Wednesday, December 26, 2012

bad habits, great music...

we've come a long way, baby!
there was a time when the best music
could only be heard in the worst places.

it might be down a flight of stairs in Athens
or in a cave on the edge of Malaga.
it could be
in a shebeen
in Belfast or Johannesburg,

or in a juke joint down a dark country
in Mississippi...

   a sleazy bar in Hamburg,
a whorehouse in
the Big Easy
or a hole in the wall after-hours club

   on the south side of Chicago...

bad Beatles! bad! Bad! BAD!


it was in these and so many other places
of ill repute where you'd find
people playing
their music like their lives depended on it,
and sometimes
they did...

Billie Holiday on fire, in a bad way!


      they were dangerous places,
chock a block with people making
dubious lifestyle choices.

Bob lighting up- indoors!?!

       people would be drinking liquor
of uncertain provenance, often to
and maybe looking for some kief,
or a stick of reefer and so many
       tobacco that you couldn't see across the room.

not just tobacco, either.

       when disagreements arose,
they were often settled with a razor
or a pistol or a

Sorry Charlie- a free country doesn't include cigars.


in Europe, in North America,
such places are e
ither extinct
or gone so far underground
as to be

it's the law, Mr. Berry.

butt it, Thin White Duke!

is there any relationship between these dubious
and even self-destruct
ive lifestyle choices
and the
incredible, passionate music and poetry
these art
ists and so many others have created?

not even if you were King Ellington.


too bad about your pipes, Frankie.

no more "smokin' solos", Mr. Zappa!

those cigs could kill you, Janis.

the same applies to you, Jerry.

no more haze, Jimi- purple or otherwise!

while you're playing? think of the children, Louis!

sorry, no smoking in the studio, John.

you heard me...

if you don't mind, Ms. Mitchell.

is that supposed to be "grungy"?

"poetry" is no excuse, Mr. Cohen

"poetry" is no excuse for you either, Patti.

very artistic, Ms. Ciccone.

Marvin, think of the long-term health issues!

there are bylaws, Miles. Bylaws!

you could have been a great singer, Otis. too bad.

no one read Mr. Charles the warning on the pack.

that Iggy is a bad influence on you, Tom.

cigarettes are bad for you, Woody!

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