Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Finally! here it it is. Boy have we waited.

I can remember over the past three decades and even longer, how many pirate copies I have seen available, at a high price, of this legendary concert. A pirated VHS edition in scrubby slipcase on Cape Cod going for $45 and "maybe the Beach Boys are on it, I dunno, man." said the seller. He was probably right, he didn't know. Not even the director of the film, Steve Binder, knew what had happened to the Beach Boys that he knew he had filmed but where were they on his film?

It will all tie together decades later, after everyone has their arguments over music rights and legalities and the usual fuss. But keep in mind, along with the dynamite acts, you're watching a house band called the Wrecking Crew, famed for jazzing all Phil Spector hits and backing just about every record that rose out of rock 'n' roll L.A. in the 60s. Jack Nitzsche is manning the wheel and Leon Russell and Glen Campbell are in the band. The Byrds haven't yet released "Mr. Tambourine Man" but the magic of the Byrds guitar sound can be heard chiming from this band. Dean of Jan & Dean will skateboard on stage.

Quentin Tarantino calls TAMI Show, "In the top three of all rock movies..." and I love him for that and would go even one or two better and say it is the best rock movie ever made. All the ingredients are here, and it's years before Woodstock and even Monterey Pop, which by then is in a haze of too much drugs and mud (Woodstock) but still fantastic, and Monterey Pop's lush calling out of the tribe and they come, still tipsy with dreams, and squabbling groups and promoters. The TAMI Show is hardcore Beatlemania without the Beatles. Don't need them. We've got the Rolling Stones, and this is pure early Stones with Brian Jones and they're fresh off the boat. British boys meeting American blues and the cocktail is like none other. And if that's not enough, they close the show, plus follow James Brown. And this is one of James Brown's most riveting appearances on film, ever. Just look at scuff on the knees of his pants! Think the king of soul meets a gospel seance, because that's what happens here. There is a ton of talent before soul power, and the whole concert begins with a guy by the name of Chuck Berry. Yes, indeed this film, this legend, was made in heaven.

Mastered from a high definition transfer, so shelve those scrubby cassettes you bought, the TAMI Show was directed by a twenty-three year old Steve Binder who was already gaining his chops and wisdom under the wings of the Steve Allen Show. The Allen Show is yet another rich pot on the stove you may stick your wooden spoon into for a taste...all Binder knows is that free tickets have been given out to all the local high schools in the LA/Santa Monica region for a concert to be held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for two days : October 28 & 29th, 1964. What would come would be the best thing that ever hit rock 'n' roll: teenage girls, like thousands. My wife Susan would be one of them.

So other than A Hard Day's Night, the TAMI Show is going to give you the rawest spectacle of music meeting teenage power, and then some. There's no promoters in the way, no attitude, no limousines, no fences to breakdown and crawl over, no Angels with pool sticks. The performers are basically singing medleys of their hits or lighting into songs not even recorded yet. Unheard of. The ratio of black and white performers is exhilarating considering we're tight inside America's war for or against civil rights. People are dying horrible deaths for the color of their skin or politics while black and white on this stage dance and zoom and move and touch and mesh the dynamics of rhythm and blues with sweet old rock 'n' roll. Four months earlier, in darkest Mississippi, three civil rights workers by the name of Goodwin, Schwerner, and Chaney (two whites and one black guy) will be lynched by the Klan. That's right young readers: lynched. Here on this film and during the concert beauty exalts. Just watch The Supremes move with their own rhythm as the cameras move with them and the slippery dancers move in and around them as the young audience swells. If you're a young boy like I am in 1964 two months after this concert and now it's playing as a film in my local theater of small town and all-white USA, you may be as enthralled and falling in love as I am with the beauty of Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Chuck Berry, James Brown and the fabulous Flames. Nothing in Black History brought this white boy deeper into the arms of civil rights than to see these acts give so freely and beautifully and swoon. Try to count how many goosebumps are on your arms when "Where Did Our Love Go" comes on.

Susan well remembers how she wrote away to a Sunset Blvd. office for the free tickets as announced in the local newspaper; and passed them out to her pals and they all skipped school on Monday and went to the concert. She wasn't aware then or even now, there was one part of the concert on Sunday; that's why she missed seeing Berry and The Beach Boys, probably Lesley Gore. But she knows she saw The Supremes and Brown and the Stones because she arrived with her pals for the rehearsal that day and got to meet Jagger and Richards when they snuck through a back door and there they were, presto! They signed their autographs (so did The Barbarians) and really were only a few years older than the girls. Susan is standing (no one sat!) in the front row, stage right, dark clothes, blonde hair and holding her jacket. As the Stones light into "It's All Over Now" like an air-lift — and now I know why we have all these years loved that song — the camera moves up along Jagger for a close up of his face (the camera work gets better and better in this film from The Supremes on) while the young and bold director sweeps his cameras out into the audience so you're in the high with them...and there's Susan with thousands shaking up & down, waving her jacket, possessed and natural, changed forever and ever, listening to the soon to be greatest and longest running and most popular group in rock 'n' roll history start their journey. Our journey. And without James Brown, Jagger wouldn't even know how to dance.

Own this. Put it on your book shelf. You'll dance for years to come.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


photo © bob arnold

Monday, March 29, 2010


Here's the LP to look for in the dollar bin, it's waiting for you. There's a photograph of Duane Allman naked in there, and he shouldn't be dead. Some of his best playing is on this LP. William Royce Scaggs was born in Ohio, and by the time his family had moved to Texas and settled in, the boy was "Boz". And he could sing Jimmy Rodgers, as he proves in this song below. Click on it and go to Texas.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


photo © bob arnold

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Activist, singer, songwriter, renown theater director and member of the Communist Party of Chile, Victor Jara was tortured and murdered along with thousands in the Chilean Coup of 1973, which likewise brought down President Salvador Allende and broke the heart and took the life of Pablo Neruda. Jara was beaten and played with by monsters, his musician hands busted worthless, and a game of Russian roulette forced upon him by goons under the leadership of Jose Adolfo Paredes Marquez who was formally charged with Jara's murder in 2009. The military regime destroyed a vast majority of the musician's master recordings - burned them. If not for the courage and love of his wife Joan Jara, who retrieved her husband's battered body in a street in shanty town Santiago, and also smuggled out of Chile her own copies of his recordings, we might not have this song. Listen to it rise like the greatest bird.


Friday, March 26, 2010

A ~ Z



with /out

the "A"

on my



worn away





louis zukofsky

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Today, Theodore Enslin, musician & poet is 85 years old

Greetings from his friends Bob, Susan, and Whit

photo: Whit Griffin, 2009 at Ted's place

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


1936 ~ 2010

photo: jim marshall
photo of jim marshall:


With Winter being met by Spring the crows and ravens return ~
that means she is around.

Have a listen to a married couple.

There's been no music like this since they left us.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


photo collage © bob & susan arnold

Monday, March 22, 2010


Today in a supermarket in town, coming back from a job of land clearing, we stopped at a local grocers and found a few things, plus a sack of sunflower seeds since Sweetheart just can't stop feeding the birds she feeds all winter long

It is Springtime now

The bears may come for this seed if she isn't careful

At the checkout an old timer watched her buy the seed and before I packed it he asked her (and ignored me), "Are you going to eat those, or plant them?"

A gentle question

Sweetheart smiled and said, "Feed the birds"

His eyes grew in size

Bob Arnold & Sweetheart have been together an awful long time.
But nothing is longer than an old timer.

painting (detail) "lions & tigers & bears" © bob arnold

Sunday, March 21, 2010


bristlecone pine in a grove called the Forest of Ancients

Link to the great trees here

all's well, Bob


Saturday, March 20, 2010


When I think of a spring day (or summer), as right now,

I think of a Fairfield Porter painting.

When I paint, I think what would satisfy me is to

express what Bonnard said Renoir told him :

make everything more beautiful.

~ Fairfield Porter (1907-1975)



From one of his more than 500 film & television scores ~ here's a lullaby

Friday, March 19, 2010


The Hundred Thousand Places (Carcanet Press, UK)

Thomas A Clark lives with his wife, the artist Laurie Clark, in the small fishing village of Pittenweem on the east coast of Scotland. His latest collection is a single poem, though I would submit it is a single poem gathered by almost 90 pitch perfect smaller poems all going in the same direction toward the earth. Tom's poems have the uncanny ability to show us the light of day and the light of ourselves all at once. Timeless.

once again

for the first time



if you stretch out

in the long grasses

your weight is distributed

over the headland

to rest as lightly

on the crushed grasses

as sky on sea


what you feel

you can contain

what you see

you will become


all the little knots

of anxiety and tension

slowly unravelling

of affection and disaffection

slowly unravelling

the dried grasses trembling

if you move


events will start

up from your feet


a stone from shade

carried for a mile

cool in the hand


birch sapling curving

slightly twisting

out from the slope

rising and turning

in what might

be called a gesture

if a gesture can be

prolonged indefinitely


a breeze

of small birds

moving through

birch leaves


you will have to go

all round it

to see it

have to stay

with it

to know it

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I read poems

Until the day was late

The windows all black

That world was gone

The woodfire was all the

Company a man would need

Except a dog was nearby and

Whenever I went to tend the fire

The dog thought I was reaching

For her, a genuine moment

Of intimacy

I read until I nearly drifted off —

It was then I thought of

Another poet from another

Time I knew as a friend and

How when visiting with him

He would step outside the door

Of his house and while in his yard

And a view to the surrounding

Hills and sweep of farmland

He would speak by heart the

Poems of Robert Frost

Who cares now? No one —

The poet I visited ended up

In a nursing home and one day

I called him to share the news of the

Death of a dear mutual friend, also a poet

Who had a falling out with this friend but

He needed to know, and someone said he would

Come to the phone and I waited for a very long

Time not quite imagining he would ever be there

Until what sounded like crutches, pausing, and the

Voice that once recited Frost from his heart said hello

from Invent A World by Bob Arnold (Mountains & Rivers Press)

photo © bob arnold

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Here's a photograph from back in the 90s when we one day had a tag sale (the only one) and put out all sorts of stuff. Like typical gypsies we loaded the truck and drove up the road a short ways and found a friend who gave us an open space, and we unloaded the truck and put the belongings for sale (or give away) all onto the truck or around the truck and made a general fair day of it all. We remember a handful of woods neighbors showed up for it and took away some things. It was really the fun of it. Our dog Bo was alive and he was there. Our son Carson was maybe 10 years old and he helped decorate the truck. I see many of the kids books he didn't want any longer (moving up in his reading) are on display. A colorful bunch of regular books are there, too, always good to have around.

And then Sweetheart noticed some of our wedding gift kitchen dishes are on the roof of the truck. Wedding dishes? Sure enough. It might be making sense that when a friend told us recently, and not at all kindly, that we run "a department store", he might have something there. Of course if it is a department store, it's a department store with lasting cheer and all are welcome. In the one we sponsor today — just grown up a bit from that little-pickup-truck-that-could with its books and dishes — it has spread around into three buildings, and mainly books...with a little music and cinema, and lots of poetry published in small printed booklets always meant to give away to friends and friends of friends.

By the way, this pickup truck, some years later, was sold to a Vietnam vet with one leg and lots and lots of wanting this truck. We bought it long ago from a friend for $900 and the cap came with it. The truck was loaded with pig manure when we came to buy it. Wet and heavy, so we knew the springs were good. We knew the truck wasn't fussy. It was German built. We later taught our son how to drive the truck, standard. He figured it out in about a day. I taught him by driving it in a field with him, round & round. Then we took off down the back road along the river.

I believe all the books in this photograph sold or were given away. I don't see them around here anymore. On the back tailgate are boxes and crates of old LPs, pretty good stuff. They were going for $1 each. A guy came out from town and took them all away, paid us $100 and he got much more than 100 LPs. He had a treasury chest record store in town filled to the ceiling with vintage LPs costing way too much and a bear to go through, but on a rainy day you could have some kicks in there dreaming and talking the usual nonsense with another dreamer. Then his place burned down when the apartment complex above him burned up, and a freezing middle of the night downtown fire was put out with gusto by a local team. All the fire and all the water came rushing into this guy's dreamland. The shop had one of those attractive metal ceilings scalloped and styled like a bakery cake. It still hurts when I see him.

photo  © susan arnold

Tuesday, March 16, 2010



--------in bosnia with a bunch of friends-------------------Kent Johnson


-------self-portrait in new mexico----------------------------------photo © susan arnold



click here





click here




Sunday, March 14, 2010


the rooster chews tobacco

There are many voices out there I love to listen to, but I'm stopped dead with Billie Holiday, Skip James and Geoff Muldaur. Muldaur has a warble that would fit into my woodlot on an April morning, things just breaking from winter to spring. Is that a bird or peepers, I'd wonder? Then rising out of the great nowhere would come fiddles, washboards, by-crikky string instruments and there was some of the Muldaur sound...born of blues, folk and maybe best known via the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Since the early 60s, Muldaur with varied friends, family, associates of all kinds has been playing a strong lineage of very great music: clean, sassy, dance-to-it, toe-tap-to-it, get-lost-in-it music. It's one of those beautiful things, and going at its own speed and understanding, so it falls many times under the radar of how to get successful in crass America. Much of the best in this country has been swept under the rug or out the door, so peek under your rugs everyone. Take a look around the dooryard.

With a cover art by Ed Ruscha, announcing modernity, and an inside sounding about as old but fresh as anything possibly could get, these are the Texas Sheiks. Drawing from traditional tunes and a few choice blues masterpieces. Including Muldaur, guest player Kweskin and a sterling bunch of musicians ranging from all around the Woodstock, Austin, Berkeley folk scene. This one has it. "Blues in the Bottle" is 100 years old running on the youngest legs you've ever seen.

The Texas Sheiks

On a personal note, I met Geoff Muldaur in a girls school gymnasium where I was awaiting a friend about to graduate out of high school. Muldaur was waiting like I was for the same person, in this case, his daughter Clare. He hadn't been seen in some years on the music scene and was just about ready to break back in with a new solo recording Secret Handshake. A singular masterpiece. His daughter had walked into my classroom at age 15 and said she didn't write poetry but she wrote songs. Looking at her I knew those songs were poetry so I said, bring to class those songs and bring your guitar. Really? she piped up. Really, I said. She played in my classrooms the next three years, or until I got fired, or did I walk-away in time? I'd already been there twenty years, coming in two months of the year every winter to make a very important extra payroll to see my family ways through. Worked with hundreds of joyful wonder students. It was a drive down from the back woods and I didn't even drive. Many good people gave me rides, when I wasn't driving an old clunker illegally, and I never missed a class, not one, in twenty years. Talk about folk, while listening to the blues.

Clare Muldaur

clare muldaur photo:

Saturday, March 13, 2010


With a lovely cover by Morris Graves ('Shore Birds') and a slender grace delivery page by page, Ce Rosenow quietly comes by for a visit from the Pacific Northwest.

longing for something

an unknown seabird

soars out of sight


unemployed —

salt water stings

my sunburn


harbor dusk —

sound of the boats

shifting in their berths


dying fire . . .

I sit quietly

with my ghosts


Pacific by Ce Rosenow, 2009
Mountain Gate Press
2105 Glencoe Road
Hillsboro, OR.97124

Deep soul collectors love this Detroit raised gem.

Friday, March 12, 2010



If you would like to purchase the booklet please link here.

please click onto poems to enlarge

Ed Markowski is a maestro of the short and long poem — better known as the bunt and the home run. His many-storied life has taken him from the trades of auto-worker, construction, and since 1980 working with chronically mentally ill adults, for the last twelve years in an inpatient setting for a Michigan hospital. His work has been published plenty from Don Wentworth and Norbert Blei outposts, solid homes. Philip Rowland's Noon as well. He's packing one heck of a book to be published.

photo courtesy: Jeff Herron