Monday, January 16, 2012

Lion's Head lament: Liam Clancy singing "Dirty Old Town"; Lucian Truscott on looking back.


In the continuing e-mail discussion of the history of the Lion's Head hosted by Dermot McEvoy, who is writing a book about it, Lucian K. Truscott IV made this observation:

I’ve been thinking about this, and I guess every generation goes through this same sort of geezer stage, when there are fewer and fewer people around who remember the good old…or bad old…days. It’s the natural order of things.

I remember one Saturday years and years ago, back in the late 80’s, after I had moved out of New York. I was back for a couple of days staying with a friend in the Village, and I was walking down Bedford Street, or one of those nice little streets over there west of 7th Avenue, and I saw this young woman walking down the street toward me. She was in her early 20’s, and dressed real cool, and she was gorgeous, and she was going somewhere important to do something important, almost bent forward with the energy of youth and Great Expectations. It came to me that she was exactly like the young women I lusted after when I was her age. We were all gorgeous and dressed real cool and headed someplace fast to see someone important or do something important, filled with Great Expectations that would come true, damn it, or we would die tryin’. All of a sudden I realized that we had been replaced. That the little studio apartments all around me were no longer filled with my friends and acquaintances, but hers. The street was hers now. The energy was hers. The important people she was going to see were her important people, not mine, and the important things she was going to do were different than our important things. The only things that remained pretty much the same were the street and her gorgeousness and Great Expectations.
Dermot replied that this made him think of the song "Dirty Old Town", as done by another, now deceased, Head regular, Liam Clancy, and gave a link to the YouTube clip above. This song was a favorite of another now departed Head stalwart, Dennis Duggan.

Dermot is quoted in this New York Observer article about the changes that have been wrought on Greenwich Village and New York City at large.