Monday, March 18, 2013

David Amram: Saint of Bleeker St

There is an article about David Amram in Opera News; he's a terrific composer who I once had the chance to work with on the Actors' Studio (Rehearsal Version) of Oedipus. Directed by Estelle Parsons.  Starring Al Pacino. (But that's another Blog entirely)

I remember thinking about the Village of the early 1960's, in a completely different light, once upon a time.  Now, I imagine that time to be a overwhelmingly luscious musical paradise.  Everything is in black & white (like a 16mm student experimental film), except the conversations burst forth in color.  Bob Dylan is being introduced onstage by his girlfriend, Joan Baez (who said boys don't sleep their way to the top?) Paul Simon is writing a song about $80 rent on Bleecker St.  And some people who are crazy enough to live there in the 1960's, will be revealed as howling geniuses (Allen Ginsburg) especially if they can hold on to their rent-controlled apartments for the rest of their lives.

When I first heard about this time and place, I heard of it as the place Peter Tork came out of, before he moved to L.A.  Even now, as I imagine the time machine that will transport me back, I anticipate Peter and his pals, Steve Stills and Tiny Tim, their much younger selves, emerging from Cafe Wha? or Caffe Cino. Passing the hat, and not being able to cover a sandwich for all their troubles/performances.

And even though I imagine everyone walking around with a Greenwich Village Scowl, underneath, I sense we are all smiling.

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