Friday, March 03, 2006

Dr John rides van through 9th Ward

Families pass music on. Transmission of culture needs a place. That is the message as NPR provides a ride in a van through brokedown New Orleans with Dr. John.

"This is my heart and its broke," says Dr. John, "The city is broken in a million ways."

It is like he is looking for the ghost. The landmarks are all obscured. You cant tell where Mr Google Eyes ["I'm a hen laying rooster and my feathers dont match"] or Cousin Joe ["You'll Never Get Nothing Without Trying"] was.

The Ninth Ward. "This was such a vibrant chunk of different ends of New Orleans music."
"If you look at what's left. It's all over. It's like dat," he says, passing a house lying on top of another house." He is crying.

Looking at Fats Domino's house. Looking at Dukie Chase's restaurant. Noting the line from Ray Charles' Early in the Morning.



"Went to Dukie Chase to get something to eat ..
the waitress looks at me and says 'Ray you sure look beat.'"


"This is the pathetic part about why what aint open."

"It wasn't just the muscians it was the whole guts of the city.. the characters that were the customers.. everybody was a part of the culture that made the music flourish here like no place else."

Dr. John in fact is my piano teacher -- via VCR. I agree with him that true proximity is how this stuff is real. This is sacred ground, says the NPR reporter, not some future creole disney land. "This is the musical seedbed of america." Thanks to John Hogan for pointing to this story.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5240124

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