This is an open-ended blog ranging from news about my latest gigs and publications
to ruminations about politics, world affairs, culture and whatever piques my interest—or ire.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Here's another amusing souvenir I stumbled upon while sorting through all the junk stored in my attic in France: a rare photo of the amazing Blazers. (Left to right, George Welch, Arthur Ducore, a kid whose name I forgot, and yours truly.)

I wasn't always a clarinet player. There was a time, during my impressionable teen years, when I fell under the spell of the Beatles and joined a rock band called the Blazers.  We used to rehearse in George Welch's basement on Octavia Street in uptown New Orleans. His parents were very tolerant (or very deaf), since we would spend hours twanging our guitars with the amplifiers cranked up and singing off-key harmonies until our voices cracked. Naturally the Beatles were our idols and models, so we massacred all their hits to our immense satisfaction and decided we were ready for the big time. It never happened for us. I only remember three gigs: once at George's church; once at our alma mater, Benjamin Franklin High School  (it was just before lunchtime and one of our classmates pulled the plug on our amplifiers so he could go eat); and once on the occasion pictured above: the 1966 Latin Club party (which explains the togas). We retired shortly after that and I went back to trying to learn the clarinet. I guess you'd call that a good career move.


  1. This is just wonderful!
    I can remember singing a Ray Brown song a-cappella at a boy scout camp, solo, but that was the exent of my ventures in that direction.
    (I stlll like to sing the odd blues, hope you do also).
    You guys were very brave ..
    I did wonder at the dresses & the woman with the candle and perhaps some weird child sacrfice about to occur ....