Peggy Lee, formerly of the Benny Goodman Orchestra, still sounding great here in 1967 at the age of, oh i don't know, let's say 110. You need to be patient with this one, but if you give it a full 30 seconds it will start to work. What a lovely way to burn. Hand percussion by Jack Sperling, another Benny Goodman alum.
Anybody got a match? I would like to be able to say with a straight face that I'd rank some other rock concert film, maybe Woodstock or The Last Waltz, ahead of Stop Making Sense, because then I'd feel counter-intuitive, which is my preferred mode of being. But the truth is I've watched & re-watched Stop Making Sense from beginning to end more times than I can count & I continue to enjoy the hey out of it. Contrast this sucker with The Last Waltz, which when revisited makes you feel tired, sad, cynical, and nostalgic all at once. Although it contains any number of great performances, a little bit of Robbie Robertson's pity party monologues about life on the road goes a long, long way, & so whenever I dust off Charlie Mac's Last Waltz DVD (Charlie you'll get it back if and when you come visit us this spring) I have to do a lot of fast forwarding to get through his Tortured Rock Star shtick. In Stop Making Sense, by contrast, The Talking Heads love what they're doing, as well they should. The first time i saw this performance of Burning Down the House I thought, damn, maybe I should try to quit smoking again. So I don't burn down the house but also so I can keep up with David Byrne who must have lost 10 pounds by the end of the show, fighting fire with fire.
And Arthur Brown, because The Crazy World of Arthur Brown 8-track was playing at the very moment my friend Paul rolled his Mustang in the wee hours. Luckily I wasn't wearing a seat belt and so was thrown into the back of his car, cracking my noggin' against the rear windshield but living to tell the tale. When I returned to high school a week or so later, Paul brought in photos to pass around the lunchroom table showing that the driver's side passenger seat where I would have remained had i been strapped in was entirely occupied by twisted metal. This one also needs to be cross-indexed with the Who Am Us Anyway Field Guide to Pop Music's list of songs with the greatest opening lines. In this one, Arthur announces what kind of god he is and what he is bringing us, and I like that he is wearing a Bunsen burner on his head.
The View From Viera -
2 hours ago