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January 25, 1988 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-25

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The Michigan Daily

Monday, January 25, 1988

Page 7


By Fred Leighton
Joe Ely is best known as a gui-
tarist but he used to be in the circus
That's right, the circus. After spend-
ing some time in New York around
1975, Ely returned to his native
Texas where he joined Ringling
Brothers. "It all happened by acci-
dent," he says. "I'd been up in New
York City just tryin' to get by any-
way I could."
Although Joe Ely has spent much
of his time "just tryin' to get by,'
he's been a big influence on musi-
cians throughout the country. He's
best known for his associations with
other groups, whether playing with
the Clash, or opening for Linda
Rondstadt, Tom Petty, or the
Rolling Stones. But Joe Ely is one
of America's best innovators of
melding country music with rock 'n'
At the same time that Ely found
himself in the circus, he became in-
fluenced by the beat generation writ-
ers, namely Jack Kerouac. "I always
carried them around," he says. "I
could relate to them at that time and
still can. I've been ramblin' around
ever since."
The combination of the circus and
beat generation writers is the perfect
blend for someone like Joe Ely.
'Especially musicians can relate to

B' ly brij
that stuff, a lot of it is the lifestyle
of a musician, the travelling and be-
ing on the road," he explains. "Kind
- of the general ambiance of romantic
. misery. It was terrible working con-
- ditions, low pay, not anything really
d good, but the thought of it is real
Ely was born in Amarillo, Texas
- and raised in Lubbock - a town
known to many as the home of
- Buddy Holly. It was there that he
first got involved in music, and put
a band together after he returned from
New York. "One time I just decided
to come back and put a band to-
gether," he says. "Because I had a
whole suitcase of songs I'd been
writing, and I got back to Lubbock
in the springtime." That's also when
he joined the circus.
"I went down and watched them
f put it all together, and asked a guy if
' I could start working. He handed me
a sledgehammer and said, 'take off
your shirt and start drivin' stakes.' I
- kind of got inducted without really
- thinking about it. We went around
s to every stop in Texas, New Mex-
I ico, and Oklahoma."
This spirit of perseverance helped
d Ely through hard times. Difficulties
with record labels have plagued his
career in the past, but he's now with
t a new label, Hightone Records, and
things have taken a turn for the bet-
ter. His new album, Lord of the






Highway, suggests a need to travel,
to continually experience.
The new single, "My Baby
Thinks She's French," is doing well,
and has picked up momentum on
video channels. "That kind of took
us all by surprise, because we really
didn't expect it," Ely says. "We
weren't aiming for that whole end of
Ely's songs don't need a lot of
explanation. They come from an era
unconcerned with glitz and glamor.
In 1981 when Ely's acclaimed al-
bum, Musta Notta Gotta Lotta, was
released, there was talk about the
connection between English rock and
American country styles. "I didn't
really understand it either," Ely says.
"Until I found myself over in Eng-
land quite a bit, and I think that
there's a certain part of country mu-
sic that appeals to the English bunch
more so than American rock 'n' roll
The Clash were one bunch of
guys Ely became friends with while
in England. The group was thrilled
to tour with him throughout Texas
in 1982. "Their whole knowledge of
it was stuff like Marty Robbins
gunfighter ballads - things that I
wouldn't have really in a wild guess
thought they'd heard before."

Ely enjoyed England's music
scene. "When we first started going
over there, the whole rock 'n' roll
world in the States seemed to be
kind of jaded and a dead-end street,
whereas in England it was really
alive and vibrant. It was nice to be at
a place where there was really some-
thing different happening."
Ely's influences are what you'd
call diverse. "Earlier times, madmen
like Jerry Lee Lewis, and later on
when I got a band together, the first
wave of English bands, like the
Rolling Stones were influential," he
says. "Then when I left to travel
around, songwriters back to Jimmy
Rogers and Robert Johnson, and on
through, like, Woody Guthrie, the
whole early American guys who first
started getting songs together. Even
now, I listen more to songwriters
than I do to bands, so to speak."
A few days ago, Joe Ely went to
Nashville to work with one of his
favorite songwriters, Guy Clark.
"He's putting together an album of
songs, and he recorded a song I wrote
while I was with the Ringling
Brothers called 'Indian Cowboy."'
Ely was fortunate as a youth to
record in a Lubbock studio owned by
See FROM, Page 8

The Lord of the Highway makes a stop in Ann Arbor tonight to
unload some sweet music. Pick up your package at the Blind Pig

at the
January 26 at 12 noon: "Honduras: Economic
Development In Honduras"
Speaker: Elwood "Woody" Holman, Architect,
Former Chairman of Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce
for additional information -please call 662-5529

Introduction to
Geology in the Rockies

The Ecumenical Campus Center
and the International Center

Lunch Available:
$1.00 (students)
$1.50 (others)

U-M Students
Feb. 21- 26
Travel and Room Cost $215
Open to All
For more information contact
The International Center
603 E. Madison " 764-9310
International Center needs deposit by 1/29/88
c'mon... thursday's classes aren't all that important
presents comedian Stand Up Comedy
Special Guest
Student Comedans
And Your Host

Summer 1988

(June 30-August 16)
Earn EIGHT HOURS of University credit for studying Introductory Geology in the Rocky Mountains, including:
" Yellowstone National Park * Grand Tetons * Dinosaur National Monument
" Craters of the Moon " Flaming Gorge
This ideal "outdoor classroom" offers some of the most scenic and interesting geology in the entire Rocky Mountain region. Mountain
uplifts and deep erosion have exposed a variety of Earth structures and rocks of diverse age and origin. The effects of alpine glaciation,
landslides, stream erosion, and a host of other geological phenomena provide an unmatched introduction to geology. The geological
history of the Teton, Gros Ventre, and Wind River mountain ranges is fully recorded in a sequence of fossiliferous rocks which in
many cases can be interpreted in terms of processes still at work today.
The University of Michigan field course is taught at Camp Davis, a permanent facility built by the University in 1929. Camp Davis is
about 20 miles south of Jackson, Wyoming, near the junction of the Overthrust Belt, the Snake River Plain, the Wind River Range, and
the Green River Basin; the Tetons lie to the north, the Gros Ventre Range to the east, and the Basin and Range Province to the west.
It is simply an excellent place to learn about geology. The camp is located on the Hoback River near its junction with the Snake River;
the trout fishing is great.
The field camp was constructed by The University of Michigan in order to provide a teaching facility in the Rocky Mountains. Camp
Davis living quarters consist of rustic cabins with wood-burning stoves and running water. Showers and laundry facilities are shared
by students; meals are served mess-hall style in a large dining room. Camp facilities include classrooms, a first-aid station, a large
recreation hall, a softball diamond, and a volleyball court. Other facilities are available in Jackson; transportation to town is provided
twice a week.
Geological Sciences 116 is an in-depth course covering all aspects of geology. The thrust of this course is to teach students about minerals
and rocks in a variety of settings. Approximately two weeks of the course are spent on trips to other parts of Wyoming as well as Nevada,
Colorado, Montana, Idaho, and Utah. You will examine minerals, rocks, and fossils in their natural settings. Although lectures are a
part of the course, most of your time will be spent in the field where instruction is often on an individual basis.
The Camp Davis teaching staff consists of faculty from the Department of Geological Sciences at The University of Michigan and
visiting faculty from other universities. The course is typically staffed by three faculty members and two graduate teaching assistants.
Geological Sciences 116 carries EIGHT (8) credit hours and is equivalent to a two-term sequence of introductory geology. It satisfies the
natural science distribution requirement in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.
No prerequisites. High school seniors and university students are encouraged to apply.
Geological Sciences 116 runs for 6 weeks. The dates for the 1988 summer course will be from June 30, when the caravan leaves from
Ann Arbor, until August 16, the day that the caravan returns to Ann Arbor.
Cost, including lodging, meals, tuition, health fee, and transportation to and from Camp Davis, is $1,600 for Michigan residents and
$1,770 for all nonresidents. All class-related equipment and field vehicles connected with the course are supplied by The University
of Michigan.

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