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  #1  
Old 09-03-2008, 02:48 PM
Derek Slade Derek Slade is offline
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Default Green among the poets

I suspect that this thread is going to have rather a short shelf-life! Anyway, here goes.

The recent thread on other guitarists’ views on Peter Green got me thinking about poets who refer to Green. The notoriously grumpy poet Philip Larkin was jazz reviewer for the Daily Telegraph for a number of years. His reviews are collected in the book All What Jazz. In November 1967 Larkin reviewed ‘Eddie Boyd and his Blues Band’ – he begins by saying “There are times when I think that the only jazz that never lets you down is the chugging, unadventurous, bread-and-butter blues, such as one finds [on this album]”. Damning with faint praise indeed! He goes on to say that “Peter Green’s guitar is well in keeping.” Hardly the most positive response to Green’s beautifully sensitive playing.

Much more interesting is Robert Sheppard’s sentence from his text ‘Freeze It’ (in Complete Twentieth Century Blues – his collected poems and texts 1989-2000):

“I’m forcing myself to not imitate burnt-out words in my heart, as Peter Green realised every time.”

I think this sums up very well Green’s ability to avoid the clichés of the blues idiom while staying within it and using it to express personal feeling, night after night. I asked Sheppard about this reference and he said the first gig he ever went to was (Green-era) Fleetwood Mac in Brighton. Green’s playing and singing made a huge impact on him.

Finally, and much more speculatively, there’s the case of ‘Green Sees Things in Waves’. This is the first poem in the book of the same name by American poet August Kleinzahler. It’s about someone who may or may not be a musician (there are some buried references to early rock songs), but whose name is Green and “who ate quite a pile of acid one time” which “blew the wiring out / from behind his headlights.” I actually go along with Slipkid’s comment in a previous thread that compared to other musicians of the time Green’s intake of LSD may not have been that great, but I’ve often wondered whether Kleinzahler had Peter Green in mind when he wrote the poem. A tenuous piece of evidence is that Kleinzahler (based in San Francisco) dedicates the poem to Thom Gunn, a British poet who lived in San Francisco for many years and who loved and wrote poems about the Grateful Dead. And of course Green jammed with the Dead. As I said, tenuous!

Thanks for indulging me.
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2008, 12:04 PM
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David David is offline
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Very interesting, Derek.

Let's not forget the immortal lines of the poet Alan Sherman & his "Sir Greenbaum's Madrigal":

http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiGRE...ttGRNSLVS.html
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:56 PM
zoork_1 zoork_1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Very interesting ...[...]
I agree, interesting...., thanks!

/z
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2008, 02:38 PM
Derek Slade Derek Slade is offline
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Thanks, David and Zoork 1.

And David, do you think the 'mighty lance' in Sherman's ballad is the first recorded reference to Harold the dildo?...
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