Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Gotta Serve Somebody vs. Serve Yourself

Posted in Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Youtube Favs on August 4th, 2011 by Willie

John Lennon was really offended by Bob Dylan’s latest single, “Gotta Serve Somebody.” Dylan recorded the song for his 1979 album Slow Train Coming.  The album and the song was part of Bob’s short lived conversion to Christianity.  In his diary, John wrote, “The backing was mediocre by Jerry Wexler, the singing was really pathetic, and the words were just embarrassing.”  The Grammy people didn’t think so, they gave Dylan a huge spotlight at the 1980 awards, and let him take home the trophy for “Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Male.”  In a snide retort, John wrote/improvised a funny little rant called “Serve Yourself,” a track which never got an official release.  Well, the Grammys are a joke, and always have been, and I fully understand John’s sense of embarrassment and betrayal by Dylan, but I kinda love “Gotta Serve Somebody.”  I think the message is clever enough that it extends beyond the religious into the philosophical, and it sets up an interesting battle of ideas between the two rock gods.  I always suspected that “Gotta Serve Somebody” was Dylan’s response to Lennon’s line from ten years earlier when John proclaimed, “I don’t believe in Zimmerman [Dylan’s real name for the uninitiated],…I just believe in me” from “God” (Plastic Ono Band.)  It’s Dylan rejecting Lennon’s idea of discarding all figures of worship and idolatry and claiming that in the end, whether you like it or not, you are serving something, whether it be a God, a devil, or just a concept.  Lennon disagrees, and he makes no bones about making it known, or he would have had he lived.  Anyway, here are both tracks, in all their glory.  Who do you think wins?  Dylan, Lennon, God, or the devil?  Let me know.

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Finding Some "Lesbian Concentrate" at the Flea Market

Posted in Fun and Crazy on July 3rd, 2011 by Willie

I was at the Park Slope Flea Market yesterday and came across this gem.  It’s a vinyl LP called “Lesbian Concentrate: A Lesbianthology of Songs and Poems.”  I wasn’t gonna drop 15 bucks on it, but I sure as Hell was gonna take a picture of it.  When I got home, I did a little research and discovered this about this bizarre LP.  First, it was created as a response to anti-gay rights advocate Anita Bryant.  Anita is one of those sorry fools on the wrong side of history making a name for herself by crusading against people’s civil rights all in the name of her crazy religious beliefs.  Luckily Anita was the sort of woman who would get pied in the face on live TV, which praise Jesus, is preserved for all time for you to watch.

The other thing I learned about this goofy record is that it is frequently included on lists of the “worst” album covers of all time.  I find this incredibly stupid.  First of all, lesbian orange juice?  Fuck yea!  The cover is cool.  I suppose people just think the title and the whole “lesbianthology” thing is just really funny and odd.  Well, none of that makes it a BAD cover, just strange and far out.  Oh, in case you are curious, the whole “OJ” thing is based on the fact that “saintly” Anita hails from Florida.  And did I mention how much she sucks?  Haha, I’m sure she is a lovely woman…Anyway, also blessed be to youtube for having a track or two from the LP, which I’m also including.  The song is “Don’t Pray for Me” by Mary Watkins.  It’s a pretty funky track with some good lyrics.  Best line: “Stop quoting scriptures out of context, to stir up feelings of bigotry…HATRED AND BIGOTRY!”  Right on Mary, right on…

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