First off, we have a new “Think Again” column entitled “Free Ride to theFinish Line,” about guess who, which is here.
Second off, I have nothing much to say about the inauguration, in partbecause I just do, and in part because on my way there, I witnessed,from about ten feet away, the person run over by the subway car, and Iwas too upset afterward to actually find my way to the Capitol, thoughwith the way things were, that might not have helped. I listened to thespeech from a chair in a Mexican restaurant, but I did not see it. Still, it was pretty good, I thought.
Here’s Pierce a day early. I’ll have the rest of the mail tomorrow.Thanks for saying hello.
“And here I sit so patiently/Waiting to find out what price/Youhave to pay to get out of/Going through all these things twice.”
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “How Can You Leave Me Now? (The NewOrleans Jazz Band)–I solemnly swear that I will execute my lovefor New Orleans faithfully.
Part The First: How about we all get together and agree as a nationto take a six-month moratorium on anything that has to do with AbrahamLincoln? Let’s give the poor old soul a rest.
Part The Second: OK, now the bad stuff. That fiasco on Sunday onthe steps of the Lincoln Memorial was so utterly, toweringly, transcendentlylame that you’d have thought Chuck Berry had died as a child. I’m surethe fellow-feeling on the mall was fabulous, but, goddamn, was that aterrible concert. If it weren’t for U2 and the closing hootenanny — Thank Godthat Pete and Bruce decided to sing even the pinko verses, but they at leastshould have invited Arlo up there to sing his pappy’s song with them–it could have been easily confused with my daughter’s seventh-grademusicale.
We couldn’t get ALL of Marian Anderson, instead of Josh (Will Emote For Food) Groban and whoever that woman was? And Bettie Levette doesnot need Jon Bon F**king Jovi to help out on “Change Is Gonna Come,”much less take the last two choruses. James Taylor? We can’t do better thanJames Taylor, who proceeded to sing a song that makes “Sweet Baby James”sound like “I Fought The Law”? A rock-and-roll medley that begins withthe pustulating swill of “American Pie,” and in any case is sung by GarthBrooks? Not a single solitary act from New Orleans? Not one of theMarsalises was free? How about instead of Will I.Am and Sheryl Crowdoing “One Love,” we invite the damn Neville Brothers?
And that’s not even getting to the preposterous spoken wordsegments in which everybody had trouble with the prompters and the echoes. HasTom Hanks shut up yet? It’s a celebration honoring the inauguration of aDemocratic progressive, and yet there’s room for some platitudinousbull**it from Ronald Reagan, but none for, say, the “We shall overcome”section of LBJ’s voting-rights speech? Joe Biden’s Daltrey-esquebellowing was the closest thing the show had to a true rock-and-roll moment. Igotta tell you, post-partisanship sure makes for one lousy show.