Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


Yesterday my cubicle mate was humming "Good-bye Yellow Brick Road" to herself. Naturally this caught my interest, as I'm reading "Emma" by Jane Austen and one of the main characters is a "Mr. Elton." I pretty much know "Emma"'s plot because I've seen the wonderful movie from several years ago, "Clueless," which adapted "Emma" and set it an a '90s rich suburban LA high school. The writer, who also directed the movie, took a cue from Austen's character "Mr. Elton" and named three of the main characters after '70s pop stars. "Mr. Elton" became Elton, of course; Emma was named Cher; and Cher's best friend, who was a black girl, was named Dionne. A clever and charming idea.

"Good-bye Yellow Brick Road" boasts Elton's single most memorable line. It's been spinning pleasurably in my head on and off since yesterday.

"You can't plant me in your penthouse."

And, well, you can't. You just can't. Can't do it. Nope.


My friend, correspondent, and original guitar teacher Jay Sherman-Godfrey writes in response to yesterday's post about Fats Waller:

Read the Waller entry on your blog. I've got a funky Waller CD out of
Europe, 1 in a series of 15, I think. There's some big band stuff on
there that you will most certainly dig. I'll find out what the series is
called tonight and forward.

Basin Street Blues -- Learned that on my Gibson baritone uke. Always
loved that tune. After I was turned on to Bob Wills by Jeremy, I finally
heard what I feel is the end-all for that song. A live radio transcription
with the great Tommy Duncan on vocals, tempo slow as mollases, but groovin'. He so gets the world weary reminicense that is at the core of that lyric -- the way he represents it, anyhow -- and is prodded ever so lovingly throughout by Bob. I believe it's on theTiffany Transcription series.

John replies: I remember it from a cassette of some of the Tiffany Transcriptions that Jay made for me almost 20 years ago. A terrific version of an interesting and lovely song. Basin Street was the center of nightlife in New Orleans at the time Spencer Williams wrote it in 1928. Where one went to meet friends and hear music.

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