August 26th, 2007

  • lizhand

Two degrees of separation

Between Gram Parsons and "Davey and Goliath." This from my brother Patrick, maestro of obscure rock & roll knowledge -- he and his family are vacationing down in NC.

"Brendan and I were watching cable at or house and saw "Davey and Goliath", which I haven't seen in 35 years. Must be because we're pretty close to Virginia Beach, home of Pat Robertson and and the CBC empire. In the credits, I noticed that the animator is Peter Kleinow. Sure, enough, that's "Sneaky Pete" Kleinow, the late, great steel guitarist for The Flying Burrito Brothers:"

I'm sure all you protest kids remember "Davey & Goliath," the somnamnulatory early 1960s animated kiddie show produced by (I think) the Lutheran Church. It aired very early Sunday morning at 6 AM (right before "Crusader Rabbit") - if you were awake at that hour and hostages to fortune like my brothers and sisters and I were, there was NOTHING else to watch. So we watched. If only it had featured music by Sneaky Pete ...
paul shirt
  • pgdf

Sixties Novels, Part 35

THE CIRCLE GAME, Joel Lieber, Simon & Schuster, 1970.

Savant, fan, critic, and all-round genius Jess Nevins did a neat blog post recently about the fleeting nature of literary fame:

For most writers operating in the early part of the twentieth century, the process of fading into oblivion is well under way. But even those midlist working hacks of a mere 35 years ago are already up to their chins in the quicksands of all-devouring entropy. Consider today's case, Joel Lieber.

Scouting around the internet, we find only the barest scraps of biographical information on him, such as this:

Lieber, Joel 1936–1971
Lieber was an American novelist, critic, and screenwriter. (See also Contemporary Authors, obituary, Vols. 29-32.)

Sometimes the marketplace can function inadvertently as a historical archive, though. Turning to Abebooks, we can start to assemble a kind of bibliography for the man, although dates are approximate, based on what might not be first editions.

MOVE!, 1968
[Appears to be non-fiction, with JL as editor.]

So Lieber lived a mere 35 years. At age 31 he published his first book, and was fairly prolific till his death. His novel MOVE! even became a film with big-name stars, which Lieber scripted.

Here's the cover to the tie-in edition:

THE CIRCLE GAME--a novel about an academic who's wronged a writer, and the writer's revenge through "a bizarre scene of drugs and psychosexual encounters"--comes with a nice blurb from THE SATURDAY REVIEW, a top-notch journal of the time which we discussed once before.

Yet in 2007, all this accomplishment avails naught. Lieber and his reputation are as non-existent as Ozymandias.

(no subject)

I wonder why Nick Cave and David Lynch have never hooked up. They seem a natural pairing, one difference being that I like Cave, whereas I'm not a Lynch fan. I appreciated Eraserhead, but found it terribly derivative. I genuinely loved Blue Velvet, genuinely detested Wild at Heart. Mulholland Drive was a lot of pretty pictures and sinister decadent atmosphere in the service of telling us, what...? That Hollywood (and by extension, the world) is a big sexy nightmare full of people with identity issues? Wow, what a shocker. Inland Empire marks Lynch's descent into total wankery. I read one critic who described it as the truest picture of dread ever put on if that meant something.

I think where Lynch went wrong was during Twin Peaks. I think his ego outgrew his talent and he started believing that midgets and non sequiters and any old thing that came into his head were profound. He might have made some great movies, but ended up being a cultural oddity, America's Top Surrealist.

There's one guy, whose judgments on film I respect in most instances, who swears by Lynch (which is weird,because he doesn't like surrealism), so I'm going to have another look at Inland Empire. Maybe I'll discover something...some key to appreciating the movie.
Maybe not. Anyway, I like Nick Cave.