On tonight's edition of "Idiot's Delight"® at 8, Vin Scelsa explores Hypnotic Eye, the brand new Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album which is due out on July 29. Vin has also been catching up on his reading since returning from summer vacation: a recently published New Yorker piece by humorist Jack Handey (you may know of Handey's "Deep Thoughts" from "Saturday Night Live") inspires Vin to channel his inner Sam Elliott (think of Sam's character "The Stranger" in "The Big Lebowski," but with more of a Jersey accent) in a dramatic reading of Handey's "Tales Of Old Santa Fe."
Plus music new and old from Jenny Lewis, Jenifer Jackson, Chris Smither (backed by ID faves Rusty Belle), Eric Friedlander, The Felice Brothers, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Les Nubians and the proverbial many more. And last, but not least, a warm "adios" to actor James Garner, now appearing in his old "Maverick" costume at the After Party in eternity.
I'm back from vacation with sad tidings: Elaine Stritch, Johnny Winter, Charlie Haden and others have gone on to the After Party, my new metaphor for death. Thinking that they're all having fun at the universe's greatest After Party makes accepting their absence here on planet Earth a bit easier. And here's good news: iconic actor Harry Dean Stanton—still with us at age 88 as I recorded tonight's show on Friday morning—has an album of songs he recorded for the documentary film "Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction." Tonight on "Idiot's Delight"® at 8, I play several tunes from the soundtrack of the same name, and I'll go off on a "Don't Think Twice" musical tangent too.
Before leaving on his summer holidays, Vin Scelsa set aside a few "Idiot's Delight"® shows that never received a proper on-air broadcast, for one reason or another. On tonight's encore presentation at 8, Vin resurrects his Easter Saturday show of this year, bumped off of WFUV due to the holiday Mass. That show focused entirely on various versions, stretching from iterations to tangents, of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and it featured Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Bryan Ferry, David Poe and others lost in the rain in Juarez around Easter time. Vin Scelsa returns from his fishin' break next Saturday, July 19, with a brand new show.
Last February, an episode of Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight"®, inspired by the late Pete Seeger, aired mostly online due to basketball. So since Vin is vacationing this week, he chose to resurrect that show for tonight, especially since a memorial concert for Pete and Toshi Seeger will take place at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park Bandshell on Sunday afternoon, July 20 with a lineup that includes Judy Collins, Peter Yarrow and Dar Williams and Dan Zanes.
"While my show isn't a Pete Seeger 'tribute' show by any stretch of the imagination," writes Vin, "Pete's spirit and influence hangs over, informs and inspires every moment of tonight's 'Idiot's Delight.' Pete was truly a giant cultural musical icon whose influence on several generations of Americans and people all over the world is immeasurable."
Vin Scelsa has "gone fishin'" on his yearly summer break, but he's left a trio of "Idiot's Delight"® episodes that only aired online (or were preempted) last winter. Looking back at a "lost" January show, Vin has a few thoughts on the film "Inside Llewyn Davis" and the true legacy of Dave Van Ronk (pictured far right with Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo) and his other Greenwich Village folk compadres, like Odetta and Fred Neil.