Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Just a Stranger on the Bus...

Courtesy of amusing intertube wisenheimer Matt Neuman please enjoy THE TIME GOD APPEARED ON WHAT'S MY LINE.

I realize this has little or nothing to do with the mission statement of this here blog, but I've decided to post it because a) it's brilliantly funny; b) we were speaking of What's My Line yesterday; and c) Ohio governor John Kasich [R-Should Be Making License Plates] announced on one of the Sunday gasbag shows last weekend that he wouldn't run for president until God told him to, so it seemed kinda relevant.


[The following is a transcription of What's My Line? as it was originally broadcast on September 11, 1955, at 10 PM, by CBS.]

JOHN DALY: Panel, put on your masks... good. Now, will our Mystery Guest enter, and sign in please.

(GOD enters, signs "God" on the blackboard, and takes his seat next to JOHN DALY. There is extended applause.)

DALY: All right then, let's begin with Bennett Cerf.

BENNETT CERF: Well, from the applause, you're obviously well known.

DALY: I think you could say that without fear of contradiction, Bennett.

CERF: Would someone of my generation recognize you without having to consult the various popular music periodicals?

GOD: (high, squeaky voice) Yes.

CERF: Was that a yes?

DALY: It was. Continue.

CERF: Are you someone we would recognize from films, or television?

GOD: No.

DALY: That's one down, and five dollars... Dorothy Kilgallen.

DOROTHY KILGALLEN: Mystery Guest, have you ever been the subject of a front page story in a national magazine?

GOD: Yes.

KILGALLEN: Would you say that you are a... controversial figure?

GOD: Yes.

KILGALLEN: Do you travel extensively? Are you known throughout the world?

GOD: Yes.

KILGALLEN: I can't tell if you're a man or a woman. Are you... a woman?

GOD: No.

DALY: That's two down. Robert Q. Lewis, you're next.

ROBERT Q. LEWIS: Hmm... Mystery Guest, you wouldn't happen to be a millionaire Latin playboy who was recently seen in the company of atomic bombshell Jayne Mansfield, would you?

GOD: No.

DALY: That's three down, seven to go... Arlene Francis.

ARLENE FRANCIS: Mystery Guest, I get the feeling that you're someone who possesses power as much as fame. Would that be correct?

GOD: Yes.

FRANCIS: Have you ever, or are you currently for that matter, in a position of power?

(GOD whispers in DALY's ear.)

DALY: Could you define what you mean by "power," Arlene?

FRANCIS: Well, political power, for example.

GOD: No.

DALY: That's four down. Bennett?

CERF: We know you're not a Latin millionaire playboy, but we haven't ruled out whether or not you're, well, I'll ask. Are you rich?

(GOD whispers in DALY's ear.)

DALY: Once again, I must ask you to define your terms.

CERF: Are you... a millionaire?

GOD: No.

DALY: Five down, five to go. Dorothy Kilgallen, you look puzzled.

KILGALLEN: I am. He's obviously a well-known personality, he's powerful, but he's not rich, at least not in dollars-and-cents terms... he's not an actor. Mystery Guest, are you someone who operates "behind-the-scenes?"

GOD: Yes.

KILGALLEN: Are you one of our great directors, or producers?

GOD: Yes.

DALY: Excuse me, Dorothy, did you mean film directors or producers?


DALY: Then I think the correct answer, and I'll speak for our Mystery Guest, would be a "no." Six down, four to go. Robert Q. Lewis?

LEWIS: Are you unusually strong, and fast?

GOD: Yes.

LEWIS: Would you consider yourself a great athlete?

GOD: Yes.

LEWIS: Do you have abilities far beyond mere mortal men?

GOD: Yes.

LEWIS: Are you... Willie Mays?

GOD: No.

DALY: I thought you were going to say Superman.

LEWIS: Willie Mays is Superman.

DALY: Seven down, three to go, and Arlene Francis, it's your turn.

FRANCIS: Well, he's not Willie Mays, but we haven't ruled out athlete, or professional athlete... could we have a conference?

DALY: Certainly.

(FRANCIS, LEWIS, KILGALLEN, and CERF huddle and whisper to each other.)

FRANCIS: Are you considered... tough?

GOD: Yes.

FRANCIS: Have you ever been referred to as "the Rock"?

GOD: No.

DALY: Eight down. Bennett Cerf.

CERF: Well, he's not Rocky Marciano or Rocky Graziano. That only leaves a few billion people. Mystery Guest, are you a religious person?

GOD: Yes.

CERF: Are you a religious person who is in a prominent position within the church?

GOD: Yes.

CERF: Do you have millions of followers?

GOD: Yes.

CERF: Are you... Bishop Fulton Sheen?

GOD: No.

DALY: That's nine down, one to go, and it's up to Dorothy Kilgallen.

KILGALLEN: Now I'm really confused. He's big, strong, in a position of considerable influence in the church, well-known, but controversial... powerful...

DALY: I'll throw over the last card if you don't have a question, Dorothy, we're running out of time.

KILGALLEN: Oh, all right, I'll take a wild stab...are you...God?

(There is loud applause.)

DALY: You got it! You can take your masks off now, panel.

FRANCIS: I almost guessed it, but...

KILGALLEN: We should have had it sooner.

LEWIS: And you say you're not seeing Jayne Mansfield?

CERF: Well, as someone who has millions, God, it's not all that it's cracked up to be.

DALY: God, anything you'd like to say? We've got a few seconds.

GOD: Just that I'm donating my winnings to the Boys Club of New York, and the Police Athletic League, they do such good work, and the Fresh Air Fund, which sends needy kids to camp each summer.

DALY: Anyone have a question for God before we sign off?

LEWIS: Yeah, just this: you wouldn't happen to have Jayne Mansfield's phone number, would you?

DALY: Oh, Robert... that's our show for tonight, ladies and gentlemen, until next time, this is John Daly, saying, "good night."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Will Our Mystery Guests Enter and Sign In, Please?

Okay, obviously, the guy with the great haircut in the middle of this photo -- which I had never seen until last week, BTW -- is, if memory serves, the guitarist for some British band that achieved some minor notoriety.

But do you know who the guys on the drums and bass are?

Here's a hint: The pic was taken in Los Angeles sometime in October or November of 1968.

A coveted PowerPop No-Prize will be awarded to the first reader who correctly identifies the musicians WITHOUT googling.

[h/t Steve Hoffman]

Friday, April 17, 2015

I Don't Need No Doctor

Well, actually I do, but with any luck it won't be THIS guy.

Seriously, scheduled for some routine tests today, so I'm too cranky for real posting. Regular -- non-Tom Petty -- related hoo hah resumes on Monday.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

More Cowbell! (An Occasional Series): Special Oh No, It's That Guy From Florida Again Edition

From 1987 -- and one of his most oddly overlooked albums --

-- please enjoy TP and Company and "Stop Jammin' Me." Featuring lyrical contributions from some Jewish guy from Minnesota.

Actually, the lyrics, though occasionally droll, don't hold up as much as I'd hoped, but Jeebus H. Christ on a piece of challah toast, what a fricking fantastic rock-and-roll groove. Proving, as I have long asserted, that although Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench are fantastic musicians who deserve the lion's share of the credit for the band's sound, it was departed drummer Stan Lynch who was always the Heartbreakers' secret weapon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Might as Well Face It, It's Turned Into Tom Petty Week!

TP and company, 1977. Performing Bobby Troup's immortal ode to road trips...

..."Route 66." 'natch. Live in Germany, and I have no relevant joke about THAT.

I should add that I saw the Heartreakers -- opening, ironically enough, for Roger McGuinn -- perform this song at the Bottom Line that same year and it was devastatingly great, by which I mean really loud.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Masses Are Clamoring For Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!!!

And as a follow-up to yesterday's discussion, here's TP's cover of the great Nick Lowe song "Cracking Up." From the great box set below.

I mean -- what's not to like?

Monday, April 13, 2015

I Talk to the Trees...

From 1978, and their second album You're Gonna Get It, please enjoy the original (and still the greatest) incarnation of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and their quite ecstatically McGuinn-esque "Magnolia."

I bring this up because the magnolia tree outside the Q-Boro apartment of a certain Shady Dame of my acquaintance...

...is finally starting to flower after our long, depressing, almost Bergman-esque East Coast winter.

But also because I have been continually amazed over the years to find out how many people of my acquaintance -- people whose opinions I respect -- seem to have an absolutely visceral loathing for TP and company. Most recently, a Facebook pal of mine who is also a first generation rock critic of some deservedly serious repute.

No fooling -- as somebody who considers the Heartbreakers absolutely superb musicians with as impressive a body of work as can be found in American rock, I can't understand the animus. Can anyone help me out here?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Video Pick

Courtesy of a recommendation from our pal (and friend of this here blog) Sam Walters -- formerly the lead singer of King Hell, the greatest rap metal band out of Brooklyn ever, and currently doing similar splendid duty for monsters of rock Driven Mad (find them on Facebook and otherwise check your local listings) -- I just watched what is without question one of the most remarkable -- and remarkably disturbing -- rock documentaries ever made.

The short version: The film is a mash note from a fan to Pentagram, who -- previously unbeknownst to me -- are one of the genuine cult bands of all time, a long-running, hugely influential and commercially unsuccessful metal act featuring a notoriously self-destructive lead singer who by all rights should have died years ago; let's just say that the phrase "elegantly wasted" has never been used to describe him. It's one of the most harrowing things of its kind I've ever seen -- when people ask, I tell 'em its sort of like Anvil! The Story of Anvil if it had been directed by Tod Browning. I should add that you absolutely don't have to be a metal fan to find the film compulsively watchable, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention that it features a surprise ending that you absolutely won't see coming.

Here's the trailer, which should give you an idea.

Traditionalist that I am, I viewed the thing on DVD (available from Amazon) but I believe you can also stream it from Netflix. In any case, not to be missed.

P.S.: While doing a little Google research on Pentagram, I was positively gobsmacked to learn that one of the many guitarists who did duty in the band over its long history is none other than John Jennings, a great country/folk-rock player who wound up being Mary-Chapin Carpenter's bandleader and musical director for decades, and whose music with MCC couldn't be more stylistically different from metal.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Ain't Technology Grand?

My computer is acting like this guy today...

i.e., squirrelly.

Normal posting resumes tomorrow. Actually, not so normal -- I can pretty much promise one of the damndest things you'll ever see.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015