Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A 3-legged poodle brings back memories

The legendary Ash Grove
While I was waiting at the bus stop this morning, a guy came by, walking his 3-legged poodle. Immediately I was reminded of a long, extraordinary talking blues by Ramblin' Jack Elliott about looking for banjo player Billy Faier in New Orleans. A 3-legged animal turns up in the story, dog or cat I don't recall. In the mid-60s I saw Elliott deliver a half-hour version of this at the Ash Grove in L.A., filled with his usual diversions and wry commentary on anything and everything. A memorable experience! Elliott in his prime was the king of folk.

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

U. Utah Phillips
And on the heels of this came another memory, of "Sally" and yours truly doing our own search of comic errors, in upper state New York looking for her buddy and former music collaborator, Bruce "U. Utah" Phillips, "the golden voice of the great Southwest." We finally found him.


Lena said...

Utah Philips brings back memories. A friend told a story, not sure where she heard it, of him being invited to speak to graduating high school students. Someone from the Army is going to speak to the students after Utah.

He tells them:
"You're about to be told that you are America's most valuable natural resource. HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT THEY DO TO NATURAL RESOURCES?! RUN FOR THE HILLS!"

You know where that's from?

Charles Deemer said...

I don't -- except I first heard the story from "Sally" in the early 70s. I don't think Bruce was famous enough yet to be invited to speak anywhere so it may have been when he was running for office, the House in Utah I believe. The U. Utah Phillips label (after T. Texas Tyler) hadn't caught on yet and he hadn't dropped the U. yet. So my guess would be when he was running for office, which was the early sixties, I believe. By the way, "Sally" and Bruce were in the same string band, "Sally" and the Valley Boys, which for a time was the house band at the Weiser Idaho old-time fiddlers contest. I met "Sally" in grad school in 1967 and we lived together 1967 until 1978 when she "came out." See my short film "Deconstructing Sally."