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February 08, 1978 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-02-08

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Duo finger-pickin'


The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, February 8, 1978-Page5
Patti can't swing it solo

A S SOON as the lights dimmed, the
audience in the Ark coffeehouse
settled in and was introduced to one of
the country's best flat pickers, Norman
He started with some quick picking
songs like "Arkansas Traveller" to
demonstrate his fingers' flexibility,
then got his voice warmed up with
"Nobody's Business" and "Church St.
Blues" to reveal his genuine country
quality. After some solo tunes, Nancy
Blake came out to accompany him with
her cello, and to add a bit of spirit to his
All watched as she skillfully gouged a
hole in the floor with her pen knife to set
her cello in place. Nancy's cello and
Norman's guitar combined for a fine
sound. When they played "Lonesome
Jenny," the cello's rich tone and the
guitar's minor chords resonated much
like Lonesome Jenny Harley herself.
The cello acted as bass accompany-
ment to thread the song together. In
"Blue Ridge Mountain Blues," Nancy
plucked the notes hard, almost as a
bluegrass player would slap his strings.
THE BLAKES' played a song from
their latest album Blackberry Blossom,
"D Medley," a great fiddle and cello
duet. The steady flow of quick notes
kept a stepped-up rhythm. An oc-
casional smile to each other kept a
down-home feeling flowing through the
After a short break, complete with
buttered popcorn, the audience settled
back for another round of mesmerizing
flat-picking. Norman enchanted every-
one with the favorite country tune "Tea
for Texas." Though his listeners were
only two feet away from him, his con-
centration on his music made you won-
de if he knew anyone was there. His
maneuvering with just the basic chords
sent out an infinite number of harmo-
nies with occasional bent notes adding
country-blues touch.
He put on finger-picks to play "South-
ern Railroad Blows," and the notes



_" qq

A MIDST CRIES OF "R-r-r-right now!", "Let us in!",
and "You're gonna die!", a long line' of Patti Smith
devotees huddled together in the five-degree post-blizzard
weather outside Second Chance Monday night for several
hours before the management began taking tickets and
checking ID's.
With almost no publicity (mainly word-of-mouth and
a few discreet radio ads in Detroit and Ann Arbor), Mon-
day and Tuesday night's performances of the Patti Smith
Group and Sonic's Rendezvous Band sold out in a matter
of hours, prompting Second Chance to offer a third con-
cert Wednesday night.
Once inside, the fans sat through two hours of punk
records before Patti Smith unexpectedly appeared on
stage. Her band had been snowbound in New York, but
Smith had decided to go on anyway.
SHE APOLOGIZED for the -absence of the band
("They send their regards"), and produced a paperbound
volume of her poetry. "This book is gonna take poetry out
of the libraries," she said proudly.
Although Smith read a couple of poems in her raw-
edged Siamese cat voice or with the accompaniment of
her rather random guitar work, she spent most of her time
onstage exchanging banter with the rowdy, adoring audi- -
ence, who appeared to amuse her to no end. Prowling
around the stage crowded with amps, mike stands, and
drums, she took cigarettes from the catcalling crowd,
asked for requests she did not play, briefly recalled for-
mer Ann Arbor appearances ("You guys can't be trusted
in this town") and spoke to the lighting technicians
("What am I, Edith Piaf? What is this spotlight stuff?")..
Smith handled the restless crowd with professional-
ism and street-wise ease. "Grab yer own equipment," she
told one overzealous fan who kept seizing the mike stand.
At another point she remarked, "I'm going to penetrate
you one way or the other - you might as well get used to
it." In the flashing twin spotlights, she fell to her knees,
rubbing her guitar to make sounds like an angry Godzilla.
She finished the "set" by singing "Happy Trails to You."
ONE PATTI SMITH FAN decided to write a poem about
the performance:
Frostbiting my toes,
Screams of urgent horror,
Circulating around the crowd like a volleyball.
No daredevils tonight,
Only loudmouth punks,
DEVO drinks for all,
References to mouth wash, or, perhaps, cough syrup,

+ .:


sprang out in a flow of quick country,
licks. Instrumental pieces followed,
ranging from classicl to ragtime melo-
Then Nancy reappeared and the two
played "Medley in A minor." Now she
strummed the guitar while he flatpick-
ed the mandolingagain, the variety with
the various combinations of string in-
struments kept their listeners in a con-
stant state of amazement.
"YOU KNOW, it's a breather to come
to the Ark," Norman said. "We really
enjoy being here. So much good music
has been played here. You can feel it
seepin' outta the wood. We sort of joke
about this place and call it Folk Haven.
That means we must be Ark Angels."
"We do appreciate you people coming
out in two feet of snow I don't know if
I'd do it myself." He smiled with Nancy

and continued playing. He would oc-
casionally smile to himself, making you
wonder what was going on behind those
pensive eyes.
Norman Blake grew ap in Chattanoo-
ga, Tennessee. Nancy grew up in Inde-
pendence, Missouri,
"I grew up in a rural community," he
said, sipping a coke after a tiring per-
formance. "I'm very sympathetic to
miners and that way of life." Much of
his songs spoke of the very things he
grew up with, including railraod tracks
and steam engines.
One can see how his background re-
flects his music, his character and his
life. And though Nancy came from dif-
ferent parts of the country, their peace-
fulness shone through together.
"WE LIKE Ann Arbor people. We've
been here so many times before,"
Norman Blake said. Through an agent,
he got booked at the Ark for the first
time about five years ago, and he's
been coming back ever since. "It's so
nice to have the place where you stay in
the same place where you perform.
That way you don't have to go lookin'
for rooms and parking spaces for the
Nancy and Norman Blake performed
both Monday and Tuesday night to very
appreciative audiences. "It's not a
job," he said. "We play for enjoy-
ment." And that's what nmade their per-
formance so special: their talents
glowed with a genuine love for the
music they created.

Patti Smith
A Tynan invention,
All artists leave something behind.
Hierarchy stole the tables,
So common folk stole the show,
Wheels on the floor,
Clipsoids in the back,
Groupies by the stage.
Today it's Television or Patti Smith or maybe,
That degenerate who played the piano.
Where was Niagra?
For a short time, the Second Chance management
handed out five dollar bills to patrons demanding refunds.
And then it was up to Sonic's Rendezvous Band to provide
the evening's rock'n'roll.
Sonic's typifies what is worst about rock. The band
features three noisy guitars obscuring nondescript vocals,
with a heavy underlying beat provided by a truckdriver-
type drummer with a tatooed forearm. But for a crowd
starved for rock'n'roll, it was better than nothing.
Sonic's Rendezvous Band is not a pretty group,
musically or otherwise. The members sport matted hair,'
pasty faces, and ratty clothes that made Smith look like
Lauren Hutton. During the first set, Smith sprawled brief-
ly in the dance-floor audience watching Sonic's appalling
performance, and then joined them onstage; unfortu-
nately, her voice could not be heard over the blasting in-
If nothing else, Monday night's listeners can now tell
their friends they saw Patti Smith. Hopefully, some time
later in the week Ann Arbor will get a taste of Smith's

Pardon Mon Affa ire'
an airy, funny farce

I F YOU GO TO Pardon Mon Affaire
expecting another Tall Blonde Man
With One Black Shoe, then forget it. The
latest comedy from French director
Yves Robert is a modest little spoof, un-
pretentious and really quite enjoyable,
but with few jokes approaching the eu-
phoric insanity of Robert's Tall Blonde
Man films. Despite theconsistent ab-
surdity of its happening, Pardon Mon
Affaire is an all-to-typical sex farce,
with little insight or surprise.
Jean Roquefort plays a happily mar-
ried man, struck apparently by a mid-
life crisis. Overtaken with a longing to
do like his buddies and carry on an ex-
tramarital affair, he glimpses a beau-
tiful young model and goes after her.
The -subject of the film is his meager
struggle to break away from the con-
straining routine and commitment of
his domestic existence.
This story's saving grace is a lack of
pious moralizing or passing of any judg-
ment on its hero; one can't help but root
for Roquefort, who has the look and
spirit of an abandoned basset, hound,
yet there's no chortling at the ones who
get trampled on in the process. Pardon
Mon Affaire simply tries to draw war-
mth and poignancy from its often
naturally affecting circumstances.
THERE'S A PROBLEM in all this,
though: from the opening scene, in
which a 45-year-old man in his bathrobe
is trapped high above Paris on a build-
ing's ledge, the film sets you up to ex-
pect a no-holds-barred comedy, and the
highs just don't come fast enough. In
one hysterical sequence Roquefort tries
failingly to ride a horse, but director
Robert doesn't want to be Woody Allen,
and curtails the insanity for bitter-
sweet gazes into our hero's little dilem-
The most compelling moments arise
from the comraderie between Roque-
fort and his fun-loving pals. They pro-
vide the film with its funniest moment
- one pretends to be blind and "acci-
dentally" smashes up a fancy restau-
rant - as well as a warm, personable
quality absent from last year's over-
rated Cousin, Cousine.
Roquefort is wonderfully befuddled
as the upstanding husband who just
can't play it happy-go-lucky, and his
pathetic attempts to go "mod" or mus-
ter up a bit of dignity are carried off
Lessons at
.. - e . . _

with aplomb. It's hard to be truly
moved by Roquefort's struggles, yet he
is presented with such supreme tender-
ness that the story remains compelling,
as it often is in Truffaut's movies, by
sheer virtue of its humanity and atmo-
sphere of gentle affection.
The film leads us through an exten-
ded series of irrelevant {subplots, the
majority of which aren't that amusing
and simply fill out the story. An adoles-
cent student who lusts after Roquefort's
wife is hilarious, but I could have lived
without a buddy getting left by his wife,
as well as some tiresome Jewish
mother routines.
EVERYTHING culminates with
Roquefort consummating his secret
love, and inadvertantly getting trapped
on a ledge when his lover's husband
drops in unexpectantly. It's an absurd
scene, all right, but that's the extent of
it. Although it keeps you entertained,
Pardon Mon Affaire is like a souffle -
it's as light as a feather, and doesn't
stay with you.
Reduced rtes
of the
lO a.m.-6 p.m.

Just for the
health of it.
Get moving, America!
March 1-7. 1977 is
National Physical Erfucation and Sport Week
Physical Education Public Information
American Alliance for Health
Physical Education and Recreation
1 201 16th St N W. Washington. D C 20036


The Club Cabaret
A Musical directed by TOM SHAKER
Fri. & Sat., Feb. 10, 11, 17, 18



Dinner 7 pm
Show only $2.50

Show 8 pm
Dinner & Show $9

Cocktail service available
Sponsored by Union Progromming Committee,in Cooperation with the University Club
For ticket information and reservations call 763-2236

Six rcen y hred MBAs tell
why you should spend 30 minutes
wi a Bankof America recruiter.

R They give it to you straight.' !
"No vague promises, no snow
jobs. You'll know exactly what posi-
tions are open, what's expected of
you, what the bank will do for you-
and what they won't. It's 30 minutes
of give and take. And while you're
learning about us, the recruiter is'
sizing you up. If he decides you're
for us, one trip to one of our Bank of
America units will produce a final
decision in most cases. When the
interview is over, you'll have a very
good idea what you'll be doing over
the next few months-and in the
years to come:'
! The Bank offers a variety of
career opportunities."
"In California, you'll start as a
loan officer and head towards man-
aging a community branch. You
could be running your own profit
center, and dealing directly with prin-
cipals of business. Or you could
enter the administrative area as a
controller, or cashier.There are oppor-
tunities, as well, in our Leasing
Department and other specialized
areas. As a global banker, your first
assignment in most cases will be in
your home country; but after a time,
you'll be involved in multinational
transactions throughout the world'.'
R They don't fill every nook and
nrlfn. ..A. h M -

Richard Holmes
Chicago, IL

Shirley Clayton
Mountain View, CA

Stephanie Lum John C. Dean, Jr.
San Francisco, CA Houston,TX

profit comes out of international
business. And domestically, we have
a solid base of over one thousand
branches throughout California:'
I Some of the best people in
banking work here.9
"When I see the quality of the
people who work at Bank of America,
it makes me proud to be a member
of the team. The professionalism
and competence here are simply out-
standing. They're looking for people
who can meet these high standards.
If you want to work with some of the
best people in banking, you owe it
to yourself to talk to us:'
Bank of America is actively
seeking top-quality MBA's to fill a
number of specific
openings in California
and around the world.
To arrange for your
interview, contact us.
In San Francisco,
Connie Colladay, P.O. Box-37000,
San Francisco, CA 94137.
In New York, Fred Rynders,
Ass't.V.P., 299 Park A*., NewYork,
NY 10017.
In Chicago, Claudia Luebbers,
Ass't. V.P., 233 So. Wacker Dr.,
Chicago, IL 60606.
In Los Anaeles. Manaaement

-William Giover, Associated Press
Broadway's smash hit comedy

Robert Morales Adrienne Crowe
NewYork, NY San Francisco, CA
and put us to work where we can do
the most good:'
!! It's a young, aggressive
companyl 97
'Although founded in 1906, we've
only been doing business as Bank
of America since 1931.That's an
awfully short time to have become
the world's leading bank!"
SI ta I, ma nuannusal renaortl 9

k° n A n4_


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