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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Surfabout (a movie by Jennifer Hedley) + Link Wray

SURFABOUT (a film) Link Wray (a guitarist)

My niece, Jennifer Hedley, has had her movie, SURFABOUT, about her experiences in New Zealand and Australia, accepted to the IFCT, International Festival of Cinema and Technology, a film festival down under. (Details to follow.) SURFABOUT is Jenny's own digital journey through a year of exploration among surfers, aboriginals, deer farmers, and others. One whose star emerges is Pauline Metzcer, who ends up winning the World Championship by the film's finish. It's professionally edited (Jenny is now working in Hollywood and attending the USC Film School Extension program) and scored: a real breakthrough. Congrats, Jenny.

You can see Jenny surf at in a story called Surf Patrol, which features a boat called a Protector 40.

A MUSICAL NOTE (Link Wray, + worst pop songs ever)

In last week's Slate, James Sullivan dissects "We had seasons in the sun," as the possible worst pop song ever. It's been getting lots of covers, some folky, some punky, because it's-just-so-bad. Worst songs are in a category all their own, and this one certainly qualifies for an award of some kind. I think of Melanie's "I have a brand new pair of roller-skates (you have a brand-new key)" as belonging up there.

What caught my eye, though, was the assertion that Link Wray contributed the guitar intro on the original No. 1 English version (the song was originally a morose French tune). Link Wray is one of my obsessions, so thanks to Sullivan. The fact that it's the intro that he contributed lends support to the theory-Link's intros and TV movie theme work feature a lot of short expressive stuff that makes the guitar almost seem to talk (he did the TV Batman hook, Rawhide, etc, in addition to the first fuzztone in Rumble).

Sullivan's piece is modest and very astute. Just the way we like 'em. It is not, however, the way to be introduced to Link Wray's work. Most people today first got him in Pulp Fiction, where his instrumental Jack the Ripper sets a certain tone.

I first heard Link in my bedroom as an 11-yr-old listening to Rev Ike on the radio in Los Angeles. He played Link's single Fire and Brimstone--Link was in a holy-roller backwoods phase, necessitated by being dropped by his label.

I met Link at Santa's Village in Los Gatos, Calif. on a summer night in 1974. Someday I'll tell that story. Not now.

A POLITICAL NOTE (Blogging and Catallus in an age of decline):

In the poem Be Not Angry At The Sun (see earlier), Jeffers tries to jolt me/us out of anger at our low era by saying there's nothing new here. It comes to me he also cautions against doing a blog:

"You are not Catullus, you know/...You are far from Dante's feet..."

And yet, to say nothing corrodes morale. Even if we embarrass ourselves, it's still better to stick up for something.

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