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March 05, 1981 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-05

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ARTS

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, March 5, 1981

Page 5

Thunder: The shadow of a former 'great'

Bob Margolin: Old
blues is good blues.

By KEN FELDMAN
."Well, I'd better do a few more songs
to make sure I get paid," warbled
Johnny Thunder midway through The
Heartbreakers Wedensday night set.
The sizeable Second Chance crowd was
riot surprised that Johnny could barely
stand or speak, much less play. After
all; many of them had seen him before,
and on worse nights than this.
"Watching the Johnny Thunder show
raises the non-musical question, how
long can a heroin addict sleepwalk his
*9y through his "hits" before his fans
lose interest or he collapses? In the
past, Johnny has been "escorted" off
the stage after only a few songs due to
severe vomiting or .exhaustion. While
* Thunder spared us anything of that
magnitude, the possibility was always
there, and that was what attracted

much of the audience.
THE IDEA OF romanticizing heroin
addiction started in the '60s with the
Rolling Stones. In the '70s, Johnny was
one of many would-be guitar heroes
who wanted the lead role in the Keith
Richard story. While Johnny matched
his hero in the substance abuse depar-
tment, he never came close in terms of
musical ability. Consequently, John-
ny's wasted rock star character began
to take on the self-pitying quality of a
clown.
Strangely enough, it was at this point
that Johnny's music became, at least
for a moment (the album So Alone),
eerie and genuinely affecting. "You
Can't Put Your Arms Around A
Memory," his best work on record, was
great because it combined a gorgeous
pop hook with words that showed a
tremendous amount of self-awareness.

Johnny seemed to be saying "I'm
pitiful, I'm just a shadow of Johnny
Thunder so don't try to touch me."
The insights were short-lived,
however, and Johnny became an ar-
tifact, surviving on his reputation. And
that's the state of things today with
Thunder, his central motivation for
playing seems to be his next fix.
THE CONCLUSIVE evidence was
this performance's musical display.
The band opened with the instrumental
"Pipeline" and than proceeded to play
both originals and covers in the same
lame manner. Thunder's voice was so
weak and thin that one could rarely un-
derstand a word. The other three mem-
bers were faceless hacks whose prime
concern was to keep Thunder going.
You could hear them say, "Johnny, are
you alright. Can you get it together for
this next song? It's in E."

Thunder's band, like the audience,
seemed to find his condition rather
humorous. The other guitar player in
particular viewed Johnny as a walking
joke. He sang an "interpretation" of
Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey
Business," changing it to "Too Much
Junkie Business." Ha. Ha.
Hoi Polli, one of the two warm-up
vands, is a vox organ-based combo, in-
strumentally reminiscent of The Doors
when they rocked. They were mindless
and trashy, and I mean that as a com-
pliment. The Cult Heroes were good for
a while until their redundant power
chording became a headache.
The most enjoyable aspect of the
evening was the video show in between
bands. But after Johnny's depressing
display, I couldn't even remember the
fun.

By FRED SCHILL
Blues artist Bob Margolin and his
band will bring their lively Chicago
blues to Rick's American Cafe tonight.
Margolin is best known for his stint as
lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, and
has earned a reputation as one of the
world's finest young blues guitarists.
Margolin and the rest of the band left
Waters last June "over some business
problems," Margolin said in an inter-
view with the Daily. Several of them
formed the Legendary Blues Band, but
Margolin chose to go out on his own.
"I WAS ASKED to join," Margolin
said, "but I wanted to front my own
band. If I was in the Legendary Blues
Band, I might get to sing one or two
songs a night. I wanted to do my own
thing."
"The thing that I have that is distin-
ctive is experience in Muddy's band, a
real feel for Chicago blues," Margolin
added. "The main focus of (my) band is
to be extremely proficient at Chicago
blues."
He must be succeeding. Waters him-
self complimented Margolin despite
their acrimonious break-up by telling
him, "I'm glad to see you keeping the
old school alive."
"WE SOUND the way Chicago bands
sounded at their best in the early 50s,"
Margolin said. "I'm really proud to be
able to use what I have learned to
recreate the old style."

Margolin clarified that. "The old
sound basically takes Mississippi coun-
try blues and plays it with electric
guitars and electric harmonicas," he
explained. "That's because when guys
like Muddy came to play in the city
bars, the crowds were so noisy that they
had to plug into amplifiers to be
heard."
"The new style came in during the
late 50s and early 60s. It's much more
urban sounding," Margolin said.
"BUT WE'RE not, just a bunch of
guys playing tired old music,"
Margolin quickly added. "The old
music sounds very fresh today, partly
because nobody plays it very much
anymore. It drives, it rocks, it swings -
it has a lot of spirit, it is very much
alive. If you expose people to it, it tends
to go over very well."
You can judge for yourself tonight at
Rick's. The show will start at about 9:30
p.m.

ROMANIAN FOLK ART:
Everything but the kitchen sink

By ROBERT TAYLOR
The Romanian folk art exhibition at
the University of Michigan takes
Americans on a tour through the
history and culture of a land where
East and West have met to create a
unique national heritage.
The Romanian exhibition, which runs
from Feb. 17 through March 13 in U-M's
Rackham Galleries, brings together
some 300 outstanding examples of folk
artistry and craftsmanship from the
19th and 20th centuries. The U-M
opening marks the second stop in the
exhibition's four-city U.S. tour, the first
ever'for this collection.
"THE MESSAGE conveyed by this
exhibition," wrote Vasile Dragut,
"director of the Nicolae Grigorescu In-
stitute of Fine Arts in Bucharest, "is
that of a people with deep roots in
history. It is the message of a people
whose very existence and spirituality,
whose everyday creations reflect a rich
historical background in which one fin-
ds -the everlasting communion with
nature and search for harmony.,,
Romanian folk art reflects the rich
diversity of the region's history, shaped
by a geographical location that has put
it squarely in the path of military and
cultural waves from, both East and
West. Since the fall of an independent
Dacian kingdom nearly two thousand
years ago, Romans, Tartars, Poles,
Hungarians, Russians and Turks all
have played a role in military
conquests ,and political intervention in
the region.
The unique cultural character of the
Romanian state that emerged from the
Versailles Treaty testifies to its diverse
historical heritage - a nation where
the Romance language Romanian was
the common vernacular, yet where the
Slavic Eastern Orthodox faith was the
predominant religion.
O THROUGH THE CHANGING tides of
Romanian history, Dragut finds a
strong current of continuity in the
region's peasant culture, developed
over the centuries in the people's
dependence on the land for their
livelihood. The folk art now on display
at the U-M represents a peasant
civilization "in which the essence of
living of many centuries of historical
existence is melted together," Dragut
says.
4"The exhibition taps the cultures of all
regions in Romania, including Tran-
sylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia, and
covers a wide diversity of folk art forms
ranging from the household necessities
of daily peasant life to the special
creations for village ceremonial rites.
These are some of the exhibits that
provide an introduction to a peasant
culture preserved and enriched amid
the turbulent currents of history:
* Wood crafts. The Carpathian
Mountains, the hills of Moldavia and
Transylvania and the Danube River
plain provide the rich forest lands that
have created a "wood civilization" in
all areas of Romanian peasant life.
Exhibits reflect wood's common use as
the material of both the peasant's home
and the household within - dowry
eases, kitchen utensils, tables, chairs
and spinning tools. Wood has also
brought music to the peasant's home
through home-carved shepherd's pipes,
flutes, ocarines and mountain horns.
" Rugs and bedspreads. Wool is the
common material for the wide variety
of weaving styles, color combinations
and geometric decorations displayed in
this exhibition. Rugs range from the
elegant simplicity of Moldavia and the
classical designs of Wallachia to the
vivid colors of Oltenia and the vigorous
designs of Transylvania. Rugs have
served as the peasant home's main or-

married women. From the age-old
celebrations of the cycle of life, con-
temporary Romanians have continued
the traditional creation of masks such
as the winter festival masks in this
exhibition. A favorite is the goat, "a
headmask that underlines the qualities
and foibles of the human character,'
S--Drugat says.

The Romanian Folk Art exhibition at the Rackham Galleries features
costumes, tapestries, pottery, instruments and a wide variety of other ar-
tifacts. The exhibition will run through March 13.

* Home-woven textile goods. From
cotton, hemp, flax and silk,j Romanian
peasants have woven the highly color-
ful and decorative textiles that add
grace to' the home interior - em-
broidered towels, wall towels, pillow
cases, sheets, table cloths and blinds.
Some have become part of special
ceremonies, like the towels used in
weddings, christenings and burials and
the traditional handkerchief of the
bridegroom.
" Pottery. The pottery craft, "han-
ded down from generation to generation
almost unchanged," has found a place
"in almost all compartments of day-to-
day and spiritual life of the traditional
community," Dragut says. At the kit-
chen table, the pots, mugs, plates, pit-
chers and cups serve their functional
and decorative purposes; special pit-
chers and cups rich in detail and color
are part of ceremonial rituals, and-
animal-shaped flutes have long been
children's toys. Romanian ceramic
styles include both the red and black

forms of nonenameled pottery, and the
enameled pottery commonly used for
decorative vases.
" Glass paintings. From its start in
the early 1700s in Transylvania, glass
painting flourished in Romania in the
18th and 19th centuries, and continues
at a lesser scale to this day. Peasant-
craftsmen used watercolors to create
glass icons illustrating religious scenes
and favorite protective saints, which
became a special element in decoration
of the peasant home. Contemporary
glass painters have taken up themes of
village life.
" And costumes and masks. Peasant
costumes developed over the centuries
reflect their traditional roots in their
evident similarities in cut, artistry in
ornamentation and purity in style.
Woven from wool, hemp, flax, cotton
and silk, different styles of clothing
suggest the person's age, home region,
social status and marital status.
Towels, head veils and caps long
provided the required head covering for

WITH THIS ENTIRE AD -
n* e admission $2 00 any film
Good Mon. thou Thurs. Eves.
valid thru 3-5-81 "M"
7 ACADEMY AWARD
NOMINATIONS
D~JWT5PG)
D iC DI

{

THURS., FRI-7:16 9:30

U

POETRY READING
with
DAN GERBER, MARTIN
GROSSMAN, and KIM LEITH
Reading from their works
Thurs., Mar. 5, 7:30 p.m.
ADMISSION: FREE

NOON LUNCHEON
Home-made Soup &
Sandwich 754
Friday, March 6
DON POSTEMA,
CAMPUS CHAPEL:
"Prayer and Justice"

I

GUILD HOUSE, 802 MONROE
(662-5189)

2 Days to the Event
.4

x.. ,

'1

CiARSUMMER JOBS
CEDARPOINT AMUSEMENT PARK, Sandusky,
Ohio, will hold on-campus interviews for sum-
mer employment:
Date: Thursday, March 19

Saturday March 7,
8 8pmij theUnion
Carnival Games o Casino o Prizes

I

4

UofM Jazz Band " Magazine'

Dancing

M Club o Roaming

Performers oMovies

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