Tokyo Storm Warning

An earlier piece on Recliner Notes investigates Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and the different traditions from which Dylan examined and pulled, including rhyming songs, nonsense songs, Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business,” and skatting within songs. At the core of the Dylan song and these other song forms is the rhyming and unrelenting cadenceContinue reading “Tokyo Storm Warning”

See You Later, Allen Ginsberg

“See you later, alligator” is an expression of which we don’t know the original author or point of origin, similar to a street joke. According to research, the first known recorded usage of the phrase was “published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Honolulu, Hawaii) of 1st May 1952” in a column titled “Teenagers’ Slang Expressions AreContinue reading “See You Later, Allen Ginsberg”

Outlaw Blues

In 2017, Bob Dylan was interviewed by Bill Flanagan to promote Triplicate, Dylan’s third consecutive album of standards. In the interview, he talked about the music before rock ‘n roll and how thinking back on that time informed the making of Triplicate. But rock ‘n roll changed him as he described that moment in theContinue reading “Outlaw Blues”

Subterranean Homesick Blues

My paternal great-grandfather was a legend for my Dad and my Uncle Scott and then later for me and my sisters. His name was Junebug Middelton. He ran away from home to join the circus and became a whistler. He played minor league baseball and met famed Yankees manager Casey Stengel in those days. OneContinue reading “Subterranean Homesick Blues”