with Nick Michaels
New York City’s Central Park is bordered by 59th street on the south, 110th street on the north, Central Park West on the west and Fifth Avenue on the east. Their are many entrances and exits to the park and several roads that transect it. The cover of Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic shows a pretzel vendor at the 79th street transverse on the west side of Fifth Avenue.
Jimmy Page told Rolling Stone Magazine in a 1975 interview that Little Feat was his favorite band. They have had many hits and produced many memorable songs one song was the most important one of all. Before Lowell George created Little Feat he was a member of Frank Zappa’s band The Mothers of Invention. Frank Zappa for all his outlandish, bohemian look and avant-garde music was vehemently against drugs. There are several versions of why Lowell George left the Mothers of Invention but at a 1975 concert Lowell George said that he was fired for writing the song Willin, or as he put it, writing a song about dope. Subsequently he changed the story to “it was decided that I should leave and form a band” by mutual agreement. Which ever one is true the fact is the song went on to become the signature song for one of the 70’s greatest bands.
A few days ago I played a song from this album by Jimmy Buffett. The song is called Death Of an Unpopular Poet. It has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. It wasn’t until a Deep End listener heard it on the show and contacted me, wanting to know who that poet was, that I finally took the time to do a little research. One of the things I love about the Deep End is the connection we have via the music.I learn as much about the music from you as you do from me. It is a conversation not a broadcast. Jimmy gave the answer to a magazine called High Times in a 1976 interview. It turns out that it was actually two poets. Here it is.
High Times: Where did “Death of an Unpopular Poet” come from?
Buffett: I was watching Walter Cronkite one night, and he had a little blurb on there that Kenneth Patchen had died. That surprised me, because hardly anybody ever heard of Patchen except in small circles. He was one of my favorite poets. So I was thinking about him, and then I thought about Richard Farina. These guys contributed so much, but they died and we never appreciated them until afterwards. They starved their asses off and didn’t get to stick around to reap their rewards. If you’re going to go up there and try to make it, you’re not out there totally for aesthetic value. Let’s face it-you’re out there to secure your future anybody that says they’re not is totally false. I couldn’t say that money doesn’t mean anything to me. You have to pay your bills – I have to keep the band on the road. But you can still have a good time and write good songs. You don’t necessarily have to prostitute your music, as long as you know how to handle it, put it in perspective. Those guys had a good time, but I’m sure they were miserable a lot of times. The success that they wanted, they never knew they actually reached it.