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Friday July 13th, 2007

Joe Dolce Farewell Newsletter

"Self-respect: The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious."
H. L. Mencken


Hi folks,

Actually, make that Volume Two, Chapter Five, of the Third Series, Re-issued Re-print of the Joe Dolce Annual Bar-B-Q Picnic Farewell Newsletter Weekly Get-together and Life Tour. (CD and commemorative DVD to follow.)

Did anyone get a slight twinge of sadness when they read, in the Subject Heading above, that it was going to be my final newsletter? (I know, I know: some of you probably felt relief. ) Even I felt slightly emotional myself as I typed out that forlorn epitaph - even though I knew it wasn't really true.

There's a Dan Hicks song lyric that goes, 'How can I miss you (when you won't go away?)'

In 1996, Crowded House played to over 120,000 fans at Sydney Opera House in their last ever performance; their Farewell To The World concert, memorialized on CD and DVD. I remember watching bits of the concert on television, everyone waving candles and having a good cry. Very emotional. 'Don't dream, it's over' and that kind of thing.

So doesn't anyone, besides me, think it a bit odd that Crowded House is back together again with a new album and touring? I thought we said goodbye? R.I.P. I THOUGHT we celebrated musical Mass, buried the band and read the Will. Is someone jerking my chain? It's like we've shovelled the dirt over Uncle Fester and then find out later he faked his funeral for the insurance money.

There's been a veritable parade of these Farewell Tours over the years.

The Dame Nellie Melba Farewell Tour. 1928.
The Kiss Farewell Tour. 2001
The Cher Farewell Tour.
The Eagles Farewell Tour I. (Notice the tongue-in-cheek Roman Numeral I? Forgetting of course that after 'The Long Run', when the band broke up, they said they would only be getting back together 'when Hell freezes over'. They're baaaaaaaaaack! Global Warming? Probably more like Bank Balance Cooling.)
The Doobie Brothers Farewell Tour. 1983.
The Nana Mouskouri Farewell Tour.
The Pavrotti Farewell Tour.
The John Farnham Farewell Tour.
The Barbra Streisand Farewell Tour.
David Bowie announced his retirement in 1972.
The Phil Collins First Final Farewell Tour. 2004.
Comedian Joan Rivers' First Annual Farewell Tour (the last two, I think, hit the coffin nail on the head, don't you?)

But best of all:

The Spice Girls are actually REFORMING to do a Farewell Tour. 2007.

"Lies? Welcome to show business . . . Farewell tour? Everybody calls every tour whatever they want to call it, and if the audience really loves you and if an entity puts up $100 million in advance, you're going back out on tour." Gene Simmons, KISS

"Rock fans should stay tuned for news of Nirvana's next first album and Michael Hutchence's Funeral II." Jack Marx, Sydney Morning Herald

I might be old fashioned but I think farewell involves two parties: the fareweller and the farewellee. You wave bye-bye. I wave bye-bye back. I think one trip to the funeral home per act is enough. Not: 'I say Goodbye, and you say Hello. Hello Hello. I don't know why you say Hello, I say Goodbye!" I'll tell you why I say Goodbye. Because I don't want to say Goodbye to anymore of my hard-earned cash buying widgets from someone doesn't know if they are coming or going. That's why. As one of my favourite groups, The Who, once said, (still mistreating their instruments well into their senior years): "We won't get fooled again."

Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 1
Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked,
"How old was your husband?"
"98," she replied. "Two years older than me."
"So you're 96," the undertaker commented.
She responded, "Hardly worth going home, is it?

Children's Impressions about Music No. 1
"Just about any animal skin can be stretched over a frame to make a pleasant sound once the animal is removed."



Bob Dylan gay? Now there's a mental video-clip I didn't need to start the day with. Thanks Joe - not. And thanks Di, for giving Joe the opening. So to speak.
Mike Edmonds

(Note: Dear Mike (and Di), often when a reader bends over backwards presenting something cheeky, I have been known to get browned off and mount a rebuttal. That doesn't mean I'm gay. Maybe a little Queer, in the Koranical sense. Check out this little comedy routine, sent by Stefan A, about a young man trying to tell his Indian parents the news:)
Goodness Gracious Me: Gay Son

'Revolver' and 'Rubber Soul' lame titles? How about the 'Wind Cries Mary'?
Eddie C

(Note: Eddie, m'boy, this is the problemo when you try to criticise something without having listened to it. It's like trying to do brain surgery dressed in a Goofy costume. I'm sure if you take the time to LISTEN to my album, the title, will in fact, make sense.
Firstly, about those Beatle albums: even though I love both 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver,' the reason I think the titles could have been better is that neither title has anything to do with the song content or emotions therein.
'Revolver' really only has two meanings: one: something that revolves ie. a record? (duh!) and two: a pistol (why associate the crass image of a handgun with an poetic album of eclectic love songs?). I would have called the album 'For No One,' which I think captures the elusive nature of the album more accurately.
'Rubber Soul,' on the other hand probably can be stretched (groan) to three meanings: 1. a play on words of rubber sole (another duh!), 2. a reference to the material of the disc itself (which is actually vinyl, not rubber), and 3. maybe a kind of cartoonish white Disney variation of black soul music (which I personally think is unlikely.) So I assume the first two are the main images intended. Neither of which are elegant enough for what is actually contained on the record. A better title would have been 'In My Life' or 'Norwegian Wood' (which would have gone well with the cover art).
In some ways, the name 'Rubber Soul' also reminds me of the actual name of the BEATLES themselves, which is, when you stop to think about it, slightly derivative of one of their favourite inspirations, Buddy Holly and The Crickets, even though the Beatle image has now achieved a mythical status. Holly named his band after crickets - insects which are known for their singing. But beetles are insects known for . . . . . . . what? . . . . nothing. Except there is a play on the word 'beat'. Clever, but not as clever as Crickets. (But none of that matters now - I mean: who actually thinks of insects, when they hear the word 'Beatles'?)
Funny though, when I was in school, my schoolmates were all excited about this new band that was going to be on The Ed Sullivan Show on the following Sunday night. I hadn't heard of it yet and the only image that came to my mind, when I tried to picture the group, was that of three girl singers, kind of like the Supremes, with high bouffant black hairdos in the shape of insects or something. But I fell in love with 'She Loves You' the first time I heard it and was one of the first kids in Painesville, Ohio, to wear the Beatle haircut, much to the dismay of my dad, and our barber. That's the truth.

" After all the Jacks are in their Boxes,
And all the Clowns have gone to bed,
You can hear happiness staggering down the street,
Footprints dressed in Red."

As far as the title of 'The Wind Cries Mary,' not only is it the name of one of the songs on my album, which is a long established way of naming albums, but even further, and thematically, it extends the meaning of Hendrix's song, via context and juxtaposition with the anti-war songs around it, to bring out another subliminal meaning in the lyric which is not obvious at first. Musically, you will also hear the same desert wind theme blowing throughout the song about Iraq, 'Gift', and then returning throughout 'The Wind Cries Mary.' Also in the liner notes, I clearly connect the title to Dylan's classic social rights lyric, 'The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.' So in fact, the way I am using the imagery of 'The Wind Cries Mary' is closer to that of a protest song. All this is consciously intended and pretty clear if you have taken the time to listen to the songs and think about why they are all there in that particular order. Here's a couple of reviews that might give you some insights: Rhythms Review Herald Review

Hi Joe
Thanks for another provocative read. I reckon I'm pretty well informed, but I must have missed something - specifically; when, where and how did John Howard publicly admit that we need to stay in Australia for the oil? By the way, the top 5 best albums of all time for mine are; Leonard Cohen's Greatest Hits; Aladdin Sane - David Bowie; Desire - Bob Dylan; Never Mind the Bollocks - Sex Pistols; and Dusty in Memphis - Dusty Springfield. Honorary mentions; Best Years of our Lives - Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel; Tapestry - Carole King; Stranded - Roxy Music and The Stranglers Greatest Hits. Pet Sounds is a top 20, but not worth a quarter of the trouble you went to to tell us. Thanks

(Note: WS, In Thursday The Age July 5th, Howard linked the Iraq War to Oil and our energy supplies for the first time. On Fri July 6th, he backflipped and denied that's why we were there. (Sound like Howard?) As far as I know, he hasn't publically admitted yet that we need to stay in AUSTRALIA yet for the oil, as you indicated above (boom boom), but I think that might be next.
You're probably right about 'Pet Sounds' not being worth the trouble to explain. But I like thinking and I guess I had to do some further thinking about that album for personal reasons. To figure out why so many people were influenced by it, but I wasn't.
The following article reinforces my long held claim that oil theft, or more accurately, control-of-supply, was the prime mover for the Iraq War.)

Iraqi Oil Workers Union Founder: US-Backed Oil Law Is "Robbery"
By Amy Goodman
Democracy Now!

The proposed oil law facing the Iraqi cabinet would allow Western oil companies to take about 50% of all production as their share, an "obvious robbery of the Iraqi oil," says oil workers union heavy. As the Iraqi cabinet approves part of a controversial oil law, we speak with Faleh Abood Umara, the general secretary of the Federation of Oil Unions and a founding member of the oil workers union in Iraq. He calls on Iraqi lawmakers to reject the legislation. We also speak with Hashmeya Muhsin Hussein, president of the Electrical Utility Workers Union and the first woman to head a national union in Iraq. (article)

Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 2
Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman:
"And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked.
She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

Children's Impressions about Music No. 2
"Agitato is a state of mind when one's finger slips in the middle of playing a piece."


: You've received a postcard from a Worshiper!


Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 3
"The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs."

Children's Impressions about Music No. 3
"Many things about electronic instruments that were once thought to be science fiction now actually are."


Hot Country Girl Has Message for the U.S. Troops

Some people are saying that Sandy Belle's 'Message to the US Troops' is perhaps the worst clip ever made and in poor taste - but I like it! How can you dislike something with these kind of lyrics:
"Red White and Blue, this is for you
If you were home, I would hump on you,
Home of the Brave, let's misbehave
We'll be getting freaky like in Abu Ghraib."
(thanks to Dai Woosnam)


Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 4
" I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license. "

Children's Impressions about Music No. 4
" I can't reach the brakes on this piano! "



THE MESSAGE - The Story of Islam
with Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas
directed by Moustapha Akkad

I had a hard time watching this film the first time I tried last year. It was made in 1976, and produced like a B-Version of 'Lawrence of Arabia', even going so far as to cast Anthony Quinn as an Arab again. I found it boring mainly because there was no character playing Mohammed. Due to Islamic religious law, the prophet cannot be represented by any graven image, or actor with a face like a graven image (hence Anthony Quinn was out for the role.) Therefore, the support actors only speak directly into the camera when they are addressing Mohammed. Kind of like the way they do in those computer games like 'Myst' and 'Riven'. You never see Mohammed or hear him speak even though he is active in practically every scene.
I decided to try to watch this movie again last night and I got through it well enough mainly because I approached it as more of a history lesson rather than a movie. I wanted to learn about how Islam was created. The film is excellent for this purpose. Islam, like Judaism, Christianity, Mormonism, Scientology and every other religion, seems to have a romantic illusion of itself - as a noble and beautiful thing, yet a victim of persecution, by others. In fact, in the Real World, as soon as any of them gained any substantial power, THEY became the ones doing the persecuting: mainly to us non-believers. This goes on until they in turn get bopped on the head by the real powers-that-be that they start interfering with, The Secular State. So compromise occurs. That's the main reason these Quasi-Religious-Secular-State Fusion governments are so dangerous - no head bopping checks and balances to maintain sanity. As Christopher Hitchens says, in his book, 'God is Not Great - How Religion Poisons Everything,':

" . . .there is a real and serious difference between me and my religious friends . . . I would be quite content to go to their children's bar mitzvahs, to marvel at their Gothic cathedrals, to 'respect' their belief that the Koran was dictated, though exclusively in Arabic, to an illiterate merchant, to interest myself in Wicca and Hindu and Jain consolations. And as it happens, I will continue to do this without insisting on the polite reciprocal condition - which is that they in turn leave me alone. But this, religion is ultimately incapable of doing."

Islam began as a non-violent movement. Around 600 AD, Mecca used to be the marketplace for religions - up to 350 different gods were worshiped in the Sacred City around the Kaaba, and mercantile trade occurred in this busy centre from tourists, worshipers, travelers and the assorted carpet-selling camel-con men who were passing through. Citizens became very rich and therefore thanked their many Holy Statues. There were also slaves shuffling around, just minding their own business, going about their slaving. Then comes Mohammed, with his One God, and, rich-poor master-slave equality, lefty, tree-hugging ideas, and, much like Jesus to the Moneylenders in the Temple, he wants to throw all these profitable fake bozo gods out of Mecca and replace them with the One True Non-Refundable God. Naturally, the merchants didn't think this made very much business sense. So they basically thong-kicked him and his thirty odd sand-surfers right out of town. Which might have been the end of the story had not two large rival tribes - who were obviously not that attached to their own particular Deities - asked the non-violent Mohammed to step in and mediate in their tribal dispute. He agreed to do so on the condition that they accept Allah as the One God, and he, as God's prophet. They agreed, and so Mohammed settled their argument. Now he had a much bigger army-sized group of believers. But they were all still peaceful kind of folk, unfortunately, which meant that, despite their numbers, they continued to get their butts kicked by the CEOs of Big Business in Mecca.
Then, LO! . . . miraculously, the Prophet had a further vision from the Angel Gabriel, who instructs him that, 'well, under the circumstances, Mo, I guess it be alright for you to fight back . . . so go on ahead and whoop 'em upside the head one time with my Trumpet.' Which is what they did. And are continuing to do.
This is the film to get if anyone wants a clear summary of how this whole Islamic juggernaut got rolling, as I can't think of any others out there that are brave enough (or foolish enough) to tackle such a taboo subject. The DVD comes with a second disk, in Arabic, with completely different lead actors. (But I think they used the same camels.)


Burns in Glesca
By Anon

'Twas doon by the inch o' Abbots
Oor Michael walked one day
When he saw a sicht that troubled him
Far more that he could say
A fanatic muslim bastard
Wiz doin what he'd planned
And intae Glesca's departure hall
A Cherokee he'd rammed.
A big Glaswegian polis
Came forward tae assist
He thocht "a wumman driver"
Or at least someone half-pissed
But to his shock nae drunken Jock
Emerged to grasp his hand
But a flamin' Arab loony
Frae Al Qaeda's band
The mad Islamist nut-case
Had set hissel' on fire
And swung oot at the polis
GBH his clear desire
Now that's no richt wur Michael cried
And sallied tae the fray
A left hook and a heid butt
Required tae save the day.
Now listen up Bin Laden
Yir sort's nae wanted here
For imported English radicals
Us Scoatsman huv nae fear
Oor hame grown Glesca glaikits
Will have nae bluidy truck
So tak yer worldwide jihad
An get yersel tae F***
(thanks to Dai Woosnam)


Here's a collection of other colourful Glaswegian terms: (site)


Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 5
" I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over. "

Children's Impressions about Music No. 5
" If you keep moving two fingers real fast on the piano, you get a thrill. "


Radical Vision to Halt Climate Change
By Calum MacDonald
The Herald UK

The UK could cut carbon emissions to zero in 20 years, but only if people accept a virtual end to air travel and stop using fuel-driven cars, a report claimed yesterday. Meat would also need to disappear off many menus and an "armada" of wind turbines would be required to be built around the coast to achieve the goal, according to the new research. Money would meanwhile be overtaken in importance by carbon credits traded by everyone using special smart cards. The radical vision was put forward by researchers and scientists from the Centre for Alternative Technology (Cat) and was announced as details were revealed of the UK's longest protest march to call for action on climate change. (article)


Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 6
" An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart.
"Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?"
"Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week. "

Children's Impressions about Music No. 6
" Poignant music is music you hear before the stork comes. "



Rostropovich Dies

The celebrated Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich has died at the age of 80. A master musician, Mr Rostropovich was also renowned for his backing for human rights and opposition to Soviet rule. He spent much of his career abroad, in self-imposed exile from the Soviet Union over his support for Nobel prize writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn. But he returned as communism collapsed and performed a Bach suite as the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. President Vladimir Putin said that his death was a "terrible loss" for Russian culture. At Mr Rostropovich's 80th birthday celebrations a month ago, Mr Putin called the musician not only "a brilliant cellist and gifted conductor," but also "a firm defender of human rights". He died at a Moscow clinic after a long illness, his spokeswoman said. (article)
(thanks to Stefan Abeysekera.)

(Note: Here is a YouTube clip of Rostropovich playing the Prelude from Bach's cello suite No 1. (video)

Here are some of the viewers comments below the clip. A rare insight into the minds of the innocent:

"You are a musician that loves to practice. you practiced enough to play a song, I just do not get this music at all , It sounds to me like someone practicing and that is it. it is the Empoerer (sic) has no clothes, the sound is pretty and fast then slow and changes like some one click the tv. but pretty and fast impressive playing must be enough for some. "
" That guy looks like he can barely walk 10 feet let alone play a cello. "
" Isn't he playing it rather fast? What's the hurry? "
"wow, he played with absolutly no punctuation. it was like one big run-on sentence. It's a shame cause i really love the song too, i just don't think he does it justice."
" I don't know. To me it just seemed like he was just not playing it. Not really "becoming one" with the piece. "
" This is pretty cool. I would have played it maybe 4 BPM slower. It felt a tiny little bit rushed to me. But hey, I'm not only just 15, I'm a pianist. So I really don't know what I'm talking about. "
" Have a good trip to heaven Slava!! Da Svidanya!!"


Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 7  
" My memory's not as sharp as it used to be . Also, my memory's not as
sharp as it used to be. "

Children's Impressions about Music No. 7
" Although Rossini was once considered a great composer of operas, we now know of operas he failed to compose. "


(Here's something else musical from Stefano the A:)

BEATBOX VIRTUOSITY - Bobby McFerrin - Concert Solo (video)


Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 8
" It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker. "

Children's Impressions about Music No. 8
" Fortissimo means real loud. It is the way a composer yells on music paper. "


Preaching the Anti-Shopping Gospel
by Erika Hayasaki


NEW YORK - Familiar in his clerical collar, cream-colored suit and dyed-blond pompadour, the Rev. Billy has spent much of the last decade parading through the streets of Manhattan, shouting through a megaphone messages such as: "Mickey Mouse is the anti-Christ!"

Accompanied by a robed choir belting out gospel songs, the Rev. Billy condemns the "Disneyfication" of Times Square and warns that Wal-Mart is part of the "consumer axis of evil."

To passersby, the preacher who shouts: "Can I get a change-a-lujah?" might seem like just another colorful character in New York's backdrop. But the Rev. Billy does not promote religion and he is not actually a reverend. He is the alter ego of Bill Talen, an activist, actor and writer who has become nationally known as Rev. Billy, a character inspired by televangelists, for his fight against consumerism and big corporations. (article)


Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 9  
" These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast

Children's Impressions about Music No. 9
" Refrain means don't do it! A refrain in music is the part you better not play. "


There's someone on MySpace pretending to be me. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone. He's doing pretty well and has got 114 friends so far. Not bad for a renegade clone. I'm thinking of joining his group myself. This Joe Dolce 12 seems to be well-liked and sends people birthday greetings and other kind affections so what harm can it do?
(JoeDolce12 MySpace)


Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 10  
" Don't think of it as getting hot flashes. Think of it as your inner child playing with matches. "

Children's Impressions about Music No. 10
" I like to listen to the Sorcerer's Appendix. "



Lemon Risotto

I found this incredible risotto recipe in Stephanie Alexander's essential cookbook, 'The Cook's Companion.' Remember with risotto: patience, and do not leave the pot unattended.

1 lemon
1.5 litres chicken stock
300 ml dry white wine
120 g unsalted butter
1 small onion , finely chopped
600 g arborio rice
90 g parmesean cheese, finely grated
3 tbles finely chopped fresh parsley

Juice and zest lemon. Heat stock and wine in saucepan. In heavy fry pan, melt half butter over gentle heat and saute onion until soft and translucent. Add rice and raise heat to moderate. Stir to ensure rice is evenly coated with butter. Add 1 cup of stock. Simmer stirring constantly, and add one cup of hot stock at a time whenever the liquid is absorbed, making sure the rice is just covered. After 15 - 20 minutes, remove risotto from the heat and taste rice. It should be perfectly cooked. Add cheese, remaining butter, parsley and lemon zest and juice. Cover for two minutes. Serve at once.



The Ball
As long as nothing can be known for sure
(no signals have been picked up yet),
as long as Earth is still unlike
the nearer and more distant planets,
as long as there's neither hide nor hair
of other grasses graced by other winds,
of other treetops bearing other crowns,
other animals as well-grounded as our own,
as long as only the local echo
has been known to speak in syllables,
as long as we still haven't heard word
of better or worse mozarts,
platos, edisons somewhere,
as long as our inhuman crimes
are still committed only between humans,
as long as our kindness
is still incomparable,
peerless even in its imperfection,
as long as our heads packed with illusions
still pass for the only heads so packed,
as long as the roofs of our mouths alone
still raise voices to high heavens--
let's act like very special guests of honor
at the district-firemen' s ball
dance to the beat of the local oompah band,
and pretend that it's the ball
to end all balls.
I can't speak for others--
for me this is
misery and happiness enough:
just this sleepy backwater
where even the stars have time to burn
while winking at us
~ Wislawa Szymborska ~
View with a Grain of Sand,
translated by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)






Old Folks Reflections about Life No. 11
" THE SENILITY PRAYER: Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference. "

Children's Impressions about Music No. 11
" By shortening and lengthening tubing filled with air, high and low sounds can be made. Only wind instruments can understand this well enough to make it work for them. When electric currents go through them, guitars start making sounds. So would anybody. When we blow into a whistle, the air is pushed together in some places and pulled apart in others. Naturally it screams and that is the sound we hear. "
(thanks to Bill Lempke and WaylandN)