Friday, October 23, 2009

RAISE YOUR DOUBLE (GIN!) MARTINI TO THE GREAT PERFORMERS

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In discussing my recent, somewhat disappointing, Bob Dylan concert experience with a dear friend, she wrote to me:

One of the best concerts I ever saw was with Jim Croce ("Time in a Bottle," "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "I Got A Name"). It was also one of the first concerts I ever went to. Croce was hilarious, telling colorful stories and flirting with various girls in the audience. He and his band seemed to be really enjoying themselves, and the audience responded with tremendous enthusiasm. I always thought his kind of concert was what you paid all the extra money for - everything else you could just get off a record or CD. This was just a few months before his plane crash. (It sounds really weird, but I actually cried when I heard the news of Croce's death.)
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I replied to my friend:

I like Jim Croce a lot, and I own his greatest hits album “Photographs And Memories.” …

Well, except for the flirting with girls part, [the Croce concert] sounds a lot like the four Waylon Jennings shows I saw. Waylon was my favorite live performer – two shows in one: Classic Outlaw Country Music and hilarious comedy between the songs. Now, Croce and Waylon playing a double bill – that would have been the all-time best concert, I suppose.

I would have liked to have seen Croce live. Some of his songs are VERY meaningful to me.

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It’s not at all difficult for me to believe that Croce could be hilariously funny on stage, considering that I have always thought his song ‘WORKIN’ AT THE CAR WASH BLUES’ is amongst the most amusing ever recorded, and his vocal delivery only heightens the humor:

Well, I had just got out of the county prison
Doin’ ninety days for ‘Nonsupport.’
Tried to find me an executive position
But no matter how smooth I talk
They wouldn't listen to the fact that I was genius
The man said, “We got all that we can use.”
Now I got them steadily depressin', low-down mind-messin'
Workin' At The Carwash blues

I should be sittin' in an air-conditioned office in a swivel chair
Talkin' some trash to the secretary,
Sayin', “Hey now, mama, come on over here.”
But instead, I'm stuck here rubbin' these fenders with a rag
And walkin' home in soggy old shoes
With them steadily depressin', low-down mind-messin'
Workin' At The Car Wash blues.

You know a man of my ability,
He should be smokin' on a big cigar.
But till I get myself straight I guess I'll just have to wade
In my rubber suit rubbin' these cars.

Well all I can do is shake my head -
You might not believe that it's true
But workin' at this indoor Niagra Falls
Is an undiscovered Howard Hughes.
So baby, don't 'spect to see me with no double martini
In any high-brow society news.
Cause I got them steadily depressin', low-down mind-messin'
Workin' At The Car Wash blues.
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Here’s a toast to all of the performers who really enjoy performing, who really put on a show and who don’t let their audiences down!

~ Stephen T. “Lonesome Dogg” McCarthy
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9 comments:

arlee bird said...

For me the best concerts have been the ones I expected to be good and they fully met their expectations(like Jethro Tull) and the ones I had moderate or unknown expectations for and they blew me away (underappreciated Canadian artist Murray McLaughlin).

Hey that martini picture looks like a martini I would make for myself -- I love gin soaked green olives!

Lee

Anonymous said...

Hey, Stephen:

I loved this Blog bit, Pal.

I'll join you in that toast. Here's to Waylon and Jim (gone too soon).

Cheers... The Aard

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

rLEE-b ~
I never would have guessed that you "let your hair down" in a Jethro Tullish Sort O'Way. What're you one of them former long-haired hippie types?

>>[Hey that martini picture looks like a martini I would make for myself -- I love gin soaked green olives!]<<

Man! I'm comin' over to YOUR house!
Yeah, I love gin-soaked olives, too. Heck, I love gin-soaked ANYTHING. (Guess that means I love me.)

I'm really not an alky. My passion for martinis is just a love affair with the olive.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McME

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

AardPal ~
I love that you loved it!

Say, I'll trade you one Bob Dylan concert and two Ron Santo baseball cards for your Jim Croce concert. Deal?

~ Stevieboy
<"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>

Anonymous said...

StevieB:

[Say, I'll trade you one Bob Dylan concert and two Ron Santo baseball cards for your Jim Croce concert. Deal?]

um.... Ron who?

~The Aard~

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Tell ya what, Aard -
Make that TWO Willie McCovey cards and a Blue Moon Odom. But that's my final offer!

~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stevieboy

DiscConnected said...

Stephen T.-

You know I'm a big Todd Rundgren fan because I'm from the same town in the suburbs of Philly. Do ya know who else is from that same town? Mr. Croce, hisself (later to migrate to San Diego where his widow still operates one fine jazz and blues bar).

I never got to see Mr. Croce, and really didn't appreciate the fullness of his work until after he was gone.

I'd recommend his son's work to ya (A.J Crocw).

DiscConnected said...

A thought on the afore-mentioned Mr. Rundgren (Todd who?)...

In the last decade or so, he has really seemed to develop an appreciation for his core audience, and it has come across in his shows.

Due to his diminished popularity (and he was never all that popular to begin with), the audience is intimate, and somewhat....let us say, committed. Sure, lot's of people go to Akron Ohio just to see a concert.

Due to the smaller crowds, there is naturally more of a rapport, but you can also feel the recognition from the artists that he is grateful to the group for allowing him to earn a living doing what he loves (he's even expressed this sentiment directly) and he really seems to enjoy himself, where in the early 80's he often seemed to be disgruntled because he'd not achieved the ikon status of a JoelU2Steen.

Todd did a live album in the 70's called "Back To The Bars", but it the past ten years his audience has truly brought him back to bars, and his art is better for it.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>[Mr. Croce, hisself (later to migrate to San Diego where his widow still operates one fine jazz and blues bar).]<<

DiscMan ToddFan:
Yes, I've heard of this place, and someday I will hoist a REAL martini in it to the memory of Jim. ...Someday.

>>[I'd recommend his son's work to ya (A.J Crocw).]<<

Actually, you already have: you played a number of tunes at one of our Listening Parties once and I later made A.J. Croce one of my "Friday Requests." His son's style is quite different from his Pa's though. Good, but much more Jazzy. I never would have guessed he was his Pa's son.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" Stephen