Guest post #1: Roger Simon
Our first guest of the day is esteemed author Roger Simon. Roger latest book is Director's Cut, just one in a series of tomes about former hippie detective Moses Wine. I highly recommend you read that, as well as Roger's blog.
Thank you for participating, Roger. I will add my thoughts on the subject next.
One of the funny things about Pop Culture is that every generation thinks they own the thing—especially mine (Boomers!). Oh, sure, people like me say “Oh, yeah, Eminem’s cool… except for his sexism.” But what we’re really thinking is: I was there when the Airplane and the Who were going down, shortstop. What the Hell do you know?
Okay, okay, but I still think today’s Pop Culture wreaks, even the movies (especially the movies!) where I’ve been known to perpetrate a few (special exception for Pixar—they’re great) and the Pop of my youth rocks—because, quite literally, that’s when it all started… and when things start is usually when they’re best. The rest is corruption.
So now that you all hate me as a geezer, let me tell that I saw the following live: Fats Domino, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Little Richard (when young enough to jump on the piano), Chuck Berry (just starting the duck walk), Stevie Wonder (as a child prodigy doing “Fingertips”), Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers, the Platters (man am I old!)—all of these at the Apollo Theatre where I was a white kid in a black audience (the thing to do then). I also saw some of the early white folks like Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis (speaking of jumping on pianos) but they were never as interesting to me. Even cooler than the rockers, of course, were Miles and ‘Trane and Monk, all of whom I snuck in under age to see at the Five Spot (ditto Lenny Bruce at the Village Vanguard, turning his back and peeing on stage). Bebop ruled for me.
Later I saw most of the hippie gang—Big Brother, Moby Grape, Acid Jerry himself, the whole SF trip, not to mention Mr. Twentieth Fox (now buried in Paris) down here on the Whiskey way back in the early Paleolithic Age when stoned freaks were still blocking traffic on the Sunset Strip. Was I jealous of him! (What guy wouldn’t have been? But he’s dead and I’m alive—so there!)
But here’s the embarrassment: despite being the creator of Moses Wine, the so-called “People’s Detective,” I never got to Woodstock (not even Altamont).