top of page
  • YouTube

"Drumming Foley Contraption," March 22nd, 2015, Studio 10 Gallery, Brooklyn. running time: 00:51:04.

Matt Freedman: Tim sent me a picture some time ago of a bunch of young boys in uniform holding musical instruments, mostly tubas and saxophones. There's a man with a hat and a mustache on one side and a kind of matronly lady on the other side. There's another man with a mustache here. There's a drum in the center, and on this drum I can draw a perfect circle upside down. It says, let's see, “Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home, Normal Ill Band.” This is a band for the-- what's the full name? It's a soldiers’ children’s’ home, but for dead soldiers’ children. It's an orphanage.


This is where Tim grew up. But in all fairness, he didn't grow up there because he was an orphan. He grew up to that because his father ran the joint. But this picture of the band and the band logo got us off on a tangent. The organization of this crew, it's a figure we've taken about 1920 and in many ways, they're very similar to the kind of, uh, marching bands that were spread out across the United States after the civil war was over. Most of the regimens that fought in the civil war had their own, uh, percussion groups that march with them, kept them in rhythm. We'll come back to that in a later date. Uh, they had, they also had no brass bands. And after the war, these were all these divisions for almost all regional. They would come back to their hometowns and they will begin to play, um, and more recreational way.

And the Gazebos and town squares the July 4th, you know, with the fireflies flying around and very idyllic, kind of cap out a moment of Americana. But they also began to move indoors, uh, and play in the barns and then the meeting rooms. And they needed, they had less space than needed less people. Um, it's particularly true in the south. There's a very big band tradition. And in, in New Orleans is, uh, you know, the, uh, the bands that were marching around the city also remove inside and entertain guests at the Bordellos in speaking and the drinking establishment. And it created a kind of space and technology problem. So you couldn't have two or three drummers that mostly the drums would like reset on chairs and they played that or they'd strap them on their bodies and they play that. But then around 1900, somebody invented the drums stand and then looked, wick invented the a foot pedal operated and basically, uh, know drum head more and more, uh, options became available to a single player and they would put a, a little platform on top of the drum and put lots of percussion instruments on top of that.

They were called contraptions. And that's a drum set was a trap set is actually a, a, a sort of, uh, an evolution of that word, uh, that the drummers who initially came out of this tradition, the early drummers were sort of half in one world of sort of the evolving, um, music scene and the other half in this marching band era, uh, Baby Dobbs, uh, Warren baby, this as one of the first great jazz players or drummers in, uh, in New Orleans and he was famous for you almost never played with any of these, uh, symbols or anything. Maybe with a cow bell.

The early recordings you had to work on. He had to work, play with a, a, a woodblock because technology didn't really allow a drummer to play, perform with instrumentalists usually just drown them out. Uh, but he had a very distinct style. He called Jimmy and he's the re, the way that he developed this, he said was one night he was playing in New Orleans and a French soldier came in and he was so moved by the music. We wanted to dance, but he couldn't dance. He dances are very intricate. So he just stood there, excuse me, eight just shaping and Dobbs. Dot. That was a perfect way to respond to the music. So he began to play the same way Jimmy style.

Louie Armstrong saw this and he, he adopted that as well. I think that's a nice rubbers influence of an audience and the musician working one of the first uh, great, uh, practitioners. Dobbs was kind of a relatively simple, there was a papa, uh, Joe Jones, he's Popeye's got later was that was her great. Uh, what's your great performer? He had actually begun as a dancer and when you see him play, unlike a lot of later drummers, he, he almost, he was very smooth. It didn't always use this 60. Sometimes he's his hands. Sometimes you going to use both hands. You're always had a big smile on his face. Nice suit. It's a beautiful recording of him justice sort of play with one hand everything. Timken is a master of all styles. What, what? John's had something jazz. Great Jazz drummers have that almost no other instrumentalists has locked drummers don't have it. Classical music. A musical percussionists don't need it. It's called independence. And this this uncanny ability.


Basically to have four or five different things going on simultaneously. One Hand playing a snare and other hand plane, crash cymbal, another foot, other foot, the high bar, the high hat. And you got to sing to do that.

All right. I'm like, you're a representation of it.

That's what I do. But you guys show, I only want to ask Tim about that ability, that sort of transcended ability of a great jazz drummer. He said what he said was, it was like, uh, see if I can do this. She up below the way, chip, hello. Could draw.


Compared to the way, say I could draw up below is a great master of the, uh, Trump Lloyd and radical for shortening. He, uh, he illustrate, you know, you decorated countless concaved ceilings, tower, hundreds of feet up in churches and private homes, and he was a master at something called Fred's. I Tura believe it's the closest I can come, which is the art of the study. Nonchalance the ability to do something fantastically complicated while it looks like you're not trying at all. So he could draw these sort of forced perspective drawings is elegant bodies that are sort of collapsing on top of each other, giving the evolution of both mass and lightness of space and then compress space. But looks like he was just fucking around. And that's not a bad analogy to the way somebody like Joe Jones could play the drums. Fantastically complicated task, but he's just, he looks like he's not even watching himself.

It's just one hand doing one thing and other hand doing another thing. It's kind of beautiful and very uncanny and you can see how as a dancer that would come naturally to him, but that quickly changed. Um, the next generation of swing swing for farmers. The most famous person always have been gene Krupa, gene grippers are responsible, the large extent for consolidating the way modern John set looks. They had already began to invent the sorts of those low riders, the crash cymbals and uh, which is slightly higher than the high hat, which is taller and become, you know, a couple of Tom Tom's Bass Drum, snare. And not only did a big sort of make the standard set that still use now, he was also responsible for color choices. The pearlescent white paint. There's a lot of drummers continue to have. It was his selection. He represents an interesting confluence of events that technology has evolved to the point where you can now actually play a drum.

You could play a drum with other musicians in recording. So the possibility for kind of starring role for a, for a drummer to emerge, uh, evolved, uh, in a way that hadn't been possible for Dobbs and Jones. And he also had another advantage over that much was that he was white and it Elvis Presley, 30 years later, he became with another other generations of, of great drummers, um, have a more of a public face of this music. Although he continued to play an integrated band, which was very unusual at the time. To his credit, he had a complicated life when he played, uh, unlike, say Jones, you can sort of see everything was he had, he had the sort of classic kids. There's like a little lock of hair fell down over his head. I think he put gum in his mouth before he played. His mouth was always going and he, he didn't have a lot of spreads, a tour.

He really sweated it out and he would like get his hands up in the air and play. And um, he was, it was adapt. He wasn't the fastest drummer, but he was, um, very musically sophisticated and gifted. There was a movie made about his life, um, called the gene Krupa story or the, uh, I think what's often called drum crazy. And it was played by Sal Mineo who is 30 years too young, but he has a kind of classic American success story is Polish immigrant son in Chicago. I think his parents were very religious. They wanted to become a minister and they sent him to seminary. And if all it did was listen to Ave Maria as a kind of syncopated rhythm, um, and eventually came back and in the movie his father destroys his sat and then father drops dead. So he's guilty and he joined.

But he quickly gets the big time. And then unlike a lot of biopics at the time, if pretty explicit about his failings, he starts, his wonderful wife, cheats on and starts doing drugs or smoking marijuana. And he, he actually goes to jail and he comes out and he's a jailbird and he says, nobody will hire him. And then Benny Goodman hasn't do a Gig. And I think in, in this, in the climactic scene of this movie, he comes out for his return, uh, to big time. He's on a stage that comes up and he's like, got a little drum set and he's standing behind it. There's another drummer in the back in a big band is playing and there's an audience in front and put your gum in his mouth and he starts to play and you're doing well. And then somebody yells, hey, Dale bird. And he looks up. And then somebody else gimme me a reefer and he drops his sticks, which I don't think that really happened in what a professional ever drop their stake Jesse gap and get a stick. And he's like, and everything is silent. And then the other drummer begins to play and any sort of perks up and he starts to play and he said it so many. I was, I show it is, it's looking very, and they suddenly starts to pump and everything starts to go and then they're really going,

oh, that's good. Um, it,

and everybody cheers. It's something about drumming in the movies, which is very, uh, useful. Cinematic. They think it's a very, I think along with say a piano classical pianist. It's, it's, it's the most kind of cinematic instrument that you can have because like a pianist, you're sort of, you're sitting there, you're, your body is visible and you can get, your face can be expressed, not obscured by a big two bar. You don't have a violin distorting your face. Yes.

And also nobody quite knows how the instrument works or piano's can always be going like this. But if you, lord watch the way a lot of drummers are playing in the movies, they're are sort of waving their hands like this. And Sal Mineo, it looks like he's a pretty good drummer. You can actually do the little flip, but I think group, I'm himself actually dubbed in the sound for this, but each of these, every time you see sort have a performance of a drummer in a movie, there's a kind of small narrative arc and this one is sort of this redemptive arc. He sort of begins to play. He loses it, he gets it all back together, he triumphs and sort of the whole movies in this six minute scene. Then at the end, you know his, his ex wife and his loyal manager watching and afterwards the band gets together, they're go out partying and she, she says, well I've, you know, I've given him back to the world are now, she walks away, but then he chases after her and he says, where do you think you're going?

And he says, I'm leaving. He says, but you think I didn't learn anything and then they disappear. So it's a very touching final scene of the movie. Um, there's a lot of, a lot of film now of, of Cooper playing later group playing and you did a lot of, um, battle of the bands early on with, uh, there was a very interesting drummer named chick Webb, Chick Webb, um, who was, um, I think it, he had me, he had tuberculosis of the spine is body was distortedly was very small, but he was a kind of a prodigy who had his own band at the time and he would play against, I think he was playing with the count Basie and Cooper was playing with then Goodman. They go to the Savoy or the Apollo and they would have these battle of the bands and the people would vote who was the best chick?

Webb was a great drummer. He also had Ella Fitzgerald and as singer who do you, apparently it's not clear whether he adopted her out of an orphanage in Yonkers or not, but when he died somewhere between 30 and 35, she took over his band and he said, it's almost impossible to find any footage of him playing. You don't have some of his music. Um, uh, Krupa went on in his career, sort of began to span that, have more contemporary drummers, bloody rich, who was a Vaudeville child star and then built a ruptured a long career as a musician. And he used to always have these sort of these drum wars, which first crypto with play and sort of shake his head a lot and then, and then, uh, but you actually play buddy rich as I sort of, his narrative is there. So there's kind of a genius of athlete. He was faster than anybody as far as I can tell. And he played very complex. They in a very aggressive kind of obnoxious way. 10 minutes of master of that as well.

But at the time, but he was a, at the end of his career, he was sort of a carrot cartoon of himself. He would show up on the tonight show. Johnny Carson was an amateur drummer and he loved them and he would get up in big set but just sort of play incredibly complicated kind of bullshit drama stuff. So I was like, like an acrobat or somebody just doing a stunt. Well, a lot of people remember buddy, which for an hour is a horrible way that he treated his band. And they're the sort of bootleg tapes which are legendary that his band made while he was driving around on a bus. And he would just excrete them on the lady, you know, the latest whatever Gig they had. He would restart maze kind of eloquent and would go on for 10 or 15 minutes and just say, you fucking motherfuckers, you fucked me over here.

You're playing clams. Clams are just miscut notes and you're making me look bad. And I played with the greatest musicians in the world and what the fuck are you guys doing? I'm going to fire you all. And we get back to New York. And I think one of the biggest fans of this, uh, these rants with Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, well actually work them into several of the episodes of Seinfeld. They liked the way that they didn't use the sort of most the ones with all the great swear words, but they did use the stories were so then the language and say, um, as a scene, I think where George's father is recounting the story of how he met, uh, the father of Korean girlfriend who in Korean says this guy, he's not my kind of guy, which was something I guess that Buddy Richard said on the thing, but the most, uh, and there was another one where he was yelling at his, his sax players because they were playing too loud.

It was always concerned that people were drowning him out and upstaging him. And he said, I'm going to turn it off. I'm not going to give you anything and I'll see how you do without the assistance and the assistance with something that I guess Seinfeld thought was very funny. And there's this, there's an episode where he's being, so he's, he's at the end of his rope because his nemesis is always imitating his act. So he decides he's gonna throw his act and do a terrible show and he tells, it, says, I'm going to see how he does without the assistance. And it's, this lines don't seem to make any sense until you realize that they'd come out of this completely other storyline. Anyway, that amuse me. Um, there's another movie, the first movie that we actually, uh, track down that has a kind of a drummer theme in it, but it's not about a drummer is famous, a Hitchcock movie called young and innocent.

And it was a remake of a earlier film that he'd made, uh, where he, uh, is a man at first, the first day you say, I have a man having a fight with his wife about a younger man. Apparently it was actually it's fire fight with his ex swipe. And then the next, next scene, um, that younger man happens to be walking along a beach and he sees a body in the, in the water and it's the wife. She's a movie star actually. And he goes over to see her, he knows her and, and then you run to get help. But then two girls who are going out to go swimming and see that he's running away from a dead body. And this is how these stories began. So it suddenly he's on the run as a wanted man, trying to clear his name. The constables beautiful daughter becomes his assistant because you sort of kidnaps her and her old car and they're driving around the countryside trying to find clues before the cops close in on them to who is the man who actually murdered the wife and uh, get a clue.

Like they, they realized that the belt that strangled the man, the wife came from his overcoat, but somebody had taken his overcoat and the overcoat had been given to a, a, a bum named will, who was a porcelain repairman as well. So they find they find the broken porcelain and they find we'll, and we'll says, well, he's got the coat, but he doesn't remember who gave it to him except that he, I mean he doesn't remember his name, he remembers he has a twitch in his eye and he also in the pocket of his overcoat has a box of matches and it says the Grand Hotel. So I think the, the, uh, the heroin and the bomb go to the grand hotel looking for a man with a twitch and there's a band playing a tea dance there and you realize that. You see the, uh, the drummer for the tea dance is the husband. He's the guilty party and he's sitting in the back of the band with this drum.

Odd thing about this is, this is totally not remarked on in the movie, is that he's a blackface as is everybody else in the band. It's all white men in England, I guess. And they're all in black face. And it's such a, seems to be such a normal way for them to be playing that it's not even, it's not even, it's not even a distraction from the identification of the culprit. I'd sort of given the history of music and jazz is kind of one of those horrifying and activisms that pop up and otherwise entertaining films. But he's playing, they're sitting and they're not identifying him, but he sees them. He begins to think that they are after him and they take a break and then he takes too many pills to control his twitch. It's, Chris begins to come back and his khaki devised this very famous shot in this movie because the technology was not yet available to do or kind of zoom closeups.

So he built a track that goes all the way through the set, basically. Uh, there's, uh, no, this, the audience here and then there's the drums. There's the guy on a riser and the drummer in the back here, and then there's a bandleader here and all the players. And the camera is sort of moving slowly, slowly, slowly through, sorry, let me say, uh, through the scene. Um, and we zoom in on such are getting closer and closer to the drummer who was sitting there playing very my car. But mechanically it started dead is like looking around. So this seems like the narrative arc of this is psychosis, but then when he sees them, he sees that well is demonstrating to the girl that while he's looking for is a man with a twitch so well the old bum is going like yes. And the, you don't have twitch independence?

Um, well no. What happens is, well, yes. Okay. Yes he does, but he, but he, uh, he mistakes there, uh, he mistakes but there you think that they're onto him, but there actual, it sees the cops are gathering at the edge of the, uh, of the crowd. He thinks they're about to arrest him, but in fact they're trying to arrest the girl because she's on the lamb because he's, yeah, he starts to lose it. Meanwhile, the, uh, the bandleader is seeing a song called nobody doesn't like the drummer man. Nobody hips the sticks get your kicks with the hickory sticks.

And then he begins a, yeah, he started, he starts to twitch and bang around keels over and hysterically laughs and contestants to everything and, and they get married I guess at the end. Um, that kind of pairs nicely with another, there's a very short, well it's true. I mean there's one scene, there's an old, listen, there's a 1939 version of, well it's not version, it's called some like it hot. It's not the famous fit Billy Wilder movie. It was a early Bob hope vehicle and there's this, he and gene Krupa like buddies and he's a fast talker and salesman and gene group as a struggling young musician named Gene Krupa. And there's a scene where Cooper's playing at out front of a hotel, which is having trouble getting guests and he's, no, he's doing his whole and building things. And so it's so irresistible that people that are swept off the street and they began dancing as well.

Jitterbug and they all get, um, they all get jobs at the end of that. But that sort of, there's the urgency of his playing in this movie scene is, is mirrored by a scene, very brief scene and a normal be called Phantom Lady, uh, that our friend a alizer clerk, if you've been here before, you know, a license cook is a, it's a character actor who seems to have appeared in every movie between 1930 and 1960 and then ended up in the middle of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and found himself in the middle. Yeah. Several other stories. But Elijah Cook basically usually played, um, Schnucks in the movie, uh, who come to some bad end. And then phantom lady is similar plot too young and innocent. It was a woman who believes in the man who's been unfairly accused of murder. It goes out to try to solve the problem and she's put onto this hopped up drummer to Elijah Cook players who, um, may have the key to the a redemptive know the redeeming of her, of her beloved boss who she needs to exonerate before she can confess your love for him. So He's, she goes to this gig where he's playing with a bunch of other deadbeat musicians and this is what kind of wild scene, um, where he's playing and that kind of frenzy. She's, she's all dressed up to try to seduce them with stuff in her hair and they're playing and they're drinking and they're playing. And then he does this sort of organic, she's dancing right in front of him and he's getting more and more excited. And then the camera switching back from his face to her face to the drum, to the crime and sort of drumming as a capics stag sexual release.

All right. And so he grabs his coat and they ran out the door. That's the end of the scene. But they go back to her place, his place, and she gets parked or confession of him and then she runs away before you can do anything. And then the real killer comes in, strangles him. Uh, and then the story moves on from there. One of the most famous movies about a drummer is the premise, your film, if I could do this to great, has a great logo called the man with the golden arm. And uh, it was one of Sinatra's, uh, personal redemption movies. He plays a, a, a recovering heroin addict and come back to him, his neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. After being in jail, he's cleaned himself up and he's trying to go straight. Um, and he's learned to play the drums while he's been in jail. Apparently he has like, yeah, but he just has like, one is like a one bass and maybe some symbols and this kit and um, he goes to, he's got a wife who's in a wheelchair and uh, with a secret. And then next downstairs is Kim Novak who is sort of in love with him, um, and believes in him. I don't have quite, the wife has been injured in an accident and can no longer walk. Uh, but he goes to a bar. You're just going to try and get a tryout, uh, with a local band if you can just stay straight. And he gets visited by his old pusher who wants to sell him stuff and he says no. Then he gets a visit from the local hood for whom he had been dealing, um, uh, black jack or some, he's like, he's a great dealer card for illegal card games. He says no to that and he has a friend. I don't know why this became an important part of the movie to me, a friend named sparrow who is this sort of loser, he's a comic relief figure and he's with him and almost every scene, uh, his, he steals pets as I started animal kidnapping ring going and he, uh, he's played by a comedian named Arnold Stang who

it's pretty smooth. Yeah. See what I can do that, that's my dark Jeffrey.

So staying is tiny. Cute. You're trying to do whatever he can to please Mna. I think you got to staying to go, um,

denim cert for the, uh, rehearsal, I mean for the tryout, but of course staying run some sort of con job and steals a suit and then you put the suit on and then the cops pull up next to them and you can't account for where the suit comes from. So he gets thrown in jail and just starts with a bad spiral of events

whereby he, uh, he loses. Well, he has to start dealing cars to make enough money to pay back though the, uh, the crook who bails them out and then he's in debt to that guy and he starts to lose, uh,

he starts to lose his will, uh, and he goes back on heroin naturally, just before the trial and before the rehearsal. And then this is where the next sort of great drumming scene occurs.


Where he starts to play.


And then he kind of loses it and he started flailing around.


Hey, he collapses. That's the one I thought was pretty sure. I remember you could play as long as you want, but uh,

well he starts to play and then you kind of, but I thought this was the one that audition where he becomes more like a, it becomes more like a free jazz thing, but he's like playing just like he starts off, it's all real weird. Tiny face gets all weird.


that's the end of, that's it. That was a big break on not going to do, do you guys run it? Well I think the claims himself up at the end. Um, yeah, he has to go cold Turkey. So this is where I think Sinatra was hoping to get the Oscar for this scene where he's like, if she likes it, you know, Kim Novak locks him up until the night before he beat the competition. You can only, you can only, you can only possibly clear his name if he, uh, if he's clean. So he has this, he has this terrible night of almost dying. And then he's okay in the morning and it talks to the cops and they realize that his wife is behind it and they come to get the wife and then she stands up. It turns out she could walk all along and she wants the real world. She goes over the edge of the rail and she's dead on all these movies. And when somebody dead in the middle of the sidewalk and then he goes down there and they'd take her away.

And then he had a sparrow walkaway and diva. Not even Maria. It's so Kim Novak walks away after, after them. And that's the sort of the bittersweet and it's a permanent or a movie I think. Um, but despite the sort of heavy duty con, I think I had multiple apps, multiple Oscars, but it was this guy staying that stayed in my head, this strange comic character who's, so it seems to be there out of nowhere. I'm, I looked into his history. He had been basically played these characters for 30 or 40 years. Um, you might know from top caddy was a cartoon voices. They sold, he was a pitch man for Chunky, Chunky candy bars and for screens. And he had this little voice, we sort of a caricature of a New York Jew, I think in a way that he was so kind of a nebbish, but sort of street wise and always sort of going a little bit past what he was capable of doing and yet lovable at the same time.

And, but 10 or 15 years after this movie, He made what I consider a very historically important but incredibly terrible, epically bad movie called Hercules in New York or Hercules or Hercules goes bananas. And it was made, yeah. Well, you'll see why in a second. It was called Hercules in New York at the beginning of, it's an attempt to exploit the dubious fame of a young bodybuilder who had just won the Mr Olympia, uh, uh, competition. This was Arnold Schwarzenegger. But I mean, if you think Arnold Schwarzenegger has a hard time acting now, you should see this movie. He was, he was 22 years old. And, um, basically what he had going for him is that the way he looked? Right. He had huge muscles and um, this is a very thick accent and I guess they thought, well first I probably thought, well an Australian accent might be mistaken for a Greek accent if he's playing Hercules in New York.

Um, but then when he's actually spoke, they realized not only did he have such a thick accent you couldn't understand, but he could not communicate any emotion at all. So they dubbed in another voice, which sounds as a much older boys. It sounds a lot like Humphrey Bogart speeding. Um, and the basic story is he's, you know, he's, you know, the movie is sort of split into two parts. One is up in, you know, up on Olympia is you know, his father Zeus and sort of running a pretty tight ship and you won't let a Hercules go off on any adventures. They're also, they have this really bad sort of Toga party like outfits. And there was sort of, the set is like in some somebody's back yard, so they have a brick wall at sort of passing for Olympia and uh, you know, he's wearing one of those short shorts with dresses.

And you know, he's basically, the whole idea is to show off his pectoral muscles as much as possible. And he keeps asking his father if he can go. The father won't let him go until he was finally so obnoxious. There's father takes a thunderbolt, which is actually just a piece of it looks like a little mum foil and he throws at him. And then the next thing you see is like the inside of a Pan Am airplane. And these two ladies are um, talking and one of them looks out the window and there's like Arnold Schwartzenegger flying by and he's waving at her. And I think that was like one of the throw away jokes. He lands in the middle of New York City, uh, in central park and it seems to be in the middle of a, uh, a practice at the Columbia University track team because they're all like throwing, discusses and jumping around on one of those softball diamonds and teach, I mean, I skipped this, the long scene where he sort of has to fight his way off of a, of a freighter airlines, the middle of the ocean.

And uh, actually there's a great scene where he fights off all the sailors by holding along board, uh, and they all run and they all grabbed the board. Nobody actually runs around to hit him, but it's like everything is staged to sort of make, make, will not have to do very much except pushing grunt as much as he can. Um, so yeah, first one of the Columbia athletes like jumps about two feet and he says, I can jump further than that. I'm Hercules. And they, everybody's amazed that this guy who looks like Hercules could possibly jump further than this guy jumps. And it's like one of those movies where he runs towards the camera and he jumps up and then everybody goes and there's no, you know, and then a professor walks by with his daughter, Helen, and he sort of falls in love with her.

But then Arnold Stang shows up and he's now playing a character known, almost identical to Sparrow, the dog kidnapper. But this guy's name is pressy cause he sells pretzels and immediately begins to realize that Arnold is, um, perhaps an avenue to fame and fortune. And I don't know, I guess instead of a Gig as a professional wrestler and you know, he's spending a lot of time with a girl and he's as often as he can, he's taking his shirt off and posing and then he loses his power because his nemesis, Joe, I mean there's, I think zoos sends somebody try and get them and in order to get him back, he takes his power away and then he loses this wrestling match and then the gamblers want him. And then there's a scene where he's like driving a chariot across central park. And I think there, he's in the front seat and you know, he's clearly just anything.

There's Arnold Stang right behind him. And then in the middle of the scene, the wheel falls off the chariots piece of plywood and I guess they thought that looked like an effective class so the wheel falls off. And then the two x, the two guys get off in there, like staring at it. Like somebody just hit a pothole in the scene and just before the car was just supposed to catch up to them and destroys the suspension of disbelief in the movie. But uh, eventually I guess it all gets sorted out. Zeus, Zeus brings him back in the last second and he's, and he says he's learned his lesson and, but then at the end is sort of the punchline of the movies that Zeus, now once you go to New York and puts on a top hat and you know, in a suit coat and he, so he's going back down.

So the same ladies who are in the airplane and they're flying back and only look out. And now there's this guy who looks like some cross between a Hasidic Jew and like a British MP was actually Zeus his. Now he's going down to New York to have his, uh, his adventures. Um, this is all well and good. But what, when I was trying to figure out what the next step in this link of associations was, I found the strangest website of ours. It's like a, it's a Bible study group. And one of their sessions was called pick and Arnold, um, and it's three people and they're sitting at a table and first day and announced to some monies, her name is Alice. And then in the middle is Allen.

And then mark, I think he's in the side and they're very ordinary looking people and they have, they all have their bibles in front of them. And Alan seems to be the big brain in the group. And he's, although, well he's saying as we begin the session, he's saying the problem is paradox. It's all so paradoxical. We have to accept that. And they say, what do you mean? He says, well, love thy neighbor. Well, what could be harder than love thy neighbor? It doesn't make any sense. And then it starts to talk about all the problems of belief that exists in the world, um, about, and he's basically what he's saying is everything that we learned in this world is contrary to what we should be. We should know is true from our belief in the Bible. It's all based on ideas of worldliness and power or, um, efficacy that comes from ourselves.

And this is the opposite of what the truth is. Once you accept Jesus, he says, he doesn't know. The devil is working in you all the time. It doesn't matter when you are saved, if you're saved at the age of five, the devil's had five years to sort of inculcate this worldliness into you. This idea that somehow we're responsible for ourselves. And he said, I was 33. So you can imagine all the trouble I have. And then mark and Ella start to talk how everybody makes fun of you. If you, uh, say that you believe because you have to be stupid and you can't understand the way the world really operates. And they all said, yes, this is true. And then Alan says, how many of you ever heard of Arnold Stang? And they go, and then he says, oh, you're all too old. You know who aren't staying and you're all too young to know who Arnold Stang is.

But they said, no, we know who I'm saying is, but I think they would pull up to it. It's so interesting that they have this weirdly ordinary byplay when they just had sort of gone from contemplating the infinite to trying to say who is too old to know or not know about Arele staying basically each basically says, what I've told you aren't staying with this nebbish um, who had milk, toast characters. And then the guy says, who was the strong, you know who the strongest man who ever lived? And they all say Samson. And he says, that's right. And he says, why do you think, uh Oh, how if you were, if you were to sort of, who would play Samson in the movies? And they say, well, Arnold Schwarzenegger Wood. And they say, he says, that's right. That's the folly of the world. We think because Samson was strong, he has to be played by a strong man, a hero, a man who walks in victory.

And that's it. That's the temptation of the world speaking to you. Because if you see Arnold Schwarzenegger doing these great things, if we've just seen, you know, his power comes from himself. But everyone was amazed that Samson was strongest man in the world and you could defeat anyone in battle. And nobody could tell where his power came from. And that's because his power came from God and not from his body. So if you really have an accurate portrayal of Samson in all his glory, he would have to be played by Arnold Stang, which I think would be a lovely movie to see. But unfortunately, Arnold Stang is no longer with us.

Matt Freedman and Tim Spelios have been producing their Endless Broken Time drawing, talking and percussion performances at Studio 10 gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn since 2015. Ancestors, machines, and philosophy are told and illustrated by Freedman and take their irregular rhythm and form from the aberrant and improvised syncopation of Spelios’ broken time drumming.


© 2020 Matt Freedman

All Rights Reserved. 

bottom of page