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Ugly Jesus

I went on over to Cafe Press and looked Ray Charles Istre up and followed the trail. Skipping around in his list of news articles opened my eyes some more. Being one that avoids news like an ostrich with my head in the sand trying to stay in a false sense of peace, that was a trip. I feel this book of his is timely. The facade of beautiful people, perfect lives, etc., etc., needs to be peeled away and the reality revealed. So what if Jesus was not beautiful on the outside, he was where it counted. Just as so many of the cast-aside people of this world are. Bravo to you Ray Charles Istre! I wish you well with your book! Bravo to you Les for once again bringing two very interesting people to us to keep us thinking and learning.
Michele
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Ugly Jesus

You can add Kid Rock's Rock and Roll Jesus, the website Hollywood Jesus, and the film Wrong Eyed Jesus. All the same a very interesting article. If life were fair, Ugly Jesus would be a best seller and Scene4 would be on news stands and magazine racks everywhere.
T.J. McIntosh
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Ugly Jesus

Actually, Ray Istre comes late to the notion of a less-than-photogenic Jesus. The BBC did a piece five years or so ago wherein they reconstructed a possible Jesus from many different visual sources and came up with a short, solid, swarthy man. It raised much uproar about the "proper" way to depict Jesus -- offenses and umbrage were taken. Take a look yourself: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1243339.stm
Michael Bettencourt
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The Wayward Western Sons of Warren Oates

What do you mean no stinking badges? And I was all ready to go get a fake mustache, cause I can make those facial expressions...even tho I'm a GIRL, I figure I could be one of the MOST WAYWARD of Western Sons of Warren Oates..really Les, no girls in your club? You really think you could get away with that in today's world? I bet you are REALLY glad you decided against it now! I could fake tamborine playing in a band if ....if I drank enough.
I enjoyed the article Les, Warren Oates was one sexy dude.
Michele
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Herbie Howell

I was a filmmaker who made Nashville Sound and who found Herbie Howell and who filmed him. What a beautiful moment in time and what a beautiful guy. I lost touch with him unfortunately and cannot answer your query regarding what ever happened to him. Nashville was a hard place back then and those recording execs were tough guys. We got them to pay attention. We never heard the results.
David Hoffman (www.thehoffmancollection.com www.Sagas.com)

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The Few, The Brave, The Sons of...

Nice work Les. I remember this guy and did not notice that he was a bad actor, which might be saying that he was a great character actor. What is it that gets the cover of People Magazine? Maybe its the vengance of the great unknown actors to have the "pretty" and "Studly" get distracted by the media hounds?
Hummm...
Ray Istre
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Send In The Clowns

When I first read your title and saw it was a political article, the thought that popped into my mind was the title of a song of protest singer/songwriter Sebastian Agnello's. The Goofs Are Back In Town. Lyrics that sing of "How'de we ever get into this mess, you voted em in, How do we ever get out of this mess, Vote Em OUT! " Thinking back on the early days of Revolution, calling on Thomas Paine's infamous words about George.."Whether the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an imposter, whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any" I wondered which George he was really speaking of, Washington or Bush, for the two share the same ineffectiveness in battle which prompted Mr. Paine to make such a strong critical statement. Taking a look at the choices we will have put before us I call on another statement of his, "THESE ARE The Times That Try Men's Souls!" trying to decide on a decent candidate to vote for! I so long for independents worthy of our vote. Les, thank you for another fine article, but I have a hard time relating politics to humor. Too often they make us look like the clowns.

Michele

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Continue reading "Send In The Clowns " »

What Is Art?

Enjoyed the article, Les.
Michele Dowell

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What ever happened to Herbie Howell? I know

I first met Herbie Howell when I was 15 years old and He was 13 , here in Augusta. We began to learn to play Guitar together then. He was known as Emory Howell then. We also called him "Em".That was in 1957. Now he goes by Herb Howell. I am Glad to say he is still living in Augusta - but alone. He doesn't play anymore. His Mom just passed away about 3 months ago. Mrs Kay Howell. I saw him just today. My wife Bonnie and I went by to see him. Today is March 28, 2008. I have shown him the "Nashville Sound" several times. First on a 16mm print I had. Then transferred it to VHS for him and his children, etc. After that Film in 1969 he continued to play and sing in clubs, special events etc. He is very talented. But he has given up on a career. I have a photo of him and me taken today, if you would want it sent via email let me know. I might mention also he was promised a fee for the film but the film Company skipped Nashville before he got paid. This type of thing happens too often. Thanks for your interest in Herbie.
Ray Hutto
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Whatever Happened to Herbie?

Thanks for writing that. We just rented the film "The Nashville Sound" and were also wondering about the eventual fate of Herbie. Has feedback from your article yielded any new info? We'd be curious to know.
NH
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Herbie Howell Picture

Hi Ray, Thanks for posting an update on Herbie. I have a friend in Nashville and I sent him a copy of the Nashville Sound DVD. He said he called Shelby Singleton and asked him if he remembers Herbie. He said several people have asked him about Herbie but he doesn't remember him at all. Which makes me sad. Please e-mail me the photo of you and Herbie. Tell Herbie he has fans out there who wish he had gotten the contract back in 1969, we would love to have heard a record by him. Thank you, Susan-San Francisco-macarthurp@yahoo.com

Rip Lives

I always wondered what happened to him. You're baaad Les.

Sleepy John

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Rip Van Winkle

Thanks for an entertaining twist on this old story. It's funny, sad and true.

TL

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Blaze Foley

Les, you did Blaze Foley good. I'll not forget you are the one who introduced me to his music. I'm still listening to him everyday. Songs that have become so much apart of my life, he was a genius and I only wonder what he'd have written had he not left so soon.

Michele

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Cup Half Full

Les, we "cup half fullers" tend to live longer, even if "cup half emptiest" tend to assay the situation more accurately. At least, that is what they found in researching concentration camp survivors. I see ignorance as a problem. We can be happier if we are dumb, but we are less capable of making things better. The old Chinese curse applies to us: "May you be reborn in remarkable times." We live in a time of possibilities. The future will become what we make of it. We might possibly experience a paradigm shift in our lifetimes. When the military is abolished and we are weaned off of petrochemicals.

Lee Love

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Astral Weeks

Enjoyed the article Les. Need to find this album!

Michele Hartley

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Thank you Les Marcott

I too have just finished watching "The Nashville Sound" DVD and also wondered whatever happened to Herbie Howell. In my search for info I came across Les Marcott's great article. As Les said, Herbie may have just drifted away...I think those guys in charge of "the C & W Business" seemed pretty hard and controlling, I don't think Herbie would have survived long in that cut throat environment. The movie, The Nashville Sound was fascinating, a time capsule of fashions, cars, hairstyles, manners, advertising and performance techniques and most of all full on, wonderful music.
A fun movie and a great story by Les.

Jim Stapleton

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Continue reading "Thank you Les Marcott " »

Herbie Howell redux

Please be aware kind readers that Herbie Howell was actually found by one of our readers. It turns out he has been hiding in plain sight in his home town of Augusta, Georgia all these years. And while he long ago gave up on a musical career, from what I understand has lived a rewarding and happy life. This news was posted here last year (click to read) but since there is such a tremendous interest in his story I deem it worthy to post again.

Les Marcott

read Les Marcott's original article

[For other posts on Herbie Howell, search the blog]

Your Demands

That's a hot list you got there Les. And very funny. But you know, those performers aren't very different from other folks. Look at the politicians and the CEOs. They do the same thing. I guess what happens when you get to certain place with power and money you get what you want and go a lttle crazy. Then it shows in your work and with musicians it shows in their music or what's left of it. The U.S. is the land of plenty but maybe not for long.

Jamie Perjtin

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The Trouble with Che

Che was a gangster and so is Castro and so was Mao and so is Cheney and so was Stalin and so is Mugabe and so was Hitler and so on and so on. It's always about one gang grabbing the loot and another gang trying to get their hands on it. It's been that way from the beginning of time to exploring space. In ancient Egypt, the gangsters put their faces on medallions and made money. Today it's t-shirts. If Che were alive today he'd have his own talk show.

Tom Sonczak

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Auditioning

What a hoot and at the same time kind of sad and scary. Thanks. I'll stick to watching.

Rad Bennett

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Apologist for the Unapologetic

I love Jerry Lee and all the others you put up as mavericks and rebels and such. Thanks for making this powerhouse story.

Wideye Bill

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Apologist for the Unapologetic

Ditto, ditto and ditto, Les. The Great Ball of Fire is my hero. Tiger's got a bad neck because of all his bending down. Jerry stands up straight as his finger. You nailed it, man. Thanks.

Til Unger

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Manipulating the Language

Les Marcott's article on the manipulation of phrases in everyday vernacular hit a nerve. I cringe when I hear or see the words "pre-owned," knowing it is simply a high-falutin way of saying "used" for those refurbished vehicles grinning brightly from car lots. At the cosmetics counter in the larger department stores, there are often white-coated sales associates ("epidermal consultants?") who will wield pamphlets and products with the assurance of a lab assistant. The professional position of "Life Coach" is cropping up (do they use whistles while training clients for more productive lives?) and it is another neat way of encapsulating complex concepts in a compact, promising moniker. We are not too far off from Roseanne Barr's exotic notion of "Domestic Goddess" for "Housewife," but don't tell that to the television executives at ABC.

Mindy Kronenberg

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Anna Nicole

No difference between her and Marilyn Monroe and Jean Harlow. Yanks love their tragic platinum-blond goddesses.

Thomas
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Anna Nicole

Yeah, we love our goddesses and she was a great one. She was "the American Dream" and still is.

Sam D.

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Do a Charlie Sheen

There's going to be a new saying now-"Do A Charlie Sheen". It means "bomb" in any backwater jerk- town like Detroit.

PatT.

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On Billy Jack

I enjoyed the article, it brought back fond memories of the film, which I've seen several times. As a martial artist, and traveller on the Path, I remember Billy Jack as being inspirational, and true to an enlightened mind.

Ronn Parker

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Balazs Szabo

Balazs Szabo is a great man and a great artist and a great example of how art flourishes when artists are free and people are free to experience their art. Thank you for portraying that and him.

George Draco

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Balazs Szabo

Szabo is an inspiration. Hope his dream of an artistic community in Hillsboro, NC is realized soon.

Skip Holmgren

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Dead Dog

Hilarious ain't the word, Les. I couldn't stop laughing, man. It's like right out of a Reality Show. And can I relate to it. Hey, I wish I had this speech a couple of years ago in Spokane. Same deal, same situation, same crazy. You nailed it, brother!

T.J. Michael

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Speech Jammin Gun

Dear Les Marcott, you're a wizard! And I've got just the thing for you to wiz with. It's a speech-jammin smartphone. It's so crazy, it works! We can make a fortune. Contact me, before the black ops guys do.

Anonymous (not the hackers!!)

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Steven Tyler

Your comments are well taken and hit the mark. Rock and rap and hip-hop is all about the Show, it's never been about the Music.

Timothy Harrou

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Les Marcott on Madison Cooper

Les Marcott's article on Madison Cooper captures perfectly the flaws and the genius of Waco's most colorful son. Cooper, a remarkably unique individual, skillfully created characters so alive that Waco's residents were convinced they knew the actual people he described. This earned Cooper disdain and dislike. Whether this mattered much to Cooper is unknown; what is known is that Cooper lived his life according to his own rules. His philanthropy to Waco is well-known, but his legacy is much greater than that. Why Sironia, Texas has not been turned into a successful TV mini-series is a mystery. Bravo, Les, for a fine job!

Rosemary Petzold

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Those Wonderfully Weird Band Names

Great article, Les. This took me back to the vinyl days. The Son's of Warren Oates? I love it. Although their music left a lot to be desired, I always loved "The Sex Pistols" for their great Rock&Roll name. It has it all. Sex and violence. As far as weird, Frank Zappa had very few peers.  

Kenneth Sibbett

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What's in the bag?

What's in the bag? That's the million-dog question. People want what they cannot see. I remember on "Let's Make a Deal" you could pick a door, or maybe, a bag on a stand sitting beside you. What do you do? Pick the big door, or the little bag. Like I said, it's the million-dollar question. I love articles that make me think and this is a doozy. 

Kenny

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What's in the Bag~Les Marcott

Les, I guess you'd have to say, "It's all in the bag", right?

Kenneth Sibbett

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Billy Jack

Nice write up on Billy Jack, I'm a fan from back in the 70s. I was a kid back then but it wasn"t like any of the other films I saw. It was the simplicity of the story, and filmwork, and an education in the treatment of Native Americans. I have always wondered what happened to him. He could have continued to be a big star, but he turned his back on the industry. Well with that said...great flashback, and he will always be in my memory for standing up for injustice. Long Live Billy Jack.

Francois Larosa

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Taylor Pie - The Music Never Dies

Thank-you for Les Marcott's article about folk legend Taylor Pie aka Susan Taylor. I'm so excited about the re-issue of her classic album from 1972, "Finally Getting Home" so that was helpful information, but it's encouraging to read about an artist's determination and personal integrity, and to know it is possible to have a successful career in music on your own terms.

Guy Swenson

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Les Marcott's Review

Some people can write reviews that make you want to hear a song. Others a whole album. Les makes you want to know everything there is to know about "Pie". In this short review. He got my curiosity up about Pie and others like Don Williams, who was also a favorite of mine. With writers like Les reviewing you, you can't help but SMILE.

Kenneth Sibbett

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Right Wing Folk Music

Thanks to Les Marcott for his column on right-wing folk singers in the '60s. I remember Janet Greene very well in her role as Cinderella on Columbus, Ohio's Channel 6. I knew nothing of her extracurricular activities before Marcott told me. But, remembering the general run of political opinions in southern Ohio when I was growing up, I am not surprised. (I also remember Tony Dolan appearing on Dick Cavett's show. He didn't click with Dick, or with the audience.)

Miles David Moore

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No Gatekeepers

Les, another great column. I try and stay away from television as much as possible, but if I do watch, it's something with some meat, like Kevin Bacon's new show "The Followers". although you really have to stretch the imagination to stay tuned-in and not kill yourself. But, my wife has this fascination with Duane "the Dog" Chapman and his show in Hawaii. She actually tapes then to watch after we go to bed. He and his crew film themselves busting hardcore women for DUI's or dangerous criminals who missed court for a child support case.  I really think I'll try and find this "turtle man" you write about. Or maybe just put my head in an oven. Death can't be as bad as some of these shows. (Oh, and what's a Honey-Boo-Boo?)

Kenneth Sibbett

read Les Marcott in this issue

Revisionist History

History belongs to the people in charge of the world in any given century. I remember when I first read Howard Zinn, and he blew away my whole conception of all history, period. I still can't get over the "fact" that the newly arrived settlers and soldiers who killed and raped as a sport, used the stronger Indians as Taxi's, riding one until he fell with exhaustion and then jumping on another. How sick was that? History is filled with lies and bullshit, and it always will be. I really think, one day, we will find out who really killed Kennedy, and it will blow us all away. I happen to think Nixon, while not in the conspiracy, knew of it. But it is what it is and while your son is young, There is a tooth fairy and a Santa Claus.

Kenneth Sibbett

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Gotta Go Faster

Not just a matter of speed, it's also just too much happening, too much going on. I'm one of your "olders" and I don't walk " a meter a second" anymore. I'm down to a half meter- takes longer and gives more time to see and think. Stopping the speed means turning off all the invaders like tv, cellphones, internet. Too much happening and not enough thinking. Enjoyed your essay.

Joe Petrie

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Abe Vigoda

Was there ever a better character on television than Abe Vigoda's Fish on "Barney Miller"? Hooray that he's still alive and so is Fish.

Jerry Hutton

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Johnny Cash

American Icons are used far to much in this country. But Johnny Cash was an American Icon, and also an American success story. Fighting off a decades long drug addiction and still having a career is hard enough, but to do it and still be as admired as he was is almost impossible. The Man in Black will be missed, but his music, especially his later recordings done with just him and his guitar, will live forever.

Kenneth Sibbett

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A Man Ahead of His Time

Orson Welles was obviously a genius filmmaker, but he doesn't get enough credit for the technology and camera work he invented. Overhead shots and tearing out floors to get ground level shots were first done by him, along with hundreds of other things. A genius, indeed.

Kenneth Sibbett 

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Orson Welles

Have to disagree re credit due to Welles. There isn't a director or critic or film historian that I know of who doesn't acknowledge Welles' pioneering innovations. As you say, he was a genius and still recognized that way today.

Michael Aptrow

read Les Marcott's column on Welles

Riding Shotgun With Courtney Joyner

Excellent article, filled with interesting stuff I knew nothing about, the best kind. I have to read this book now. It reminds me of the movie with Yul Brynner in 1973 called Westworld. Brynner was a robot and it is the only western I've ever liked that had anything "Supernatural" about it. But Yul Brynner was an icon. I don't think anyone else could have pulled it off.

Kenneth Sibbett

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Convicts and Cons

I've read about some of these men and besides Carter, I really think the artists themselves were conned by the Cons. They don't call them "cons" for their ability to tell the truth. It's their ability to lie, and lie with a straight face that fools many people. Many of these guys practice conning people, and some consider it an art form. Think of all the serial killers marrying beautiful women and keeping their commissary money full. Charles Manson still gets marriage proposals and he must be near 80.

Kenneth Sibbett

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Belly of the Beast

Les Marcott strikes a teling chord at the end of his article,concerning Norman Mailer: "...the folly of believing that sinners and criminals could invariably be saved by art... ." It can be powerfully applied to history and today: the folly of believing that humanity itself could be saved by art.

Ben Straithorne

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Diggin' the Scene

This is nice, nostalgic purvey of an exciting place and time in American music. I was there and not as a tourist. Les Marcott sketches the gathering and ambience deftly. Though he touches on the messy downside, Manson et al, there was a hefty helping of the bad with the good. Laurel Canyon still lives in the fun-loving music and as a perfect example of the irony of change in la-la LA.

Lou Laird

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Choose Your Side

A well written and thoughtful article. While Israel could in my view be a bit more selective in bombing the Palestinian people and the collateral damage involved (especially the women and children, it's sickening) how can a country whose neighbors swear on the Koran everyday of their lives for Israel's demise, not do everything in their power to stop Hamas and friends from building tunnels to sneak into Israel to murder civilians.

Kenneth Sibbett

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Kiss or Kill: your choice

While I respect the author's right to his opinion, I think the issues in the I/P conflict are far more complex that he has outlined. I also believe that this conflict is an easy target, so simplifying it is like painting with primary colors: a few swipes & you're done. As a member of a progressive community synagogue's Middle East Peace Committee, I've spent a bit more than a year with this small group as we bash out our calendar, filling it with films, speakers, compassionate listening sessions--anything to get the conversation started--and we're only starting! The goal is not 'Peace by Next Year at 2 O'Clock', it's 'How Do We Have the Conversation that Nobody Wants to Have?' A preliminary survey has also been sent to the congregants so we can get a baseline feel for how they're dealing with the summer's events. Hard work; sad work; revealing work. But not condemning ANYBODY. That's not how it goes.

Claudine Jones

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A Fly on the Wall

Oh to be a fly on the wall in every Oval Office of every president before the technology was invented. I would love to hear the drunk and crooked Grant on tape. Perhaps to listen to Andrew Johnson in one of his reported tirades at any and everyone. I think all presidents, even the saintly Carter, have said things they would not want reported. But Nixon was probably the worst, because even with all his successes he felt people were out to ruin him and his paranoia brought down a president and rocked a nation.

Kenneth Sibbett

Les Marcott's column: "Watergate Remembered"

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