Fw: [Dixielandjazz] Re: Mardi Gras "Bead Thing"

David Richoux tubaman at batnet.com
Wed Mar 5 18:03:41 PST 2003

Tom, (and all)

The "bead thing" is just a tiny part of the history of Mardi Gras in 
New Orleans - one of the traditions of the parade "krews" and 
"outriders" is to throw cheap bead necklaces into the crowds.  (by 
cheap I mean they get them from China for about $5USD per hundred 
thousand - there are more expensive "premium" beads, custom made 
"Doubloons" and even hand painted coconuts for the Zulu parade.) People 
get into quite a frenzy for these beads and trinkets - even the cheap 
ones - and might expose their t*ts, @ss or other body parts as 
enticement for bead throwers to give 'em some.  The bead thing has 
spread to parties and festivals in other parts of the US and not just 
at Mardi Gras, but New Orleans is still the focal point.

do a web search or go to places like 
http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/ for a more info.

Dr. John certainly has a lot to do with modern interpretations of New 
Orleans culture and history - his "Big Bass Drum on Mardi Gras Day" 
album with Chris Barber's Jazz and Blues Band hit a lot of the high 
points of the celebration but there are many other musical styles and 
sub-cultures. Check out the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage website for a 
few lessons ;-)  http://www.nojazzfest.com

(BTW, my family roots are in rural Louisiana but I actually never have 
been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and I don't think I will ever WANT 
to go there - it is way too crazy!  check out 
http://www.lsue.edu/acadgate/mardmain.htm for what goes on in the 
countryside during Mardi Gras - very different.)

As for the Yellow Dog Blues audience participation - I think that 
started at some small town jazz festival in Northern California (not 
Sacramento) in the last 20 years and it has spread to a large number of 
audiences - be ready for it!

Dave Richoux

On Wednesday, March 5, 2003, at 02:32  PM, Tom Wood wrote:

> Hi All,
> In reply to the Stephen Barbone Mardi Gras comments from Dan Augustine 
> we
> can agree and identify with all counts except we are not familiar with 
> this
> "beads" thing.  Has it got anything to do with Doctor John and/or 
> voodoo??
> In USA last year when playing 'Yellow Dog Blues' we also experienced 
> the
> audience response (a new thing for us in this number) in the breaks 
> which
> encouraged us to play it more often.  We agree that presentation also 
> is

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