WIRE FROM THE BUNKER: Meet Howard Tate
This week’s Wire concerns Philadelphia’s own late great R&B legend, Howard Tate. I’ll send this one out to another late great Philadelphian, my dear friend Peter Stone Brown who passed away earlier this year. Peter, of course, was known both as a formidable songwriter and as one of the world’s leading “Dylanologists” as recognized in David Kinney’s book of the same name. Kinney tells a wonderful story about how Peter, as a teenager, mowed the words “Fuck You” into his parents’ lawn in Millburn, New Jersey where he grew up. They don’t make teenagers like that anymore, do they? Texting FU just doesn’t show the same commitment as mowing it into an overgrown lawn. I am deeply saddened by the fact that Peter, whose brother Tony was the bass player on Blood on the Tracks, won’t be around to hear Bob’s new record Rough and Rowdy Ways when it drops next month. But, in a way, I’m grateful that Peter isn’t around for this COVID jazz. He’d been ill for a while but his exit was relatively peaceful compared to the horrific COVID deaths that seem to be the exclamatory signature of this awful virus. You ever have thoughts like this? I remember when the Towers fell, I thought to myself: well, at least my dad, who had died three months earlier, isn’t around to see THIS. I dunno. Maybe Peter will hear Dylan’s new one. Perhaps they’ve got Spotify up in his spot in the sky. (*ugh* - The Editor)
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Art by Niall McCormack courtesy of Phawker.com