Some Thoughts I Had While Listening to My President, Lester Young
Lester Young musically to me represents that improvisational drive that I so love in anything I do, that drive that drives you on to the next chorus, a chorus you intend to be even more colossal and driving than your previous chorus--life measured out in invention--musical, literary, sociological, whatever, inventions of your mind that when played out become so illuminating that while they are occurring other thoughts come wailing in--and like Lester, I never want my solos to end--life to me one big long solo where you blow out everything you know--in Lester Young's case such imaginative singing out his feelings through the bell of his golden tenor saxophone--and keepin' on singing 'em out until the Reaper came and called Lester home--to that big jam session in that big Kansas City in the sky.
For instance: while listening to Lester leapin' in with the Count Basie band at Newport in 1957, the year Lester left the coil, I ripped some delicious thought-jots-and-tittles from my old literary friend, Philip Wylie, like:
1. God--"Man's main excuse for failure."
2. God--is Man's moral alibi.
3. God--an idol in Man's own image.
4. God--Man worshipping himself.
5. God--"...human reverence is the fatuous awe of the ape with the mirror."
Wylie also left me with the term "group stupidity."
Continuing as is continuing with Philip Wylie, always continuing:
"Those who believed in force alone had to believe in instinctual man, in irresistible impulse, in evolution by aggression, in pecking orders, in tyranny set over tyrannies." [An Essay on Morals, by Philip Wylie, 1960--in my copy of the book I jotted down on a flyleaf that Carl Jung had died that day in July of 1961--when I was first reading this book.]
Jack E. "Fat Jack" Leonard
The Yankees baseball announcer yesterday out of nowhere mentioned Jack E. "Fat Jack" Leonard. Of course I remembered Fat Jack. He was one of my favorites as a kid; he was fat and he was a pompous fat ass and he was rude and he was the original Don Rickles--oh yeah, Fat Jack was on the Borscht Belt before Don had stuck his nose up Frank Sinatra's bony ass and became the Fat Jack replacement in Vegas, though Fat Jack made it to Vegas, too, and I'm sure his nose was up some big high-rolling star's ass, too. Like Les Paul said, in those days you had to impress and hook up with a big star to make it; in Les's case he hooked up first with Gene Autry and later with Bing Crosby.
Most of the time, Fat Jack really wasn't that funny except for his appearance and when he first started off he weighed way over 400 pounds and wore suits that gave custom-tailored covering to his enormous belly. In later life, after he'd had a heart attack probably--cause Jack chain-smoked cigarettes, too, he lost a lot of weight and it kind'a ruined his act--he went on a Fat Jack Diet routine and it really wasn't very funny--like "You know in the Stone Age they didn't have trouble dieting...it's hard to get fat when you're eatin' stones, baby." [Note: I'm paraphrasing Fat Jack; I may have spruced the joke up a bit, like Pastor Melissa Scott does when she's editing the Holy Writ of the Mighty Jehovah (the Christian borrowed-Jewish God--he's actually same as Allah--Elohim one of his names--same as Allah means in Arabic--weird, huh--"the God" or "the God of all Gods" or "the one and only God"--there ya go, a little jungle linguistics)--you know, recommending in her sweet-coy way using the Ethioptic word for "love" rather than the Koine Greek word for it. Isn't "love" "love" in whatever language? I see the word amor--I know that means "love." Why is the heart the symbol for love? Shouldn't it be our sexual organs locked together? Isn't that where we express our greatest love for each other, when sex transcends the state of fornication and moves into the realm of the best of unabandoned love for the human being connected to you or to whom you are connected? It excites the hell out of me when I at last seduce some woman I know I love deeply and after the prelims gently enter through her vestibule of LOVE, what the poetic Romans called the vagina, and begin to unlock the magic of her concentrated acceptance of my deepest penetration, at which point, you good-lovin' men know of what I speak, when you are extended hard and deep in the woman you admire and love and quiver over when you look at her or think of her and you think of her night and day and know it's real, but you don't really know it's real until that moment when you're securely inside her, pelvic to pelvic, and you look down or up and capture her eyes and then begin to show her, to dance inside her, to dance and dance and she's following your lead and then she begins singing and then if it all comes out right--Wow, it's easier to write about than practice--sometimes it's more fun for the male to just release his pent up lust to impregnate any willing female and wham bang and like the Jolly Tinker of the old bawdy song and backroom ballad, shoulder up his load and go whistlin' down the road "with his Long John tiddly whacker, overgrown kidney cracker"--oh that Jolly Tinker. Yes, folks, I'll admit it, I've been the Jolly Tinker many a night into day--an aside on love brought on by Pastor Melissa Scott. Jesus, isn't that entrapment?]
So from Fat Jack Leonard to the Jolly Tinker--not bad for a usually growling wolf.
Here's a very interesting review of Fat Jack Leonard's Rock and Roll album he made kind'a after he was thinner. It's a good review; I like the way the guy writes, but later when you hear an MP3 sample of the album you'll see, it's pretty mundane humor.
Now you can go and listen to KB clips from the album.
Oh well; what the hell; as a kid I thought he was funny. Then I saw Jackie Vernon, another fat Jewish guy, and he became my favorite fat comic. There were fat women comics, too; Totie Fields, old Sophie Tucker; Rosanne Barr started off as a fat woman comic.
Have a fat day.
for The Daily Growler