Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Right Now

I have the terribly irritating habit of listening to the same song again and again, till my ears can’t take it anymore.

Currently, that song is “Me and Bobby McGee”, written by Kris Kristofferson, originally performed by Roger Miller, and made, oh so famous by Janis Joplin (after changing Bobby’s gender, some lyrics, and adding a hell lot of Jazz). Her rendition made it to number #148 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Kristofferson and Joplin had been dating till just before the song was written, and though Kristofferson denied it; Joplin is rumored to have been the inspiration for this song (mostly arising from the line on slipping away in Salinas).

It was the last song that Joplin was to record. Released posthumously- making it only the second song to top the charts after the singer had passed away. Joplin’s slipping away into the night, from a heroin overdose, followed that of Jimi Hendrix a week before. Both were aged 27. Their deaths, coming less than three months after Jim Morrison was found dead in his Paris apartment bathtub, dealt one of the biggest blows to rock and roll. He too was aged 27.

Ironically, the heroin that killed her, was prepared by a substitute taster, who made the batch “too pure”. Among its victims the same night were many of the LA jet set.

Depressing stuff. So much talent wasted. Such levels of self-destruction.

Janis Joplin, Keith Moon, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain. Sometimes, life does not give a second chance.

Or does it… Johnny Cash, Ozzy, Ray Charles. All saved by love.

I think Lennon got it right. Probably all you do indeed need is love.

Anyway, the song is brilliant. Lyrics evoking some very strong imagery … “Windshield wipers slapping time” and the super famous “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, Joplin’s powerful and distinctive voice- rasping through the speakers is amazing.

Spent the long weekend shopping (so many irresistible offers on everything from M&S shirts to Honda Civics), getting done in by gimmicks to buy things I have no use for (have over a hundred shirts now, all of them either white or blue), stuffing myself with whatever I can eat (which is pretty much anything that’s moved when alive), read some very ordinary posts, and just for kicks flattered the authors by posting glowing comments (I guess they couldn't be bothered), being dragged to and falling asleep in a random play, drinking, getting horribly hung over, moaning over the lack of good books or movies (not even Rat a-fucking too ee) , sorting out admin matters of life (a dated passport, buying new hand towels, polishing shoes), and some meaningless chronicling at Smokerings and working only a little bit.

Just push play and Sing-a-long. I have taken the liberty of changing the gender back, but kept some of Joplin’s defining touches.

Me and Bobby McGee
Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for the trains,
And I’s feeling nearly faded as my jeans.
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained,
Took us all the way to New Orleans.

I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana
And was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues,
With them windshield wipers slapping time and
I was holding Bobby’s hand in mine
We finally sang up every song that driver knew.

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose,

Nothing don't mean nothing honey if it ain't free, now now.
Feeling good was easy; Lord, when Bobby sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,

Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

From the Kentucky coalmines to the California sun,

Hey, Bobby shared the secrets of my soul.

Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done,

Hey Bobby baby! kept me from the cold.

One day up near Salinas, lord, I let her slip away,
She was looking for that love I hope she’ll find,
Well I’d trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday,
To be holding Bobby’s body close to mine.

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,
And nothing left was all she left to me,
Feeling good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues,
And buddy, that was good enough for me.
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

La la la, la la la la, la la la,

la la la laLa la la la la Bobby McGee.

La la la la la, la la la la la

La la la la la, Bobby McGee, la.

La La la, la la la la la la,

La La la la la la la la la, hey now Bobby now Bobby McGee yeah.

Na na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na na na na na

Hey now Bobby now, Bobby McGee, yeah

Next post: Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

1 comment:

procheta said...

LOL. i was always amazed at how they all died at 27. ''her héart was a legend'' and all their names starting with J ... stupid coincidences that excite you when you are a rock head at 18.

i didnt know that kristofferson dated janis.

had heard that thre was a time that she dated leonard cohen.Chelsea Hotel always makes me think that he wrote it for her.

but that could be my imagination.

its funny how we make this assumptions and interpretations when we watch something, hear something, read somthing or see something.