Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Hot Club

Mr. D. came over to me and said that the Regulars wanted to know the name of the BCS Bowl for the national title. I had to admit I didn't know. I think they are rotating who gets the Big Bowl now. Mr. D. said I should have known. I'm supposed to be the guru of sports. The Regulars didn't know either. Any help from my readers?

Contraire didn't believe me when I told him that Detroit had always played in the NFL's Thanksgiving Day game. The Warden said it was true. Contraire didn't believe him either. Then 5 Angels jumped in to back us up. You guessed it - Contraire still wouldn't believe it. That's why he's Contraire.

We were talking about major events that you remember where you were when it happened, like JFK and 9/11. Contraire offered "Pearl Harbor". Jesse said, "None of us were alive!"
5 Angels and Jesse thought the OJ Simpson chase. 5 Angels added the Beatles on Ed Sullivan but we weren't buying that one. Jesse remembered Bob Marley in 1980 and John Lennon in 1981.

Contraire has "No Call" but still gets charity pitches to give money. Five Angels said he was collecting for the Frankie Lee Foundation. I said that I was collecting for the Jimmy Fund. Contraire told us he was there for Gamblers' Anonymous and "I'll take it to Foxwoods and double your money."

Grant told us about a band that combines jazz, blues and country - Cake. Grant said, "Regular country solidifies my spinal fluid." Mr. D. and I told him about the all-girl band The Cake.

Turns out that Mike Module knows the Wizard of the Web from caddying at Pawtucket Country Club. The Mod and Wiz said 18 holes were called a loop. I said I had never heard the term. Wiz replied that everyone knows what a loop is. No one else had heard the term 'loop' used that way.

So I mentioned my brief caddying stint at the same CC. After showing up and not going out several times, I finally got to go out caddying. But I didn't know you were supposed to track the guy's ball (Where'd my ball go? I don't know. Weren't you looking?"), and I got fired after 9 holes. I said, "I went half a loop."

Adam said he went to ComicCon in San Diego and James Gunn, the director of Slither, was there with the cast. Adam said the slugs in Slither reminded him of those in Night of the Creeps. He said to catch Nathan Fillion (the Sheriff) in Firefly and the movie Serenity.

I was relating Phil Kaufman's stealing of Gram Parsons' body and setting it on fire at Joshua Tree. I said that the remaining Parsons family members are still incensed at Kaufman.

Last week in writing about Robert Altman's style of shooting, I should have mentioned his use of overlapping dialogue. While it can be confusing, it is richer and closer to normal conversations.

Victoria and I watched M*A*S*H in Altman's honor. I told her to listen to the loudspeaker announcements. Hilarious. The theme song Suicide is Painless. The revival of 'Painless' the dentist and the satisfied smile of Lt. Dish as she leaves in a helicopter. Donald Sutherland's Hawkeye and his whistle. It reminded me of Harpo Marx. Still a very funny anti-war movie. And anti-establishment. Based on a book by Richard Hooker. With a Ring Lardner, Jr. script.

R.I.P. Philippe Noiret and Jeremy Slate. Noiret was an excellent actor and appeared in many movies directed by Bertrand Blier and Bertrand Tavernier. Noiret starred in one of my favorite films, Cinema Paradiso.

Jeremy Slate teamed with Ron Ely for the TV show The Aquanauts, an Ivan Tors (Sea Hunt) production about 2 divers. The Aquanauts series then became Malibu Run, as Slate and Ely solved crimes on land.

Slate was a good villain and was in the biker movies The Born Losers, a Billy Jack movie (Tom Laughlin, Dir.) and Hell's Angels '69, a movie he co-wrote. He was also in Girls!Girls!Girls!, an Elvis film.

Slate was in the soap One Life to Live (as Chuck Wilson). References used: Alex McNeil's Total Television and VideoHound's Cult Flicks & Trash Pics.

Fallen Angel is a 139-minute documentary (Rhino) by Gandulf Hennig, a German director and fan of Gram Parsons. Cecil Ingram Connor III (son of 'Coon Dog' Connor) was born in Winter Haven, Florida on 11/5/46 (my birth year). He became Gram Parsons after his widowed mom married Robert Parsons. Gram's dad committed suicide when he was 12.

The movie is an unvarnished look at Parsons who replaced David Crosby in the Byrds and also stole away Crosby's girlfriend Nancy Lee Ross with whom Gram had daughter Polly. Crosby must be a very forgiving man since he's on the Return of the Grievous Angel tribute CD singing a duet with Lucinda Williams on the title track.

In his short 26 years, Parsons wrote a lot of great songs: Ooh Las Vegas, Sin City, She, Hot Burrito #1, Hickory Wind and In My Hour of Darkness.

He was briefly with the Byrds (he wouldn't go on tour to apartheid South Africa), started the Flying Burrito Brothers with ex-Byrd Chris Hillman and went solo with Emmylou Harris singing on his songs. Keith Richards became a friend and gave Parsons the song Wild Horses to record. Parsons also spent time at Richards' villa in the South of France during the making of Exile On Main Street. There is mention of that in a recent Rolling Stones issue but I guess I'll have to get Robert Greenfield's book for more.

Director Hennig was allowed access to Parsons' family and so this is the first in-depth look at the life of the Cosmic Cowboy whose star burnt out too soon.

The interviews with family members and band mates like Chris Hillman and Bernie Leadon, once with the Eagles, are illuminating. There is an interview with Parsons' road manager Phil Kaufman, who rented a hearse, went to LAX and convinced airport authorities to let him take Parsons' coffin. When they attended the funeral of ex-Byrd Clarence White, Parsons said 'never let that happen to me' which Kaufman interpreted as him wanting to be burned at Joshua Tree National Park. Kaufman lit the body on fire with 5 gals. of Hi-Test (didn't want Gram to ping)

As Emmylou Harris says, Gram's legacy should be the songs he wrote. He died 9/19/73 at 26.


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