Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Misanthrope – Sunday’s Lighter Side
A Bigger Bang x2

In honor of the Rolling Stones kicking off their new tour tonight in Boston and Hunter Thompson having his ashes shot from a cannon last night, I thought I would devote the Lighter Side to two who did not and will not leave without a bang.

’Tis the maddest trick a man can ever play in his whole life, to let his breath sneak out of his body without any more ado, and without so much as a rap o’er the pate, or a kick of the guts; to go out like the snuff of a farthing candle, and die merely of the mulligrubs, or the sullens.
Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616), writer

Hunter S. Thompson. Last night in Woody Creek, Colorado, a loud boom signaled that the ashes of Hunter S. Thompson were shot skyward surrounded by fireworks in the air and celebrities on the ground. According to the article,

A 15-story tower modeled after Thompson's logo: a clenched fist, was made symmetrical with two thumbs, rising from the hilt of a dagger. It was built between his home and a tree-covered canyon wall, not far from a tent filled with merrymakers.

The private celebration included actors Bill Murray and Johnny Depp, rock bands, blowup dolls and plenty of liquor to honor Thompson, who killed himself six months ago at the age of 67.

Thompson is credited with helping pioneer New Journalism — or, as he dubbed his version, "gonzo" journalism — in which the writer made himself an essential component of the story. His most famous work is "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," a wild, sprawling satire featuring "Dr. Thompson," a snarling, drug- and alcohol-crazed observer and participant.

His widow, Anita Thompson, 32, has said she plans to publish at least three new books of her late husband's unpublished letters and stories and is looking for a permanent archive for his works.

I told Daughter that I wanted my ashes spread through the Library of Congress, she could do it very inconspicuously, but instead she told me that I would be lucky if she dumped them in a Borders parking lot. Unfortunately, I have no inheritance to bribe her with, so I have no idea where I will end up.

“I give the Stones about another two years.”
Mick Jagger, 1964

The Rolling Stones. The Reviews are starting to come out and the Rolling Stones CD “A Bigger Bang” is getting terrific reviews. In Today’s Sunday Los Angeles Times (I’d provide the link, but you need a password), Robert Hilburn has a nice chat with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and a couple of sentences from the supporting cast.

Here are some of the comments about the new CD, which will be available Sept. 5.:

… the Stones' new album [is] their strongest since "Tattoo You" almost a quarter-century ago.

Some of the new songs offer classic jolts of the Stones' blues-rock swagger, while others show a vulnerability that has rarely surfaced in the band's work

…the new album, "A Bigger Bang," takes the band beyond mere pose.

I find it rather interesting that with all the faux controversy over the band’s new “Sweet Neo Con” with a line our two about the current Bush gang "You call yourself a Christian / I think that you're a hypocrite." the critics are forgetting that the song Jagger/Richards previously wrote about the first Iraq war with a song call “Highwire.”

Our lives are threatened, our jobs at risk
Sometimes dictators need a slap on the wrist
Another Munich we just can't afford
We're gonna send in the eighty-second airborne
Get up, stand up, who's gonna pay
I wanna talk to the boss right away

We walk the highwire
Putting the world out on a deadline
And hoping they don't catch the shellfire
With hot guns and cold, cold nights
We walk the highwire

Putting the world out on a deadline
Catching the bite on primetime
With hot guns and cold, cold nights
Get up! Stand up!
Dealer! Stealer!
We walk the highwire
We send all our men into the front lines
We're hoping that we backed the right side
With hot guns and cold, cold nights
We walk the highwire
We send all the men up to the front lines
And hoping they don't catch the hellfire
With hot guns and cold cold, cold, cold,
cold nights

Keith said in the interview about the new CD and tour:

"And I wanted that spirit back too. In this band, it's almost a necessity to have new songs we are excited about, otherwise we go out like the Beach Boys and just play the old favorites. Please, no."


Cynthia Antoinette said...

I just had to tell you that I love your sub-title: on all the news that it's fit to comment! Next, I'll read your post. Until then. It's me again on a different blog/topic.

The Misanthrope said...

Thank you.

On The Mark said...

So, why didn't the Stones perform Sweet Neo Con at the opening concert? Could the Stones be intimidated -- more worried about ticket sales and how the opposition might react at future concerts (protesting outside, etc.)?