[Dixielandjazz] Music for the gay trade

Mike Durham mikedurham_jazz at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 12 09:48:17 PST 2003

Hey Bill, hold your horses!!! All I meant was simply that, generally 
speaking, a tune is a tune is a tune and ditto a performance is either good 
or bad, the sexual preferences of the composer or performer usually have 
little or nothing to do with it. And as to the "gutter press" I refer to 
those publications in the UK and elsewhere (whatever their political 
orientation) who splash across their front pages details of the private and 
sexual lives of celebrities and others, whilst paying little attention to 
the news or real issues of the day. And I guess there may be many totally 
honest, selfless and 100% scrupulous politicians out there, but in general 
the record indicates otherwise (him who hath eyes, let him see). Also, I 
think you are mixing up sex and sexuality.....I'm all for sex (hooray!!) but 
believe people's sexual preferences should be a private matter - as long as 
they keep them in the private domain: as the Duke of Wellington said on the 
subject, "I don't care what they do, as long as they don't do it in the 
street and frighten the horses".  And lastly I'm all for both free speech 
and dirty jazz and was mildly amused by some of the gay strand (and some of 
the PC reactions to it!), I just got a bit irritated by a book I recently 
read which spends several hundred pages debating whether Duke Ellington (not 
Wellington!) had a gay relationship with Billy Strayhorn: well, in the 
spirit of 'down and dirty', who really gives a s**t? So please don't turn a 
simple plea to keep the focus on the music into an attack on freedom of 
speech and democracy!

Fraternally from across the pond,


>From: "Bill Gunter" <jazzboard at hotmail.com>
>To: mikedurham_jazz at hotmail.com, drjz at bealenet.com, bbiffle at swcp.com
>CC: Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
>Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Music for the gay trade
>Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003 04:59:11 +0000
>Hi Mike and all,
>You wrote (regarding the "gay" thread):
>>I really don't understand this concern (or even obsession) with sexuality 
>>- who gives a damn?
>Of course, for openers, especially for the young, sex is the PRIME 
>DIRECTIVE. Anybody who doesn't "give a damn" about sexuality is probably 
>either dead or lying.
>>Surely it's the music that counts?
>OKOM (jazz) is repleat with music full of sexual enuendos (Kitchen Man - 
>Right Key in the Wrong Key Hole, etc.). We read about musicians who played 
>in whore houses and grant it to be somewhat of a credential in the creation 
>of "jazz."  Even the word "JAZZ" is supposed to be based on some vulgar 
>sexual connotation.
>>It would be nice to think that music people at least could rise above this 
>>"issue" in a way of which the grubbier parts of life (politics, the gutter 
>>press, etc.) seem incapable.
>If you're looking for "nice" jazz may not be the best place to find it. You 
>should go to the Classics, Baroque, and Rococo music forms. Jazz, on the 
>other hand (at least in the early days), tended to be down and dirty, 
>violent and murderous. The lyrics deal in large part with infidelity, 
>betrayal, sexual double entendres, alcoholism, drug abuse, etc. etc.! The 
>literature is loaded with it (Atlanta Blues, Frankie and Johnnie, Milenburg 
>Joys, Willy the Weeper, etc.).
>If the establishment is offended by it then it best look elsewhere for 
>"nice" music. If you think OKOM lyrics can be offensive please go check out 
>today's lyrics in the Gangsta Rap and Hip Hop genres.
>Furthermore . . .
>Politics is not in and of itself "grubby." Politics can be the dedicated 
>profession of he who wishes to serve his country in a sincere effort to 
>provide a service to his/her fellow citizens (which is, of course your 
>motive should you choose to run for public office). That some choose to 
>serve for selfish and corrupt reasons is no reason to paint political 
>discourse as "grubby."
>Also, any reference you make about the "gutter press" is probably directed 
>at those periodicals with which you disagree. If you agreed with the paper 
>you read you probably wouldn't include it in the category of "gutter 
>press." For example, In today's politically polarized milieu any Republican 
>would characterize a Democratic paper as "grubby" and vice versa.
>The first amendment has taken enough battering lately and to ask that 
>individuals desist from making contributions to a public forum such as the 
>DJML may be a bit presumptive.
>I, personally found the Gay Blade contributions a bit gross here and there, 
>but on the whole somewhat amusing. I am not offended by the occasional 
>"dirty joke." Sometimes such jokes are the funniest unless the 
>reader/listener takes offense anytime sex rears it ugly head.
>Respectfully submitted,
>Bill "Real jazz ain't nice" Gunter
>jazzboard at hotmail.com

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