August 10, 2014

"Growing up, we listened to a lot of blues and rock and roll in our house, but there was always one particular song that my mother always told me that she hated."

"'Good morning little schoolgirl,' it goes, 'can I go home with you? Tell your mama and your daddy, that I’m a little schoolboy too." Regardless of the era in which it was made, it’s hard to view the song’s lyrics as anything other than flesh-crawlingly creepy, and not just because it was covered by the Grateful Dead and the thought of Jerry Garcia dressed incognito as a schoolboy truly is the stuff of nightmares."

The first paragraph of an essay titled "Why I regret dressing up as a sexy schoolgirl."

I tried to find a photograph of Jerry Garcia in school clothes. This isn't Jerry:



That's Angus Young, iconically in shorts, ironically from a piece titled "25 Short Musicians," which isn't about musicians in shorts, but about short musicians, Young, being 5'2".

Does Young wear shorts because he's short?
Q: Is that just your way of compensating for your short man's complex?

A: Well, America likes big things. I'm really tiny in real life, and I thought, if they got a big one of me, this might fulfill that ambition.
A big what of him? Anyway... looking for a photograph of Jerry Garcia dressed as a schoolboy — unsuccessfully — I stumbled upon a 2012 Vanity Fair article on the "summer of love."
“It was this magical moment … this liberation movement, a time of sharing that was very special,” with “a lot of trust going around,” says Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia, who had a baby with Ken Kesey, the man who helped kick off that season, and who then married Jerry Garcia, the man who epitomized its fruition. “The Summer of Love became the template: the Arab Spring is related to the Summer of Love; Occupy Wall Street is related to the Summer of Love,” says Joe McDonald, the creator and lead singer of Country Joe and the Fish and a boyfriend of one of that summer’s two queens, Janis Joplin. “And it became the new status quo,” he continues. “The Aquarian Age! They all want sex. They all want to have fun. Everyone wants hope. We opened the door, and everybody went through it, and everything changed after that. Sir Edward Cook, the biographer of Florence Nightingale, said that when the success of an idea of past generations is ingrained in the public and taken for granted the source is forgotten.”
Hope and change. Who knew Country Joe was such an intellectual? It's so strange what turns up when you go searching. Now, dress carefully, ladies.

34 comments:

surfed said...

Everybody likes the Fish Cheer from the Woodstock movie though much prefer "Rock and Soul" music. Who knew that 12 chord rock n roll would have such a long shelf life much less pretensions to the intellectual. Sigh, GIMMEE AN F!...

Anonymous said...

RE:"Why I regret dressing up as a sexy schoolgirl."

Guy in a White Windowless Van says:

I'm gonna pop a cassette in the deck, nod along mellow to Steve Miller's "The Joker" and pretend I didn't read that.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Growing up, we listened to a lot of blues and rock and roll in our house,..."

They all did, but you look around today and they still suck the cocks of guys who "listened to a lot of blues and rock and roll in our house,..." - they love their Stevie Ray Vaugn's like they created something - not the people who make it:

Where are the black rock bands?

Whites don't see discrimination anywhere...

rhhardin said...

Regardless of the era in which it was made, it’s hard to view the song’s lyrics as anything other than flesh-crawlingly creepy

Child abuse was discovered in the 60s as a public problem, and child sexual abuse in the 70s.

See Ian Hacking "The Making and Molding of Child Abuse (1991)," and perhaps it's reprinted in one of his many later books.

Before it became a public problem, pedophiles were objects of ridicule if they came up at all.

It was a personal moral failing, not a public problem.

On discovering new public problems as a route to political power, see sociologist Joseph Gusfield.

The latter probably accounts for the change, via the vast media available that had not been there before.

The other two new public problems that didn't exist before the 70s are vicious dogs and drunk driving.

On MADD my late friend Fred Grampp said if it weren't for the drunks, most of them wouldn't be mothers.

That was a rebellion against the new received wisdom.

Dorothy Rabinowitz rebelled against the child sexual abuse meme and got a Pulitzer.

The Crack Emcee said...

Where are the black rock bands?

Electric Purgatory

Mark said...

Jerry never sang that song, fwiw

John said...

Crack,

You might want to check your musicological history. Black, blues, music came from white folk music which came from Scotland, Ireland and England and it came from elsewhere itself.

All music is derivative. All music.

Rap is deritive of white talking blues, first popularized by Bob Dylan in the 60's. White talking blues came out of black talking blues of the 20's & 30s (Listen to Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and others)

Nick Tosche's book "The Twisted roots of Rock and Roll" is a good place to start. He starts off in about 1600 and traces it through to the 90s, when the book published.

John Henry

John said...

Crack asked where is black rock and roll.

When I first became aware of music, in the 50's and 60s it was all over the place. A large portion of rock and roll from that era was black singers, composers, groups.

James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, Berry Gordy, the various groups that Phil Specter recorded and so on.

The amount of black rock and roll in that era far exceeded, proportionally, white rock and roll.

I more or less quit following R&R in the 70s when I moved to Puerto Rico so can't really speak to what has happened since then. I do agree that there does not seem to be that much black rock and roll. Now that you mention it, I wonder why?

I doubt racism would cause a once popular form of music to go away.

I have no idea. Perhaps you have some thoughts?

John Henry

Charlie said...

Jerry died in drug rehab at 53. So much for hope.

John said...

Ctrack, I know you posted a link and it sounds interesting from the YT description. Unfortunately I can't open the video. YouTube won't let me play it in PR.

John Henry

Mitch H. said...

I just sort-of finished reading Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon, this crazed book about the Laurel Canyon Sixties music scene, whose author is apparently a full-blown delusional paranoid, the thesis is basically that the original SoCal invention of the "hippie" was a military-intelligence conspiracy to undermine the anti-war left, and that all the bands were manufactured and largely formed from the malleable or conniving children of various military-intelligence officers, CIA officers, and naval officers. It is, obviously, nine kinds of nuts, but most of the facts seem to be legit, which means under the crazy conspiracy theories is a repugnant narrative of murder, molestation, satanism, massive child abuse, and ubiquitous drug distribution and abuse.

Also, some interesting stuff about the music business of the time. But every dozen pages, one has to step back and marvel at the apophenia gone metastatic, and the workings of a mind which has never read an account of suicide, vehicle accident or overdose and not immediately assumed a malign conspiracy underlying the misadventure.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

The song of the sexual opportunist. Borrowed, of course, from a culture that Cannot Be Named, with lyrics that Must Be Suppressed - by the standards of all the PC Universities who place sexism at the top of the hierarchy of forbidden sins.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Black, blues, music came from white folk music which came from Scotland, Ireland and England

I'd suggest getting out more, and not chanting loony raving mantras like that one.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Where are the black rock bands?


They were well established on the pop radio of nearly all-white Santa Cruz by 1954. If you want to quibble, it was called R & B then, or 'race records', but it sure was popular. And of course was taken up by the musical opportunists of pallor shortly afterward.

John said...

Punctuation was bad on my note.

I did not mean white "folk-music"

I mean white folk's music or music created and played by white folks of the day in Scotland, Ireland etc. in the 1600s

John Henry

JZ said...

I associate the song "Good morning little schoolgirl" with Van Morrison, sung with Georgie Fame, circa 1990 (it was written by Sonny Boy Williamson).

St. George said...

"Schoolgirl" was a Pigpen song, re: the Dead.

Now there is a guy you want to keep your daughters away from.

Cirrhosis at, what, age 26.

William said...

I went to Catholic schools. We--and I mean both boys and girls--were not aware at the time that a Catholic school girl's uniform was some kind of fetishistic sex outfit. It was felt that the school girls' outfit was fiendishly designed to be as asexual as possible, perhaps because they were fiendishly designed to be as asexual as possible. It was quite a jolt to see those girls in a sweater when they were out of uniform. I don't think Jayne Mansfield could have shown a bust line under that jumper.....Some of the girls, immediately after class, would raise the hemline with safety pins, but the garment itself remained a coarse gabardine that did not fall gently on a woman's curves.......There you have it. The one time in my life when it would have been fitting and proper to lust after a girl in a Catholic school girl's uniform, and I thought the uniforms were a drag.

Unknown said...

Ah, the summer of love, the Arab Spring, and Occupy... they've all turned out so well!

phx said...

Black Like Me

Carol said...

Black, blues, music came from white folk music

Yeah and you could see many of these bands on the Chitlin Circuit circa 1950.

Actually, blacks were pretty much done with rock by 1955.

The Crack Emcee said...

John,

"You might want to check your musicological history. Black, blues, music came from white folk music which came from Scotland, Ireland and England and it came from elsewhere itself."

Yep - we can hear the Scottish, Irish, and English influence everywhere. Hilarious.

"All music is derivative. All music."

Yep - folks drumming in Africa were ripping off space aliens.

"Rap is deritive of white talking blues, first popularized by Bob Dylan in the 60's."

Are whites really this crazy - and desperate for,...something? Oh well, re-writing history's what y'all attempt to do. It's your thing.

Dr. Jo Jo Adams made "When I'm In My Tea," and The Soul Stirrers made "Why I Like Roosevelt (Parts One and Two), back in the 1940's - but, you say, Bob Dylan (in diapers?) had something to do with their popularity?

Do tell - I love white history - or as Public Enemy called it:

"HIS Story,…"

The Crack Emcee said...

Carol,

"Actually, blacks were pretty much done with rock by 1955."

I'll tell Fishbone, Little White Radio, Living Colour, Bad Brains, and all the others who (you say) gave it up,...

Mitch H. said...

I dunno, I liked Living Colour. I think they might have been the last rock concert I attended - music wasn't really a big thing in my life after college, to be honest.

The Crack Emcee said...

John,

"Crack, I know you posted a link and it sounds interesting from the YT description. Unfortunately I can't open the video. YouTube won't let me play it in PR.

John Henry"

Good - the white man's deprived of something - how's it feel to want?

Kidding.

No, it seems to have gotten popular as a paid download - it used to be available for free,...

Revenant said...

Eh, I still say schoolgirl outfits are sexy.

William said...

Crack, your argument is demeaning to black musicians. If white composers, like Kern and Gershwin, were smart enough to pick up on Afro rhythms and incorporate them into their compositions, why can't black composers pick up on white melodies and use them in their work?.....I don't have any great knowledge of music. I know that American blacks were a dominant influence on the popular music of our time, but I'm pretty sure that most black musiane have heard Gene Autry or the Magic Flute at sometime in their lives and drawn useful lessons from such music.

Todd Grimson said...

Living Color with Vernon Reid on lead guitar (back when we still cared about lead guitar) -- but the singer was kind of jive.

I remember a lot of controversy about "white men playing the blooz" and how Africans liked buzz-notes (see any kind of soulful voices you want to choose -- to make it easy, compare Rod Stewart vs Joan Baez, the most quintessentially "white" style of singing there is).

Where Dylan does get interesting and original is in the introduction of "talk-singing" -- picked up and run with by Lou Reed. And the entire Velvet Underground enterprise thanks to John Cale had a dissonant European Bela Bartok throb, not just due to the electric viola, but to the pounding piano in "I'm Waiting for the Man."

Some of us loved and appreciated and emotionally connected with Robert Johnson while not wanting to play the "blooz" in blackface.

Bad Brains was, incidentally, a great black punk out of DC who were sometimes perhaps liked more because they were black than because of any music they played.

And who can forget the ultimate travesty/joke of James White & the Blacks? (aka James Chance & the Contortions). Saw him live and yes, he could mimic that James Brown little dance.

We can get to musicians screwing 13 year groupies another time. But let the now-neglected great Rolling Stones song "Stray Cat Blues."

"I can see the you're just 15 years old / no I don't want your ID."

Krumhorn said...

Yeah, this is more BS than I can tolerate on a Sunday. It stands to reason that if girls were wearing burlap during the time that their classmate boys were moving into sexual maturity, burlap bags would continue to trigger impure thoughts in men well into geezerdom.

Leftie womyn will not be satisfied until they have tamped down every outlet of male sexual expression...not that harassing schoolgirls on the way home is acceptable. But, seriously, that's not the problem she is really addressing.

- Krumhorn

Todd Grimson said...

Frank Zappa: "Nasty nasty nasty / Only 13 and she knows how to nasty."

The Beatles: "Well she was just 17 / You know what I mean."

Iggy Pop has his song "Sweet Sixteen" and it seems like Chuck Berry had one too.

Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin famously had a 15 year old girlfriend he was crazy about in L.A.

Gene Simmons of KISS rather despicably took Polaroid spreadshots of every teenage groupie he made use of on the road -- a practice quite celebrated by Rolling Srone magazine back in the day.

The Grateful Dead were notorious for dosing teenage girls with LSD in their refreshing beverages and making use of them all night long.

Ken Kesey was also very aggressive about this kind of thing (though watch out, his aging followers were track you down like the lawyers who work for Scientology, no matter that this decidedly minor author is already only dimly remembered at best.

Jerry Lee Lewis of course married his 13 year old cousin whose prenuptial name I think was Myra Gale.

The numbers some get excited about start looking a little arbitrary if you gaze at history of any era other than right here, right now.

harkin said...

It never ceases to amaze me how the destructive, lawless and hateful Occupy movement is given a pass.

St. George said...

Todd--

You omitted...Bill Wyman....

The Crack Emcee said...

William,

"Crack, your argument is demeaning to black musicians. If white composers, like Kern and Gershwin, were smart enough to pick up on Afro rhythms and incorporate them into their compositions, why can't black composers pick up on white melodies and use them in their work?"

You know, it doesn't bother me y'all don't read my blog, but that you speak while not doing so.

So you understand nothing.

Here's what our past REALLY sounded like.

You tell me how whites got The Blues from that,...

John said...

Crack,

Interesting music, though I found it a bit repetitius and not really my taste. Is this "what what [y]our past really sounded like." Really? Your are serious?

Your past as interpreted by Danielle Dax. A white, blonde, blue-eyed(?) Englishwoman who, as far as I can tell seems to have spent very little time in the US.

With all the great bluesmen and women of the twenties and thirties this is who you want to come up with?

Have you ever listened to the Library of Congress recordings done by Alan Lomax, where he traveled around the south in the 20s and 30s recording people singing. Or the Folkways collection (Available on Amazon, use Ann's portal).

I had an aunt who had an affiliation with them and got every record they pressed from 1948 to about 1965. She gave them all to me and my cousins and I still have a few of them. Some pretty amazing stuff.

Check some of that stuff out if you want to hear what your people "really" sounded like.

Here's the lyrics you sent us to:

Dance with me
Why can't you see
Well, we're here in the country!
Hop in the big house,
The brand niggers
Sing Hallelujah
Praise to the Lord
Amen
Say hello to Jesus for me
'Cause I know he is gonna be
My savior forever
Lord praise hallelujah
Amen
Big country time
Country Crock
You're a liar
Look at Pariah


Add some droning music and noise in the background and repeat over and over for 8 minutes. Very authentic.

Way Strange, Crack.

In a way this sort of confirms my comment earlier about the relation between English music and the black blues.

In a Crackesque way, that is, all jumbled up and making damn little sense.

(You did actually listen to the song before linking to it, didn't you?)

Here's a direct link to the Youtube video for anyone interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsBUcTX0E3Y

John Henry