Archives for posts with tag: Rock music


Come one, come all — if you are in the San Francisco, California, environs or plan to visit — to the David Dondero Record Release Show on June 5, 2013 (it’s free!). If you haven’t heard of singer/ songwriter/ guitarist David Dondero — like Bob Dylan, a native of Duluth, Minnesota, and like Dylan named one of the “Best Living Songwriters” by National Public Radio‘s Robin Hilton, who called Dondero “a brilliant artist” — do yourself a favor and check out this amazing performer/poet.

If you’re a fan of Tom Waits, Daniel Johnston, and other original bard/troubadours, you’ll  feel as if you’ve discovered a new planet in the indy folk/rock universe when you start to listen to David Dondero. Check out “#Zero with a Bullet” at

WHAT: David Dondero Record Release Show for Golden Hits Vol. 1

WHO: David Dondero with special guests Tom Heyman and Rymodee

WHEN: Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 8 p.m.

WHERE: Rite Spot Cafe, 2099 Folsom St. (at 17th St.) San Francisco, California, 94110


David Dondero‘s lyrics will appear in the upcoming Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology — available in June 2013. Stay tuned for more information.


by Jim Morrison

The Desert
    –roseate metallic blue
    & insect green

    blank mirrors &
    pools of silver

    a universe in
    one body


“The Desert” appears in THE AMERICAN NIGHT: The Writings of Jim Morrison, Volume 2 (Vintage, 1991)

Photo: Jim Morrison in the desert, late 1960s.


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 McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr read over his shoulders.


“I Sat Belonely” appeared in the 1964 release IN HIS OWN WRITE by John 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).

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.



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. I’ve tried to make out the title, but can’t. 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 adored Ginsberg’s poetry.) A selection from the book is featured below.

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.


The Rolling Stones kick off their “50 & Counting…” tour tonight (May 3, 2013) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. After gigs in Anaheim and Northern California, they’ll be back on May 20. There’s been a lot of buzz and excitement in L.A. over the Stones’ tour — especially after they played a last-minute gig on April 27 at a small venue in Echo Park.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards both turn 70 this year, Charlie Watts turns 72 in June, and youngster Ronnie Wood is 65. These rockers continue to inspire with their creativity, passion, and stamina.

As writers, Jagger and Richards are geniuses — how else to explain their endless stream of remarkable compositions?

Richards talks about songwriting in his autobiography LIFE (Little, Brown, 2010). Here’s a quote:

What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. To write a song that is remembered and taken to heart is a connection, a touching of bases. A thread that runs through all of us. A stab to the heart. Sometimes I think songwriting is about tightening the heartstrings as much as possible without bringing on a heart attack.” 

I was lucky enough to attend Stones’ concerts in Chicago a couple of times, but for the “50 & Counting…” appearances at the Staples Center the “cheapest” seat price, with limited availability, is $85. No matter. I won’t complain about the prices — because the Stones are worth every penny. If you can afford it (and even if you can’t) — go!  This is a once in a lifetime chance to see the greatest band in the world on what may be its final tour.

For ticket information and tour dates, visit



“I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.”



“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 

Many of you have heard the story of how Keith Richards was injured a few years ago when he reached for a book about Leonardo da Vinci in his home library and the bookcase fell on him. What many people don’t know is that Richards is a bibliophile and his first career choice was to become a librarian — according to his his memoir Life (2011), available at

Full Disclosure: I am a dedicated Rolling Stones fan…

Photo: Keith Richards relaxing in his home library  (they’re his books, so it’s his business if he smokes).


Born on January 19, 1943, Janis Joplin left us in 1970, but continues to lift our spirits and bring us joy through her music. Yes, Janis (“Pearl”) Joplin would have turned 70 today! Ms. Joplin was an inspiration to many — especially women — showing that a female could front a rock band. To me, she was the female equivalent of Jim Morrison — a gifted, charismatic, one-of-a-kind artist that no one before or since has come close to matching.


My favorite Janis Joplin tune is one she penned herself called “Kozmic Blues.” Listen to this brilliant song in a brilliant 1970 performance here.

Joan Jobe Smith named her literary journal Pearl in co-honor of Janis Joplin (the other honoree was Smith’s mother, Margaret — a name that means “Pearl”). Visit Pearl Magazine online at this link. Founded in 1974, Pearl Magazine will celebrate its 50th edition in 2013.

Photo at top: Janis Joplin, New York City, late 1960s — all goodwill and benevolence.



by David Bowie

The tactful cactus by your window
Surveys the prairie of your room
Mobile spins to its collision
Clara puts her head between her paws
They’ve opened shops down West side
Will all the cacti find a home
But the key to the city
Is in the sun that pins the branches to the sky 


Happy birthday to David Bowie, born on January 8, 1947. Yes, music legends Bowie and Elvis share a January 8th birthday!

Photo: “Cactus on Windowsill” by Jenelopy, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Elvis Presley was a favorite subject of folk artist Howard Finster (1916-2001) — and prints of the work (“Baby Elvis,” 1988) shown at right are available (but not cheap) at Skot Foreman Fine Art.

Born on January 8, 1935, today marks the 78th anniversary of Elvis’s entry into the earthly sphere. If you’ve never listened to the King’s version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” take a few moments today to honor a great artist on his birthday — and listen to him sing the song here.