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A rope leash
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Postby A rope leash » Thu Jul 17, 2003 12:07 pm

My heroes have always been the articulate iconoclasts. When I first decided I might spend part of my life writing, it was immediately obvious that there wouldn’t be a tremendous amount of life to spare in that endeavor, given the fact that I was born behind a chemical plant in East Saint Louis, and by that birthright much of my time would be lost to toil, and much of my energy would be drained by the simple process of getting enough to eat, and some shelter from the elements.

So, over the years I chose my role models very carefully. In my early life of reading, it was always the stories of dire struggle that I was attracted to, of poor folks and simple people, of hardship and poverty that I was attracted to, and therefore I found guidance in the novels of Dickens and Twain, and of Faulkner and Steinbeck. Through their eloquent sympathies I discovered a very reason for my living, to be a truth speaker, to tell it like it is, or how I saw it from my vantage, my life, the life of the hardworking person, the hammer, the planter, the soul that toils.

Of course, it’s tough for the ignorant to communicate. I made some sacrifices, and did the wrongs things, and got some funds for college. While it was a cheap little school, and I barely finished even the first part, I developed a taste for Blake and Burns, for Eliot and Wolfe, Ginsberg and Kerouac, and even, by garn, for Shakespeare. What I found in these folks was a different way of saying words, of telling it, and of presenting the truth through my observations. It had to do with what I call the “roundabout”, the circular dizziness of a spinning yet apt poetry, whereupon the reader is intrigued, and thereby encouraged to study the work until the meaning becomes clearer, and then, having done the work, finds the reward to be so much more enriching.

Then again, there was always music. Much of my childhood was spent washing dishes next to an orange and white AM radio, where from blasted KXOX, this being back in the Sixties when what was cool really was cool, and really got played. Lennon-McCartney got stuck in my head, as did The Rolling Stones, along with the Motown sound, and the soul-protests of Dylan and The Byrds. Eventually I became obsessed with the San Francisco scene, and the war protests, The Dead, The Airplane, and the wider sarcastic truths of The Mothers of Invention.

Now that I’m old and worked to death, the simple songs of love and truth are the songs that stay solid within me, look out kids, they got it all hid, who needs the Peace Corps, all you need is love, so tell me, how does it feel?

I was well into making mistakes when I first heard Elvis Costello. No, I don’t remember what I was doing when I first heard that Kennedy was shot, or X, or King, or Kennedy, and I don’t remember when I first heard Elvis. But I do recall the first time I set the stylus on my Longine’s Symphonette down on "My Aim is True", and everyone else can still see the shit-eating grin that continues to grace my suffering face. Elvis Costello is quite simply the coolest person ever to bless the Earth. His gift seems to easily combine studious, truth-riddled, phrase-turning poetry with innovative, hook-tripping, tradition-turning music.

At this point in my life, as I begin my long journey of looking back, I realize what Elvis has done for me over the years. From "Welcome to the Working Week" to "Radio Silence", I’ve taken my share of hits over my love for him, the vast majority of which came from people who thought disco, poodle-rock and grunge were the end-all of pop music culture. Elvis is now showing them what a life of hard work and careful thought can bring: Art, pure and lasting. To me, he has become the best of what he could have been, a musician with a poet’s heart, a songwriter without peer in this century or any century before, a man truly deserving of worship if there ever was one, if for no other reason than that he is human, and uniquely qualified to prove it.
Last edited by A rope leash on Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Gillibeanz » Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:15 pm

Well I see that you have already got your letter to Elvis for the board's CD Rope........ :D

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Postby firebetty » Fri Jul 18, 2003 2:17 pm

hey rope, i thought you said you didn't believe in elvis?

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A rope leash
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The Work

Postby A rope leash » Fri Jul 18, 2003 5:01 pm

I believe Elvis is in all of us. To be a rock star, that's the prime life. Elvis personified this, and then moved on to personify other musical genre.

I believe he's incomparable.

I don't believe that every time he closes the show with an anguished I Want You that he's feeling in his heart the original spark of the song. He's playing rock star ballad guy, and doing an excellent fucking job of it.

I feel it in my heart.

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