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Author Topic: New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk  (Read 1048 times)

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Offline Westside

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New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk
« on: November 23, 2012, 01:12:10 AM »
I know this news is a little old, but I just came across it.  Anyone else hear about this?

New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk

A screenplay, loosely based on the late Dave Van Ronk?s 2006 memoir ?Mayor of MacDougal Street?, is coming to the big screen, though no release date has been set. Joel and Ethan Coen are set to direct and have been hinting at the script as their followup to 2010′s True Grit for months now, but have recently confirmed the rumors to be true. The movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, will borrow themes from the memoir and star a fictional character reminiscent of Van Ronk.
 
A central musician in the folk scene himself, Dave Van Ronk was the ?friendly uncle? among the artists of Greenwich Village. He befriended many of the up and coming musicians of the early sixties coffeehouse culture including Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs, and is credited for discovering Dylan.

http://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/2011/09/06/new-coen-brothers-film-loosely-based-on-dave-van-ronk/

Offline Stumblin

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Re: New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 05:53:42 AM »
Sounds intriguing. I like their style.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2012, 07:11:00 AM »
Oscar Issac plays Llewyn Davis a sort of composite Van Ronk and early Dylan character. I attended what I guess was a start of film-middle of film, party-gig at 116 MacDougal St. the space that had been the Gaslight Cafe until the early seventies. I went with my friend Ethan Phillips (Neelix to Star Trek Fans) who it turns out also has a role in the film.
Oscar performed and was joined by John Goodman for a song. The Opening act was the redoubtable Erik Franzen who lives right upstairs as he has the entire time i've known him, since 1969. Doc Watson once remarked to Erik that he was the greatest guitar player he'd ever heard. Erik has sort of taken a strange journey from Blues-Folk to Broadway, mostly following a way to make a buck. He now acts and is an irregular regular on the Colbert Report and BMW commercials. Back in the day though, there was absolutely NOBODY who could approach him when it came to playing Robert Johnson stuff. I've still never heard his equal with that material. He even avoided the draft by insisting that he was the reincarnation of RJ. He grew up in the same town as David Bromberg and I suppose it was Dave who connected him to Bob Dylan.
Bob & Erik recorded a few tunes together, including Dylan's Paean to pitcher Catfish Hunter.
Later that night at the smokiest party I've been to in years (yes all kinds smoke) up at Erik's I had occasion to hear more of Oscar's playing and it was OK, but he was certainly no VanRonk (about two feet shorter for one thing, in fact when I first saw him I said where's the other two feet?). I had had a few and I believe Oscar was doodling with Delia and of course playing it wrong, so I flashed him my SORGD badge and much to his and everyone else's chagrin I'm sure, INSISTED that he learn the correct turn around right then and there and proceeded to lay it on him. I felt that it was my responsibility to see that both the Rev. and Van Ronk (who didn't play the turn around right either), were given their proper musical due.
Van Ronk was the first white guy I became aware of (I hadn't heard John Hammond yet) to make a serious attempt at playing Blues from the twenties and thirties. Sure Pete Seeger had been doing credible versions of Leadbelly tunes for years, and try to find anybody but his brother Mike who does them better, but he sang them like..you know...Pete Seeger, which is great and its own special thing, but isn't really attempting to delve into the vocal universe of the original Blues guys.
Van Ronk on the other hand had sort of found this gravel strange voiced equivalent instrument which while not particularly Black sounding, had a closer feel to the original stuff. He was also a pretty damn good guitarist and I dare say that this whole thing we find ourselves caught up in would probably not have happened had it not been for the example of a big, gruff, hard drinkin', bearded, white, ex merchant marine singin' and playin' the Blues.
Everyone has heard about VanRonk's avuncular role in Dylan's skyrocketing career including his purloining of VanRonk's version of House of the Risin' Sun, but for me my unforgettable Dave Van Ronk Moment came while I was up on stage at the old Gaslight. You had to walk (or squeeze) past the stage on the right to get to the kitchen and at either my first or second time on stage, here comes Dave headed right by me and heading into the kitchen, but he looked me in the eye and gave me a respectful nod. Later that evening my friend Roland Moussa, native American songwriter and friend of Pete's, pulled me aside and told me that Van Ronk had been sitting or standing next to him and had opined during may set that "This guy has a really good feeling for the Blues". Well that sure set me up.
I'm glad something of the tale of those times is being told.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2012, 07:16:46 AM »
Many thanks for a fascinating tale, O'Muck. Loved reading it.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline eric

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Re: New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2012, 09:04:17 PM »
Great story, O'Muck.
--
Eric

Offline uncle bud

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Re: New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2012, 10:34:18 PM »
Way to keep 'em honest, M. O'Muck. 

Offline Stumblin

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Re: New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2012, 03:00:31 AM »
Thanks for that, Mr. O'Muck. Your anecdote is probably more engaging than the film could ever hope to be and, at least, didn't feature Justin Timberlake.
The world really is a diverse and interesting place.

Offline frankie

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Re: New Coen Brothers Film Loosely Based on Dave Van Ronk
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2012, 05:35:54 PM »
go get'em o'muck!


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