about the state of affairs

Background to the piece

(This was written late at night in Buffalo, NY as the Slo-Man watched TV in his hotel room. It was a snowy spring night in 2011 as he watched in succession the following items on TV.

  • Stories from the Libyan uprising
  • Jay Leno announcing that among his guests the following night would be Rebecca Black
  • The tsnunami hit Japan and the Fukushima nuclear plant.

This piece then came pouring out in 20 minutes as you see it here.)

The Piece

‘Twas a rainy day and Monday and the Slo-Man realized that it would lead eventually to Sunday morning, coming down and joining together with the band. Sadly there are really seven days in the week not eight for all that he wants to say. The Slo-Man has much time to reflect these days and enforced long drives with the LLBF in recent days have given him much food for thought.For example, did Jimmy remain a quitter? And is Joey still married to the same woman? Does Mary still haunt the wind? How many grandchildren would Peggy Sue have? How long and how tall was Sally, really? Is the lady still sure? Are Billy Joe and Bobby Sue still on the lam? Speaking of Bobby, has she found the home she was looking for? And has Annie take a load off, yet? How weird were the scenes inside the gold mine and did Amphetamine Annie have something to do with that happening?

What about Sir? He must be retired on his teacher’s pension by now, surely? Is the queen still getting high on Moet and Chandon? How about Angie – did she find someone nice and settle down? Would Melissa and Jessica have looked each other up and would they be meeting regularly now? Are Ramona’s eyes still watery? Is Tommy playing a PS3 now by intuition? Did he ever manage to get a case for his Gibson and an even tanned look on his face?

What is Pam wearing now that polythene is so passé? Surely, Pressed Rat’s red jumper must be quite the worse for wear and the Warthog’s striped tie must be splotchy by now.
Boris, we know, came to a sticky end, the Crazy Diamond shines on forever, Andy has moved to the moon, but what news do we have of Lily and the Jack of Hearts? Was that Panama Red jumping like a Willy’s in four-wheel drive into the two suns in the sunset? Is Pearl still a woman left lonely and is the LA woman still riding with cops in cars on the street with the topless bars?

Wouldn’t scarlet begonias lining a yellow brick road be a wonderful sight? Would it be an upwardly mobile freeway or would it lead to the Silver Tongued Devil? Would it be better to lay down, lay down on the cold steel rail? Do we stand on the eve of destruction? Surely there must be some kind of way out of here – where are Abraham, Martin and John? Would they have been useful or would the idiot wind have blown the answers away? Should we care more about the tanks that roll down the dry and dusty road or the fact that it cannot be much fun for those beneath the rising sun with the purple berries no longer safe even as the silver people on the shoreline work tirelessly? We can call up volunteers, but will the White Rabbit, sitting in his white room with black curtains, be able to call up a new morning?

Is this the end, my friend, of laughter and soft lies? The blue bus with the 99 balloons attached to the roof awaits, but where is the driver taking us?
The Slo-Man acknowledges his debt to a fearless legion of poets, dreamers who once were young in a planet gone crazy. In a world that mirrors that era of nuclear fears and civil wars that threaten to spiral into a global conflict, comes the word – “Friday”.

If ever guitars needed to gently weep, the time is now.

For those looking for a challenge or those who would rather spend time on trivial pursuits instead of that urgent task there are 57 references to Pop/Rock songs in the passage above – to gain full marks readers must list band and song in the correct order. If you choose to provide album names as well, you will just be showing off.

The Answers

1.       Carpenters – Rainy Days and Mondays

2.       Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Morning Coming Down

3.       The Who – Join Together

4.       The Beatles – Eight Days a week

5.       Ace of Base – All that She Wants

6.       Bryan Adams – Summer of 69

7.       Jimi Hendrix – The Wind cries Mary

8.       Buddy Holly – Peggy Sue got Married

9.       Little Richard – Long Tall Sally

10.   Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven

11.   Steve Miller Band – Take the Money and Run

12.   Kris Kristofferson – Bobby McGee

13.   The Band – The Weight

14.   The Doors – The End

15.   Canned Heat – Amphetamine Annie

16.   Lulu – To Sir with Love

17.   Queen – Killer Queen

18.   The Rolling Stones – Angie

19.   Allman  Brothers Band – Melissa

20.   Allman Brothers Band – Jessica

21.   Bob Dylan – To Ramona

22.   The Who – Pinball Wizard

23.   The Who – I’m One

24.   The Beatles – Polythene Pam

25.   Cream – Pressed Rat and Warthog

26.   The Who – Boris the Spider

27.   Pink Floyd – Shine on you Crazy Diamond

28.   REM – The Man on the Moon

29.   Bob Dylan – Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts

30.   New Riders of the Purple Sage – Panama Red

31.   Grateful Dead – Sugar Magnolia

32.   Pink Floyd – Two Suns in the Sunset

33.   Janis Joplin – A Woman left Lonely

34.   The Doors – LA Woman

35.   Grateful Dead – Scarlet Begonias

36.   Elton John – Yellow Brick Road

37.   Chris Rea – Road to Hell

38.   Kris Kristofferson – Silver Tongued Devil and I

39.   Melanie – Lay Down, Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)

40.   Pink Floyd – Wish You were Here

41.   Barry McGuire – Eve of Destruction

42.   Bob Dylan – All Along the Watchtower

43.   Dion – Abraham, Martin and John

44.   Bob Dylan – Idiot Wind

45.   Bob Dylan – Blowing in the Wind

46.   The Who – Love, Reign O’er Me

47.   Pink Floyd – Post War Dream

48.   CSNY / Jefferson Airplane – Wooden Ships

49.   Jefferson Airplane – Volunteers

50.   Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit

51.   Cream – White Room

52.   Bob Dylan – New Morning

53.   The Doors – The End

54.   Nena – 99 Luftballons

55.   The Moody Blues – The Word

56.   Rebecca Black – Friday

57.   The Beatles – While my Guitar Gently Weeps

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. neildsilva

    What a crowded mind you have, Slo-Man! Most of the references here struck as faint nostalgic memories to me. But if I scratch my head long enough (I mean, till I get to the cranium), I might be able to do many of them!

    1. TheLastWord

      Unfortunately true. I have a very crowded mind. It uses advanced word association coupled with stacks and stacks of trivial details to drive a stream of consciousness narrative that makes sense only to me. I’m doomed!!