Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Department of corrections

On August 8, I quoted a famous claim by the late Al Aronowitz that he had introduced the Beatles to the joys of cannibis. Now Tim Appelo--pop-cultural Sainte-Beuve, author of the mega-selling Ally McBeal: The Official Guide, and (not incidentally) my former roommate at Amazon--begs to differ. He writes:
But you're wrong, said the pedant, re: Aronowitz introducing the Beatles to pot. That's what he told me in 1981, and everyone all his life, but in fact, the recent Magical Mystery Tours reveals that John got turned on in London by PJ Proby, the Texan rock giant whose real name was... JAMES MARCUS! (well, James Marcus Smith). John inhaled two enormous tokes, much to Cyn's horror, raced to upchuck in the bathtub, and went home in aromatic ignominy. So that's why when Dylan proffered Al's pot, John had Ringo try it first. Ringo smoked the whole thing alone, reported it OK, and only then did poltroonish Paul and John join in. (Later, when John insisted all 4 Fabs had to get trepanned immediately, Paul scotched it by saying, "OK--you first.") Paul wrote "Got to Get You Into My Life" to celebrate his new daily friend, and that's also the night he made Mal find paper so he could write the meaning of the universe, which the next morn turned out to be "There are seven levels!"
I stand corrected.

Les rayons jaunes

Les dimanches d'été, le soir vers six heures,
Quand le peuple empressé déserte ses demeures
Et va s'ébattre aux champs,
Ma persienne fermée, assis à ma fenêtre,
Je regarde d'en haut passer et disparaître
Joyeux bourgeois, marchands
Ouvriers en habits de fête, au cour plein d'aise ;
Un livre est entr'ouvert près de moi sur ma chaise ;
Je lis ou fais semblant ;
Et les jaunes rayons que le couchant ramène,
Plus jaunes ce soir-là que pendant la semaine,
Teignent mon rideau blanc.(.)

Charles Sainte-Beuve
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