J Ship’s A – Z (with Jonathan Shipley)


Davis, Miles
The best trumpet player, ever. That’s not in question. Kind of Blue? Perfection. Bitches Brew? Astounding. Birth of the Cool, Porgy and Bess, Sketches of Spain? Amazing. He worked with the greats – Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderly, J.J. Johnson, Dizzie Gillespie, John Coletrane. He’s the greatest, Miles is. I wouldn’t have told him that though. He would have said, “Shut the fuck up, cracker,” and smashed a bottle on my head.

Deadboy and the Elephantmen
Wow, what a weird collection of musicians. For one thing, the leader of the group is dead (Deadboy)! And who knew that people with elephantiasis could carry a tune so well! Listen to their album, We Are the Night Sky, and be mesmerized by the fact that the musicians are either dead or inflicted with a disease that causes a thickening of the skin and underlying tissues, especially in the legs and genitals.

Deutschendorf, Henry John
That’d be hard to sell album if you kept your name Henry John Deutschendorf. “Opening,” the MC would bellow, “for Joan Baez tonight, ladies and gentlemen, John Henry, err, Henry John Douche, err, Dutchoven, ah, uh, Deutch Mark, yeah, umm, the guy off stage here with the glasses and the bowl cut holding a guitar, him!” There’d be a smattering of clapping for Henry John Deutschendorf, or, as you might know him, John Denver. By the way, if you don’t own the Christmas album featuring John Denver and The Muppets you’re going to hell.

I have no idea who DJ Whoo Kid is. What I DO know is that he has the best name for a DJ in the history of the world.

”Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” The Police
The famous 1980 hit single from The Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta album is about the mixed feelings of a teacher towards his student (lust on one hand, the inappropriateness of lust on the other). Of course the song could also be the anthem of my puberty years. “Hi, Jana, do you want to go out and get pizza or something?” “Don’t stand so close to me!” “Kelly, maybe you and I could go to the Homecoming Dance together.” “DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME!” It’s the song that broke The Police in the U.S. Sting, a former teacher himself, has denied that the song is autobiographical. “Jessica, I like you. Maybe after band practice you could put away your clarinet and we could go get an ice cream or something.” “DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME?! WHAT IS THAT, THAT THICKENING OF THE SKIN IN YOUR GENITALS?!” Puberty’s rough, man.

Wow, the best Parisian-born French-Jewish composer who studied under Theodore Duboi and Ernest Guirauld who ever lived is Paul Dukas. You doubt? Dude, he was a perfectionist, so much so that he trashed most of the pieces he wrote because he was dissatisfied with them. Ariane et Barbe-Bleue he wrote. Ariana et Fucking Barbe-Bleue! Amazing. You might know him because of his orchestral work based on Goethe’s poem “Der Zauberlehrling.” Yeah, you know it, right?! “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” was used in the Walt Disney film Fantasia. Without Dukas, no scene of Mickey Mouse shirking his duties with the water collecting.

Duran Duran
Two words – Duran Duran. Two more – kick ass. I once wrote a list of the 50 most influential people in my life. Duran Duran made the cut. Why? Serious ass kicking, that’s why. “Rio,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “A View to a Kill,” “Wild Boys,” I could go on and on. They took their name from that ridiculous Jane Fonda movie, Barbarella. How kick ass is that?! They’re more awesome than Spandau Ballet. I’ll tell you that right now. I’ll also tell you that I had a poster of them up in my room, them with a ragged tiger! I had a giant pin of John Taylor on my acid wash denim jacket. I had a Duran Duran cover band, The Chauffeurs, formed in my neighborhood. I was the lead “vocalist.” I did all this while, quietly in the house across the street from me, another Duran Duran fan lived. Not just a fan, an obsessed fan. His name is Andy Golub. He goes by the name Durandy, he loves Duran Duran so much. Seriously. My childhood pal! He’s the penultimate Duran Duran fan. The band knows him personally. Check out his website (www.durandy.com) and you’ll see what I mean. He’s kind of a weirdo, he has to be, his name is Durandy, but, whatever, he knows a good thing when he hears it and that thing is Duran Duran.

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