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Sourdough In honor of Phil Ochs (20) RE: In honor of Phil Ochs 14 Oct 15


I didn't know him well but I did get to hang out with him at the Unicorn, a Boston Folk CLub that he played at a couple of times. I had worked on a television program that had been shot on location there and had become friendly with the owner, George Papadopoulo and I was always welcome there. Passing time with the performers between sets was one of the perks. People write of his drug addiction and problems with alcohol but I don't recall anything about those.
The main memory I have of him is his intensity. Although he had a sense of humor, there was something burning in him that was consuming his ability to enjoy life, I felt the same depth of passion in Peter LaFarge whom I knew, far less well, from Gerde's Folk City in the NYC Village. With hindsight, there may have been an inevitability i their premature deaths.

The odd thing is that what I remember most about Phil Ochs' performances are his renditions of The Highwayman and The Tintinnabulation of the Bells. They are masterpieces of performance.

Now that I think of it, I felt a similar resonance from Townes van Zandt whom I did not know personally at all. He died in a slower form of suicide. I think they may have shared something very basic.


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