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 an Item #73


Barbara Payton and Franchot Tone

9 comments :

Vanwall said...

This is gonna be a long series if you run through her history.

Maureen said...

And won't it be fun!

Tom Sutpen said...

Yeah, but except for Tom Neal, you can't find photos of Babs's other, uhh, suitors . . . unless you go looking through LAPD mug books of the period.

I've always wanted to do a Before and After on poor Barbara Payton, but no photos of her booze-addled twilight on the dark side of failure are anywhere to be found on the internet.

Downright frustrating, y'ask me.

Mike said...

There's a photo section in I Am Not Ashamed that could probably be scanned without copyright problems.
"I know I'm an old coot now -- dragged out, wine-soaked, prey for men's five dollar bills."

Five dollars!

Vanwall said...

A weeks worth of cheap fortified vino, or a day's worth bad gin.

Huck Caton said...

Poor Franchot… not entirely certain Babs was worth the brain concussion, broken nose and shattered cheekbone Neal's thumping brought his way.

Dames. Sheesh.

Mike said...

Barbara said Franchot had a masochistic streak -- so maybe he enjoyed it!

Peter L. Winkler said...

John O'Dowd has written a biography of Payton, published by BearManor Media. I'm sure you can find the website. O'Dowd may lend you the photos you're seking.

Tommy O'C said...

Speaking of Tone possibly having a masochistic streak. During the filming of The Twilight Zone episode, "The Silence," Tone, who was a notorious carouser, showed up with "half of [his] face...scraped raw."

Versions differed but Tone was likely beaten up by the boyfriend of a girl he'd approached. Tone then had to be shot in profile or silhouette in all but the first and last scenes (according to The Twilight Zone Home Companion).

Author John Gilmore claims that Tone met and unsuccessfully tried to pick up Elizabeth Short, the unfortunate Black Dahlia.

And Tone had also been married to Joan Crawford.

The man got around. When he wasn't on the mend.