can do some serious pyschic spiking especially when listened to over morning coffee. As I found my way back to Manhattan later, I was again struck as to what an amazing adventure the Lord B. flash has sent me on and reminded me that people are the true flowers of life.
Berliner (captward) Fri 9 Aug 02 06:37
Curious as to who the other musicians on the tape are. As for Moondog, all his stuff, as far as I know, is still in Germany with his widow? girlfriend? I'm quite sure she's taking care of it, since they lived in Munster, and there's a big university there. But your friend might want to see if he has any contacts at the university in Munster. That said, it's a deadly town, duller 'n' dishwater.
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Fri 9 Aug 02 08:31
Yes, I wanted to mention the musicians: Barry Swartz, Dick Leslie and at least two Jones brothers (Max & Herbie) not to be confused with Elvin, Thad & Hank.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 9 Aug 02 11:03
What an extraordinary find, Oliver. So glad you got to have that experience!
Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 9 Aug 02 11:06
Wish I could have been the fly on the wall!
Dan Levy (danlevy) Fri 9 Aug 02 11:30
David Gans (tnf) Sat 10 Aug 02 19:45
Wow, that's amazing! Thanks for telling us about it.
from LOUIS ARMSTRONG HOUSE (tnf) Mon 12 Aug 02 09:08
Matt Sohn writes: Greetings, Matt Sohn here, wishing to thank Oliver for his fab write-up, and I would also like to extend an invitation to any and all to come and visit us here at the Louis Armstrong Archives. We ARE open to the general public, not just researchers, and if you are a trumpet player, you can even play one of Louis' trumpets. Hours and directions are available on our website: http://www.Satchmo.net Matthew Sohn Audio Preservationist Louis Armstrong House and Archives
Oliver Trager (oliver-trager) Thu 26 Sep 02 02:31
Latest (good) news from Lord Buckleyland: Poet mover and shaker Bob Holman (see this week's Village Voice to learn about his Poetry Cafe on NYC's Bowery) is teaching Buckley (and "Dig Infinity!") as part of a contemporary poetry class at Bard College in Rhinebeck, NY.
Daniel (dfowlkes) Thu 26 Sep 02 10:26
<scribbled by dfowlkes Tue 3 Jul 12 10:14>
David Gans (tnf) Wed 9 Oct 02 18:58
TONIGHT: Oliver Trager will be my guest (by phone) on KPFA 94.1 fm in Berkeley (webcast at http://www.kpfa.org and http://www.kfcf.org), 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. Pacific time. We'll be talking about "Dig Infinity!" and listening to some of the more famous and more hard-to-find of Lord Buckley's recordings.
Members: Enter the conference to participate