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geezer cinema: revisiting contagion (steven soderberg, 2011)

Every week since my wife retired, we have gone to the movies for what we call "Geezer Cinema". The movies aren't necessarily for geezers, but we are geezers, and we've found that if you go to a theater for the Tuesday at 1:10 PM showing of a movie, the few other people in the audience are geezers, as well. We have now seen 33 movies in this adventure:

Letterboxd Geezer Cinema List

Times are changing every day right now. Where we live, a "shelter at home" order has been passed ... we aren't supposed to go out except for emergencies. Movies don't qualify, and in fact, theaters have closed, anyway. So we can't go to the movies, but we wanted to continue the Geezer Cinema tradition, even though one reason we thought it up in the first place was so we'd get out of the house.

It was my wife's turn to pick, and she chose a movie a lot of people are watching right now: Contagion. Because we were at home, the movie wasn't new ... hey, you do what you can. It does mean I finish the rest of this post fairly easily, because I wrote about it back in 2012. Having watched it again, I don't think I'd change anything, so here it was/is, via the magic of cut-and-paste:

Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011). An odd movie, mostly because it’s not very odd at all. It’s a thriller about a fast-spreading virus, but the action is presented in a matter-of-fact manner that quiets the thrills. It seems ripe for philosophical interludes (I am, after all, the person whose favorite book is The Plague by Albert Camus), but it sidesteps them. It’s got an all-star cast, with three Best Actress Oscar winners and a bunch of guys who have won or been nominated for Oscars of their own, yet it treats them all as actors first and movie stars second. The low-key nature of the film is nice, considering how many similar films crank up the cheap emotion and show lots of things blowing up. And it’s not overlong, and it’s never boring. But neither is it ever great.

a saint without god

I wrote this in 1995 for the journal Bad Subjects. I am reprinting it here, unedited, because the Bad Subjects website has been down for what feels like years. I chose this because it includes some thoughts about my favorite book, The Plague by Albert Camus, which seems appropriate these days.

A Saint Without God

This essay is dedicated to my mother.

St. Jude

'Kiss someone you love when you get this letter and make magic. With love all things are possible.'

Thus began a chain letter I received recently. Chain letters are interesting, if scummy, examples of what might happen to us if we let faith overrule other sides of our character. Someone, often a perfect stranger but sometimes, sadly, a so-called friend, offers us a chance at riches, if we only put our faith in the person who has sent us the chain letter. All we have to do is part with some of our hard-earned money, and as long as we can find enough chumps who, like us, are stupid enough to unthinkingly put their faith in others, we will make far more money than we are giving up.

This particular chain letter, which arrived, as far as I can tell from reading it, from St. Jude himself, differed from others I have seen, though, because this one wasn't asking me for money. No, all I had to do was kiss someone, and then send the letter along to twenty other people, and everything would start going my way, because 'with love all things are possible.' 'This is no joke,' read the letter, 'Send copies to people you think need luck.' At this point, I begin wondering which of my friends was thinking of me when they saw this line; clearly someone out there thinks I 'need luck,' or I would never have gotten the letter in the first place.

'Don't send money,' I was told, for 'Fate has no price.' I've been thinking about that last sentence for awhile, now, and can't decide if it is extremely deep or merely obscure. But if I have faith, its meaning will be irrelevant, since I'll be rewarded with great riches, just for kissing someone and for believing that with love, all things are possible.

'This is true. Even if you are or are not superstitious.' This is faith: I believe something is true, whether or not other people believe it. If I have faith, I will be rewarded. In this case, my faith is magnanimous, it is a faith that asks only to be shared, even with non-believers. If we all at least pretend to believe, if we all keep the chain from breaking, we will all be rewarded with riches. And we don't send any money, we just kiss someone. 

'Do not ignore this letter. IT WORKS!!!!!!!' I'm an unbeliever, but I'm not going to ignore the letter. Oh, I never got around to sending it to twenty friends (although I did kiss someone I love). But I've been thinking about it off and on ever since it arrived; at this point I couldn't ignore it if I tried. Because it's about faith, it believes in something, it wants to share its good fortune with others, and it seems to leave room for an unbeliever like me. I am forced to break the chain, of course, if I am to remain true to my non-beliefs, but I'll honor the spirit of faith that drives the letter by thinking a little more about the Patron Saint of Lost Causes who sent it to me. 

We Are Bad Subjects

The more I look at the paragraph above, the more I realize I could be talking about Bad Subjects just as easily as I could about chain letters. Bad Subjects is about faith. Bad Subjects believes in something. Bad Subjects wants to share its good fortune with others, and it seems to leave room for an unbeliever like me. 

Faith requires a belief in the future, a sense that what happens tomorrow will be different from today in some critical manner. Last year at this time, Bad Subjects ran 'The Apocalypse Issue,' and for many of us writing then, the apocalypse evoked discussions of the meaning of faith. I wrote in that issue, 'At some basic level, all believers desire an apocalypse, a utopia, a definable, different, perhaps distant future where our beliefs will be proven true.' Believers have faith in that future; indeed, without such faith, action would seem irrelevant, unnecessary. It requires a leap of faith to believe a kiss and twenty sealed envelopes will lead to riches; it requires a leap of faith to believe that a critical analysis of the politics of everyday life will change the world in some central fashion, whereby our utopia will eventually be realized. It is exceedingly difficult, in fact, for any of us to work towards the future without having any real belief in that future. One could even argue that a belief in the future is a prerequisite to living itself, in that we might surely give up the ghost and waste away if we didn't have faith that the next second would be worth living. However, as I argued in these pages a year ago, our need to believe does not, in and of itself, make that which we believe 'real.' Our faith is real; the object of our faith may be real, or may be an illusion. That is to say, anyone who sends along St. Jude's chain letter is believing, at least a little, in the potential power of the letter, but the letter itself is probably only that, a letter. And anyone who works towards a better tomorrow believes in the potential power of their work ... but their work is possibly only that, work, and not necessarily guaranteed to bring about utopia, no matter how much faith we have. 

And so faith in utopia, in the future, inspires us to act in the name of that future. We believe in the future, and we apply our critical tools to the understanding of the future in which we want to believe. The present becomes merely the prelude to the future; faith allows us to sacrifice today in the name of tomorrow. 


And here I ask for the indulgence of longtime Bad readers, who may have tired long ago of my frequent contemplations of the writing of Albert Camus. Jean Tarrou is a character in Camus' great novel, The Plague, an allegory about (among other things) the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. Late in the novel, Tarrou asks the hero, Doctor Rieux, if they might 'take an hour off' from their work fighting the plague that has infested their town, 'for friendship,' as Tarrou puts it. He then proceeds to tell Rieux a story of his life. Tarrou's father was a prosecutor who sent many men to their deaths, a fact which, when realized, deeply disturbed Tarrou, who decided 'to square accounts' with the criminals in the dock. He became an agitator, working against a social order 'based on the death-sentence ... by fighting the established order I'd be fighting against murder.' He understood that on occasion the people with whom he worked would themselves place a death sentence on an enemy, but Tarrou managed to live with the contradictions involved in those sentences, until he saw an enemy executed and made an explicit connection between that enemy and the criminals in the docks of his father's courtrooms. At this point, he says, 'I came to understand that I, anyhow, had had plague through all those long years in which, paradoxically enough, I'd believed with all my soul that I was fighting it.' His comrades make 'excellent arguments to justify what they do,' but for Tarrou, 'my concern was not with arguments,' but with the men in the docks. 

This makes it impossible for Tarrou to work with those comrades, of course. 'Once I'd definitely refused to kill, I doomed myself to an exile that can never end. I leave it to others to 'make history'.' 

What Tarrou decides is that he can no longer sacrifice the present in the name of the future, can no longer do that which he hates in the name of a faith in what might come. He recognizes the limitations this places on the ultimate usefulness of his actions, but he opts against ultimate usefulness in favor of living as properly as possible in the present. 'I have realized that we all have plague, and I have lost my peace,' he tells Rieux, 'And today I am still trying to find it.' Tarrou's life becomes purposely smaller in its scope, for he has moved outside the bounds of 'making history.' Now his life is simpler, if no closer to utopia: 'All I maintain is that on this earth there are pestilences and there are victims, and it's up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences.' 

Faith and Propaganda

Tarrou's comrades had faith. They believed in their vision of the future, believed with enough certainty that they could justify behavior which mirrored that of their enemies. They were revolutionaries, believers in a cause, dedicated to making history. Tarrou answers their faith with only a recognition that we all have plague, and a desire to, 'so far as possible,' refuse pestilent forces. 

Recently, the Bad Subjects Mailing List has featured a fevered thread on the contemporary issue of affirmative action. Bad Subjects, being critical in the past of some of multiculturalism's flaws, and the Bad Mailing List, where like-minded people (and some not-so-like-minded people) hang out to critique the politics of everyday life, are enlightening places to analyze the complicated issue of affirmative action in the mid-1990s. Some of us have faith. We believe in our vision of the future. That vision, informed in part by a ruthless criticism of everything existing, leads us to question the very roots of affirmative action and the multicultural movement. Our faith in the verity of Marx' challenge to be ruthless led many on the Bad List to construct effective, well-stated objections to affirmative action, objections that in their intelligence did much to advance the debate on the topic, at least among list members. 

But in the meantime, it's up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences. To quote Doctor Rieux in The Plague (as I have done far too often in my short life), 'For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing. Later on, perhaps, they'll think things over; and so shall I. But what's wanted now is to make them well.' Let others with more faith take care of making history. Later on, we will all benefit from their faithful efforts to remake the world in the image of the believed-in utopia. But for the moment, the forces of pestilence are upon us, they have the upper hand ... and sick people need curing now. 

And so some on the Bad List suggested that this was not a time when we have the luxury of ruthless criticism of everything. The plague is upon us now; faith in the future won't do much good for those who are the targets of our enemies in 1995. Faith, to paraphrase, is the opiate of us all; it deadens our ability to feel what is happening right now, allows us to become what we hate in the name of the future. Faith is a luxury we can't always afford, even though it seems most appealing at just the moment when we need to reject it most violently. 

And so, with Tarrou, I move outside the bounds of making history and concentrate on curing the sick in the here and now. For me, in the fall of 1995, this means that I fight against those who would destroy affirmative action. 

A Saint Without God

'Do not ignore this letter. IT WORKS!!!!!!!' 

How ironic that my chain letter 'came from' St. Jude. How exactly does it work, being the patron saint of lost causes? If they are lost, what can a saint do? 'Can one be a saint without God?' Tarrou said to Rieux. 'That's the problem, in fact the only problem, I'm up against today.' 

A saint without God. Living without faith. Somehow reconciling the desire to cure the sick, with the crushing knowledge that we all have plague. When you've got a lost cause, you can always pray to St. Jude. Have faith, and no cause is lost. With love all things are possible. Do not ignore this letter. It works!!!!!!!

Copyright © 1995, 2020 by Steven Rubio. All rights reserved.

police story (jackie chan, 1985)

This is Jackie Chan's favorite of his many movies, and it always turns up on lists of the greatest Jackie movies ... hell, the greatest HK action movies of all time. It is among my favorites, as well, although when I made my Top 50 list some years ago, it was Supercop (Police Story 3) that made the list. I also have a soft spot in my heart for Armour of God 2: Operation Condor, which is admittedly inconsistent and even occasionally awful, but which finishes with a colossal wind tunnel scene.

Police Story features two of Chan's best set pieces, a battle in a town that starts the film, and arguably his greatest scene, an extensive fight in a mall. There is enough between those two iconic scenes to keep your interest, but no more than that ... as great as Chan is (and he is one of the true GOATs), I don't know if he's ever made a perfect movie (his comedy works great in the action scenes, when he truly is the Buster Keaton of his day, but it is less effective outside of those scenes). There was an odd video store back in the day in Berkeley ... this was before DVDs, so everything was VHS, the owner was a wonderful snaggle-toothed guy, and every morning they put a life size replica of Robot Monster outside the front door ... they had this one tape that was nothing but 8 hours of Jackie Chan stunts.

On the plus side, Police Story features Brigitte Lin, who is not only supremely talented but who was, in the years when I watched a couple of HK films a week, my choice for most beautiful Hong Kong actor (her, or Tony Leung). On the minus side, it also has Maggie Cheung, whose character (Jackie's girlfriend) also turns up in the next two sequels. Cheung is usually marvelous ... she co-stars with Leung in In the Mood for Love, which still gets my vote as the best film of the 21st century ... but her character in the Police Story movies is a pain in the ass, unworthy of her (in fairness, in 1985 she was barely 21 and had been in only a few movies).

Still, if you start with a great action sequence, and you end with an even greater action sequence, you can forgive a lot of the rest.

Here is the mall scene. At the end, when Jackie slides down the pole, the lights were hot, resulting in second-degree burns for Chan (he also dislocated his back and injured his pelvis). Note that Brigitte Lin did some of her own stunts. And you can see why the stunt crew referred to this film as "Glass Story".

Here is Chan talking about the final stunt:

hour of the wolf (ingmar bergman, 1968)

Another movie for "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2019-20", "A 33 week long challenge where the goal each week is to watch a previously unseen feature length film from a specified category." Week 25 is called "1,001 Films to Watch Before You Die Week".

Maybe the most well known film reference book widely available for consumer purchase, 1,001 Films to Watch Before You Die is a yearly publication showcasing a selection of 1,001 films with essays and contributions by 70+ film critics. If you're a fan of film, you've most likely come across at least one edition of these books over the years, and maybe even flipped through one at one point or another. Now, the list I've linked uses the 2018 version of the book, and that's the version that will be used for this challenge, but if there's a 2019 version that is released after this Season Challenge is published, you are free to watch a film from that list, even if it didn't appear on the 2018 version.

This week's challenge is to watch a previously unseen film from the 2018 edition of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Max von Sydow died last week, so I chose one of his movies for this challenge.

David Lynch loved Hour of the Wolf. If you've seen his movies, and you see Hour of the Wolf, you'll understand his feelings. Hour of the Wolf is beautiful to look at (Bergman's usual contributor Sven Nykvist was the cinematographer). It focuses on intense psychological profiles that are rarely concrete, allowing the viewer to interpret what we are seeing both in real time, and when we look back on the film. There is plenty to talk about.

And its meaning are insular. Bergman drew on his own nightmares ... when Max von Sydow's artist Johan has terrifying visions, they have at times direct connections to things Bergman has experienced. This gives them that inscrutable, uneasy terror of the worst nightmares. They don't have to "mean" anything. But it feels like Bergman knows what they "mean".

Liv Ullmann, who is the best thing about the movie, said "she had little understanding of the subject matter during production, but recognized Bergman's traits in von Sydow's character." She knew Bergman intimately. The audience does not, so we can't really recognize Bergman, other than knowing Johan "is" Bergman.

So Hour of the Wolf becomes an example of Your Mileage May Vary. I found it intriguing, it was never boring, Liv Ullmann was excellent, and it was over in an hour-and-a-half. If it matches your taste preferences, you might agree that it has earned its spot at #485 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 1000 films of all time. For me, it does not reach the heights of The Seventh Seal (another Bergman/von Sydow collaboration).

Here is one of the best scenes in the movie. This is not the best print ... don't judge Sven Nykvist!

geezer cinema/film fatales #79: emma. (autumn de wilde, 2020)

Sometimes a movie can be wonderful even if it is far from perfect. For me, the key is often acting. A great performance makes up for a lot, and a great ensemble is even better.

Emma. is a good movie ... I don't mean to suggest otherwise. Director Autumn de Wilde, with her first feature, and screenwriter Eleanor Catton (also her feature debut), make the old recognizable. They take great care to make their movie seem real to the time of Jane Austen's novel, but while doing that, they also make us feel as if Emma and her friends and family are people we know right now. It's not just a period piece, no matter how well they recreate the period.

But in the end, it's the acting that raises Emma. above the norm. I often say, if there are many good performances in a film, the director must get at least some of the credit, and so de Wilde deserves mention here, as well. I only recognized a few of the actors ... Gemma Whelan was Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones, and Bill Nighy ... well, I would say he can make anything good, but even he couldn't rescue the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Still, I love me some Bill Nighy.

I save my most fervent praise for two of the actresses, again unknown to me. Mia Goth (what a marvelous name for an actor) is quite winning as Emma's best friend Harriet. Goth has a way of smiling that jumps off the screen; you feel her happiness. Goth also has an advantage, in that Harriet is largely likable from beginning to end, so once we become attached to her smile, she has us in her grasp.

Even more impressive is Anya Taylor-Joy as the title character. She has remarkable eyes ... if Goth's smile is entrancing, Taylor-Joy's eyes take over the screen. More importantly, Emma is a complicated character, and between de Wilde, Catton, Austen, and Taylor-Joy, we see all of Emma's sides. She is not particularly lovable. She screws up and doesn't always seem to notice. It would be fairly easy to make Emma into something of a villain. But at the same time, Taylor-Joy makes us root for Emma. So when Emma gets her comeuppance, it is satisfying. But when she gets the true love happy ending, we're glad for her nonetheless. Emma isn't one thing or another, she's all things.

(Here is a letterboxd list of Film Fatales movies.)

(And here is a letterboxd list of Geezer Cinema movies.)

they shall not grow old (peter jackson, 2018)

Perhaps the most impressive thing Peter Jackson accomplishes in this movie is to make it more than just a stunt. Where often something offbeat seems to exist just to show off, Jackson always had in mind a story about soldiers in World War I. They Shall Not Grow Old isn't there to make us amazed at the technical skill ... Jackson puts that skill to use in telling his story the best way possible.

For those who aren't aware of this film, Jackson used a hundred hours of old black-and-white footage, worked his way through hundreds of hours of interviews with soldiers, cleaned up the footage and then colorized it, and put it all together to give us a World War I we have never seen before.

It works as you would expect. The soldiers are more real to us, the war is more real, everything is more real than in a fictional film with actors. But the experience of watching They Shall Not Grow Old overwhelms your expectations. You know it will work, but you can't really be prepared for how much we are drawn in.

Jackson isn't trying to make a history of the war. He has access to footage of British soldiers, so that's who we see. He gives us the trees in the forest ... the movie is less about World War I, and more about how it felt to the soldiers in that war. You wouldn't come here to learn all about World War I. But Jackson gives us a deeper understanding of the lives of the soldiers who were fighting.

Peter Jackson's career is hard to believe. He started with splatter films. Then came Heavenly Creatures with Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey, the screenplay for which was nominated for an Oscar. After that, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They Shall Not Grow Old doesn't seem to fit with any of these, but at this point, it's enough to just accept that Jackson has a lot of films he wants to make.

international women's day: film fatales #78: the edge of seventeen (kelly fremon craig, 2016)

The idea was to watch a movie directed by a woman for International Women's Day, and The Edge of Seventeen has been sitting on my DVR for far too long, so it was the winner.

First, to get what I thought was an obvious point out of the way, this movie has nothing to do with the Stevie Nicks song. It's a coming of age story, originally titled "Besties", not only directed by first-timer Craig but written by her as well. It begins as a story about two best friends, but something happens to split them apart, and it becomes more a story of one of the two, Nadine, played by Hailee Steinfeld. She is troubled, she is self-absorbed, she is a smart-ass ... standard stuff for a teenager growing up. And The Edge of Seventeen doesn't exactly break new ground in that genre.

But certain things raise it a bit above the norm. Steinfeld is great ... well, Nadine is a great character, so credit Steinfeld, but also credit Craig for writing the character. Most of the people in the movie turn out to have more depth than seems evident at first, and that's nice ... the perfect older brother has problems, too, the seemingly lazy teacher actually cares about his students (at least, he cares about Nadine), Nadine's mom, as played by Kyra Sedgwick, annoys both Nadine and the audience, but there is more to her as well. We root for Nadine, even though Craig/Steinfeld are not afraid to show her lesser sides. It's all recognizable to anyone who went to high school in the U.S., and mostly avoids too many stereotypes.

As is often the case in teenage movies, many of the actors are clearly older than the characters they play. Steinfeld was 19-20 (irrelevant trivia: her uncle is the Body by Jake guy), Haley Lu Richardson, who plays the bestie, was 20, older brother Blake Jenner was 24, potential Nadine's boyfriend Hayden Szeto was  30-31. It's not as bad as some, but it is noticeable, and requires at least a little suspension of disbelief.

There is nothing wrong with The Edge of Seventeen, and Steinfeld is a big plus. The movie is worth a look.

Here is the student film Nadine's boyfriend made ... the actual animation was by David Silverman:

(Here is a letterboxd list of Film Fatales movies.)

where is the friend's house (abbas kiarostami, 1987)

Another movie for "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2019-20", "A 33 week long challenge where the goal each week is to watch a previously unseen feature length film from a specified category." This is out of order. Week 24 is called "Masters of the (Middle) East Week".

Twisting the rules of this one as well, as we usually showcase East Asian filmmakers here, but this time around, we're taking a trip to the Middle East. Specifically, we're going to take a look at two modern Iranian filmmakers, both of whom create challenging and critically acclaimed cinema.

This week's challenge is to watch a previously unseen film directed by either Abbas Kiarostami or Asghar Farhadi.

This was an odd one. I could have sworn I'd seen it before. Being obsessive/compulsive, I have a variety of methods for keeping track of what I've seen, most obviously by writing about the movies here on this blog. Well, I've never before written about Where Is the Friend's House?, I've never marked it as watched on any sites, so I decided maybe I hadn't seen it, and I thus chose it for my movie for this week's Challenge. Having watched it, I feel certain I did indeed see it before.

I loved Kiarostami's Close-Up, perhaps the most meta film of all time. I've also seen Certified Copy, which I liked without finding it a classic. But I was frustrated by Where Is the Friend's House?, and it didn't really help that I think Kiarostami wanted that reaction. The story is of a young boy who accidentally takes home the school notebook of a classmate. It is established that the classmate will be expelled if he doesn't come to class with his notebook and his homework. So the young boy decides he must take the notebook to the classmate. But he doesn't know where the friend lives, and when he tries to explain to his mother that he needs to return the notebook, she tells him to do his homework, watch the baby, get bread at the story, basically everything except return the notebook. The boy struggles to express the importance of his mission, and he is frustrated that none of the adults are actually listening to him. He sneaks off, walking from one small town to another, trying to find the friend's house.

It's not an easy trip, because he keeps running into adults who won't listen to him or understand him. Babek Ahmed Poor, an amateur who plays the boy, does a great job of showing frustration. In fact, it's almost too great a job ... I shared his frustration, but not only did I think the adults were too dismissive, I wanted to strangle the tyke for his persistence in bugging everyone. Kiarostami wants us to understand the boy's frustration, and we do, but added to that is my frustration with the boy, which I doubt is what Kiarostami wants us to feel.

Still, my reservations are clearly my own, and your mileage may vary. I'd say I'll watch it again sometime to see if I react differently, except I think this was the "again". #294 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 1000 films of all time.

music friday: alvin lee and ten years after

Alvin Lee, guitarist/singer for Ten Years After, died on this date in 2013 at the age of 68. (Unrelated trivia: Estepona is where my grandparents were from.) We saw Ten Years After at Fillmore West in 1968, on a bill headlined by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, with Fleetwood Mac (the Peter Green version) as openers. This was a year before Woodstock ... more to the point, it was two years before the movie of Woodstock came out, after which Alvin Lee was the proverbial "household name":

I've always wondered about that watermelon at the end. Someone named Mark Rosenthal, who was at Woodstock, has this story, which he told to Raquel B. Pidal, after seeing the movie. Seems someone near Mark had a watermelon, and they were going to cut it up and share it. But some stoner said no, he was going to give it to Alvin Lee. They told him he was crazy, the stage was a million miles away, but he disappeared with the watermelon. A year later, Mark saw the movie, and found out what had happened to that watermelon.

Ten Years After was a major act for a few years after the Woodstock movie. Lee's guitar playing was always the center of attention, but he was also the primary composer for the band. For me, he was a better instrumentalist than songwriter. The band's biggest hit was "I'd Love to Change the World", and it sounds great ... whenever it comes up on Classic Rock stations, I have to listen. But the lyrics ... as Christgau said, "fellow seems to believe that if you 'tax the rich to feed the poor' you soon run out of rich, with dire consequences."

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
'Til there are no rich no more?

My favorite of all Ten Years After songs was Woody Herman's "Woodchopper's Ball". Lee's speedy fingers are so ridiculous that they make me smile every time. The version I grew up on was from their live album Undead, but this version from 1983 gets the point across:


I mentioned Fleetwood Mac. I can't let the moment pass without giving a shout out to Peter Green, and his greatest performance, "Love That Burns":