If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger…

Michael Gerber
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Paul with gun

“Is it me, or does the guy on the target look like Allen Klein?”

MIKE GERBER • Devin has called Tom Sutpen’s blog “If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger, There’s Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats” the best blog ever, and you can add my voice to the chorus of praise. I’ve been browsing it for years, and find it all the stuff that dreams are made of. Sutpen’s beat is the same 20s to 70s culture I love myself, and while I haven’t listened to the podcast (opinions?) his eye for the odd or arresting or simply beautiful photograph is quite remarkable. This talent particularly comes through in cases where the subject is over-exposed; as with Sutpen’s series on The Beatles, “Moptops In Action.”

My guess for the photo at left—shared by one of Sutpen’s commenters—is that Paul’s recording the gunshots for “Oh Woman Oh Why,” the B-side to “Another Day.” He doesn’t seem like the shooting-range kind of guy and, well, the beard gives it away.

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  1. Avatar hologram sam wrote:

    Can someone tell me who the elderly celebrity is, the old dude with John and Yoko? I feel like I almost recognize him, but I can’t place him.
    Also, here is Paul telling the Lennon nativity scene story:
    “If Charlie Parker Was A Gunslinger” also has the last known photo of Buddy Holly onstage, snapped by an audience member just a few hours before the plane crash. This picture was jealously guarded by the owner for many years, and only seen at conventions, but rolling stone published it, and now it’s turning up everywhere. And if you search their site for “Robert Benchley” you’ll see a wonderful photo of Benchley partying with David Niven. It’s truly a wonderful website for sharing my twin obsessions, Benchley and Holly.

  2. Avatar Wolynski wrote:

    Love the Charlie Gunslinger blog, but the podcasts… listened to half of the first song once – awful. The titles are more intriguing than the actual music. Look, I know my popular music from the 20’s on and many of these artists on the podcasts I never even heard of. Popular music is like this: if it’s good, it’s popular and I’d know about it. There are NO undiscovered great pop acts of old.

    Wish they would play hidden gems from Bob Wills, Spike Jones, the Boswell Sisters, the Andrews Sisters, Jo Stafford, lots of lesser Brit Invasion acts – there’s tons of great music in danger of oblivion, without dragging drek into it. Maybe I’m missing the point.

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