Sunday, March 22, 2009

gram for gram, pound for pound

dennis hopper by andy warhol, 1971.

A joint

Gram Parsons and Roger McGuinn composition; originally released as the flip side to "Bad Night at the Whiskey" ahead of the new LP.

It did not chart.

The follow-up of sorts to Parsons' vehicle, "Sweetheart of the Rodeo", by this point McGuinn was the sole remaining original Byrd in a line-up featuring the great Clarence White on guitar (head directly for departures via the mighty The Adios Lounge for a definitive education). Parsons, of course, had defected too to cook up The Flying Burrito Brothers with McGuinns's former co-pilot and partner in crime, Chris Hillman.

It's a flatbed affair on four bald tyres and a cracked windshield.

Roger McGuinn: lead vocals, guitar; Clarence White: lead guitar, vocals; John York: bass, vocals; Gene Parsons: drums, vocals.

THE BYRDS: DRUG STORE TRUCK DRIVIN' MAN from "Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde" LP (Columbia) 1969 (US)



Löst Jimmy said...

Ah, Hopper who came out the wilderness into Blue Velvet but for me it is not that malevolence of the 'Velvet character Frank nor his role as Billy in Easy Rider, it is the Jounalist in Apocalypse Now - what wonderful lines he delivered in that.....

...One through nine, no maybes, no supposes, no fractions. You can't travel in space, you can't go out into space, you know, without, like, you know, with fractions - what are you going to land on - one-quarter, three-eighths? What are you going to do when you go from here to Venus or something? That's dialectic physics....

ib said...

It's hard to argue that his role in "Apocalypse Now" was not his finest hour, but I'll go out on a limb and say for the record that for me it's 1971's "The Last Movie" - written and directed by Hopper himself, and set and filmed in Peru - where he finally outshone the typecasting of Billy.

I'll wager you have seen this, Löst Jimmy, given I know how much of a fan of Herzog's "Aguirre" you are and that you are no stranger to South America in person. The film, of course was a commercial flop, and it led directly to the period of Hopper's Hollywood imposed exile you refer to. I'm fairly certain the Warhol portrait is from a still from that particular movie, on or off set.

His roles in Coppola's "Rumblefish" and the indie hit, "River's Edge" were also something to savour in the 80's.

Thanks for recounting those lines. Incandescent rapping of the highest order.

Löst Jimmy said...

It is just once that I watched 'The Last Movie' courtesy of a passed around VHS tape back in the early 90s. And I am glad you reminded me of his other eighties triumphs Rumblefish and particularly River's Edge too

Having said that he has also starred in some real stinkers in recent years.

Wishing you a good week ahead Brother

ib said...

A good week to you too, brother.

Speaking of Dennis's less successful roles, the part he sleepwalked through in Romero's "Land of the Dead" has to qualify as one of his absolute lows. Horrifying in ways even Brando would not have countenanced.



glad things are shakin' well these days.

this whole So-Cal thing was gettin' me down but then you switched to No Wave. James White & the Blacks, James Black & the Whites, James Chance & the Contortions...all good.
(I used the same photog when I posted NO WAVE some time ago before we had become acquainted...great minds,etc.)

I have to wholeheartedly agree that my fave Hopper movie is The Last Movie, but have you ever checked out Out of the Blue. If Last was the end-days of the coke era, then OOTB is the end-days of the punk era (jeebus, Easy R is the end-days of the hippie era...I thinks Dennis has got a theme going on here).

just thought I drop off my $.02

ib said...

Ha! The fact we posted (stole) the same photograph is nice, man...

Indeed. "Out of the Blue" was outstanding, not only because of its trailer park theme and Neil, but because of its featuring Joey Delasandro (spelling ?), a self-preserving dude who had (by that time) worn extremely well and who could prove his own as an actor outwith the tentacles of Andy warhol. In fact, I love Joey.

Thanks for the $.02 worth, bro. Worth more than the average dime, for sure.

No moe So-Cal for a while, I promise; unless Charlie "Chuckles" (hello, Matt) creeps under the wire.