Monday, May 5, 2008

May 5 - Pontoon Tattoo

Let's just say that it never occurred back in 1998 that Pontoon Tattoo (In Memoriam Sonny Bono) had anything to do with anything except lines re-quoted by Tom Kuntz (let's not go there either -- January 11, NYT),

shortly after the death of the recording-republican in a run-in with a rogue tree on a ski run.


On his show-business low point in 1988, which prompted him to enter politics. He angered the diminutive TV star Herve Villechaize by calling him ''Pontoon'' rather than ''Tattoo'' during filming for Fantasy Island:

"I wrote 10 gold records, I produced a top-3 TV show in the nation, and now I'm standing here getting bawled out by a midget."

-- address at Harvard, quoted
by The Patriot Ledger (Quincy,
Mass.), May 4, 1996


San Rafael News: VI. Pontoon Tattoo

Somehow the quote turned into --

Pontoon Tattoo
I've had hit records
Produced T.V. shows
Here I am bawled out by a midget.

-- and the recording of Janet Lohr's, this past Sunday, was mixed provisionally as above.

Great dark thrash of a dictation from Mike today, sounding remarkably beautiful on piano w/ respect to both melody and harmony (hmm, what's the story with the visuals on this blog at present?)

E harmonic minor, notated in an interesting non-standard, yet efficient key sig of two sharps (F and D!). Two phrases -- melodically of 4 and 7 measures, but harmonically of 5 and 6, such that the return of the first motive functions as an entire motivic anticipation -- nice!

The bass line descends chromatically (the old Henry Purcell Dido and Aeneas "When I Am Laid" trick), and then contains a related retrograde passage at end. Melody is a textbook case of delayed resolution to tonic -- also nice! (and yet another semi-clothed maiden, albeit ancient -- what is going on here?)

Returning home, receive a fine review from Michael McDonagh of the Philip Glass Satyagraha in New York (at, yes, that's the Robert Mapplethorpe / Robert Wilson / Einstein on the Beach photo, but that's what happens sometime) and have started re-constructing the back issues of Journal, beginning wtih July 2005.

Pleased to hear from Santa Cruz that Harriet and I will be attending and reviewing their

Kurt Weill Threepenny Opera.

And as for top photo? Or photo of top? Well, that's Chessie Moore (and again from her Wikipedia article), who has kept abreast of the times by getting a tat on (well, once again, guess we're not going there, as well).