|Concert Performances: Worcester, Massachusetts (May 1973)|
[Leo plays "Driving of the Year Nail"]
[Leo plays "From the Cradle to the Grave"]
[Leo plays "Regards from Chuck Pink" medley]
[After tuning] I wrote that last tune in collaboration with a guy named Michael Johnson. [some clapping] Have you heard of him? Jeez. Are you from Minneapolis? Ah! Isn't that a thrilling town to grow up in?
Michael had the worst moment on stage that I've ever heard of. He was playing at the Earl of Old Town [?] in Chicago, the second of his last set, and he threw up on his audience. You know, the front row is a lot closer in a club than it is here. They were fans of his though.
Along those lines I'd like to sing something gruesome and despairing. It's either about suicide or terminal illness.
[Leo plays "Louise"]
[Leo plays "Living in the Country"]
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I'm Boog Powell.
This was written by Sam Magee and his brother Kirk, a long time ago. Not so long ago, really.
[Leo plays "Last Steam Engine Train"]
[Leo begins to play "Fisherman", then stops at a question from the audience]
[Leo starts to play "Fisherman" again then stops again at another audience question]
What did you say? Was it obscene? I couldn't put two words together. Well I could, obviously, I've proved that already. I hope.
[Leo plays "Fisherman"]
[Applause. Audience member calls out for song.]
What? Probably not. You see, some of those mellower things got kind of thrown out of the set. Because I'm always sitting here playing for all these drunks and red freaks. It's a lie. I just haven't...well, I mean I can't speak for everybody here, but I myself I just haven't played it in a while. I don't really remember it. Huh? Too much booze, too many reds. That's a lie. I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm smart.
[Leo plays "Eight Miles High"]
[Leo starts to play "Ojo" and stops in response to audience question, most likely "How often do you change your strings?"]LEO:
Every now and then. Not very often. And I go completely out of tune.
[Leo plays "Ojo"]
[Leo picks up another guitar]LEO:
I can never make up my mind here. One of them's too short and the other one's too big.
This tune imitates the flight of the junebug. [To audience member] How's your ear? Is it all right? I thought you looked sort of sour over there. You can sit in the fireplace if you like. [plays a low note] This is as low as it'll go. How about this one? [plays another low note] Where does that hit you? Some note, really. [plays low note again] Doesn't that hit you were it hits me?
[Leo plays "June Bug"]
[To sound engineer:] We need more of the pickup. Yeah, leave it there. [To audience, apologetically:] A little too much rattle in the pickup so I...
I wrote this for my wife, played it over the phone for here from wherever I was. Kind of gesture of conciliation at her being pissed off at me at the time. I hung the phone up after she told me...I asked when I was through, "What did you think of that?" Because it starts with one of the songs she used to sing when she was in the third grade: "climbing down a rain barrel, up a water spout." Goes on and on. And I played the tune for her, coyly sandwiched in-between a couple of my favourites. And she said "I think it stinks," or something to that effect, and hung up. So I was more or less stuck with a tune. You can buy it somewhere.
[Leo plays something from "The Spanish Entomologist"]
You know, some instruments you can't figure out, like the french horn. You have to put your hand in it before you can get anything out of it. Which is a little bit like -- would be a little bit like -- my coming up here and filling my guitar full of mud before I play it. All of which leads me to an apology for this guitar sounding as if it's filled full of mud. Somebody stole my case last night in Boston. That's my case there. It's been filled with mud. That's for the benefit of the radio audience. Clowns. So the guitar has soaked up a considerable amount of rain, abuse. Just try to ignore it.
This is a tune that I wrote for my grandfather. He didn't appreciate it too much because I wrote it four years after he died. But he wanted to die a noble death, which is an aspiration that I assume has been sort of abdicated by most people by now. Anyway, he held on to it and -- unfortunately for him -- died with his hearing aids off after a lunch of macaroni and cheese lying on a nylon frieze couch. Grandma said he looked pissed off.
[Leo plays "Bean Time"]
I've got to do something slow. Enough of this auto manipulation here. This is the song I've always associated with my other grandfather who died dead drunk. [In reference to audience laughter:] He thought it was funny too.
[Leo plays "Tiny Island"]
[Leo plays "Stealing"]
[Applause]LEO:[Leo plays "The Sailor's Grave on the Prairie"][while playing:] I've been screwed. [and then:] You notice they only took the best part.
This is a song about being in the right place at the wrong time. If you remember you first wet dream you remember you probably woke up in the middle of it filled with amazement and wonder and all kinds of hope for the future. And you probably tried to go back to sleep again and get back to where you left off. In which case you discovered in her place your grandmother or somebody else equally perturbing. So this is about... oddly enough, it was stolen by Pepsi Cola. Called "You got a lot to live. " I can't help that kind of crap.
Pepsi Cola's ad agency at one time was gonna use me in one of their commercials.
And I use the word "use" in a most literal sense. They didn't want my music. They wanted me to walk along a beach with a Pepsi in one hand dragging a guitar behind me in the sand, standing next to a beautiful Wahine who also would have a Pepsi in her hand. And a guy came by like three times where I was working to just make sure I was right for the part. This was about six years ago when I would drink a lot before I would get up and write. I lost the job when he caught me drooling on my twelfth fret. You know how you can rest your chin on a guitar when you're playing, on your cheek. Your mouth can leak, believe me.
This is a tune I wrote for Duke Gargonich [?], who was the largest....he was a Greek in the United States Navy, to get his citizenship. And he operated the largest slush fund in history in the United States Navy on the U.S.S. Cascascat [?].
[Leo plays "Vaseline Machine Gun"]
[While tuning:] There's that note again. [To sound engineer:] Your microphone is feeding back. It's your microphone. [To audience:] Back of the room, there was this Coke machine and somehow the sound system was hooked up to the same circuit so whenever anybody put a dime into the Coke machine the sound would cut out. It would come back on when the can came roaring out of the machine.
[Leo plays "Busted Bicycle"]
[Leo plays "Standing in My Shoes"]
[While tuning:] This is bizarre.
This is my biggie here. It contains all my hits.
[Leo starts playing "Crow River Waltz" then stops]
LEO:[Leo plays medley of "Crow River Waltz," "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," and "Jack Fig"]
That just sounds horrible. [retunes]
[Applause, audience calls for encore]
Here's a tender little tune. Oh! If anybody has a guitar case with them that the could part with I'd love to have it. I need a case badly.
This is a lullaby pervertamento. I wrote it for my father- in-law. It's called "The Tennesee Toad." [To sound engineer:] Give me more pickup.
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