Something is happening here but you don’t know what it is do you, Mr. Jones?

bob-dylanReal compared to what?

I’m listening to a “Compared To What,” the smoking, jazz-vocal jam from 1969 with big Eddie Harris on sax and Less McCann on piano/vocals. It’s the classic, live joint captured at Montreux. Eddie is wailing on the sax, Les is spittin’ out the verse while banging the ivories. I can’t think of a more appropriate song for this Mercury Retrograde. Let’s pay homage to one the track’s timeless verses:

“The President, he’s got his war/Folks don’t know just what it’s for/Nobody gives us rhyme or reason/Have one doubt, they call it treason/We’re chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it! /Tryin’ to make it real — compared to what? (Sock it to me).”

Real . . . compared to what?

McCann was born on the Autumnal, Equinox, 9/23/35. He and Eddie Harris were perfect bookends for their sign as Harris held down the back end of Libra, 10/20/34. McCann, shares that epic birthday with both John Coltrane and Ray Charles. When the two of them busted out “Compared To What” in at Montreux, it became an anthem of sorts, different than say what “The Times They Are A Changin”” which ushered in The 60’s was all about. “Compared To What” was bouncing “The 60’s” out on their ass. Speaking of Bob Dylan, Mercury Retrograde and real compared to what, the usually uber-chill, Joni Mitchell (Scorpio) dropped a bombshell this week, basically saying that Bob Dylan is a plagiarist and a phony in a recent “LA Times” interview; “Bob is not authentic at all: He’s a plagiarist, and his name and voice are fake. Everything about Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I.”

Could it be the oncoming pull of the Scorpio Full Moon, drawing the sap of bitterness out in Joni, or, is she finally blowing the lid on one of Rock’s best kept secrets?

Her natal Mercury (Scorpio) is opposing retrograde Mercury in Taurus. Transiting Mars has caught up with her natal Pluto in Leo and Saturn is doing a wide squat on her natal Venus in Virgo. It’s a prefect celestial storm for Joni to stir the pot. I posted this and the video that I am posting below on Facebook and got singed. That’s okay. I can live with it. I ‘m thinking of changing my name to “Hazmat Inayat Khan,” since these chemtrails are turning my tissue to flame retardant, silicon flesh. I guess Big Bro and those multidimensional creeps that are systematically wiping out the bees, bats and soon whales, want me to stick around and are converting my skin to some alien sheen that seals off the burning rays of the Sun, keeping it from charring it to cinders and ash. So go ahead, flame away here as well if you wish.

When I saw that Mitchell quote about Dylan being a fake and a deception, I couldn’t help but flash back on that really weird, Ed Bradley interview that he did with Bob back in 2006. The first words out of Dylan’s mouth were, “You feel like an impostor.” I thought that was pretty interesting. Then Dylan goes onto talk with Bradley about the “bargain” he made with “The Chief Commander.” Chief Commander eh? He said he made the deal, I mean bargain “to get where he is today.” Another video clearly states that he went down to the crossroads, where Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to his own version of the “Chief Commander” as well. Now this can be canny self-promotion and self-mythologizing or it can be clearly hidden in plain sight. Real compared to what?

Dave McGowan did a blistering series on The Laurel Canyon scene of the 60’s and 70’s and made more than just a few casual connections between major players such as Crosby, Stills, Morrison, Phillips, Zappa and Gram Parsons amongst others with “The MIC.” McGowan once revered the music and the influence of many of these irreproachable icons and after he got his nails dirty, had to re-visit his level of appreciation for what they were up to and who they really were. Intertwined with the internecine connections of old money and the military establishment are the standard connections between rock, satanism and luciferianism. The thing that makes his research so compelling is that he isn’t born again or has some sort of puritanical and uptight agenda. Dave McGowan is sardonic, brilliant, funny and a hipster in his own right. Check out his series and look back during this retrograde phase at the buds of “The Summer Of Love” and you could discover that Bob Dylan might not be the only impostor from that hallowed era.

Prince, Dylan, Tupac, Ginsberg, Miles, Brian, Maca, Wesley Willis And The Gemini Connection

gemineyes1Sense a trend here?

Been away from the blog for a while–busy doing readings, consulting and writing a quick piece for emusic on rock savant, Wesley Willis, a Gemini, (clinically schizophrenic). Some interesting things really popped when i started looking at famous Gemini musicians, mostly the connection between the artist and their alter egos (sort of a creative schizophrenia) and the fact that they usually need another to flesh out their musical vision.

Wesley Willis is an extreme example of Gemini bi-polarity Some people might be familiar with his cult classic, “Rock and Roll McDonalds” that starts out naive, innocent and even goofy, then turns into a nasty little hit piece on McDonald’s, singing about how bad the food is for you, how fattening it is, and that Burger King is better. Everyone whoever heard it for the first time fell in love with it, laughed their ass off and was totally charmed by Willis’ lack of guile. Willis went on to a recording career that basically saw him re-make “Rock and Roll McDonalds” over and over again, using the same music, same song structure and even occasionally the same lyrics. His subject matter leaned towards singing about rock bands and musicians like Nirvana, The Foo Fighters, Courtney Love and KMFDM. These were more like shout outs than actual songs. The repetition in subject matter and language is something that modern psychiatry has linked to schizophrenia and yet, the minutiae, the obsession with details, the tendency to hyperinflate the mundane, can all be considered partial trademarks of The Gemini need to communicate, especially about their most local surroundings and personal experience.

A sense of confessionalism runs through Gemini Prince’s work. When he sings about “Alphabet City” he’s reminiscing about the area he grew up in, in his native Minneapolis. But his narrative extends far beyond his locality. In typical Gemini fashion, Prince has been working out his erotic and sensual side, along with his devoutly religious side for years. Once Prince walked into the studio to record the groundbreaking, Dirty Mind the studio itself became part erotic cabaret, part confessional. In many ways, Prince mirrors the moral conflict that The US has had with sex and salvation through his art and it’s’ no wonder that the US Mars is in Gemini, forming a slightly wide trine (six degrees) with The US Moon in Aquarius. As a nation, we’re restless with Mars in Gemini, crave experience and The Moon in eccentric Aquarius gives us permission to explore the duality in unconventional ways. The US Venus in Cancer however lends a strong conservatism to how we relate across the board, which might explain why Kris Allen (Gemini/Cancer cusp) upset Adam Lambert (Aquarius) on American Idol (much more on this later).

Prince is archetypally Gemini as he works out his relationship with his father in Purple Rain, celebrity in Rainbow Bridge and self-indulgence in Under The Cherry Moon.

Prince, like many Gemini’s has also needed a foil. These came in the form of any number of femme fatales that allowed him to externalize his feminine in his art. From Sheila E, to Mavis Staples, to Vanity, he has used the female voice as a conduit, an externalized and interactive muse. Let’s not forget that has also been a symbol as well as a man. This mercurial nature to move from identity to identity is Prince in action, working out the personal and the mythopoetic through his art. Even his songbook reflects the peripatetic nature of his creativity–it’s all over the place–sometimes frustratingly so. Continue reading “Prince, Dylan, Tupac, Ginsberg, Miles, Brian, Maca, Wesley Willis And The Gemini Connection”