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John Sinclair

The hardest working poet in the industry

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[07] I"ll Be Glad When You"re Dead You Rascal You E-mail
Viper Mad
Wednesday, 28 December 2005 05:51
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Part VII

"I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You"


'When I took the band to New York,'
Pops says, 'my boy Mezzrow
was around with me
at Connie's Inn. But that touring

could be tough. One day
we arrived in Memphis
& got ready to change buses. The man
took one look you dig? 

& said "I'm not driving you
anywhere." In no time at all
one word had led to another
& before we knew what was happening

we all got arrested. They put us
two to a cell, I shared with
"Professor Sherman Cook",
a good old hustler. We're in this cell

& he turns to me & says,
"Now look Louis
I've got something in my pocket
that could mean trouble",

out he pulls a great big joint
all neatly wrapped. "Hey man",
I said, "we can't be in any more trouble
than we are in

right now", so we lit-up
& smoked our way out of trouble 
Old Cook & myself
we demolished the evidence.'

'All of us vlpers,' Mezzrow adds,
'rushed into John's that night
to hear the program
come over the radio. When they hit the air,

Louis started off with some doubletalk
& right in the middle of it
he greeted me 'How-de-do,
Lozeerose. I would like to dedicate

the next number
to the Chief of Police
of Memphis, Tennessee. Dig this,
Mezzeerola.'

After Memphis, Louis went back
to New Orleans
for the first time since he'd left town
in 1922. He was playing

in a big segregated joint
just outside the city limits
called The Suburban Gardens
& broadcasting nightly

all over the country. On opening night
waiting for the stage curtain
to open, Louis heard the white announcer
cut short his opening speech

& explain to his listeners:
'I just haven't got the heart
to announce that nigger
on the radio'. And he split.

Outside The Suburban Gardens
some ten thousand black people
lined the levee
where the Suburban was situated. Louis says:

'Well,
they wasn't allowed in there
so quite naturally
they gathered outside

right along the levee,
hoping to catch the music
through the open windows.
I'll never forget that sight. And the club

was just as packed inside,
five thousand people or more
they said. It was murder 
one of my happiest days. For the rest of that night

& the rest of that gig
I did my own radio announcing.
That other announcer? They threw him out
the same night . . . ain't that something?'



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