Monday, May 26, 2014

In Memory of the Union

The Memorial Union on the UW-Madison lakeshore opened in the fall of 1928, dedicated to the men and women of the University who had served in wars.

Inside the Student Union, der Rathskeller and der Stiftskeller feature murals done in a German beer hall style. My favorite is the one called "The War Between Wine And Beer"

It's hard to appreciate the detail in that photo. More detailed photos are here. That mural is not that old (1978) and is an inspired copy of the original at Munich's Rathskeller. The fight is not just an imaginary one between beer and wine but also a metaphor for the age-old fight between the wine-loving French and the beer-loving Germans. A history of the murals is here

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Charlie Watts' Golden

The key to Led Zeppelin is that somebody is always playing a counter point. You can hear that. ~Jimmy Page
I know that Page was talking musically, but the phrase popped into my head as I began write a tribute to Charlie Watts who will celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary in October.

Through all those years of temptation, one guy stays true and faithful. That's sort of a "counter point" isn't it?

I always thought Charlie Watts' rock drumming was deceptively simple. It wasn't hard to copy. His jazz drumming is another story. You can tell he's an old school drummer by the way he holds his sticks: traditional grip.

Here's Johnny Depp narrating Keith Richards' version of the time Charlie Watts slugged Mick Jagger.  [skip to 3min 43sec for the violent part, but watch the whole thing for context]: