Due to Lack of Interest… Tomorrow has been cancelled

Last Rites for the Promised Land!

Grammy Award Winning Cover art: Evelyn Kelbish

Over the past few years I have been reaching further back into my personal history specifically with memories of my youth and my time spent in Country while flying over the rice-paddies and picking up wounded soldiers, civilians and enemy combatants.

Recently I realized that a song which I had considered to be my theme song from those 21 months ~ Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida was released within days of my arrival for the Adventure of a lifetime. You’ll note that it is also a permanent audio fixture of this site in the right-hand column. Some additional thoughts on the song I have also penned as part of the description of our category, ‘Nam – Some Came Home:

There is a long story behind this song. First of all – this was never my style of music – not even “growing up” in the late 60’s – but this one single song defined my time in-country. It was released within days of my arrival and I KNEW from the moment I heard it – exactly what it’s meaning was… In the Garden of Eden – but of course no one believed me. I guess that Brutha Smoove was too stoned along with Foxworthy and the rest of the guys. Keezer was just pumped up with his own ego and was lucky to get out of there alive…Chicago my ass – you pompous Peoria punk! The Brutha’s? Why demz Mutha Fuggah’s wuz jes down by de fire barrel snortin’ a lil sumpin’. And Leonard – well Leonard was just swapping beer for ice… It took nearly 40 years for the truth to come out…

But there was more… and I discovered it on February 2nd of this year. Oh, I don’t mean that I just discovered the music – oh no – This too has been a part of my life since the year of its release – once again – 1968 – and this past half-century has proven this to be so… I still own my vinyl copy of the album, but forgot that I also have a CD as well.

The album is referred to as an, “Orchestral Jazz suite composed, orchestrated and conducted” by Gary McFarland. Until several days ago, I was not aware of the fact that McFarland had died five years after this musical story was released. I guess that in many respects, Gary was the musical version for what I have striven to be for these past 25 years – a teacher of TRUTH! ~ a Pied Piper of sorts.

All during his life McFarland watched what he thought was the deterioration of his country. From unspoiled land that was cleared for development,to the violence and crowding of big cities,he felt the old America of his ideal was lost forever. This music is his lament for America. Utilizing a large orchestra and small group made up primarily of jazz players, he arranged this music into a very satisfying whole. One look at the titles of the pieces will let you know his views on a changing country…

On This Site Shall Be Erected…

80 Miles An Hour In Beer Can Country

SUBURBIA; Two Poodles And A Plastic Jesus

“If I’m Elected…”

Last Rites For The Promised Land


…what will we leave behind us when we are long dead? Temples? Amphora? Sunken treasure?

Or mountains of twisted, rusted steel, canyons of plastic containers, and a million miles of shores garlanded ~ not with the lovely wrack of the sea, but with the cans and bottles and light-bulbs and boxes of a people who conserved their convenience at the expense of their heritage, and whose ephemeral prosperity was built on waste. ~ © 1958, Marya Mannes

Although the basis of this Suite and master-work by McFarland was ecological in nature – you know – the preservation of the Earth, etc… (NOT the Gore-isms of Global Warming) as all of these years have gone by – I have felt more deeply about the work than just the Preservation of our natural resources, but the Preservation of the nation, its history – OUR history – good, bad or ugly, our people…

Enjoy now… the Original Suite in all of it’s Orchestral, Rock and Jazzy Glory…

As the image of the Eagle in the Album cover weeps, I too weep – for the way we were, and as the title of the closing movement of the Suite states…

Due to lack of interest, tomorrow has been cancelled!

I’ll see you at Sundown…

Jeffrey Bennett

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.