Friday, December 15, 2006

Ahmet Ertegun, David Geffen, and Jackson Browne 

Reading that Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun passed away at the age of 83 yesterday, I was reminded of the Jackson Browne story.

I've heard a few different versions of the tale. The basic story is that in 1971, Jackson Browne, then an unknown young singer-songwriter, sent a demo tape to David Geffen, who had been a manager for Laura Nero as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.

Geffen threw Browne's demo tape away, but his secretary noticed Browne's picture in the trash can, thought he was cute, and made Geffen listen to the tape.

Geffen listened, decided Browne had potential, and shopped the demo all over LA, trying to find a record company that was interested. But nobody was buying.

He went back to Ahmet Ertegun, whose Atlantic Records had put out the first CS&N album, then Deja Vu the following year.

Ertegun wasn't impressed with the demo, remarking something along the lines of, "Can't sing. Can't play the guitar. What's the big deal?"

Geffen persisted saying, "You could make millions with this kid."

Ertegun replied, "I already have millions."

Geffen said, "I brought you Crosby, Stills & Nash. I'm doing you a favor."

Ertegun ended the conversation with, "Don't do my any favors. If he's so good, start your own record company. Let him make you rich."

And that's what David Geffen did, founding Asylum records, signing Jackson Browne as it's first artist, and getting Crosby and Nash to provide back-up vocals on the first album (sometimes called Saturate Before Using).

And the rest is, well, you know.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Health News from Wingnutia 

Craig Burnham, a diarist at DKos, noticed World NET Daily (Danger!!! Wingnuts Ahead) had a piece warning that eating soy bean products leads to (wait for it)


It seems that soy contains estrogen. So WND columnist Jim Rutz makes the leap (of faith, so to speak), that eating soy leads to small penises and turns boys gay.

Typical of Christianist mentality, Mr. Rutz is only concerned with the male of the species. So there is no mention of the impact of all that soy estrogen on female children.

But I've got to wonder, if something in the American diet is "feminzing" a large segment of the young male population, wouldn't there be a proportionate reduction in the number of lesbians? Not happening in my neighborhood.

Then there is the China problem. In China, they eat a whole bunch of tofu. Tofu is made from soy. If all the guys in China were gay, wouldn't that sort of take care of their little (not) population problem?

Well, this has been fun, but now I'm getting hungry. Think I'll whip up a little stir fry tonight.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More unpopular than . . . 

Over at Talking Points Memo, reader JM points out that

The Iraq War is less popular than gay marriage, legalizing pot, banning handguns, and rescinding the death penalty.

Take your stands accordingly.


No Victory Waiting 

Joe Gallaway:
Let's get a few more things straight right now.

There's no victory waiting for President Bush in Iraq, and nothing that his father's friends say or do can save him from an ignominious end to his presidency in two years and two months, or from the judgment of history.

There will be no convenient and successful negotiation of a "decent interval" with our enemies Iran and Syria to cover our withdrawal from a war that we should never have started.

There can be no successful Vietnamization in Iraq -- standing up more and better Iraqi army and police units and handing control over to them -- when all we're doing is arming and training more recruits for the civil war that clogs the streets of Baghdad with the corpses of the victims of a Sunni-Shia bloodbath.

What we need to do is what none of the commissions and their reports dared to suggest: Begin withdrawing American forces from Iraq right now. Not in 2008. Not after the American death toll has crossed 5,000. Not just in time for a presidential election.

If you worry about the future of Iraq, don't. It will remain what it's always been: a violent, angry land of warring tribes only occasionally beaten and bludgeoned into submission by a homegrown despot like Saddam Hussein.
Time to go.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Put the F***ing Troops on the F***ing Planes 

Back in my army days I was taught, and then taught others, that a mission statement should be clear, concise, and achievable.

Posting at DKos, seesdifferent resurrects this beauty from the history books:
... in Chicago in 1968, while his policemen were beating up the demonstrators ..., Mayor Richard Daley apparently told Lyndon Johnson that it was time to pull the troops out of Vietnam.... "How am I to do this?" Johnson asked pleadingly. To which Daley is said to have replied: "You put the fucking troops on the fucking planes and you get them out of there!"
I'm surprised that Daley didn't add, a la Sean Connery's Jimmy Malone:
That's the Chicago way.


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