Thurston Moore turns 54 today (!), and he’s celebrating with the release of another song from his new band, Chelsea Light Moving. “Frank O’Hara Hit” is available in mp3 form below, and is accompanied by lengthy liner notes, penned by Moore, which explain the song’s meaning.
Update: So it turns out the song originally labeled as “Frank O’Hara Hit” is actually another song from the band, called “Empires of Time”. As Moore explains, “The CHELSEA LIGHT MOVING song that was posted July 25 for free entitled Frank OHara Hit is actually some other song, by the same band, called Empires Of Time. For your edification and further free-fall into the vortex of confusion we now present you the song Frank OHara Hit. The previous message from Thurston Moore pertaining to the intention of this tune is still active. If theres anything to be known about Empires of Time, know that it is a call of honor, and a kiss on the hallowed forehead, to Roky Erickson of Austin, Texas, a maestro of American psychedelic rock n roll of the highest order.”
Today is July 25 and its my birthday. Im 54. This song is called Frank OHara Hit. And its by this band I started called Chelsea Light Moving. Right now were whipping around Europe playing some summer love-cry gigs. I wanted to release this song by the end of July because its a meditation on that month through history in events that define a lot of what mytho-romanticizes my heart, both broken and blessed at the moment. On July 25, 1965 Bob Dylan with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band delivered to rock n roll the dissident soul of folk music and poetry. For many it was already a viable meeting but Dylan set it on fire for the world to see. And he was famously cursed and booed by the gatekeepers of old ways wariness. The song he sang was Phantom Engineer (later titled It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry). On July 24, 1966 the NYC poet Frank OHara was struck by a dune buggy while hanging out on Fire Island, and died the next day. OHara knew poetry in all its formalist glory and like John Cages ear to music liberated it for writers for an unending time. In his essay Personism: A Manifesto (published in Leroi Jones Yugen magazine in 1961) he writes, I dont like rhythm, assonance, all that stuff. You just go on your nerve. If someones chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you dont turn around and shout, Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep As for measure and other technical apparatus, thats just common sense: if youre going to buy a pair of pants you want them to be tight enough so everyone will want to go to bed with you. Theres nothing metaphysical about it. On July 26, 1943 Mick Jagger was born in Dartford, Kent, England and would become the 20th centurys erotic pinup for the unsafety of teeny bop girls everywhere preaching the gospel soaked blues of African-American music that their parents were most likely frightened to death of. His skill in getting it and keeping it together and continuing to honor the magic that rocks the fuck out when Howlin Wolf hit the mic is what inspires every tantalizing facet of real rock n roll. On July 29, 1966 our hero Bobby Dylan crashed his motorbike while taking it for a spin in Woodstock He had just recorded three lightning rod LPs (Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde), a book of writing (Tarantula) and was taking a breather between a just finished nine month world tour (where he was facing audiences half pissed at his Judas! betrayal of folk purity) and readying for sixty-four American gigs booked by money hog Albert Grossman. He was amphetamine skinny and breathing high-octane annunciation. He returned to us a man in control of his image and he provocatively crushed celebrity underfoot like a shitty Marlboro. Let us kiss our lovers gently in July as the lathered sunrays of August take us into contemplation and a sweet trust to a future we will always fight for. In rock n roll, soul, tenderness and piety.