Sunday, July 31, 2016

Waiting For The Paper


Never touch the stuff. Music, that is. Oh, I turn the radio on when I'm in the car. It takes me about an hour or so every week to pull together enough songs to do the radio show. That's about it. Funny thing is, nobody loves it more than I do.

Humans are programmed to love music. The soundtrack to my life is worthy of an oscar. Satchmo
 said, "All music is folk music."

"All music is soul music."

I said that.



Saturday, July 30, 2016

When The Radio Calls



What happens when we run out of drama? Maybe it's time for instrumentals. Bright, monochrome canvases. I suppose another crisis is like a bus- wait awhile. Another one will be along in a few minutes.

You ever try to catch a bus in Tampa?

Denied drama but cursed with good memory I remain, you friend,

George Ronald Elliott




Friday, July 29, 2016

What Jamaica Knows


My girl doesn't have opposable thumbs. She can't talk. Jamaica does live in the here and now, though. She gets more sensory candy from pheromones and allomones than I can take in on any walk. She knows to fret about bad weather because of spherics long before I get the news on TV.

Mark Twain said, "Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."

I don't much believe in heaven. Never have. I've always hoped that I've got it wrong. As long as dogs are there.


                                      



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Dirt and Water Get You Mud


If only there was some way for me to thank the folks who have brought me joy in life. The animals, too. Relatives, rock'n'rollers, lovers, comedians, pets, racers, actors, wrestlers, teachers. My hope is that I have brought some little bit of happiness to others. My grander dream, I suppose, is that I've got a little left to deliver.

Give us peace on earth and end this dreadful, dreadful war.



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Take Me Back To Birmingham



Can you believe it? We were all born in Birmingham. Me, Sun Ra, Willie Mays and Edward O. Wilson. Oh, Emmylou Harris, too. In fact, Emmylou was born in April, 1947. She's nineteen days older than I am.

In the Church of the Living Swing there's significance here. Meaning? You tell me!

E.O. says that we have to have religion to keep from going crazy. I'd rather go to Birmingham. Is it just a coincidence that I learned to pray in Birmingham? I'll bet that Sun Ra and Willie and Edward and Emmylou did, too.

Herman Blount, before he became Sun Ra, claimed to have been transported to Saturn. We moved to Florida.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Let Me Dream



So the system's rigged. We haven't taken care of business. We haven't taken care of the ones who couldn't take care of themselves. There are crooks and creeps among us and Washington D.C. is full of them.

Let me say right here, however, that the majesty of Michelle Obama brings me around. Restores my faith. Reminds me of our potential. Every important lesson from every Sunday school class rings in my ears and rumbles in my heart.

Oh, I won't stop complaining. Let's do better. Let's do right.

In the meantime I do live with hope. I'm not without my heroes. I believe in love.


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Boys In Hot Rods



All my life I've joked that everything would be revealed right at the end. At least as far back as I can remember. Now I worry that I've been right. Everything seems so clear now, so simple. Makes me wonder if the grand finale might be just over this next hill. 

Funny thing is it all seems pretty simple. Maybe we have to create mysteries and patterns to justify our existence. I'm pretty sure it's really just a little biology and a little physics with a dash of rock'n'roll. Romance and poetry are merely some of the finer condiments.




Monday, July 25, 2016

Exceptional Age


Angel, my blind, seventeen year old cat, woke me up at 3:45 this morning. Nothing new. I'm just glad to be reminded that she's still with me.

I've been awake since then with a new purpose in life. I'm here to take exception to American exceptionalism.

Here we go:

Europeans crossed the ocean, liked what they saw and took it from natives who originally welcomed  them to paradise. They did it with smallpox blankets, whisky, trinkets, worthless treaties and guns. The heathens who had lived here, the Indigenous tribes, had been here for thousands of years.

That very white guy, the one with the powdered wig and the wooden teeth, the one who graces the green paper that we have come to worship, was in on the original plan to "civilize" these people. Yeah, let's take these folks who live with nature, who worship nature, and fix them. Let's kill the buffalo just to watch him die. 

Continuing in the entrepreneurial spirit, we built a society on the cheap with slavery. These white guys who blathered about all men being created equal owned human beings. Slaves and former slaves essentially built the White House. Let's be fair, here- some of them were actually paid. Apparently some of them were earning $1.25 a day!

Let me spin a little yarn here. Abel worked mowing lawns after school. He saved enough money to buy an old Chevy. His brother, Cain, was jealous. He killed the next door neighbor and stole the Audi from his garage. Talk about exceptional! 

Now I find myself represented by an orange-faced monster arguing with a woman who makes deals for weaponry to support her husband's hobby. Not that hobby. His other hobby.

We have cheated and won. We run the world. We have paved the continent and altered the climate. We have established perpetual war for the profit of investors. We finally abolished slavery with a terrible war. We continue to attempt to run our machinery with cheap labor and listen to chants to return to the past. "Let's take back America!"

Who's going to stand up for the poor? Who's going to speak for the disenfranchised? Who's going to talk about our miserable infant mortality standards?

For starters, I will. Let's give back America!

Let's replace the ones who tie silk ribbons around their necks with the ones who wear feathers in their hair.

Thanks, Angel. Thanks a lot.



Sunday, July 24, 2016

Knee Deep


In the big fight where science battles art and both have to struggle with commerce, I'm too lazy to be a soldier in the conflict. Everybody thinks his side is right. Everybody wants to be loved.

Well, sir- I want to be loved. That's about all I've got. I'm gonna try to be nice and I'm planning to play my music. I don't take myself very seriously and I don't take you too seriously, either. This political season has shown us, once and for all, that any pretense of class in this world is a hoax.

War? Don't play. Hate? Cancel it out with love.

Watch the babies, the dogs. Unlearn what you can.


                                         

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Crashes and Crushes


Wait, let me guess. Your religion is real. True. You know that because of your faith, right? Your folks knew it. Your god is the real one, the right one. Those other, false gods represent phony beliefs. Dumb hats, preposterous tales of creation, justification for war and violence. God's on your side. That's how you know.

Over and over those smarty pants intellectuals write that religion is embraced by the uneducated, doubted by the wise and useful for the powerful. They seem to delight in pointing out that Jesus wasn't a Christian, Buddha wasn't a Buddhist, Mohammed wasn't a Muslim. 

Yeah, well those other guys will end up burning in a fiery pit while some guy in red tights carrying a pitchfork pokes them. Did I mention his curly mustache? Dang!

What's love got to do with it?


                                   

Friday, July 22, 2016

Night After Night


Who decides weed/flower? Precious jewel/broken glass? Why are wealthy folks willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for a painting? My paintings are rare. Really rare.

Why do we moan that the terrorists don't play fair and wear uniforms while we brag about the colonists in their rag tag outfits mowing down the British in their bright red outfits?

Who decides that war will have rules? Why don't I get to make the rules? Shouldn't any nation, any leader, be ashamed to make war?

Why doesn't the UN demand that we give the land back to the native Americans?

Good is better, right? Love is obvious, isn't it? Why don't folks just do what feels good?



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lucky At Lunch



How can we take it seriously? On some days I'm sure that all the secrets are woven into the biology. On others I see the clues in physics and wish I had studied more, paid closer attention. Then a Little Richard record plays in the background. I remember romance. Truth washes over me and, briefly, I see it all.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Plastic and Hay



My insignificance in the big picture is blinding and overwhelming. Oh, I would like to be remembered as a good guy. Who wouldn't? I have no interest, however, in hit records. Beachfront property. Pernod Ricard Periier Jouet, Bruno Magli loafers or membership in your yacht club.

That probably sounds snootier than the worst snob you know. Maybe it is.

As I scan the room I do realize that I love the junk that surrounds me. Somehow everything is perfect. To be fair, everything has always been perfect. It has taken me a long, long time to see it. 

Maybe the worst nightmare is to ask the girl to dance. She smiles and takes your hand. A few seconds into the twirl you realize that she never really wanted to dance. Not with you.

Okay! Slow learners on this side of the room.



Monday, July 18, 2016

Batteries Included


A smart man knows when to walk away. I get my wisdom from The Simpsons in the background. I've been in the rock'n'roll racket for more than fifty years. I had banana pudding for lunch today and I may have ice cream for dinner. Sometimes I play Ukulele Ike on the radio. I nap when I want to. I am slowly learning to love unconditionally. Really slowly. 

Turns out that my favorite memories involve holding hands. It always seemed silly, the Beatles singing "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and Professor Longhair singing "Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand."

Either I peaked early or I never changed. Don't ever give up on your dreams. You know who you are. You know who needs your love.


                                       

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fix This


Seems like I spend way too much time wringing my hands, telling anyone who will listen that rock'n'roll is dead.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Well, it is. It has. It did. That mausoleum in Cleveland even calls itself, "The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame" 

AND?

AND!

Sometimes they use, "The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame."

It's "Rock'n'Roll," fellows. You'll have to type it fast to get it by your spell checker.

Well, as society unravels and Donald Trump dominates the TV screen a new reality is forced onto these orbs. The mere passing of rock'n'roll is hardly significant.

Buzz Aldrin thinks that we should get to work quickly to colonize Mars in case "something goes wrong" with the earth. Let me apologize right here to my Baptist friends- something has gone wrong! Man.

Buzz is a hero but he's old. Really old. He's older than I am.

If Letterman ever did a Top Ten Reasons The Earth Is Ending list, every clue would have pointed to man. Climate change. War. Population. Hate. Greed.

You can finish out the list, yourself.

Me? I'm an optimist. The glass is half full. The earth's only partially ruined. There are lots of beautiful people out there. They just don't run the governments. Oh, the banks, either. Or the churches or the insurance companies or the record labels or the television networks, ad nauseam.

Sit back. Those guys may destroy themselves and each other before they burn down the planet. Meantime, love like crazy. It's not just good, it's all we've got.


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Friday, July 15, 2016

The World Unravels


Yeah, I should be in Oklahoma. Either you're in the right place or you're not and I'm not one to complain. Audrey's been gone for almost a year now. She was a force of nature and I don't have the vocabulary to properly describe her.

My pal, Nancy Apple, is rolling out the tribute record that attempts to honor Audrey Auld this week in Okemah during the Woody Guthrie Festival.

Do yourself a favor. Track it down. Buy one. Google "Audrey Auld."


                                        

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Where Are You?



Love comes to Ronny Elliott. In my dreams! No, really. In my dreams. I woke up dreaming that I was trying to get to Bradenton to see Burt Bacharach performing at some snooty country club. I was scaling a brick wall, worrying about crossing the bay once I was over the top. A woman was with me, clearly my love interest in this epic event. Funny, the girl seems to be the inconceivable element.

My grandmother always told me not to reveal my dreams before breakfast, that they would come true. Well, sir, I'm sitting here eating a guava and cheese pastry as I write this drivel. Does this qualify as "before breakfast?"

As you know by now I have been pronounced socially awkward. By two women. Well, maybe pronounced socially awkward by one and confirmed by another. Let's face it- if all of the women I have loved get together to compare notes, I probably won't even make socially awkward.

Sticks and stones, girls. Sticks and stones. I may be socially awkward but I'm clever. Well, I'm buoyant.



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Turn Up Your Radio


Every bumper sticker, all the Sunday school lessons, everything I can remember from every single fortune cookie- they all rumble in my noggin, competing for space, jostling for dominance.

Now I find that I judge. Like Jimmy Carter, I lust for women in my heart. Boy, do I ever lust for women in my heart! I wrote my own Ten Commandments. Twice! You'd think that the self-righteous fool who was pompous enough to admit any such thing could, at least, follow his own rules. Nope.

Now, it was a joke. Pretty much every effort of mine is a joke to some extent. Anything worth doing is worth doing dumb. I write sad, dumb songs and dumb, sad songs. That's what I do. I do try to tell the truth, though- the truth as I know it.



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fireworks and Tennis Whites



We're not the only social animals but we're the only ones with "government," the only ones who profit from war. Can you imagine a western movie where the Indians get rich manufacturing weapons? I can be happy if I can ignore them. You know- them.

Really, ignoring them is not enough. They will deduct your part from taxes.

If everybody thinks he's the good guy, the guy with the biggest bomb wins.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Needles Wiggle and Elvis Sings


Grow up if you want to. I've got other plans. I heard them talking about me on NPR once a long time ago. They were saying something about me being like Johnny Cash without the gravitas. I think that means that I warble off key in a low range with a hillbilly accent.

It occurs to me very slowly, very slowly, that if we pick up their weapons, we become them. Hate? Off the table. Violence? Nope. If our side dances and sings, loves, feasts and frolics, what do they have?

You see the funny thing about love is that it can't be stolen. You can't hoard it. They may cheat you; no, wait- they will cheat you. Just keep in mind that they don't have any armies if we won't be their soldiers.

Maybe we'll march. Sometimes we'll protest. There will always be pressure to fight. The real revolution happens in your heart. Remember the guy in Tiananmen Square who stopped the tank? Yeah, of course you do. We all do.



That scientific secret that they're always searching for, perpetual motion? I've found it. It was never lost! That light of love that burns in your heart shines on all the hate and all the meanness and renders it impotent. The emperor has no clothes on. We'll judge for ourselves the size of his tallywacker.





Saturday, July 9, 2016

Paint It All Bastard Blue


Maybe getting old is for sissies. It seems to be coming rather naturally to me. I haven't given up on saving the world but, here lately, my enthusiasm is shaky. Loving is so very easy and hate takes so much effort.

Babies don't discriminate based on color. They're not motivated nor impressed by money. They love to be loved, held. A happy baby will laugh uncontrollably at the drop of a hat. A goofy dog is always a good excuse.

What do you suppose they know that we don't?

The secrets aren't secret. The emperor really is naked. Laugh. Harder. Love! Harder.


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Thursday, July 7, 2016

What's It Worth To You?


Money has never meant much to me. Good thing I suppose. Now I watch folks in bumper to bumper traffic commuting to jobs that they don't like while life whizzes by in the opposite direction. Their Audis will eventually look outdated before they rust and go out of style.

Where do they hide the joy?

Well, I can only tell you where I've found some. Anything that makes me laugh until I cry. Little Richard records. New love. Kisses from a puppy. Waves getting the best of me in the Gulf of Mexico. Kids' smiles. Old folks' smiles. Memories.


                                         video


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Testing- 1,2


It has taken me this long to become this person. Now I'm unable to tell whether I've achieved my goals, my aspirations or if I've merely run out of steam and decided to settle for this. Maybe it doesn't much matter.

My time with the ones I love, two legs and four, is my greatest treasure. Sharing my music with my good friends and sweet, kind audiences runs a strong second. I enjoy performing more than ever. That's saying a lot.

Giving in to leaving romance behind seemed to threaten my peace of mind for a bit. It finally dawned on me that failure in that field had made me miserable throughout most of my life, not to mention how miserable I managed to make others. I have my memories of the good parts. I would love to think that I left a few for someone else.

Unrequited love, now I'm good at that. It's probably more accurate to say that I've got a fine imagination. Here's to the ones who knew better. I toast the ones who managed to fend me off while dazzling me with their kindness.

Pray for peace. Search for truth. Settle for love.


    

Monday, July 4, 2016

Low T For All


On a bad day I seem to think that there's some plan here. Usually I like to believe in total random anarchy. Take testosterone. Please, take testosterone. The ones who believe in order theorize that it has two purposes- procreation and dominance.

Is it my imagination or do we have too many folks on the planet and too many folks fighting "with god on their side" now?

Me? I'd put a bonobo in charge. Any bonobo. 

My enthusiasm for a female president of the United States is nothing new. I have to admit that I would have preferred one who didn't scratch her crotch through a pantsuit while spitting and spouting jingoistic rhetoric. Oh, she will have my vote but I would be lying if I didn't admit that it's more a vote against fascism, xenophobia and pure D meanness than it is a strike for feminism.

My wallet is pink. Paper. Yeah, I carry a pink, paper wallet. I have no interest in any boy's night out. Leave me at home with the girls. Girls are better.


                                   
   

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Free Parking, Get Out Of Jail


Yeah, I suppose the Duke wanted to die with his boots on. Well, buddy, I hope to go out in magenta Jack Purcells singing my heart out. All negative thoughts and negative energy are banished from my beer-bellied temple when the lights shine in my eyes and the sweat rolls over the bushy brows into those eyes.

My sense of love and my search for truth all make sense onstage. For me.

Six nights a week. Four hours a night. Everybody's got his own idea of heaven.


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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Summer School Blues


Somehow I can find nothing to fret about beyond any damage that I may have done to another heart. We've all been hurt, we've all hurt. Kindness brings happiness and it's free. What a surprise- I seem to be an economist. 

When I was young I assumed that I knew everything. As I got older and saw some of the world I realized just how little I knew. Now I see that the truth is right here with me and always has been.


video

Friday, July 1, 2016

How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall?


Don't hold it against me. I've never really wanted to learn to do anything. I've always just wanted to do stuff. I suppose that we're all lucky that I wanted to play rock'n'roll instead of practicing brain surgery or flying for Delta.

Picasso painted in a realistic style and eventually began to put both eyes on the same side of the nose. I play guitar pretty much like I did in the seventh grade. My primitive side is my only side. This is the best that I can do. I know! Right?

When I was about eighteen years old we all realized that the Candymen were better than we were. They lived all over the South- Tampa, Dothan, Jacksonville. Somehow I remember my pal, Rodney, telling me that they never rehearsed. I have always aspired to be that good. I've always practiced as little as possible. I was reassured the first time that I worked with Chuck Berry. Our soundcheck/rehearsal lasted for about five minutes and consisted mostly of him threatening to embarrass us if we screwed up. I eventually figured out that with Chuck, sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's really good.

Now Rodney tells me that the Candymen spent hours with their noses to the grindstone. He says that he's never worked harder.

Well, what am I supposed to do now? I've got some fifty years to make up and I still don't want to rehearse. Or learn to do anything for that matter. Explains a lot, doesn't it?