Friday, 5 March 2010



woman on a raft said...

Commend to the house the National Rail museum at York. I haven't visited the sister site at Shildon, Durham, but I expect it is just as good.

It's Free Entry and a covered site, which, if toting children or grandchildren, makes a huge difference in murky weather. Secondly, there is plenty of hands-on giant engineering to admire. There are trains and carriages to climb through, some of them have short films running inside, like the Japanese Bullet Train. This stops the place being sepulchral. Indeed, it is an industrial cathedral and they don't mind a certain amount of running about and shouting. Leastwise, nobody tried to stop me. There are plenty of places to eat your picnic, but there is also a station buffet where you can dine with the proper smell of engineering which is metal shavings and oil carried on steam. Industrial Aromatherapy.

I enjoyed an exhibition of photos from a rail journey through China showing the hidden interior of the country, often not the ones the state PR machine would have preferred, and the giant Chinese steam train which runs on normal rails but evolved to twice the size of any other engine. The colour saturation of the country shook me; England is so pastel while in China the very leaves on the bamboo seem to render themselves in hyper-realism.

If you can give the children the slip, during term time the exceptional archives are open for adults twice a week.

Clay Eals said...

Great to see your post that invokes Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans." Goodman often doesn't get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into the genesis and effects of "City of New Orleans," and Arlo Guthrie is a key source among my 1,050 interviewees and even contributed the foreword.

No doubt you already are also aware of Steve's song "Moby Book," which opens with the line, "Call me Ishmael."

You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography.

If you're not already familiar with the book, I hope you find it of interest. 'Nuff said.

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515 home
(206) 484-8008 cell

call me ishmael said...

Thanks and I am interested, mr eals, in your book - although having heard Steve Goodman's radio interview on the genesis of City of New Orleans I warmed to him enough to not really want to know too much more about his shortened life - seems like every time you turn around there's another hard luck story that you're gonna hear - and just listen to the music he created.

Not long finished reading I'll Sleep When I'm Dead; I saw Warren Zevon at Warwick University in 2000 and, yes, he struck me, too, then, as the miserable, angry, self-obsessed sonofabitch described by his biographers, though one of the West Coast's most compelling wunderkinder, the repellent, self-indulgent, mawkishness of his dyimg recordings, Breath, excepted. The opening bars of Lawyers, Guns and Money still enrapture but I know too much of his monkey business for his work to be the unalloyed pleasure it once was.

I am sure that Goodman was Zevon's antithesis and that your book will confirm that.

Thanks again.

call me ishmael said...

Thanks, that's lovely and York, generally, mrs WOAR, should be available on prescription, especially the Industrial Aromatherapy but also the more distant past, the Vikings, the Wars of the Roses, the poor Jews and the Pressed and Blessed Margaret Clitheroe.

There's more Industrial Aromatherapy further on up the road. Rapping with Auden.