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HIWAY AMERICA-GREENWICH VILLAGE WHAT REMAINS OF N.Y. BEAT GENERATION?

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Greenwich Village Sunday (1960 Documentary On The Counterculture / Beat

Culture In 1960’s New York)

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http://youtu.be/nBfJyGjtxRg

Greenwich Village: what remains of New York’s beat generation haunts?

Inside Llewyn Davis

http://youtu.be/R3v9pcQJZRU

A new Coen brothers film celebrates Greenwich Village in its 60s heyday, but what’s left of Dylan and Kerouac’s New York? Karen McVeigh takes a cycle tour of the area
Inside Llewyn Davis still
A still from the Coen Brothers new film, Inside Llewyn Davis. Photograph: Alison Rosa/Studio Canal
Karen McVeigh
@karenmcveigh1
Sunday 22 December 2013 01.00 EST Last modified on Thursday 22 May 2014 06.51 EDT

Five decades have passed since America’s troubadours and beat poets flocked to Greenwich Village, filling its smoky late-night basement bars and coffee houses with folk songs and influencing some of the most recognisable musicians of the era.

A few landmarks of those bygone bohemian days – most recently portrayed in the Coen brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis, out on 24 January – still exist. The inspiration for the movie’s fictional anti-hero, Davis, was Brooklyn-born Dave Van Ronk, a real- life blues and folk singer with no small talent, who worked with performers such as Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan, but remained rooted in the village until he died in 2002, declining to leave it for any length of time and refusing to fly for many years. Van Ronk’s posthumously published memoir, the Mayor of MacDougal Street, takes its name from the street that was home to the Gaslight Cafe, and other early 60s folk clubs.

The Village stretches from the Hudson River Park east as far as Broadway, and from West Houston Street in the south up to West 14th Street. Its small scale makes it easy to explore on foot and perfect for a musical pilgrimage, but the arrival last summer of New York’s bike-sharing scheme, Citibike, makes for a more adventurous experience.

CitiBikers in Greenwich Village
CitiBikers in Greenwich Village. Photograph: Alamy
I picked up a bike outside Franklin Street subway station, south of the Village in Tribeca, and headed out to the river, at Pier 45. Looking south you can see One World Trade Center: at 541m, it’s now the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Cycle or walk to the end of the boardwalk that juts out into the Hudson, facing Hoboken, New Jersey, and look to your left and you can see the Statue of Liberty. From there, it’s a short cycle along Christopher Street, up Hudson and along West 10th, to Bleecker Street, where designer boutiques such as Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and Lulu Guinness mark the area’s steep gentrification.

On MacDougal Street, a jumble of comedy cellars, theatres and cheap eateries have mostly replaced the old, liquorless cafes and basement bars of the folk scene. It is the hub of New York University’s campus and many of the bars, falafel joints and pizza houses are priced for students, with $2 beers thrown in.

But several older venues still exist, including the Bitter End, which staged folk “hootenannies” every Tuesday and now calls itself New York’s oldest rock club”. The White Horse Tavern, built in 1880, still stands on the corner of Hudson Street and 11th. It was used by New York’s literary community in the 1950s – most notably Welsh bard Dylan Thomas. It was here, myth has it, that the writer had been drinking in November 1953, before he was rushed to hospital from his room at the Chelsea Hotel, and died a few days later.

Dave Van Ronk
Folk singer Dave Van Ronk, the inspiration for the Llewyn Davis character. Photograph: Kai Shuman/Getty Images
The original Cafe Wha? remains at 115 MacDougal Street, on the corner of Minetta Lane. In the bitter winter of 1961, when the Coen brothers movie is set, cash-strapped artists similar to Davis would take their chances at the open mic. It was here that Bob Dylan made his New York debut, and Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac performed. Cafe Wha? continued to attract artists and musicians long after the Village folk scene gave way to rock’n’roll. A notice on the door catalogues a few of the famous names who played here: Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Havens, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and the Velvet Underground. It is still a popular music venue, with a house band playing five nights a week.

The real centre of the folk scene back then, however, was Washington Square, where musicians would gather on Sundays to swap ideas, learn new material and play. According to folk singer and historian Elijah Wald, the ballad and blues singers who sat around the fountain in the park created sounds that would influence artists from Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez to folk-rock groups the Lovin’ Spoonful, the Byrds and the Mamas and the Papas. The hero of the Coens’ film is not Van Ronk, according to Wald, but he does sing some Van Ronk songs and shares his working-class background.

When I visited on a sunny but cold December day, there was only one musician, a saxophonist, playing under Washington Square’s stone arch, but at weekends the park fills with rap and jazz musicians playing to tourists and students. Bikes are not officially allowed inside the square, but there are Citibike stations around it, so it’s easy to park and walk around.

A block north of the park, on West 8th Street, is a historic 107-room property once known as Marlton House and home to many writers and poets, who were attracted by relatively cheap rates and the bohemian neighbourhood. Jack Kerouac wrote The Subterraneans and Tristessa while living here and, in a darker episode, Valerie Solanas was staying in room 214 in 1968, when she became infamous for stalking and then shooting Andy Warhol.

The Marlton Hotel
The new Marlton Hotel
Sean MacPherson, who owns the stylish Bowery and Jane hotels nearby, has just reopened the building as the Parisian-inspired Marlton Hotel (marltonhotel.com). I popped in to its very comfortable lobby for coffee and a flick through its copy of John Strausbaugh’s The Village: 400 years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues. And I caught up with Strausbaugh later, to ask him about the village in the early 1960s, when young idealists were living hand to mouth and sleeping on friends’ couches.

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“In 1961, if you were in any way an artistic person in America, in that vast American landscape, you were a lonely figure,” said Strausbaugh. “You heard about San Francisco, you heard about Greenwich Village, and you went there. You didn’t play there to make money; you went there to be heard. Like Dylan, who played at the Cafe Wha?, then got another entry-level gig, then began playing at the biggest places.”

There were others, Strausbaugh said, like Van Ronk, who were talented, but whose ambitions were more modest than those of Dylan and Baez. The unique thing about the Village, he added, is that it survived so long as a bohemian enclave, from the early 1850s, when it attracted poets such as Walt Whitman, to the beatniks and folk revivalists of the 1950s and later.

“The left bank [in Paris] did not last 100 years, but the Village did,” he said.

Many of the buildings and sometimes entire streets in the Village have been preserved and are now home to some of the most expensive real estate in Manhattan and sought-after for their distinctive, old Greenwich Village look. A struggling folk artist might find a cheap meal in one of the student cafes around MacDougal Street, but they would never be able to afford to live in the area – or anywhere in Manhattan, realistically.

“It has not been completely finished off,” said Strausbaugh. “There are still a lot of theatres. But the people who make the music have not been able to live there for 20 or 30 years.”

Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation Q&A at DOC NYC 2012

http://youtu.be/28cc8qaI748

Bleecker Street: Greenwich Village in the ’60s traces and tributes the bohemian Mecca’s part in the emergence of singer/songwriters and the folk revival during the ’60s. The initial passion and sense of discovery in this music remains undimmed, as politically and emotionally conscious songs by Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Tim Buckley, Judy Collins, and Paul Simon are reinterpreted by contemporary artists like Chrissie Hynde, Ron Sexsmith, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and many others.

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LEGENDS OF FOLK: THE VILLAGE SCENE | Clip | PBS

http://youtu.be/VQjVXeUz7uI

THE VILLAGE MOVEMENT

http://www.nytimes.com/video/movies/100000003523696/this-weeks-movies-feb-20-2015.html?playlistId=1248069018693

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Phil Ochs

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Phil Ochs

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PHIL OCHS SINGING “WE AINT MARCHING ANYMORE” 1975

AMERICAN MASTERS PBS- PHIL OCHS THE,FULL DOCUMENTARY-WELL WORTH WATCHING “THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE”

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/phil-ochs-there-but-for-fortune/watch-the-full-documentary/1962/

PHIL OCHS BIOGRAPHY

Singer-songwriter, protest music

Phil Ochs’ songs are on par with his contemporaries: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Pete Seeger, as well as Woody Guthrie and Ramblin’ Jack.

Phil Ochs Biography:

Phil Ochs was born in El Paso, TX, in December, 1940. While studying journalism at the Ohio State University, he met and befriended Jim Glover, whose father was one of Phil’s mentors. However, after just three years at the University, Phil moved to New York City, where he quickly infiltrated the booming Greenwich Village folk music scene.
In 1964, he released his first record and, within two years, he had enough success to play to a sold out crowd at Carnegie Hall.

In 1967, he signed a contract with A&M Records, and began recording his fourth album, Pleasures of the Harbor. Pleasures was a bit of a departure, featuring more ornate arrangements and, as a result, was not received as well as his previous solo, acoustic efforts.

While traveling in Dar Es Salaam, Phil was mugged, resulting in the loss of the higher end of his vocal range. After returning from that trip, he seemed to go on a downward spiral, suffering from severe depression and anxiety. He committed suicide in 1976, at the age of 35.

Most of Phil Ochs’ music touches on some of the most difficult issues, raising important social and political questions. There have been two biographies written about him, and a number of tribute albums; his music continues to influence and inspire topical songwriters around the world.

“Draft Dodger Rag” – Phil Ochs

Phil Ochs live at Newport Folk Festival
© Robert Corwin

Phil Ochs was undeniably one of the greatest protest songwriters to have lived. This is only one of his great compositions, and it uses Ochs’ wry whit and humor to depict a soldier trying to get out of being drafted. Through the silliness of the lyrics, Ochs was able to paint a clear picture of the opposition to the draft so many men felt during the Vietnam war era.

I’ve got the weakness woes, I can’t touch my toes, I can hardly reach my knees / and when the enemy gets close to me I’ll probably start to sneeze
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SOME WELL KNOWN PROTEST SONGS
“Give Peace a Chance” – John Lennon
Peace
At the end of his week-long “bed-in” in 1969 with his new wife Yoko Ono, John Lennon had recording equipment brought into the hotel room. There, along with Timothy Leary, members of the Canadian Radha Krishna Temple, and a roomful of others, John recorded this song. It was the height of the Vietnam war, and this song became an anthem of the peace movement that summer. It has lived on in its anthemic quality since then during peace movements all over the world.

Everybody’s talking about Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism, This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism / All we are saying is give peace a chance

“People Have the Power” – Patti Smith
Patti Smith
Calling Patti Smith a folksinger would surely upset fans in both Folk music and Rock circles. But her anthem, “People Have the Power,” is one of the most potent, lyrical, lovely protest songs I’ve ever heard. And it’s certainly a big part of what has taken her work to legendary status. Recorded in 1988, “People Have the Power” serves as a reminder that, as she sings at the end of the song, “everything we dream can come to pass through our union” including, presumably, a world without war.

I awakened to the cry that the people have the power / To redeem the work of fools upon the meek / the graces shower / Its decreed / the people rule
“Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation” – Tom Paxton

Tom Paxton
© Elektra Records

Tom Paxton is another one of those artists who has just penned song after song of exquisite empowerment and protest. His classic “Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation” was pointedly about being drafted to serve in Vietnam, but if you substitute any international conflict, the words still ring true. The song sings about being part of an escalation of troops, fighting a never-ending war, using force to proliferate peace: all topics as topical today (unfortunately) as they were when the song was penned.

Lyndon Johnson told the nation have no fear of escalation / I am trying everyone to please / Though it isn’t really war, I’m sending 50,000 more / to help save Vietnam from the Vietnamese

“If I Had a Hammer” – Pete Seeger, Lee Hays
Peter, Paul & Mary
© Rhino/WEA

This is one of those songs that has seeped so far into the public consciousness that it’s included in children’s songbooks. It’s a simple, easy song to remember. It so idealistic that people can’t help but sing along. Although this was a Pete Seeger composition, it’s most frequently linked to Peter, Paul & Mary, who helped popularize it.

I’d ring out “Danger!” / I’d ring out “Warning!” / I’d ring out love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land

“War” – Edwinn Starr
Edwin Starr
© Motown

Originally recorded by the Temptations, this song was popularized in 1970 by Edwin Starr. The Vietnam war was at the height of its conflict, and the peace movement was gaining speed. The song talks about war in general, not specifically the one in Vietnam. The lyrics raise the question of whether there must be a better way to resolve conflict.
War, I despise because it means destruction of innocent lives / War means tears to thousands of mothers eyes / when their sons go to fight and lose their lives

“I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore” – Phil Ochs
Phil Ochs – I Ain’t Marching Anymore album cover
© Elektra

Phil Ochs was one of the most prolific “protest song” writers on the scene in the 60s and 70s. This song takes the voice of a young soldier who is refusing to fight in any more wars, after having seen and participated in so many killings at war. It’s a poetic look into the inside of the ugliness of war, and a staunch claim for Och’s “War is Over” stance.

I marched in the battle of New Orleans at the end of the early British war / I killed my brothers and so many others, but I ain’t marching anymore
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“Where Have All the Flowers Gone” – Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger
© Sony

That Pete Seeger really knows how to write those protest songs. This is yet another classic by Woody’s protege. The simple recurring lyrics make it completely sing-along-able. The story is of the cycle of war, beginning with young girls picking flowers that eventually end up on the graves of their dead soldier husbands. The recanting of “When will they ever learn” is so pretty and catchy that it gets sung at peace demonstrations even still.