>’The Sixites’ by Jenny Diski

>I’m reading a book called The Sixties by Jenny Diski. The book is one of many from the series “BIG IDEAS//small books.” I read this paragraph from the book and completely fell in love with Diski’s immense detail and appreciation for film.

I really fell for this in part because I felt something like that after seeing Pierrot le fou at the cinema all alone, just sheer excitement. Beyond that, to love a film enough to see it time afterwards in theatres is an absolutely dynamite feeling.

“Now I filled the gaps of the past at the National Film Theatre, goign to classic silents and Hollywood marvels of the Thirties and Forties. In addition, there was an entirely new cinema to me, from Europe and beyond, to discover. Godard, Fellini, Antonioni, Bergman, Kurosawa, Ozu, Ray, Truffaut, Malle, Pasolini, Polanski, Jiri Menzel. They mattered enough for me to take illicit afternoons off school in order to get to the first matinee showing of 8 1/2 or The Silence at the crucial Academy Cinema in Oxford Street, where I’d sit in the smoky auditorium with fifteen or so other film fanatics, and one or two flashers, overwhelmed by the potent sexual narratives and social critiques, Marxist, psychoanalytic, libertarian or simply different and, to me, astonishing. I absorbed the complexities of relationship, and spiritual or cultural emptiness, played out in tones of grey, with echoes of poets, writers and philosophers. Godard’s intensely charming, hopeless and crazy about love film, Pierrot le fou, had me returning eight times during its run. I couldn’t take my eyes off a single frame, or miss one step of Monica Vitti’s slow, despairing walks through the blighted urban wasteland in Antonioni’s Red Desert. I wept sometimes with exaltation, sometimes rage, at the visions coming at me form the Academy screen. And, let me say, all this lived quite easily with my despair at my unsatisfactory hair and concern for the precise shortness of my skirt.”


>"America" Simon and Garfunkel

>Does it get any better than the song “America”? The intro is absolutely stunning, it bleeds real well from the tune before on the album. Can’t really replicate that on here, but you should go out and buy a copy of Bookends because it’s just that good. It’s a cheap find too!

>Otis Redding "Pain in My Heart" and the Rolling Stones

>I know you’ve heard Otis Redding, but how much do you really know of him?

I’m going to pony up and be the first to say, I really didn’t know much about him before today. 
He died at twenty-six in a plane crash after a show in Cleveland, Ohio, the plane crashed in Madison, Wisconsin. Despite his very young age, he had three children and a wife!
So – all those hits, hits upon hits that you know but don’t really know well were done by a very young fellow!
His big hit “(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay” was recorded only a few days before his fatal crash:
“Pain In My Heart”
Stones cover of “The Pain in My Heart” 
Redding cover of “Satisfaction”
“You Don’t Miss Your Water” 

>The Beatles "Rocky Raccoon"

>My Dad played The White Album disc one in the car earlier this week. It’s an album I cherish but really hate a few tunes on it (“Piggies” and “Don’t Pass Me By”).

I adore the tune “Rocky Raccoon” which was supposed to be called “Rocky Sassoon,” but McCartney thought “Raccoon” sounded more like a cowboy. At the beginning you’ll note a bit of folk sound to his voice, it was his way of poking fun, a pastiche style mish-mash.

I also love the way my world’s can collide so effortlessly! I just found out about the American rock band Roky Erickson because of Will Scheff/Okkervil River’s work with his latest album True Love Cast Out All Evil. Will Scheff even won a Grammy for his liner notes! You can see my wee rant on this here. Apparently the song “Rocky Raccoon” was maybe inspired by Roky Erickson, or at least that’s what his drummer Danny Thomas had to say about the McCarntney tune.

>Bob Dylan ‘The Freewheelin’


My claim to liking Bob Dylan has always been my attraction to the cover of the album The Freewheelin’, which portrays an attractive young couple taking a stroll.
There are a few tid bids to this cover that really got my heart beating a bit faster. First, Dylan was only 21 when this photo was taken, Suze Rotolo, the girl in the photo was only 19. Talk about young love.
Rotolo, whose page on Wikipedia describes her with the words:

Susan Elizabeth Rotolo (November 20, 1943 – February 25, 2011),[1] known as Suze Rotolo (pronounced /ˈsuːziː/, SOO-zee),[2] was an American artist, but is perhaps best known as Bob Dylan‘s girlfriend between 1961 and 1964 and a strong influence on his music. She is the woman walking with him on the cover of his albumThe Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, a ground-breaking street image by the CBS studio photographer, Don Hunstein.

I’m not sure if I’d want people to best know me for being someone’s girlfriend, even if it’s Dylan. You’ll notice Rotolo just died a week ago, this album cover got a great tiny feature in the National Post a couple of days ago.

She wrote a book called “A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties.” I can’t wait to get my paws into this one, all I can think about is Greenwich Village.
Rotolo was apparently the woman who inspired the tunes “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” Two tunes that have been touched by so many people years after its 1963 release. I won’t even attempt to put any covers on here for you.
Apparently, they were trying to recreate this photo, but with woman in hand instead:

>"Baby It’s You"


Music by Burt Bacharach with Luther Dixon (credited as Barney Williams) and Mack David (lyrics).

It was made a hit first by the Shirelles in 1961 and then shortly later by the Beatles in 1963. The current music group Tennis regarded it as the song that initially inspired them, it was the version by the Shirelles that did it.

>Phil Ochs; ‘Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune’ by Kenneth Bowser

>I often wish I was a baby boomer child. In the last two years I have lost myself in the sixties, mostly in film and in great part music.

I first heard Phil Ochs mentioned in the TV program American Dreams. A short lived, good mannered show set in Philadelphia in the sixties. The record store geek in the show suggested to the American Bandstand star to listen to him. I remember jotting the name down in excitement on two different occasions, penning down “Phil Oaks.” It wasn’t until today that I found a movie exploring Ochs’ life – Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune, directed by a director from New York called Kenneth Bowser.

The article’s focus talks about Phil Ochs’ connection with Toronto. The main aid for this connection is the film’s producer Michael Cohl. Cohl is a Canadian concert promoter, theatrical producer and staged concert impresario. He is also the former Chairman of Live Nation, the largest entertainment company in the world. He also was the brains behind SARS Stock many years ago. He’s chummy with Mick Jagger and Bono needs him to coordinate his live gigs. Apparently, Cohl worked at a coffee shop in Toronto that Ochs use to play at.
Can’t wait to see this film. It’s playing the Bloor Cinema. Great reviews.
Additionally, when reading about Michael Cohl, I stumbled upon this gem on Eye Weekly’s article on the power players in Toronto. Very interesting.

>The origin of 555, 555 posts and Odetta

>Early morning, I beat the sun up today!

This is my five hundred and fifty fifth post. Some friends and I were speaking of numbers and their meanings culturally. Devan claimed that eleven was a bad number, Laura pointed out that thirteen wasn’t highly regarded. Well, for a great change, 555 is actually not bad. In Thailand, 555 is interchangeable for laughing because in Thailand the number five is pronounced as “ha.” So, it very roughly translates to “ha ha ha.” It’s obviously not used in person but more of a slang online.
555 in the North America is associated with being OK. In the Second World War, the radio response 5X5 means that you have full signal and full strength. 5 by 5 is another way of saying you’re alright.
So folks, I’m five by five.

Have you heard of her? I hadn’t until about two years ago around the time she died in 2008. Odetta Holmes was born in Alabama but early on in life moved to Los Angeles, California. She made it big in the fifties and sixties as a leading folk artist. Interestingly, Martin Luther King Jr. regarded her as the “The Queen of American Folk.” She was one of Bob Dylan’s main influences.
He said:
“The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta. I heard a record of hers [Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues] in a record store, back when you could listen to records right there in the store. Right then and there, I went out and traded my electric guitar and amplifier for an acoustical guitar, a flat-top Gibson. … [That album was] just something vital and personal. I learned all the songs on that record. It was her first and the songs were:- “Mule Skinner“, Waterboy“, Jack of Diamonds