A bit about Mason Williams, and Plymouth Rock

I was introduced to Mason's humor by Ed Ruscha and have since become a fan (amongst throngs of fans) of all his creative endeavors. Click here for his website and peruse to your heart's content. There is a wealth of material and accomplishment, and it is indeed a pleasure to be in conversation with him regarding eagles, rocks and beyond. Alongside all the musical feats, poetic triumphs and and comic scores, the art piece he did photographically replicating a full-sized Greyhound bus has given me a special shiver or two:
click here and scroll down.

Yesterday I sent him some pictures of eggs with eagles painted on them, since he wondered if an 'Eggle' already existed. I even bought a rock with an egg painted upon it, so all in my current world is in a word associative fervor.

Today I got a poetic and eye-opening article in the mail from him about the real story behind Plymouth Rock, called The Pilgrims And the Rock, by Francis Russell (who has such a enviable vocabulary) - click here to read it. It's myth making at its finest. My favorite most seemingly obvious misconception of the whole event is that the Pilgrim's vessel (and they weren't calling themselves that - at the time they were the self-named 'Saints') would have seen a huge looming boat-threatening rock as they approached land from sea, and said, "Hey everybody, there's a huge rock, let's land on that!" No, that's not what happened. They landed ashore away from any rocks. This from the article: "That granite egg laid by the glacier was the most conspicuous object on the flat, curved shoreline, a seamark for any helmsman...it is hard to imagine the helmsman on that bleak, brawing December day taking the rist of battering his craft against it when the wide sheltering inlet of a brook lay only a hundred yards or so beyond."

The rock that was named the Plymouth Rock was actually bestowed its symbolism to commemorate the landing of our ancestors much much later in 1774, not 1620. Russell ends the article it by saying,
"I feel a homely affection for that familiar, battered granite lump..."

On a tangent, but still related to this collab., a few days back in my first parcel from Mason, I got his album called, MUSIC, with the cover art by Ruscha, that includes upon it a rather infectious song about an eagle named J. Edgar Swoop; Swoop makes such a dandy-like mess of being an eagle, or an embarrassment as a national symbol since he dressed sloppily and had no fervor towards flying or swooping, and he gets replaced as our patriotic bird by none other than a poodle. Mason is going to rerecord the song and made a CD for me to sell in the shop. I would include the lyrics here, but its just too good to hear rather that to read, so I'll wait till I get the recording. I sent him a bunch of Rock and Eagle Shop swag, and a fire hydrant t-shirt and poster. Ying and Yang, ya know.

January 26th

Posted by hubbyco on 1/26/12 | Permalink