Total Pageviews

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Writer's Life 3/19 - Chuck & Company

RIP rock n roll legend Chuck Berry, 90, who performed all over the world, including the White House. His distinctive style influenced countless guitarists. I'll focus on his lyrics, which were so much fun. From Johnny B. Goode: "...Who never ever learned to read or write so well/ But he could play a guitar just like a ringing a bell..." From Maybelline: "...As I was motivatin' over the hill/ I saw Maybelline in a Coup de Ville..." From No Particular Place to Go: "... I stole a kiss at the turn of a mile/ My curiosity runnin' wild..." From Roll Over Beethoven: "...and my soul keeps on singin' the blues/ Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news..." From School Day: "...Back in the classroom open your books/ Gee but the teacher don't know how mean she looks..." From Rock n Roll Music: "...I took my loved one over cross the tracks/ So she can hear my man a wailin' sax..." Thank you, sir.

Last night NET, channel 30 on Cablevision in NYC, ran a Harold Lloyd talkie, the screwball comedy The Milky Way (1936), the story of a milquetoast who becomes a boxer. Lloyd may be unfamiliar to younger folks, but almost every film fan knows the iconic shot of him dangling from the clock-face of a skyscraper in Safety Last (1923). The great Adolphe Menjou plays Lloyd's beleaguered manager in TMW. I was taken by the performance of two supporting players, Lionel Stander, hilarious as a dim-witted crony, and Verree Teasdale as Menjou's long-suffering (15 years), wise-cracking mistress. I was familiar with Stander, but Teasdale was a complete mystery. She delivered the character's acerbic wit brilliantly. She was actually Menjou's wife from 1935 until he passed away in 1963. She has only 29 credits listed under her name at IMDb, the last in 1941. Maybe she was busy raising her child. She did a popular 1950's radio show with her husband. Meet the Menjous focused on various subjects. There is a CD of 20 of the shows available. Topics include: Michaelangelo And Great Artists, Traffic Problems, What Makes a Successful Party, People Who Live In Glass Houses and Writing Poetry. Here's a pic of the couple:
And here's one of the aforementioned photograph:

Business was slow at the floating book shop, despite the gorgeous day. My thanks to Bill Brown, author of Words and Guitar: A History of Lou Reed's Music, who purchased Running with Scissors: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs, which was on the NY Times Best Sellers List for two years.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
Vic's Short Works:

No comments:

Post a Comment