Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This music is by Mimi and Richard Fariña, inspired by Fariña's good friend and fellow writer Thomas Pynchon's book V, an advance copy of which Pynchon sent to Fariña to peruse and critique.  The Fariña's then composed this piece.    Fariña was a spooky character, still haunting 60s folk music and literature.  

From Video Description:

"Edited by Videodrumz 2011. Song inspired by Thomas Pynchon's novel "V" (1963). Mimi and Richard Fariña with tambourine accompaniment by Bruce Langhorne.

The droning dulcimer has a Near Eastern flavour which seems to have been inspired by the Alexandria of V.'s Chapter 3. In his liner notes for Celebrations for a Grey Day, Richard Fariña describes his composition thusly: 
"Call it an East-West dreamsong in the Underground Mode for Tom Pynchon and Benny Profane. The literary listener will no doubt find clues to the geographical co-ordinates of Vheissu, the maternal antecedents of the younger Stencil, and a three-dimensional counter-part of Botticelli's Venus on the half-shell. May they hang again on a western wall." 

Excerpt from review of Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña and Richard Fariña by David Hajdu: 

"A stoned Fariña advising Dylan to cynically hitch his wagon to Joan's rising star and "start a whole new genre. Poetry set to music, but not chamber music or beatnik jazz, man... poetry you can dance to."  Hajdu compellingly asserts that Fariña, not Dylan, invented folk rock and provided fodder for Dylan's trademark sensibilities. Fariña invented the worldly-wise bohemian persona that Dylan adopted -- some say stole -- and made his own."

"Fariña's only claim to fame, Been Down so Long It Looks Like Up to Me was in many ways the 60's complement to the rollicking, wide open classic On the Road. If On the Road was a careening, pedal-to-the-metal sort of hopped-up, amphetamine driven travelogue through a burned out Freudian landscape, Been Down So Long was a stroll through a Jungian meadow where Fariña's archetypes asked deep, pot-inspired philosophical questions of life and love and raged against the machine. 
He never quite emerged, after his sudden death, into the sunlight of renown. With the sort of life irony befitting an aspiring, almost famous author, Fariña died on a beautiful stretch of highway named Carmel Valley Road on April 30th, 1966 while celebrating the publication of Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me. It was his wife Mimi's birthday when the road called to him one last time for one last ride. So he hitched a ride on the back of a friend's motorcycle. Less than a mile down the road, the driver took a mountainous curve at ninety miles an hour. The motorcycle was destroyed, the driver lived ... and Fariña died."


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