With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Rejection Friday


When will you get to see the rest of the novel, an admiring reader asks in yesterday's comments.

Three things:
1)The rest of the novel consists of only another thirty lines or so.
2)Most literary sites don't accept previously published works. Blogs are considered publication. I hate to disqualify myself.
3)If I were to show anyone my novel, it would be you my dear loyal reading community.

Which brings us to today's topic: Pieces rejected. I've sent the below to various websites and they said very mean things in return for my hard work. So, rather than try to find a home for it, I'm going to officially retire this piece.

According to some editorial comments, the lack of public awareness about
this song makes it a hard sell. So do listen to the link, before you move on to today's featured rejection piece.

The King Makes No Mistakes

Thank you for purchasing The Superstar Covers of Elvis' Live Laughing
performance of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?'

On August 24, 1969 in his live Las Vegas performance, Elvis dedicated "Are
you Lonesome Tonight?" to Colonel Parker's wife in honor of her recovery.
Applause can be heard on the soundtrack out of respect for Elvis and Colonel
Parker's wife. A very somber moment.

Just two days later, Elvis reinvented the same song, by laughing through the
entire performance. Not surprising (in retrospect) the August 26 performance
came to be known as the laughing performance. Elvis himself ended the
performance by saying '14 years down the drain.' Initially, even the most
committed Elvis fans were embarrassed.

Time has shown that in the words of James Joyce, "A man of genius makes no
mistakes."

The accompanying CD features some of today's top performers, paying tribute
to what is now understood to be the genius of the King.

Considering the sheer quantity of laughter on this CD, there was a lot of
seriousness. Here are some of the stories that remind us just how serious
it is to cover the King.

Carreras Domingo Pavarotti
John Paul, Manager for the three tenors:
The first words comes through in the three tenors powerful voices. It takes
a bit to get them laughing. Carreras is the giggly one. You can feel in the
first couple of seconds that he is going to lose it. I later asked him what
was so funny. He said, "How much I was making that night."

At the start Domingo and Pavarotti haven't quite gotten into the act. But
once Carreras started laughing you know, he just couldn't help but fart.
That kills Domingo. What a sight to see: Carreras turning red, like he's
going to explode, as if his fart wasn't incidental but like absolutely
necessary to his not blowing up. And Domingo now, he just can't help it. He
was laughing so hard, he pee'd on himself. Oh, it was inevitable.
Pavarrotti, is much too serious for all of this. All of us at backstage were
sure he would lose it. But nothing. At the end he says, "That's it....14
years down the drain."

Bob Dylan
Neil, Friend of Bob:
What people forget about Bob, is that he has this terrific, laugh. And
really once you get him started laughing he can't stop. Unfortunately, Being
Lonesome isn't one of the things that gets Bob laughing. Bob has a real
problem with people anywhere, ever being lonesome. Before the show we were
to record, I said to Bob, you gotta see something funny in lonesomeness.
You'll be alone soon. Your wife is going to leave you. She's a tennis
player. Love means nothing to her.

At first he looked at me with his sad, introspective face. But than that
face gave way to his sad, giggly face. That face gave way to his restrained
sad, giggly face. He couldn't stop laughing. He repeated my joke on stage.
I told him it was the best thing he ever did. Anyway, a week later Bob's
wife left him, so then he turned on me; he didn't find my joke so funny. We
never spoke again.

Alanis Morissette
From her Diary:
"Sometimes, I don't want to laugh. It seems so artificial to just laugh on
command. In the studio, I was to laugh, but what I felt like doing was
crying. Crying, crying, crying. So there is this major conflict between the
tears and the smiles. I forced myself to laugh. Perhaps, I should go to
India. That always makes me want to laugh. Those monks are funnier than most
people realize. I bet that's what Elvis was focusing on to get the kind of
laughter you hear in the original. I wish Elvis would have laughed more. And
cried less. Other times I feel like Elvis should have cried more and laughed
less."

Krusty the Clown
From James Franks, Sound Guy

I had never ever heard of Krusty until this project. I'll tell you he
doesn't look like Elvis, he sure as hell can't move like him, with those
huge floppy shoes. But when he finished this song there wasn't a dry eye at
the birthday party we recorded this at. Krusty nailed this song.

While Elvis' laughing performance has been made available through
anthologies, never before have so many covers by other artists been brought
together in one hilarious, but in another sense, completely serious,
collection.

We hope you enjoy.

1 comment:

kati said...

does commenting imply i have read the post? i haven't; it's too late to read something that long, and also, i am never a fan of links. you made it even worse by saying not to even read the post if i didn't click on the link first, so you essentially drained all of the motivation right out of me. or possibly movitation, which is what i typed at first.

i did however note that i got referenced in the comments section a few posts back, and would like to state that a)i was not commenting because i was out of town, and 2)yay for getting referenced!

i don't have any particular desire to make margot cry in her overpriced beverages, but it was her idea...and it's appealing to me....hmm....