Saturday, October 30

You Rub Me the Wrong Way

It was only on reading the Douglas Wolk tribute to John Peel (see October 26 for link) that I realised Greg Shaw had also passed away - and on the same day.

I guess that, along with Lenny Kaye, Shaw can be called the Great Curator of Garage Rock (Kaye with his Nuggets series, Shaw with his Pebbles ones). There's an obit from the Guardian in the link, and an obit from the SF Chronicle here.

So I pulled down my Pebbles (Vol 1: Misfits and Vol 2: Hooligans) to pay a noisy tribute late last night, and inevitably hit the long-time standout for me, You Rub Me the Wrong Way by the Hard Road. Naturally, given my comments of just the other day (October 27), this lot hailed from Ohio.

So I googled and got this list of famous Ohioans.* There's your Armstrong, your Bierce, Edison, Gable, Gish, Dino Martin, Newman, Nicklaus ... and on to Cy Young.**

Furthermore PJ O'Rourke was on BBC Radio 4 this week, and mentioned his early years in Toledo, Ohio.

Well, I can acknowledge and eat some shit - this week of all weeks, though I still don't think I can howl at Jenna Bush for confusing Iowa with Ohio, as she did the other day. But I can laugh at her. What does she care?

Talking of shits - and, trust me, completing the circle - I've just heard on the radio that John Selwyn Gummer (High Tory) is one of the motley crew calling for the impeachment of Tony Blair over the WMD claims concerning Iraq. For those unfamiliar with Gummer, he is as oily and imbecilic as his almost Dickensian monicker suggests, and his views should never be considered seriously.

The way to consider him is like this. Back in the late 1980s, I remember an NME Proust Questionnaire which included asking respondents who was the living person they most despised. John Peel's answer to this was Gummer, who, under fire for inaction during a major BSE scare of that time, made his clearly bemused and uncomfortable youngest sprog eat a beefburger while photographers and cameras whirred away.

Yes: he's oily, imbecilic - and despicable.

* D'oh. Stupid-assed that I am (sometimes) I had completely blanked on the fact that America's First Family dwells in Springfield, Ohio. Shame on me.

** Of late, when sober, I've been reading through the Diaries of Kenneth Tynan, a book full of scurrilous gossip, a snippet of which is Paul Newman's revelation to Tynan that he was a chronic drinker throughout his career, until the mid-seventies, capable of dispatching a crate of beer plus plenty of wine and scotch per day on set. Tynan, describing Newman as "a mature version of Michelangelo's David", concludes that he's either full of the typical actor's bullshit braggadocio or a walking monument to cosmetic surgery.

Tynan, who like Shaw died in his early fifties, often remarked on how 'it's always the shits who survive'. Well, there's no shortage of proof around, is there?


posted by DD @ 11:45 


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