We’ve got a new Think Again column called “Scarborough’s Fare” here and my new Nation column, “Gaza Agonistes” is here. I contributed to the Brennan Center’s symposium on suggestions for President Obama here.
I need to let you know that I’ve been planning to run the letters, perusual, but the first week’s batch were lost somewhere in cyberspace.So if they are still relevant, please resend to Altercationmail@gmail.comIn the meantime, the rest of today’s Altercation is about music andmovies, etc, which is the way things are going to be sometimes, fornow. And away we go….
Robert Gordon, and the Fab Faux, live:
Aging is funny sometimes (but mostly not). Not funny in a good way,obviously, but in a way that makes people feel, and act dumb. Take mefor instance. (Please.) Last week, I went down to BB King’s in TimesSquare to catch a show in honor of the King’s birthday by Robert Gordonand Chris Spedding. I used to see Robert all the time, back in highschool, when he was singing “Fire” and had just released the greatalbums “Fresh Fish Special”–named in hnor of Elvi’s prison haircut in”Jailhouse Rock” and “Rockabilly Boogie.” He wore wife-beaterundershirts and spouted a massive pompadour and this greaser-style stuckme as rather silly, but his voice was magnificent. And the music, whilea throwback, was not imitative. It was original within the narrowcontext of 1950s rock, which, I need remind you, “will never die.”
Anyway, while I did pick up the albums on cd, I hadn’t given Robert muchthought until I noticed the show, and when he came out, well damn, Ithought it was the guy’s old man. I had forgotten, alas, that I wasthirty years old too. Shit. And here’s the cool part. He soundedgreat–90 percent as good as ever. And it didn’t seem to bother him atall that he was so much older. Rock and roll may not age gracefully, butit does age. And Robert Gordon’s tribute to the king was not the kind oftribute you’d see if Elvis had not actually inspired people. It was aguy who took what Elvis gave us and made it his own, and then ours.While not exactly “red hot”–and Gordon avoided the mostadolescence–associated songs of his oeuvre, it was plenty hot enough.The whole thing gave me some hope in my increasing advanced age.