TIME MACHINE TUESDAY NUMBER 5 – Earth or Urth?

The fifth of what will hopefully be many memories from a life of both rock and roll, not to mention radio, television, drinking, and debauchery. Shall we begin?

Earth or Urth?

Every now and then, I get the feeling that I’m not in Kansas anymore. By that, I mean that I sometimes get the feeling that I have popped into a parallel universe. Urth, instead of Earth, if you get my drift.

This is probably a result of growing up watching movies like The Time Machine, Invasion of the Saucermen, Teenagers from Outer Space, and that one with the guy in the gorilla suit and a diving helmet terrorizing the countryside. Add to that stacks of comics with titles like Mystery in Space, Weird Science Fantasy, and Tales of the Unexpected, and TV shows like The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Space Patrol and Tales of Tomorrow, and you’ve got one little kid with a great big imagination.

When I was 12, I used to lay on the roof of my folk’s house in Stockton on a clear night, and, staring at the stars, wondered if I were from Venus, or Mars, and when my real parents were going to come and pick me up and take me home.

I still wonder where the hell they are.

This strange little personality quirk was joined in my 20’s, by occasionally reading a printed word and thinking to myself that that is not the way I remember it being spelled, or finding that someone I thought had died was still alive, and just fine, thank you very much.

One day I found myself saying certain words over and over again until they sounded wrong, or foreign, or simply nonsensical. Try saying these words, (out loud or in your head), 10 times in a row:

Rural

Global

Mirror

Lamp

Glue

Bush

See what I mean?

I used to keep this kind of stuff to myself, fearing that my friends would think I had slipped a cog or worse, but nowadays, these things no longer sound that crazy. ..and I don’t give an Owl-fart about what anyone thinks of me.

=0=

The world we live in is crazier than any of those movies or comics I read when I was a sapling.

We pay for water.

We don’t travel by train or Dirigible.

Entire cultures don’t look up to us, they hate us.

Kids take automatic weapons to school and shoot other kids.

Music is no longer the defining factor of youth or our fondest memories.

Radio is not the primary place where we get our news, sports, or music.

People with little or no talent become stars thanks to television, and some people’s desire to make fun of, or enjoy the suffering of others, has made it acceptable to revel in other people’s misfortune.

And worse…there seems to be no respect for originality, talent, or other people’s success.

We over-analyze and fret about everything we do and say to the point of not being able to just say what we mean, or do things we find interesting or appealing because no one else wants to do them with us, may be offended, or, (shudder) not agree with us. Conformity is King. Be different, just like we are.

This is definitely not the world I grew up in.

This…is Urth.

=0=

Fuck history, I’ll  just rewrite it…

Moon Colony Armstrong City 1978

In 1986, I wrote the first chapter of what was going to be a book called, The Real History of Rock and Roll. It’s around here somewhere, but I’m too lazy to look for it.

It was an alternative time-line of events that I believed should have played out differently than they did.

Using hindsight and a desire to see what I considered wrongs righted, I endeavored to re-write that which personally annoyed the crap out of me. Bad decisions by good people. Tragic shards of destiny cutting short the lives or careers of those who still had so much left to give. Idiotic manipulation by self-serving individuals that destroyed other people’s lives, like the studio bosses that gave Judy Garland uppers and downers when she was a child star so that she could work longer hours, or Rita Hayworth’s husband whoring her out to advance her career, Or Col. Tom Parker.

Especially, Col. Tom Parker…

In real life, Parker stopped Elvis from starring in a biopic about James Dean, a part that, reportedly, Elvis wanted very badly. Parker, instead, made the deal with Paramount that would give Presley a million dollars a picture. Pictures, (with the exception of Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, and King Creole), which are derided and dismissed as crap, good only for their cheese factor, and laugh out loud songs, my personal favorite being Do the Clam from Clambake. You can Google Parker and learn how much of a weasel he was on your own.

Elvis today…

Elvis on his 80th Birthday January 8th 2015

In The Real History of Rock and Roll, I used that James Dean film as the turning point in El’s career. In my universe, Elvis argues with Parker about playing the role, Parker refuses to budge, so Elvis fires him and takes the role. He wins an Oscar. He studies, gets good parts, and becomes a successful and well respected actor. Yes, his music career suffers until 1965, when he gets a phone call from John Lennon. Lennon tells him that he and Paul have written some songs for him, and so have Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Leiber and Stoller, and Buddy Holly, (whose plane didn’t go down in ’59), and some 24 year old kid they liked named Otis Redding.

Elvis records the songs. He is back on top.

Otis, meanwhile, becomes so successful as a writer, that he opts out of a tour with the Bar-Kays, and in September of 1967, like the rest of the music world, is saddened to hear that Diana Ross and the Jackson 5 have perished in a plane crash into Lake Michigan while touring their new albums.

In 1968, during Redding’s set at the Monterey Pop Festival, Elvis walks on stage to tumultuous applause, and joins Otis for what becomes a milestone in pop music history. It is his first live appearance in over 4 years. A year later, they release an album together, Elvis and Otis in Memphis. It becomes the largest selling album in history.

=0=

What about The Beatles, you ask?

The Beatles at the 2018 Grammys

It is Mark David Chapman that shoots and kills President Ronald Reagan. John Hinkley shoots and wounds John Lennon, who recovers and continues to record and tour.

George Harrison’s tumor turns out to be a speck on an X-ray and a misdiagnosis by a nervous doctor. He recovers from a minor blood infection and continues to record and tour.

In 1983, they reunite with Paul and Ringo, and record a new Beatle album and tour the world to celebrate 20 years of number I hits. They continue to reunite every 10 years to record as the Beatles and do a tour.

You get the idea…

Maybe I’ll write more of this alternate history someday.

=0=

Anyway, things look bleak right now, but I like to think that somewhere, somewhen, this is actually how things played out.  And as much as I wish it were true, there are wonderful things going on in this world too…you just have to look a little harder to find them.

Did I say a “little” harder?

I meant a LOT harder ….

Be Well and Stay Safe

=0=

Segarini’s regular columns were originally printed in Life Magazine between 1919 and 1938

dbawis-button7giphyBob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

6 Responses to “TIME MACHINE TUESDAY NUMBER 5 – Earth or Urth?”

  1. Greg Isolato... Says:

    Groucho Marx, the song, remains one of your finest works ever…Groucho Marx, the man, was brilliant too…

    • Damon Hines Says:

      Absolutely love this song too… Don’t know the timeline, adjacent history or shat have you, but RESONATE? Poink! Narf!

  2. Damon Hines Says:

    I love it Bob: I wrote a script-the pilot for the rest of my life- in 1981-83, based on an acid trip I had in the mid 70s, wherein my consciousness began infecting -crummy timing for the use of that word, I know- media in the “real” world, and I became the star of time-tripping quasi-auto-bjographical allegorical sci-fi fantasy farce with great original music- a series of funhouse reflections on the experience of consciousness, and an exploration of damaged genius.
    post script(short version): The Hummer Sisters went $50,000 over-budget placing second to Art Eggleton in the ’83 mayoral race, Michael Hollingsworth went back to driving a cab for a while after advising me,”When it comes to money: get it in writing, ’cause when friends fall out…”

    But all this ain’t on you Bob: the singularly, tragically abysmal, abominable choices I’ve made since being born a ‘Negative Creep’, and only beginning to turn the ship way late in life, means THIS devolves on these bony, brownish shoulders.
    Sorry
    My bad
    Mea maxima cuntface

    • Damon Hines Says:

      Additionally, been thinking for a few years now this particularly egregious and grim reality comes of my determined plowing ahead down the wrong road even when it seemed the best, truest path to take, the ONLY choice maintaining my integrity.. Hah!

  3. Bruce Brooker Says:

    I do believe that’s , GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY.

  4. Jim Chisholm Says:

    Oh and The Wacker’s fourth album “Wack ‘n’ Roll” is released to great success and critical reviews. Mike Stull mysteriously appeared in a Eureka coffee shop 5 months after he was thought to have drowned . . . Oh look it’s time for bed.

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