The Pittsburgh City Paper blog has a lovely item about some unusually literate graffiti: On a Liberty Avenue pole, near the Bloomfield Bridge, somebody has carefully pencilled the lyrics to Captain Beefheart’s “Orange Claw Hammer.” A tribute to the late musician? Or just bored waiting for the bus? Is it still there? If you’re in the vicinity please send us a snap. View Bloomfield Bridge in a larger map
This version of Orange Claw Hammer is one of my very favourite things that either Captain Beefheart or Frank Zappa ever recorded. It’s an acoustic performance recorded live on radio KWST in 1975. It’s available on the Grow Fins Rarities 1965-1982 box set.
Painless Parker Derek Laskie writes: This is a photo of a wooden pail full of teeth which Painless Parker extracted. Edgar R R ‘Painless’ Parker is described: ‘heavyweight champion of tooth pullers died in 1952 at age 80’ The American Dental Association called him ‘a menace to the dignity of the profession’. It seems that he was a bit of a huckster/showman, wearing a necklace of human teeth and making a fortune. I can just imagine the young Don hearing, seeing or reading the obituaries. You can read more about Painless Parker at www.ushistory.org and at Wikipedia. Inspired by Beefheart… Derek Laskie also pointed out that there
Uh thick cloud caught uh piper cub’s tail The match struck blue on uh railroad rail The old puff horse was just pullin’ thru ‘n uh man wore uh peg leg forever I’m on the bum where the hoboes run The air breaks with filthy chatter Oh I don’t care there’s no place there I don’t think it matters My skin’s blazin’ thru ‘n my clothes in tatters ‘n the railroad looked Like uh “Y” up the hill of ladders Ohe shoe fell on the gravel One stick poked down Gray of age fell down on uh pair of ears An eagle shined thru my