Re: RARA-AVIS: Kenny Rogers

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 11 Jul 2002

> Bill C wrote:
> "Since this is a literary group, I think I can remain barely on topic
> when I say that Kenny Rogers was also in "The First Edition." Their
> "I Just Dropped in to See what Condition my Condition was In" might
> qualify as a descendant of the beat generation's life and times."
> And the song was used in The Big Lebowski, the Coen Brothers' Chandler
> pastiche.
> Mark
And being a dyed-in-the-wool cornball (as Mark can attest), I like this one too.(And "Ruben James" was a great favourite of my pre-teen childhood, so obviously being a cornball has been with me since the beginning). On the subject of cornball songs and movies, isn't it amazing how a film can invest a corny old song with meaning that it never originally had. I'm thinking particularly of Roy Orbison's "In Dreams" in BLUE VELVET & Stealer's Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" in the infamous straight razor to the ear scene in RESERVOIR DOGS. Reminds me of an interview I read with Tom Waits where he mentioned the importance of context. He said he'd always hated the song "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" until one night he saw an old homeless woman, dead drunk & sheltering in a doorway, singing "raindrops keep falling on my fucking head..." & it made him see the song in a whole new light. It seems to be a popular game in the neo-noir (film) set, using innocuous old pop tunes
& imbuing them with a sense of mystery or menace that was previously non-existent or only hinted at.
(Oh, and for the record, I don't consider the Big "O" innocuous. I was speaking generally. The Big "O" was a god, IMO). Rene

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