John Stewart at the Old Vienna-9/21/95-Oppenheimer
To call Al Cook a fan of John Stewart’s music would be putting it too mildly. Many of us have said that John wrote the soundtrack to our lives. For a few of us it went farther than that. Al’s devotion and dedication to John and his music is well-known and much appreciated.
Al sent me a cd some time ago. It was a live recording from a gig that John did in September of 1995. The venue was, according to the cd label that I have, the Old Vienna. I don’t know if this was a coffee house or a club. I think it must have been somewhere in New England.
In 1995, the recordings that were made in the clubs were somewhat primitive by today’s standards. This one was probably recorded on a small cassette recorder that was sitting on the table or hidden under a chair.
John loved spoken word pieces. He was good at them and could add sections to pieces that he’d done in the past and make them fresh again.
This one was unusual. I sent a copy to Tom DeLisle who is without question the leading authority on john’s music. Tom had never heard this piece.
Please forgive the audio quality. It wasn’t good to begin with and I was only able to do so much to bring it back. I think it’s worth hearing, though.
Thanks to Al Cook for providing the disc.
I got a blue jeans jacket in a large collapsed cardboard box once that featured a painting on the back which showed the face of J.R. Oppenheimer at the precise moment of Trinity in July of 1945 in the New Mexico desert with the exhiliration fear shock regret excitement agony satisfaction and disappointment clearly evident in the physicist’s eyes as depicted by the hand and mind of John Stewart the American performance artist who once met Doctor Oppenheimer in his travels across the planet and would afterwards wonder if he wasn’t forever haunted even perhaps eternally by the irretrievable power set loose in that instant captured in his eyes by Stewart’s brush on that summer morning when the sun rose twice.