Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Gary Files # 10: Gary Gilmore

(I found this image here.)

An explanation: Since the name Gary is going extinct, I thought it incumbent upon me to celebrate more notable Garys than myself.  This is the tenth of a series!

Gary Gilmore was, according to Wikipedia, "an American criminal who gained international notoriety for demanding the execution of his death sentence for two murders he committed in Utah. After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a new series of death penalty statutes in the 1976 decision Gregg v. Georgia, he became the first person in almost ten years to be executed in the United States."

When did you first become aware of him?  The song "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" by the Adverts.

Did you know who they were singing about?  Not at all.  I figured he was someone English I wouldn't know about, & he had died & was giving his eyes to someone else as an organ donor.

You were alive when he was executed.  You don't remember anything about it?  He was executed three days before my ninth birthday.  That sort of thing wouldn't even have been on my radar.

When did you find out what the song was about?  A few years later, when someone mentioned to me that the Judy's song "How's Gary?" was also about him.  Around the same time, I read an article about the reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States, & his name was of course in the article.  Suddenly things started making sense.

He died by firing squad!  Not only that, his last words were apparently, "Let's do this."

What do you think of this line, from the Wikipedia article? 
The founder of advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, Dan Wieden credits the inspiration for his "Just Do It" Nike slogan to Gilmore's last words.
I think it's pretty fucked up.

Is his name really Gary?  Apparently he was christened Faye Robert Coffman, but the reasons for that are in the Wikipedia article.  When his family left Texas, he was renamed Gary Mark Gilmore.

Do you know why he was named Gary?  I'm more interested why someone would name a boy Faye.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Self Help Radio 112415: Gardens

(Original image here.)

Do you have a garden?  How much time do you spend in your garden?  Do you give away a significant portion of your garden's yield?  Can I have some?

You may wonder why I ask.  On our regular dogwalk, the wife, dogs, & I pass at least two gardens which people have in their sort-of front yards (both houses are corner houses) in which I watch vegetables grow, ripen, & eventually rot, because the tenders of the gardens don't seem to manage their gardens well.  (If my dogs get close enough, they'll grab a tomato or a bell pepper!)  Gardens can be ornamental, of course, & these look great, but it seems weird to me to go through the process of planting, growing, & tending a garden, only to let what it produces go to waste.

Ah well.  Nothing goes to waste on this week's Self Help Radio - except the time you take to listen to it!  Lots of garden songs (listed below).  Interviews with a master gardener, a person who wrote a book about famous gardens, & my guru, who encourages everyone to grow a "spirit garden."  All done with a tremendous lack of style!

The show is now at the Self Help Radio web page.  Pay attention to username/password information!  & please be careful - there are creepy-crawlies in the soil!

(part one)

"The Garden" The Smittens _A Little Revolution_
"The Garden" The Shondes _The Garden_
"Walking Garden" Smack Dab _Queen Crab_

"English Country Garden" Jimmie Rodgers _Folk Songs With Jimmie Rodgers_
"Rooftop Garden" Lou Reed _Legendary Hearts_
"Garden Of Chalcedony" Licorice Roots _Licorice Root Orchestra_
"Perfume Garden" The Chameleons _What Does Anything Mean? Basically_

"Hong Kong Garden (John Peel Session)" Siouxsie & The Banshees _The Scream_
"The Hanging Garden" The Cure _Pornography_
"Garden Of Serenity" The Ramones _Hey! Ho! Let's Go: The Anthology_
"Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone" Neutral Milk Hotel _On Avery Island_

"Octopus's Garden" Jeffrey Lewis _Abbey Road Now!_
"The Garden At Night" The Clientele _God Save The Clientele_
"Island Garden Song" The Mountain Goats _The Coroner's Gambit_

(part two)

"City Of Gardens" Bent Denim _Romances You_
"Japanese Garden" Bernthøler _Merry Lines In The Sky_
"Garden Waltz" Bran Van 3000 _The Garden_

"Paradise Garden" Peter Jay _It's Hard To Believe: The Amazing World Of Joe Meek_
"The Hanging Gardens Of Reigate" Would-Be-Goods _él: The Legendary B Sides_
"Strawberries Are Growing In My Garden (& It's Wintertime)" The Dentists _Some People Are On The Pitch They Think It's Over It Is Now_
"Sculpture Gardens" The Art Museums _Rough Frame_

"Magical Garden" The Bartlebees _Acid House Kings/The Bartlebees EP_
"Arthur The Gardener" Television Personalities _Yes Darling, But Is It Art? (Early Singles & Rarities)_
"The Bottom Of The Garden" Bouquet _Miniminou_
"Botanic Gardens" Language Of Flowers _Songs About You_

"Avant Gardener" Courtney Barnett _The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas_
"Tip To Gardeners" Gary Owens _Put Your Head On My Finger_
"Rose In The Devil's Garden" The Castaway Stones _Make Love To You_

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Whither Gardens?

(I found this image here.)

This is another of recent shows whose theme was suggested to me by a listener in the recent past*.  Normally I don't respond so quickly - not even to my own ideas - but this one made me think it'd be a good show.  Well, it might be a good show - in the spring.  In the autumn, teetering on winter?  Like most Self Help Radio episodes, it's a little silly in context.

At a different radio station, long ago, a peer reviewer (someone at the station reviewing the station's show to help improve them) once wrote a review of Self Help Radio in which the fact that my themes seemed arbitrary really stuck in her craw.  "I don't understand," she wrote, & I'm paraphrasing here, "why Gary does shows about the things he does when he does them."  (I added emphasis, imaging that was how she meant it to sound.

The answer is blindingly simple: obliviousness.  I usually become so occupied with a theme that I forgot to ask "Is this at all appropriate?"  It usually isn't.  Like gardens.  Today.

Today!  It happens from 4 to 6pm today!  On 88.1 fm!  Online at !  I hope you'll listen!

Spoiler alert: no gardening tips offered at all.

* You can suggest a theme too!  Just email me!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Preface To Gardens: Someone Should Have Said

Why didn't you warn me?  There are so many songs about gardens!  Wow, I think I've spent the entire weekend listening to songs about gardens.

Do I have a garden myself?  No.  Sadly I don't.  I am kind of afraid of bugs, & while I am not a neat freak, I don't enjoy having mud or other things on my hands.  It's one of the reasons that, though I love to cook, I don't bake too well - I am constantly washing dough off my hands.  I think the idea that I'd need to have my hands in soil, which has bugs of all kinds in it - slugs & worms are basically bugs to me! - has kept me from gardening.

Which is a shame.  I think I'd love to grow my own vegetables.  I have a plan, actually, to grow some hot peppers in the house come spring.  I'm told it's easy.  Maybe I will transition at some point to an actual garden with lots of vegetables.

But don't hold your breath!

Also, don't hold your breath till tomorrow - it's good to stay alive, as it might be a good episode of Self Help Radio.  (No promises, though.)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cradle To Grave (Episode One)

Happy day!  November the 21st was the birthday of some great musicians!  Unhappy day!  November the 21st was the day many great musicians met their doom!  My new radio show on Lexington's community radio station, WLXL, celebrates both days in a couple of hour blocks.

In case you missed it, or in case you miss November the 21st for some reason, I've put the show up on the the Self Help Radio website for you to listen to.  The show is broken into two parts - listed below - the first part where birthdays are celebrated, the second part where deathdays are mourned.

The site requires a password.  That information is not a secret - it's on the site, actually!  There should be not trouble finding it.


(part one)

"Bawlin' Baby" Johnny Horton with Hillbilly Barton _The Early Years_
"Mercury Boogie" K.C. Douglas _The History Of Country & Western Music, Vol. 14 (1947-1948)_
"Rockin' With Big John" Big John Greer _Ham Hocks & Cornbread_
"Only You" The Platters _The Platters' Golden Hits_
"Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" The Four Lads _Moments To Remember: The Very Best Of The Four Lads_

"Delirium" Red & Miff's Stompers _Anthology Of Jazz Drumming Vol.1 (1904-1928)_
"Under Paris Skies (Sous Le Ciel De Paris)" Coleman Hawkins _The Hawk in Paris_
"Clusters" Charlie Palmieri _Latin Bugalu_
"Changó Obarí" Clifford Thornton & The Jazz Composer's Orchestra _The Gardens Of Harlem_
"Mama Roux" Dr. John _Gris-Gris_

"All Day Music" War _All Day Music_
"Soul Bowl" Memphis Horns _Memphis Horns_
"I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" The Electric Prunes _Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era_
"Girls & Boys" Blur _Parklife_

(part two)

"I Don't Believe You Met My Baby" The Louvin Brothers _When I Stop Dreaming: The Best Of The Louvin Brothers_
"Kentucky Bluegrass Angel" Jim Eanes _Bluegrass Ballads_
"Sunrise" Country Gentlemen _Yesterday & Today, Vol. 3_
"I'm Gonna Dig Myself A Hole" Robert Lockwood _Mississippi Blues (1935-1951)_

"Dixie Jazz Band One Step" The Original Dixieland Jazz Band _The Original Dixieland Jazz Band_
"Full Moon & Empty Arms" Frank Sinatra _The Best Of The Columbia Years_
"That's My Desire" Hadda Brooks _I've Got News For You_
"Keep On Dancin'" Alvin Cash & Scott Bros Orchestra _Soulin' Vol. 3_
"Hurt So Bad" Little Anthony & The Imperials _Out Of My Head & Payin' Our Dues_
"Down By The Old Mill Stream" Jerry Colonna _Songs For Screaming_

"Get Out Of My Life, Woman" Q65 _Revolution_
"Hot Wire My Heart" Crime _Hot Wire My Heart_
"Zerox" Adam & The Ants _Dirk Wears White Sox_
"Look My Way" The Vels _Velocity_