Monday, May 17, 2010

your daily racism/knickers mashup

I had to go over to my local Tesco to get some petrol earlier so I was able to have another interesting random mid-morning Radio 4 programming encounter. This one was a programme about the real-life events depicted in Bob Dylan's classic early-60s song The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll. It's off the 1964 album The Times They Are A-Changin', probably Dylan's starkest and most serious "protest" album (and a steal at £4.97 on Amazon).

It's interesting for many reasons, not least because of the real-life context. Dylan's song is a pretty straight re-telling of the incident and the subsequent court case and verdict, which in turn is a classic illustration of early-60s racism - privileged white guy kills downtrodden black woman and is essentially let off with only a token jail sentence.

It's also interesting for the mondegreen that it contains - I obviously wasn't listening all that closely on my first few hearings of the song, because I'd always understood Hattie Carroll to have been murdered by two blokes called "Williams and Zinger" (though strangely they wielded only one cane between them). In fact it was just the one bloke - William Zantzinger, who coincidentally died a year or so ago. He always claimed that he'd been shamefully misrepresented by the song, but he does genuinely seem to have been a massive racist and just generally a bit of a shit.

Incidentally the official Dylan website has a handy little interactive facility which allows you to listen to the first minute or so of all the songs on Dylan's countless albums; handy if you're trying to decide which one to buy.

As always with Dylan the song's influence has percolated its way into popular culture, for instance with the last line of the chorus being used as the title for the frankly bizarre (and commercially doomed) Wendy James/Elvis Costello 1993 collaboration Now Ain't The Time For Your Tears.

Wendy James is of course most famous for having a few hits with Transvision Vamp in the late 1980s - I vividly recall going to a gig of theirs at the Anson Rooms in Bristol in probably 1989 and joining a group of baying students down the front trying to get a glimpse up her skirt. There was one bloke (not me, honest) who had clearly given up any pretence of listening to the music and just kept bellowing GET YER MILKERS OUT constantly for the entire gig in an impressive display of persistence and stamina. Ah, youth.

[A footnote: anyone having a nostalgic trawl through Google Images for pictures, as I did to retrieve the one displayed on the right, should be warned that there appears to be a Wendy James who is in the, hem hem, adult entertainment business. So some of the images will be a bit NSFW (and, less importantly, of the wrong person).]

6 comments:

D R Y B A B Y said...

"...A footnote: anyone having a nostalgic trawl through Google Images for pictures, as I did to retrieve the one displayed on the right, should be warned that there appears to be a Wendy James who is in the, hem hem, adult entertainment business. So some of the images will be a bit NSFW (and, less importantly, of the wrong person)..."

There is also a Wendy James who is ,hem,hem, 44 and on coke..

http://drybaby1.blogspot.com/2010/05/broken-english.html

and more importantly..

It IS the same person.

See ya

D R Y B A B Y

electrichalibut said...

Yikes. That is quite some blog you've got there. I mean, you may be right about the coke thing, but....a harsher critic than myself might say that you seem a bit obsessional about the whole thing.

I see the blog archive goes back to 2007; what was it that prompted you to start it up? Fill us in on a bit of background; I'm genuinely intrigued.

Anonymous said...

Hi Electrichalibut,
Just to belatedly put you in the picture about Anthony Drybaby Clinton.
In 2006 he did a spot of album sleeve design (not very good) for Wendy. In addition he had weaselled his way into running most of Wendy's fan club.

He became besotted and obsessive about Wendy to such a degree that the only option open was to sack him.
Sad, lonely and embittered he started his Drybaby blog.

Folk have been laughing at him for over 7 long years now.
Just google Anthony Drybaby Clinton sad touch typist troll and follow the Amazon links. The public comments to the reviews provide much information on the lifestory of Drybaby.

Sadbuster

Anonymous said...

Hi Electrichalibut,
Just to belatedly put you in the picture about Anthony Drybaby Clinton.
In 2006 he did a spot of album sleeve design (not very good) for Wendy. In addition he had weaselled his way into running most of Wendy's fan club.

He became besotted and obsessive about Wendy to such a degree that the only option open was to sack him.
Sad, lonely and embittered he started his Drybaby blog.

Folk have been laughing at him for over 7 long years now.
Just google Anthony Drybaby Clinton sad touch typist troll and follow the Amazon links. The public comments to the reviews provide much information on the lifestory of Drybaby.

Sadbuster

Anonymous said...

Wot a Dickhead!

I bet you carry a shemale bag when you go shopping and easily slip on ice!

Clearly no one likes you or your ramblings at all!

Amazon seem to be doing a good job on you though, best laughs I have had for ages.

Oink!

Pete Betterware

Anonymous said...

Just checked out your website Drybaby!!
You sure are a sad sack!!
Obsessive does'nt cover it!!
Psycho maybe does!!

BertieFortitude