inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #0 of 351: David Gans (tnf) Sat 6 Mar 99 10:55

David Walley sent us this:

Cultural historian and social critic David G. Walley has been writing
about music and American culture since the late Sixties.  His
authoritative and critically acclaimed biography of Frank Zappa, No
Commercial Potential, in print for 25 years, has been re-released by Da
Capo Press.  The Ernie Kovacs Phile, his second biography, which
chronicled the unorthodox life and times of one of television's most
innovative electronic comedians, has become a classic text.  His work
has appeared on the op-ed pages of the San Francisco Chronicle while
his modern fables and social commentaries appear monthly in Cosmik
Debris, an online magazine devoted to the alternative music scene.

David G. Walley lives in Williamstown, MA along with his wife, 4
children and numerous small animals [flying squirrels? field mice?
voles? bats, maybe?]
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #1 of 351: David Gans (tnf) Sun 7 Mar 99 13:19

And from Barry Smolin (, who will be leading this interview:

Let's welcome to Inkwell.Vue David Walley, author of an insightful piece of
cultural criticism entitled _Teenage Nervous Breakdown: Music and Politics in
the Post-Elvis Age_.  David Walley has previously authored a book about Frank
Zappa called _No Commercial Potential_ as well as a study of the comedy of
Ernie Kovacs entitled _The Ernie Kovacs Phile_.

_Teenage Nervous Breakdown_ is a witty and wise examination of the com-
modification of the American psyche over these past 20 or so years.  Mr. Wal-
ley recognizes much that is true about Americans today, our looking-glass
world where the most popular genre of rock and roll is called "Alternative,"
a world where it's possible to be grassroots and global at the same time, a
world where kids are said to grow up too fast and grownups are said to remain
kids too long, a culture in which, essentially, everybody is a teenager in-
habiting a social milieu that continues to emulate high school long after
one's diploma has disintegrated in a forgotten drawer or box in the garage

From an early age we are groomed to be consumers of products that are in-
creasingly tied to our adolescent passions and fantasies, sold to us by a
corporate image that is no longer the dour "man in the grey flannel suit" but
is instead hip, cool, tapped into the exotic mysteries of the mythic under-
ground, the progeny of the counterculture. The CEOs calling the shots in
today's corporate climate wear sneakers and go to rock and roll concerts and
want their employees to think they're one of the guys, and their products
don't, like in the olden days, promise the familiar and the comfortable and
the traditional; instead, goods and services are increasingly advertised as
THERE!" and "OFF THE WALL!" This is not your father's Corporate America, and
David Walley dissects and expresses the disorientation of this new commercial
world order with clarity and a great deal of humor and personal charm.

The idea for this book had been gestating in David's head beginning back in
the 1970s, and now it is finished and published and available for your read-
ing pleasure.

Welcome to Inkwell.Vue, David Walley.
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #2 of 351: David Gans (tnf) Sun 7 Mar 99 14:33

I asked Barry to tell us a little about himself:

> High School English Teacher at Hamilton Humanities Magnet in the LA Unified
> School District, host/producer of psychedelic radio show The Music Never
> Stops on KPFK, keyboard player in the band Sea of Green, writer of ex-
> perimental poetry, and father of three cute brilliant children.
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #3 of 351: Barry Smolin (shmo) Sun 7 Mar 99 15:31
I think the best way to start our chat is to ask David Walley to tell us
about the birth of the idea, his concept of the "highschoolization" of

David, when (and under what circumstances) did it strike you that this is
what was happening to American cultural life?
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #4 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 9 Mar 99 14:46
HI you guys! I just got finished with supper, here on the Left Coast
it's 5:25. HOw did I get this idea, huh? It was in the mid Seventies
and I was thinking about the "highschoolization" of American culture,
writing a piece for Harper's Magazine. Of course they weren't
interested in it, but it jsut got me thinking. After all I'd just
survived the Sixties and was not getting used to disco. I had decided I
wasn't going to write about rock and roll anymore---this was after
Bowie came out with Ziggy Stardust and all that Glam stuff---anyway I'd
been thinking about it for a while. Flash ahead to the early nineties,
actually the middle nineties, and I'm working on an update of my Zappa
biography, No Commercial Potential, and my editor is talking to
another editor who's interested in doing a book on rock music and my
editor suggests me !!---I'd beehn thinking about the idea again after
some years time I was already writing it on my own hook---and so I took
this editor up on his idea---well it actually became mine although he
didn't like my calling the book "Teenage Nervous Breakdown", he wanted
to call it "We are the World" and I told him that the book would be
remaindered before it got out of the warehouse---and there you are and
here I am. Just give me a few responces and my spelling will improve, I
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #5 of 351: David Gans (tnf) Tue 9 Mar 99 14:53
I like your title A LOT more!
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #6 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 9 Mar 99 15:02
I got the idea from a great song by Lowell George off his first album.
I thought that it fit the mood. Now here's the joke about that, I got
the luyrics from Paul Barrere, called hm out of the shower to get them,
wrote them down. They survived all the permutations of the editing
until I got to the final version of the book and then somehow the song
got dropped. I'm hoping that the next edition will have those lyrics
restored---they do add something
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #7 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 9 Mar 99 15:14
I wanted to add something before moving on to the avalanche of callers
and fans out there in cyberland :-)) 've been always been intrigued by
the notion that for some reason, Americans never seem to get out of
high school. It's something like Hotel California, a place you can
check out from but you can never leave. It just seemed that most of
this started in the Fifties with the creation in the advertising biz of
the teenage market (there's lots of monographs out there to back me up
here). I never understood that bedcause being in high school was
probably the most terrible time in anyone's life. You know that old
phrase, "if you're not alienated in high school, there's something
seriously wrong with you"? It just seems to be getting worse. And I
won't even get into what happened for the past year and a half with
Zippergate. What shocked me most, well not really shocked me, was that
the news media instead of just calling this the bs it was actually
jumped on it with both feet (or hands or even zippers) and rode the the
story for all it was worth. Saxophone Bill has bad tste in women we
all know. Anyway if he was the serial philanderer we all know he is,
and Miss Monkeypants showed him her thongs, he could just have easily
said to her,'No thanks, I gave at the office" and found something else.
The fact that he didn't and the fadt that everyone in the country
became involved with the choices he did or didn't make, just proves my

but I"m getting off track here of course and you were asking me
something serious and thought-provoking (see my typing is geting
better)---as I said, you'll have to be a little patient with me until
we(whoever happens to be included in this dangling cyber conversation)
rolling. Remember again, living on the left coast I have a differnt
schedule, it's three hours earlier and I go to be around 7:30 your time
and you guys are just getting back from work and into an evening's
funa and games. If I was younger and had a better supply of
pharmaceuticals, I'd probably try talking to you in real time (whatever
in hell that means!). 

I hope that my babbling amused you, David. Anyone else out there want
a piece of this? 
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #8 of 351: Barry Smolin (shmo) Tue 9 Mar 99 16:22
Ah, yes, folks, David Walley is most certainly here among us!

David, you identify the appearance of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust as the
beginning of your disenchantment with rock and roll. What was it about that
release and the glam-avalanche that followed, that soured your taste for
Rock Music?
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #9 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 9 Mar 99 17:17
It was more a question of the fact that I had my
musical/intellectual/cultural "cherry" popped if I can be a mite
politically incorrect here. When Ziggy and the Glam boys started making
the scene, I said to myself that this had nothing at all to do with
rock and roll or revolution or any of that stuff. It all had to do
exclusively with FASHION, that music was driven by fashion that it had
nothing to do with ideas per se. I was one of those "heads"drawn to the
ideas that rock and roll had, for music back in that former era mixed
and borrowed and was a protean force. The glam boys were just being
bored---it's like Kierkagaard said I thnk in Repetition,"God was bored
so man; Adam was bored so Eve was created for him; Adam and Eve were
bored ensemble so Cain and Abel were born," etc. etc. etc.

Rock and roll had lost its drive---ok, you could say that rock and
roll has always been about fashon and teenagers and all that, and to
some extent that's true. I didn't have to go for it, I thought rock and
roll would become a new art form---boy was I ever wrong about
that---and we have those pomp-rockers, Emmerson, Lake and Palmer, and
everyone and thei9r cousin was dong "rock operas" too. I was a mixed
bag back then I suppose. One of the bands I realluy LOVED back then was
The Tubes, they had a song called "White Punks on Dope" which about
summed up the whole thing. There was a band who had command of content
and form, they could mimic any style, had great chops, put on
outrageous stage shows, but they were way ahead of their times
unfortunately and they appealed to a small segment of the audience.
That's another thing that started to happen, that the rock and roll
audience became more and mor splintered and narrow-casted back in the
Seventies, thanks to the record business motivational reserearch boys.
I should know I worked for CBs in the late Seventiesm, and that's the
company that brought you that deathless record slogan,"The Man Can't
Bust Our Music" (incidentally put together by Jim Fouratt, a gay
activist who used to hang around with Tim Leary, long ago and far
away). Record companies employed company freaks to sell product, good,
bad indifferent. It was fun while it lasted I suppose, I quit that
program too because they wouldn't let me write agbout the groups I
liked and understood, wrote ads which were too literatre. Oh the bands
LOVED them because with a few words I could describe what they were
about, but the product managers, theyw ere the tough nuts to crack.

Sure rock and roll changes, and we change with it. I still love the
blues, jazz, world music. I try to listen to what my 13 year old
daughter likes (not that I do, but at least when she's in my car,
she'll allow me to play my music). I just have to have patience and
eventually she'll get curious about the stuff I listen to in my studio,
and then I'll ahve her hooked. I don't want her to absolutely love my
music (the 'old' music) I want her to get an appreciation for all kinds
of music. When iw as a rock and roll critic, my genration of criticw
who were dodging the draft in grad school, I  (I mean we) had to know
all forms of music: classical, folk, jazz, blues, ramayana monkey
chants, trance music, electyronic music---all of it because the music
that was out there was drawing on all of it. Today I think that for the
most part, the spectrum is just too closed in, too narrow casted and
kids are getting screwed because they don't see how potentially
intellectually and aurally liberating real music can be---I guess I got
into a rant there, sorry about that---but my typing's better, isn't
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #10 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 9 Mar 99 17:28
Hi Barry! nice to see you---this is very strange for yours truly
because I'm used to talking and lots of that---fpeople don't make
talking mistakes but they do make typing mistakes. I mean really, I
could jsut rant and rave and you could occasionally stick a word in
edgeways, but I understand that there will be a few weeks of this so
maybe more people will get involved in this. Not that I don't mind
raving into the cyberwinds. Did I mention my website?
http:///  ? I direct people there to se what other
kinds of things I rave about. The Lost Episodes that I wrote (or am
continuing to write) with Nigey Lennon who wrote a wonderful book on
Frank Zappa called "Being Frank" should also be blamed for whatever
intellectual madness we get into.

I would submit to any of those crazy enough to be writers, that they
should remember that there are better ways to make a living. My father
always wanted me to be a lawyer, but to tell you the truth, the
electricians and plumbers do much, much better in the long run. You
know how it is, everyone wants to be chiefs and nobody wants to be
indians. I don't know about that, ever wonder why plumbers drive around
in Cadillacs?

On the other hand, I don't mind raving a bit, maybe this discussion
group is like a chainsaw that needs a few pulls to get started. Myself,
I like dialogues, not monologues    
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #11 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 9 Mar 99 17:29
damn, that's    
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #12 of 351: Barry Smolin (shmo) Tue 9 Mar 99 17:49
David, your rants are most welcome here. They are filled with grist and gist
and lots of great stuff for participants in this cyber salon to chew on and
perhaps to chew on you a bit (or chew you out!).

You say that in the early seventies rock and roll became more about fashion
than about music, more about image than say, liberation. But hasn't that
tension always existed? In every era and in every
aesthetic/philosophical/cultural movement, aren't there always those who
savor the meaning and those who savor the fashion, those who are there to
see and those who are there to be seen, those who seek an effect and those
who seek only an "affect," those who actually read the book and those who
only want to make sure the book is displayed prominently on their shelf when
people come over ( I think of _Gravity's Rainbow_ when I make this
comparison)? You make this very distinction when you identify and discuss
the two groups of cultural archetypes: "heads" and "beats." In my opinion
your discussion of these categories comprises some of the most thrilling
writing in _Teenage Nervous Breakdown_.

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with terms "head" and "beat," at least
in the way you use them, perhaps you could explain the differences between
the two.
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #13 of 351: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 9 Mar 99 17:50
Welcome, and thanks for the rant!

Nice site... looked at it briefly.  Your Teenage Nervous Breakdown link
points to a review whcihs includes these words:

 " Well, during Elvis' career, rock and roll
became a worldwide attitude as well as "a sonic environment for commerce."
That is a sad plight ..."

Why does this make you sad?  Or is that the reviewer's take on it.
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #14 of 351: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 9 Mar 99 17:52
(I see that Barry slipped in ahead of my post with a more substantive
question there.)
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #15 of 351: Barry Smolin (shmo) Tue 9 Mar 99 17:57
Answer both of our questions, David! Don't go to bed yet!

Oh, and, uh, dude, I think you live on the RIGHT coast. You must be reading
your mental map upside down or something.
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #16 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 9 Mar 99 18:34
first Gail to you---what I'm meaning is that world commerce goes to
the rock and roll beat.Is gets down to sneakers, like I say in one of
my essays, "When I first heard the Beatles song "Revolution" I never
thought it would be used to sell sneakers---that's what I mean about it
being a sad plight. Yes I know that sometimes the music is apt, but
sneakes and revolution just don't go together for me---

now Barry---jeez, I've got to think about Pynchon and that---you know
of course that the book where Pynchon eally spilled the beans was in
Vineland? there are somethings he says in there where I'd swear he was 
reading my mind...but ojk, it's back to "heads" and "beats", we had a
go ound on your show (I loved doing it BTW). "heads" were another
evolutoon from "beat" consciousness, how's that? Myself, I think that
"heads" were less commercialized than beats became, and of course heads
wee commercialized and cheese-whizzed into "hippies"---hipopies being
a staight media creation of Time/Life and Newspeak, etc. There were
only a small percentage of heads out there (and I mean that in moe ways
than one), like one could say that ninety-nine percent of the wold is
composed of fatheads (jean Shepherd used to say that on radio in NYC in
the late Fifties and eraly Sixties).

Heads and Beats? that's a tough one, and in the book, I damned nea
killed myself trying to pin down the diffeences between the two. What I
was getting at in all this (and this is fo the 'boomers" in the
audience) is that gentle sliding slope in Ameican cultural histoy 
which goes like this:
hipsters---beatniks---heads---hippies---dopes---yuppies. Yuppies are
dopes but with diffeent goods, instead of the peuvian flake, theymight
be into BMW's or tank watches, or designer cheeses or cigars---that
kind of stuff---I don't know what equivalents there are to heads today
because the archtypes ae still in use. I saw this obit of Kubick and
Stephen Holden refered to 2001 as the achtypal "head" movie, and this
was in the NY Times yet. Funny, I send copies of Teenage Nevous
Breakdown to eveyone I could think of at the NY Times (people I used to
know way back when when I was in NYC and scuffling around) and I
didn't get one eply though I keep seeing myconcepts being used in the
press. Oh well, I'm used to getting "borrowed" from. Thee aren't too
many heads aound, and just because someone is loosely  called a
"Boomer" and I pesonally hate that term, HATE!! doesn't mean they ae
heads. Just because someone smokes dope doesn't mean they'e a head
eithe, it just means they smoke dope---they could be jerks and drink
too. YOu see the probolem was that what happened, what the breakdown
was with what happened in the late Sixties was that certain kinds of
goods became freighted with values: I mean if you were hip, you knew
that if youy grew you hai long, smoked dope, you were automatically
into the next "club", which was what doper culture, which happened
after "hippie" culture came on through. Ideas became reduced to goods
consumed, that's what I'm talking about in TNB, how that happened, and
what were the signs of the times, and what the signs are today. I mean
look at MTV, fo them the Sxities was about dope and rock and roll, and
mini skirts. Oh yes, there was activism, but of the bumper sticke
variety kind, a pose merely.

What can I say, it was like that if you were looking in, and reading
Time and Newsweek or Life, butr there were some pretty wondeful things
going on that are still going on, but they look a little different.
What's that they say,."Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny"? I don't
want to bring back the Sixties because they hjaven't really left, they
just look a little different. Just because we have a Boomer in the
White house doesn't mean that we have a head---Saxophone Bill may have
smoked a little dope, like Newt, and I'm sure like Al Goe (who oomed
with Tommy Lee Jones fo fou yeas at Harvad ferchissakes!! think of THAT
why don't you), but they weren't heads, they just did what was going
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #17 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 9 Mar 99 18:38
yeah, I am on the Right coast I suppose, but it also depends on how
you'e standing and what you're seeing too, don't forget. OK, the RIGHT
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #18 of 351: Barry Smolin (shmo) Tue 9 Mar 99 18:51
Man, I have to relax and digest some of this. Fantastic stuff, David. This
is probably a good place to post the salient Beat/Head stuff from your book:

"Heads were primarily a literate, enlightened, and informed elite
 who saw a higher spiritual reality beyond the annual homecoming game of
 fifties team America while they were spectators in it. They kept a low
 profile, were almost invisible except that they read for a variety of
 experience: "Steppenwolf," "The Brothers Karamazov," "Waiting for Godot,"
 "On The Road,"
 "The Waste Land," "Howl." Beats suffered and strived in the shadows of "the
 Lonely Crowd" and "The Organization Man." The distance between Beats and
 Heads was incalculable: Heads assimilated all their information moving
 not away from, the world, without the uniform: the black turtleneck and all
 that jazz.
         "Beats were cool cynics who sneered at the agency schnorrers
 to the monotonous beat of the 8:30 from Bridgeport. You couldn't be cool
 dig on your work--that's lame, man. The only thing the Beats dug was their
 alienation, which they deified. Beats embraced jazz and abstract
 expressionism to get the most out of jazz you had to be cool, detached,
 uninvolved. Digging mystical abstract expressionism was like listening to
 Bird, 'Trane, or Miles--interiors that lead to other interiors.
         "Beats hiply and coolly manifested their lifestyle as if their
 appearance and attitude alone would ablow the Squares away. Heads were
 interior but aware. Beats were exterior and insular. Jazz and folk. Jazz is
 a metaphor on a metaphor of black alienation. Folk blues is the story of
 that alienation itself, the struggle, a musical social history. Beats
 too much, reacting against psychoanalysis by becoming their own walking
 traumas. Heads saw Beat angst as self-limiting and self-imposed and probed
 their own universal unconscious.
         "Heads explored interior spaces freely, constrained by no
 intellectual viewpoint, open to a multiplicity. Intellectual eclectics,
 viewed knowledge as a totality of information, a joyous cosmology, a
 synthesis used to understand the universe, by knowing what things are
 composed of, motivated by, influenced by. Only when you begin to see the
 totality of knowledge can you transcend your environment.
         "Head. Either you were or you weren't. You could spot them on the
 street since they possessed an inner animation, their brains radiated
 energy. Heads were not cool--cool was a hipster affectation. Cool was the
 Beat form of transcendence: but it was pur selfishness, a self-image, an
 attitude you struck, a pose. Hipsters and Beats were forever concerned
 their cool, it was their religion--like Pynchon's Stencil in _V_, whose
 motto was "Keep cool but care," only the Beats never did care. To be cool
 with yourself meant being largely uninvolved with the world at large. Heads
 were never uninvolved: though they may have possessed cool heads, it was
 their manner.
        "America is one big commercial wasteland, T.S. Eliot without the
 footnotes. The Beats called it the Square Life; solipsistic Steppenwolves,
 they fled on the road, to North Beach, Greenwich Village, Seattle, come on,
 let's go, they said. Beats thought if they ignored time it would cease to
 exist; the gray fifties would vanish like cigarette haze in the Five Spot.
 Heads knew it wouldn't. Why run? One builds and lives within an everl-
 expanding continuum; besides, awareness is immanent for everyone, in time.
 America was waiting for awareness, had been since creation
        "Head consciousness was self-reflexive and universal, while the
 Beats deified the addict. Heroin was the ultimate Beat trip, a chemically
 induced existentialism, and the junkie was Christ crucified and grooving on
 the celestial oblivion of smack. The Square Life could be shut out for good
 that way. Get back, get back under, get out of it; later for that they
 No wonder Bird lived in Beatsville.
        "Drugs were not a necessary part of the Head cosmology, though they
 later assumed preeeminence when Head culture was debased, brokered as a
 commodity, media-eclipsed to 'hippie.'"
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #19 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Tue 9 Mar 99 19:33
why thankee---that's Teenage Nervous Breakdown: Music and Politics in
the Post-Elvis Age (Insight Books, 1998)---it's on even if
I'm not getting the full price, you will enjoy it---it's getting late
fo us RIGHT coasters. I've gotten my head wet with this, there's a lot
of information in your last post, Barry, and who was that writer who
said all that good stuff? Anyway, I'm going to toddle off to beddies
because I'm up at 6:30. Now I'm going to change my keyboard up heree in
the house so that tomorrow I won't make as many mistakes. I have
enjoyed yakking but then again, I always do. It is  hoped that more
people will come on board and I'll try to be amusing. Just emember that
thinking is a subversive activity, and there's not enough subversion
in this county, don't you think? 

inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #20 of 351: Barry Smolin (shmo) Tue 9 Mar 99 21:17
David, please don't feel like it's your obligation to be amusing for us,
though you seem to come by it quite naturally. I'm hoping too that some
other folks will jump into this melange of ideas and stir it up some more.
The Head/Beat dichotomy at once appeals to our Aristotilean love of
categories and our equally strong passion for finding exceptions to all such
categories. I find myself torn in both directions.

These cultural "types" though are a continuing presence, and a discussion of
them is a good place to start as we work our way through the multifarious
observations you make in TNB.
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #21 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Wed 10 Mar 99 06:53
It's Wednesday morning and I'm in the studio---you guys on the Left
Coast aren't even up yet--- so ok, Barry, I'll follow your lead and see
how things develop. After all you're more used to this form of
conferencing than I am (oh I have a better keyboard which is a good
thing when all aspects of the technological conundrum are factored in).
So I'll rest easy and see how things develop here. Let my fingers do
the talking and hope that my tyuping improves as we continue this
fdangling conversation, I guess I'll see you later this day and now
I"ll go do some work--
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #22 of 351: Erik Van Thienen (levant) Wed 10 Mar 99 07:10
Of course, there is allways us Europeans listening in ... :-)
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #23 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Wed 10 Mar 99 08:32
that's fine with me you European guys, I['m game to talk with anyone.
What's on your mind?
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #24 of 351: Cynthia Heimel (plum) Wed 10 Mar 99 09:46

We don't care about your typing!  You are at least legible which cannot be
said of others here on the Well.

I remember Arlo G. saying that early in the whole sixties thing you could
walk down the street and just KNOW who had a roach on him, but later the
possession of pot became meaningless and people did it just because with no
ideological underpinnings.

It's hard for me to remember way back then when it was, like, all
meaningful.  But I vaguely remember seeing a Presskit for Moby Grape.  THe
first press kit I ever saw, and I remember thinking "Uh-oh."

David, did you go to Woodstock?

David did you like punk music?

Hi david!
inkwell.vue.33 : David Walley
permalink #25 of 351: David Walley (dvdgwalley) Wed 10 Mar 99 10:04
Delighted to be chatting with you, Cynthia, I've been a fan for years.
No I didn't make it to Woodstock though I had press passes from Jazz
and Pop Magazine. I knew it was going to be a disaster, I knew the
pomoters, didn't trust them very much. My personal take on the whole
Woodstock phenomenon was that I didn't need a mass movement to pove
what I aleady knew about "head" culture: ie. you could go anywhere in
the county, nay in the wold and find people who thought about the same
things that you did, listened to the same music and got off of reefer
the same way. And Alro was right, you COULD walk down the steet and
know who was high and who wasn't. The point was like Dylan said, "To
live outside the law you must be honest", ie. you didn't have to have
long hair or indeed smoke dope to be a head. Beuing a head was a way of
looking at the world. Anyway, by 1969, a few years after people were
wearing flowers in their hair (!!) in the Haight the uniform was
accepted as the sign of hipness. Anyone who could buy an  oz of weed,
grow their hair long was considered pat of the Movement. And since we'e
talking of nostalgia here, do you remember Alo and David Bromberg
doing Alice's restauant on WBAI when they were both very wasted? I have
a tape of that.

Punk music, now here's where I'll get into touble. I thought punk was
another fashon statement picked up on by the musicians in NYC that were
looking fo a handle up on disco in the Seventies. I lived down the
street fom CBGB's. Myself I just thought it was a manufactured trend.
Punk had a legitimate English roots, but it seemed at least to me, that
it was just too much play acting fo my tastes. Anyway, in Teenage
nervous Breakdown, there's a chapter called "Who Stile the Bomp from
the Bomp Sha-Bomp" which ansers that questions more extensively. Punk
doesn't do it for me, never did, it reminded me a bad performance art
(and there was a lot of that in the mid to late Seventies). Please
don't write me off as a lame old F#@k. As I've gotten older, my tastes
tend to Wold Music, jazz, blues, etc. I don't watch MTV with good
reason. I think the best part of me getting out of rock and roll
criticism was that I was able to actually listen to a piece of music
and not wory about having an opinion about it. My 13 yea old daughter
keeps me in that headspace, though when I was her age I was listening
to classical, jazz and folk and blues---as a teenager back in the late
Fifties, music was going through its training bra stage: Frankie Avalon
and Annette, etc--it was there and I listened---oh yeah, I remember
surf music from that early period.

But nah, punk music never did it to me. I think I was passed it when
it became fashionable---how's that, Cynthia!


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