Frank, Elvis, and the Randomized Head

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A rope leash
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Location: southern misery, USA

Frank, Elvis, and the Randomized Head

Postby A rope leash » Tue May 26, 2020 12:53 pm

Inside our brains tiny bundles of nerve cells hold our memory’s store. We should never be surprised or ashamed that when we wake perhaps a bit of the 1910 Fruitgum Company comes to the fore of our consciousness and decides to stay awhile. If your brain is as mean as mine, it will do that to you out of simple spite. I think my brain is tired of me screwing with it and making it look bad.

The other morning 8675309 stayed longer than usual.

There was no call for that.

Years ago in the old country when I was very young, I exposed myself frequently to the frequencies modulated with the popular tunes of the day. We kind of had to, if you recall it the way I do. You couldn’t be cool without it. I was a kid in the Sixties growing up with the hippie shit, a teen in the Seventies indulging in the fusions, and a young man in the Eighties finding his desires.

Well, you know, I bought a lot of records. Tapes, too…and CDs. I’m sure some of the memory cell bundles in my brain are lined up in rows, because Willie the Pimp follows Peaches in Regalia, and it always has. I know this because I played the recording repeatedly, and it has now become instinct. I assume this is the case with any music fan.

You might also know that I’ve done a lot of driving. Some of the music I enjoy is engraved into the crust of my mind by a sad blade corroded by long acid hours of drifting emptiness. Solitude is the way to discovery of the self, but no one said music couldn’t come along. I’ve run a river of it through the middle of my mind for more than half a century. I’ve gained and lost three collections…one in the trunk of a ’65 Marauder abandoned in the Salt Flats, one burgled from a rented mountain shack off the Grapevine, and one given up for food and weed money to a Hastings in the eastern Ozarks.

I don’t regret it. I just start again.

But, I’m not going to let my brain get away with bringing up The Archies a few months ago. That just isn’t right.

You might know that I had kind of a tech career hooking up the frightening little devices that science has made available to us. I apologize for that.

About twenty years ago I bought a Compaq PC, and it was a pretty good horse. I bought a CD burner, and transferred a lot of my CDs to the hard drive as MP3s. So, I did have some backup on my last lost collection, and as I gathered my new collection, I made it an occasional practice to back up my treasures.

But, as we all know, technology is death, so one day the CD burner quit communicating during the transfer of one of Cathead’s Killers CDs. O well shit, who cares?

We bought this red car that has a USB port connected to the radio. It took me while to think of it, but I got the big idea to transfer the MP3s off the Compaq’s hard drive onto a USB flash drive so that I could enjoy my bounty while running up the mileage on our overpriced metal conveyance. It took a few hours, but the result was quite satisfactory, and soon I was enjoying what amounts to my own brain radio in the privacy of my personal realm.

The Compaq took a crap shortly thereafter. Power supply, I suspect. Who gives a fuck?

Well. What’s it like?

It’s like the inside of my head, or part of it, the part that’s all lined up in rows. This means the stuff I bothered to spend money on, which in my case means my main heroes Frank Zappa and Elvis Costello. Between the two of them they are more than half of the drive, but the bundles in my head containing them are among the most finely detailed. Other selections survey the heroes of Rock and Roll, with several greatest hits collections, including those from Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Tom Petty. Added to this are various albums from various artists, such as Jethro Tull, Talking Heads, Graham Parker, Matthew Sweet, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Wallflowers, ect. Then, add in Cathead’s fucked-up CD collection of I have no idea what…Killers, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains…I guess…and some errant selections from the local library…The Cure? Psychedelic Furs?...I don’t know how that shit got on there.

Nobody cares. Also, forty swing recordings from Decca, featuring such acts as Charlie Bartlett and Fletcher Henderson, as well as better known masters like Tommy Dorsey and Duke Ellington, and you know, goddamn, all those guys. These are lovely recordings, butt-moving Miniatures for the Ages, performed by real musicians playing together perfectly in a single take and sold without alteration. This is my parent’s music, and I used to think it sucked.

It doesn’t. Gene Krupa.

So, what isn’t on there? A lot of that radio shit that wired my brain over the years. From Abba to Zepplin, the majority of popular music I was exposed to and even took an interest in has simply not made the cut of my collections, because my money isn’t there. So, no Beatles, no Stones, no Credence, no Who, not even no ZZ Top. I’ve enjoyed many artists over the years, but the only two that have found a sincere appeal in me are Frank Zappa and Elvis Costello.

A couple of decades ago I walked into a record store on the Illinois side of St. Louis to buy All this Useless Beauty, and wound up also grabbing a reissue of The Grand Wazoo. The half-drunk clerk made an exaggerated astonishment appear upon his face as he said to me Frank Zappa and Elvis Costello?! Most people buy Bananarama!

Ha ha.

My brain remembers things.

So, why Frank? Don’t be stupid. I’ll admit right now that I don’t know what the Hell I’m talking about, so there’s no argument.

My high-school sweetheart turned me on to Frank back in 1970. He was serious and silly at the same time…very bad yet very good. He had something to say, pretty much fuck you I’ll do what I want, and a way of saying it that was bluntly clever. He employed many musicians in his quest for the perfect muffin, and in the process advanced the concept of music itself. On the side, he advanced the cause of free thought and free speech, and disrupted the discourse of politics. People hated him, people loved him, and it doesn’t matter. He dropped some pretty fascinating compositions that are endlessly entertaining, and hold up over many years of listening. He was the last of a breed…iconoclastic, inventive, and uncontained.

Frank’s brain was probably a little more wired by music he actually sought out as opposed to music that was forced upon him by mass media. His influences led him to create truly new music using truly new technology. He sold bawdy and silly rock and roll as a way of financing his more elite aspirations in jazz and classical. He could write a pop song, too. The radio just couldn’t get past the lyrics, so you never heard it…and that’s kind of what makes him endearing to me, he flipped off the system but still sold records, eventually through his own companies. He stood before congress and told them to butt out, and got killed for it.

You got your history, I got mine.

John Lennon, too.

On this collection, it’s a pretty odd mix of Zappa. Nothing from the first records, but the later orchestral Hot Rats and The Grand Wazoo, then on to Overnite Sensation, You Are What You Is, Us or Them, along with the collections Have I Offended Someone and Strictly Genteel. Many selections from Lather are on here as well as the entire Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar trilogy. No Freak Out, no Apostrophe, no Joe’s Garage, no Roxy…all lost in previous collections and never regained.

I can’t discount the impact Frank had on me as a teenager. He lived like a hippie, while also making fun of hippies. He stepped as far as he could into truth, and never got carried into bogus spirituality. He pointed out the hypocrisies of American society during the time that I was just getting to know them, and reinforced my rebellious tendencies. He suggested the existence of dark and lewd conspiracies, and got me started down the road of doubt, which I regret not.

I was living in Omaha the day Frank died. Some guy I was working with said good riddance.

Well it’s a dog’s life, in a rope leash or a diamond collar.

It’s enough to make you think right now but you don’t bother

Elvis Costello is the greatest songwriter that ever existed.

Shut up.

I got hooked on him back when I was in the service. He was more than rock star. He was the antidote. He was the cure. He fixed Rock and Roll.

It’s a love affair, really. I like rock and roll, and over the years I’ve been into a few bands and I don’t know exactly why, they just hit the right buttons at the time, Deep Purple, Santana, Jethro Tull, ZZ Top, the Police, and on into Soundgarden and Sublime.

But, I always come back to Elvis. Because he speaks to my rock and roll heart. He sows the anger in romance. He distills politics into a spatter of acid. He bites the hand that feeds him so well they had no choice but to let him play freely, and they even gave him a pat on the head once in a while, for what else could they do? Make a pop star out of him?

Elvis’ brain was obviously wired from a young age with the fruit of radio pop, just like mine…I’m sure he wakes up some times with the likes of Toto in his head. How can he not? He will put it to good use, probably, while I will seek out any other tune in my head to overcome it. This is what he does, what kind of song do you want? I want something better, put on some Elvis.
I drug my high school sweetheart west with me to my station in northern California. She didn’t care much for Elvis. She was more into disco. I liked the Cars. She tolerated my tastes until Elvis went country, then she said no more.

I had a lot of longhaired friends that didn’t get it. They didn’t care for disco, either. Or Frank. I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding them. Yeah, I got out of the service and worked construction for a while, but when the chance to travel came along I went for it…so I could blare out Frank and Elvis in the car and not hurt anyone.

I mean, honestly…it’s taken nine years to get Cathead to acknowledge Elvis’ majesty, and she still will not have anything to do with Frank. She says jazz is not music, and Frank is beyond not music.

Whatever Frank and Elvis represent, I don’t hear much of Satan in them. Cathead’s 80s poodle rock? 90s shriek metal? Yes, Satan.

There is, of course, a certain smug satisfaction that comes with being a big fan of musicians other people hate. It’s one of the things that makes me so very special. I have at my disposal something that will run you off, because you are weak and simple. I have something I can cherish repeatedly, and you have something stuck in your head. Frank and Elvis want to help, but the grip it has on your brain is too mighty.

Unbind your mind, there is no time.

Boing!

In this collection it’s almost all of Elvis, the stuff the average collector might have. Notably absent would be North and The Juliet Letters. Notably present would be Cruel Smile and Il Sogno. Look Now!?...no.

Well, I’m still doing a couple hundred miles five days a week so I do like my flash-drive-a-rope-leash radio, but it was really more like listening to my CDs than it was my own brain radio. It was, that is, until I noticed the number 2 select button also said RDM on it. I pressed it, and gave my brain a weeks-long whipping.

I made my own sauce. What can I say about this elixir?

Have a glass of a rope leash radio!

I could almost feel the rows of memory bundles breaking ranks. Bits of my brain have been dusted and rearranged, and I now hear differently. I’m identifying more of the individual performances, especially drums and bass. I am more appreciative of certain pieces because they come up out of context and clash with the previous number. I am also discovering what I like and what I really don’t care for in all music
.
It’s just what my brain needed.

To be honest, I didn’t see myself writing this piece. In the end it was and is self-indulgence to be avoided. But, things keep popping up as I drive…quirks and realizations I had not expected. I’ve got to get them cornered and branded.

Sorry.

You know, there’s a forum for Elvis fans and one for Frank fans, too. I’ve learned a lot of lessons from both, on how to be a hero and an ass at the same time. Both of these forums have hundreds of user accounts and a lot of people used to post but not so much anymore. We can speculate that they all went to Facebook and other such venues or that they just got disinterested in Frank or Elvis, but I know better.

They were all spooks.

Frank, you know, was part of a group of musicians out of Laurel Canyon that was heavily infiltrated by the CIA. Hence, the hippie scene in San Francisco. The amount of change that came about in the 60s would have been impossible without mass communication and the fools that control it. Suddenly, all the wholesome cleanliness of capitalism kids were raised on became “uncool”. Cool had only been invented a few years before, but it had become very important. This was not an accident. The hippies led American youth down the road of sex, song, and substances, and the megaphone of electronic media was right there to enable it.

Fantastic.

I’ve hooked up a ton of electronic devices over the years. Sometimes they act a little weird, just like people. Those young girls shrieking and fainting for the Beatles? A little weird…as is the whole world since John, Paul, and George plus Ringo.
So, I’m getting some invisible brain surgery while I drive. How weird is that?

How weird are a few free-flowing observations?

Under randomization, the echo of the next song on the CD is heard well within the brain, and it sounds as if the song is being carried away to a new place in my memory store. Sometimes I wish that song would play, because the next random selection that comes up kind of sucks. I can and I do flip through certain selections that I’m just not in the mood for. Psychedelic Furs, how did you even get on there?

Do I flip through any Frank selections? Well, once in a awhile I’m just not in the mood for Baby Take Your Teeth Out. But usually, no. I want to hear Frank play the guitar, even if it’s embedded deep into an embarrassingly offensive satirical parody. While Frank sold a lot of records with his handy knack for adolescent humor, his cringe appeal is not what I am after. I want that crawly-finger shred.

With drums, please.

Jimi Hendrix did not live long enough to be a better guitar player than Frank, in case you didn’t know.

Frank got in trouble once for producing what was said to be pornography. It’s a little-known fact that Frank is responsible for that wanka-wanka guitar music that is now indelibly identified with porno. He also created that wick-a-choo thing we heard in a lot of Disco tunes.

Is Frank the greatest guitar player ever? Yes, but you pay for it. Jack White is quite impressive. You can’t be a rock star without a guitar. Elvis knows. The randomizer has me hearing the band more, and I keep thinking damn, is that Elvis, too?
The great thing about Elvis is that he knows how to put little bits of guitar here and there in a rock song, placing them perfectly where needed…and no more! All the Rage, for instance. He never goes too far. Frank, on the other hand, seems to be seeing how far he can get. I can really dig that extended drum and guitar opus because Frank makes it worth it…you get rock, you get jazz, you get classical, all wrapped up in one composition. Frank pulled a lot of musicians through the Mothers of Invention, and found good use for all of them, so Frank’s playing does not get old, because there’s also sax and keyboard and violin in there to kill boredom.

Kazoo, too.

Matthew Sweet writes a pretty good song, but it’s Robert Quine that made them hits.

Do I flip through any Elvis? Well, Big Nothing is just that.

Elvis got in trouble once for getting drunk and saying that Ray Charles was African American. His choice of words demonstrates clearly the effect of alcohol upon the Id. I’m damn glad I quit, and Elvis, too. But, on the other hand, if there’s no trouble, there’s nothing to write about, is there?

Elvis, I contend, has never written a fully serious pop song. Maybe Veronica. Frank recorded Ain’t Got No Heart, then gave up on trying to write a radio hit. Both of these guys could have had consistent number one hits had they conformed. Instead, they stuck with integrity and wound up legends.

Elvis writes about love, but he doesn’t write love songs. That is, songs that are a direct appeal of the singer to a certain someone. Frank writes about humanity, without sympathy. I think Frank found that writing lyrics was much easier if it was a joke, and getting his point of view over worked better with humor. Elvis writes very serious lyrics that dredge up the deep, consistently nailing the soul of every human. He sprinkles in his humor in the same way he dabs in his guitar, exactly where it needs to be, and no more. Frank would not shut up.

So we get Shut Up and Play your Guitar…which is what I really need. Nothing like whiling away the miles with a mind trip down Canarsi where everyone looks the same. But, you know, when you’re inside your metal conveyance space, no one can hear you, so while I don’t mind singing along with Frank sometimes, it’s Elvis that carries the weight when it comes to amateur vocal performances behind the wheel.

O don’t kid yourself. I was going to be a movie star. I have one of the most awesome voices you never heard. In fact, I’m better than I ever was, thanks to Elvis and his catalog of over-worded three-minute rock and roll gems. Well, I should record myself sometime, but the world just doesn’t deserve it.


Livin’ the delusion…


Did Elvis and Frank ever meet? Not that I know of. Frank didn’t likePunk and wasn’t too enthused about the New Wave. I did read in an interview once where he said he liked the little guy with the glasses. I’ve read a lot of Elvis interviews where he name drops every musician in history, but I have never heard him mention Frank.

What’s he scared of? Offending someone?

Let me go deep here. It’s hard to change minds by offending people, but it can be done. If Frank taught me anything, it’s that it couldn’t possibly matter. Elvis is less than zero himself, and admits it so exquisitely we hardly know it. Both of these guys are saying things in an effort to point something out, usually, which is in general an effort to change things. Because, never forget, that’s what Rock and Roll was about…

…how far down this hole do you want to go?

It didn’t start off that way. Rock and Roll was dance music that was stolen from poor southern blacks. That’s what I heard. To this day, white folks from all over make pilgrimages to the lowest south to try to steal some blues.

Chuck Berry was playing piano chords on the electric guitar and the idea of a dynamic male vocalist/guitarist was just beginning to form. Harmony groups were using voice where the clarinet used to be, and greasy bop was a real happening when Franks’ young brain was being wired. A decade later, when Elvis was having his mind washed, things were significantly different.

The reason? The Beatles.

Buddy Holly died and for a while people didn’t want to rock. It was bad luck. The world sucked.

The CIA shot the President and the government was taken over by cultish banking interests that decided they were ready to use electronic media to control the minds of future generations in a way that had been completely impossible before. Thus began the Gigantic Mass Deception.

Then came the Holy Britons to save us.

But we didn’t know from what. When you’re caught up in a swirling psy-op, it’s hard to tell what’s real.

The mechanisms of capitalism work well with electronic media. A true hippie would never wear a corporate logo. But, there are no true hippies. It was a scene created by spooks to infiltrate your mind, man. They made you, and along the way they used you to sow the seeds of political division, moral decay, institutional mal-education, popular ignorance, and mind-blowing stupidity. Bread and circuses never ever worked so well as it has on Western societies in the current span.

I’ve watched it over fifty years now. Because Frank clued me in. Because Elvis gave the nod.

Well, they are exposed now. The curtain at the back of the stage has been lifted and we see the wall.
By now it’s been Banskyed.

…and it’s almost like we’re all standing around dazed saying ‘what the fuck happens now?’

Euthanasia? By rampaging packs of robotic dogs? Okay, then!

Best apocalypse ever!

Anyway, my CIA-wired brain brought up oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang the other morning, which led to gimme dat ding but then onto tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree it’s been three long years I’m still standin’ yeah yeah yeah…

My brain is punishing me for writing this. Never forget, it is also electric.

But, who are the brain police? Perhaps I should relax.

My sister gave me a copy of Time Out of Mind, and it made me want to kill myself. Bob Dylan tells a lot of stories, but he never says anything. Give me Jim Croce anytime over Bob. I am not kidding.

I never bought an Elton John record in my life. For a reason. My money went to Billy Joel. Nobody cares.
We’re only interested in how the brain is also an electronic device of sorts.

A very mysterious one.

They act weird sometimes, especially when hit with unusual stimuli such as the randomization of musical memories. Strange, odd, and ridiculous scenarios erupt.

One time Cathead and I were way out in Iowa or someplace where the radio scanner just went round and round. We crested a hill and it seized upon a staticky station that was playing Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Cathead said that was her mom’s favorite song. After a bit, she said her mom also liked Barry Manilow’s Mandy, which the radio station then proceeded play next. We got the crawlies as the station faded out, unrecoverable as we sank into Sioux City.

Wanna buy some Mandies, Bob?

I always thought “Mandies” meant a hit song. A lame one.

Bob went to Frank’s house and asked if Frank would produce an album for him. Apparently Frank wasn’t impressed with Bob’s addictions.

I wouldn’t cry for lost souls. You might drown.

But the brain is electric. Who knows what sort of connections it makes with other devices. Who knows the true depth?

The randomization is quite revealing. It opens up spaces that were once hidden. It brings questions.

Does the Randomizer have a favorite?
It’s supposed to be completely random, like a slot machine right?

Does the Randomizer have a favorite artist in this collection?

Yes. Chuck Berry.

I shit you not. Twenty eight Chuck Berry hits here and it plays one every time I take a ride. There’s more Buddy Holly, but he’s rarely heard.

Maybe the Randomizer knows I’m from St. Louis.

Does the Randomizer have a favorite Elvis song?

Yes, and it’s really weird. It’s a tie between Big Boys and Busy Bodies. There are two each of the songs on here, one each of the demo and one each of the studio. The Randomizer plays them all the time, sometimes together. Once I flicked off one and it went to the other. Don’t get me wrong, I like the songs.

But it’s so weird isn’t it? “BB”! OMG! What’s that mean?!

Cracks me up.

Does the Randomizer have a favorite Frank song?

Yes, and no. It plays a lot of the orchestral and guitar works, the jazz-fusion, so it’s hard to call them songs. Of what can be called a song, Zombie Woof seems to be a real favorite. Selections from Overnite Sensation get a lot of play, but from Them or Us not so much.

Does the Randomizer know what I’m thinking? Well…

The other day I said the Randomizer will play Zombie Woof before the day is out. By sunset I was correct.

A few weeks ago I read on the forum that Elvis played an impromptu Different Finger live in concert. Next day, the Randomizer played it for the first time, and has not played it since.

Cathead was riding with me. After nine years, she asks out of the blue why “a rope leash”. It’s from a song I say. Next song, it turns out. I sing the verse so she gets it, and start up again questioning the structure of reality.

I don’t know…one day I was in really good voice, singing along with just about everything. I sing both Frank and Elvis, but of course I prefer Elvis. I’m not good, missing marks and forgetting words. But that day, I was particularly on it, having early in the day pretty much nailed Red Shoes, Radio Radio, and Doll Revolution. As they day wore on, however, it seemed as if the Randomizer was challenging me, throwing tougher and tougher curve balls for me to swipe at and fumble…20% Amnesia, Chewing Gum, 15 Petals, Hurry Down Doomsday…my brain is laughing…by the end of the day I’m seeing spots swim as I suffer through It’s Time, and croaking as I attempt to mock the Ikette’s tiny horse bridge on Frank’s Montana.

Ike rented them out to Frank. Tina and the Ikettes almost gave up on singing it, but they found a way. When Ike picked them up, he heard what was going on and he said what the fuck. Ike told Frank to pay them scale, and they were not credited.

Get that…Ike didn’t want to be embarrassed…and Frank can be very embarrassing.

By the eighties, Frank had turned the sexual revolution into a profitable sideshow. Frank’s sales to sex-obsessed young males was practically obscene itself. Weed, cocaine, and Disco fueled the rise of the American macho-Man, and the women who were their willing victims. Frank loved pointing out the details, in fine and filthy focus.

Well, humans had never gone crazy on such a large scale. By the time the Millennium rolled in, Frank was dead, pornography was rampant and easy, and twenty years after that the children born then are already bored with sex. Frank had fun with sexual perversions, which are now totally out of the closet and demanding to be socially accepted. Tipper Gore drug Frank over the coals for his slightly explicit recordings that wound up in the hands of giggly children too young to understand. Thirty years after that, allowing children to choose their gender and scheduling surgery for sex reassignment is said to be normal.
The world has gone nuts because Frank Zappa died. There is no independent voice for common sense. There is no opposition outlet amid the total control of all frequencies by corporate fools.

I don’t blame those looney liberals or those stupid conservatives. I blame humans that can’t see evil for what it is...a selfish and negative force that is easily destroyed with the daylight of truth. Truth, while always pale, has of late been fogged out of existence…while at the same time, for a lot of us, our life-long suspected truths have been confirmed outright. The Children of Auto-tune will never understand.

Apocalypse is real. It’s a revelation. It’s vehicle this time has been electronic media. Minds of the masses are easily manipulated, by the billions. Some of us, on or near the front row of the freak show, overcome their wiring, and see the production for what it is, a gigantic mass deception. Every day, I write the book, and I never know the ending…except that it’s less than zero.

It matters not.
Talk about infinitesimal. We are a dot.

What else should be in this collection? Green Day. Cake. Amy. Maybe some Who. Stones? Lucinda?

Yeah, it needs some sultry twang.

I had a major déjà vu last night. I was pulling a wad of hair bands out of the garbage disposal. Cathead’s grandchildren are something else. Yeah, this lasted about fifteen seconds, long enough for me to get a major sensation of having dreamt the whole scene many years ago. My life is random uncertainty, but my brain predicted this minor irritation event in complete detail, and bothered to reveal it to me in some random somnambulant phantasm, as if I should be paying attention to something unknowable.

I’m telling you, my brain thinks it’s funny.

Some of the little rows of music-memory bundles suffer a little more when randomized because the bundles are holding hands via musical continuums between tracks…think You Are What You Is or Wise Up Ghost. These pieces really feel ripped out. But.for the first time, I’ve noticed that the tracks on Il Sogno are pretty short. This is intriguing because I’ve always listened to it in its entirety, and I’ve often felt that it flowed very well between themes, but because the themes repeat it was difficult to know exactly where I was at any given moment. Randomization breaks it up so you know what you’re eating, and the flavor of the themes becomes more distinct. It’s always appreciated when it comes up, and it never gets flicked.

I can’t really say that for Frank’s orchestral pieces, but it’s a moot point because Frank was a musical madman. Frank was not only prolific as a composer but he was also very daring. When it comes to orchestral works, Frank and Elvis really can’t be compared. Elvis meddled a bit with the traditions, but Frank had already destroyed them…repeatedly. While I love Il Sogno and the Juliet Letters, there’s nothing quite like tripping through Dupree’s Paradise.

It’s hard with Frank to distinguish anything truly genre. The fusion records, like Hot Rats and The Grand Wazoo, still sound like nothing else I’ve ever heard. Compare them to the big band Decca recordings, and they are similar in that a tight ensemble is crucial, but Frank is not so danceable.

It’s head music.

So, I’m learning a lot about why I love both Frank and Elvis, and I think the reasons are very similar. Both are masters at what they do, and they do what they want.

Boy, do I envy that.

They share a work ethic that not only insures production, but also engenders the complex creativity that comes with professional exercise. These guys not only used their talents, they worked them and made them better and more useful. They diversified among the genres, and found success everywhere.

To say these guys aren’t everyone’s cup of tea is to point out the blitheringly obvious. Over the years I have offended various persons by my blaring of the worst of both Frank and Elvis. One less white n-word would be nice. A little less pornographic here and there, perhaps. I tell you, my mother was appalled…and all my wives. Something about it just isn’t right.
You know it. Nailing it just isn’t all that popular.

The stinking hippie that slyly hinted of elite pedophilia, pointed out directly establishment hypocrisy, that questioned gods and followers, governments and citizens, charlatans and sheep, who put sex in it with humor and innuendo, who gave us something to trip on, who foretold a future with no free musicians, of central control, who stood before Congress and told them to fuck off, who died way before he could really fight the fuckers, whose death was the death of honesty and sanity in popular culture…this guy is not so revered as he might be, at least in the mainstream.

He is the opposition. There is no opposition channel. Just as he said it would be.

The little geek that twitched his way into the Rock and Roll business back when I was staying up late to watch cheesy videos managed to sell a lot of records with his angry but snappy style. It was never very clear what he was going on about, but it intersected nicely with the general punk dissatisfaction of the day. The first three records are Rock and Roll masterpieces. He did that, then went country. Nobody followed. We have to admire the drunken chutzpah, though…he’s a man after my own heart.

Back then, I could have gone on to the University, but I really did not want to borrow the money. My wife left me for another guy, and my girlfriend thought it was funny. Well, in time these obsessions can be turned into careers, profitable or not. For the life of me, I could not see how more system schooling would really help me. I’d probably get stuck in some academic position complete with wife, kids, and mortgage, kind of like Elvis’ bank job. All I ever wanted to do was get high, fall in love, and write. I wanted to write above-average prose for the average person. To do that, I needed to live some life first.

I told them to fuck off. Thank you, booze. Man, if I could just get drunk now.

Elvis took a calculated risk. Who hasn’t? He’s been a man for fifty years, doing it his way. I like to think it’s because he thinks like I do…the creation of art can never be about getting paid. He made a fortune very young, and chose to use the time it provided very wisely, cruising along song after song, each a new lesson, each part of the practice necessary to become actual. His years of applying himself has created a massive body of work that simply can’t be ignored. It’s professional genius self-cultivated and unmockable, if only for its rarity.

Me? Well it’s one calculated risk after another. My endeavors are of a more personal nature, but I’m not sure I would have produced anything if Frank and Elvis had not shown me that the key to being it is doing it, and the key to success is doing it your own way.

Or satisfaction. Elton John is not satisfied. Art done for the benefit, appreciation, and profit of others does not heal the soul of the artist. Elvis seems quite satiated these days. He’s the real thing, and he’s knowing it.

Collective Soul is on this collection. I thought I cared, but it turns out I don’t. Same for Foo Fighters, sorry, I prefer Stone Temple Pilots. Nevermind is on here, but it only makes me wonder about Dave Grohl and what if. Wallflowers are here, much preferred over Bob.

To be honest, I’ve had it with Bob. He sings a lot but says diddly really. He tells a lot of stories that do not have a point, as far as I’m concerned. Really not much of a musician, either. He’s always been hype if you ask me. Electricity wasn’t much of an improvement, so why did anyone care? I do love The Hurricane, though, even though it blows on forever. Sorry, Bob, you’re no Elvis…Presley or Costello. I’m not really sure what you are except pointless. I reckon that’s something. Your kid makes up for it. Live on, but do not try again.

Let me relax now and have a smoke.

Gosh ya just gotta have it out sometimes.

It’s all subjective… musical politics so to speak. I wrote a fantastic story about a stretch of land that winds up being ruled by musicians. It takes place in the future, but lately I am beginning to think the future looks more like Joe’s Garage, a place without musicians. There won’t be any cute secrets, either, let alone any novelty.

There’s no denying that popular music was weaponized during our lifetimes and transformed into a political shotgun. There’s no end to point-of-view spew, from rap to country. Frank Zappa did not hesitate to call it as he saw it, raw as it may be, and Elvis Costello simply mouths off once in a while in a near constant yet random pulse, decrying the same shit we commoners have been decrying for centuries.

There is lot of debate over how political Frank or Elvis actually are, and I come down on the side that says they are political when you need them to be, and sometimes when you don’t. A songwriter has to say something, and Rock music is all about rebellion. Elvis didn’t sell his records by singing along with the mainstream. He sold a lot of records by telling them to piss off once in a while. In fact, he is often propped as one of the founders of the “alternative music” genre, which is another way of saying that the angry chuff and bitching vibrato of Punk and New Wave was co-opted by capitalist forces and sold to the young in the form of prancing pop and suicidal grunge.

Elvis is not overtly political most of the time. But, Frank Zappa for pResident.

Frank actually had the balls to go to Congress and tell them that if someone doesn’t want their kid to have a Frank Zappa record, then that person should make sure their kid does not have a Frank Zappa record. A warning label is only enticement. Parents should be very active in their children’s lives, and raise them as they see fit. If that means no Frank Zappa, it’s up to the parents, not the government.

I don’t think anyone was surprised, except that Frank cut his hair and shaved.

When we listen to something like We’re Only in It for the Money, it’s very clear that Frank has been a political voice since very early in his career. Frank has always been outspoken advocate for truth and transparency, not only in government, but in general society. Some called him a free speech absolutist. That would be putting it lightly.

We can’t know who the assholes are unless we hear them talk. We can’t progress unless we confess.

We can say things outright, or cloak it in prose.

Frank is really the one that introduced me to the Gigantic Mass Deception. Granted, I already had suspicions. Frank pointed my instincts, and Elvis confirmed them. We are controlled by reptiles.

…and who are the brain police? Who wasted this wonderful invention?

The brain works on electricity, you know…and waves. Brain waves. Frequencies.

It’s a device.

Do you really control it? Who made that crazy dream? You?

Frank rose during the hippie Sixties, when the times they were a-changin’. The wave of discontent sold a lot of records, as did the acid. Frank mixed the two appeals, creating some pretty trippy shit that also had something to say. Ka-ching. Not Led Zepplin ka-ching, but enough ka-ching to keep things afloat while new creations are built in the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen. Thus we get Waka Jawaka, we get the Roxy. It’s a business, by the way, you start with Less Than Zero and work your way to He’s Given Me Things.

In the Seventies, Frank produced a steady flow of controversial and offensive themes sunk humorously into some damn fine jams. He continued on into the Eighties with the same basic procedure, bits of humor and gall mixed in with extremely intricate compositions and performances. He had a way of beating you over the head with a concept, then applying a bandage. He’s not easy, Frank… but he is rewarding.

Making fun of people’s sexual endeavors was one of Frank’s finer quirks. Who knows how he got his singers to sing some of those hot and filthy back-ups. He put a spotlight on where the sexual revolution was taking us, and almost three decades after his death, it seems that even he could not imagine…but really, he was pretty close, just as he was about the lack of musicians and the yoke of central control.

To my way of thinking, Frank’s pokes at folks’ sex freed a lot of people. There’s actually very little shame in sexual activity, but an awful lot of humor. As Frank would say, these people exist, I’m just writing songs about them. His humor humanized all sorts of sexual behaviors that were at the time commonly considered taboo. He outed them, and the world had to accept, or risk looking like an intolerant asshole.

So, what would be Frank’s objectives if he had lived on and had become a political force? This is debated fervently on stupid threads at the FZ forum.zappa.com. All we can go on is what Frank said and did, really. You might not like this, but imagine there’s no heaven, and nothing to live or die for. It’s that simple, really. No more bullshit.

It’s time to get real. No more dark secrets. We want a fair shake from capitalism.

Elvis feels the same way, but he’s much more subtle about it. It’s all hints and guesses. He rails against radio capitalism, elite exploitation of labor, executive frauds, political buffoonery, and religious hypocrisy …but no one can understand the words. Elvis wants to talk about it, but doesn’t want to get caught in the trap of mainstream social labeling. Radio Radio, Pills and Soap, Shipbuilding, Tramp the Dirt Down, 20% Amnesia, Couldn’t Call It Unexpected #4, All the Rage, Button My Lip, National Ransom, American Gangster Time, Walk Us Downtown, He’s Given Me Things…Elvis never comes out and says it, but you know what he means.

Everybody knows.

So he gets an OBE. It would be very hard to see Frank getting a similar honor in the USA.

Because, as much as some people “can’t stand” Elvis, some people flat-out hate Frank. The establishment just cannot put up with it…think of the children, and I wish someone would.

Or would have. For all the screaming done at Frank for exposing hidden paradigms, it wasn’t him that opened Pandora’s Box.
It was spooks from the coup. Frank might have helped some, hinting about the truth so it could be denigrated by the media and crushed into a thin paste of dismissible “conspiracy theory”. You see, Frank was “crazy” and probably “on drugs”.
Except he wasn’t. Except for nicotine. Musicians bitched about the no-drugs tours, but really, it’s hard to replace a busted jazz violinist on short notice, even in France.

Frank was a genius that probably could have used more sleep. Also, more love.

Because he was weirdly admired. He was an anti-hero for all the right reasons. When the complexity , industriousness, and volume of his music is considered, it’s hard to imagine that he isn’t officially revered, but see the previous indications written above. Power hates truth. It hates intelligence. It despises genius, unless it makes a bomb.

People that love Frank are freedom-minded and smart. People that hate him are hung up and dumb.

Cathead hasn’t taken to Frank like she has Elvis. The other morning she had a dream. She said her daughter came into the room and said she had a headache. Then there was this dog.

Arf.

She doesn’t get it, maybe some of it is okay but she doesn’t see wading through interminable sonic dissonance and spatial uncertainty just to hear the really cool part. Her daughter calls from seventeen-hundred miles away and says she woke up with a headache but mutt Zero came in and jumped up on the bed and licked her face so she feels better now.
I tell her you have to get used to it. Around me, anyway.

Yeah, I guess, sayeth the cat.

It’s important not to give a shit these days.

But I have my regrets. I hooked up a lot of devices. Your brain is next.

My, what I’ve seen at the freak show.

I wasn’t very old myself when people younger than me started wearing corporate logos. That’s so totally uncool I can’t believe it. So what about who made your shoes.

I was pretty young when I began to understand. I still don’t know.

My teenage queen was healthy and natural. No tats or holes. Our clothes might have been slightly outlandish, but we looked like the animals we were. We watched movies and shows that contained implied violence and moderated sexual activity. We drank bad coffee, awful beer, and Coca-Cola like vintage wine. Or Pepsi. We did not wear the shirt.

I hooked up a lot of systems in schools that were meant to be educational. I don’t know what happened.

This is the future Frank predicted. Hordes of desperately insane young people drawing permanent pictures on themselves and punching holes through their appendages from which to hang beauty- dissolving bobbles, while smoking a nasty blunt, watching a bloodily violent film, and drinking a horrible tasting “energy” potion. At their constant side, their hand held…where every need is addressed, the latest shoes, the latest porn, all the secrets of life and other useless things. They think it’s cool. They like the Lumineers, and Mumford and Sons. Ugly, horrific, monstrous, satanic, gruesome, idiotic, twisted…these are all good things now.

Kiss goodbye to the Earth.

It won’t be long now. It may have already happened. They will put the picture in your head. You won’t need a phone. They’ll do it for the babies, too.

I doubt we’ll complain.

Collectively, anyway.

I didn’t get here by keeping my mind shut. I came from small circumstances and kept it that way. Elvis declared himself king and that was it, and I believe it because he proves it every day. It’s brilliant how he has managed to keep in touch with the emotions and opinions of the common folk. In a way though, I feel like I learned along with Elvis…whatever was going on in my life or the world, I could count on Elvis to say something about it. It’s not weird, he gets it. It’s the definition of the artist.
Elvis took me from such a lot of fools to there’s no name for the pain to there’s no hiding place. The cover art for National Ransom says it all, and should have been shouted all along.

But it wasn’t real.

The money, I mean. The stuff it can buy, however…

Welcome to the scam. All we want is our cut.

…and now I will end this in the spirit of the character William Munny out of Missouri, as portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the film Unforgiven, the greatest American Western ever produced. Of course, instead of rock gut whiskey, I’m going to have an American beer of a mystery brand, three aluminum big ones wrapped up in plastic, people.
This Hell is apropree-ot.

Deserve’s got nothing to do with it. It just has to be done. It is the course of chaos.

No life unit is responsible for its own birth. You can’t be me, but you can imagine yourself as me, and pretend it’s the same, but there’s no verifying it. We can only assume sameness. After all, the brain interprets what the senses garner. I can only assume your brain’s interpretation is similar to mine, at least in the basics. We are the same animal, by all assumption. What we make of that is the subject of much ado.

I’d love to make it right, because it’s pretty fantastic. The entire universe of art is about making the human experience a more lovable reality. Art really only makes the chaos seem malleable, useful, worthy…but it’s still a random flow, a river of shit we really don’t want to jump into, even though it’s the only way to get from here to there, wherever that might be.
Already, prosthetic limbs can be connected to the brain so that they can be controlled by the user. There are prototypes of brain/computer hardwire interfaces they’re trying out right now. With the help of artificial intelligence, and other scary items that science has made available to us, (including robot dogs), everyone’s brainwaves will be modulated via 5iveG WiFi. With any luck we will be marched into the oceans, as opposed to being torn to shreds by metal claws, or made into slaves.
They’re just not going to put up with it anymore. There’s far too many of us. We’re obsolete, and they can’t afford to educate us…and what’s the point when robots are more efficient and obedient? Strange days indeed.

Well, I’m sure that anyone reading this is wondering when it is going to end, and I’ve been curious for weeks, myself. Little did I suspect there would be a bug of death arriving to make it all easy. So here comes the speech…
There’s nothing more exciting than an apocalypse, for the bulk of human existence has been toil and tedium. I understand how fortunate I am to live in such a bizarre era. This shit is crazy…technology has jumped the shark. For more than sixty years I have lived with a brain that has been subjected to inputs known and unknown that are far beyond what any previous generation has endured. It has always been the hope that humankind would solve its problems by judicious use of technology.

That is, the brains would save themselves.

We always forget about the odd disconnect we sometimes feel when it comes to our own unit. Why did I dream that? Why did I say that? How did I know that? Where did that come from?

It seems that we are not really our brains so much as we are controlled by our brains. This is why it’s always good to have a congenial relationship with one’s noggin. There’s no point in being angry with it, because it has infinite ways of getting back at you.

What we didn’t know is that technology would come into the hands of reptiles, who advanced themselves rapidly using billions and billions of human brains throughout history. They are now poised to take control of individual consciousness, in order to form a better world for reptiles everywhere.

It’s easy for them. Their brains are not so developed that they become a nagging nuisance like most human brains. No, it’s mostly about making sure they can lay their eggs and cover them, and lash their tongues at flies while sunning. It’s nothing to them. They own the technology rights, and the system. They get paid. Human beings? Who cares?

It’s a bit of a farm. They own it. Once an earth has been fleeced completely, it’s time to lose the meat machines and beat it back to the caves, where robot dogs actually have puppies.

That’s the reality of information soup. Imagine your own actuality. There will always be words somewhere to back it up. You’ll never get to the sub-zero truth anyway, so go with what makes you comfortable.

Personally, I don’t get the human race, and everyone knows it by now. Talk about a pointless endeavor.
We struggle and fail, and make up some sort of fairy tale. That’s kind of how it seems, but really it’s just one group of brains manipulating what they control. Everyone knows a fairytale can’t be true, but so long as the manipulators contend that it is real, they can influence masses of brains that just aren’t wired for critical thinking. They govern with money and superstition. It’s all for your own protection.

Fifty years ago, a lot of weirdly-wired teenagers such as myself found themselves in a revolution. It was a social revolution against hypocrisy and hate. You could buy it at the record store. Rock on, brother…

Well, what happens is that people grow up and have children. That’s really all that matters, and you will do what you damn well have to…conform. It’s very easy with modern technology. You are ruled by a small group of cold-blooded bug eaters, and they run you remotely via electronic media. It’s all you have ever known. It’s a way of life.

I certainly had hopes. I don’t know what I was thinking…probably that the species with the largest brain would figure out some way of living together peacefully and cleanly, without poverty and without war…because we’re smart, see? I did not take into account all the other things humans are. Logic, empathy, understanding…that’s what I was counting on. It turns out we’re more about avarice and greed. That’s what happens when you have children.

Defeating the Monster is not possible. We can kill the overlord vipers, but the system is still there and the underling snakes are so willing to take over. Like it or not, it is no longer possible for the masses to live without it. It has become a symbiotic relationship. Mother is the media.

But, we are not born completely unwired. Music seems to be an instinctive hook-up. Even Mariachi.
Cathead’s tiny progeny are on the beat, and it doesn’t seem forced or learned. The toddler is a highly advanced super-baby we call Mister Scream. I swear he’s the next incarnation of a practiced performer. We’ve seen him moon-crawl. We’ve seen him caterwaul. We’ve seen him spin an awkward pirouette. Strike a silhouette. We’ve seen him fuse it. Contuse it. Abuse it.

Because music. It just does that to humans. The receptors are there, the brain is ready.

Well, whatever, as they say, but his grandfather on his mother’s side is the cousin of a sort-of-well-known one-hit wonder guy from the late Sixties. I used to believe a poem or a song could change the world, and I think that guy did, too. Maybe sceamy baby will someday rule, and shriek us into peaceful behavior.

I told Cathead I wouldn’t play too much Zappa for him. Parenting is very important. I’ve always avoided it. It’s the most gut-wrenching and intolerable love of all.

But, the tunes for your head are pretty much sold by the gram now, and it’s not exactly high quality. What kind of random crappy cabling will be done for brains with this? I fear for the young ones, but I also fear for music itself. Get ready for the robot icon, because what you thought was your spiritual creativity can now be replicated with an algorithm designed to appeal to your consumer desires.

I mean, it probably won’t appeal to me, but to the young brains currently being connected, who knows?

It won’t be long, predictably, that our brainwaves will be directly modulated with all manner of remote input. It’s a device.
You might not own it. We’ll see.

Well, heck, I ran this piece right into a lockdown. Hilarious.

Now that it’s the end of the world, it becomes obvious that this is the piece I was meant to write, that this is where five decades of amateur aspirations of literary notoriety have led, to this random yet somehow essential addition to my pile of documentary evidence to be burned with me upon my pyre, after the neighborhood turns to shit and ruthless gangs take over and I get murdered protecting the family from the violence of desperate criminals bent on re-enacting every post-apocalyptic motion picture they ever saw, because that shit is so cool.

The future ain’t what it used to be. The now ain’t, either. How astounding.

...good thing I’m a master of delusion.

I really should, before the violence arrives, sum it up. It’s tough, you know, the numbers go so far back, the calculations are immense… the equations outgrow the blackboard, arriving only at absurdity.
But this is me, you know. I can do this.

Bill Hailey, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holley…That’s Rock and Roll.

Elvis Presley? Sure.

Rock and Roll was a contagion. It rode in on Bill Hailey’s comet and blew up the world. Suddenly, jazz musicians were out of work, mature pop idols were square, and teenage girls were out of control. The virus seemed to spawn and grow upon the young and rebellious, and the radio took the form of a super-spreader, infecting millions in a very short time.
The reptiles pretty much stayed underground until the nukes started going off in World War II. By 1950, the reptiles realized that humans were a threat to life in the universe, and began their coup. They would use our own tools against us…most notably, our infant electronic technology. Once they had infiltrated broadcast media, there was no stopping their control of human brains worldwide.

Rock and Roll had the ear and gear of every kid in Western society. Although our strictly moral predecessors wailed balefully at the delinquent behaviors encouraged by the new beat, Rock and Roll forged ahead to solidify itself as an American phenomena. This was due mostly to its ability to create quick wealth for investors. There’s a child born every second.
Suddenly and sadly did Buddy Holley die. It made Rock and Roll unlucky, and angry. The airwaves began to be filled with a new infection, a musical lollipop of a sort intended to make older listeners feel better while still tending to the immature worries of teenagers everywhere. Much of it was over-produced pabulum, but there was an offshoot that came out of white-bred academia, the genre known as Folk. This horrible whining became the music of the Civil Rights movement, and its cheap hero called himself Bob Dylan.

O!

That feels so good.

In November of 1963, the reptiles were able to murder the pResident of the United States right out on the street, allowing them then to control much of Western government. This coup could only go unnoticed by skillful use of media and control of journalists. They did a great job, and needed a celebration, so they invented The Beatles.

The music? Rock and Roll produced as pop. The band? Softened punks. The image? Mild threat. The shrilly shrieking teenage girls? Unnatural.

Imagine being Frank Zappa just then.

Did I mention Laurel Canyon? What do I know? The San Francisco scene was sold to us as a true revolution…a human freak out of unprecedented proportion. We had no idea the money being made. We were gullible, and did not understand gimmickry. We were innocent, and did not understand marketing. We were ready to party, and to be cool. Cool was all.
Frank Zappa was a realist who probably understood a lot more about it than anyone. He stood ready to mock it for what it was and is… a gigantic mass deception. You only think your brain is yours.

So here you are, a young musician in a volatile era. You want to write great compositions, but that doesn’t jive to the times economically. What sells is slick junk. You can’t really take that seriously, so you kind of play along and make fun of it while producing something a little more complicated on the side.

Who knows what happens after that.

Well, The Beatles become the Beast. Whatever they were doing, good men had to counter it. None of us knew. Frank was on a quest.

Apparently, Declan McManus was also unaware. After another decade of Rock and Roll mutation produced several spectacular genre offshoots, all of them overblown and full of shit, Mr. McManus ended it.

He put it back where it was. People didn’t know what to think.

But by then they had us all by the short hairs. O yeah Frank was an anomaly. He literally had to break off and create his own companies to keep doing what he wanted to do. That took stamina, the same sort of stamina that has held Elvis together all these years.

Respect.

So, Frank made some movies…or tried to. He was the king of trippy shit on film, really…never mind Yellow Submarine. But, he wasn’t widely distributed, because he was an outsider. Hollywood didn’t really care for Frank, and vice-versa. Frank basically did his own thing, and it was too good for Hollywood. You see, it’s tough to promote something created outside the auspices of the gigantic mass deception, because the gigantic mass deception prefers productions built by their own highly trained and controlled minions.

Videos, however, were the future. While Frank got to play around with squirmy stuff like Baby Snakes, poor Elvis got caught up in the rise of the New Wave, where video killed the radio star.

It’s hard to know what they thought Elvis could be. For a guy most people would say is not that big of a star, he sure made a lot of videos. So he’s this rockin’ little guy that’s singing about something you have no idea what is. He barely seems to be trying. It seems fun. Buy the record.

…not really what Frank was into. Frank strived for art. Yeah, it’s promotional, but it’s real.

By the Nineties the reptiles had fallen into a tepid routine of filling the brains of helpless humans with pabulum platitudes and soothing mind-soaks. Kids somehow went from being suspicious of The Man to worshipping The Man, but you couldn’t say that to them because Grunge. Nirvana wailed the angst, and the airwaves filled with the cries of lost youth, but it was only misery sold back to the miserable.

I wouldn’t cry for lost souls you might drown.

…and well, we all know how it ends, a shitbox in every hand and every head full.

The war is on us.

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A rope leash
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Re: Frank, Elvis, and the Randomized Head

Postby A rope leash » Tue May 26, 2020 12:55 pm

Here are ten things Frank Zappa wrote or said that Bob Dylan really should have listened to but did not because it goes beyond the allowable paradigm for entertainment industry reptiles:

What’s there to live for? Who needs the Peace Corps?

Unbind your mind, there is no time…boing!

Flower power sucks!

You’ll be absolutely free, only if you want to be…

What will you do when the label comes off?…and the plastic’s all melted, and the chrome is too soft? Who are the brain police?

Everybody in here is wearing a uniform and don’t kid yourself.

Your mind is totally controlled, it has been stuffed into my mold, and you will do as you are told, until the rights to you are sold…I am the slime from your video, oozing along on your living room floor…

Do you know what you are? You are what you is. You is what you am…a cow don’t make ham.

Journalism’s kind of scary, and of it we should be wary.

If God’s dumb then we’re dumb, and maybe a little ugly on the side…

Here are ten things Elvis Costello has written that are deeper, more clever, or more relevant than anything Bob Dylan has ever thought of…

Next time someone wants to hurt you, or set alight your effigy, don’t call on me to help you out, don’t come crying to me for sympathy. You stay there with your daubs and scratches, while I summon up the red machine…I’ll be handing somebody matches, and carrying a can of kerosene.

He sits back and starts to invent, all about some Saigon correspondent, till the carbine fell silent and spent. I never knew it could be so eloquent.

I can’t tell if I’m dreaming or if I’ll awaken with a song in my heart that’s longing to break. Let it out, and let it fly, up where the spires scrape the sky.

He walked the wet sands of summertime. Rain beat the window in drummer time. Cruel with his humor, she was quick with her tongue…but though a year had passed the honeymoon didn’t last. Somehow it didn’t seem young…

Maybe we’re nothing but skin and bone, nerves that shatter, tongues that flatter. Lips tat mutter, lashes that flutter, mounds of dust and lips of ripe, twice as vicious as the words I write, under a ribbon of every stripe…there’s a grip that tightens, a dark that frightens, a wise that crackles, a fear that shackles…and I’m trying to do the best I can, but I’m a limited, primitive kind of man…

My voice got stuck in my throat, pulled my hand up into the sleeve of my coat, so you’d never know how it was shaking…

You should wear your red galoshes walking o’er the city pride…streets are paved with heaven’s pennies, gutter’s full of suicide…

Her lover is calling…something is spoiling. It’s really appalling. You pleased and you promised, you never saw it through…nobody knows the damage that we do…the damage that we do…

Here’s a fragment, between the shame and the sentiment…for all the year that I might have been absent. I can’t do what can’t be undone, still I want it for my three sons.

Between last breaths and first regrets, the days dragged on like cigarettes. In the distance martyrs and martinets dally, dancing with the empty silhouettes of threats…

See the sunlight on the leaves that dapple. See my little teeth marks on the apple. Don’t close the door on the hand I’m offering…there is always someone on the outside doing all of the suffering…

You used to be my hand-painted villain. You used to be so thrillin’…


Ha ha.


…and one more thing from Frank…

Well, I seen the fires burnin'
And the local people turnin'
On the merchants and the shops
Who used to sell their brooms and mops
And every other household item
Watched the mob just turn and bite 'em
And they say it served 'em right
Because a few of them are white,
And it's the same across the nation
Black & white discrimination
They're yellin' "You can't understand me!"
And all the other crap they hand me
In the papers and TV
'N all that mass stupidity
That seems to grow more every day
Each time you hear some nitwit say
He wants to go and do you in
Because the color of your skin
Just don't appeal to him
(No matter if it's black or white)
Because he's out for blood tonight
You know we gotta sit around at home
And watch this thing begin
But I bet there won't be many left
To see it really end
'Cause the fire in the street
Ain't like the fire in my heart
And in the eyes of all these people
Don't you know that this could start
On any street in any town
In any state if any clown
Decides that now's the time to fight
For some ideal he thinks is right
And if a million more agree
There ain't no great society
As it applies to you and me
Our country isn't free
And the law refuses to see
If all that you can ever be
Is just a lousy janitor
Unless your uncle owns a store
You know that five in every four
won’t amount to nothin' more
than watch the rats go across the floor
And make up songs about being poor

Blow your harmonica son!


Well, maybe I’m a little too hard on Bob. The guy really tries. He just doesn’t have the balls.

On YouTube I visited his latest thing, a ten-minute drag on a stale cigarette called Murder Most Foul. Insidious in his cliché-ridden blather, Bob moans on about how some people done some things and we all know Oswald was the patsy, but gosh near sixty years later we still don’t know exactly who was behind it. Gosh, Bob.

Why not just admit it was the reptiles? Why not just say we’re all fucked? Because you’re the champ, Bob, the reptiles all agree. You can’t cross them. You’re the model. You’re the piper leading the parade…to where you have no idea, but we are beginning to find out, eh, Bob?

Apocalypse, anyone?

Maybe I’m just kind of pissed at common stupidity, and taking it out on Bob. I mean, early in this piece I took a jab, and it felt nice. I don’t know why…Bob hasn’t really hurt anyone…but he’s popularly held up as a common man’s hero by the mainstream reptiles. Meanwhile, Elvis still gets no airplay and they cannot bury Frank deep enough to satisfy their fear of him.

So, Bob is taking the hit here, and Bob, the reptiles you are working for have really done it this time: Introducing, for the first time ever, slow-motion mass panic on a worldwide scale, with mankind stifled and cowered in what must be a fascist’s wet dream. Draconian orders for house arrest and isolation, and Orwellian systems for enforcement are the new normal, as will be your scratching shit with the chickens in the near future, as it contains no job.

Because a bug.

Really excellent work, by the way. Scared the crap out of me, creepy bug.

My trust was abused, though. It’s just a bug. Fool me once…

I mean, it could be Covert Operation Via Infectious Disease 2019…but probably not, right?

All I know is writers like me should not be forced to stay home because they might write. Look at what happens. This whole thing is totally unnecessary…but that’s how an apocalypse works. We didn’t ask for the reptiles to be revealed. It just happened, because that’s how they do it…bang, we’re in the know.

Not jack we can do about it, either.

O well, I’ve grown weary of my randomized self. I took out the flash drive and turned on the jazz station, only to find that they too have gone random amid the lockdown.

Good for them.

Who needs to hear a bunch of jabber, anyway?


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