How Bizarre

  Paul McCartney wrote “Lovely Rita” after getting a parking ticket The Bee-Gees got the beat for “Jive Talkin’” from the sound of driving on a causeway After being refused entry to Studio 54, Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards wrote “Le Freak” Let me stop here and ask: do any of the above excessively tax […]

Handel With Care

    He was stubborn, astute, determined, cunning, art-loving, gregarious, solitary, humorous and wonderfully compassionate and generous in his dealings with the Foundling Hospital, the Fund for Decayed Musicians and the Lock Hospital for women in distress. -Review,┬áHandel in London: The Making of a Genius, Financial Times, September 29/30, 2018   Fund for Decayed Musicians? […]

Scaling Up

    This week’s Science class got me thinking about Frank Zappa. All I knew about him was that he was a good musician and that he’d given his children names that, uh, never made my shortlist. So I watched a documentary on him. An interesting cat, to be sure, but I’m afraid music based […]

Reading Comprehension

  Last summer Rod Stewart came through Boston for a private concert. The newspaper mentioned he’d dined someplace downtown. I was surprised because I’d been there once myself, for a fundraiser. It’s one of those shiny Irish pub simulacra. The thing was, the article said he dined there twice. I remember thinking: Huh? I’d have […]

G.I. Blues

  Concerned about the prospect of a third world war now that China has invaded Vietnam, Maurice, 29, expresses the fear that he could be eligible for an emergency draft call since he is a U.S. resident. – “The Bee Gees Are Earthly Angels,” Rolling Stone, May 17, 1979   It was sixty years ago […]

Ill Communication

  I get ill all the time, but no one wants to hear about that. – Paul Theroux   I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods recently and found myself laughing in the aisle. Twin 2, who has begun to suspect her father is unusual, asked what was so funny. “They’re playing a silly song,” I […]

The Nimrod Variations

    Jules, if you give that… nimrod fifteen hundred dollars, I’m going to shoot him on general principle. -Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction   Listening to Radio Free Amazon the other day I was all: But soft, this is my jam! But the thing was I didn’t know what it was. So I lifted myself […]