"Brother, Can you Spare
$87,000?" and "Getting Famous" Part Two
TN July 18, 2006 - - Well, to be brief, I got my mortgage, so those of you
who've been worried to death that I might not be able to continue my dissolute
lifestyle can rest peacefully. Both of you.
I'd like to talk about fame again. Not George Raft's. Mine. So this is gonna be
a very short discussion, okay? A couple of years ago I got a letter from a music
writer named Marley Brant, who was working on a book that is called "Tales
from the Rock and Roll Highway" or something. Anyway Marley wanted permission
to use a piece I had written, "Dance Hall Gals: Marcia Routh", in the
book. I was duly flattered and gave it, and eventually the book came out.
don't have the book, so I can't quote directly, but the last time I was in the
Netherlands, or maybe the time before that, my friend the worldwide webster Riny
had a copy of it sitting around his lodgings and I got a look at it. It's basically
the usual anthology format: the anthologist discusses what is going to follow,
in italics or something, and then you got your piece. The story was basically
about how I once got hauled in, though not actually arrested, for rape and my
friend Marcia Routh rescued me.
here's the interesting part: in the little intro before the story, Marley says
something like "Sometimes even being famous isn't enough to save you from
interfacing with the authorities", or something like that, setting the reader
up for what is to follow.
then, what follows is something like " by Panama Red (New Riders of the Purple
Sage)". Which anybody, including me and especially the New Riders, will tell
you is bullshit and completely inaccurate. So there's this irony thing going on:
here's a story about being famous and yet I'm not so famous that Marley doesn't
get the information completely wrong. Peter Rowan, who wrote the song "Panama
Red" and I, Panama Red, who has lived the life, have had such a thing about
it that we've somehow managed to avoid meeting for thirty years, despite multiple
career and mutual-friend bi-coastal overlaps.
I guess a better lead-in would have been "Sometimes even being famous is
not enough to avoid being mistaken for a song Peter Rowan wrote and the New Riders