DREAMS OF HOLLYWOOD
I met Peter Ivers at the stodgy Latin school I attended as a kid in Boston – this place had been founded in Puritan times and it seemed they had never opened the windows since then. He was an abrasive, annoying, self-assertive little guy, occupying his own plane of reality. He went on to become a Harvard enfant terrible, songwriter, actor, cultural revolutionary. Ran with Bellushi, Tommy Lee Jones, Cambridge grandees. Headed to Hollywood. Recorded albums, had a tv show, wrote songs for Donna Summer. Was murdered in 1983 – case still unsolved. His legend grows.
This was composed right on Venice Beach in winter 2009, after doing a show with Suzy Williams at Danny’s on Winward Avenue. Recorded live at Otto’s Shrunken Head in the East Village a short time later with the Stormin’ Band: Joy Ryder – vocals and percussion; Dave Clive – drums; Jacques Raymond – bass; Roger Bartlett – guitar.
OVER MY HEAD
LYNN SHORE DRIVE
WHEN THE TOWER FALLS
Written at the end of my career in public education – 24 years, beginning with great passion and hope, ending in a rout. “Tower” is essentially the embodiment of a nervous breakdown. I had been busted down to teacher (from supervisor) in a claustrophobic school in Washington Heights NYC, trapped in a Quonset hut with hostile middle schoolers and a passive- aggressive principal for hours on end – had to keep my back to the blackboard to keep from being hit by a chair, flying books or garbage; had to install heavy padlocks on all drawers as everything was stolen. The scariest feeling one can have is losing one’s mind – most other bad stuff you can get your hands around and make some sense of, but God help you if your mind is gone. Never experienced that before, hope never again!
MEMORIES OF GEORGIA
Written winter 1970, after the Atlanta Pop Festival. Recorded on a chilly November morning, 1973 in Maynard, Mass by Suzy Williams for the first Stormin’ Norman & Suzy record, “Fantasy Rag,” subsequently recorded on “Ocean of Love” in Toronto, 1976.