Archive: February, 2008
All he knew was that three 11-by-14-inch prints were strange:
A black man in a coat and tie, wearing a jeweled turban and tiny smirk.
Buddy Miles is dead.
The drummer died Tuesday at home in Texas of conjestive heart failure. He was 60. You might know him as man assaulting the skins on "Them Changes" or from a live record with Carlos Santana.
"Who is Ryan Seacrest, and what is he doing on national television?"
The first paragraph of his web site bio shares the key stuff:
Tower Theatre. Saturday Night. John Doe opening for Wilco. Paying some real money for this one. The above version of "Impossible Germany" is from "Austin City Limits," via Aquarium Drunkard, and its pretty much definitive. Gorgeous and alone, face-to-face.
Haven't seen Wilco since a mellow incarnation at the Troc around 2000. Old `97s opened. Found myself upstairs at an after-midnight show afterward, Los Straitjackets in their Mexican wrestling masks, and I remember something about the boys from Marah sending over a Jagermeister after we sent a Slippery Nipple their way. Or was it visa versa? Lotta freaks.
That's what I was facing Wednesday morning. For two days I'd written and rewritten this piece about the Kelly Street Chorus. The story was about a battered statue and some singers of old-timey music, with lots of quirky Philadelphia history, and I was getting nowhere.
A friend in Virginia once said that newspaper stories are like hamburger. If you handle them too much they start to rot. I was about to call in the men in hazmat suits. It just was going nowhere, paragraph after paragraph. Some nice words, no music.
We had all sorts of video queued up and ready to go to illustrate Monday's column on Josh Winheld, the 29-year-old author of a memoir of his life with Duchenne, the most-common form of muscular dystrophy. But we messed up. You could barely make out his words over the din of his ventilator.
Thanks to the Gray Lady, here's six minutes of video on Josh. The New York Times featured the Cheltenham native today in a piece on new tactics to treat those with the disease.
The Times says this about fighting Duchenne:
Pray he's on the phone.
I don't understand how you can conduct business when you are, well, conducting business. It just seems wrong. Especially when you are in a public restroom, and the person next door is a captive audience for an intimate scene in your life. Do you have to share so generously?
From Chris, who was writing from South Dakota: "I feel a profound sadness at the loss of someone who I considered a father to me and I only hope you can possibly help other people see how he lived and how much he actually gave back to the community and those around him. Craig was a great man who thought nothing of himself and always thought about the welfare of others before considering himself."
I'd spent an evening in May with Craig and his newest little brother, Pernell Francis, as "Perry" wolfed down a meal and a half at Tony Luke's. Craig visited Perry each week, picking him up at his South Philly rowhouse, taking him to dinners, and other events in Perry's packed life. The column's here. That's Craig and Perry, together in this photo, being honored by U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah this September.