I guess a few of you (quite a few, actually) missed the sarcasm of my last 'farewell' newsletter.
Funnily enough though it almost was my last. My server changed their mailout policy last Friday morning forcing me to split my hundred or so newsletter groups in 5 smaller parcels which resulted in a couple hours of panic and hard work before I could even send it out. I was so frustratiosso (my own musical dynamic notation: ffffFFF!?!?) that I actually considered throwing in the news towel for real. So some of you will notice that you now have a Roman Numeral next to your Newsletter Heading. (Strength and Honour, Josphus.)
I have printed most of your kind farewell Eulogies and Testimonials below. Thank you for missing me in advance of that day in the future when I will indeed whisper the final whisper: shhhhhhhhhhhh! . . . dot the final i and cross that final t.
I received a little flak last week for the 'Burns in Glesca' poem. I brazenly changed one word from the version that was circulating on the internet. I substituted the word 'Glaikit' for 'Asian'. I thought, (in my infinite glaikit wisdom), that the latter made the poem unnecessarily racist. I have now been gently guided to the understanding that I was mis-interpreting the dialect. (Understandable, as I had just finished a third of a bottle of Glenlivet single malt.) I apologise for the confusion and I re-print the poem further down below, with some of the interesting letters I received. The poem, as it turns out, is actually tribute to not one, but two of the three innocent bystanders who assisted police in the recent Glasgow terrorist attack.
FAVOURITE LETTERS OF THE WEEK
RE: JOE DOLCE FAREWELL NEWSLETTER
See you next time around. I, for one, have enjoyed every line and look forward to the reunion tour ... Maybe I'll open for ya! W&W
'We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance'. Japanese proverb
(Williams and Williams MySpace website)
(Note: W&W, which brings to mind that other old Japanese proverb: 'Man who dance on one leg only need polish one shoe."
RE: Joe Dolce Farewell Newsletter
Good bye and God Bless. V
(Note: V, Bless you too, V, and the Vaporous Unicorn you rode in on.)
Stop encouraging the big AmerItalAussie lug.
He's just fishing for someone to use the line supposedly used to Joe Jackson - "Say it ain't so, Joe" - so he can do a Spice Girls (or perhaps just do a Spice Girl) and put out the Memorial Number 1 Comeback, Reformed, Never-Really-Went-Away Newsletter! Mike Edmonds.
(Note: Mike, The Dried Spice Girls would be a more apropos name. And ahem!!! Fishing?? Moi? Well, I never . . . . er . . . . . then I got the next letter.)
Newt (quoting a baseball fan of tender years): "Say it
isn't so, Joe!"
Joe: "It ain't so, Newt (and other readers)".
Newt: "Praise the Lord (or whomever)!" WaylandN
(Note: Thanks, Newt, or in the manner of the Cathar Troubadours, 'Praise the Lady.')
What do you mean Farewell Newsletter? Have I got this right? All over, kaputsky? Or are you kidding? If you aren't, what am I going to do now? How will I cope? If it's true, your newsletter will be greatly missed in our household. Although it must take up a lot of your precious time, I am just going to sit back and wait, and hope some little missive will pop up. Best regards, Elizabeth (& Clive)
(Note: Liz, you didn't have too wait long. And Sgt. Kaputsky was a Beckett character who said, 'Nuthing. I know NUTHING!")
Oh, so relieved it's not really your last newsletter. I can't explain how much of a difference your words make to my usually boring work day.. Don't mean to be too sucky but I love your work!! Cheers, Carl
(Note: Carl, sucky is good. Now back to work.)
Well I'm certainly relieved that it ain't really your last missive - but I do think you're being a bit harsh lumping Crowded House in with Kiss et al, given the radically different circumstances and motivation behind the re-union (read the article)
And I did think making light of child abuse was a bit off too, not that I want to bring up that whole Brian thing again! Ciao. Justine S
(Note: Justine, I had considered that Crowded House
might announce the passing of Paul Hester as the reason they were
getting back together - BEFORE I wrote what I did last week. I
can see it making perfect sense to honour Paul's memory
with their reunion but I do not buy that that is the reason
they got back together.
And perhaps I am being to harsh on Brian Wilson comparing his abuse at the hands of his dad to the thrashings I use to get, which were in no way as physically severe - although who can say what happens on the emotional level to a child's mind? In any case, any small vulnerable soul would think they were in danger of actually being killed by the stronger and bigger adult and suffer trauma as a result. I make light of it - rather than dark of it - because that is one of the ways I have found most effective to transform it. Here's an interesting observation from a respected musician who knew Brian Wilson quite well:
"Granted, I'm sure child abuse must have happened, but Brian was very quiet and never talked about that, and was always a total professional in the stuidios when we cut Calif. Girls, Help Me Rhonda, Good Vibrations, the Pet Sounds lp, Heroes & Villains and other Smile lp cuts, and the Fire Sessions.... so what if he wanted to wear a fire-engine hat! No, I never recorded at his house, but heard about the "sand-box", can't a guy enjoy recording differently then a white-walled sterile studio? Total trash, but the studio musician scenes were good I tho't (outside of the spoken slander) for the music quality, tho' I never saw Phil Spector like that either." Carol Kaye, bass.)
So happy you're not going anywhere..:) We look forward to your newsletters. Keep them coming. Our Mum told us the same thing about Crowded House!! Since we were only 13 when they were saying farewell and not really big fans ..Ummm... Hanson for us at that time haha.. Mum reckons that all the farewell tours are just like the closing down sales in stores lol. But good that they are still open for business later on...Although she was sucked in and has been to quite a few of the farewells.... Anyway glad ur not going and look fwd to receiving more riveting and sometime controversial information from you..:)
Cheers, Nadinne and Candice, DoubleVision
Double Vision Website
(Note: Nadine and Candine, you little beauties! Closing Down Sale. Perfect. The next time I Close, you can Open.)
You had me worried. I would miss your newsletter greatly! Bill Lempke
(Note: As I would you, Billiam. Keep your fine contributorios comin'.)
You are an absolute legend! when I too read the subject header, I too was taken by it. Don't do it again. ok.. Giuseppe..you want me to have a quadruple... Where else will we get our weekly dose of imbroglio and mirth. Keep at it Joe and thanks for all of your good work ciao Victor V
(Note: Victor, instead of the quadruple, why don't you just go and have a double on me? Wasn't Mirth one of the Gifts of those Three Wise Homosexuals? Your Prodigal Imbroglio Peddler is back.)
You know Joe?
My band never broke up so we never did a Farewell Tour. It seems to be a bad business move on my part as we are the only band I can think of that is still around after nearly 30 years (in Australia that is). What is sad is that it is to late to do one now as I think it will be only our old friends and girl friends (how we paid in beer to lug) from our very first show that Choirboys did at the Time And Tide Hotel in 1978, that will turn up. Mark Gable
(Note: Mister Markie Missed-the-Mark, It's never too late. To have a funeral. In fact, the later, the better. Here's a shot of you from the last Countdown Tour that you may not have seen - the photo, I mean, not the tour. Of course, you may not have seen much of that either. It comes from the 'Case of the Black Fedora' photo website.)
I too revile in the farewell/reunion cycle (the dis/re band syndrome). Although, for a lark, I once turned up to a party and immediately began my farewell lap of "Oh hi, I've gotta head off, but great to see you...(blah blah blah)". Having taken my time doing such a thing, I was eventually met by someone who said "Hey, weren't you leaving?" and I did a whole lap of the party having the "oh gosh, yeah, I'd better go..." conversation. Then when I was confronted by someone with "You're still here? What's going on?", I explained my rouse, blah blah blah, a fun time had by all... well, me in particular.
I saw the Who last month at Glastonbury and they were fabbo, with Zac Starkey and Pino Palladino filling Keith and John's shoes nicely and the old fellas Roger and Pete going orf (Pete's been practicing!) As Peter Garrett once said, when asked his advice for young bands: "Stay together"... although I'm not sure if he's really the best person to be giving that advice. I'm currently in 3 bands that have never quite split up (but should've? Nah!) Love your work, thine a warbling, Mal Webb
Mal Webb Site
I just watched/listened to the bobby mcferrin link and now I am crying. . .
Correction. . . .
That link wouldn't load so I clicked another, Bobby doing Ave Maria with the audience and a choir. It was the sound of the audience/choir coming through behind bobby that strummed on my soul until the tears flowed. It was after it had finished that the tears began and then as I digested the feeling, I sobbed. Interesting. thanks for keeping me living, Kate Hosking, Terrafolk
(Note: K8, Don't cry. It's only a movie.)
I DID get a sad little twinge thinking this was going to Be The Last Of You. Don't do that to me! This week apparently Red Symons called bands who get back together 'self-tribute bands'. ("Apparently" because I had to hear it relayed via Conversation Hour cos we don't have Red for brekky here in Newstead). How weird that there is another of you on myspace, what ever happened to the other 10 (presuming that one of the 12 is the real you...).
Some woman used to ring Tony Delroy's quiz at midnight as "Jasmine from Newstead" and got answers wrong all the time. Even my Mum in Queensland used to ring me and say "How did you get THAT one wrong? It was easy" so I rang the ABC and complained about the impostor... Hugs, Jasmine
Good byee, goodbyee, cheerio tooodle-do goodbyee.;
you'll be missed, but enjoy your next escapade and hope to catch up and have time for a chat. Cheerio, Dale Dengate
John Dengate Website
Oh troubadour and culinary guru of mine, how are you? Long time no see, hope you're well. You seem to be ! ! I haven't seen you since those recording sessions we shared sometime in the very early 80s?? Where'd all the years go? Anyhow, I thought it was high time I responded to you, having enjoyed many a good chuckle as a result of the info-tainment pouring constantly from all those sweeeeeeeeet Dolce Newsletters. . .
Regarding your recent discussion exposing the questionable ethics of Farewell Tours
(and as we both know, the very foundations of "Show Business" are built on questionable ethics), the sceptical-realist in me agrees whole-heartedly with your beef about pop-culture's constant cavalcade of returns-from-the-crypt! Nothing more than tacky moola-mongering machinations designed to mercilessly pick the public's pockets by preying on its addiction to nostalgia!!
However, being a Gemini, the other half of me is a sensitive-new-age-guy, who counters this argument with an alternative Jungian-inspired theorem, which is, that our collective-consciousness perpetuates the notion of life-after-death, phoenix rising from the ashes etc. Ergo, the Farewell-Comeback-Tour phenomenon is yet another manifestation of the Resurrection Theme which occurs in all religions and mythologies. By the way, stay tuned for my own comeback tour, in which I will forsake my solitary self-absorbed existence as a film-composer, and reform myself, touring once again, complete with high-haired mullet, strap-on-keyboard and shiny jacket with over-sized shoulder-pads. Nah, just kidding, LOVE the 80's memories, but may they forever Rest In Peace . . . Warmest Regards, David Hirschfelder
David Hirschfelder Website
(Note: Davidicus - And 'Lo!' and on the Third day, The
Great Musos arose again from the Dead.
They Ascended into the Recording Studio
To sit at the right hand of Heckle and Jeckle, their Manager and Booking Agent,
Whence they shall come to Tour incessantly for the Half-Living and the Walking-Dead.
I believe in the Present Gig,
the Next Groupie,
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
the Communion of Mind Altering Substance,
the Forgiveness of Ex-Wives,
the Eternal Vigilance against Dodgey Managers,
The Promised Land of Bountiful Repayment of Recording Production Expenses
the Resurrection of Flaccid Careers, Yea! All Things Freudian and Phallic,
and Royalties Everlasting. McAmen.)
RE: JOE DOLCE FAREWELL NEWSLETTER
I am so sad to hear this news. I am going to miss you and our banter about Dylan. Any man who can write a song like Lay Lady Lay is no gay man.
Love you, Love Bob , All the best Di Rolle
(Note: Di, I am banteringly back. Love you. XX. Big air kiss. (Little tonguekiss for Bob.) CP Cavafy, my favourite Alexandrian-Greek poet, who is also a outspoken Gay man, has written the most erotic love poetry imaginable. His writing has influenced me profoundly since I was nineteen when I set his first poem to music. Dylan has been leaving clues all through his music as to which side of the pillow he bites. The song you mentioned is a perfect example:
"What ever colours you have in your behind,
I'll show them to you and you'll see them shine." LAY LADYBOY LAY
'The answer my friend, is a blowjob in the wind." BLOWJOB IN THE WIND
"Now, there's a certain thing
That I learned from my friend, Mouse
A fella who always blushes . . " OPEN THE DOOR, HOMO
And, once again, as I pointed out last week, the obvious:
"You walk in the room with your pencil in your hand,
You see someone naked and you say, 'Who IS that man! (Dahling!)" BALLAD OF A TWEE MAN
But how much more subtle are these little known lyrics:
" As the mornin' light breaks open, the Greek comes down
And he asks for a rope and a pen that will write.
"Pardon, monsieur," the desk clerk says,
Carefully removes his fez,
"Am I hearin' you right?"
And as the yellow fog is liftin'
The Greek is quickly headin' for the second floor. . .
Then the volcano erupted,
And the lava flowed down from the mountain high above.
The soldier and the tiny man were crouched in the corner
Thinking of forbidden love.
The tiny man bit the soldier's ear . . BLACK DIAMOND GAY
"Listen to me, Mr. Pussyman." BAND OF THE HAND PARTY
"It certainly WAS possible as the gay night wore on." CARIBBEAN WIND
"She got all the downtown boys, all at her command
But you've got to watch her closely 'cause she ain't no woman,
She's a man." JET PILOT
"I'm helpless, like a rich man's child.
And he's hung, like a man in drag." TEMPORARY LIKE LIBERACE
"Well, the rainman comes with his magic wand
And the rainman leaves in the wolfman's disguise.
I wanna be your lover, baby, I wanna be your man.
Says to the masked man, "Ain't you cute!"
Well, the mask man he gets up on the shelf
I wanna be your lover, baby, I wanna be your man" I WANNA BE YOUR LOVER
"Gonna pull man down on a sucking hook
Gonna pull man into the sucking brook" APPLE SUCKING TREE
"There's a man that hates me and his swift, smooth rear . ." SHOT OF LOVE
"I'm strumming on my gay guitar." STANDING IN THE DOORWAY
"Well, I give it to my woman, Man came around,
Well, the man came and took my Cherry back . ." MONEY BLUES
"Well, you know, we was layin' down
around Mink Muscle Creek,
One man said to the other man,
he began to speak . . " GET YOUR ROCKS OFF
Thanks so much for sharing the link to the video of Sandy Bell, the wonderful redneck incarnation of Lysistrata. Damn, that's one funny video. JWD
(Note: Here it is again, folks, in case you missed it last week. Now THIS is a gay man!) Video
SPIDERS ON DRUGS
(thanks to Stephen Ross)
Robert Fisk: TE Lawrence had it right about
'Rebellions can be made by 2 per cent active and 98 per cent passively sympathetic'
The Independent: 14 July 2007
Back in 1929, Lawrence of Arabia wrote the entry for "Guerrilla"
in the 14th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. It is a chilling
read - and here I thank one of my favourite readers, Peter Metcalfe
of Stevenage, for sending me TE's remarkable article - because
it contains so ghastly a message to the American armies in Iraq.
Writing of the Arab resistance to Turkish occupation in the 1914-18 war, he asks of the insurgents (in Iraq and elsewhere): "... suppose they were an influence, a thing invulnerable, intangible, without front or back, drifting about like a gas? Armies were like plants, immobile as a whole, firm-rooted, nourished through long stems to the head. The Arabs might be a vapour..."
How typical of Lawrence to use the horror of gas warfare as a metaphor for insurgency. To control the land they occupied, he continued, the Turks "would have need of a fortified post every four square miles, and a post could not be less than 20 men. The Turks would need 600,000 men to meet the combined ill wills of all the local Arab people. They had 100,000 men available."
Now who does that remind you of? The "fortified post every four square miles" is the ghostly future echo of George W Bush's absurd "surge". The Americans need 600,000 men to meet the combined ill will of the Iraqi people, and they have only 150,000 available. (article)
(thanks to Dai Woosnam)
(Note: Some versions of this poem refer to 'Michael'( Michael Kerr) and some to 'Johnny' (Johnny Smeaton), two of the folks who lent a hand to help the police. During the incident, Smeaton also helped drag Michael Kerr to safety after Kerr had been left lying with a broken leg beside the bomb-laden jeep. (article)
A third man who helped, a taxi driver named Alex McIlveen, so far, has not been feted or sung about.
Johnny Smeaton is by far the most famous with his own fanclub,
John Smeaton's Vernacular YouTube
By the way, 'GBH' means grievous bodily harm, and it is an offence in the UK. I have now come to understand that I was mis-pronouncing 'Oor' (Our) for 'Or' which changes the meaning and lumps the Asians in with the Terrorists - when in fact, Glasgow Asians are not oriental Asians at all but assorted Middle Easterners, Pakistanis, and Indians (read: muslims) and the poem in fact declares that Glasgow Asians are the ones that will have no truck with the terrorists.
Naturally, somewhat confusing to an outsider - as evidenced by this local bystander's comments at the scene:
" Looks like a terrorist incident at Glasgow. Just happened to be passing the airport in my car. Airport is closed. Smouldering, burning 4 x 4 rammed into front airport terminal. 2 Asian men in jeep came out burning , trying to avoid arrest. Bystander dropped one Asian , running away. Strathclyde Police reporting several arrests, but cant confirm injuries. Other eyewitness , saw one of the Muslims pouring petrol over himself , before revving up the car and ram it into front terminal. Looks like another wanton act of terrorism, probably the first to visit Scotland. Is it time to purge the UK of all Muslims , or is the ordinary citizen expected to sit back and let the Muslim scum step all over us."
The lyric was written to be sung to the melody of '(Seven) Men of Knoydart' -Lyrics Hamish Henderson, Music: traditional, which is itself a variant of 'Johnson's Motor Car.' Here is a midi file for the tune of 'Men of Knoydart' taken from Dick Gaughan's great website: midi audio
Here is the first verse of the sheet music of 'Men of Knoydart' and my own superimposition of the Glesca lyric to show how the words fit and how it is to be sung. (That is, if anyone from anywhere other than Glasgow actually wants to sing this song!)
There are some additional verses that have surfaced although not as well-composed as the first:
Some helpful correspondence I received should be acknowledged:
The original first appeared on the Aus Folk List- I think from Paul Hemphill. My first reading of it was that the Home Grown Glascow Asians didn't like what was happening and would tell Bin Laden to f*ck off. Now I've revisited it I think it's ambiguous. . . . it's the accent, comrade, and I'm having to refer it to Glaswegian Friends. 'Oor' I am presuming is 'our'. Is 'will' as it spells or is it We'will abreviated? I think it just means 'will' or the rest of it makes no sense. Therefore I'd have to say that the writer is supporting asians who grew up in Scotland. Most of these poems are usually xenophobic Paeons of racial hatred. If this is what it means, there is a glimmer of hope there.
Incidently I'm not sure what a glaikit is. As far as I know it's an adjective that meens silly- I think you've used it as a noun. (It's the pedant coming out of me) . . . 'No I'd have to say glaikit makes it a bit more obscure and I'm confused. Then again what do you expect from a country that produced William McGonnigal. Regards from a 'Glaikit Mon' from Shellharbour.' Bigruss
Big Russ also contributed this little thematic ditty:
It Ddn't Take Long Comrades
Subject: No Smoking
"As of July 1st 2007 England has been designated smoke free in enclosed public spaces. In keeping with the regulations introduced in Scotland in March 2006, Glasgow Airport would like to remind all Muslim passengers they must extinguish themselves before entering the terminal building. Police have identified the driver of the failed terrorist attack at Glasgow Airport . He has been named as "Singed Majeep". He is quoted as claiming he was simply celebrating the Muslim Festival of Ramavan....... " (boom boom)
Replacing the word with "glaikits" equates Asians with dafties! (and they're certainly not that) ...... Asians is how they are referred to in Galsgow- generations of Glasgow born Asians .... leave the Glasgow humour where its always been- highly irreverent, and certainly not politically correct and usually very funny.. John McAuslan
Further correspondence with John led to my discovery that I had, in fact, mis-read the dialect:.
" On the contrary the writer is stating that "Oor hame grown Glesca Asians"- our home grown Glasgow Asians- "Will have nae bluidy truck"- Will have nothing to do with you. At least that's how I read it.... John
Finally, I turn to St Eric of Bogle, the Patron Saint of Laphroig, for final Benedictio:
Being from the far more polite and civilised east of Scotland, I hesitate to comment on the literary pugnacity of my western cousins, but here goes anyway......
I don't think the substituting of "Asians " with "Glaikits" maks a wheen o' difference, although "glaikit" is one of my favourite Scottish words, even if it was applied to me many times by my teachers at school.
If you want inherently racist inferences, take version 1:
"fanatic Muslim bastard"
"flamin' Arab loony"
"mad Islamist nut case"
"imported English Radicals" - (they just had to have a go at the English as well!)
and even ""wumman drivers" and "drunken Jocks".............
Beside that lot, "home grown Asians" has an almost
fond, paternal ring to it. Patronising perhaps, but racist?
The whole poem has that distinctly Scottish braggart style to it, the "who daurs meddle wi' me" attitude, which is somewhat immature and reprehensible, and is the reason that at times I miss Scotland a lot..... Cheers, Eric Bogle
Ricky Gervais Comic Relief 2007 in Kenya
(thanks to Joe Creighton)
Spaghettini with Kneidlach (Matzo Balls) and Pancetta
This recipe evolved out of a previous culinary evolution! I discovered some years ago that instead of chicken soup with matzo balls, you could make a fantastic variation using tomato soup, garnished with sour cream. I had some of this tomato soup left over today and it just seems so logical to extend the tomato soup into a sauce, with a little tomato paste and some pancetta, and combine the matzo balls, (which are really only composed of egg and flour), with pasta! Simple, but not easily come to.
Make the Tomato Soup with Matzo Balls recipe(in the Recipe Archive) for dinner the first night. (You can adjust the recipe, for simplicity, in the following way: Replace the Mountain Pepper Berry with freshly ground black pepper. Omit the ghee. Omit the chives and replace the Creme Fraiche with plain sour cream.)
Use the left-overs the next night for the spaghettini recipe.
The ingredients to transform the tomato soup into a pasta sauce are:
3 tbles tomato paste
half red chilli, finely diced
1 cup pancetta, small dice
freshly parsley, finely chopped
freshly grated parmesean cheese
quarter teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
250 gms spaghettini (thin pasta)
Bring a pot of water to the boil.
Heat the left over tomato soup and matzo balls.
In a large fry pan, put some olive oil, and the diced pancetta. Cook for a minute and add the red chili. Mix the tomato paste with some of the hot soup stock in a bowl. When the pancetta starts to brown, add the tomato paste, the oregano, and the salt and pepper. Add some more hot soup stock to create the tomato sauce. Simmer on low heat while you finish the pasta. Cook the pasta al dente and drain in a colander. Add just enough pasta, to serve, to the fry pan with the sauce and toss thoroughly until well coated. On a large plate, put a mound of pasta, some pancetta bits and some sauce. Make a little mound in the centre and add one warm matzo ball. Sprinkle with the parsley, the grated parmesean cheese and serve with a raddichio and cos lettuce salad, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
THE FINAL HURRAH
A guy goes on vacation to the islands. When he got off the boat, he heard the drummers playing an island rhythm. He found it fascinating.
However, after several hours, the sound became an annoyance, so at dinner, he asked the waiter, "When do the drums stop?"
The waiter went pale and stammered, "No. No. Drums not stop. Very bad when drums stop."
After tossing and turning through the night, he called the front desk at 2 A.M. to ask when the drums would stop.
"No. No. Drums not stop. Very bad when drums stop."
After a sleepless night, he was waiting at the front desk for the manager. He asked once again, "When do the drums stop?"
Again came the reply, "No. No. Drums not stop. Very bad
when drums stop."
Grabbing the manager by his shirt, the man screams, "What happens that's so bloody
bad when the drums stop?"
(thanks to WaylandN)