…only by a musician that hasn’t been a complete waste of time for most of his career:
NPR does what journalists actually should, and provides the needful – a list (and playlist) of all the songs referenced in “Murder Most Foul”.
(And before all the Billy Joel fans start beefing – Joel’s had two good moments in his career – and “Piano Man” was neither of them. There’s this song – which he wrote for Ronnie Spector, who covered it with the E Street Band in the background…
…and one whole, glorious album where I managed to mostly forget it was Billy Joel doing the singing.
And with that, I return to this blog’s official status quo: Bob Dylan is an eccentric genius, and Billy Joel is a talented douchebag.
Billy Joel is a talented douchebag.
Cf. “Hired Gun.” Liberty DeVitto lays it out nicely.
Loved that docco. Although it puréed whatever respect I may have had for Joel as a person.
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Not being born before 1955, the assassination of Kennedy has zero emotional importance to me. If he had not been assassinated history probably would not be different. He probably would have been killed in a drunken car crash shortly after leaving office.
^^ Don McLean wrote about the day the music died. Dylan expands on that theme to speak of the day that, in many ways, decency died. This song is the obituary of decency, in a sense. It is way more than just a song if you have heart and soul.
Kennedy’s elimination provided Vietnam, Watergate, and the “slow decay” Dylan mentions in this song.
Please don’t trivialize a song that truly describes what happened to our country.
Kennedy’s elimination provided Vietnam
Kennedy’s election provided Vietnam. After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy needed a victory. His advisors pointed him toward Vietnam – which had a couple thousand MAC advisors, Green Berets and support staff at the time, toiling away, working with the ARVN Army – as a “quick win” in time for elections.
Kennedy sent the Marines to Da Nang, with all the support that goes with a Marine division. The conflict widened, 18 year olds volutneers and draftees died in scores instead of 30-year-old professional soldiers in ones and twos…
…and then Kennedy died.
Absolving Kennedy for Vietnam is not honest.
Never was much of a Joel fan, but “Allentown” is a very nice tune.
Kennedy was NOT going to back down in Viet Nam.
If Kennedy had not died, Johnson would never have implemented the welfare state, and Negroes wouldn’t still have 56 years of indentured servitude remaining, according to the terms of Johnson’s contract. Their families wouldn’t be a heap of smoldering rubble and who knows, Baltimore might still be habitable.
I’m sorry. Negroes still have 144 years of indentured servitude remaining, according to the deal they made with the Democrats.
MBerg: It’s a master work from an artist with nothing left to prove. The only other 17 minute song I can remember is “In a Gadda da vita” by Iron Butterfly. But this one is a better listen and one of his best. More than 9/11, more than the meltdown of 2008, everything changed on November 22, 1963.
Moody and moving, and a grim reminder that troubled times never send a warning.
everything changed on November 22, 1963
“Don’t be a cutie-pie” ~ Donald Trump 😷
Hey, there little fella, if you don’t want to be called to the carpet for a stereotypical boomer comment, don’t write a stereotypical boomer comment. And if you stand by your perspective that “everything changed on November 22, 1963”, you do your argument no favors by responding with a cutie-pie retort.
Imagine how crazee you would have to be, to be a Kennedy and be “proud” of the Kennedy’s impact on American politics.
I fear that the world is full of young Kennedies who believe that what the world needs, more than anything else, is more Kennedies.