Bobby Z, as I like to call him, and I go way back, to the Village days. I still remember how he would tell me that a good-looking, intelligent, athletic young WASP like me had no right being such a talented poet. Flattered, I let him ‘appropriate’ some of my work and claim it as his own. I remember telling him, the same day in ’65 when I suggested he get an electric guitar, that at least my work was getting out there, although I sorta wish I had  kept that one about the wind for myself.  It wasn’t all one-way traffic, he did teach me how to mumble. 

Anyway, he came through town last week and dropped in to see me (“Good to Seeee-eeee youuu!”, he always sings. Never fails to crack me up.)  After a couple of bottles of burgundy (we soon hit the harder stuff), and several hours spent helping him with some troublesome song lyrics, and philosophizing on the vagaries of fame (“It shoulda been you, bro, it shoulda been you…”, he said, tears of regret in his inflamed eyes.), I got him into his vintage Buick, and back on the road to the Mississippi delta. Once back inside the house, I took a nap on the sofa.

I woke up several hours later. My memories of the afternoon were murky, seen as they were  through the distorted lens of a bottle of cheap red wine. Had it been a dream? Of course it was. Bob and I aren’t pals, bros, or homies. I started to sit up, and felt and heard the crumpling of paper under my head. It was a piece of paper from my notebook, with writing on it not in my hand. At the top of the page was written…from RZ, thanks for the memories, you clean-cut kid, you, and following that were these song fragments…..


Just Like Stuck in Memphis Traffic in a Hard, Hard Rain

This traffic’s a bitch i couldn’t be goin’ slower
 if i was hitchin’ a ride on my gardener’s mower
 and it doesn’t much matter which lane i have chosen
 for whichever i decide on will become suddenly frozen
 while on both sides of me cars are blurred by their motion
 as they pass the fool ahead of me who’s top speed is moseyin’
 and i feeee-eeeel like blowin’ …a gasket


Positively Unidentified on the Street

i don’t know much, but then neither do you
you don’t know me, and i sure as hell don’t know you
you’re a stranger to me, i’m a stranger to you too
we don’t know each other, that much appears to be true
me not knowin’ you don’t mean too much of nuthin’
but if you don’t know Bob Dylan, what hole have you been livin’ in?


Knockin’ At My Door

Mama pack a bag for me
I gotta go on tour one time more
Bernie Madoff stole my fortune away from me
got a line of creditors at my door

Banker take this limo away from me
I can’t afford it any more
I’m barely gettin’ by on my royalties
The repo man’s knockin’ at my door


Pay, Lady Pay

Pay lady pay, either by cash or check
Pay, lady pay, either with cash or check
You downloaded my songs from off the line
What made you think  that I wouldn’t mind?
Pay, lady, pay. and never steal from me again

I don’t write and sing because it’s fun
Sweetie, I’ve got a job to do
And I don’t give my songs away to anyone
just because they think I’m cool
Pay, lady, pay. pay before the lawyers take your home

One response to this post.

  1. blues are colorful


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