By Alan Bisbort - It’s a measure of the “wide-tent” philosophy of rock ‘n’ roll that even the best of song hits sometimes start out as one-off jokes. Of course, the converse is true, too—that the worst of songs often become hits. And some songs just straddle the line between joke and wretchedness.
By Alan Bisbort -
As Ward Cleaver always said, “Boys, you never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
“All right, Curly, enough’s enough. You can’t eat the Venetian blinds. I just had them installed on Wednesday.”
Jack Nicholson, as the private eye Jake Gittes, says this to open Chinatown (1974), arguably the finest film noir film of them all.
by Alan Bisbort -
1. Phil Ochs: The fact that this wholly original singer-songwriter—and contemporary of Dylan—was accused of being a “new Dylan” may have been what, in addition to despair over politics, drove him to suicide. He could never shake that shadow.
By Alan Bisbort - LEE HARVEY OSWALD - "There ain’t nobody gonna shoot me."
The suspected assassin of John Kennedy said this to Detective James Leavelle, to whom he was handcuffed as he was led out of a Dallas police station.
Moments later, Jack Ruby proved him wrong.
By Alan Bisbort - 1. On the Yard by Malcolm Braly: Arguably the best American novel written about prison life (if not for Braly’s other novels Felony Tank and Shake Him Till He Rattles). Think of it as King Rat, set in San Quentin State Prison.