STREAMING DIFFERENTLY WITH BETTY DAVIS…

This post might be a bit of a stream of random thought, but I hope to tie it in with the truly divine Ms. Betty Davis. They said she was different. …and, she was. I bet she still is.

But the first thing on my mind is the sad and stupid death of Brad Renfro. This kid had it all: good looks, talent, charisma and never appeared to be an assembly line product performer like so many of his generation. I can still remember being so impressed (and horrified) by his work in APT PUPIL. Then, his shy and sly-ly effective supporting performance in GHOST WORLD. And, that unsettling bit of work in Larry Clark’s BULLY. Sad. And, so fucking stupid. He was 26 years old.

Not that I am trying to assert that Renfro was in the same talent league as Gram Parsons, but I finally was able to view the excellent documentary on his life via NetFlix last night. I’ve always loved his music and voice. I only know of him thanks to Emmylou Harris, but I’m so glad I was able to find his music. I remember reading her talk about his work back in the early 80’s and thinking, “The dude who got fired from The Byrds and worship’d at the alter of Keith Richards?!?!” Um, yeah. Sort of — but, you know I don’t think The Byrds or The Rolling Stones ever touched that first Flying Burrito Bros LP. Anyway, another sad and stupid death. And, this morning it struck me that I think Parsons was only 26 when he did his pathetic OD. At least he managed to get to Joshua Tree to do it. I guess. Doesn’t matter.

No matter how dark my reality, I’m relieved that it is not that dark. Why would one want to be a dark and fallen angel? Not that I don’t take my fair share of dope. The difference is that I don’t take it by choice and it is prescribed. However, in my own way — I guess I’m junkie, too.

This is one of 5 drugs I am currently taking. This is called Lyrica. A drug created to treat anxiety which “they” are finding really helps folks who suffer from Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder. I see my doctor today. I think he is going to be increasing my dosage of this one. I’ve been suffering thru an episode for over six months now. I have lost my employment. And, in those six months, I’ve seen my doctor three times and really only one session was a full-on therapy session. I need to find a doctor to treat me on the therapy side because the wonderful fast world of US HMO’s don’t do much in the way of therapy. …they seem to toss drugs at things. Anyway, I’m lucky. I think I have a very good doctor. I just think his hands are tied. Oh, and it would appear that the best place to be if you’re a therapist or shrink is San Francisco because it seems like everyone is over-booked. Or, maybe that it is the state of the world.

Anyway, back on a sort of course.

Ms. Betty Davis. I hear she now lives in Oakland. If anyone knows her, let her know I think she so totally rules. It would be so fun to take her for a cup of tea/coffee/Diet Coke. I think the view back about 30 some odd years was that she was far too aggressive and cutting edge for the mainstream funk scene (which she helped to create — thank you very much!) …I’d love to see how cool she still looks. Of course, I’d ask her a few questions:

Ms. Davis, might I have a slight peck on the check?
Ms. Davis, how does it feel to know that your body of work is still too far out for the daft mainstream?
Ms. Davis, do you still feel the same as you express in your music?
Ms. Davis, What was it like to turn Miles on to the funk?

And, then I would thank her for her unique groove, perspective and style. Mary J. Blige seems like a little waif compared to Betty Davis. Only Chaka Kahn came close — but not close enough to retain the cool Ms. Davis still maintains. And, as far as I know, she hasn’t done anything for the public in YEARS!

…Come back to the funk, Betty Davis, Betty Davis.

So, I’ve decided that I will try to start recording the music playing as I write my posts. I don’t know why. But, I like that aspect of MySpace. It would be cool to know to what others are listening/watching as they post. I am currently playing “Idols of Exile” by Jason Collett. Think folk/pop with a bit of edge. I think he is from Canada — which I am becoming convinced is the coolest country going. Anyway, two of his songs: “Fire” and “Hangover Days” are close to perfect.

I’ve started doing these collages. I’m not even sure if that is how one spells it or if it is cool to even attempt the art of collage. However, B feels I should use this confused down time to tap into my “artistic energy” or something like that. So, I’m trying. I’m working on two. One is related to Barbra Streisand’s A STAR IS BORN (try not to gasp in surprise!) and the other is related to sexy. I got two really neat-0 cigar boxes to hold my clippings. Cigar boxes are cool. And, while I do not like the smell of them or cigs — I find something about people smoking to be sexy. …sick, but true. And, if you toss in a uniform or a splash of leather — I have no choice but to look.

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January 16, 2008. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized.

17 Comments

  1. ginab replied:

    i wonder if ms davis’ legs are still slim like that. she looks like a member of EWF. (I hope you know who I speak of here.) THAT band had me rippin’ one night. I tore rug on the wood dance floor.

    and I was sober.

    Pfizer started out here in my dinkin’ town. “Dinkin'” has no connection to that cigar smoker or seen earlier butts from space.

    xo-ginab+bb

  2. ing replied:

    Hmmmmmmmm, isn’t B a smoker? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. . . .

    I love that Betty Davis CD you ripped for me, but I didn’t think that by today’s standards it was super different. Maybe it is and I just haven’t listened closely enough. I just think it’s great.

    I listened to that Jason Collett & liked what I heard. I’m going to rip you some Vetiver. I think you might enjoy. . .

    Say hit to Betty for me if you run into her at the BART station.

  3. matty03 replied:

    Gina! That’s too bad about the ‘dinkin” …I would have wanted that to be involved at least a little! lol! At first I thought you were referring to the Dap Kings! But, no! I do not think I know of whom you speak and it sounds like I need to! Do tell! You know I saw your town in a movie last night! FLIRTING WITH DISASTER is filmed for a bit there! It looked quite cold! Oh, I doubt that Ms. Davis would look exactly the same, but I’m confident that she remains fierce and sexy!

  4. matty03 replied:

    Yes! B smokes and I find it hot to watch him (as you know) tho, I do tire of waiting for him to finish a cig when we need to enter a store or place other than the fire escape, beach or street. And, he will not light up a cigar in a uniform for me! How rude!

    Oh, I think the lyrics are pretty far out. She is aggressive! She believes in sharin’ the man! lol! And, there is a harshness to her sexy groove that I don’t hear anywhere. And, I do so wish that the wa-wa guitar style would return!

    Yay! Yes, rip away!

    And, I should think Ms. Davis has a hot car! No BART for her! …but, I do hear tell she is in Oakland! Maybe she is in Miss S’s neck o the wood!

    Funny, I got Gina’s comment first but it looks like your’s was actually first.

  5. pakipoptart replied:

    Hi Matty, wow you are having some tough times right now. Really tough. Can you find a therapist at a gay community center or somebody that works on a sliding scale? I think anything would help. Therapy increases the effects of those drugs 1000 fold. That’s what studies tell us.

  6. matty03 replied:

    pakipoptart — Yeah, I agree. As does my doctor. The problem I’ve run into thus far is that the folks in those places/positions do not have the experience level to really be of much assistance. …and the ones who tell me they do turn out to be flakes.

    …but, next week I’m going to just force myself to pick up the phone and find a doctor. at this point, i guess the cost has to take a back seat.

    feeling kind of down after this last appointment.

    …but, it will get better!!! it just has to!

  7. hot-lunch replied:

    it’s really sad when upon reading the post, i was pretty much lost for the first half of it. I didn’t know Betty Davis was black! Does she have Betty Davis eyes?? Is this who Madonna rapped about in Vogue? “Betty Davis, we love you?”!

    *so confused*

    and then it dawned on me, oh that was BETTE Davis, not Betty Davis, and I started to sorta get it… this Betty Davis is related to the jazz guy Miles Davis, correct??

    see you’re always enlightening me!! let’s see the collage!

  8. matty03 replied:

    Hot Lunch! Yes, I seek to enlighten all! Mostly I just enlighten Ing. I turned her on to Neil Diamond and Liza. …and she has just run to that music with a passion not seen since Judy Garland skip’d down the yellow brick road!

    Anyway, yes — Betty Davis is not related to the great screen actress, Kim Carnes, Madonna or any odd diva dance movements of the late 80’s.

    Betty Davis taught Sly Stone a few things and THEN she married Miles Davis and taught the great jazz man how to totally funk. The marriage apparently didn’t work. So, as far as I understand it she left him and created her own funk’d up sound.

    She is on iTunes. Check her out! Her music is addictive!

    Oh, thank you! But, the collages are not ready for public consumption. I’m waiting for SFMOMA to contact me. They should be displayed there.

    Not really. I’m just not done. Art can’t be rushed! He gets crumby when you rush him. But, Art enjoys a nice beer in the afternoon. I don’t really like him.

  9. Old Cheeser replied:

    Woweee! Never knew that Betty Davis was a black soulstress!! All this and “All About Eve” too! Must admit I have never heard of this lady but might have to check out her stuff…along with so many other things!

    Yep hope you’re going to post up some pics of the collage when it’s done.

  10. matty03 replied:

    Cool Old Cheeser! You really MUST check out Ms. Betty Davis! Then you and your man can really get your grooves on! Get the funk, baby!

  11. ing replied:

    : )

  12. hot-lunch replied:

    Sly Stone! At first I was picturing that Rambo poster… but of couse it took a moment and I clued in.

  13. matty03 replied:

    Ing — Is that an icon for your boobs or is it a happy face? Not sure.

    Hot Lunch! It is too bad we are so far apart! You could teach me all about the “new” in pop culture and I could teach you all about the “old school” in pop culture. And, we’d make exceptional movie buds!

  14. Dirky-do replied:

    Matty – Once again, we’re on the same musical page! I have been a Betty Davis fan since the ’70s. After a period of obscurity, her stuff seems to be undergoing something of a revival and is being re-released. We have a listener-supported public radio station here in Seattle, KEXP 90.3, and she has been getting some airplay on it recently. They stream live on the web, so you should check it out: http://kexp.org/home.asp
    I think you’ll like what you hear. They’re absolutely eclectic and brilliant! Sorry, no Babs, but you will hear everything from Patsy Cline to Goldfrapp…

  15. matty03 replied:

    Dirky-Do! That is awesome! I first heard her music at this headshop in the early 80’s and got a cassette of “They Think I’m Different” that had been printed in Mexico. Bootleg, much? Anyway, I was wondering why she showed up on iTunes and I was able to find her newly re-master’d to vinyl!

    Funny, how tastes come and go.

    I will most def. check out this radio stream!

    I love Patsy Cline, but not as much as Goldfrapp or Babs. Why don’t they play a bit of Barbra!?!? I will send them an email request for Bab’s rendition of The Beatles “With A Little Help From My Friends” …which is so bad it almost works its way ’round back to good. …almost. They need to play it.

  16. javabear replied:

    Well, that last pic, the man with a cigar? OK, Freud told us that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. He was lying to cover up his oral/sexual compulsions. But whatever. No, this fella’ is not “smoking a cigar.” He is having sex. He’s giving that cigar a blowjob. He wants you to know you can be next, just say the word.

  17. matty03 replied:

    javabear! I could not have said it better myself! I don’t know why, but I decided not to go there with words. lol!

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