Archives for posts with tag: Rock music

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THERE IS A MOUNTAIN
Lyrics by Donovan Leitch

Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
The caterpillar sheds its skin to find a butterfly within.
Caterpillar sheds its skin to find a butterfly within.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain.
Oh Juanita, oh Juanita, oh Juanita, I call your name.
For the snow will be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside.
Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
Look upon my garden gates a snail, that’s what it is.
Caterpillar sheds its skin to find a butterfly within.
Caterpillar sheds it skin to find a butterfly within.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

Photograph: “The Tetons and the Snake River” by Ansel Adams (1942)

Song: Listen to Donovan sing “There is a Mountain” here.

Note: According to Wikipedia, the lyrics to “There is a Mountain” refer to a Buddhist saying attributed to Qingyuan Weixin: Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its [Zen’s] very substance, I am at rest. For I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.

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When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you.” KEITH RICHARDS 

Happy Dec. 18th birthday to Keith Richards — a bibliophile whose his first career choice was to become a librarian, according to his his memoir Life (2011), available at Amazon.com.

Photo: Keith Richards relaxing in his home library.

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I SAT BELONELY
by John Lennon

I sat belonely down a tree,
humbled fat and small.
A little lady sing to me
I couldn’t see at all.

I’m looking up and at the sky,
to find such wonderous voice.
Puzzly, puzzle, wonder why,
I hear but I have no choice.

‘Speak up, come forth, you ravel me’,
I potty menthol shout.
‘I know you hiddy by this tree’.
But still she won’t come out.

Such sofly singing lulled me sleep,
an hour or two or so
I wakeny slow and took a peep
and still no lady show.

Then suddy on a little twig
I thought I see a sight,
A tiny little tiny pig,
that sing with all it’s might

 ’I thought you were a lady’,
I giggle, — well I may,
To my surprise the lady,
got up — and flew away.

Photo: In 1964, John Lennon holds his just-released book IN HIS OWN WRITE while Paul McCartneyGeorge Harrison, and Ringo Starr read over his shoulders.

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“I Sat Belonely” appeared in the 1964 release IN HIS OWN WRITE byJohn Lennon — a collection of poetry, stories, and drawings. Much of the work was inspired by Lewis Carroll‘s nonsensical poetry in ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, particularly “The Jabberwocky” (included below).

THE JABBERWOCKY
by Lewis Carroll

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

 

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MAIDS ARE BICKERING…
by Jim Morrison

Maids are bickering in the hall
The day is warm
Last night’s perfume
I lie alone in this
cool room

My mind is calm & swirling
like the marble pages of an
old book

I’m a cold clean skeleton
scarecrow on a hill
In April
Wind eases the arches
of my boney Kingdom
Wind whistles thru my mind
& soul
My life is an open book
or a T.V. confession

”Maids are Bickering…” appears in The American Night: The Writings of Jim Morrison, Volume 2, available at Amazon.com.

Photo: “Pink Curtains, New York City” by Terrie-Johnson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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PORTLAND COLISEUM
by Allen Ginsberg

A brown piano in diamond
white spotlight
Leviathan auditorium
iron run wired
hanging organs, vox
black battery
A single whistling sound of ten thousand children’s
larynxes asinging
pierce the ears
and following up the belly
bliss the moment arrived
 
Apparition, four brown English
jacket christhair boys
Goofed Ringo battling bright
white drums
Silent George hair patient
Soul horse
Short black-skulled Paul
with the guitar
Lennon the Captain, his mouth
a triangular smile,
all jump together to End
some tearful memory song
ancient-two years,
The million children
the thousand words
bounce in their seats, bash
each other’s sides, press
legs together nervous
Scream again & claphand
become one Animal
in the New World Auditorium
—hands waving myriad
snakes of thought
screetch beyond hearing
 
while a line of police with
folded arms stands
Sentry to contain the red
sweatered ecstasy
that rises upward to the
wired roof.

– August 27, 1965

“Portland Coliseum” by Allen Ginsberg commemorates the Beatles’ appearance in Portland, Oregon, on August 22, 1965. The poem is found in READ THE BEATLES: Classic and New Writing on the Beatles, Their Legacy, and Why They Still Matter (Penguin, 2006), available at Amazon.com.

Photo: The Beatles performing “I’m Down” in Portand, Oregon, on August 22, 1965 (Bob Boris, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

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In this 1969 photo — taken at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont by Art Kane – Doors frontman/poet Jim Morrison sits in a closet reading a book. The cover looks as if it belongs in the City Lights Pocket Poets series that publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti started in 1955. If Morrison is reading a book from the series, my guess is PLANET NEWS by Allen Ginsberg, a 144-page collection published in 1968. (Morrison admired Ginsberg’s poetry and was influenced by his work.) A selection from the book is featured below.

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I am a Victim of Telephone (Excerpt)
by Allen Ginsberg

…Always the telephone linked to all the hearts of the
world beating at once
crying my husband’s gone my boyfriend’s busted
forever my poetry was rejected
won’t you come over for money and please won’t you
write me a piece of bullshit
How are you dear can you come out to Easthampton we’re
all here bathing in the ocean we’re all so lonely
and I lay back on my pallet contemplating $50 phone 
bill, broke, drowsy, anxious, my heart fearful of
the fingers dialing, the deaths, the singing of
telephone bells
ringing at dawn ringing all afternoon ringing up
midnight ringing now forever.

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In 1969, photographer Henry Diltz and The Doors showed up at The Morrison Hotel – 1246 S. Hope Street in L.A.’s skid row — figuring the proprietor would be more than happy to let them shoot some photos. When the hotel manager told them to hit the road, the group stood on the sidewalk trying to figure out a Plan B. Opportunity knocked when Diltz looked through the hotel’s front window and saw the desk clerk leave his post. He told the bandmates to run inside and assume various positions at the window.

Diltz was able to fire off just one roll of film during the session — but just about every shot turned out a classic. The crown jewel was, of course, the above photo that graced the cover of the 1970 album of the same name.

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PORTLAND COLISEUM
by Allen Ginsberg

A brown piano in diamond
white spotlight
Leviathan auditorium
iron run wired
hanging organs, vox
black battery
A single whistling sound of ten thousand children’s
larynxes asinging
pierce the ears
and following up the belly
bliss the moment arrived
 
Apparition, four brown English
jacket christhair boys
Goofed Ringo battling bright
white drums
Silent George hair patient
Soul horse
Short black-skulled Paul
with the guitar
Lennon the Captain, his mouth
a triangular smile,
all jump together to End
some tearful memory song
ancient-two years,
The million children
the thousand words
bounce in their seats, bash
each other’s sides, press
legs together nervous
Scream again & claphand
become one Animal
in the New World Auditorium
—hands waving myriad
snakes of thought
screetch beyond hearing
 
while a line of police with
folded arms stands
Sentry to contain the red
sweatered ecstasy
that rises upward to the
wired roof.

— August 27, 1965

“Portland Coliseum” by Allen Ginsberg commemorates the Beatles’ appearance in Portland, Oregon, on August 22, 1965. The poem is found in READ THE BEATLES: Classic and New Writing on the Beatles, Their Legacy, and Why They Still Matter (Penguin, 2006), available at Amazon.com.

Photo: The Beatles performing “I’m Down” in Portand, Oregon, on August 22, 1965 (Bob Boris, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

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KEY TO THE HIGHWAY
Mark Halliday

I remember riding somewhere in a fast car

with my brother and his friend Jack Brooks

and we were listening to Layla & Other Love Songs

by Derek & the Dominos. The night was dark,

dark all along the highway. Jack Brooks was 

a pretty funny guy, and I was delighted

by the comradely interplay between him and my brother,

but I tried not to show it for fear of inhibiting them.

I tried to be reserved and maintain a certain

dignity appropriate to my age, older by four years.

They knew the Dominos album well having played the cassette

many times, and they knew how much they liked it.

As we rode on in the dark I felt the music was,

after all, wonderful, and I said so

with as much dignity as possible. “That’s right,”

said my brother. “You’re getting smarter,” said Jack.

We were listening to “Bell Bottom Blues”

at that moment. Later we were listening to

“Key to the Highway,” and I remembered how

my brother said, “Yeah, yeah.” And Jack sang

one of the lines in a way that made me laugh.

I am upset by the fact that that night is so absolutely gone.

No, “upset” is too strong. Or is it.

But that night is so obscure—until now

I may not have thought of that ride once

in eight years—and this obscurity troubles me.

Death is going to defeat us all so easily.

Jack Brooks is in Florida, I believe,

and I may never see him again, which is

more or less all right with me; he and my brother

lost touch some years ago. I wonder

where we were going that night. I don’t know;

but it seemed as if we had the key to the highway.

…from Mark Halliday‘s poetry collection Little Star (William Morrow & Co., 1987), available at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Mark Halliday is an American poet, professor and critic. He is author of five collections of poetry, most recently Keep This Forever (Tupelo Press, 2008). His honors include serving as the 1994 poet in residence at The Frost Place, inclusion in several annual editions of The Best American Poetry series and of the Pushcart Prize anthology, receiving a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship, and winning the 2001 Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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MAIDS ARE BICKERING…
by Jim Morrison

Maids are bickering in the hall
The day is warm
Last night’s perfume
I lie alone in this
cool room

My mind is calm & swirling
like the marble pages of an
old book

I’m a cold clean skeleton
scarecrow on a hill
In April
Wind eases the arches
of my boney Kingdom
Wind whistles thru my mind
& soul
My life is an open book
or a T.V. confession

…”Maids are Bickering…” is found in The American Night: The Writings of Jim Morrison, Volume 2, available at Amazon.com.

Photo: “Pink Curtains, New York City” by Terrie-Johnson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED