Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Listen to LADY MADONNA by Swamp Dogg.

I've been reading about Vietnam, especially about all of the strange storylines that grew out of and in response to our country's failures over there. You have the POW/MIA movement, the 80's Rambo revenge narratives, the "spit on the troops" stories, the "Hanoi Jane" myth, and so on.

In the face of all of that mythologizing it's easy to miss (especially if you weren't there) how truly warped things were for awhile, even compared to our current problems.

To be sure, there's nobody on the current scene remotely like Swamp Dogg, who was attached to the Free The Army movement and made Richard Nixon's enemies list. That guy was crazy! Musically, I mean. It sounds like he was--and is--eccentric enough, but it's the music that matters, and the music he was making from 1969-1973 was as compelling and challenging as any soul music ever written.

Now, having said that, we're doing Beatles covers, not a Swamp Dogg retrospective, so this Lady Madonna is all you get. It starts and ends very strongly, but (like the original) is a little thick around the middle. Even with a straight reading of the song, though, Swamp Dogg makes it his own from sheer weight of personality.

Photo: Cape Cod garden (2).


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