Archive for August, 2020


“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”

H. P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories


I have things that have to be attended to this morning so this will be short. I have watched the first three episodes of HBO’s Lovecraft Country and am still trying to decide whether I like it or not. I am not a horror aficionado nor a big reader of H.P. Lovecraft so I don’t look at it from that aspect. But it has been interesting enough to keep me coming back thus far. So we’ll see, I guess.

That brings me to the snip above from Lovecraft. It sort of reinforces my own belief that most things– civilizations, technologies, movements, etc– eventually evolve and grow until they reach an untenable point, Basically, that comes down to meaning that there is a beginning and an end to everything.

Nothing lasts forever.

Lately this thought fills me with dread and it may be that this feeling comes about because my fear of our desire as a people to enter into, as Lovecraft put it above: flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

I was hoping to not be around when that happened again. Bad timing, I guess.

Anyway, this is just a prelude to sharing a song from Shilpa Ray, who I introduced here last week singing Pirate Jenny with Nick Cave. Here’s her song, Morning Terrors Nights of Dread. It caught my ear and the video has a cheesy appeal for me. I have caught myself humming the tune every so often this past week so I figured it must be worth sharing. Give a listen and have a good day. Got to run  now. Bye!


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I have heard the big music
And I’ll never be the same


I was looking for a song to play this morning and I thought about a favorite track from an album, A Pagan Place, from back in the 1980’s from the Irish group The Waterboys. I was surprised to discover that in the nearly 12 years I’ve been doing this blog that the song hasn’t somehow surfaced.

The song is The Big Music and it’s about hearing a song or piece of music that just opens you up. Shakes up your whole world and changes how you see everything in it. Maybe even alters your whole life path.

It’s a song that really speaks to me. Growing up in the country at a time before digital broadcasts, satellite television and streaming services, we had two TV channels so reading and listening to music filled the void for a kid who was eager to learn about the world.

We had a big box of singles from the late 50’s and early 60’s that had by a cousin and somehow ended up with us. It had tons of good stuff including early rock from Elvis, lots of surf music from the likes of Jan and Dean and the Surfaris, goofy novelty songs and lots of pop chart hits that feel pretty dated today, such as Heart from Kenny Chandler, a song I listened to hundreds of time back then.

Plus, my sister was an avid music fan so there were always plenty of early Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan singles on the record player. That first ringing chord of A Hard Day’s Night still thrills me in the same visceral way that I remember feeling as a kid.

Through those formative years, there were plenty of songs that hit me hard and opened up the world for me in small ways. Too many to list, actually. But I don’t know that I can mark one song that was that single defining moment. The Big Music for me.

Well, maybe it was from the first time I saw Springsteen back in 1977. The show and sound was unlike any other rock show I had seen up to that point. I wrote about that show in one of my favorite blog entries and mentioned his performance of It’s My Life,a song that was originally recorded by The Animals. That song and performance changed a lot of things with repercussions that echo through my whole life.

When I think about it, I doubt that I would be writing this today without that song at that moment.

So, I guess that would be my Big Music moment. Do you have a Big Music moment or one big song that just does it for you?

Here’s the song, The Big Music, from The Waterboys. Have a good Sunday.


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I came across the post below earlier this morning. It was posted several years back, just a couple of weeks after my father was admitted to to a local nursing facility, suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia. Four years have passed now and his condition has, unsurprisingly, deteriorated. He is now among the folks I describe in the the last paragraphs below. I visited this past week and basically just sat across from him, an enforced six feet away for safety’s sake, and looked at him as he lulled in his padded reclining wheelchair.

I called across to him several times throughout the visit, Basically, a hello in there kind of thing. But there was no response, not even a flutter of his closed eyes. He was there but he certainly was not there, as well. I wonder what part of his memories his mind was moving through at that time, what form of reality it was taking.

Anyway, here’s that post from several years back, including another great song from the late John Prine:


GC Myers Early Work 1994I have a square cardboard box in one of the rooms of my studio. It’s not much to look at it and it certainly doesn’t have any significance attached to its exterior appearance.  But for me it’s a treasure chest, my secret bounty. You see, this rather plain box holds hundreds of small pieces from my earliest forays in paint from twenty some years ago.

They are not significant to anyone other than me. If you were to look in it you might not feel anything more than you would from looking at the old buttons, matchbooks and other tiny souvenirs of times past in someone else’s dresser drawers.

Many are clumsy attempts and most are deeply flawed in some way. But for me, they hold so much more deep meaning than is apparent from a first look. They are my artifacts, my history, my ponderings, my inner thoughts and my memory.

They are me.

There’s always a special feeling when I delve into them, like that feeling of looking at old family photos and vividly remembering moments that seem to have happened eons ago. I sometimes marvel at the brightness of my youth at that point and sometimes frown at the foolishness of it. I see where I thought I was going and can compare it to where I finally landed. There are ideas there that are dismal failures that make me smile now and make me wonder if I should have pursued them further.

And there are some that make me happier now than when they were done. Time has added a completeness to them that was lacking then.

And there are pieces like the untitled one above from back in 1994 that make me just stop and wonder where they came from. They seem like lost memories. I know I made this piece up in my mind but can’t remember why. I have skimmed over it a hundred times and never given it more than a shrug. But today I find myself looking intently at it as though it holds something for me that I can’t just pull out of it.

There’s a frustration in that but since I know that it is mine, I don’t really mind. I will have it for years to come and can question it again and again. Maybe my mind will release the secret or at least form a substitute reality at some point, one that brings me closure of some kind.

Who knows?

Today’s Sunday Morning music deals a bit with some of the same feelings. Well, I think it does.  It’s Hello In There from John Prine. Visiting my father in the nursing home has been hard, not just for the visits with him which still leave me shaken a little after each visit, but for the sight of the other older folks in even deeper states of dementia as they sit in their chairs in the hallways and dining rooms. There is a lonely blankness in their eyes that is heart-breaking.  You wish you could reach into them and pull their old self out in the open if only for a moment. But all you can do is say hello and hope they hear the words and the feeling in it.

Anyway, this is a great old song from John Prine. I hope you’ll give it a listen and have a great day.

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2 + 2


In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.

George Orwell, 1984


Two plus two still adds up to four.

But just barely.

There is ample evidence that there are some out there right now who are most likely thinking, “Why shouldn’t 2 plus 2 equal 5? If our great leader say that it is 5 and I feel that it is 5, who has the right to tell me that I am wrong?

Based on what I have seen over the past four nights from DC, the world of George Orwell‘s 1984 is just a little too close for comfort.

There is already the embrace of its concept of Doublethink. That’s where one holds two contradictory beliefs to be true at the same time. For example, there are people out there who believe that it was our government who actually flew the planes into the World Trade Center in 2001. Or they might also believe that the current pandemic is the result of a huge Deep State conspiracy.

These same people believe at the same time that this same government, one that is capable of a huge, complicated conspiracy that would require the silence and complicity of literally thousands of accomplices, is totally inept, too stupid and flawed, to do anything well.

We have become people who believe what they hear so long as it doesn’t involve critical thinking and aligns with what they want to believe. But because there is no critical thinking, most don’t even truly know what they want to believe.

They wait for The Word from some elevated other to tell them that.

The Word shall be whatever strokes their egos and stokes their fears.

It is a scary time, one that is not normal in any sense of the word, and we are rapidly descending down a very slippery slope right now. Who knows where we will be when this plummet ends?

Or if it will end.

As Orwell asks: For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?

Use your mind. Think critically. Speak out. When they say 2 plus 2 is 5, tell them they are wrong. Our world is depending on it at this moment.

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In the dark times / Will there also be singing? / Yes, there will also be singing. / About the dark times.

–Bertolt Brecht


Didn’t really want to say much today. I did enough of that on Saturday, enough that I couldn’t imagine anyone would want to hear much more from more for a while. But I thought I would share the post below from over 10 years back about the song Pirate Jenny from The Threepenny Opera. I heard it early this morning and it reminded me of the story I told on Saturday about pretending to be a pirate in the woods alone. Maybe the draw in wanting to be a marauding pirate was much the same as it was for Jenny– a desire from a powerless person for control and power of some sort.

I don’t know.

But here’s the post and at the bottom are two versions of the song, one a classic theatric version from Anne Kerry Ford and then a version from Nick Cave in collaboration with punk vocalist Shilpa Ray. There are tons of great versions out there, as there always are for great songs, and I almost threw in Nina Simone’s  strong live interpretation of it. Hope you find one that works for you.


Bea Arthur as the original Lucy Brown

It’s one of those cases of one thing reminding you of something else.  I heard Bobby Darin’s swinging version of Mack the Knife yesterday and there’s a line that ends with and Lucy Brown.  One of those parts of a song that your mind is somehow attuned to and always hears whenever the song is played.

Anyway, it immediately reminded me of  seeing Bea Arthur, of Maude and Golden Girls fame, a number of years back in a one-woman show on Broadway of personal stories and song.   Going in, I knew only a little of her career outside the TV roles so I didn’t have high expectations.  I was pleasantly surprised by a great show.

I didn’t know much of her Broadway career and didn’t know she originated the role of Lucy Brown in the original Broadway version of The Threepenny Opera back in the ’50’s.  She told several great tales about the show and then did a stirring version of the The Pirate Jenny.

I’m embarassed to say that I didn’t know much at that time about The Threepenny Opera or Brecht or Kurt Weill.  Had never heard the song  Pirate Jenny and it’s story of a cleaning woman who daydreams of rising from her life of powerless drudgery to become a powerful and cruel pirate.  Great song with great imagery and Bea Arthur’s version was wonderful.  Angry.  You could feel her desire for retribution for every time she was wronged by those who simply overlooked her and  took her for granted.  It was a very powerful song and one that became and remains a personal favorite.

Anyway, here’s a very good version of The Pirate Jenny from singer Anne Kerry Ford:



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I don’t believe that there’s anything I’d like to do less than watch myself talk. And the last couple of days have sure reinforced that belief.

But that’s what I’ve done for the last couple of days as I have edited the video from Saturday’s Virtual Gallery Talk from the West End Gallery. I am cutting out some rough spots between the segments, such as where I swing my camera around to tour the gallery a bit or the transition from the prize drawing (which has also been cut) to the Q&A segment. Outside of the prize drawing, which we decided to cut because of privacy concerns, no real content has been cut.

There are going to be two videos. This first one presents just my prepared presentation. The second, which will be out  tomorrow or Friday, will have all the segments.

I’ve learned a lot from this experience and expect that these lessons will show up in future videos of even higher quality. Thanks to Jesse, Linda and John at the West End Gallery for all the extra work (and anxiety) that went into making this happen. It was a lot more work than any of us anticipated. And many thanks to everyone who took an hour or two out of a busy summer Saturday to tune and make it all happen. And congratulations to the winners of the paintings. Hope they live up to your expectations!

Hopefully, as it’s being presented, it will give you a fairly representative gallery talk experience. So, for those of you out there who wanted to take part but weren’t able, here’s the first part of my Virtual Gallery Talk from the West End Gallery.

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I’ve been editing the video of my Virtual Gallery Talk over the last day or so, cutting away some of the rougher sections. I am not an experienced film editor so it’s going slow. Plus, it takes time because it’s so painful to watch myself on the recording that I can’t do it for too long at once. But there should be a version available within a day or so on YouTube, if you’re interested.

The first will just have the beginning monologue. The second will be more complete, with a look at some of the work in the show at the West End Gallery and the questions put to me by the participants.

Because the viewer knew that we shared a love for baseball, he posed a questions that had to do with a piece of public art from artist Red Grooms that resides beyond the centerfield fence at Marlins Stadium in Miami. Called Homer, it’s an epic piece, 73 feet tall, comprised of colorful rainbows,  flamingos, swaying palm trees, and marlins jumping from the waves. It even goes into motion with water a-gushing whenever a Marlins player hits a home run.

It’s a pretty gaudy piece with it cartoon-like imagery and bright colors, which are a Grooms trademark. As a result, it has become somewhat controversial. People seem to either love it or hate it. I was asked for my thoughts on it.

Hey, if I were in the ballpark, I would love it. Why not? It’s loud and celebratory. It’s fun. It serves its purpose ideally. Nobody goes to the ballpark to see Botticelli paintings or Rodin sculptures, as enticing as it might be to see a homer dinging off The Thinker.

Would I want it in my front yard?


Art serves different purposes in different settings. Epic public pieces can seldom speak in intimate terms though there are certainly those that do. The sitting Lincoln at his Memorial, for instance, has a feeling that is inward and seems to reach out to the viewer in personal terms.

As powerful as it is, I don’t want that in my yard either.

Or out in centerfield. Though I hear Lincoln was a helluva fielder.

All glove, no bat, as they say.

To sum up, Homer is the art it is meant to be. Have fun with it. It’s baseball!

Thanks, for the question, Dave.

Here’s Mabel Scott with her wonderful Baseball Boogie.

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 I ain’t hurtin’ nobody
I ain’t hurtin’ no one

— John Prine


Well, our first Virtual Gallery Talk from the West End Gallery has went by the wayside. Whew.

It was such a different experience from in person talks that I am still processing it. I will most likely address it in greater detail in coming days, including answering some of the questions that were asked in greater detail.

I am fairly happy with it thus far. And the feedback has been very good thus far. One unfortunate aspect was that I wasn’t able to see or hear the folks watching and we’re working to address that for future streaming events.

It was much more difficult than I had expected when the idea of doing this first came up. I know when it ended, the strain of it hit me almost immediately. Within minutes of it ending, I felt like I had been beat on with bag of pennies. I expected a sense of relief but wasn’t expecting that.

But it’s done. There’s something to build on now, to make future ones much better.

I want to extend a warm thank you to everyone who tuned in yesterday. There were well over a hundred viewers from 18 states and 4 different countries. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate those of you out there who took the time to listen to me yammer on for a while. I hope it made some sense for you and you feel that it was time well spent.

I also want to thank Jesse, Linda and John at the West End Gallery for giving me the opportunity and for the massive effort they put out in making it happen.

Though I hopefully look forward to standing in front of an audience for a gallery talk, here’s to more and better streams in the future. If you tuned in yesterday and have comments or criticisms that you think will help us make our presentations better, please let me know so we can improve. Thanks!

For this Sunday Morning Music, here’s a song I referenced yesterday from John Prine, I Ain’t Hurtin’ Nobody.

Again thank you so much and have a good day.


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Virtual Talk Today!

There’s still time to register! 

You can still register via Zoom for the Virtual Gallery Talk taking place today at the West End Gallery.

It begins at 1 PM. 

Hope to see you there!!


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“A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt; long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”

Winston S. Churchill


Still busy getting ready for  tomorrow’s Virtual Gallery Talk from the West End Gallery. Still a lot of work to do, especially on my acrobatic entrance where I do a series of backward handsprings into the gallery culminating in two twists and a stuck landing.

I have so far broken three windows, four coffee cups, stepped on Hobie (my mighty studio cat) and put my foot through a painting while practicing.

I might have to cut that part of the presentation.

Oh, well. I guess that help in adhering to the words above from Winston Churchill. I do try to follow this bit of advice and keep my  speech short even though there is always that temptation to keep blabbing.

Win This Painting!

Hope you can tune in tomorrow. I am a little nervous, doing this in this online format that is new for both myself and the West End. But I think it’s going to go off pretty well and will be, hopefully, interesting for you.

Plus, we’ll be giving away TWO paintings of mine at the end of the hour and maybe there will be anther surprise or two. So, there’s that.

And I heard there will be pie. But I guess that won’t help you since it’s a virtual talk. When they can teleport pie via the interweb, that will be a great thing.

But I doubt it’s going to happen by tomorrow.

Well, that won’t stop us.

Hope to see you tomorrow.


See yesterday’s blog for more details and register below:


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