Monday, May 28, 2007

It's rainin' inside a big brown moon

It's rainin' inside a big brown moon
How does that mess you baby up, leg
Eatin' a Reuben sandwich with sauerkraut
Don't stop now, baby, let it all hang out.

Billy Cunningham was in the Memphis band The Hombres when he wrote those lines. Ooops, no. Billy Cunningham was in the Memphis BoxTopss. But his brother B.B. was in the Hombres. To me, there could hardly be any bit of writing more in synch with the tenor of the Basement Tapes of Dylan and the Band.
Slipshot, off-the-hip, Boccaccioan. In tune with some eternal slapstick mode. Dylan and the Band were down in the basement in 1967 putting out similar. [Last time you said Rabelisian; what is with you?]

Sometimes I have wondered if Dylan didnt hear Let it all Hang it out when he was composing the Basement oevre. Griel Marcus focuses on 1967's Ode to Billie Joe by Bobby Gentry as the magnet that attacted Bob and the Band to revisit off-beat country talk songs [I am a Teenage Prayer, The AllAmerican BOy, Teen Angel .. well they didnt do Teen Angel..]. I guess the Hombres post-dated those sessions, but it is hard to say.
Of course, there was a lot more to the Basement Tapes then these type of talk numbers.
But for me they inform the rest. So my research leads me to surmise that Let it All Hang Out came out in the summer of 1967 but did not 'chart' until the fall which I take to be past the essential time of The Basement Tape creation.

Little matter; the soul is there. In fact, the Hombres' Let it All Hang out was a cross pollination from Dylan.

Cunningham admitted in a Goldmine interview that their original inspiration for the song had been Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," which they regarded as a goof masquerading as something profound; but "Let It Out" was even more over-the-top, and also had a decided working-class southern feel that made it a little more regionally appealing than its inspiration ...
Again, no matter. For me this song is a song the boys sang as they went off to the war.
No parkin' by the sewer sign
Hot dog, my razor's broke
Water drippin' up the spout
But I don't care, let it all hang out.
Thoughts on American Primitive Vol. 2 - Moon Traveller Herald

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