Sunday, March 27, 2005

Just another West Bank rumor

Uh, no Bob or Bonnie. Sorry guys!

The Spider John film was really great! Fun, and funny as hell! And poignant as well. GO! It'll only be here through March 31st and won't be available on DVD until a year from now.

Great attending with a lot of the West Bank old-timers and fellow musicians of John's. Members of the audience (John) still standing were told by the smirking MC to "all sit down." His first line in the film was, "So you want me to expound?" and I knew it was going to be a hilarious ride. It was. There were great campy interviews with John and Ray and Glover, and I realized that I loved this film far more than the Ramones End of the Century. Don McGlynn, a longtime friend of John's and brilliant music documentary producer/director did a fine job. I told him that he should do a film on Willie Murphy, to which he quickly replied, "So does Willie!" He can't for the next film but he said he'd like to someday. Stories of excess : ) told in the film rivalled Spinal Tap. You've got to hear it to believe it.

We laughed tons to the very well done typical uniquely West Bank humor throughout the film, such as the scenes inside Palmer's. In one, former owner Florence renowned for her wit, wisecracks, "I call him, 'get it yourself John' because he comes behind the bar and pours his own. When people come in to interview him, I ask them, 'why don't you wait on him, while you're at it?'' I caught Florence after the film and congratulated her on her great "performance," -- not missing a beat, she replies, "yes, but I should have known better than to wave my cigarette inside the bar. Now it's on film and the health department will come after me." I replied, "yes, you're going to jail for that."

For the Q and A at the end, everyone seemed shy to ask Spider John the first Q, so he gets the ball rolling himself, "I have a question! John, why are you using that cane? Well John, I'm glad you asked! I'm getting my hip replaced. Next question." And some prankster in the audience asked him to tell us a joke. This was met by mass groaning, and wails of oh no, and gnashing of teeth, which John blithely ignored and went into the jokes. Yup, pret-ty bad. They were groaners.

I had no idea until the Q and A, that Spider John and Willie Murphy warmed up for the Who in 1969, and for Frank Zappa, and Tom Waits, besides Jefferson Airplane.

The party afterwards at the Kitty Kat was really lovely, with lots of friends, and the fine music of Charlie Parr.

No need to "steal" fiddler Chip Smith (doing a fine job of fiddlin' in the film, during a Boston performance at a cool bar. He showed up on my doorstep this morning after a Palmer's run with John, and we shared fiddle tunes for an hour, very fun. Might still steal him for "old-time's" sake (ha. ha.), since there were 2 tunes we couldn't bring to the surface.

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