Monday, April 17, 2017

Harley's Angels...Part 2

I've been digging around the Harley files and decided to throw up as much of the data as I have up to this point.
I will try not to rehash previous posts too extensively but stuff will be brought up occasionally.

Harley F. Flanagan, 3/8/67, and mothers maiden Feliu

On this page we want to take note of address listed... 437 E. 12th St. Apt. 6...
We run the address in the googler and this comes up...

That my friends is Harry Everett Smith...  

Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Louis Cartwright, Herbert Huncke, William Burroughs, Allen & Peter's new apartment, 437 E. 12th St., New York City, ...
 Edith Ginsberg, Cliff Fyman, Bob Rosenthal, Allen Ginsberg, John Godfey, Steven Taylor, Peter Orlovsky, Greg Masters, Michael Scholnick, in front of 437 E. 12th St., where all except Edith lived. Nov. 14, 1982. 
So Harley lived with Ginsberg and Orlovsky while getting a chance to hang out with Burroughs and Harry E. Smith.   
I have found out that Ginsberg lived there from 1975 to 1996 so we can estimate Harley was about 8 years old.

Ginsberg wrote the introduction to Flanagan’s first book, Stories & Illustrations by Harley, published by Charlatan Press when Flanagan was nine. “His mother Rosebud was a Lower East-Side Hippie / and a friend of mine,” Ginsberg writes. “Harley is also a friend of mine since he / was a year old / We lived on a farm together / I’m glad he grew up to be an Artist.”
 I found a clue, this picture was taken in Morocco North Africa?  A note I would like to throw in, I think he looks younger than 9 in this picture.
We read Harley was 9 years old when this was published.   We can also see that Harley was around Ginsberg at the age of one.

The most I found on Harley's "biological" father was his name.   In books he's referred to as Tex Flanagan but marriage records have his name as Harley W.  Harley W. Flanagan is most likely Harley's father.   We also get another confirmation of the name Rose Marie, but this time it is spelled Rosemari.

Here we document her marriage to Simon Pettet in 1984.   We see her name as Rosemarie for more confirmation of Rosemary clues.

It looks like she lived at this address in 2005?   

So what I'm stuck wondering is where were Harleys early years spent?   We have to keep looking at Rose for clues I assume, she is his mother.   The Keristas had an old tribe and a new tribe with date defining dates.   In an account by a former Keristan we read the following...

Barbara who had the board names Hon, and her three year old son Peter joined the commune. Hon was very sweet and about twenty-eight.. Siv a twenty-year-old joined. Here name was Margaret before she joined. Rose joined, and eighteen year old Latina Deirdre joined, and ironically got the name Lov. Lov was a heavy schizophrenic witch type. Hse was into black magic, tarot cards, power games, and was a powerful chibby dark woman. Underneath her menacing exterior Lov had a good heart. Love claimed to be Gypsy, Hindu, Hebrew, and Egyptian. She looked it. She was into astrology, as we all were and are. Lov got into the Ouija board after a while. She mostly balled her old man Gud. For a while Jud had a woman Wog, He got her to bvall all the fellas occasionally. Wog left soon soon after joining, about the time Joy became Jud's other old lady. Joy was a black eighteen year old from Alabama. Initially she was attracted to a brief affair with Dau, picking him up on the street, but she ended up becoming Jud's old lady. Joy was a very good cook, and brought stability, as well as a lot more madness to the group.
We make the link, Rose was in the old tribe not the MAC computer selling new tribe.     The old tribe was from 1956-1970.

So with the information so far it looks like Harley was NOT living at the Kerista communes,   We still have to remember Harley was around Allen when he was 1. (1968 ish)  

This is one of her obituaries to confirm some dates...

Rose “Rosebud” Feliu-Pettet, muse of the Beats and avant-garde, fxture of downtown Bohemia, and a gifted memoirist, died this past Monday [June 15, 2015] in New York, at the VSNY Haven Specialty Care Unit, Bellevue Hospital, from inoperable bile duct cancer. She was 69. Married three times (to petty criminal,Tex Flanagan, to a Danish harbor worker, Karsten Holm, and to the English-born New York City poet, Simon Pettet) – she lived variously, in San Francisco, New York City (and State), Denmark, Morocco and, for a short while, in England. But, born in the city ( a rare breed, the native New Yorker), growing up on the streets of Yorktown, no matter how far she wandered, New York remained consistently, and sentimentally, her primary focus and her home.

“Her close friendship with the poet Allen Ginsberg, dating back to 1964, resulted in her being there at his deathbed and writing the defnitive account of his passing. For several years prior to that, she had been his neighbor and lived with him (her younger sister Denise had been, Allen’s lover, Peter Orlovsky’s girlfriend). She also struck up important friendships with the satirist and entertainer Lenny Bruce (as a young girl she would sit on Lenny’s knee, listening to the complaints of “Uncle Lenny”), and with the flmmaker-occultistanthropologist-ethnomusicologist, Harry Smith (though unmarried, Smith looked upon her as his “spiritual wife”). She was his “Jenny” in his magnum opus, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (flmed between 1970 and 1972, but not completed till 1980, shaped after Brecht and Weil). She also appeared in several other notable “underground” movies (notably Piero Heliczer’s Dirt (1965)).

“She also spent time with Ed Sanders and The Fugs, with Gerard Malanga and the Andy Warhol Factory (She famously sat for Andy Warhol for one of his Screen Tests). Runaway hippie, godmother to the punks, later seasoned survivor in Hell’s Kitchen, and a believer to the end in the old values – of love, human kindness, human compassion, simple decency.    She is survived by her two sisters, Jean Feliu and Denise Mercedes, and by her son, musician and black-belt martial arts instructor, Cro Mags guitarist, Harley Flanagan, and by her two grandchildren, his two sons. born May 25 1946, died June 15 2015”

This obituary was composed by Simon Pettet, posted Tom .

Rose “Rosebud” Feliu-Pettet a long-time friend of Allen’s, author of the definitive account of Allen’s passing,  passed away herself this week. She’d been suffering from a particularly virulent form of cancer, bile duct cancer. She was 69 

For more of Rosebud on Allen – see here “Well, I met Allen a long time ago, about 1964,  I was living in this crazy dinky kind of collective called Kerista, a sort of benign Manson family [sic] . There were about eighteen people living in a store front on Ludlow Street [on New York’s Lower East Side], and one day Allen came by…I didn’t have a clue who he was, although I’d read Howl and been wildly impressed, so when this oddball beard guy appeared & was so sweet, I got down & laughed & sat on his lap & tickled (him) and asked him his name. Allen was pretty surprised I think that some school girl liked him, just for being a fine guy.”   “So, he said, “If you ever need a place to stay, come over to my flat”, (5th Street then and Avenue C), and I did, for a year or two. He was always like Uncle Allen, the guy you borrow a cup of sugar from down the hall. Sweet. But he worked always, hard, every day. Locked in the bedroom. Refuse(d) the phone – Wrote for two to three hours – Always reminded everyone to WRITE DOWN THEIR DREAMS”…
“I think of Allen at his farm in Cherry Valley, Allen in gumboots, Allen eager for rock & roll, Allen being considerate to all the folks who ask him for favors, Allen being a dirty dog with all the pretty boys. I love this guy”
The Harry Smith connection is pretty interesting...  You see, Harry was a very revered mystic and occultist in the Beat and hippy scene.

Harry Everett Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Harry E. Smith
Harry Everett Smith 1965.jpg
Smith c. 1965
BornMay 29, 1923
DiedNovember 27, 1991 (aged 68)
OccupationVisual artist, filmmaker, ethnographer
Harry Everett Smith (May 29, 1923 in Portland, Oregon – November 27, 1991 in New York City) was a visual artist, experimental filmmaker, record collector, bohemianmystic, and largely self-taught student of anthropology. Smith was an important figure in the Beat Generation scene in New York City, and his activities, such as his use of mind-altering substances and interest in esoteric spirituality, anticipated aspects of the Hippie movement. Besides his films, Smith is widely known for his influential Anthology of American Folk Music, drawn from his extensive collection of out-of-print commercial 78 rpm recordings.
Throughout his life Smith was an inveterate collector. In addition to records, artifacts he collected included string figures,[1] paper airplanesSeminole textiles, and Ukrainian Easter eggs.


Harry Smith was born in Portland, Oregon, and spent his earliest years in Washington state in the area between Seattle and Bellingham. As child he lived for a time with his family in Anacortes, Washington, a town on Fidalgo Island, where the Swinomish Indian reservation is located.[2] He attended high school in nearby Bellingham.
Smith's parents were Theosophists with Pantheistic tendencies (involving the belief in an immanent God who is identical with the Universe or nature), and both were fond of folk music. His mother, Mary Louise, originally from Sioux City, Iowa, came from a long line of school teachers and herself taught for a time on the Lummi Indian reservation near Bellingham. His father, Robert James Smith, a fisherman, worked as a watchman for the Pacific American Fishery, a salmon canning company. Smith's paternal great-grandfather John Corson Smith (d. 1910) had been a Union colonel in the American Civil War, brevetted Brigadier General just as the war ended and had served from 1885-89 as Lieutenant Governor of the state of Illinois. He had also been a prominent Freemason and had authored several books about the history of the order.[3]
Smith's parents, who didn't get along, lived in separate houses, meeting only at dinner time. Although poor, they gave their son an artistic education, including 10 years of drawing and painting lessons. For a time, it is said, they even ran an art school in their house. Smith was also a voracious reader and he recalled his father bringing him a copy of Carl Sandburg's folksong anthology, American Songbag. "We were considered some kind of 'low' family", Smith once said, "despite my mother's feeling that she was [an incarnation of] the Czarina of Russia".[4] Friends recall that in high school Smith carried around a camera and in his high school yearbook said that he wanted to compose symphonic music.
Physically, Smith was undersized and had a curvature of the spine, which kept him from being drafted (a circumstance that later would disqualify him from benefitting from the G.I. Bill). During World War II he took a job as a mechanic working nights on the construction of the tight, hard-to-reach interior of Boeing bomber planes, for which his short stature suited him.[5] Smith used the money he made from his job to buy blues records. It also enabled him to formally study anthropology at the University of Washington in Seattle for five semesters between 1942 and the fall of 1944. He focused on American Indian tribes concentrated in the Pacific Northwest making numerous field trips to document the music and customs of the Lummi, whom he had gotten know through his mother's work with them.[6]
When the war ended Smith, now 22, moved to the Bay Area of San Francisco, then home to a lively bohemian folk music and jazz scene. As a collector of blues records he had already been corresponding with the noted blues record aficionado James McKune, He now also began seriously collecting old hillbilly music records from junk dealers and stores which were going out of business and even appeared as a guest on a folk music radio show hosted by poet Jack Spicer.[7] In 1948, his mother succumbed to cancer.[8] Immediately after her funeral, Smith, who was estranged from his father, left Berkeley for a room above a well-known after hours jazz club in the Fillmore district of San Francisco. Smith was especially drawn to bebop, a new jazz form which had originated during impromptu jam sessions before and after paid performances; and San Francisco abounded in night spots and after hours clubs where Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker could be heard. At this time he painted several ambitious jazz-inspired abstract paintings (since destroyed) and began making animated avant garde films featuring patterns that he painted directly on the film stock and which were intended to be shown to the accompaniment of bebop music.[9]
In 1950 Smith received a Guggenheim grant to complete an abstract film, which enabled him first to visit and later move to New York City.[10] He arranged for his collections, including his records, to be shipped to the East Coast. He said that "one reason he moved to New York was to study the Cabala. And, 'I wanted to hear Thelonious Monk play'."[11] When his grant money ran out, he brought what he termed "the cream of the crop"[8] of his record collection to Moe Asch, president of Folkways Records, with the idea of selling it. Instead, Asch proposed that the 27-year-old Smith use the material to edit a multi-volume anthology of American folk music in long playing format – then a newly developed, cutting edge medium – and he provided space and equipment in his office for Smith to work in. The recording engineer on the project was Péter Bartók, son of the renowned composer and folklorist.

Anthologist of American folk music[edit]

The resultant Folkways anthology, issued in 1952 under the title American Folk Music, was a compilation of recordings of folk music issued on hillbilly and race records that had previously been released commercially on 78 rpm. These dated from the abbreviated dawn, sometimes called the "golden age",[12] of the commercial country music industry, that is, between 1927, when, as Smith explained, "acoustic recording [sic][13] made possible accurate music reproduction, and 1932, when the Depression halted folk music sales",[14] and the artists, in many cases, sunk into obscurity. Originally issued as budget discs marketed to regional, rural audiences, these records had long been known, collected, and occasionally reissued by folklorists[15] and aficionados,[16] but this was the first time such a large compilation was made available to affluent, non-specialist urban dwellers. LP discs could hold much more material than the old three-minute 78s, and had greater fidelity and far less surface noise. The Anthology was packaged as a set of three, boxed albums with a total of 6 LPs. Each box front a different color: red, blue, and green – in Smith's schema, representing the alchemical elements. Priced at $25.00 per two-disc set, they were relatively expensive. For the money-challenged, Moe Asch maintained a retail record store in the 1950s near Union Square Park where he sold all 6 of the Anthology records for $1 each, as well as others from his catalogue. The $1 records were sold without their original jackets, and with a hole punched through the label area to indicate that the record was remaindered and not to be sold for the rull retail price. A fourth album, comprising topical songs from the Depression era, was originally planned by Asch and his long-time assistant, Marian Distler, and never completed by Smith. It was issued in 2000, nine years after his death in CD format by Revenant Records with a 95-page booklet of tribute essays to Smith.[17]
The music on Smith's anthology, performed by such artists as Clarence AshleyDock BoggsThe Carter FamilySleepy John EstesMississippi John HurtDick JusticeBlind Lemon JeffersonBuell Kazee, and Bascom Lamar Lunsford, greatly influenced the folk & blues revivals of the 1950s and 60s and were covered by The New Lost City RamblersBob Dylan, and Joan Baez, to name a few. Rock critic Greil Marcus in his liner-note essay for the 1997 Smithsonian reissue, quoted musician Dave van Ronk's avowal that "We all knew every word of every song on it, including the ones we hated."[18]
Smith's presentation was a marked departure from the more social or politically oriented folk song collections of the 1930s and 40s. His annotations avoided localized historical and social commentary, consisting instead of terse, evocative synopses – riffs – written in the manner of telegraph messages or newspaper headlines as though from an otherworldly realm, seemingly both timeless and avant-garde. For example, for Chubby Parker's rendition of "King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O" ("Frog Went A-Courting"), a ballad that has been traced to 1548, Smith wrote: "Zoologic Miscegeny Achieved Mouse Frog Nuptuals [sic], Relatives Approve."
Smith was also unique in associating folk music with the occult: the design he chose to be printed on the box covers, for example, was taken from an engraving by Theodore de Bry of a great hand tuning the Celestial Monochord (the one-stringed instrument symbolizing the music of the spheres), that had illustrated a sixteenth-century treatise on music by the Elizabethan magus Robert Fludd.[19]
Smith told interviewer John Cohen, that he had first heard this kind of record at the home of Bertrand Harris Bronson, the eminent English professor and ballad scholar,[20] who collected them. In 1946 Smith reportedly lived for a time in small room with a separate entrance on the first floor of Bronson's Berkeley residence, and it is thought he may have received informal tutelage in folk music through his acquaintance with the scholar.[21]
Smith also told Cohen that in selecting his material he relied heavily on the Library of Congress's mimeographed "List of American Folk Songs on Commercial Records", a monograph compiled by Alan Lomax in 1940 with the assistance of Pete Seeger, that Lomax and Seeger had sent out to folk song scholars (and which could also be purchased directly from the Library for 25 cents).[22] Cohen asked Smith: "Where did you first hear of the Carter Family?”
Smith: I would think from that mimeographed list that the Library of Congress issued around 1937 [sic], "American Folksongs on Commercially Available Records" [sic]. Shortly after that, two Carter Family recordings, "Worried Man Blues" and "East Virginia Blues" were reissued on the album Smoky Mountain Ballads. That album would come to stores that wouldn’t ordinarily have Carter Family records.
John Cohen: In that album John and Alan Lomax made hillbilly music respectable enough to have it sold along with art music and symphonies.[23]
Twelve of the 60 songs and many of the artists on Lomax and Seeger's "List" appear in Smith's anthology and his notes credit the Lomaxes. Smith explained that he had selected material based on what he thought would be of interest to scholars and to people who might like to sing them.[24] He also told Cohen that, "I felt social change would result from it. I'd been reading Plato's Republic. He's jabbering about music, how you have to be careful about changing the music, because it might upset or destroy the government. Everybody gets out of step. You are not to arbitrarily change it because you may undermine the Empire State Building without knowing it. Of course, I thought it would do that... I imagined it as having some kind of social force for good".[25]
In 1991, shortly before his death, Smith was the recipient of a Grammy, the Chairman's Merit Award for Lifetime Achievement. Ed Sanders writes:
It was a joy to his many friends to see him clambering up the Grammy steps wearing a tuxedo. "I'm glad to say that my dreams came true – I saw America changed through music," he told the audience. Plato was right, music can change the direction of a civilization, for worse or better.[26]
In 1997, Smith's collection was re-released as a boxed set of six CDs on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, as the Anthology of American Folk Music (now also informally referred to as "The Harry Smith Anthology").
In his notes to a 2006 revival CD, Elvis Costello wrote: "We're lucky that somebody compiled the Anthology as intelligently and as imaginatively so that it can tell a series of stories to future musicians and listeners, and be a starting point."[27]

Other recording projects[edit]

In addition to compiling the Folkways anthology, Smith was also instrumental in getting Folkways to produce (on its Broadside label) the The Fugs First Album (1965), now considered the first "folk rock" album. A regular visitor to the Peace Eye bookstore, in Manhattan's East Village on 10th St. between Avenues B and Ave C, founded in 1965 by poet Ed Sanders, Smith had advised Sanders which books about Native American studies the store ought to stock. When Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg formed the Fugs, they rehearsed at Peace Eye. "Thanks to Harry," writes Sanders, "the band was able to record an album within weeks of forming."[28] Peter Stampfel recalls that, as the album's editor and producer, "Harry's contribution to the proceedings were his presence, inspiration, and best of all, smashing a wine bottle against the wall while we were recording 'Nothing,'"[29] But Sanders recalls learning a lot from watching Smith's adept, businesslike tape editing at the Folkways studio, adding that, as far as he knows, Smith received no financial reward for his work. He asked for a bottle of rum, which Sanders bought for him, and then proceeded to smash the bottle against the wall, to "spur us to greater motivity and energy", Sanders speculates.[30]
In 1971–73 Smith recorded performances held at his room at the Hotel Chelsea (for a project called "deonage") of, among other things, spontaneously composed folk and protest songs written and performed by his long-time friend, Allen Ginsberg, accompanying himself on the harmonium. These included, "CIA Dope Calypso", "MacDougal Street Blues", "Bus Ride Ballad Ride to Suva", and "Dope Fiend Blues", among others, all later issued on an LP entitled New York Blues: Rags, Ballads and Harmonium Songs (Folkways, 1981).
In keeping with his interest in chemically altered states of consciousness, Smith made field recordings documenting Kiowa peyote meeting songs, which Folkways issued as a multi-LP set.

Experimental films[edit]

Critical attention has been most often paid to Smith's experimental work with film. He produced extravagant abstract animations. The effects were often painted or manipulated by hand directly on the celluloid. Themes of mysticism, surrealism and dada were common elements in his work.[31]
Information, especially about Smith's early films, is uncertain, due to the work-in-progress nature of experimental filmmaking. He frequently reedited them (hence the different runtimes), incorporating on various occasions reassembled footage of different film to be viewed with varying music tracks. For instance, the handmade films now known as No. 1, 2, 3, and 5 were accompanied by an improvising jazz band on May 12, 1950 when they premiered as part of the Art in Cinema series curated by Smith's friend Frank Stauffacher at the San Francisco Museum of Art, though Smith had originally intended them to be accompanied by recordings of beat favorite Dizzy Gillespie. Later he showed the films with random records or even the radio as accompaniment. Smith stated that his films were made for contemporary music, and he kept changing their soundtracks. At the urging of his friend Rosemarie "Rosebud" Feliu-Pettet, Smith also re-cut Early Abstractions to sync with Meet the Beatles!. After Smith's death, artists such as John ZornPhilip Glass or DJ Spooky provided musical backgrounds for screenings of his films: Zorn at many screenings at Anthology Film Archives (where he is composer-in-residence) as part of his Essential Cinema project, Glass at the 2004 summer benefit concert of the Film-Makers' Cooperative and DJ Spooky at several venues in 1999 for Harry Smith: A Re-creation, an embroidered compendium of Smith's films put together by his close collaborator M. Henry Jones who tries to screen the films in the manner intended by Smith - as performances - using stroboscopic effects, multiple projections, magic lanterns, and the like.[32]
The present-day numbering system which Smith introduced some time between 1951 and 1964–65 (the year the Film-Makers' Cooperative started distributing 16 mm copies of his films) includes only films that survived up to that point. Thus this filmography is in no way a comprehensive list of all the films he has ever made, all the more as he is known to have lost, sold, traded or even wantonly destroyed some of his own works. The dating of the film presents another puzzle. Since Smith frequently worked for years on them and kept little to no documentation, the information varies considerably from one source to another. Therefore all available information has been added to the following list, inevitably resulting in a loss of clarity but having the advantage of giving the whole picture. The films are also known by variant designation, i.e. Film No. 1Film # 1 or simply # 1.
Since the 1970s Smith's films have been archived and preserved at Anthology Film Archives in New York City.
The Academy Film Archive preserved "Abstractions," films 1-3, and "Freedom and Famine" by Harry Smith.[33]

Visual art[edit]

Smith's early efforts in the field of fine art painting were freeform abstractions intended to visually represent notes, measures, beats and riffs of the beatnik era jazz music that inspired him.
There is photographic evidence of Smith's large paintings created in the 1940s; however, the works themselves were destroyed by Smith himself. He did not destroy his work on film (although he did misplace a few) and this legacy supplements the nature and design of his paintings. Smith created several later works, some of which have been serially printed in limited editions. Much of his imagery is inspired by Kabbalistic themes such as the Sephirah, where the Planetary Spheres are distributed like musical notes upon a staff.

Occult interests[edit]

Smith said he had become acquainted with the Lummi Indians through his mother's teaching work and claimed to have participated in shamanic initiation at a young age. He recorded Lummi songs and rituals using homemade equipment and notation of his own devising and developed an important collection of Native American religious objects.
Tarot cards were another of Smith's interests. A set of "irregularly-shaped Tarot cards" he designed was apparently used for the degree certificates for a branch of the Ordo Templi Orientis founded by occult "magus" Aleister Crowley.[34] In the late 1940s in California Smith is said to have worked with the reputed occult "magus" Aleister Crowley's one-time acolyte Charles Stansfeld Jones,[citation needed] a convert to Roman Catholicism, and later with Jones's "trusted student", Albert Handel[35] in New York.
Smith frequented the Samuel Weiser Antiquarian Bookstore, a used book store on New York's "Book Row" that specialized in works on comparative religionhermeticism, and the occult. The store also had a publishing house, Weiser Books, which used Smith's designs for its paperback edition of Aleister Crowley's Holy Books of Thelema.[34]
Sanders recounts that Smith was the key advisor for Allen Ginsberg and the Fugs's effort to levitate The Pentagon. "In the fall of 1967," he wrote:
a bunch of us decided to exorcise the demons from the Pentagon as part of a big demonstration against the Vietnam War. (You can get a flavor of that day from Norman Mailer's Armies of the Night.) I was in charge of coming up with a structure for the Exorcism. I knew Harry would know what to do so I conferred with him. He gave me the basic outline, which was to use the symbols of the four directions, and to use the symbols of earth, air, fire, and water. He also suggested adding a cow, to represent the Goddess Hathor. We did have a cow prepared, painted with mythic symbols, but the police stopped it from getting near the Pentagon. The Exorcism was duly recorded by WBAI's Bob Fass, and can be found on the Fugs album Tenderness Junction.[34]
Smith also studied the Enochian system in depth and as it was recounted by Edward Kelley and John Dee, and as later elaborated upon by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Ordo Templi Orientis. He also compiled a concordance of the Enochian language with the aid of Khem Caigan, his assistant throughout much of the 1970s and early 1980s.[citation needed]
In 1986 Smith was consecrated a bishop in the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, which claims William Blake and Giordano Bruno in its pantheon of saints. Smith had long been a familiar figure in the New York branch of Ordo Templi Orientis. After his death, Smith's branch of the sect performed a Gnostic Mass in his honor at St. Mark's Church in the East Village.[34]

Later life and death[edit]

Harry Smith lived at the Hotel Chelsea on West 23rd Street in New York City, residing in Room #731 from 1968 to 1975, after which he was "sometimes 'stranded' at hotels where he would owe so much money he couldn't leave, and he was too famous just to be thrown out".[36] This was the case at the Breslin Hotel at 28th and Broadway, where Smith lived until 1985, when his friend, poet Allen Ginsberg, took him into his home on East 12th Street. While living with Ginsberg, Smith designed the cover for two of Ginsberg's books, White Shroud and Collected Poems, as well as continuing to work on his own films and to record ambient sounds. For many years subsisting on a diet of raw eggs, vodka and amphetamine tablets[citation needed], by this time, Smith was suffering from severe health and dental problems. He proved a difficult guest. Ginsberg's psychiatrist finally told him that Smith would have to leave because he was bad for Ginsberg's blood pressure (Ginsberg was already suffering from the cardiovascular disease that was to kill him). In 1988 Ginsberg arranged for Smith to teach shamanism at the Naropa Institute (now Naropa University) in Boulder, Colorado. When Ginsberg, who was paying all of Smith's expenses, realized Smith was using the money he was sending him for rent to buy alcohol, he hired Rani Singh, then a student at Naropa, to look after him, but not before Smith had amassed substantial debts that Ginsberg would be responsible for.[37] Singh, now an author and art curator, has since devoted much of her life to furthering Smith's legacy.
Smith returned to New York, staying for a while with friends in Cooperstown, New York, and ending up at one point at Francis House, a home for derelicts on the Bowery. All the while he continued to tape ambient sounds, including "the dying coughs and prayers of impoverished sick people in adjacent cubicles."[38]
In 1991, Smith suffered a bleeding ulcer followed by cardiac arrest in Room 328 at the Hotel Chelsea in New York City. His friend, poet Paola Igliori, described him as dying in her arms, "singing as he drifted away".[39] Smith was pronounced dead one hour later at St. Vincent's Hospital.
Smith's ashes are in the care of his friend, longtime participant in New York's Beat scene, Rosemarie "Rosebud" Feliu-Pettet, whom Paola Igliori has described as Smith's "spiritual wife."[40]


  • Early Abstractions (1939-56 or 1941-57 or 1946-52 or 1946-57) (assembled ca. 1964) 16 mm, black & white and color, 22 min. Originally silent, then accompanied by a reel-to-reel tape with songs by The Fugs—whose first album Smith produced, and subsequently by an optical soundtrack featuring Meet the Beatles!. The 1987 video release features Teiji Ito's musical piece Shaman. At first, the anthology included only No. 1-4, later No. 5, 7, and 10 were added. The individual films however are not divided, they play as one. This anthology, in 2006, was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
  • No. 1: A Strange Dream (1939-47 or 1946-48) hand-painted 35 mm stock photographed in 16 mm, color, silent, 2:20 or 5 min. Initially intended to be screened with and synchronized to Dizzy Gillespie's Manteca or Guarachi Guaro. "...the history of the geologic period reduced to orgasm length."
  • No. 2: Message From the Sun (1940-42 or 1946-48) hand-painted 35 mm stock photographed in 16 mm, color, 2:15 or 10 min. Initially intended to be screened with and synchronized to Dizzy Gillespie's Algo Bueno. This film "takes place either inside the sun or in... Switzerland" according to Smith. To produce this film he used a technique that involved cutting stickers of the type used to reinforce the holes in 3-ring binder paper. These were applied to 16 mm movie film and used like a stencil. Layers of vaseline and paint were used to color each frame in this manner. The effect is hypnoticpsychedelic and is something like a visual music.
  • No. 3: Interwoven (1942-47 or 1947-49) hand-painted 35 mm stock photographed in 16 mm, color, 3:20 or 10 min. Reportedly cut down from about 30 min. Initially intended to be screened with and synchronized to Dizzy Gillespie's Guarachi Guaro or Manteca. "Batiked animation made of dead squares..." (Available on the DVD collection Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986 (2008).
  • No. 4: Fast Track a.k.a. Manteca (1947 or 1949-50) 16 mm, black & white and color, 2:16 or 6 min. Silent though possibly intended to be screened with Dizzy Gillespie's Manteca. The film starts with a color sequence showing Smith's painting Manteca (ca. 1950) with which he tried to subjectively depict Gillespie's song, every brushstroke representing a music note. The film concludes with black & white superimpositions.
  • No. 5: Circular Tensions (Homage to Oskar Fischinger) (1949–50) 16 mm, color, silent, 2:30 or 6 min. Sequel to No. 4.
  • No. 6 (1948-51 or 1950-51) 16 mm, color, silent or mono, 1:30 or 20 min. Untraced red-green anaglyph 3-D film.
  • No. 7: Color Study (1950-51-52) 16 mm, color, silent, 5:25 or 15 min. "Optically printed Pythagoreanism in four movements supported on squares, circles, grillwork, and triangles with an interlude concerning an experiment."
  • No. 8 (1954 or 1957) 16 mm, black & white, silent, 5 min. Untraced collage. Later expanded to No. 12.
  • No. 9 (1954 or 1957) 16 mm, color, 10 min. Untraced collage.
  • No. 10: Mirror Animations (1956–57) 16 mm, color, 3:35 or 10 min. Study for No. 11. "An exposition of Buddhism and the Kaballah in the form of a collage. The final scene shows Agaric mushrooms growing on the moon while the Hero and Heroine row by on a cerebrum."
  • No. 11: Mirror Animations (1956–57) 16 mm, color, 3:35 or 8 min. Features Thelonious Monk's MisteriosoCut-up and collage animation. Later expanded to No. 17.
  • No. 12: Heaven and Earth Magic a.k.a. The Magic Feature a.k.a. Heaven and Earth Magic Feature (1943-58 or 1950-60 or 1950-61 or 1957-62 or 1959-61) (reedited several times between 1957–62) 16 mm, black & white, mono, initially 6 hours, later versions of 2 hours and 67 min. Extended version of No. 8. Collage animation culled from 19th century catalogs meant to be shown using custom-made projectors fit out with color filters (gels, wheels, etc.) and masking hand-painted glass slides to alter the projected image. Smith explains, "The first part depicts the heroine's toothache consequent to the loss of a very valuable watermelon, her dentistry and transportation to heaven. Next follows an elaborate exposition of the heavenly land, in terms of Israel and Montreal. The second part depicts the return to Earth from being eaten by Max Müller on the day Edward VII dedicated the Great Sewer of London." Jonas Mekas gave the film—which is often regarded as Smith's major work—its title in 1964/65.
  • No. 13: Oz a.k.a. The Magic Mushroom People of Oz (1962) 35 mm widescreen (scope), color, stereo, 3 hours or 108 min. but only 20-30 min. are known to survive. Unfinished commercial adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which was shelved after Smith's close friend, the executive producer and primary financial backer Arthur Young died of cancer. Portions released as No. 16, 19, and 20. From the reported three to six hours of camera test footage (rushes) only ca. 15 minutes, in the form of non-color-corrected rushes, is known to be extant. The only completed bit is The Approach to Emerald City, a 5 (other sources say 9 resp. 12) minute sequence set to music from Charles Gounod's Faust.[41]
  • No. 14: Late Superimpositions (1963-64-65) 16 mm, color, 29 min. Structured 122333221. Features the beginning of the opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht as recorded in 1956 by Lotte Lenya, the NDR Chor (Max Thurn) and the Norddeutsches Radio-Orchester (Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg). Later expanded to No. 18. "I honor it the most of my films, otherwise a not very popular one before 1972." Shot in New York City and Anadarko.
  • No. 15 (1965–1966) 16 mm, color, silent, 10 min. Animation of Seminole patchwork.
  • No. 16: Oz - The Tin Woodman's Dream (1967) 35 mm widescreen (scope), color, silent, 14:30 min. Consists of The Approach to Emerald City (cf. note on No. 13) followed by about 10 minutes of kaleidoscopic footage shot ca. 1966.[42] See also No. 20.
  • No. 17: Mirror Animations (extended version) (1962-76 or 1979) 16 mm, color, 12 min. Features Thelonious Monk's Misterioso. Extended version of No. 11 printed forward-backward-forward.
  • No. 18: Mahagonny (1970-1980: shot 70-72, edited 72-80) 16 mm, color, tetraptych screen (initially with four 16 mm projectors, now composited onto a single 35 mm strip), 141 min. (edited down from over 11 hours of material). With Allen GinsbergJonas MekasPatti Smith and images of Robert Mapplethorpe installations. "A mathematical analysis of Marcel Duchamp's The Large Glass, expressed in terms of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny"[43] upon which it is loosely based. Smith divided the images into four groups (Portraits, Animations, Symbols and Nature) and, with the assistance of Khem Caigan, arranged them as a series of procedural permutations in relation to the opera: every reel contains twenty-four scenes forming the palindrome PASA-PASNA-PASAP-ANSAP-ASAP-N. Note that the entire series hinges on Nature. Extended version of No. 14 (it also uses the same 1956 German language recording) Smith considered this film to be the ground-breaking harbinger of his unfinished masterwork, which was to have been an explication of the Four Last Things.
  • No. 19 (1980) 35 mm widescreen (scope), color, silent. Untraced excerpts from No. 13. See also No. 20.
  • No. 20: Fragments of a Faith Forgotten (1981) 35 mm widescreen (scope), color, silent, 27 min. Consists of No. 16 and No. 19.


In 2013, the Getty Research Institute announced its acquisition of the Harry Smith papers. This wide-ranging archive consists of writings on film projects and ethnography, documents and photographs related to Smith's early interest in Pacific Northwest Indians as well as a complete collection of his most significant films, audiotapes, and ephemera.

Harley and Harry Smith.   See any easter eggs?

John C. Smith (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Corson Smith
24th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
In office
January 30, 1885 – January 14, 1889
GovernorRichard J. Oglesby
Preceded byWilliam J. Campbell
Succeeded byLyman Ray
18th Illinois Treasurer
In office
January 5, 1883 – January 29, 1885
Preceded byEdward Rutz
Succeeded byJacob Gross
In office
January 13, 1879 – January 9, 1881
Preceded byEdward Rutz
Succeeded byEdward Rutz
Personal details
BornFebruary 13, 1832
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedDecember 31, 1910 (aged 78)
Chicago, Illinois
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Charlotte A. Gallaher
ProfessionSoldier, tax assessor
Military service
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Years of service1861–1865
RankUnion Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General (Army)
Unit96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment
John Corson Smith (February 13, 1832 – December 31, 1910) was an American general and politician from Pennsylvania. Coming to Galena, Illinois in 1854, Smith first practiced carpentry before receiving a commission at a customhouse. Smith fought in the Civil War with the 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was brevetted a brigadier general for his actions at the Battle of Chickamauga. Returning to Galena, Smith work in Internal Revenue until moving to Chicago, Illinois in 1874. There, he was named Chief Grain Inspector, then was elected Illinois Treasurer (1879–1881, 1883–1885). He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1884. Smith was also a prominent Mason, leading the Illinois chapter and serving as Grand Scribe for twenty-five years.


John Corson Smith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 13, 1832. Smith apprenticed as a carpenter and builder. He came to Chicago, Illinois in 1854, but stayed only briefly before removing to Galena, Illinois. He worked there as a carpenter for the next five years. In 1859, he was appointed Assistant Superintendent of the U.S. Custom House and Post Office in nearby Dubuque, Iowa.[1]
Upon the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Smith enlisted as a private with the 74th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Later that year, he raised Company I of the 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was named its major when the regiment was approved. The unit was eventually attached to the Military Division of the Mississippi, led by fellow Galena native Ulysses S. Grant. He was brevetted a brigadier general for his actions at the Battle of Chickamauga. Smith was badly wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, but survived.[1]
When the war ended, Smith returned to Galena and was named Assistant Assessor of the Internal Revenue for Jo Daviess County. Smith left Galena in 1874 to return to Chicago, where he was named manager of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company office. Later that year, he served as secretary of the Board of Centennial Commissioners of Illinois. In 1875, Smith was named Chief Grain Inspector of the City of Chicago. Smith was elected Illinois Treasurer as a Republican in 1878 to a two-year term and was re-elected four years later. On a ticket with Richard J. Oglesby, Smith was elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 1884. He toured the world in 1894–95 as part of a book deal; the book was entitled Around the World with Gen. John C. Smith.[1]
Smith married Charlotte A. Gallaher in 1856; they had three sons and one daughter.. He served as Grand Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Illinois chapter. Smith was a prominent Mason, first joining the organization in 1859. He held many high positions in the fraternity, including Grand Commander of the Knights Templar in 1880. He was on the Committee of Correspondence, was on the Masonic Veterans' Association, and was a 33rd degree Emeritus Venerable Chief ad vitam, having served as Grand Master of Illinois in 1881. Smith was Grand Scribe of the Grand Encampment for twenty-five years. He died in Chicago on December 31, 1910, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Galena.[1]
Going back to a statement from one of Rosebud's obituaries we read...

Harry Smith (though unmarried, Smith looked upon her as his “spiritual wife”). She was his “Jenny” in his magnum opus, The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (flmed between 1970 and 1972, but not completed till 1980, shaped after Brecht and Weil

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Mahagonny" redirects here. For the Mahagonny-Songspiel, see Mahagonny-Songspiel.
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Political-satirical opera by Kurt Weill
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0119, Kurt Weill.jpg
The composer in 1932
TranslationRise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
LibrettistBertolt Brecht
Premiere9 March 1930
Neues Theater, Leipzig
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (German: Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) is a political-satirical opera composed by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht. It was first performed on 9 March 1930 at the Neues Theater in Leipzig.

Composition history[edit]

The libretto was mainly written in early 1927 and the music was finished in the spring of 1929, although both text and music were partly revised by the authors later. An early by-product, however, was the Mahagonny-Songspiel, sometimes known as Das kleine Mahagonny, a concert work for voices and small orchestra commissioned by the Deutsche Kammermusik Festival in Baden-Baden and premiered there on 18 July 1927. The ten numbers, which include the "Alabama Song" and "Benares Song", were duly incorporated into the full opera. The opera had its premiere in Leipzig in March 1930 and played in Berlin in December of the following year. The opera was banned by the Nazis in 1933 and did not have a significant production until the 1960s.
Weill's score uses a number of styles, including rag-timejazz and formal counterpoint, notably in the "Alabama Song" (covered by multiple artists, notably Ute LemperThe Doors and David Bowie).


The lyrics for the "Alabama Song" and another song, the "Benares Song" are in English (albeit specifically idiosyncratic English) and are performed in that language even when the opera is performed in its original (German) language. The name of the city itself is a mix between the English and German word for mahogany, "Mahagoni".

Performance history[edit]

It has played in opera houses around the world. Never achieving the popularity of Weill and Brecht's The Threepenny Opera, Mahagonny is still considered a work of stature with a haunting score. Herbert Lindenberger in his book Opera in History, for example, views Mahagonny alongside Schoenberg's Moses und Aron as indicative of the two poles of modernist opera.
Following the Leipzig premiere, the opera was presented in Berlin in December 1931 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm conducted by Alexander von Zemlinsky with Lotte Lenya as Jenny, Trude Hesterberg as Begbick, and Harald Paulsen as Jimmy. Another production was presented in January 1934 in Copenhagen at the Det ny Teater.
Other productions within Europe waited until the end of the Second World War, some notable ones being in January 1963 in London at Sadler's Wells Opera conducted by Colin Davis and in Berlin in September 1977 by the Komische Oper.
It was not presented in the United States until 1970, when a short-lived April production at the Phyllis Anderson Theatre off Broadway starred Barbara Harris as JennyFrank Porretta as Jimmy, and Estelle Parsons as Begbick.[1]
A full version was presented at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1974, with Gilbert Price as Jimmy and Stephanie Cotsirilos as JennyKurt Kasznar played Moses. The libretto was performed in an original translation by Michael Feingold; the production was directed by Alvin Epstein.
In October 1978, Yale presented a "chamber version" adapted and directed by Keith Hack, with John Glover as Jimmy and June Gable as Begbick. Mark Lynn-Baker played Fatty; Michael Gross was Trinity Moses.
In November 1979, Mahagonny debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in a John Dexter production conducted by James Levine. The cast included Teresa Stratas as JennyAstrid Varnay as Begbick, Richard Cassilly as Jimmy, Cornell MacNeil as Moses, Ragnar Ulfung as Fatty and Paul Plishka as Joe. The production was televised in 1979 and was released on DVD in 2010.
The Los Angeles Opera presented the opera in September 1989 under conductor Kent Nagano and with a Jonathan Miller production. Other notable productions in Europe from the 1980s included the March 1986 presentation by the Scottish Opera in Glasgow; a June 1990 production in Florence by the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. In October 1995 and 1997, the Paris Opera staged by Graham Vick, under the baton of Jeffrey Tate starring Marie McLaughlin as JennyFelicity Palmer (1995) and Kathryn Harries (1997) as Begbick, Kim Begley (1995) and Peter Straka (1997) as Jimmy. The July 1998 Salzburg Festival production featured Catherine Malfitano as JennyGwyneth Jones as Begbick, and Jerry Hadley as Jimmy. The Vienna State Opera added it to its repertoire in January 2012 in a production by Jérôme Deschamps conducted by Ingo Metzmacher starring Christopher Ventris as Jimmy and Angelika Kirchschlager as Jenny, notably casting young mezzo-soprano Elisabeth Kulman as Begbick, breaking the tradition of having a veteran soprano (like Varnay or Jones) or musical theater singer (like Patti LuPone) perform the role.
Productions within the US have included those in November 1998 by the Lyric Opera of Chicago directed by David Alden. Catherine Malfitano repeated her role as Jenny, while Felicity Palmer sang Begbick, and Kim Begley sang in the role of Jimmy. The Los Angeles Opera's February 2007 production directed by John Doyle and conducted by James Conlon included Audra McDonald as JennyPatti LuPone as Begbick, and Anthony Dean Griffey as Jimmy. This production was recorded on DVD, and subsequently won the 2009 Grammy Awards for "Best Classical Album" and "Best Opera Recording."[2]
In 2014 it was performed using an alternate libretto as a "wrestling opera" at the Oakland Metro by the performers of Hoodslam.[3]


RoleVoice typePremiere cast,
9 March 1930
(ConductorGustav Brecher (de))
Leokadja Begbick, a fugitivemezzo-sopranoMarga Dannenberg[4]
Dreieinigkeitsmoses (Trinity Moses), another fugitivebaritoneWalther Zimmer
Fatty der Prokurist (Fatty the Bookkeeper), a third fugitivetenorHanns Fleischer
Jimmy Mahoney (Jimmy MacIntyre), an Alaskan lumberjacktenorPaul Beinert
Sparbüchsenbilly (Bank-Account Billy), Jimmy's friendbaritoneTheodor Horand
Jacob Schmidt (Jack O'Brien), Jimmy's friendtenorHanns Hauschild
Joe, called Alaskawolfjoe, Jimmy's friendbassErnst Osterkamp
Jenny Smith, a whoresopranoMali Trummer
Toby HigginstenorAlfred Holländer
An announcer


Act 1[edit]

Scene 1: A desolate no-man's land
A truck breaks down. Three fugitives from justice get out: Fatty the Bookkeeper, Trinity Moses, and Leocadia Begbick. Because the federal agents pursuing them will not search this far north, and they are in a good location to attract ships coming south from the Alaskan gold fields, Begbick decides that they can profit by staying where they are and founding a pleasure city, where men can have fun, because there is nothing else in the world to rely on.
Scene 2
The news of Mahagonny spreads quickly, and sharks from all over flock to the bait, including the whore Jenny Smith, who is seen, with six other girls, singing the "Alabama Song", in which she waves goodbye to her home and sets out in pursuit of whiskey, dollars and pretty boys.
Scene 3
In the big cities, where men lead boring, purposeless lives, Fatty and Moses spread the gospel of Mahagonny, city of gold, among the disillusioned.
Scene 4
Four Alaskan Lumberjacks who have shared hard times together in the timberlands and made their fortunes set off together for Mahagonny. Jimmy Mahoney and his three friends – Jacob Schmidt, Bank Account Billy, and Alaska Wolf Joe – sing of the pleasures awaiting them in "Off to Mahagonny", they look forward to the peace and pleasure they will find there.
Scene 5
The four friends arrive in Mahagonny, only to find other disappointed travelers already leaving. Begbick, well-informed about their personal tastes, marks down her prices, but for the penurious Billy they still seem too high. Jimmy impatiently calls for the girls of Mahagonny to show themselves, so he can make a choice. Begbick suggests Jenny as the right girl for Jack, who finds her rates too high. She pleads with Jack to reconsider ("Havana Song"), which arouses Jim's interest, and he chooses her. Jenny and the girls sing a tribute to "the Jimmys from Alaska."
Scene 6
Jimmy and Jenny get to know one another as she asks him to define the terms of their contact: Does he wish her to wear her hair up or down, to wear fancy underwear or none at all? "What is your wish?" asks Jim, but Jenny evades answering.
Scene 7
Begbick, Fatty and Moses meet to discuss the pleasure city's financial crisis: People are leaving in droves, and the price of whiskey is sinking rapidly. Begbick suggests going back to civilization, but Fatty reminds her that the federal agents have been inquiring for her in nearby Pensacola. Money would solve everything, declares Begbick, and she decides to soak the four new arrivals for all they've got.
Scene 8
Jimmy, restless, attempts to leave Mahagonny, because he misses the wife he left in Alaska.
Scene 9
In front of the Rich Man's Hotel, Jimmy and the others sit lazily as a pianist plays Tekla Bądarzewska's "A Maiden's Prayer". With growing anger, Jimmy sings of how his hard work and suffering in Alaska have led only to this. Drawing a knife, he shouts for Begbick, while his friends try to disarm him and the other men call to have him thrown out. Calm again, he tells Begbick that Mahagonny can never make people happy: it has too much peace and quiet.
Scene 10
As if in answer to Jimmy's complaint, the city is threatened by a typhoon. Everyone sings in horror of the destruction awaiting them.
Scene 11
Tensely, people watch for the hurricane's arrival. The men sing a hymn-like admonition not to be afraid. Jim meditatively compares Nature's savagery to the far greater destructiveness of Man. Why do we build, he asks, if not for the pleasure of destroying? Since Man can outdo any hurricane, fear makes no sense. For the sake of human satisfaction, nothing should be forbidden: If you want another man's money, his house or his wife, knock him down and take it; do what you please. As Begbick and the men ponder Jimmy's philosophy, Fatty and Moses rush in with news: The hurricane has unexpectedly struck Pensacola, destroying Begbick’s enemies, the federal agents. Begbick and her cohorts take it as a sign that Jimmy is right; they join him, Jenny, and his three friends in singing a new, defiant song: If someone walks on, then it's me, and if someone gets walked on, then it's you. In the background, the men continue to chant their hymn as the hurricane draws nearer.

Act 2[edit]

Scene 12
Magically, the hurricane bypasses Mahagonny, and the people sing in awe of their miraculous rescue. This confirms Begbick's belief in the philosophy of "Do what you want," and she proceeds to put it into effect.
Scene 13 At the renovated "Do It" tavern.
The men sing of the four pleasures of life: Eating, Lovemaking, Fighting and Drinking. First comes eating: To kitschy cafe music, Jimmy's friend Jacob gorges until he keels over and dies. The men sing a chorale over his body, saluting "a man without fear".
Scene 14: Loving.
While Begbick collects money and issues tips on behavior, Moses placates the impatient men queuing to make love to Jenny and the other whores. The men sing the "Mandalay Song", warning that love does not last forever, and urging those ahead of them to make it snappy.
Scene 15: Fighting.
The men flock to see a boxing match between Trinity Moses and Jim's friend Alaska Wolf Joe. While most of the men, including the ever-cautious Billy, bet on the burly Moses, Jim, out of friendship, bets heavily on Joe. The match is manifestly unfair; Moses not only wins but kills Joe in knocking him out.
Scene 16: Drinking.
In an effort to shake off the gloom of Joe's death, Jimmy invites everyone to have a drink on him. The men sing "Life in Mahagonny", describing how one could live in the city for only five dollars a day, but those who wanted to have fun always needed more. Jim, increasingly drunk, dreams of sailing back to Alaska. He takes down a curtain rod for a mast and climbs on the pool table, pretending it is a ship; Jenny and Billy play along. Jimmy is abruptly sobered up when Begbick demands payment for the whiskey as well as for the damage to her property. Totally broke, he turns in a panic to Jenny, who explains her refusal to help him out in the song "Make your own bed" – an adaptation of the ideas he proclaimed at the end of act 1. Jim is led off in chains as the chorus, singing another stanza of "Life in Mahagonny", returns to its pastimes. Trinity Moses assures the crowd that Jimmy will pay for his crimes with his life.
Scene 17
At night, Jim alone and chained to a lamppost, sings a plea for the sun not to rise on the day of his impending trial.

Act 3[edit]

Scene 18: In the courtroom
Moses, like a carnival barker, sells tickets to the trials. He serves as prosecutor, Fatty as defense attorney, Begbick as judge. First comes the case of Toby Higgins, accused of premeditated murder for the purpose of testing an old revolver. Fatty invites the injured party to rise, but no one does so, since the dead do not speak. Toby bribes all three, and as a result, Begbick dismisses the case. Next Jimmy's case is called. Chained, he is led in by Billy, from whom he tries to borrow money; Billy of course refuses, despite Jim's plea to remember their time together in Alaska. In virtually the same speech he used to attack Higgins, Moses excoriates him for not paying his bills, for seducing Jenny (who presents herself as a plaintiff) to commit a "carnal act" with him for money, and for inciting the crowd with "an illegal joyous song" on the night of the typhoon. Billy, with the chorus's support, counters that, in committing the latter act, Jimmy discovered the laws by which Mahagonny lives. Moses argues that Jim hastened his friend Joe's death in a prizefight by betting on him, and Billy counters by asking who actually killed Joe. Moses does not reply. But there is no answer for the main count against him. Jim gets short sentences for his lesser crimes, but for having no money, he is sentenced to death. Begbick, Fatty and Moses, rising to identify themselves as the injured parties, proclaim "in the whole human race / there is no greater criminal / than a man without money". As Jim is led off to await execution, everyone sings the "Benares Song", in which they long for that exotic city "where the sun is shining." But Benares has been destroyed by an earthquake. "Where shall we go?" they ask.
Scene 19: At the gallows
Jim says a tender goodbye to Jenny, who, dressed in white, declares herself his widow. He surrenders her to Billy, his last remaining companion from Alaska. When he tries to delay the execution by reminding the people of Mahagonny that God exists, they play out for him, under Moses' direction, the story of "God in Mahagonny", in which the Almighty condemns the town and is overthrown by its citizens, who declare that they can not be sent to Hell because they are already in Hell. Jim, chastened, asks only for a glass of water, but is refused even this as Moses gives the signal for the trap to be sprung.
Scene 20
A caption advises that, after Jim's death, increasing hostility among the city's various factions has caused the destruction of Mahagonny. To a potpourri of themes from earlier in the opera, groups of protesters are seen on the march, in conflict with one another, while the city burns in the background. Jenny and the whores carry Jim's clothing and accessories like sacred relics; Billy and several men carry his coffin. In a new theme, they and the others declare, "Nothing you can do will help a dead man". Begbick, Fatty and Moses appear with placards of their own, joining the entire company in its march and declaring "Nothing will help him or us or you now," as the opera ends in chaos.

Remember Forrest's Jenny?


No comments:

Post a Comment