Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Back Pages

I’ve been busy today and haven’t had time to post much.

I do have a large and complex piece on some pending legislation in the works, but it requires more research and a bit more thought. Maybe tonight, depending on how I’m feeling.

I also have a letter asking my opinion on some pending gun control (Obama is taking our GUNS! Oh NOES! We TOLD you!) that I might or might not write about - depending on how much I feel like dealing with the crazy gun nuts.

And I have a really interestingly capitalized and punctuated letter I got this morning demanding that I get the word out about Deep Under Ground Bases (yes, D.U.M.B) and Obama's Secret FEMA Prisons. I actually looked this up and it's a lot like being sprayed right in the face with a big old fire hose of thick gooey stupid, then rolled about in crispy stupid flakes until you're completely coated, and deep fried in a big old black iron kettle of hot oily stupid. Writing about it would be a lot like beating up a comotose accident victim - which doesn't mean I won't, but maybe later. I can only handle one batch of idiots at a time.

In the meantime here is Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Roger McGuinn doing Dylan’s My Back Pages at Madison Square Garden during Dylan’s 30th Anniversary concert celebration, October 1992.

Dylan wrote Pages in 1963 and released it on Another Side of Bob Dylan in 1964. The song was based on a rambling speech he gave in 1963 while accepting an award from the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee in New York. The song is mostly about how his view of music and the 60’s protest movement had changed, as summed up in the refrain “I was so much older then, I’m young than that now…”

A number of bands have released cover versions of My Back Pages over the years, most notably the Byrds in 1967 on their Younger Than Yesterday album and next to the ensemble version above, the Byrds’ release is my favorite.

I was listening to Younger Than Yesterday this morning in the shop, the neighbor kid asked "What's this crap?" I thought about stapling his lips together - yes, yes, I know there are laws about stapling an obnoxious kid's lips together, so I gave some thought to more humane methods such as gorilla tape or super glue.

In the end I settled for turning up the volume until I couldn't hear the little cretin anymore.


  1. Yeah, I'd heard about the FEMA prisons from that purveyor of truth Glen Beck. I recommend you watch the first X-Files movie for more details. Glen Beck must have been an extra, or watched the movie, or maybe he's an alien himself.

    And the Birthers (they who claim Obama wasn't born in the US) got a boost from Lou Dobbs today on CNN. Good lord, they've let more of the inmates loose from the asylums.

    You actually had an obnoxious neighbor kid in your shop? Wow. ShopKat must be falling down on the job.

  2. I don't see an issue with stapling the kid's lips together. What jury would convict you?

    Tom Pretty? Not with those lizard lips!

  3. Tom Pretty, heh heh. How's that for a typo? Fixed.

    And I don't actually let the kid in the shop, he stands in the open high bay and watches me work and makes comments on things I should be doing. Mostly I ignore him. He's about five or so and his dad is in Iraq for a year, so I try to make allowances. Basically though everything is either "crap" or "stupid."

  4. "everything is crap or stupid"

    Well, YEAH. I mean, he's FIVE. That's about all the choices there are. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  5. Yeah, at that age the dials only go to "crap" or "stupid." Here, kid, I got a capacitor I gotta move, hold this.

    Yep, the freeze-dried whackaloon contingent is growing.

  6. I'm guessing the cretins aren't going to bother themselves about more legitimate concerns that Obama seems inclined to continue or expand Bush's detention policies. Nope, much more exciting to just make something up.

    They keep this up, I'm going to start hoping they're right just so they can be vanished by government thugs, already, and I won't have to listen to their crap.

  7. Jim, you seem to have a nack for attracting stupid. Should I send you a giant fly swatter to keep them away.

    The dude in a gray suit playing a red guitar. Isn't that the guy who to front the SNL band for the longest time ever?

  8. Met Bob Dylan passing through the backstage area when I did arena work a few years back. Short dude. I mean, like 5' nothing, which is shorter than me. Gives the illusion he's taller because he always has on boots of some type.

    But he was gracious and cool, even though he stepped in front of our rapidly moving golf cart and almost got run over. Actually, he was pretty amused by it, think he was surprised we were able to stop that quickly!


  9. Konstanin: the guy in the gray suit and red guitar is George Edward Smith, usually called G.E. Smith.

    He was the lead guitarist for Hall & Oats and was indeed the musical director for SNL for a number of years. He was also Dylan's touring band lead guitarist for a couple of years and he was the musical director for this show, Dylan's 30th Anniversary Celebration at Madison Square Garden.

    His signature is that red Fender Telecaster.

    Everybody on that stage is somebody famous and/or influential in the music industry - even the backup singers and roadies.

    You can find a complete list here.

  10. My Back Pages is one of the best rock songs ever written. Its lyrical density pretty much puts every pretentious ballad on notice on how it really should be done.

    The Dylan version is awesome. But the 30th anniversary concert version kicked it up to 11. When Eric Clapton starts ripping into the solo, its a moment where you can show why live music is so much better than a recording.


  11. I'm a total sap for those "let's get everybody famous on the stage at once" events. They always seem to be having more fun than the audience.

    And I'm not sure which gun control thing you're thinking of talking about; the email that's going around saying there's a secret bill to take all of our guns (I got one too), or the amendment that was snuck into the defense spending bill that would allow anyone with a concealed carry permit from any state to cross into any state with their concealed weapon.

    Not only fuck that but fuck the guys who cynically attached it to an important bill it has no relevance to. I hate when they do that shit!

  12. It's the first one, Nathan, HR45 (The Blair-Holt Bill) which was introduced by Rep Bobby Rush, D-IL. I've read through the bill and I'll say in my professional opinion that it will never get out of committee.

    No conservative will ever vote for it, and it would be political suicide for nearly any Democrat who might think about voting for it - and not all democrats are anti gun anyway, Sen Begich (D-AK) is a lifetime member of the NRA for example, so are a number of others.

    The bill is a serious swipe at gun ownership and leverages a number of very serious restrictions on the average citizen. It would cost literally billions to implement and I'm not sure you could actually pull it off even if it passed, you'd almost have to declare martial law in some places where gun culture is ingrained, like Alaska and Texas and the West. It's got every gun owner in the US spitting mad.

    But like I said, it's very likely to die in committee or be so watered down that it does little to change the existing situation. The Constitutional challenges to it would go on for years, if it did somehow pass and it's very likely that the SCOTUS would shoot it down (pun intended), or at least parts of it.

    However, it is certainly fueling the "OBAMA WANTS OUR GUNS!" crowd into a fine hysteria.

  13. You can find a complete list...

    Almost complete: the album doesn't include Sinead O'Connor's aborted performance (she was booed off the stage because at the time she'd recently denounced the Pope and torn up his picture on SNL). I finally watched the "My Back Pages" video when I got home, and then (under related videos) "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," and Sinead is back onstage with all the other performers.

    Watching both performances, I remember actually seeing the show when it aired on cable, and the O'Connor booing is my one memory of the whole thing; she was driven offstage in tears and Kris Kristofferson caught her in the wings and did what he could to comfort her--I thought he really showed some class with the way he handled it.

    Say what you will about Sinead--she's completely nuts, no arguments there--she's a hell of a vocalist and I wish she'd been allowed to perform. Oh well. Long time ago, that was.

  14. That right, I'd forgotten about the O'Conner affair.

    She can sing, certainly, but she is one seriously fucked up individual.


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