THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

‘TOO FAST TO LIVE, TOO YOUNG TO DIE’ (Or, ‘BAD DOG ON A RACETRACK’)

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[6-B, Email reply comin’ real soon. 
But "now here's something we hope you'll really like":]
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Well, this definitely isn’t political. It might be Spiritual. But, for now anyway, let’s just go with commercial. Yeah, a “product review” – that’s the ticket!

Some years ago, I purchased the 2-CD set ‘THE VERY BEST OF THE EAGLES’ for my brother, Napoleon, an Eagles fan.
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In the accompanying booklet it says this:

JAMES DEAN

Glenn Frey: ...as ‘Desperado’ became a concept album with an Old West theme, “James Dean” got shelved. When it came time to do ‘On The Border’, we got “James Dean” right off the shelf and said, “Let’s finish this.” I always thought the best line in “James Dean” was “I know my life would look alright if I could see it on the silver screen.” You just don’t get to do that.

Don Henley: I sat there and listened to the guys talk about James Dean. They had evidently studied him and knew much more about him than I did. I had seen most of Dean’s movies, but I somehow missed the whole icon thing. The mythology never quite reached my part of East Texas, but I pitched in and ended up with a writing credit...

We’ll be getting back to The Eagles pretty soon in a (pretty soon) future ‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ blog bit. But for now, let’s just see what Cool Personified looks like:

James Dean At Race Track
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Have you ever seen anyone look so cool (even in eyeglasses)?!

Oh yeah, life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone
Oh yeah, life goes on
Long after the thrill of livin' is gone
They walk on...

Jackie sits back, collects his thoughts for the moment
Scratches his head and does his best James Dean
"Well, then, there, Diane, we oughta run off to the city."
Diane says, "Baby, you ain't missin' nothing."
~ John “Cougar” Mellencamp
‘Jack & Diane’

The line "...does his best James Dean, `Well, then, there...'" was actually taken from a James Dean movie. I was watching REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and James Dean says to Sal Mineo on some mansion stairs, "Well, then, there...." EXACTLY as John Mellencamp says them in this song.
- Susan
Toronto, Canada

Let’s hear it for the woman in Canada!

"Well, then, there, now..."
~ James Dean

For those who didn’t realize it... I was ALWAYS “doing my best James Dean”:
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It’s too small to see clearly in the photo above, but I have a square, black and white pin on my black leather jacket. It’s a publicity photo of James Dean and Julie Harris from the movie ‘East Of Eden’. My acting buddy Martin Brumer, who was killed by a car thief in 1989, made that pin for me. He cut the photograph out of a magazine and glued it onto piece of square cardboard and attached a pin to the back of it. I wore that handmade gift on my jacket for years.
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Although I eventually donated the jacket to Goodwill, I still have the pin:
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

19 comments:

  1. No sweat on the reply, and I'm stoked to check out East of Eden sometime soon. As for that clip, James Dean is definitely cool personified. Those little Porsches look so silly compared to modern cars (too small and too round, I think), and James Dean himself was not overly tall or muscular, but something about him definitely radiates 'bad ass.'

    Speaking of bad ass, that picture of you beneath Jesus Saves is still one of the coolest pictures I've ever seen of you. Not just because you look bad ass and you're "doing your best James Dean", but the juxtaposition of the white background against you all blacked out in shadows is pretty damn cool. Plus the meaning behind it all. Almost worthy of James Dean himself... ALMOST.

    I mean, you may be cool, but you'll never be "I'm about to punch Rock Hudson in the nuts with a cig dangling out of my mouth" cool.

    Ka-POW!

    ~6B

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    1. 6-B ~
      You're right, the style of cars may change over time, but "Cool" remains constant.

      I was just about finished with your E, when I decided to see if I could locate the 2-minute video you'd referred to.

      I failed at that, but I did happen to come across this video above, a good portion of which is used in the documentary I referenced, 'JAMES DEAN: The First American Teenager'. This was something I had wanted you to watch the documentary for.

      So I copied the link into the Email that I was about to send and then suddenly, on a whim, I thought: WAIT A SECOND! This is a brief blog bit in its own right.

      So, I immediately put what was left of your E on hold and tossed this blog bit together. (I may actually get your E sent before I leave for work tonight. But if not, you'll certainly have it early tomorrow morning.)

      >>... Speaking of bad ass, that picture of you beneath Jesus Saves is still one of the coolest pictures I've ever seen of you.

      Thanks! BUT... that sign says "Jesus Saves"?!?! Damn it, man! I misread it. All these years I thought it said "James Saves". (My eyesight ain't so good, Beer Brother Bryan.)

      >>... I mean, you may be cool, but you'll never be "I'm about to punch Rock Hudson in the nuts with a cig dangling out of my mouth" cool.

      And James Dean may be cool, but he ain't "Manny Fernandez yanking an alligator out of a Florida swamp by the tail with a cig dangling from his mouth" cool.
      [:-)}

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  2. This post just makes me sad that I am not doing HERE'S TO YOU this month. I actually have several for this one... HERE'S TO YOU...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncLZD4KFUD4

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Amwat7qlBQA

    Back in college, I had several framed photos of James Dean. Also Marilyn Monroe. I went through a time of simply being fascinated by people who burned brightly for a short period of time. And they both qualified. I still have a framed picture of Marilyn that hangs above my bed, but that is a whole other post. None of my James Dean pictures managed to survive my many moves. My favorite remains the one of him walking down Broadway??? with the Flat Iron Building behind him. I suppose it could have been 5th Avenue, because they cross over one another at 23rd St. And The Flat Iron Building is the triangular building snugly fitted into the cross. And is also the home of St. Martin's Press. And it is times like that (when I got that job after LOVING that picture of James Dean) that confirmed that there is no such thing as coincidence.

    BTW, I like your James Dean. The only difference... you are a Rebel WITH A Cause.

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    1. ROBIN, The GIRL WONDER ~
      Thanks for the interesting comment. I'm pretty sure I know the photograph you are referring to, and if so, it was taken by a man named Dennis Stock.

      That first video made me laugh at the point where the guy is trying to flip a cigarette into his mouth. It reminded me of Hank's ineptitude when trying to be cool lighting a cigarette for The Circus Girl in 'One From The Heart'.

      And the stuffs about 'Little Bastard'... I take it you're familiar with the supposed curse that follows James Dean's death car(?)

      Back in my "wannabe James Dean" acting years, my fascination with him was extreme and bizarre... bizarre in "Woo-Woo Mysterious Ways". A few of the odd “coincidences” I recorded in a review of the book ‘JAMES DEAN: Fifty Years Ago’ by Dennis Stock, which you can read by clicking HERE and scrolling down a little bit to where my review is posted. (It’s a big, hardcover book that every James Dean fan ought to own.)

      Yak Later…

      ~ D-FensDogg
      ‘Loyal American Underground’

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  3. If James Dean hadn't died like he did and just kept on making movies I wonder if he would have the status of legend or just be another good actor who aged into his roles? Sometimes I think a tragic death or some dramatic demise when one is at a career peak exaggerates things. We'll never know.

    Kind of like Elvis--if he'd died like Dean and at a young age I'd say he'd be more iconic than he already is. That's probably not the greatest example, but when Elvis died he was kind of at a state of "legend" transported to the status of big Las Vegas lounge act. If Elvis had kept living I suppose he'd have remained rich and respected like Sinatra say, and even "The King", but he'd be old and historical.

    Dean remains forever young--a part of history, but not historical. Because of his death--when it happened and how it happened--he became a mythological icon, ripe pickings for songwriters and creative types.

    Old James Dean? Interesting to consider. But I think his image would be seen so much differently and I'm not sure what kind of song he would have inspired if any. Maybe he'd just have been like Robert Redford or George Burns or somebody who got old and had an interesting life.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. ARLEE BOIDMAN ~
      Well, you're axing a question that many have axed before. But I feel you're axing the right person, because I'm sure I know more about James Dean than anyone you've ever met.

      First, I need to correct something. You speculated on the idea that had he lived, James Dean might have eventually come to be thought of as "just another good actor".

      To begin with, that would be impossible, because James Dean was already - even at the time of his early death - well beyond "just another good actor"; Dean was already a GREAT actor. And he was probably only going to get better and better.

      I have read a lot of scripts in my life, so I have a real good idea about what sorts of things get written into scripts and what the actors themselves bring to the characterizations.

      And I can tell you that Dean's inventiveness, his creativity, was simply "off-the-charts"! I could point to oodles (oodles = a very precise mathematical number) of things in every one of his three movies that I KNOW Dean added on his own because they weren't actually written into the screenplays. He became so absorbed by the characters he was playing that he thought of things even the writers could not have imagined.

      HOWEVER... I'll tell you how I believe James Dean would be remembered today had he lived to a ripe old age:

      For sure, he would be regarded as one of the greatest American actors of all time - arguably the best.

      But I think he'd be even more highly regarded as a director. Before he died - after appearing in only three movies - Dean was already thinking about directing movies rather than acting in them. And with his talent and very rare God-given imagination and creative sense, I think he was destined to become known as one of the greatest movie directors of all time. Perhaps even #1.

      He would have been able to really connect with his performers and get the most out of whatever talent they had, and his imagination and dramatic intuition would have made him a truly brilliant director. Hitchcock, Welles, Capra, Ed Wood Jr., Tommy Wiseau - Dean would have been mentioned in the same breath with the greatest of the greatest!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    2. So if a similar fate had befallen Marlon Brando I wonder how he would have been seen considering he did live to a relatively older age and we know what he accomplished. I've often heard Brando mentioned among the highest caliber of actors and he did have a certain aura of legend about him at one time. I wouldn't say he finished out that way or is looked at in the same way as Dean. I'm sure there are several other examples we could cite.

      Dean was great and that is why the mythology surrounds him. Too bad we didn't find out.

      Now off to my reporting obligation to the farce of jury duty. Gotta go downtown and that sucks. I'd much rather stay home.

      Lee
      Wrote By Rote
      An A to Z Co-host blog

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  4. By the way, I loved the list of actors you mentioned in the same breath. Don't know if that helps your argument, but it's pretty funny.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. James Dean pretty much idolized Marlon Brando - at least in the very earliest stage of his career. He was sure he'd be a success as an actor because, as he once said: In one hand, I have Marlon Brando saying, "Fuck you!" And in the other hand, I have Montgomery Clift saying, "Help me!"

      Yeah, Dean damn sure knew what he was doing.

      For my money, Brando was hit and miss. He was great in 'On The Waterfront' (and pretty good in 'The Godfather'), but he was often too mannered (and too often caught "acting") in movies like 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'One-Eyed Jacks'.

      In my opinion, Dean was a far better actor than was Brando.

      Lee, remember this while on jury duty:

      If the only evidence you have to judge is the defendant's word against a cop's word... side with the accused! (Cops are notorious liars!)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  5. All day yesterday I had the feeling I should check your site for a new post (dashboard so completely messed up, I have to manually check on my friends - especially those who don't post on any regular schedule). Obviously, I didn't make it over until NOW.

    You did mention that you had been discussing James Dean recently, so I almost expected something on him here.

    Interesting exchange between you and Arlee. Something I've wondered about myself. I've seen all three of JD's movies more than once. Actually 'Rebel' was source material for a college course I took years ago. "Eden' is probably my favorite, but I like the range of years seen in 'Giant'. Seeing him age (at least physically) as he would never get to in life.

    Ah, Marty...it seems you boys led me down the rabbit hole again, because I couldn't help myself and had to go and do some research on James Dean, just to check if what I remembered correctly. Yep...now break is over and I gotta get back to work.

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    1. FAE ~
      Nice to see ya here!

      Yeah, I've had Dean on the mind recently because 6-B and I are going to TRT 'East Of Eden' some night during my next days off. (If you have a copy, please join us.)

      Yes, 'East Of Eden' has always been my favorite of Dean's 3 movies. And I like 'Giant' second best. Of course, he's most famous for 'Rebel Without A Cause', and although he did some really good work in that one too, and I do like it, it's actually my least favorite of the three and therefore the one that doesn't make it into my DVD player so often.

      Can you get 'Eden' by Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday? If so, let's do a TRT group thang. That would be a first, and fun!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  6. I'm up for it. I should be able to have it here by Tuesday, no later than Wednesday. If you boys can wait for me, I'm in. I'll let you know for sure when it arrives.

    Thanks for the invitation.

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    1. OK, sounds good.
      I'll check in with 6-B just before I hit the sack this morning.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  7. Waving hello from Robin's place. :)

    That's a cool fact about the song, I didn't know it until now. James Dean did do a great 'cool.'

    Have a fun week!

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    1. ROSEY ~
      "Robin's Place"... that would be the Batcave. Amiright?

      Thanks for coming by.
      Yeah, James Dean was one cool mutha-- (shut my mouth!)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  8. Sad that what James Dean loved - the car racing-took his life. Bathtub Porsches and TR2s, hubs said when I showed him the race sequence. Hubs had a TR3 when we met, and we went to Formula1 races, including one great 3 day trip in Long Beach CA on one of our vacations. Saw the Concours Elegance, and met some of the drivers of exotic European sports cars. Thanks for stirring the memory cells.

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    1. D.G. ~
      I have a feeling Dean wouldn't have had it any other way.

      "Bathtub Porsches" - HA!
      That's a perfect description.

      See ya again on the 1st for BOTB?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  9. It's too bad James Dean met an untimely death. I wonder what he'd be like today if he was still around.

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    1. SHERRY ~
      I think he'd be... old.

      Ha!

      Thanks for stopping by my li'l ol' joint.
      I'm-a have to check out yer own blog tomorrow. (Right now, my brother Nappy and I have an appointment to keep with Rocky & Bullwinkle.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete

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