Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Welcome to Gary Glauber!

Another musician born in the 1950s is Elvis Costello.  Tonight I am posting Gary Glauber's poem (previously published in Pamplemousse) about this intriguing figure and his recent memoir.

Sad Burlesque 

It’s not for everyone.
The eclectic nuanced wail,
the lyrical bravado of
innuendo, double entendre, 
badinage & bonhomie,
an assault on several senses
that caught enough popular sway
once upon an earlier time
of bitterness & angry young men
fighting to find their place 
that now, forty years &
a shelf full of releases after,
some are willing to read
this lengthy firsthand account.

This musical chameleon,
student of sundry genres & styles
has ventured bravely forth 
in a wide swath of directions
with mixed results, but always
with most sincere intent 
to capture & illuminate
the unsung genius of others.
That man with many heroes
& an unyielding love for his father
was once hero to me, a beacon
whose music could guide me
through often rocky shoals
of tempestuous adolescence.

But this wavering aural dynamite, 
champion of emotional strife,
has long since lost righteous rage.
Years of unhappy, inexplicable choices
are glossed over in this retelling,
supplanted with chapters focused 
on celebrity collaboration,
poignant celebrations for noble causes,
galas punctuated with lyrical snippets. 
The once fierce & feral genius
has been tamed, full ferocity removed
& replaced with this domesticated
& reflective father of three,
sanded down by winds of experience,
become more quietly wise & wry;
such is the transformative power of life.

First published in Pamplemousse

Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist.  His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. He champions the underdog to the melodic rhythms of obscure power pop. His two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press), are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from the publishers.

Now let's put on the music.  I'll start with Chet Baker's cover of "Almost Blue": (The pianist, by the way, is Frank Strazzeri.)

The Swingtime Jazz Band covers "She" here: This band appears to be based in Bangkok.

Costello himself performs "I Want You" at a jazz festival in Ghent, Belgium:

A while back he and Chet Baker perform "You Don't Know What Love Is." YouTube doesn't state where or when this performance occurred.  

I'll finish with a cover version of "Watching the Detectives" by The Guiseley Brothers, a British band:


  1. What I will never get over is that the year Elvis debuted, the best new band Grammy went to Taste of Honey (for "Ooogie Ooogie Boogie something or other"). It's also the year of Joe Jackson's first lp. . .No rational thinking that year (in the era of disco). . .

  2. Years ago someone wrote a book called Alternate Oscars. Someone else ought to write a book called Alternate Grammies. At least the Grammies got it right a few times with Aretha Franklin (RIP).