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Friday August 15th, 2008

Barbequein’ the Bone

"We forfeit three-quarters of ourselves
   in order to be like other people."
Arthur Schopenhauer

Hi folks,

A song I wrote ten years ago, ‘Marching With Martin Luther King Jr,’ was selected, last week,  for two different US compilation projects. One of them was part of a CD that was going in the tote bags of all the people attending the Democratic National Convention!  Whoa!! But just as I was saying ‘On ya, Obama’. . . . . A frickin’ wheel fell off . . . and they canceled the project. Damn! So now I’m voting for Ralph Nader. (Just kiddin’.)

But the other Martin Luther King Jr project is called ‘The Dream Continued . . ‘ and is going ahead and I will let you know when the 30 or so final selected songs are posted up on their website. Some very interesting titles.  A dvd is in the works and I have fished out an old live performance video of ‘Marching With Martin Luther King Jr,’  (with some smokin’ harp playing) and the Adoration on the Gospel Train group backing me up. The YouTube video is taken off of VHS but it still looks and sounds mighty good:

 Alicia Bay Laurel and I will be doing a couple of shows together in the San Francisco-Bay area while I am over in the States in November on my way as guest tutor for the Lamb’s Springfed Songwriters Retreat, in Michigan. Alicia wrote, illustrated and designed the first paperback book ever on the New York Times Bestseller List (spring 1971)  ‘Living On the Earth,’ (a way-ahead-of-its-time publication!) and is a fine singer-songwriter and performer. Alicia is also recording my song, ‘Hill of Death,’ on her upcoming album and has asked me to sing and play mandolin on the track in LA while I’m over there. Sounds like powerful musicification to me! Here’s Alicia’s site if you want to see what she’s been up to:


Hi Joe,
thanks for the emails you/re doing great job...again
thanx a million enjoy your weekend Ciao.. A.

Hi Joe,
 I try to read MOST of your newsletter each time - I was interested in your section about the Underground Railroad.  I'm a folk singer here in Australia and one of my favourite songs was written by Walter Robinson about, Harriet Tubman, a black slave woman who escaped slavery in the southern states of the US and was instrumental in freeing many more of her people, at great personal risk to herself.   There is a great deal of imagery in the song, including following the "drinking gourd" which is a popular name for symbolic of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) in the northern sky, the constellation with points to the North Star (Polaris) and freedom!
 Just Google! Harriet Tubman and you'll be inundated with sites to look at.  Of course, many songs have been written about the same subject but the courage and self-sacrifice of this amazing woman captured my imagination.
 The Silly Sisters and John McCutcheon (among others) have recorded great versions of the song.  John McCutcheon also wrote a final verse, which is more contemporary and deals with more recent human troubles.  Just thought I'd let you know in case you didn't already (know, that is).  
Thanks, and keep up the good work! Toni Davies, Newcastle, Australia

(Note: Toni, small world. I used to sing Harriet Tubman regularly in the early days of DIFFICULTWOMEN. Lin and I would do the chorus as a duet. And we would whisper the last line:
“She said her name was Harriet Tubman  and she drove for . . . . .  (shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!) . . . . . . .  the Underground Railroad!”
The stories of Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth helped inspired many of my own songs, including Slavewoman.
You can hear this track in the audio section of the Difficult Women presskit:

Lyrics to Harriet Tubman:
Walter Robinson website:

Greetings Joe,
from the city of Churches which harbors war criminals. Have you heard about APDSE, the Asia Pacific Death and Suffering Expo, which is to be held on Remembrance Day Nov11 at the Adelaide Convention Centre? It is a war fair, similar to the AIDEX ones in Canberra in 89,91. To find out more, listen to Masters of War by Bob Dylan, and visit to read the organiser's and SA Premier's invitations. There are demonstrations and actions being planned against this disgrace, and the more people who take this opportunity to visit Adelaide the better. We intend to disrupt and inconvenience tthe exhibition as much as possible using non-violent direct action. For more details contact your local organising committee. Soursob Bob

I just love your father poem.  I'm there with you. strongt

Hi Joe
Great newsletter, which I've now trained my email to accept and not flick into Spam!
Will have a proper read later today, but I was interested while skimming through just now in the bit about fathers. My ever favourite is a song by Billy Bragg that he wrote after his father died. My own father died two years ago this month, but it was a favourite of my little brother's (who died ten years ago this month -- of cancer on Daffodil Day), so I sometimes get up in singing sessions and club nights and belt it out with a couple of lyrics changed as a memory to my bro', the self-proclaimed 'Big Nose Billy Bragg Busker'. Vale Frank and Greg. Cheers, Bill Quinn, MC around the festival traps (Illawarra Folk Festival and the National are where we've crossed paths! I don't think I'll ever forget the afternoon concert in the grandstand at the dog track!)

Tank Park Salute

Kiss me goodnight and say my prayers
Leave the light on at the top of the stairs
Tell me the names of the stars up in the sky
A tree taps on the window pane
That feeling smothers me again
Daddy is it true that we all have to die

At the top of the stairs
Is darkness

I closed my eyes and when I looked
Your name was in the memorial book
and what had become of all the things we planned
I accepted the commiserations
Of all your friends and your relations
But there's some things I still don't understand

You were so tall
How could you fall?

Some photographs of a summer's day
A little boy's lifetime away
Is all I've left of everything we've done
Like a pale moon in a sunny sky
Death gazes down as I pass by
To remind me that I'm but my father's son

I offer up to you
This tribute
I offer up to you
This tank park salute
 by Billy Bragg

Dear Mr Dolce,
I am contacting you in regards to a huge sum of money from a deceased account, who used to work as a contractor here in Abidjan, Cote
D`Ivore. I need your assist in transferring the abandoned fund left behind by one of our foreign customer who died along with his family
before they declared it unserviceable by the bank. Am seeking for your assistance to help me transfer the fund out of this country to your
account, acting as the next of kin, the total sum of $8.5M Dollars can be paid to your account with the details am about to give you later.
Send me your full name/address, fax/phone numbers after then I will inform you on what to do.
Sincerely, Mr Robert Johnson

(Note: Hey Robert , Thanks for writing, maaaaaaate! I’m a big fan of your music. Glad to see that the ol' devil kept his word and you outwitted death and somehow made it back to Africa. I hope you hooked up with your old tribal mates.
My sympathies, buddy.  The death of a good customer is an unexpected blow. I’ve had troubles myself you know:
‘My father died and left me, my poor mother done the best that she could
Every man likes that game you call love, but it don't mean no man no good.’
I certainly could use the money you have offered ‘cause times are tough here downunder:
‘I got dead shrimp here someone fishin in my pond,
catchin my goggle eyed perches and they barbequein’ the bone.’
My health has not been good lately. The doctors ain't doing me much good:
‘The blues is a low-down achin' heart disease
like consumption killing me by degrees.’
You sound like a good Christian man, Mr Johnson. Someone I could trust with a dollar bill. One cant be too careful these days:
‘Early this mornin', ooh some joker knocked upon my door,
and I said, "Hello, Satan," I believe it's time to go."’
I have asked my no-good wife her opinion of your proposition but:
‘I ain't gon' to state no color,  but her front teeth is crowned with gold
She got a mortgage on my body, now, and a lien on my soul.’
I argued with the bitch cause I could really use the money:
‘Now, I give my baby, now, the 99 degree
But she jumped up and throwed a pistol down on me.’
Personally, Id like to get jiggy with you on this deal out but my big-legged better half wont let me:
‘If I had possession over judgment day
Lord, the little woman I'm lovin' wouldn't have no right to pray.’
So, Robert, time to go dust my broom but good luck. Mate, if you could spare some of that windfall, would you mind buying one of my latest albums? It would help me so much.
I been out of work since I caught my hand in the sandwich machine:
‘I only got one good eye and a sorry troubled mind,
I’m so unlucky my seeing-eye dog done gone blind.’

Sincerely yours,
 Blind-in-One-Eye Lemon Joseph
 c/- The Crossroads

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What I’m Reading and Watching This Week

Reading Time Travel Stories and then watching the Films that Have Been Made From Them!

Bid Time Return, by Richard Matheson, filmed as Somewhere in Time, with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymore.
The Love Letter, by Jack Finney, filmed as The Love Letter, with Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
The Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury, filmed as The Sound of Thunder, with Edward Burns and Ben Kingsly.
Millennium by John Varley, filmed as Millennium, with Kris Kristopherson and Cheryl Ladd.
The Golden Man, by Philip K Dick, filmed as Next, with Nicholas Cage and Julianne Moore.

I like having thematic weeks with films. American Revolution films. The Complete Works of Catherine Cookson. The great BBC Victorian costume dramas. The American Civil War. This week I decided to read the time travel stories that I have collected over the years in my quite large sci-fi library and then watch the movies that were made from them from my quite large dvd library!  I was originally going to write an article on ALL the great time travel films that have been made but the more I looked into it, the more I found until I got swamped. It’s quite incredible how popular this genre really is. You’ld be surprised. Here is a master list:



'Time has no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it.' Albert Einstein

The Real Philadelphia Experiment
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Bacteria that Eats Cancer-Causers Found
An Australian scientist has discovered a soil bacteria that will destroy some of the worst cancer-causing substances in the polluted modern urban environment.
Professor Megh Mallavarapu, of research and development group CRC Care and the University of South Australia , says the bacteria will destroy a group of chemicals known as BTEX which has been linked to cancer, nerve damage and other diseases in humans.
"Fuel leaks are one of the most widespread forms of contamination in Australia and elsewhere," Professor Mallavarapu said in a statement.
"Former service station sites, fuel farms, garages, workshops, gasometers, oil spills, dry cleaners and factories which used or processed hydrocarbons or explosives are literally everywhere that has been closely settled for the past century or so."

Phoenix Lander Finds Water on Mars
The Phoenix Mars mission has found water in a soil sample after spending the last two months examining the red planet for evidence that it could support life, NASA scientists say.
The spacecraft's robotic arm has dug several trenches in the Martian soil near the planet's north pole and been heating soil samples in a series of small "ovens".
It had earlier spotted chunks outside the rover that scientists had identified as ice, but data sent back by the most recent soil sample for the first time showed water inside Mars' dirt, researchers said.

(Note: These two themes came together in the following song last week:)

Asparagus on Mars

You might of heard of Ian Gawler,
An athlete, the best of the best,
Bone cancer, the size of a matchbox,
Grew out of the centre of his chest.
The doctors took one of his legs
And gave him two weeks to live,
But with a miracle, he overcame it,
Now he's got so much to give.
    Why give up hope,
    When what tomorrow may bring,
    No one alive can say?
    What was unheard of yesterday
    Is commonplace today.

I had a friend named Leigh,
A beautiful redheaded seer,
Disease took her from this world,
After a struggle that lasted years.
But Leigh had a reverence for life
That put my own to shame.
It wasnt the length of life she said,
But it's quality was her aim.

    Why give up hope,
    When what tomorrow may bring,
    No one alive can say?
    What was unheard of yesterday
    Is commonplace today.

Mars was called the Dead Planet,
Cause no life there they could find,
But since the Phoenix Mars Lander landed,
The scientists have changed their minds.
The soil that they've been analyzing,
Is like the dirt in our backyard,
Now they're saying that we can probably grow
Asparagus on Mars.

    Why give up hope,
    When what tomorrow may bring,
    No one alive can say?
    What was unheard of yesterday
    Is commonplace today.

~Joe Dolce~
© Dolceamore Music

Banned Commercials

The radio advert begins with a man's voice that sounds like Gordon Ramsay saying "Pretend for a second I’m Gordon f**king Ramsay. My challenge, go to restaurants and get them to lift their f**king game. First stop – Nando’s where they claim to serve the f**king best Portuguese periperi chicken."
We hear Gordon as if he’s in the restaurant ordering, "I’ll have chicken with hot peri-peri thanks."
We now hear 'Gordon’s' voice over, 'Carlos the manager brings me the food.'
We hear Gordon as if he’s in Nando’s again, "Well f**k me, this is f**king brilliant."
Carlos speaks, "We marinate it for 24 hours, baste and flame grill."
Gordon continues, "Well Carlos my man, keep doing what your f**king doing. F**king good periperi.
F**k me."
Then a voice over says "This ad has not been endorsed by Gordon Ramsey."

The above ad was found to be in breach of the Advertisers Code of Ethics. (see report under May 2208 below:)

If an ad or commerical irritates the shite out you, you can complain to the Advertising Standards Bureau.

Here’s a few more dodgy ones that got it in the neck:

1. Swedish Sauna
2. Man Boobs
3. Cheering
4. Blow Up Your Photos

Play The Blues


The latest craze going around youTube at the moment is people sampling bits of conversation from films and using them, via a midi keyboard, to simulate a phone call to a stranger. Here’s ‘Joe Pesci’ putting some heat on a brother:

The Flappy Lip Brothers (and Sisters!)

For all you country fans, from my mate Tamar Crane and her crew. Don’t try this at home . . . . unless you are stoned:


Dolce Enoteca e Ristorante
Perhaps the ultimate test of style and taste is a resort's ability to attract a renowned restaurant.
Proudly presenting the second location of Los Angeles' famous Dolce Enoteca, the Grand Sierra cements its reputation as a world-class destination for culinary delights.
Dolce Enoteca combines high-end Italian cuisine with glamorous Hollywood ambiance.


Here’s the one I told you about last week. Trust me – it works! I have fine-tuned it a little for a bit more flavour.

Coffee-Crusted Scotch Fillet With Jalapeno Red-Eye Gravy

Makes 2 servings.

1/4 cup finely ground coffee (the good stuff!)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 scotch fillets (or eye fillets)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2  cup freshly made coffee
1/2 chicken, beef or veal stock
1/4 cup sliced jalapeño peppers
1/2  tablespoon brown sugar
1/2  tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in a little stock
2 tablespoons tomato sauce or ketchup
Combine coffee, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a dish. Coat the steaks in the mixture on both sides. Heat the oil in a oven-proof skillet over high heat.  Sear the steaks on both sides. Transfer the skillet to a 450°F oven to finish. Remove the skillet from the oven; put steaks in a plate and keep warm. Combine brewed coffee and the stock in the hot skillet, stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the brown bits. Cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the jalapenos, brown sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch mixture and any accumulated juices from the steaks; mix well. Add the tomato sauce. Cook a little until it thickens slightly. Serve the gravy over the steaks.

Life While-You-Wait

Life While-You-Wait.
Performance without rehearsal.
Body without alterations.
Head without premeditation.
I know nothing of the role I play.
I only know it's mine. I can't exchange it.
I have to guess on the spot
just what this play's all about.
Ill-prepared for the privilege of living,
I can barely keep up with the pace that the action demands.
I improvise, although I loathe improvisation.
I trip at every step over my own ignorance.
I can't conceal my hayseed manners.
My instincts are for happy histrionics.
Stage fright makes excuses for me, which humiliate me more.
Extenuating circumstances strike me as cruel.
Words and impulses you can't take back,
stars you'll never get counted,
your character like a raincoat you button on the run ?
the pitiful results of all this unexpectedness.
If only I could just rehearse one Wednesday in advance,
or repeat a single Thursday that has passed!
But here comes Friday with a script I haven't seen.
Is it fair, I ask
(my voice a little hoarse,
since I couldn't even clear my throat offstage).
You'd be wrong to think that it's just a slapdash quiz
taken in makeshift accommodations. Oh no.
I'm standing on the set and I see how strong it is.
The props are surprisingly precise.
The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer.
The farthest galaxies have been turned on.
Oh no, there's no question, this must be the premiere.
And whatever I do
will become forever what I've done.
~ Wislawa Szymborska ~
(Poems New and Collected 1957-1997,
trans. S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)

Newsletter Archive  and  Recipe Index

"Joe Dolce, as assured guitarist and blues harp player, is also a tireless performer . . . His independent CD Freelovedays is a powerful and diverse work. A highlight is the gospel-blues opener, Marchin' With Martin Luther King Jr, with its rousing vocal harmonies, but the pick of the disc is his quirky 'reinvention' of Michael Jackson's Thriller." Mike Daly, The Age

Listen to some excerpts via the link below:
Joe Dolce Electronic Press Kit


 A farmer stopped by the local mechanic shop to have his truck fixed. They couldn't do it while he waited, so he said he didn't live far and would just walk home.

  On the way home he stopped at the hardware store and bought a bucket and a gallon of paint. He then stopped by the feed store and picked up a couple of chickens and a goose. However, struggling outside the store he now had a problem - how to carry his entire purchases home.

  While he was scratching his head he was approached by a little old lady who told him she was lost. She asked, "Can you tell me how to get to 1603 Mockingbird Lane ?"

  The farmer said, "Well, as a matter of fact, my farm is very close to that house I would walk you there but I can't carry this lot."

  The old lady suggested, "Why don't you put the can of paint in the bucket. Carry the bucket in one hand, put a chicken under each arm and carry the goose in your other hand?"
  "Why thank you very much," he said and proceeded to walk the old girl home.
 On the way he says "Let's take my short cut and go down this alley.  We'll be there in no time."
  The little old lady looked him over cautiously then said, "I am a lonely widow without a husband to defend me. How do I know that when we get in the alley you won't hold me up against the wall, pull up my skirt, and have your way with me?"

  The farmer said, "Holy smokes lady! I'm carrying a bucket, a gallon of paint, two chickens, and a goose. How in the world could I possibly hold you up against the wall and do that?"

  The old lady replied, "Set the goose down, cover him with the bucket, put the paint on top of the bucket, and I'll hold the chickens."

(thanks to Terry Dwyer)