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

The City: Milan #1


Original Caption:

Milan -- Astonished strollers, tourists and Milanese in the Piazza del Duomo could hardly believe their eyes at the sight of comedian Jerry Lewis cavorting in and about the famed square. Only it wasn't the Hollywood star making a surprise visit to the Italian city, it was just a young Italian imitator, Adriano Celentano, the spitting (and leaping) image of the zany American comic. This photo gives you a pretty good idea of why they are calling the 18-year-old Celentano the "Jerry Lewis of Italy." Look out, now, here he comes! Adriano says he has solved the parking problem by converting this tricycle. It may look a trifle silly, but it's practical - or is it? Says Adriano: "I like it, I like it. It gets me where I wanna go, so there." (1956)

9 comments :

swac said...

Sammy Petrillo oughta sue.

H. P. L. said...

Eh, Celentano is one of a kind... And probably impossible to understand outside Italy.
But he dropped the Jerry Lewis persona quickly, to become one of our most popular singers...
Even today he's still a powerhouse to reckon with...

swac said...

I looked him up, he's got quite a resume. And one of his kids played the devil in Gibson's passion play.

H. P. L. said...

This is one of his best songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_0Vk4G_hl4

check out 70s Italian TV studios as a bonus! ;-P

He's no songwriter, but with sheer charisma alone could put everyone to shame. And I mean, everyone.

Tom Sutpen said...

Thanks for that info, Pietro; seriously. I was totally unaware of the guy.

Cheers!

Steven Augustine said...

He was good in La Dolce Vita (the over-excited rock-n-roller who takes a tumble)...

Tom Sutpen said...

Ha! Didn't know that was this guy (though from the photo, you can see he was already on the fast track to a Fellini walk-on). Thanks!

Steven Augustine said...

I only happen to know because he was producing "hit" records, still (in Germany, at least), as recently as the 1990s! About which I remain baffled. (Not that I'm German, mind you).

Sam said...

Really, one Jerry is all the world needs.