Thursday, October 23, 2008

Live Blogging While Viewing the Restored Edition of The Last Waltz Which I Avoided Watching In the Past Because the Soundtrack Makes Me Gag

00:09 This film should be played loud, the intro titles read. I would concur, except I would also add, "Be sure to turn the volume down during the actual music segments.".

09:28 Our first glimpse of how The Band looks. Now I know where Wilco get their fashion sense.

15:14 Oh, look--it's Ronnie Hawkins performing one of my favorite rock and roll mannerisms: redneck band leader screaming encouraging rev-it-up phrases over the guitar solo. Darby Crash died for your sins, Ronnie--please don't let his loss be in vain.

26:51 If there is anything more painful than hearing a fuzzy-brained hippie reading the introduction to The Canterbury Tales, I have yet to experience it.

30:28 "You know this guy, I bet..." Robbie Robertson exclaims as Neil Young ambles his ramshackle self onto the stage. I certainly do: I saw him begging for change in the parking lot of my local Walgreens this morning. He said he needed money to buy diapers, but I wasn't born yesterday.

53:29 The puzzling sight of Neil Diamond playing on this bill is akin to witnessing Sha Na Na when they performed at Woodstock. I'm half expecting The Manhattan Transfer to make an appearance next.

57:43 "What about women on the road?", Scorsese asks The Band during a backstage interview. "I love 'em!", exclaims the nearly-toothless, homeless-looking Richard Manuel. The follow-up question should have been, "How much did you end up having to pay for each one?"

59:25 Is the necklace draped around the skinny neck of delicate songstress Joni Mitchell fashioned from Nazi insignia? No wonder she was so furious that Neil Diamond was invited to play!

105:18 If I never again have to hear another White man crooning "Train Kept a Rollin'" (in this case, the insufferable Paul Butterfield), I will die a happy man.

109:10 For reasons unclear to me, the blues great Muddy Waters is performing without a guitar, with that role being supplanted by some anonymous long-haired hack behind him. Were the concert organizers afraid to give him an instrument for fear he would steal it?

113:33 Two words: Eric Clapton. Good sweet Jesus, our Lord and Savior, I've passed gas more interesting than this drivel.

126:48 Levon Helm gives a nutty quote: "The greatest priests on 52nd Street were the musicians. They were doing the greatest healing work. And they knew how to push through music which would cure and make people feel good." So our national health plan should be...get some NYC street buskers to run our hospitals??

130:26 I think Levon Helm should charge Grandaddy royalties for using his look without permission.

132:24 The proto-Las Vegas stylings of Van Morrison remind me exactly of my high school Economics teacher. Especially when he does the karate kicks mid-song.

136:56 Hearing poet/boho artist/vagabond Lawrence Ferlinghetti give his refashioned reading of "The Lord's Prayer" is almost enough to make me vote Republican.

141:06 I can't decide if the hat atop Bob Dylan makes him look like a pimp or like Jeff Lynne circa Xanadu.

146:06 So it's come to this: the All-Star jam version of "I Shall Be Released" which sees more musicians on stage at one time than there are members remaining in the audience. If only this farewell concert could have been held at Altamont.

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