Q: So You read “Sphincter” last night..
Q: And that recalled.. I read a (W.B.) Yeats poem about “love pitches his mansion in a place next to excrement”..
A: Yes, “Crazy Jane and the Bishop” Does anybody know that poem? A couple? – Shall we recite it? Do you know it?
Q: Just that line.. “the first line, best line!”
AG: Well, Crazy Jane, his character, meets a Bishop on the road, so “I met the Bishop on the road” – (she’s talking) – “And much said he and I” – [Allen recites the penultimate … Read More
AG: I don’t know when these were recorded. I think late (19)20’s, or early (19)30’s. And there are a lot of famous musicians on (here). I think (Louis) Armstrong has got that trumpet. (From the) same recording session, (the) famous “C.C.Rider” (or “Easy Rider”) – “C.C.Rider” – (and) the last (one, the other one) was “Jelly Bean Blues“.
[Allen recites the lyrics]”Did you ever wake up with your good man at your side/Did you ever wake up with your good man at your side/My daddy left me this morning, that’s why I moan and cry./ He’ll make you … Read More
[“Crazy Blues” – Mamie Smith, (1920) – “the first recording of an African-America singing the blues”]
AG: Well it was the dream, it was the possibility of actually saying what I thought. Well, in any kind of poetry, like in “Howl”, or “Kaddish”, or later poems, but also in the Blues form. since, especially since, there’s a tradition with songs like that, of expressing your most private feelings with humor and melancholy – so that kind of song has always been a vehicle for some kind of outlaw feeling – and there’s also a genre of ballads, which are Outlaw … Read More
Back in the late ’80s, Allen made a handful of blues collections for a Brooklyn College course he was teaching. They were pretty much collections of his favorite blues songs from over the years, … Read More