11 thoughts on “The ****ed up legacy of the arrest of Miles Davis

  1. russell

    FWIW, Miles sued the city of New York over that beating, and won. In 1959.

    In many ways, Miles was kind of a horrible human being. Even when he wasn’t actually being a horrible human being, he kind of acted like one, just to fuck with people.

    But he was a truly brilliant musician, and an honest to god no-bullshit bad ass.

  2. John Thullen

    Chicago Police beat the crap out of the Chicago Police Board President:


    Apparently the Board President would have gaveled the beating to a close, but the cops stole his gavel and beat HIM with it instead.

    But remember, college campuses are dangerous places.

    He plans to be civilized about the beating, which now entails licked wounds and bruising.

    I could make this shit up but reality has got the jump on me once again, and I have a flagrant imagination.

  3. russell

    Not all attempts at jazzifying Beatles tunes end badly. The great Bill Frissell:

    Full band version:

    Also, too, Surfer Girl:

    but all the jazz guys loved playing Brian Wilson stuff, his stuff was always straight up pop, but always with harmonies that took crazy left turns.

    Luciana Souza, God Only Knows:

    And not just Wilson. Those jazz dudes just will not leave the pop canon alone – Pat Metheny, Cherish:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbW4FmlN3M8

    Really, f**k politics. I mean, it has an effect on us all, so it’s important. But music keeps our souls alive.

    1. cleek Post author

      good stuff.

      i remember being horrified when Miles did that Cyndi Lauper song (‘Time After Time’) because it was a pop song and therefore not worthy of his attention. then i realized that so many of the tunes i loved Miles doing were, in their own time, pop songs, too. the difference was that i was simply too young to know them as anything but canonized Jazz Standards. (ex “Bye Bye Blackbird” was first recorded in the 1920s ! )

      i’ve always dug Scofield’s “Satisfaction”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrhFyue4VWg

  4. John Thullen

    “But music keeps our souls alive:

    Bravo to that!

    Like the Metheny covers. George Harrison came up with that eight-note guitar lick for And I Love Her, without which the song would not have hit home, sez Paul.

    The Association have always been underrated. I’ve never understood why their love ballads are not among the canon.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad cover of “God Only Knows”. You could play it on a foghorn and all shipwrecks would end up being near misses.

    “Surfer Girl” is another. My favorite cover here:


    But, the best covers of the best songs are done by the creators:


    Speaking of which (I’ve posted this before at OBWI and here):


    On the other hand (stick with it and you’ll notice a couple of the real guys show up):


  5. Girl from the North Country

    God Only Knows is one of my Desert Island Discs.

    (Don’t know if you guys know that – it is a many decades long-running BBC radio program where famous people have to choose 8 “discs” – actually tracks, which are the only music they are allowed when marooned on a theoretical desert island. They then talk about their choices, and the reasons. It’s often very interesting, everybody who is anybody pretty much has been on it. It is a common game in the UK to choose your own. It’s pretty hard to narrow it down to 8…)

    1. cleek Post author

      i’ve heard about that show. never managed to actually hear it.

      8 songs? not a chance. 8 albums, maybe. but then the problem would be: which albums could i enjoy the longest and am also willing to grow to hate?

      1. sapient

        I used to listen to it – probably 20 years ago or more? Yeah, couldn’t figure out my own list, but fun to listen to others.


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