Category Archives: Well-Tempered Songbook

May 11

The Well-Tempered Songbook: #45 Pink Moon, Nick Drake

  * There were probably ten of us, split up between two cars. We were on spring break, headed from the Upper West Side to Sarasota, Florida. The late model station wagon I was in had bags roped to the roof and about six of us inside. This was long before seat belts so we […]

June 02

The Well-Tempered Songbook: #46 Bennie and the Jets, Elton John

   Warm June applause explodes and sparkles on the brick cobblestone. We are drenched to the bone in liquid helium, but we have not yet floated out of the Columbia University in the City of New York Stadium. * She’s got electric boobs, a Mohawk suit, You know I read it in a magazine…   Tony […]

May 04

The Well-Tempered Songbook: #47 – Love Is in the Air, John Paul Young

We were identified to the group as guys that wanted to be cool long after high school was over or something to that effect. The trainer told us we were to find, borrow, or purchase pink ballerina tutus and white t-shirts before we came back the next morning.

January 31

The Well-Tempered Songbook: #48 –You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go, Bob Dylan

It was (I thought at the time) a song of love in the summer, when future loss can barely be imagined except as a sparkling plaything for the happiness of now: goodbye as imagined in a world of dragon clouds and lazy rivers and French poetry by the riverside.

December 13

The Well-Tempered Songbook: #49 – Happy Xmas (War Is Over), John Lennon

I didn’t like his pasty skin or his circular wire glasses. His long, unkempt hair formed two crescents down both sides of his face, and I didn’t know why anyone would wear their hair to make it look ugly.

November 25

The Well-Tempered Songbook: #50 – Mannish Boy, Muddy Waters (The Last Waltz)

And every time I play it… the same roosters skidding across the roofs of tin shacks, the same moss-gurgling pools of testosterone bubbling up in the bayou, the same thrashing moonshine alligators, the same women stumbling through the burning corn, tearing their cotton dresses and chasing Waters’ unstoppable, slow-moving, black locomotive.