Monday, April 4, 2016

meanwhile, across the pond



Sometimes when I read prose of "Comments" by English people it strikes me that they're really pretty interested in America.  And not only "English" -- maybe I should say "U.K. people" - people in England,





Ireland,





Scotland,





and Wales





...  They seem interested in America, in our music, our elections -- reading Comments in The Guardian, a UK publication, somebody interrupted a Comment-thread about cats to say there are more important things to discuss, like stopping Trump.


([Shrug?])


They seem interested in our politics, art, music, whatever...


("Hey, what are they doing over in America?")


I was then asking myself -- wondering -- are we here in America as interested in happenings / arts / opinions / ideas of the U.K. countries? 


(Think I realized the answer to that when I had to "Google" and ask if people in Scotland are called "Scotch" or "Scottish" ... I'm terrible -- and to top it off, I am "Scottish" -- my ancestors...  Now that is bad...)


Really, it's like ignorance on top of know-nothing-ness...  Why am I like that?  I don't know...


(It's "Scottish" or "Scots" -- they don't like "Scotch.")


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Whether reading Guardian Reader Comments or Keith Richards' autobiography, the references to "America this and America that" keep popping up. 


That people in other countries would be so interested in us is kind of touching -- and humbling, we must set a better example, you know?...  they're -- watching, paying attention.  (Like when they had protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago,





someone said, "the whole world is watching," and that became a phrase which was repeated, and re-applied, to other situations. ...)





Apparently the whole world (or at least some of it) is watching...and listening....


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"...Record collectors, guys that somehow had a channel through to America before anybody else.  There was Dave Godin...who had an in with Sue Records....Mick had these blues contacts. ...He was already writing off to Chicago [to get records]....  He said, 'Well, I got this address.'"
-- Keith Richards, Life


He wrote in his book about keeping up with the music scene, when he was young, by reading magazines -- how he read of Eddie Cochran ("So I WALK one two flight THREE flight four -- Five six seven flight EIGHT flight more...") appearing in concert with Buddy Holly....


Keith looked forward, impatiently, to the day when he could buy his own ticket, get transportation, and GO to see one of these concerts.  But by the time he was older, they were gone.  ("Wow, when I grow up I'll get a ticket.  Of course they all croaked before then.")




I could relate to that.  My entire adult life, I've lived with a feeling that I missed a lot of things I would have liked to have seen -- the Rolling Stones in 1967; Bob Dylan in 1965; Woodstock in 1969...  (I MISS EVERYTHING!  I MISS EVERYTHING!!)


Plus Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, I would have wanted to see them too.  I want to have-seen them...


On No Direction Home, a documentary about Dylan,