This Is The Impression I Get From Looking At The Television Set

Whoever spliced Allen Ginsberg reading his 1956 poem America with Tom Waits’ Closing Time created something beautiful and profound. You can take as much as you want from Ginsberg’s poem at the moment.

America (Closing Time)


Sacco And Venzetti Must Not Die

It’s funny how these things develop in little bursts and how one thing leads to another. My compadre, technical advisor, guitarist and brother-in-law H has started a blog called Spoken Word Rock. He posted this which I just had to re-post here; Allen Ginsberg’s poem America (which I wrote about back in August) read by Ginsberg, set to the music of Tom Waits’ Closing Time, with some great cut and paste visuals. All of which ties in with my recent rediscovery of the Beats, and has some kind of message for tomorrow’s Presidential election. Maybe.

Sacco and Venzetti were a pair of Italian-American anarchists charged with murder in the 1920s and convicted on flimsy, xenophobic/racist evidence. A witness recalled in court one of the assailants ‘moved like a foreigner’. The judge added his own prejudices and the two men were sentenced to death. Both were eventually executed.

America (Closing Time)



Strange voodoo/bluesy/r’n’b cover versions of Tom Waits songs that were used in multinational jeans companies’ adverts topping charts worldwide and led to apologies to Mr Waits for using his song without permission aren’t ten a penny. Good job then that this one is so good. Screaming Jay Hawkins and Heart Attack And Vine.

Cahuenga, mentioned in the song, is a street in Los Angeles. And slang for ‘an unusually large male sex organ’. Just so you know.