I’ve just started dipping into Robert V. Remini’s massive (and likely definitive) three-volume biography of a certain president to whom Donald Trump likes to compare himself. This bit comes after Remini, writing from the seventies’, before Trump was even a twinkle in post-modernity’s eye, strongly suggests that Andrew Jackson’s force-of-nature personality might, indeed, have found a solution short of secession and war for the great divide that became the Civil War (for which suggestion Trump took a great deal of ridicule some months back). Democrats, the media, Special Counsels and Never Trumpers would do well to remember it as they surround Trump yet again some time next week, only to find themselves–for the twenty-ninth month running–surrounded in turn a few days later.

From page 9:

“I could throw him three times out of four,” said one classmate (of Jackson), “but he would never stay throwed.”

(Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Empire: 1767–1821, Robert V. Remini, 1977)

Me, I’m still too depressed to think real thoughts.

But I know the path to some good advice when I see it:

Stop expecting Jackson’s philosophical and spiritual heir to STAY THROWED!

The bio runs to 1600 pages. Assuming I discard this funk, I expect to finish it before 2020.


  1. I hope you’re able to shake this depressive phase soon, John. A helpful strategy: Stop paying attention to the news! The spin is never positive, and that’s quite deliberate. As a result, “news” is never good for ya. I haven’t watched or read anything news-ish on purpose since the ’80s, so there’s a bit of bias in my suggestion, but what can I say…it’s worked.

    A friendly reminder: 2 Corinthians 4: 17-18


    Thinkin’ about ya, man.


    • Hey thanks Chris…I was saving the New Testament and the Go-Go’s for when I hit rock bottom….but maybe now I won’t have to go there!

      It’s nothing serious really, just a blue mood (which, believe it or not, is rare for me). I went looking for the past…and it found me. My own stupid mistake. What does it say in the Book of Temptations? If it’s love that you’re running from, there REALLY is no hiding place. So, you now, keep on walking, don’t look back.

      But, really, the news kinda helps….No matter hos much I feel like a clown, I can always look good compared to THOSE fools!

      • Hence “Don’t look back,” I suppose. It’s a lesson we all have to re-learn every few years or so. One of the few things that have truly sunk in over my decades, however, is this: Never penalize yourself for good intentions.

          • Far be it for me to jump on any reference to the Shangs (never!), but since you’ve brought them up — in context, which I’m about to ruin — does this sound like an alternate take to you, per the first commenter? It’s a recent upload of the UK “Dressed in Black” 45. I think it’s just a matter of different stereo settings, but the UK mix, rather than the actual take, might be slightly different from what we’re familiar with.

            Not the most helpful lyrical matter with which to answer a blue mood, but perhaps Liz’s beautiful delivery will be somewhat uplifting!

  2. Dear Chris. I just slit my…

    No, just kidding!

    I don’t hear a different take. I suppose it could be just ever so slightly different but I don’t detect anything obvious on a first listen. Would certainly be interesting if true….Anyway, it’s always good to hear, even in a blue mood. And do we know it’s Liz? I never heard that, but I don’t think I ever saw any place where Mary talked about it either. Hard to tell with sisters sometimes!

    • It’s definitely as close as Liz ever came to sounding like Mary, but the reasons I’m certain it’s the former are that her distinctively pinched nasality (hey, it works for her, right?) on the line “walks by my window” sounds very much like her leads in other songs, and the spoken line “Well, I don’t care WHAT people say” echoes, tonally and delivery-wise, one of her opening lines in “Wishing Well,” i.e. “Then ALL your wishes will come true.”

      Not that I’m trying to come off like a rock’n’roll detective! (<–Attempted slick reference)

      Listening to the flip-side, "He Cried," immediately after the song in question makes it easier to notice the difference, thanks to Mary's less pinched, deeper voice.

      Incidentally, if I'm right, it means that "Dressed in Black" provides the most Liz speech we've ever been privy to (at least without the funny French (?) accent of "Sophisticated Boom-Boom").

        • In addition to what you’ve named, Liz sings lead on “The Boy,” as well as “Bull Dog” and anything with the word “Shout” in the title. I’m also convinced that she and Mary are singing in tandem on “Leader of the Pack,” with Liz mixed significantly lower.

          Finally, the “Maybe” cover is hers, although it was slowed down before release, presumably to make it long enough for radio play. Here’s the correct speed:

          (I can’t believe I’M informing YOU of anything Shang-related! Always happy to somehow pay back your brilliant, highly valuable insights of the past few years!)

          • One of life’s few certainties: There’s ALWAYS more to learn about the Shangri-Las (and “Bull Dog” was gonna be my next question so you read my mind).

            And “Maybe” at the right speed does sound more like it was recorded at a sock hop!

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