24 August 2006

I, Bernie Taupin (sort of)

My English buddy Ben Walker, one of the great "undiscovered" singer-songwriters of our time, bills himself as a George Formby for the 90s. Well, at least he did that in the 90s.

He started recording his songs at age 13 or 14, making cassette compilations. Just like Sam Andreyev and Daniel Johnston, a couple of other musical geniuses.

Anyway, word has it that he has turned one of my poems into a song. I was pretty shocked when I heard which poem: "Ladies & Gentlemen, Mr. Ron Padgett." I mean, that thing is about 15 pages long. But apparently it's now four or five tidy verses, with chorus.

I haven't heard it. Anne McLean, his partner and my dear friend, has heard it. She's the one who told me about it. She did a little rendition of the chorus over the phone for me, long-distance from the U.K.

I hope to hear it someday. I'm flattered. Ben is a great songwriter and doesn't really need my words to fuel his lyrics. But it seems like a neat act of solidarity between one fringe artist and another.

(I looked for a link on the Internet so I could encourage you to buy his self-issued CDs, but I couldn't find one.)

Thanks, Ben. Your next assignment: "Stubborn Furniture."

Over and out.


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