Sunday, July 03, 2011

On the Road (Carbon footprint)

I just finished 'On the Road' by Kerouac, after a space of forty years. I last read it as a sixteen year old. Had it changed? Yes. Twenty-two year old men to a sixteen year old are gods and giants, whatever they do. To a much older man, they are simply young men. Yet the book gripped me in the same way.

A recurring theme of the book is jazz, and jazz culture (as well as plenty of fast and dangerous driving). Here are two of the numbers referred to in the book. 'The Hunt' by Dexter Gordon - note the comment that says 'I came here after reading On the Road'. (Not me). And 'Congo Blues', which includes some of the giants of 1940s jazz: Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, the wonderful Teddy Wilson, and Slam Stewart.
"Woo hee!"he yelled. "I'm gonna git drunk tonight". We went back to Frankie and the kids. Suddenly Dean got mad at a record little Janet was playing and broke it over his knee: it was a  hillbilly record. There was an early Dizzy Gillespie there that he valued - 'Congo Blues', with Max West on drums. I'd given it to Janet before and I told he as she wept to take it and break it over Dean's head. She went over and did so. Dean gaped dumbly, sensing everything. We all laughed. Everything was all right.
Note the recording on YouTube is not the same as the one referred to in the book.  Note also that 'Dean Moriarty' (in real life, Neal Cassady) clearly doesn't give a monkeys about global warming, as he races across America at his usual 100 mph in various cars, and in three massive journeys.  Has anyone worked out their carbon footprint?

No comments: