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 #588


The Merry-Go-Round

5 comments :

Timmy said...

"All your life, you've been locked in your room..."

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

For a blog that’s so much more than a music blog, I’m constantly being introduced to a hell of a lot of music here.
And embarrassing for someone who (only sometimes) pretends to know something about 60s bands (& who definitely cares about them) but I didn’t know about these guys – or probably even more embarrassing, I didn’t know about Emitt Rhodes, who Wikipedia implies is someone I definitely should know about.

Two questions: The Merry-Go-Round isn’t on iTunes – should I track these guys down elsewhere? Emitt Rhodes’s greatest hits thing is on iTunes. Should I buy it?

Tom Sutpen said...

I would say yes on both (unfortunately, I've made no more than one purchase on iTunes, so I can't say what they have and what they don't). I was toying with the idea a while ago of presenting Emitt Rhodes' post-Merry-Go-Round LPs here, since they seem to be otherwise unavailable.

Any event, everything this guy has done is at least interesting; much of it is brilliant.

To answer a question you didn't ask (Where is He Now?), I offer the following, extremely grim tale (with an opening sentence worthy of James M. Cain).

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Tom, thanks so much for the heads up on Emmit Rhodes, & for taking the time to post the link to that (really well written, & moving, & etc.) article.

Re iTunes, I'm one of the few the proud etc. who stands up for Apple against yon hipsters and says, man, the fact is, they were the first to figure out how to get me a ton of legal music at an affordable price & to get it to me before I forget about wanting it (an actual factor when you're as old as i am). So I just downloaded The Emmit Recordings (1969 - 1973), 48 songs, for $20. That's what, 50 cents per song, and it's late and i was told there would be no math so don't yell at me if i got that wrong, but whatever it is, it's remarkable for an old fart like me. I mean, I read the Gunslinger like all good citizens should, and shazzam, now i have 48 new to me cool songs to hear. How cool is that?

Did I say thanks?

swac said...

I knew Rhodes' music a little bit from years of poring through used LP stores, but sadly only came to the Merry-Go-Round in the past year or so. There's a great CD out there called Listen Listen: The Definitive Collection that combines the extant MGR recordings with Rhodes' first solo LP.

And for all these years I thought of Time Will Show the Wiser as a Fairport Convention song...