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« "Basic Zoology" [by Kate Angus] | Main | "The Rest is Noise" [by Truck Darling] »

April 27, 2009


Laura! Gene Krupa was my era, when you were 11! He was the first we ever heard of who went to jail for the evil weed "Marajuana" and came out, to a tainted career. We did not know what marajuana was, and could not imagine a musician going to jail.Ken saw him perform at the Trenton Armory, his first appearance after being released.1946?47?
Everyone was sobered but trying to champion him. THESE CLIPS ARE from his glorious days
Thank you.

He actually got a bum rap for that charge. His valet, who was being drafted, left it for him as a "going-away" present, I think in a suitcase, and Krupa didn't even know it was there until he got busted with it. Ever after, people thought he was a druggie, but he wasn't. He even dropped out of the music business in the 1950s because drug use became so prevalent - went home to Yonkers, coached his kids' Little League teams, and lived a private life until he began to perform a little again in the 1960s. He died in 1973 - only 64 - of heart disease and leukemia. Sad.

I am jealous that Ken got to see him! Next time we get together, we'll drink martinis and he has to tell me all about it.

Sing Sing Sing is one of my favorite pieces of all time. It is pure energy. If ever a song made me want to learn to swing dance, Sing Sing Sing is it. And the Krupa passages are pure joy. Thanks for this!

Some cool videos here,

Gene Krupa was the man! He made the drum set a feature of modern music.

Thanks, Mark - these are great videos, especially the battle with Buddy Rich.

Liquid electric! These make me want to be a drummer. One more "Gene Krupa" here:

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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