The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

They Were Collaborators #64

Bob and Ray

Write if you get work...and hang by your thumbs.

Hear Bob and Ray in their '80s NPR incarnation here.


Rob said...

Wow! Those were the exact words I was thinking of when I saw this pic! I use those lines all the time. One of my fondest memories is of when the moon landings had become somewhat routine, CBS had Bob and Ray on TV with Walter Cronkite, as commentators!, and they had me, my brother and Cronkite rolling on the floor. Their bit on man's first words on the moon was priceless. Thanks for visual reminder of two sneakily subversive comics.

swac said...

I'm currently listening to several MP3s of their earliest work together on Matinee With Bob & Ray, which they did at WHDH in Boston in the late '40s. Subversive is right, they sound drunk part of the time (on a show that aired live at 1 p.m. daily), and often came up with bits like the continuing adventures of Ben Dover. Pretty free form stuff, not as good as when they did more formal bits, but moments of brilliance, like the motion picture epic Grub: The Story of Food.