Category Archives: Simon and Garfunkel

October Ramblin'

I have no idea how or why, but someone I do not know wrote to me and asked: “Do you know why Amy Madigan was not cast as Allison French in the 2008 movie Appaloosa. She’s married to Ed Harris who co-wrote the screenplay, directed & starred in the movie?” I wrote back, “I have no idea except that Renee Zellweger is younger and more famous.”
I did also include a couple quotes:
September 13, 2006
Harris’ wife, actress Amy Madigan, informed the [SF] Chronicle that she won’t be appearing in the film because there’s no role for her in it.

October 16, 2007
Tavis Smiley: How is [Ed], by the way?
Amy Madigan: He’s wonderful. He’s directing a film right now in New Mexico called “Appaloosa” with – and he’s also acting in it – with Viggo Mortensen. He’s playing his part in that, and Renee Zellweger and Jeremy Irons, and they’re just riding horses, and they have guns, and it’s a very cool story, based on a Robert Parker novel, as a matter of fact.
Tavis: After 23 years of marriage…?
Amy: Twenty-four.
Tavis: Twenty-four years – you guys are used to being apart, I guess, for extensive time?
Amy: Yeah, but I still don’t like it. We’re just revisiting – we’re lucky because when we’re together we really have all that time, but it’s still difficult.
I Am the Walrus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The song also contains the exclamation goo goo g’joob with “koo koo g’joob heard clearly in the second. Various hypotheses exist regarding the origin and meaning. One is that the phrase was derived from the similar “koo koo ka choo” in Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson, written in 1967. However, the film The Graduate, where “Mrs. Robinson” debuted, did not appear until December 1967, a month after “I Am the Walrus”, and The Graduate Original Soundtrack (which contained only fragments of the final version of “Mrs Robinson”) was not until January 1968.
There’s a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It’s about eliminating the ‘drive-through’ Mastectomy where patients are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.
Lifetime Television has put this bill on their Web page with a petition drive to show support. Last year over half the House signed on. Sign the petition if you feel so moved; you need not give more than your name, state, and zip code.
Possibly not coincidentally, there was a story on ABC News last week about a father and daughter who both had breast cancer. I recall that Ed Brooke, former US Senator (R-MA) had breast cancer. Here are some stats. So while over 99% of people getting v=breast cancer are women, men can get it too.
alan david doane has started a blog to promote his freelance copywriting services. I understand he works in both UPPER and lower case.
An old friend, Elinor Brownstein im very excited that the musical she wrote is being produced: Oy Vay, the Musical
Chicken soup for stressed-out pandas
The Wuhan Zoo in central China has been feeding its two pandas home-cooked chicken soup twice in a month to reduce stress and give them a nutritional boost, a zoo official said Friday.
“A church squabble of ten years’ standing at Wallpack Center, NJ has developed a very singular phase. When the church was built, some ten years ago, the church people were divided on the subject of the site. Later, their choir became the center of the quarrel. A part of the congregation wanted the organist and singers of their choice, while others were opposed to them. The past few weeks the feeling has been getting more and more bitter. A few days ago there was to have been a special service, for which another organist was engaged, but on gathering at the church the congregation was amazed to find that someone had entered the building and, after daubing the organ inside and out with tar, had sprinkled on a bountiful supply of
feathers. The whole organ, cover, keyboard, stops, pedals, and all had received the double coat. This is certainly the most ridiculous display of petty vengeance on record”. From the News and Observer, Raleigh, NC, October 26, 1883. (Re-printed in The American Organist, October 2008, p. 52.)
Condolences to my friend Mary whose brother Tim died at the age of 46 after spending the last 10 years of his life fighting a battle with adult onset myotonic dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy.


The Rules: Part 3 (of 37): Playing Music

As you may know if you know me, or if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I am a compulsive about some things such as filing my recorded music. I’ve likely mentioned that I’m also obsessive about playing music I own. I figure that if I own it, I should play it. If I don’t play it, I should probably get rid of it.

To that end, I play music on a musician’s or classical composer’s birthday week. This week, in honor of their birthdays today, it’s Frank Sinatra and Dionne Warwick. This birthday thing also applies to compilers of compilations, so the guy with the Omnibus coming out is heard in January, while the Eddie-torial pledge dude gets played in November.

There used to be a time when I’d play a given artist two or three times during the course of a year, but with an increasing number of recordings, I’ve had to figure out how to parse some groups.

Simon & Garfunkel I play in November, Art’s birthday; I also play my one Garfunkel album. Simon solo I play in October.
I have so many Rolling Stones albums that I play the store-bought ones in July, Mick Jagger’s birthday, and the ones I’ve burned in December, Keith Richards’ birthday.
Led Zeppelin gets played in January, Jimmy Page’s birthday; solo Robert Plant in August.
I play Crosby and CPR in August, Stills in January and Young in November. CSN(&Y) I play in February, Nash’s birthday, since I have no Nash on CD.
The Police get played in July, Stuart Copeland’s birthday, while Sting gets played in October. (Why not Andy Sumner as the Police trigger? Because his birthday came later in the year, in December.)
Don Henley in July; the Eagles in November, Glenn Frey’s birthday.
With so many Beach Boys albums, most of them I play in June, Brian Wilson’s birthday, along with solo Brian Douglas Wilson. However, the box set and the greatest hits I play in December, the birthdays of Dennis Carl Wilson and Carl Dean Wilson. (I didn’t know until yesterday that Dennis’ middle name was Carl; how odd.)
The Beatles are the most convoluted. Solo artists in their respective months, of course. In October, for John, I play the canon, the British albums as they were originally produced, since he was the leader of the group; also the Past Masters, which represent, mostly, the singles. February I play the American albums, since George was the first Beatle to come to the U.S., visiting his sister Louise. June, Paul’s month, gets the other items: the Anthologies, the BBC, the remixes of Yellow Sub and Let It Be, and LOVE. As for July, Ringo gets all the many Beatle cover albums.

Speaking of which, I’m in the midst of moving my tribute albums from their own section to the end of the run of the given artist; there are now so many that I forget.

As for the rest of my music: February gets compilation love albums, compilation soul albums (except Motown, played in November for Berry Gordy’s birthday) and, if the Oscars are in February, soundtracks, which usually takes a couple months in any case. As for the rest of the albums, other compilations, artists with birthdays I don’t know, I play whenever I want. Well, except the Chieftains and Clannad, which I listen to in March, and Christmas albums, which I play between December 1 and Epiphany. Oh, and Halloween albums for guess when?

The requirement to play, say John Lennon in October, doesn’t preclude me from playing it again in March just because I feel like it.

"The fighter still remains"

Lefty had a question recently: Do you have a “special song” that is tied to an event in your life? I feel there are LOTS of songs that bring me specifically to a time and place, from Etta James’ At Last, which was played at Carol’s and my wedding after our five-year off-and-on courtship to Albinoni’s Adagio sung by my church choir three weeks before my friend Arlene died of cancer. There are probably hundreds of these.

Since Paul Simon’s birthday is today, I thought I’d note the effect of the songs of Simon & Garfunkel on me.

Album: Wednesday Morning 3 A.M.
Not so much, since I got it well after its 1964 release, maybe not until 1968.

Album: Sounds of Silence
We read the poem Richard Cory by Edwin Arlington Robinson in English class in junior high, and we were struck that, in the song, the protagonist, even after Cory’s suicide, STILL sings:
But I work in his factory
And I curse the life I’m living
And I curse my poverty
And I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be,
Oh, I wish that I could be
Richard Cory.

Was the worker suicidal as well? When you’re 13 or 14, this is heavy stuff.

Album: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
It was my father who bought this, not for me or my sisters, but for himself.
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy): possibly the first S&G song I owned personally, from a Columbia compilation album, Best of ’66; covers of Homeward Bound (by Chad & Jeremy) and Cloudy (by The Cyrkle, who had a hit with Simon’s Red Rubber Ball) was on it, too. So, I got to appreciate Paul as a WRITER.
The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine: I got razzed about this title.
A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission: I was obsessed with this song, playing it over and over. (It has a Beatles reference, and it rocks.) When I got the S&G box set, the album was heavily represented, but to my disappointment, this song was not on it.
7 O’Clock News/Silent Night: My father’s favorite song. “In Chicago Richard Speck, accused murderer of nine student nurses, was brought before a grand jury today for indictment.” I remembered that case very well, and knew that there were eight nurses who died, as one was able to hide. So the codification of wrong information on the album really bugged me; a librarian, even then.

Album: Bookends
Voices of Old People: “I’d give, without regret, $100 for that picture.” Been there.
Mrs. Robinson: Since I never saw The Graduate until fairly recently, I mused on the meaning of this song for decades.
Punky’s Dilemma: “Old Roger draft-dodger, Leavin’ by the basement door, Everybody knows what he’s Tippy-toeing down there for.” Talkin’ about being razzed.
At the Zoo: Like many of these songs, I knew/know all the lyrics. My high school friend Carol HATED this song.

Album: Bridge Over Troubled Waters
My sister’s boyfriend had bought her the Bridge single. What I remember now is that the single was in a different key from the album cut; can’t remember which was higher. Or maybe it was different tape speeds, but the versions are not quite the same.
Cecilia: Among the group of the left-of-center, anti-war folks I hung out with in high school was Cecily, who I’m still friends with.
The Boxer: Another song I knew well, and eventually experienced “a comeon from the whores on 7th avenue” as described here. (I may have been lonesome, but I took no comfort there.)
Why Don’t You Write Me: A paean to everyone back home during my freshman year of college.

The solo Paul was even more significant. I’ll have to do that sometime.

Summer of Love

It’s not even summer yet and I’ve already begun to tire of mention of the term “Summer of Love”. The early adopters of the counterculture movement seemed to have decided that the folks that invaded Haight-Asbury, in the words of the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir on CBS News, “just didn’t get it.”

But I’ll admit that there’s one thing that largely endured: the music. Here’s a list of all the bands that played at the Monterey Pop Festival, which opened four decades ago tomorrow, withe the approximate number of LPs of theirs I own, suggesting their impact on me then; and the number of CDs I own of theirs I own, suggesting their impact on me more recently.

Friday, June 16
* The Association – 1 greatest hits LP. Hey, they tried to be “relevant” on the smothers Brothers Show when the sang Requiem for the Masses.
* The Paupers – nope
* Lou Rawls – 1 CD
* Beverly – who?
* Johnny Rivers – 1 greatest hits CD
* The Animals – at least one LP that includes the song “Monterey”, 1 greatest hits CD
* Simon and Garfunkel – at least six LPs, plus at least four solo Simon LPs, and one Garfunkel LP. S&G box set, Paul Simon box set, plus other CDs of each
Saturday, June 17
* Canned Heat – maybe one LP
* Big Brother & The Holding Company -one LP, plus three other Janis Joplin LPs and three Janis CDs
* Country Joe and The Fish – one LP, plus their appearance on the Woodstock LP
* Al Kooper – the Super Sessions with Mike Bloomfield and Steve Stills LP; the first Blood, Sweat and Tears LP
* The Butterfield Blues Band – one LP, one CD
* Quicksilver Messenger Service – one LP
* Steve Miller Band – two CDs
* The Electric Flag – one LP
* Moby Grape – one LP
* Hugh Masekela – alas, none
* The Byrds – one LP, two CDs
* Laura Nyro -two LPs
* Jefferson Airplane – at least six LPs, a two-disc greatest hits CD
* Booker T and The MG’s – no, though well-represented in the two Stax-Volt CD box sets I have
* Otis Redding – ditto
Sunday, June 18
* Ravi Shankar – one LP; I also have CDs of two of his daughters
* The Blues Project -one LP
* Big Brother & The Holding Company – see above
* The Group With No Name – don’t know
* Buffalo Springfield – 1 LP, 1 greatest hits CDs, plus four CSN(Y) LPs, two CSNY CDs, two solo Stills CDs (once owned on LP but lost or stolen), eight Neil Young LPs, at least seven Neil Young CDs
* The Who – seven LPs, three CDs, four Pete Townshend LPs, three Townshend CDs
* Grateful Dead – four LPs, one greatest hits CD
* The Jimi Hendrix Experience – four LPs, three CDs
* Scott McKenzie – nope
* The Mamas & The Papas – five LPs, a three-disc greatest hits CD

Meanwhile, Brian Wilson is playing Monterey this month, 40 years after the Beach Boys declined for a variety of reasons. I have a LOT of Brian Wilson (at least 4 CD), and Beach Boys albums (a boatload of LPs and CDs, some duplicative).


I really like the name Roger. It’s not too common, but not too rare. According to the Social Security list it ranked No. 416 in 2004 among male names. Previously, it ranked 2003-394, 2002-389, 2001-371, 2000-373, 1999-358, 1998-347, 1997-329, 1996-285, 1995-278, 1994-264, 1993-253, 1992-214, 1991-231, and 1990-209. (Incidentally, Rodger, which is how my own grandfather -Pop -incorrectly spelled my name, doesn’t make the Top 1000 in any of the last 15 years.)

I like the fact that my father spent time making sure that my initials, ROG, matched the first three letters in my first name, a story told to me by his cousin Ruth only a few years ago. I’m told that he was madly scribbling on paper at her house shortly after I was born, looking for the right combination. It is NOT a family name.

I have a particular interest in the accomplishments of people named Roger in the public eye.
I thought it was great that the first person to break the 4-minute mile was Roger Bannister.
I was pleased to find out that the Byrds’ Jim McGuinn changed his name to a more interesting Roger. IMHO, naturally, all you Jims out there.
I was disappointed that Roger B. Taney was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the dreadful Dred Scott decision.
About 20 neighbors testified against Albany slumlord named Roger Ploof last year at a city hearing, including me. I wanted to say, “I’m embarrased to be a Roger,” but I didn’t. The city ruled against him, and he was supposed to have modified his building from 26 units to 6, but at this writing, he has not done so.

FWIW, Roger does not appear in the Bible.

Here are some other persons/things named Roger of note:

Roger Bacon – 13th Century philosopher and mathematician
Roger Cedeno – former Mets, current St. Louis Cardinal outfielder
Roger Clemens – seven-time Cy Young winning pitcher now in an All-Star year with the Houston Astros
Roger Clinton-brother of the 42nd President
Roger Craig-former major league pitcher (1955-1966), mostly with the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers
Roger Craig-former running back (1983-1993), primarily for the San Francisco 49ers
Roger Daltrey-lead singer of the Who
Roger Dodger-2002 movie starring Campbell Scott
Roger Ebert-influential film critic, paired with Richard Roeper and previously with the late Gene Siskel
Roger Federer,-won three of the four Grand Slam tennis events in 2004, and won Wimbledon for the third time in a row in July 2005
Roger Fox-father in the FoxTrot comic strip
Roger Grimsby-WABC-TV (NYC) newsman, 1968-1986, d. 1995
Jolly Roger-the pirate skull and crossbones
Roger McDowell-major league pitcher (1985-1996), mostly with the Mets and Dodgers
Roger and Me– 1989 movie in which Michael Moore pursues GM chairman Roger Smith
Roger Maris-major league outfielder with the KC A’s, NYY, St. Louis Cards. Hit 61 HRs in ’61.
Roger Moore-The Saint and Beau Maverick on TV, James Bond in the movies
Roger Mudd-long-time CBS & NBC newsman, descendant of the doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth
Roger Over and Out-inexact CB talk
Roger Rabbit-framed husband of Jessica “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way” Rabbit
Roger Ramjet-cartoon adventurer “fighting for our freedom”
Roger Smith-played Jeff Spencer on “77 Sunset Strip”; husband of Ann-Margaret
Roger Stern-comic book writer
Roger Whitaker-singer who appeared in a lot of commercials in my youth
Roger Williams-founder of Rhode Island

There are about 3000 more, according to the IMDB. If you want to suggest some more, please feel free.

You will see a brand-new list of Roger-related web pages in the links section of ze blog. For the most part, they are NOT the same as the ones listed above. These links will almost always be a page authorized by the Roger in question, or his descendents, or perhaps his fan club. Again, offer up some more and I MAY use ’em.

“Old Roger draft-dodger leavin’ by the basement door,
Everybody knows what he’s tippy-toeing down there for.”
Punky’s Dilemma by Paul Simon


I have never seen “The Graduate.”

I’ve never seen lots of movies in my time, but “The Graduate” was supposed to be one of THE movies of MY generation.

In the summer of ’68, I was at a Christian summer camp. I was at a theological crossroads that I will explain some other time. In any case, the folks at this particular facility considered themselves more enlightened than some other Christian folks. So, while other church groups forbade ever seeing ANY movie (except, I’d guess, “The Ten Commandments” and “The Robe”), this body was “liberal” enough to permit the viewing of some movies. Disney movies, which, at the time, was synonymous with “family movies.”

I wondered aloud about what the meaning of the line “Jesus loves you more than you will know,” in the Simon & Garfunkel song Mrs. Robinson, which was featured in the movie. “Ooh, no, you don’t want to see THAT,” one of the adults proclaimed. So, I didn’t. My views on the world evolved, and I later decided that it would be all right to see “The Graduate.”

I have The Graduate soundtrack, an odd item that, with all those somewhat schlocky Dave Grusin instrumentals, and at least three variations on Mrs. Robinson. And I love the extended version of Scarbourough Fair/(Canticle). That album (9 weeks at #1) and Bookends (7 weeks at #1, also featuring Mrs. Robinson) both dominated the charts in the spring of 1968.

I have seen movie clips such as “Plastics” and “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?”, the latter delivered by Dustin Hoffman to Anne Bancroft. I probably saw them on the Oscars or one of those American Film Institute shows. Not so incidentally, there’s another AFI program, on Movie Quotes, Tuesday, June 21 on CBS at 8 p.m. EDT. Both quotes are on the list of the 400 nominated quotes, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if one or both appear on the final list of 100. Yet, somehow, in nearly 40 years,I’ve never actually seen The Graduate, though I’ve watched the last scene, on the bus.

The movie has been on TV, available on video, and for the last year, on DVD. Anne Bancroft, who died June 6 of uterine cancer, expressed surprise that The Graduate is the movie by which she was most remembered, rather than The Miracle Worker (1962), which I also haven’t seen. But I have seen her in The Turning Point (1977), Agnes of God (1985), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), G.I. Jane (1997), and probably others, plus I heard her in Antz (1998).

Mel Brooks once said in a 60 Minutes interview that God gave him one great gift and that was Anne Bancroft. My condolences to Mel. So here’s to you, Anne Bancroft: I’ll go out and see The Graduate AND The Miracle Worker this summer.