Friday, May 23, 2008


Photographs by Richard Calmes, Vietnam 1968.

Okay. Repetition is possibly the order of the day, since I previously touched base here the last time I guested on AD with a brief celebration of Paint it Black. Like a Coppola junkie - as opposed to a genuine seasoned veteran, the "real McCoy" - I can't seem to avoid going back up country for another tour. The jeep is stuck in gear. The Hueys hover like brooding crows against the late afternoon sun, and the fields are awash with puddles on fire and ungathered rice.

There is something about this dark era and how it infected music well into the next generation which won't go away. Like a snake sleeping in a hole, it might appear lifeless - but stir a blade of grass, or carelessly uproot a stone, and the string hums back to life.

Agitate it, and it perhaps may bite. There is venom in its song but it turns the blood over even as stings. More so than Flanders Fields, wild poppies are its claim. Sweating ripely with dewy cobwebbed bloom.

Keep away from anything 'manufactured' in Afghanistan, boys; that shit will kill you!

"This is a public service announcement..." Klick>Klick>Klick.

And so... There is a deep seam of gold here to mine. Steering clear of the overtly political, the best of it is unabashedly bubblegum. Trippy yes, but quite often callow and bristling charm. The students stayed at home and inked out placards. Most of those who were drafted dreamt of waxed garaged automobiles as much as vulnerable distant girlfriends or wives.

You know by now I am prone to ramble.

I'd like to dedicate this post to my younger sister, Victoria, whose birthday it is today. The Tommy James & the Shondells selection is especially for you.

download: TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS: CRIMSON & CLOVER from "Crimson & Clover" LP (Roulette) 1968 (US)

download: THE TEA COMPANY: COME & HAVE SOME TEA WITH ME from "Come & Have Some Tea With the Tea Company" LP (Smash) 1968 (US)

download: ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS: SKY PILOT (PART I) (Mono) from "Sky Pilot" 45 (MGM) 1968 (US)

download: ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS: SKY PILOT (PART II) (Mono) from "Sky Pilot" 45 (MGM) 1968 (US)

download: THE BOX TOPS: YOU JUST KEEP ME HANGING ON from "Cry Like A Baby" LP (Bell) 1968 (US)

posted by ib


Emmett said...

I'm preparing notes for an argument that the Crimson & Clover chord progression is the progenitor of "Sweet Jane".

Anonymous said...

I'll sponsor publication of the paper! Nice call, Emmett.

Oddly too, "Jane" is my sister's middle name.

Atall said...

It goes half the way there. Sweet Jane takes you back again.

Can I assume you've heard Black Magic from Jarvis Cocker's solo album, which is really a reworking of C+C, with new lyrics?

Anonymous said...

atall: i haven't heard Jarvis's "Black Magic". I've always thought he was an OK dude, especially in light of the fact - inasmuch as I picked it up somewhere down the line - that he said he wanted Lt. Pigeon's "Mouldy Old Dough" spun at his funeral. We're clearly of the same era.

Thanks for the comment, and thanks for the pointer. I'd be interested to hear it.

sunnydustmote said...

thank you for my birthday post big bro! It made me feel very special. I will be down loading Crimson & Clover for my walk to work. Good to see you @ weekend and the wee man! X

Anonymous said...

Cool! The wee man says hi!

Richard B. Simon said...

Great stuff, ib -- shit, I haven't heard Sky Pilot in probably decades ...

Dang. Always had it in my head whilst playing TIme Pilot, perhaps my favorite video game of all time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, richard b. simon : good to know it rekindled the memory.

I'm not familiar with Time Pilot but I did a quick search on Wiki, so i'm guessing you're probably referring to the 1970 episode within the game ? I wasted a lot of time myself recently playing ShellShock: Nam '67 on my son's Playstation!