We were killing time before going out to dinner the other night, and caught at bit of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony/concert on HBO (read: lotsa profanity). The speeches — both the introductions and the acceptances — went on ridiculously too long, but what are you going to do? It’s a hall of fame; if ever there was a time to run on at the mouth, that’s the time.
There were about a million archival clips, one of which included the Famous Flames, James Brown’s band. Three background vocalists were taking turns at the mic, dancing between ooh-wahs. I was reminded of one of the Original Kings of Comedy bits, where we are told the difference between ol’-skool R&B and hip-hop: Five guys/one microphone vs. 20 guys, and everybody gets a microphone.
Anyway, everybody getting inducted was missing a member, one way or another. A couple of the Faces were dead, and I guess Rod Stewart had better things to do, like maybe put finishing touches on his next collection of crap. Axl Rose stood up the rest of Guns ‘n Roses, but Slash was there. Alan theorized that all that hair is actually part of the leather top hat, that it’s actually stapled to the lining.
Maybe actually stapled to his head. From what I recall of Slash, he probably lost feeling in that extremity long ago.
How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good. Kate’s last jazz concert of the season. They played this, although a different arrangement. I’m going to miss this program, and not for the Wednesday-night me-time. She worked with some excellent musicians and learned a lot, and it washed out, in price, to about $4.50 per hour of instruction. On the other hand, I should probably spend Wednesday evenings at the gym for a while.
Found this on Sunday morning, Edmund White’s recollection of attending Cranbrook a few years ahead of Mitt Romney. I’m telling you, this story will have a peculiar sort of legs for a while, I think; for every “oh, pfft, boys will be boys” there will be at least one person who, like Alex remarked over the weekend, is glad this sort of bullshit is getting the attention it deserves. White:
I already knew I was gay by the time I got to Cranbrook, and I looked forward to this all-male environment. In vain. The school placed the boys in individual rooms in order to cut down on buggery. Kids were run ragged with endless sports practices that consumed the entire afternoon. There were only two brief fifteen-minute periods during the day when boys were allowed to smoke (with their parents’ permission) and to socialize. I did manage to seduce two or three fellow students while at Cranbrook, but only after Casanova-like strategies, whereas I’d heard that some prep schools in the East were real bordellos. I’ve written a novel, “A Boy’s Own Story,” based on my experiences at Cranbook.
I was friends with two writers while at Cranbrook, both of them resolutely straight though strangely tolerant of my “tendencies.” One was Thomas McGuane, who turned out to be a talented novelist and a real Montana rancher and cowboy, a man who’s had movie-star lovers (Margot Kidder and Elizabeth Ashley) and who’s now married to Jimmy Buffett’s sister; he’s said in print that he knew I was gay in school and thought it was “funny.” The other one was Raymond Sokolov, who became a preëminent film and later food critic, who’s lived in Paris and worked for Newsweek, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and whose wife is on the curatorial staff of the Metropolitan Museum.
Thomas McGuane again. I recall interviews in which he told stories about his own problems at Cranbrook, something about copying some Rimbaud poems and submitting them to a clueless teacher as his own, then getting them handed back with D’s and F’s scrawled across them. For all this hoop-de-do about the best and brightest, the place seems — or seemed, then — to be a breeding ground for gentlemen’s-C students from the upper classes.
Since we’ve already skipped to the bloggage, then:
Incorrect headline, shocking story nonetheless. What sort of criminals are we breeding these days?
For laziness, for stating-of-the-obvious, for sheer unadulterated yeah bitchez I gets paid for this, it’s hard to beat Mitch Albom this week. I just don’t have the energy to take it apart. Sorry.
Monday! Another week awaits! Let’s kill it, eh?