Friday, October 19, 2007

Book Buzz:-->"On The Road" by Jack Kerouac (1957)

"I lived in no holy house, but the grand hotel.
The back streets of this old town I know so well.
And I drunk of no holy wine save muscatel...
Now my friend, I've got to go."

There is no plot in Jack Kerouac's classic novel. In fact, I find it a stretch to call it a novel at all. Not in the usual sense.

And before I go any further...let me add a warning. If you judge your reading knowledge based on the latest John Grisham novel. Stay away. You just will not get it.

But for those who enjoy a variety of flavors in their book genre intake, "On The Road" will be a pleasant diversion from the beaten path by a member of the Beat Generation.

"On The Road" is an easy 320 page read...but not one to rush through.

In fact, when I tackled this story...I read it softly...aloud. Taking my time to let the words carry me along...with no expectations. Much like listening to a nice jazz record for the first time. Soothing one moment. Frenetic the next. Only to somehow bring it all together.

My take on Jack Kerouac's novel may be over-simplified. And I certainly add nothing new. (After all..."On The Road" has been analyzed and diced into infinity) But..."On The Road" seems to be a metaphor for...freedom.

To simply "GO". Right now! Stop planning ahead for every single event in your life. Live Now! Not after you graduate. Not after you find your dream job. Not after you have the proverbial "wife and two kids". Right Now! Go!

So beautiful. So scary. And practically impossible.

Since grade school we have been guided in the direction most acceptable by society. And before we know it...we're hooked like a flashing rainbow trout. No way to escape.
I suppose I'm just another fish.

But enough philosophizing.

"On The Road" is filled with descriptive moments. A stop-off at a jazz club in San Francisco is really amazing. And the drive into Mexico is not to be missed.

From New York to New Orleans. California to Denver. And back to New York. Friends ...on the road.

Freedom is represented by the two main characters...Sal and Dean...who live their lives fearlessly...and with a rare passion.

Is this the right way to go through life. Maybe. Probably not. Who knows.
"On The Road"
isn't about answers. It's only meant to gently remind us...that life is still a choice.

Good stuff.


"Head Over Hills" is a collection of 11 soothing country/rock songs by Poco released in 1975.

Members of Poco on this CD were Paul Cotton, Rusty Young, George Grantham and Timothy B. Schmidt (who would later join The Eagles).

Poco went through so many different members...shuffling in and out...listeners surely had a hard time finding the combination they liked best.

This isn't a bad place to start. And...after listening to this release with fresh ears...this CD sounds better than ever. Good Stuff.

Hard to find cheap anymore. (unless you dig around the used cd bins)...But is well worth seeking out.
Poco:-->"Dallas" (Head Over Heels) (1975) (Must Own)


Anonymous said...
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Liberty said...

Great post! You know Steely Dan did the song Dallas origianally as a B side of one of thier first singles. Let me know if you want it and I will happily email you a copy.

Casey said...

To Grumpies...Don't be a stranger. Visit and post often. Thanks.

To Liberty...I'd like to hear them do it. I never knew that Steely covered "Dallas". Pass me over a taste of Steely at your convenience. And thanks!

Liberty said...

Here you go my friend.... early Steely Dan with a much countrified flavor! Keep up the great site!!!

Casey said...

To Liberty...That was interesting stuff! If I hadn't been informed before hand...I wouldn't of guessed it was Steely Dan.

Their version is great too. And Poco obviously stayed faithful to the original...not tinkering around with a well-written song.

Thanks for digging that B side up. As they say..."ya learn something everyday".

Jim said...

Your spot on about how you look at On The Road. The message I took away was a little more expansive...always beware the paralysis of analysis. While others are busy making their plans, I was always busy living my life, on my terms, at my pace.

Remember what a wise soul once said..."Life is what happens when your busy making other plans".

Casey said...

To Infonistacrat...
"paralysis of analysis"...I like that. Well said!...and so true.

sexy said...
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