Peter Case

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Some nights, alone in my pad, I’d soar through the early hours of the morning, drunk and stoned, working on songs. A feeling of exultation would come over me, as if all the pain and trouble I’d caused were forever in the past, and, now guided by my genius, combined with my personal power and innate capacity for good fortune, I could conquer the world. I felt warm, safe, protected, in the arms of the gods. I’d pass out as the sun came up, waking up a few hours later in the miserable condition I called a “hang-beyond.”  My headRead More This three day class is going to be great. The whole six-week class in three intense days! Come to San Francisco, enjoy the city and jumpstart your creativity! Sign up now, get your tickets, come on out. Also, on July 11, the regular Tuesday evening class gets underway, a six week course. Let me know if you have questions about either of these events!Read More
There is a plane warming up it’s jets on the tarmac. It’s long & white & the windows are all blacked out. It is the Plane That Never Flies. Late at night it pushes back from the gate and heads out on it’s mysterious errands,taxiing down a back runway to the other end of the airport, passing out through a concealed gate and taking to the streets of our streets & states. Once it gets out in the city, it takes on the appearance of an old dumpy off-green ice cream truck. There’s a little song that plays, but don’tRead More
I learned how to cure the spins. I learned how to split a quarter in half. I learned how to tie my shoes while running. I learned 37 names for the police. (the fuzz, newts, the royals, the peelers, rocket boys, black & whites, G-men boys-in-blue, bobbies, john law, rangers gumshoes, the gang, officer krupke constable, the chaperones, mounties catchpole, beagles, roundsman, feds mace-bearer, tip staves, beadles, coppers blue coats, bull, flatfoot, gendarmes, shamus, dick, pigs, flattie, Dogberry, New York’s finest gestapo & The Man.) names for G-O-N-E: • cheese it! vamoose! head for the hills! scram—make like a tree—jam—vanishRead More
I’m thinking about the butterflies, the money owed/ the time elapsed & the time to go/ anger in a face/ beetles and cellar mold/ big plans not quite/ big enough to launch/ a rocket or a row boat? pursued across the ice flow/ tortured with telephones/ threatened with lunch lawyers long distance calls/ why should I care? In the end it seems like nothing is enough. I should live my life more recklessly. I admire the avalanche, good work. At night the hallway by the elevator is lined with ladies in wheelchairs, talking trash. ‘Are we on a boat?’ ‘WhenRead More
I crowed a temperate break-pest, lent to my own fault & never believed my stones, orbs eyes or slather, but edged reason to silence & spit in the wind of peace Gathered my senses, stretched my extremities, pursued the drip drip drip of hollowed age bent on kindness but over my bent sensate confusion—or lack thereof Calasanctious was the school of Gaynelle’s childhood horror & led to her death—the priest who never slept no doubt is sleeping eternally—as is she by her own hand Particles always another bump down for October ’til the end Time gets out it’s bookends &Read More
[above: Chris and Joey] [earliest version of A Million Miles Away, from 1981 tour]     I ‘d met Joey Alkes and Chris Fradkin at  just the right time, the same week the Plimsouls began playing in the Hollywood clubs. We’d hit it off immediately. I ‘d always wanted to be a Brill Building songwriter,  like Otis Blackwell, Doc Pomus, or Carol King,  who were adept at composing three minute rock ’n roll symphonies on demand.  I felt Joey and Chris were my ticket to that dream, to that kind of fun. And we always had a blast writing songs.Read More
This is the Memphis Minnie blues, from the HWY 62 sessions at Sheldon Gombergs’s Carriage House Studio, in Los Angeles, performed on a guitar Ben Harper had just laid on me, a perfect replica of Lead Belly’s Stella 12-string. Bumble Bee was the first song I played on it. This song is Track 1 on a CD of blues, by Buffalo musicians, released to help homeless veterans in the Western New York area. Here is a link if you’d like to receive a copy, and help out a very good cause:   June 14 Blues 4 Vets Peter Case Buffalo BluesRead More
POOR OLD TOM A Tennessee boy joined the US navy In nineteen-fifty he was seventeen A quiet kid who’d never seen the ocean His mama died his first trip at sea He learned to work and he learned to whistle He learned to gamble and he learned to fight He learned to suck a bottle and go out whorin’ Somehow he learned to stagger in at night   Poor old Tom he don’t know Why his teeth’s gotta rattle shiver and shake The night wind’s free to blow wherever it pleases Tom’s free to walk to the cold day breakRead More  Read More