Rock and Roll Heaven V: End of the Road

davised.com: Rock and Roll Heaven V:  End of the Road photo by KT Westendorf

by Ed Davis on July 23, 2014

(The following concludes my series of rock and roll essays about coming of age in southern West Virginia in the 1960s. In September, my novel The Psalms of Israel Jones, set inside the world of professional rock, will be published by West Virginia University Press.)
“All the roads we run and the folks we knew,
The risky things we used to do.
Now it’s over and we know we’re through
And I wish we had our time again.”
– John Hartford
Bottle and Tape
I heard the awful news the Monday after it happened, from the two Hamdenites who’d been with him:  Tony dead of an alcohol […]

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Rock and Roll Heaven IV: The Language of Soul

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by Ed Davis on July 15, 2014

(The following continues my rock and roll coming of age in southern West Virginia in the 1960s. In September, 2014, my novel The Psalms of Israel Jones, set inside the world of professional rock, will be published by West Virginia University Press.) 
“I’d lick the sweat off James Brown’s balls.”
The Shot Heard ‘Round Town…
The above declaration about a famous singer’s genitals was made before witnesses in the late spring of 1967 by a Hamdenite who will remain unnamed, shortly after the concert immortalized in this poster. It set off a furor that led to a schism in Hamden’s Church of Lost Souls and […]

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Rock and Roll Heaven III: Dusty’s Dream

July 7, 2014
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The Visions. Front row, left to right: Ed Davis, Tookie Marcus. Back row: Dusty Thompson, Bob Booth, Wayne Jenkins.
 
(The following continues my rock and roll coming of age in southern West Virginia in the 1960s. In September, 2014, my novel The Psalms of Israel Jones, set inside the world of professional rock, will be published by West Virginia University Press.) 
“He’s a real nowhere man,
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans
For nobody.”
—Lennon-McCartney
My Generation . . .
There we are in our plush suit jackets and ties:  your typical working-class rock and roll band of the mid-1960s. And the Visions did work every […]

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Rock and Roll Heaven II:  The Little Band That Might’ve (But Didn’t)

June 30, 2014
Kings English, Left to right: Fred Martin, Ed Davis, Nick Bassett

Photo: On-stage at Bluefield Auditorium, left to right: Fred Martin, Ed Davis, Nick Bassett
(The following continues my rock and roll coming of age in southern West Virginia in the 1960s. In September, 2014 my novel The Psalms of Israel Jones, set inside the world of professional rock, will be published by West Virginia University Press.) 
“The King’s English, a small pop group from Princeton, is out to prove that you don’t need a whole army of musicians to produce a good, clean sound . . . I predict that if [they] would only diversify and not concentrate solely on “The Rolling Stones” sound, they’d make […]

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Rock and Roll Heaven I: Hamden’s

June 24, 2014
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“If there’s a rock and roll heaven,
Well, you know they’ve got a hell of a band.”
—The Righteous Brothers
(In September, 2014, my novel The Psalms of Israel Jones will be published by West Virginia University Press, a novel set inside the world of professional rock and roll, which has me, at 62, contemplating my own musical past. For the first time in forty-five years, I’ve given myself permission to take a look at a critical period of my life, from age 16 through 19, when I lived for one thing and one thing only . . .)
As a teenager, did you have […]

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Poetry Matters: Reviews and Interviews

April 29, 2014
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A literary career is not to be confused with one’s deep reasons for writing. A career, whatever that means, can be enjoyable and a blessing, but, if you’re not careful, it can sometimes lead you to despair. My wise former colleague at Sinclair Community College, Tim Waggoner, always counsels his creative writing students to ask themselves what they really want from writing. I would add:  And try to make sure that’s reasonable.
Still, disappointments will ensue. Maybe it didn’t destroy you when you didn’t get your poem or short story accepted by the New Yorker, but it did sting when a […]

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Epic Poetry in April

March 23, 2014
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Three Poets
Epic Bookshop is again alive and well in Yellow Springs, newly-reopened at 229 Xenia Avenue between the Senior Citizens Center and the Emporium/Underdog Cafe. What better place to celebrate National Poetry Month! That’s why I asked two dynamic Greene County poets to join me on Sunday, April 27 at 2:30 p.m. for an afternoon of poetry at Epic.
Mystic Connections from Xenia
Author of children’s books, yoga teacher and poet Rita Coleman published Mystic Connections:  Poems of Nature and Relationships a few years ago. The natural world always appears in Rita’s work in all its ethereal splendor, but she also writes movingly of people […]

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Of Libraries, Coffeehouses, Bookstores and Poetry

January 19, 2014
Wright Memorial Public Library

Where would our thirst for words be without libraries, coffeehouses and bookstores? With media use exploding around us, aren’t these places terribly passé and embarrassingly old-fashioned? Not for my money (and it is my money, usage and support—and yours—that will keep them in business).
Wright is Right On
Wright Memorial Library at 1776 Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood, Ohio (info/directions) is one such fine purveyor of language and literature. These folks aren’t kidding on their website when they say it’s a community hub. It’s always a hive of literary activity for all ages whenever I stop in. Recently, I’ve attended several readings in […]

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Stolen Child: A Good, True Story

January 3, 2014
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“[Uncle Red] said that the Drumkeary ghost kept an eye out for our people. When I’d asked…if that story was true, he’d only asked me if I thought it was a good story.
‘Heck yeah. It is one of the best stories I ever heard. The ghost was her great grandfather and saved her life because she belonged to his family.’
He’d said, ‘Well, Lucy, did you know a good story is always a true one? In fact, the better it is, the truer it becomes.’”
Lucy’s Dilemma
I couldn’t agree more with Uncle Red’s sentiment above expressed in Suzanne Kelly’s newly-published Stolen Child. […]

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“Solstice: The Turning Point” – Glen Helen Reading Returns

November 26, 2013
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The Sequel…
We all know that Hollywood sequels often fail to live up to expectations, the producers’ as well as our own. But here’s hoping the second annual Glen Helen poetry reading exceeds last year’s impressive turnout, magic and intensity.
On Friday, December 13, 2013, Tecumseh Land Trust and Glen Helen Ecology Institute are once again sponsoring a poetry reading from 7-9 pm in the Vernet Ecological Center, 400 Corry Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio, near the Antioch College campus. After nearly one hundred people turned out for the first solstice/holiday poetry reading at Glen Helen last year, this event seems likely to […]

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