Dr Frank Weakly Reader, 5.03.2019

Image for post
Image for post

I remember when rock was young. Me and Suzy had so much fung. Holding hands and skipping stones. I had an old gold Chevy and a place of my owns. But the biggest kick I ever got was doing a thing called the Crocodile Rot…

Fixed that for ya, Bernie.

Welcome to another Dr Frank Weakly Reader, wherein you will find all the stuff you missed over the past week because of internet skullduggery, annotated, illustrated, and organized as well as I could manage it. Our internet is awful, nearly impossible to navigate, whose platforms actively discourage one from finding things on it. But there is a workaround, i.e., painstakingly recapitulating the week’s activities to make your own index. I do this each Friday. Try it, it’s fun, as only the most laborious and thankless jobs can be.

So let’s see…

May Day happened, and of course I posted the Maypole song / scene from The Wicker Man, plus the Scot Tissue ad about washrooms breeding Bolsheviks. I think that pretty much covers May 1, full spectrum.

I can’t recall ever having danced around a Maypole, but I did attend a nursery school where we sang the “Internationale” to the accompaniment of Teacher Marjorie’s autoharp. (She sang it in French I think and the kids just did the end bits, as I remember: it must have been pretty chaotic.) I didn’t know it was the “Internationale” till much, much later when I heard the song in a presentation at a university course and recognized it from my childhood. I mean, I knew what the “Internationale” was, by name, but I’d never actually heard it sung while identified as the “Internationale” till then. I’d assumed it was a folk song like “Frere Jacques,” which we also sang in the same basic arrangement. I liked “The Wheels on the Bus” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” better. True story. The Bay Area was weird. Is weird.

Now, on to the rest…


— The travails of extracting the Yesterday Rules data from an old outdated hard drive via a rickety old computer. Mission successful, but man, is tape ever easier.

— Remember when we stopped by Live at the Rock Room in Chicago ca. 2015 and did a couple songs live in Mike Felumlee’s basement? A minds.com musician friend happened on “She’s Not a Flower” and posted it in “small world” surprise.

— Misty Water-colored Memories: The Mr T Experience — “Big Mistake” live at Gilman Street, Berkeley, 1988. Video on Youtube. Minor secrets are here.

— …and your Friday morning “I Don’t Need You Now,” a guy on the internet playing one of my old songs. Sort of. I’ve heard several people play that song just this way, with those wildly incorrect chords and the same sort of tune that goes along with them. It can’t be coincidence. There must be “tabs” out there somewhere that teach people to do it this way.

In fact, let’s look. Googling “‘mr t experience’ ‘i dont need you now’ tabs” yields 268 results. I didn’t look at them all, but I looked at around a dozen and and they are all identical, from the same source text, e.g., this, and they all include this note from the transcriber:

when I first heard this song I thought that it was kind
of stupid, but after a while it really grows on you. It
works with power chords, but it sounds like sh*t (same with
all open chords). My suggestion is to use E — form bar
chord on fret 3 for the G; open for Am; and A — form bar
chords for C and D . have fun

And… there’s your problem. As Aaron pointed out, with regard to lyrics on the internet, the first version uploaded, wrong or right (but very often wrong) seems to be the one that gets set in virtual stone, impossible to correct or improve. (See below.) Here’s another guy practicing it with the same wrong chords.

That’s just the way it is, I suppose. Anyway, it doesn’t matter: the bathtub guy looks like he’s having fun and that’s the important thing.

But maybe I should do a tutorial sometime, as I get asked about how to play this one pretty frequently. It’s not too hard, but bar chords won’t do it, and anyway these ones are wrong.


Show Business Is My Life: hard to believe this record is twenty years old now, but it is. 1999 was a funny time. I had so many songs, and they were better than ever, but very limited ways to record and “release” them. At least, so it seemed at the time. I didn’t know how good I had it really. Many of those songs are still unreleased, in fact, and I’m working toward doing something with them now, belatedly, possibly as a kind of companion LP “volume” to a re-issue of SBIML. We’ll see. Anyhow I did some posts: [a] this in response to our friend Banjo’s commemoration; [b] minor secrets of “Ask Beth”: [c] minor secrets of “Knock Knock (Please Let Me In)”; and, speaking of “Knock Knock,” here it is live, solo, in Bergamo, Italy, 2012.

— Photo Album:

3.10.97, a time capsule in a photo;

and here’s another photo in which I am yelling…

..and the Dr Frank of 1988, photo by Michael Llewellyn, who did the photography for the Night Shift album and associated promo pics. Hair by Dep and Miss Clairol. When I posted it on twitter, Ira Robbins replied: “how did you enjoy your time in the Cure?” And Dan Telfer said: “it’s a wonder you didn’t do MORE Smiths covers.” Indeed. We have fun. The mock-up above was done by our own Klode Maloon, of course.

— recent acquisitions from the church book sale.

— Deparment of Bons Mots: “They want penance, for themselves as for others, but deprived of religion and knowing no means of describing or imposing it, have re-imagined the sacrament in a crude, child-like, and rather vicious form.”

Almost serious question: does my slight deafness count as an ‘official’ disability even though it is mostly self-inflicted as a by-product of doing something fun rather carelessly for many years? I mean, do I get points for it, or is it just, you know, on me? Does one have to come by it virtuously for it to count? (Prompted by the fact that I feel discriminated against by Apple because their playback on devices is never loud enough, but also I can only correctly interpret what people say to me in conversation around 70% of the time.)”

Earliest Led Zeppelin memory: In the car with my mom and sisters, driving past a wall on which someone had spraypainted: LED ZEPPELIN. “Mom,” we asked, “who’s Led Zeppelin?” She turned right off El Camino and said: “He was a very bad man.”

— And, speaking of Led Zeppelin, here’s Jess Greenberg and her breasts:


— Good morning, world: Bobby Freeman — “Four Piece Funky Nitty Gritty Junky Band”; Banditz — “JCB”; “Dominica in Albas, Allelulia Seconda (post dies octo)”; Robyn Hitchcock — “Agony of Pleasure”; Reeperbahn — “Havet Ligger Blankt”; Sparks — “Lighten Up Morissey”.

— Mick Jones playing “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” at a public library in 2009. If this doesn’t cheer you up, nothing will. My comments here.

— And, btw, here’s a picture of Mick Jones pretending to read King Dork and laughing at the glossary. This really happened. He’s a good sport, and has been a hero of mine since I was age 14 or so.

— The Saints — The Monkey Puzzle: a minds.com Vinyl Collector post that swelled past the limits of its box and had to be posted on Medium, and essay in which I try to convince you to give the Saints’ under-recognized fourth album another chance.

— drum lessons from Ringo!

The best show I ever saw was Ringo’s All Starr Band, ca. 2010, featuring, among the other guest band members, Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer. They did “Free Ride,” “Frankenstein” (full version incl. sax solo), and “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo” with Ringo playing the drums. One of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I’m not too interested in the guest band members this time around, but it’s coming to my town so I’m going. Beyond the novelty of seeing Ringo play “Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo,” it was just the most heartwarming and feel-good show I’ve ever witnessed. You could really feel the peace and love in that room, and I mean really, really feel it.

I’ve never understood all the negative comments about Ringo as a drummer. Where does that come from? He was, is, great. And unique.The sounds, and the inventive yet always groovy feel — the cat knew what he was doing.

If you were going to be in a band with a famous drummer, you’d choose him over, say, Neil Peart in a heartbeat, wouldn’t you? I mean, not just because it would be better, though it would; but also, you could play a whole set with Ringo in the time it takes Neil just to set up even half of his great big forest of cymbal and tom stands.

Plus, you can dance to it. Plus he has star quality like no one else. And all he had to do was act naturally. Huge fan, I don’t care what they say.

— Department of Inaccurate Lyrics: “Cum on Feel the Noize”, plus (in the comments) “Sweet Sunny Girlfriend” and “Here She Comes”. In the comments on FB, Aaron says: “It seems like the first time a song gets posted, it instantly gets replicated to all the song lyric and chord sites and becomes the dominant version by default, even if it’s wrong. The same thing happens with wrong chords. Every site has the same wrong version.” Yep.


— Behold: Jennifer Lynn Lewis, Miss United Kingdom 1967, in a Daily Express dress; new insult cards; this is what a feminist looks like; Peter of Verona; Old Spice; G. K. Chesterton trapped in the closet; Catherine of Siena; if men hate the sight of you, read this; squeeze me, stomp me; Herbie; I love you but I’ve chosen rock and roll;

— Oh so mature (tagged NSFW / Explicit because we are living in the new dark ages): A Gift for the Disillusioned Man by Michael Parkes; an Esther Sarto painting featuring bats and breasts; Falero’s A Fairy Under Starry Skies…

…and finally, Salvador Dali forging a Picasso penis graffito on his wife’s forehead:


— just a quote from The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley.


— One graf in Megan McArdle’s latest op-ed on the challenges of the “Great Awokening” gave me furiously to think. I still have faith in the coming backlash, but maybe that is just wishful thinking.

— Then they came for the stoves… anti-gas propaganda from the New York Times. Where do these people think electricity comes from? There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Plus this plan (outlawing gas mains in new buildings and eventually gutting hundreds of millions of pre-existing homes to replace gas with electric in each and every one of them) has zero chance of ever being put into practice anyhow, not ever, but certainly not within the twelve-year window we supposedly have before the mass extinction event countdown is scheduled to begin. So it’s basically fluffy virtue-signaling nonsense. But I have no doubt that California will indeed pass some kind of useless, ceremonial surtax on gas and gas appliances, targeting the people who can least afford it as usual, just to show it “cares.” At least we probably won’t freeze to death out here where winters are mild. Good luck, Illinois.

Cooking with gas is just better. That’s how I was taught. Might as well die with well-cooked steaks on the table.

And that’ll do it. We’ll see you next week, kids.

Written by

I am Dr. Frank. I write books and songs. Mtx Forever.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store