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Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe

DigiTrad:
COSMIC AND FREAKY
NICKELODEON
PLEASANT AND DELIGHTFUL
PLEASANT AND DELIGHTFUL, SEATTLE
TWAS EFFICIENT AND COST EFFECTIVE


Related threads:
(origins) Origin: Pleasant and Delightful (51)
Lyr Req: Cosmic and Freaky (Grit Laskin) (8) (closed)
another Willie song (Pleasant and Delightful) (4)
Tune Add: Pleasant and Delightful (9)
Lyr Req: 'Pleasant & Delightful' parody (27)


GUEST,kevinhowcroft@hotmail.com 04 Apr 02 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,Dan in Nova Scotia 04 Apr 02 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Si 28 Jun 04 - 04:12 AM
Mark Cohen 28 Jun 04 - 04:34 AM
Mark Cohen 28 Jun 04 - 04:37 AM
RangerSteve 28 Jun 04 - 08:40 AM
KateG 28 Jun 04 - 09:38 AM
wysiwyg 28 Jun 04 - 09:39 AM
katlaughing 28 Jun 04 - 10:06 AM
Jim Dixon 28 Jun 04 - 10:39 AM
M.Ted 28 Jun 04 - 11:15 AM
mack/misophist 28 Jun 04 - 08:51 PM
DonMeixner 28 Jun 04 - 09:58 PM
Janie 28 Jun 04 - 11:41 PM
Mark Cohen 29 Jun 04 - 02:41 AM
Barbara 29 Jun 04 - 02:54 AM
Burke 29 Jun 04 - 10:09 AM
greg stephens 29 Jun 04 - 10:44 AM
Mark Clark 29 Jun 04 - 11:09 AM
greg stephens 29 Jun 04 - 11:13 AM
dick greenhaus 29 Jun 04 - 11:17 AM
M.Ted 29 Jun 04 - 12:27 PM
mack/misophist 29 Jun 04 - 01:05 PM
Burke 29 Jun 04 - 06:15 PM
open mike 29 Jun 04 - 08:22 PM
open mike 29 Jun 04 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,Mr. Skivee 29 Jun 04 - 11:06 PM
Mark Cohen 30 Jun 04 - 12:27 AM
M.Ted 30 Jun 04 - 07:25 PM
Mark Cohen 30 Jun 04 - 11:14 PM
Mark Cohen 30 Jun 04 - 11:34 PM
Acme 05 Aug 04 - 12:48 AM
GUEST,Jaze 05 Aug 04 - 01:15 PM
Padre 05 Aug 04 - 06:57 PM
Haruo 14 Mar 06 - 05:48 AM
kendall 14 Mar 06 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Jim 14 Mar 06 - 12:36 PM
frogprince 14 Mar 06 - 02:46 PM
Jeri 19 Dec 09 - 08:43 PM
Howard Kaplan 21 Dec 09 - 12:15 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: COSMIC AND FREAKY
From: GUEST,kevinhowcroft@hotmail.com
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 07:58 AM

It was cosmic and freaky on a midsummer's day
And the vibes from the meadows man they blew me away
And the blackbirds and the thrushes, they were into their own thing.
And the larks got off on music. Man, like all they did was sing.
And the larks etc.

Now a freak and his old lady were trippin' through the heather
Said the freak to his old lady, "Man, my head's not together.
So I'm truckin' out to Frisco where the alpha waves roam free
And the highs you get on skateboards have transcended LSD
And the highs etc.

Now a picture of his Earth Shoes she instantly drew
Saying, "Man, that's where my heads at. See, I'm still in tune with you."
And as they dug each other's headspace, tears in her eyes he could see,
And she said, "Can't I come?" and he said, "No. Man, don't lay that trip on me."
She said, etc.

"This whole scene is far too heavy I'm not into what's goin' down,
For my taxi meter's ticking and I'm turned off this town.
But you'll still be my old lady if you're ever in San Francisco.
After all, man you're a Pisces and I'm a Scorpio."
After all, etc.

Pinched from Jim Couza in Sidmouth 1980-something
Kevin Howcroft best wishes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Pleasant & Delightful' parody
From: GUEST,Dan in Nova Scotia
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 08:41 AM

G'Day

Hello Kitty,

The song is called Cosmic and Freaky and the original version can be found on Grit Laskin's first lp unmasked. (Grit laskin who made Stan Rogers' guitars.) The album was put out on Stan's label, Fogarty's Cove Music and also has an interesting song called The Photographers.

...So I pulled out my Nikon F and placed it in her hand....

I think you might get the idea. Anyway, all the best. Cheers, Dan


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Subject: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: GUEST,Si
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 04:12 AM

Just what the hell is an earth Shoe ?

My a cappella group have been rehearsing the above parody (lyrics in Digitrad) but we cannot collectively figure out what is the 60's californian meaning of Earth Shoe ( as opposed to the contmeporary meaning which is a brand of sandal). Sound like in the context it means something like aura, or cosmic imprint.

Is anyone out there old enough to remember ?


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 04:34 AM

It was a popular brand of shoes in the early 70's--almost as popular with counterculture types as were Birkenstocks. I believe Earth Shoes were from Sweden, and the company's name was Kalso (with a slash through the "o"), but I may be wrong. Earth Shoes had a "negative heel" and a broad toebox. Some people hated them, but they got me through my third year of med school, when I was sometimes on my feet for 36 hours at a stretch. Another company took over the name, but it's not the same. As far as I've ever known, the song simply refers to the shoes.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 04:37 AM

I agree, by the way, that the line doesn't seem to make much sense:

A picture of his Earth Shoes she instantlie drew
Saying, "This is where I'm at, man, I'm still tuned in to you"


But I've never heard it any other way. Hippies are weird, what can I say?

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: RangerSteve
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 08:40 AM

I tried a pair once. They weren't bad. The advertising claimed that regular shoes were all wrong, since our feet were basically flat, but our shoes were made so our heels were higher than our toes. but, for some reason, Earth Shoes put your toes higher than your heels, which also goes against nature. Like all clothes from the counter-culture days, they were ugly.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: KateG
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 09:38 AM

For those of you overwhelmed by nostalgia, they are still available. And still just as ugly!


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 09:39 AM

Don't Birkies break in to fit like Earth shoes did?

~S~


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 10:06 AM

Nope, Birks' footbeds settles into the natural contours of one's foot and evenly distributes one's weight.

I wore earth shoes when working in hospital, too, Mark! Loved them and I thought they were adorable in a funky kind of way.

As to that line? Well, I'd take it her head was still into Flower Power, Saving the Earth, natural foods, medicinal herbs, and probably tantric sex.**bg**

kat


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 10:39 AM

Hey! Earth Shoes still exist! Click here.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 11:15 AM

There were also Root Shoes, which actually looked a bit better, and came in black, which made it possible for me to wear them when I worked on the railroad--they were good if you were on your feet for long periods of time(only 12 hours, not 36! How did you do it, Mark?) though I don't really quite understand why--since they were based on what, on reflections, seems a false premise--

"What's an Earth Shoe?" Thanks for making me feel old, Si!


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: mack/misophist
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 08:51 PM

It's interesting that so many of you got good results. I was in a factory/warehouse environment at the time; 8 - 10 hours a day on a cement floor with no place to sit except during lunch. At any given time, about half of us had sore feet. Three that I know of tried earth shoes. All were unhappy with them. I threw mine away after about 3 weeks because I started to get shin splints. I think the newspapers said leg injuries were the reason they went out of business.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: DonMeixner
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 09:58 PM

I had apair too. I liked them just fine. I wore them till they were absolutely shot.   By then I couldn't find new ones so I wore Hushpuppies instead. I wore them untill the heels were worn away. It was then I discovered that I had slowly made myself some earth shoes. I then wore the Hushpuppies until they were absolutely shot.

Don


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Janie
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 11:41 PM

I,ve got a pair on right now. Comfortable, cheap shoes for people with wide feet like me, who can't afford the birkies. I go through three or 4 pair a year at about $16.00 bucks a pair. (I buy them on markdown at Walmart.)

Janie


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 02:41 AM

Janie, I bought "Earth Shoes" a couple of times at Wal-Mart too, a few years ago...but they were different, just a cheap, relatively comfortable shoe, that did not have the Kalso negative heel. I'm not sure how the company managed to avoid getting sued. I assumed it was because the other company had gone belly up, but I see they haven't--thanks, Jim, for the heads up! I may just try them again.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Barbara
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 02:54 AM

Yah I had a pair for a while, and the negative heel was too hard on my calf muscles, probably because I'd worn high heels earlier in my life. Sure were ugly, and heavy.
I think the chippie in the song is just doing what came naturally -- drawing something of her beloveds that was important to him (like a picture of a cycle for a biker).
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Burke
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 10:09 AM

I had a pair & I was about as far from being a hippie as one could get. I wore them for several years while in college & do not remember what happened to them. They were probably the most expensive shoes I had purchased to that point in my life.

I think maybe it was the wide toe that really made them comfortable. The shoes of that period may have been ugly, but they were lots more comfortable than some of the styles I've worn since then. I was wearing shoes like Earth Shoes or ones with really wide, clunky heels in my late teens & early 20's. I think that's why I never have been able to deal with stilettos.

My recollection is that the negative heel was inspired by the developers noticing footprints in the sand where the heel left a deeper indentation than the toes. They interpreted that to mean that our originaal way of barefoot walking would have our heels sinking down. Just now I followed the "Earth Shoe Full Line" ad link & found the current story.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 10:44 AM

I dont think the line needs much explaining, it makes total sense to me. The idea of drawing a picture is just a pun on the two meanings of "drew", the original line being

"Then a ring from her finger
She instantly drew".

   The parodist is just picking something hippyish for her to draw:

"A picture of his Earth Shoes
She instantly drew"


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Mark Clark
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 11:09 AM

As I recall, the rationale for the negative heel was that homo sapiens' feet evolved to walk barefoot on sand or soft soil, not to wear shoes. A person walking “as nature intended” on soft earth will make a deeper impression in the earth with the heel while the broader toes will ride higher on the ground. The Earth Shoe, it was claimed, just reinstated the natural stance for our species.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 11:13 AM

I doubt if the main phases of human evolution happened on soft soil or sand. I would guess early humans hung around where the soil had stuff to eat growing in it, mostly.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 11:17 AM

And now, let's address waffle stompers.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: M.Ted
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 12:27 PM

The problem with the Earth Shoe theory is that your heel goes deeper into the sand because it is narrower and carries more weigh than the ball and toes, so the sand yields more it--

Walking in the sand actually causes your toes to bend up a bit, bending the instep uncomfortably upward and stretching the Achilles tendon and the Gastrocnemius muscle( are these names right, Mark?, it's been a long time..)--so if you spend a lot of time at the beach, you tend to walk on the ball of your foot rather than your heel--

Oddly enough, I think that those of us who tended to walk that way found Earth Shoes comfortable, because they gave us more room in the toes, and the low heel didn't bother us because, at least while we were walking around, we didn't put any weight on our heels--if you spent your time standing(instead of moving around), or walked "heel first" you were in for a lot of pain--


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: mack/misophist
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 01:05 PM

M.Ted's theory matches my experiences pretty closely. Thanks.

Re 'waffle stompers': What I ended up wearing in that environment (for years) were Viet Nam style waffle stompers, the kind with partial cloth uppers.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Burke
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 06:15 PM

LOL! I almost mentioned the waffle stompers. During my year abroad I had my Earth Shoes and my hiking boots, manufactured in Italy & having Vibram soles!

I just spent a week's vacation with a 5 year old whos parents are trying desperately to get him to put his heels down. By preference he'll walk just on his toes. I recall at least one other nephew who seemed to prefer being on his toes when little. I wonder what that does to the "it's natural" hypothesis.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: open mike
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 08:22 PM

I have been at Ann Kalso's shop it is in copenhagen...
these shoes are (oir were?) Danish, not swedish.
(swedes do not use the Ø letter, but norwegians and
danes do put a slash thru the "O". I think Ann
might have been a chiropractor...at the shoe factory,
I remember being blown away by the smell of the
glue being used to produce these shoes...very
dizzying, no doubt for employees working there!
I got a pair for my souvenier of a trip to Denmark.
When i went to san francicso and wore them while
walking up and down the hills there my calf muscles
achilles tendons etc. got really stretched and I was
in pain for a few days!! Some other shoes made in
Denmark now are Danscos...very comfortable, durable.
they are clog-like, ones you can slip on and off.
As for the kid who tip toes...
I have seen toe-walking as a habit of autistic children.
If there is a child who walks that way it may not be
good to try to get them to change...it might be just
how they are wired!!


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: open mike
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 08:26 PM

Anne Kalso was a yoga teacher.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: GUEST,Mr. Skivee
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 11:06 PM

The lovely and talented Grit Laskin wrote this song in the late 70s as a spoof of the aforementioned"Pleasent and Delightful"
If one examines the original line: "A ring from her finger she instantly drew" it's easy to see that the line is a structural joke. A simple joke about the double meaning of "drew".The Earthshoe part is a simple hippie reference. It may as well have been "lovebeads", "Backpack", or any other part of the uniform of the day.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 12:27 AM

Oh, my, and I call myself a parodist...of course it's a reference to that line! Problem is, I didn't know the line. (There, how's that for an excuse?)

Toe-walking is seen in autistic children, but most children who walk on their toes are not autistic. They are referred to by the technical medical term, "habitual toe walkers." They usually get better with time, and no special attention is needed. Most of them do more toe-walking when they're barefoot, but that is not a reason to keep shoes on them.

Yes, M.Ted, that's right. The two main muscles in the calf are the gastrocnemius (the "c" is silent) and the soleus.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: M.Ted
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 07:25 PM

Now if I could just remember the rest of the muscles, oh, and the bones--and name of that little spider in the brain--


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 11:14 PM

Arachnoid mater?


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Subject: DT Corr: Pleasant and Delightful, Seattle
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 11:34 PM

Caution: thread creep alert.

There's a link at the top of this page to "Pleasant and Delightful, Seattle," and the song in the DT needs some emendations.

First, I believe it was written by the late John Dwyer. Perhaps his daughter Maggie (Stilly River Sage) could enlighten us on that.

Then there are some garbled lines. "Bumpershoot" should be "bumbershoot," and "galoshes" has an "a" in it. Lines 5 and 6 in the second verse ("It's a crowded berth...") are very wrong, but I don't remember the right words. Woodland Park may be in there--no redwoods in Seattle!

And the third verse should be:

You sit down on a park bench
To admire the view
From Magnolia down to Alki Point
And the ferryboats too
They ply their trade so merrily
'Cross the Sound and back again
That you're moved to kiss her moistly
Through the omnipresent rain

Aloha,
Mark

End thread creep alert.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Acme
Date: 05 Aug 04 - 12:48 AM

Mark,

You're right--that has all of the earmarks of one of Dad's songs. It would be "bumbershoot" (umbrella) and the **** in the DT would be "Alki" Point (we lived near there for a number of years) as you suggest.

Over the years he sang a lot of songs to me over the phone--I don't remember this one, but that doesn't mean a lot--he was always working on this stuff and I was moving all over the country for many years. I didn't hear all of it as it was written.

The crowded berth line doesn't make a lot of sense. He liked ferry's, so perhaps there is a mangled ferry run? Isn't the ferry to Bainbridge right down there by Ivars? Anyway, I'll have to look through his papers for this one, but I'll make a note and stick it to the box on top of his records and let you know if I find it.

Thanks, Joe, for calling my attention to this.

Maggie (SRS)


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: GUEST,Jaze
Date: 05 Aug 04 - 01:15 PM

I have a pair of Earth shoes right now that I wear every day. Still love them They're newer models but do have the negative heel and the center seam stitch. Actually bought them new on e-Bay. They occasionally have the 70's vintage shoes available. I keep watching for them. I loved waffle stompers,too. Anyone remember Clark's Wallabee's and Treks?


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: Padre
Date: 05 Aug 04 - 06:57 PM

Earth shoes are the official mascot of Takoma Park, Maryland


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Subject: DT Corr: Pleasant and Delightful (Seattle)
From: Haruo
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 05:48 AM

Mark wrote
There's a link at the top of this page to "Pleasant and Delightful, Seattle," and the song in the DT needs some emendations.

First, I believe it was written by the late John Dwyer. Perhaps his daughter Maggie (Stilly River Sage) could enlighten us on that.

Then there are some garbled lines. "Bumpershoot" should be "bumbershoot," and "galoshes" has an "a" in it. Lines 5 and 6 in the second verse ("It's a crowded berth...") are very wrong, but I don't remember the right words. Woodland Park may be in there--no redwoods in Seattle!

And the third verse should be:

You sit down on a park bench
To admire the view
From Magnolia down to Alki Point
And the ferryboats too
They ply their trade so merrily
'Cross the Sound and back again
That you're moved to kiss her moistly
Through the omnipresent rain

I was looking for this because it was sung last night at the Stewart Hendrickson's Seattle Folklore Society CD celebration concert. Like Mark I was struck by the obvious incorrectness of some of the lyrics. While I can't say for sure what the correct lines 2:5-6 should be, I can throw a little light on the "berth ... redwoods park" bit: the reference is to "Myrtle Edwards Park", located a rainily walkable distance north of Ivar's Acres of Clams. Incidentally, there are redwoods in Seattle. We had one in our yard when I was a kid, the previous owners had grown it from a burl (which they brought from California) and it was taller than our two-story house. It's gone now. But there are still quite a few California Redwoods in the ravine at Ravenna Park.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: kendall
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 06:58 AM

Are you old because you remember Earth shoes? How about penny loafers? Ball Band sneakers?
When I was a boy, we didn't even wear shoes, and in winter, we used to wrap our feet in barbed wire to gain traction on the ice and snow.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 12:36 PM

I heard Grit sing this about 20 years ago in Cobourg at FOLK AT THE FORUM. I had never heard Pleasant And Delightful, so I didn't get the full impact of the song. In order to fully appreciate a parody, you must be familiar with the original. By the time I bought the album (I think it was The Masked Luthier...), I had heard the original and thought it was hilarious. Homer & Jethro made a carreer out of this sort of thing.


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Subject: RE: Cosmic and Freaky - what's an Earth Shoe
From: frogprince
Date: 14 Mar 06 - 02:46 PM

Hadn't seen this old thread before. I worked in a shoe store for some years. As noted back in the thread, the theory was that man evolved walking on soft sand, where the heel sunk in further, so the negative heel is more natural. About 1980, the original manufacturer was looking for a buyer; they stated in a shoe industry publication that they wanted to sell to someone with the correct astrological credentals. So much for their "scientific" credibility...


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Subject: RE: 'It was a Freak and His Lady'
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 08:43 PM

I wonder what ever happened to that guy, anyway.
(I meant to do a link, but my brain's a bit more addled than usual.)


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Subject: RE: 'It was a Freak and His Lady'
From: Howard Kaplan
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 12:15 AM

Jeri wrote, "I wonder what ever happened to that guy, anyway."

If Jeri means the freak described in the song, I don't know.

However, if Jeri means Grit Laskin, the author of the parody, I can report that he's still very active in the Toronto and Canadian folk music communities. He rarely does any solo performing or recording, but he continues to build expensive (and worth it!) guitars for the people on his long waiting list. He is also one of the owners of Borealis Records and an important organizer of both the Canadian Folk Music Awards and the Woods Music and Dance Camp. His web site is at http://www.williamlaskin.com/.


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