HE WROTE “ON THE ROAD AGAIN” ON A BARF BAG. Nelson’s 1980 hit, “On The Road Again,” was written aboard an airplane—on a barf bag. “I was on an aeroplane with Sydney Pollack and Jerry Schatzberg, who was the director of the movie Honeysuckle Rose,” Nelson told Uncut in 2014. “They were looking for songs for the movie and they started asking me if I had any ideas. I said, ‘I don’t know, what do you want the song to say?’ I think Sydney said, ‘Can it be something about being on the road?’ It just started to click in my head. I said, ‘You mean like, ‘On the road again, I can’t wait to get on the road again?’ They said, ‘That’s great. What’s the melody?’ I said, ‘I don’t know yet.’”
HE HAS BEEN PLAYING THE SAME GUITAR FOR NEARLY 50 YEARS. Nelson has been playing Trigger, his beloved guitar (which he named after Roy Rogers’ horse), since 1969. “I’ve got to take good care of Trigger,” Nelson toldUncut Magazine in 2014. “He’s had a couple of problems. We’ve had to go in and do some work on the inside, build up the woodwork in there a little bit over the years. But Trigger’s holding up pretty good.”
HE USED TO BE A BIBLE SALESMAN. Before he became a full-time musician in the mid-1950s, Nelson worked as a cotton picker (a gig he began as a child, working alongside his grandmother), disc jockey, and a Bible salesman.
There is only one map to the journey of life and it lives within your heart.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.
Be gentle with your words – you can’t take them back.
Be here. Be present. Wherever you are, be there.
When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
Three chords and the truth – that’s what a country song is.
I like myself better when I’m writing regularly.
Waylon Jennings and I had a lot of fun recording together.
WILLIE NELSON ON KRNN, 4/29: His songs endure, his work influences and his music entertains, Willie Nelson was born on this date in 1933. Please join us as Willie’s compositions provide our playlist on Crosscurrents, 4/29 at 8 am.
One good thing about chasing rabbits and searchiing for Easter Eggs is that it keeps one’s mind off the craziness in the world. At least that is what I found when we were out on the wetlands this morning with the dogs and thereafter editing the attached image.
The process brought a smile to my face and I trust the image does for you too.
An adventurer who set more than 100 world records, among them five circumnavigations of the globe, straining the limits of planes, boats and balloons. Steve Fossett was born on this date 1944. His road trips were extreme and you are invited to road records on Crosscurrents, 4/22 at 8 am.
Steve Fossett set 116 records in five sports, 60 of which remain to this day. Below are some of them
• Between 1993 and 2004, he set 23 official world records in speed sailing
• In 2002, he became the first person to fly around the world alone and non-stop in a balloon, covering 19,428 miles
• As skipper with a 13-member crew, he beat the round-the-world sailing record in 2004, completing the voyage in 59 days and nine hours
• In 2005, he made his first solo non-stop, non-refuelled global circumnavigation in a single-engine plane. There was no refuelling for 67 hours
• In 2006, he broke the record for the longest flight, spending nearly 77 hours in the air and covering more than 25,000 miles
Samuel Johnson’s impressive accomplishment A Dictionary of the English Language, published on 15th April 1755, the enormous work took Johnson nearly 9 years to complete, curiously almost completely single-handedly, and is now considered as one of the most important dictionaries in the history of the English language.
When it came out the book was enormous, not just in scope (it contained a 42,773-long word list) but also in size: its pages were 18 inches (46 cm) tall and nearly 20 inches (50 cm) wide. Johnson himself pronounced the book “Vasta mole superbus” (“Proud in its great bulk”). One of Johnson’s significant innovations was to illustrate the meanings of his words by literary quotation, of which there are around 114,000. The authors most frequently cited by Johnson include Shakespeare, Milton and Dryden but also included sentences taken from the popular press of his day.
ENGLISH DICTIONARY ON KRNN, 4/15: A text which was authoritative, comprehensive, and innovative, The Johnson Dictionary Of The English Language was published on this date in 1755. If you fancy a bit of English slang, then get your agenda sorted and tune in the British skiffle playlist on Crosscurrents, 4/15 at 8 am.
Johnson—a celebrated humourist and anecdotist who also wrote uncountable works of journalism and criticism, biographies, essays, poems, and even a novel and a stage play—brought a huge amount of that wit and linguistic originality to his dictionary, which defined over 42,000 words, using 114,000 literary quotations to illustrate them. Famously, for instance, he defined oats as “a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people”—but that famous definition is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the slights, barbs and quips Johnson included in his dictionary.
The Oxford English Dictionary calls a backfriend “a pretended or false friend,” but Johnson was more straightforward and defined the word as “a friend backwards”—or in other words, “an enemy in secret.”
No one likes paying tax—and Johnson knew it. Excise was defined as “a hateful tax levied upon commodities and adjudged not by the common judges of property but wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid.”
Johnson didn’t much care for French loanwords, and omitted a great deal of francophone words—including such familiar examples as champagne and bourgeois—from his dictionary. Many of those that he did include, meanwhile, had some serious shade thrown at them: Finesse is dismissed as “an unnecessary word that is creeping into the language”; monsieur was described as “a term of reproach for a Frenchman”; and ruse was labeled “a French word neither elegant nor necessary.”
A gynocracy is a governing body of women, or women seen as a ruling class. In Johnson’s pithier words, however, a “gynecocrasay” was defined as a “petticoat government.”
Johnson seemingly didn’t think much of his own job: On page 1195, he called a lexicographer “a harmless drudge” who “busies himself in tracing the original and detailing the signification of words.”
Lunch wasn’t so much a time as a quantity in Johnson’s eyes: He defined it as “as much food as one’s hand can hold.”
Johnson was commissioned to write his dictionary and paid a staggering 1500 guineas (around $300,000 today) for his troubles. Even still, he couldn’t let the opportunity to have a dig at the London publishers who acted as his financial backers go by: He famously defined a patron as “a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery.”
A pension is “an allowance,” adding that “in England it is generally understood to mean pay given to a state hireling for treason to his country.”
As well as “one versed in the arts of government,” Johnson defined a politician as “a man of artifice; one of deep contrivance.”
EDMUND HUSSERL ON KRNN, 4/8: The founder of Phenomenology, a method for analysis of consciousness through which philosophy attempts to gain the character of a strict science, Edmund Husserl was born on this date 1859. We invite you to a playlist of psychedelic rock on Crosscurrents, 4/8 at 8 am.
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a German philosopher, born in the Chezch Republic who established the academic field of phenomenology. In his initial work, he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic based on analyses of intentionality. In his later work, he sought to develop a systematic foundational science based on the so-called phenomenological reduction. Arguing that transcendental consciousness sets the limits of all possible knowledge, Husserl re-defined phenomenology as a transcendental-idealist philosophy.
To begin with, we put the proposition: pure phenomenology is the science of pure consciousness.
Natural objects, for example, must be experienced before any theorizing about them can occur.
All consciousness is consciousness of something.
The perception of duration itself presupposes a duration of perception.
PLAYLIST TO INCLUDE: Big Brother/ Janis Joplin; Blue Cheer; Rhe Blues Magoos; Buffalo Springfield; The Byrds; Clear Light; The Electric Prunes; Grateful Dead; Iron Butterfly; Jefferson Airplane; Jimi Hendrix; Moby Grape; New Riders of the Purple Haze; Quicksilver Messenger; The Seeds; Straberry Alarm Clock; and Vanilla Fudge.
All Fools Day (aka April 1st) has a long history though with elusive origins. Any road, if you fancy a bit of goofiness, then we have a playlist for you on a particularly foolish Crosscurrents, 04/01 at 8 am.
Our Fools Day music playlist will include, among others: Arrogant Worms, The Beat Farmers, Bob Newhart, Bobby Bare, Brian Regan, CW Mcall, Chas and Dae, Cheech and Chong, Ellen DeGeneres, The Firesign Threatre, George Carlin, Jerry Reed, Jim Gaffigan, Lily Tomlin, Monty Python, Paula Poundstone Peter Sellers, Randy Newman, Roger Miller, Shel Silverstein, Spike Jones, Stan Freberg, Steve Martin, Wolfman Jack, and…. The Wurzels.
One common story dates to the custom to 1564, when France officially reformed its calendar to the contemporary Gregorian type, and thereby altered the celebration of the New Year from the last week of March to 1 January.
In this version of actions, those who sustained the celebration to the end of New Year’s Week on 1 April were ridiculed as fools.
In early Rome, for example, the Hilaria festival celebrated the revival of a demigod with the putting on of disguises; and the medieval Feast of Fools, in which a Lord of Misrule was elected to parody Christian ceremonies, suffered centuries of church censorship.
There is also a British myth, which places the festival’s source in the Nottinghamshire town of Gotham. The story is that in the 13th century, the town’s inhabitants heard that King John could claim any road on which he stepped as his property and so they accordingly declined the monarch’s admission. When his soldiers arrived to power their way in, the people of Gotham pretended to be lunatics, and King John determined that their madness preordained that the penalty that would have otherwise been meted out would be unfitting. According to this story, April Fool’s Day celebrates their slyness.
It is also a mysterious as to why the custom expires at noon. However, it may be that the source of Britain’s deadline might be the 17th century’s well-named Shig-Shag day, when celebrants put oak sprigs in their hats to show loyalty to the monarchy, in reference to Charles II’s hiding in an oak tree. Those who failed to honor the custom could only be derided until midday.
Robert the Bruce was one of the most respected warriors of his generation. He was crowned “King Of Scots” on the 25th of March 1305. Often called ‘Good King Robert’, he is best known for his conquest of the English army under Edward II at Bannockburn in 1314.
ROBERT THE BRUCE ON KRNN, 3/25: A medieval Caledonia hero securing Scotland’s independence from England, Robert The Bruce was crowned King Of The Scots on this date in 1306. An all-Scottish playlist awaits you, with no need for an epic battle, and simply by tuning your radio to Crosscurrents, 3/25 at 8 am.
Historians from the Historic Environment Scotland have looked at the lesser known bits of information about the Outlaw King. (Nicki Scott, cultural resources advisor at HES)
Bruce’s triumph at Bannockburn in 1314 allowed him to demand the return from English captivity of his wife Elizabeth, his daughter Marjorie, his sister Christina, and Robert Wishart, bishop of Glasgow.
King was an Earl as the Prince
Robert the Bruce was Earl of Carrick from 1292 to 1313. This title is now carried by Charles, the Prince of Wales.
Which Side Are You On
Both Robert and his father were faithful to the English king when war broke out in 1296. They even paid deference to Edward I at Berwick. However, eight months later Bruce abandoned his oath and joined the Scottish revolt against Edward, recognising John Balliol as king.
From 1302 to 1304 Robert was again back in English loyalty. His marriage to Elizabeth de Burgh, daughter of the earl of Ulster (part of English-held Ireland) predisposed this change. From 1304 he abandoned Balliol, and intended to take the throne for himself.
A Rebel Landlord
As well as the earldom of Carrick and the lordship of Annandale, Bruce had title to land in the Carse of Gowrie, Dundee, and the Garioch in Aberdeenshire.
Before the Wars it was fairly common for Scots to hold English lands. Records show that Bruce held lands in Durham and other large English estates. In 1306, Edward I seized the honour of Huntingdon from Bruce.
Hoping For A Celtic Kingdom
In 1315, Robert’s younger brother Edward led an excursion to Ireland. His aim was to takeover the Dublin-based English government and become the High King of Ireland.
Robert joined his brother with a considerable force in 1317. However, bad weather, famine, and disease forced the Scots to retreat when they reached Limerick. Edward held on in the north until he was defeated and killed in 1318.
A Peace Treaty, Young Marriage, Payment, Independence
As per the terms of the 1328 Treaty of Edinburgh, making peace between Scotland and England, Robert’s son David (aged 4) was wedded to Edward III’s sister Joan (aged 7).
Other terms of the treaty saw Scotland agree to pay England £20,000 to end the war and England recognise Scotland’s independence with Robert I as king.
Land For Support
More than 600 written acts by Bruce have endured, including charters, brieves, letters and treaties.
Most of these documents are grants or confirmations of property. This was a key way that Bruce satisfied individuals and families who had supported him.
A Wee Bit Of Representation
During Robert’s reign, parliament grew into a slightly more representative of the community of the kingdom. Bruce beckoned a small number of burgesses from each royal burgh to attend sessions in 1312 and 1326, after which it became normal exercise.
This is one of those days when the entire Earth experiences the same things, namely: equinox, high tides, and a full moon. It is a good chance for the Earth’s people to realize that we are all on the same planet and connected together. Let us hope that folks take the opportunity to see it.
An author known for his “participatory journalism” including sports and theatre, George Plimpton was born on this day in 1927. Our playlist of music covers celebrates Plimpton who covered professions on Crosscurrents, 3/18 at 8 am. You are invited to engage in some “paticipatory radio” by tuning into the show on live on-air stream through the wehsite at http://www.krnn.org
GEORGE PLIMPTON QUOTES and LIFE
“I have never been convinced there’s anything inherently wrong in having fun. ”
“Well, I have to write. A lot of people forget that. They think I’m sort of crazy baffoon who can’t make up his mind what to do in life.”
“I never understood people who don’t have bookshelves.”
“At the base of it was the urge, if you wanted to play football, to knock someone down, that was what the sport was all about, the will to win closely linked with contact.”
NYT OBIT edit 27 Sept 2003
George Ames Plimpton was born on March 18, 1927, in New York.
Many of Mr. Plimpton’s books dealt with his adventures, most notably ”Out of My League” (1961), on baseball; ”Paper Lion” (1966), on football; and ”The Bogey Man” (1968), on golf.
As a ”participatory journalist,” Mr. Plimpton believed that it was not enough for writers of nonfiction simply to observe; they needed to immerse themselves in whatever they were covering. For example, football huddles and conversations on the bench constituted a ”secret world,” he said, ”and if you’re a voyeur, you want to be down there, getting it firsthand.”
All of this contributed to the charm of reading about Mr. Plimpton’s career as dilettante par excellence — ”professional” athlete, stand-up comedian, movie bad guy, circus performer and many other trades — which he described elegantly in nearly three dozen books.
As a boxer, he had his nose bloodied by Archie Moore at Stillman’s Gym in 1959. As a major league pitcher, he became utterly exhausted and couldn’t finish the inning at an exhibition game between National and American League all-stars in 1959 (though he managed to get Willie Mays to pop up). And as a ”professional” third-string quarterback with the Detroit Lions, he lost roughly 30 yards during a scrimmage in 1963. On Sunday Mr. Plimpton was in Detroit for a 40th-anniversary reunion with the players who once lined up with ”a 36-year-old free-agent quarterback from Harvard.”
He also tried his hand at tennis (Pancho Gonzalez beat him easily), bridge (Oswald Jacoby outmaneuvered him) and golf. With his handicap of 18, he lost badly to Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
In a brief stint as a goal tender for the Boston Bruins, he made the mistake of using his gloved hand to catch a flying puck, which caused a nasty gash in his pinky. He failed as an aerialist when he tried out for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus. As a symphonist, he wangled a temporary percussionist’s job with the New York Philharmonic. He was assigned to play sleigh bells, triangle, bass drum and gong; he struck the last so hard during a Tchaikovsky chestnut that Leonard Bernstein, who was trying to conduct the piece, burst into applause.
And he didn’t always fall on his face. One night in 1997 (too old by then to engage in strenuous contact sports), he showed up at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, which was then having its amateur night. He announced that he was an amateur, and when asked what he was going to play, replied, ”the piano.” He knew only ”Tea for Two” and a few other tunes, but played his own composition, a rambling improvisation he called ”Opus No. 1.” The audience adored him, and the charmed judges gave him second prize.
In 1983 he scored another success when he volunteered to help the members of the Grucci family plan and execute a fireworks display to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge. They accepted his kind offer, and he did his job without destroying himself or any of the Gruccis. For a time, he was regarded as New York City’s fireworks commissioner, the bearer of a highly unofficial title with no connection to the city government. In 1984 he wrote a book on his love of the rockets’ red glare, called ”Fireworks: A History and Celebration.”
Perhaps his career was best summarized by a New Yorker cartoon in which a patient looks at the surgeon preparing to operate on him and demands, ”How do I know you’re not George Plimpton?’