Program Notes

White guy: "What's the name of this?"
Sonny Boy: "`A Little Village.' `A Little Village,' motherfucker. `A Little Village.'"

White: "There isn't a motherfucking thing in there about a village, you son of a bitch. Nothing in the song that got anything to do with a village."

Sonny: "Well, a small town!"
White: "I know what a village is."
Sonny: "Well all right, goddammit. You don't name a town, you name it after I get through with it, son of a bitch. Name it what you want to. You name it `Your Mammy' if you want to."

Getcher Bruce boots, getcher Bruce boots here. No I didn't tape it, but I'm certain you did - Springsteen's new and wholly unauthorized "video" was delivered to bootleggers via PBS this past Thursday during A Tribute to Harry Chapin. I was a major fan of Chapin's work, and apparently so were some big music stars who appeared on the show to sing the man's songs. B.S., unfortunately, did not do justice to the late singer-songwriter-guitarist. Instead, he chose to walk through one of those "Thunder Road" type speech-song-speech-song routines, bitching that Chapin always talked his ear off when the two got together many moons ago. Bruce must practice these speeches in front of a full-length mirror - a full-length funhouse mirror. Music is unity, end hunger, yeah, yeah, yeah. It's groovy that Big Harry aimed Bruce toward altruism, but next time find the damn runway dude, and try a little sincerity. Remember, Chapin used to perform some 200 concerts a year, half of them for charity. (He died after a car wreck in 1981.)

The highlight of the show, apart from the begging breaks for Channel 2's coffers (that's a joke, son) and the clips of Chapin performing live, came from Richie Havens, who melted the building with his brilliant, bluesy, acoustic treatment of "W.O.L.D." Havens didn't speak a word, but his singing and playing said it all. (Ironically, earlier that same day, during All My Children, the "fabric of our lives" cotton commercial featuring Havens's voice aired on ABC. I do tape AMC.)

Butthorn of the week: Judy Collins and the producers of A Tribute to Harry Chapin. Having Collins "sing" Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" was a sick idea.

The media circus: He's a kooky conservative, but he's also a wonderful wordsmith - most of the time. William Safire, writing in the New York Times Magazine, broached the etymological origin of "He shoots! He scores!" Safire stated, "That nonce acclamation is taken from a sportscaster's excited report of a successful shot in basketball, patterned after the baseball announcer Mel Allen's `How 'bout that!' after a home run, a generation or so ago." I don't think so, Billy. "He shoots! He scores!" was and is a phrase used to describe hockey action. Also, I hate the style rule that requires Safire to write "the announcer Mel Allen." Just "announcer Mel Allen" would be fine. (And while we're on the topic, the New Times basketball team concluded its season in the YMCA South District League with a second-round play-off loss. To the players Billy, Todd, Kirk, Flood, Eddie, Juan, Frank, Steve: get ready for next season, guys.)

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