We present a small excerpt from Frank Stanford’s The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You, a work said to be highly influential to Mark…
… I got a zero on the test a big red F with a circle around it the question was what do you know about current events I put down I know Elvis Presley lives up the street ten houses I know my sister’s godmother is Louise Fazenda I know my mother stayed in Hollywood with her and Hal Willis a long time ago I know she is secretly an actress I know she went to the Rose Bowl with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard I know they played oh johnny oh johnny how you can run tennessee got beat I know captains courageous I know Gary Cooper’s name is Frank I know morocco mata hari lives of a bengal lancer sgt york the mark of zorro the gaucho we saw it in a tent I know streetcars of desire and all the Tarzan moby dick gunga din midsummer night’s dream was like me I know I have read all those mens’ books that we had I am a fugitive from a chain gang the crazy piano player red slippers I know the girl feeling the kiss in the mirror I know the bracelet on the wrist in the tomb I know the horse head nebula in Orion I know the elders I know Wallace Beery is not Pancho Villa I know the melody of the song sung in the boat I know mother has an opera Don Juan the lover the sleep in the tree daddy makes us live like the crew in a shack or a tent I know about the history and culture of Europe and America I know how the carpetbaggers and scaliwags brought the colored people to town head down over a horse I know the rich are the only ones that had any good old days I know the black swan I know the pas de deux I know drunk women shooting their husbands on Saturday night I know what is under the cloak I know the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi I know the iai the daito the shoto the yoroi doshi the tanto I know forty seven wave men came from the left to the right I know the disgrace and death of Lord Asano I know the rings of saturn and the moons of jupiter I know the black seed I know the pegleg keeps watch in the buzzard’s nest I know the captain of the ghost ship I know the cockeye with the bucket under his stump I know I had to stay every day after school for a month on account of somebody’s lie I know if you ask them a question they tell you a lie I know all about that shit I know what some men can’t know they gnaw I know the scoundrels and cowards prey on one another I pray for all I know the discounted stories I know for those I love I’ll swim to hell and back I know some by signs other by whispers I know I’d rather take it on the chin then get it in the back I know Unferth was a pack rat I know I will never swear on a pact of lies I know Banquo says fly I know there is such a thing as the St. Francis River I know Gulliver’s Horses I know daddy is a mathematician I know mother was a communist I know the wisest men in the world are a Chinaman and Harpo Marx they never say a word I know the crowds sometimes like maggots I know the rusty knife buried in the tree I know Beowulf probably looked in the mirror at himself every morning just like all the other so-called heroes I know the bumps on the humpback’s face I know about the bloodstained flour sack I know the sunken zeroes and the bones and the photographs in the cockpit I know wherever I go will return I know Robert Burns I know life is already giving me its no count gifts it is always slipping that wooden horse into my gate at night I know the bushwacked animals and the hoodwinked girls I know the exiled lover I know there was one Inazo Nitoba who wrote about swords I know the men dragging twelve feet of cotton sack I know Hammurabi’s code was broken by lawyers by bunkam buy it I know the teachers in the side show the paddles out of my way I know the houses with furniture like ghosts I know the octopus in my dreams the messages of light I receive from the stars the pioneer’s mirror…
Mark is featured in a wonderful cover article by Nicholas C in the latest issue of Tastemakers Magazine. Artwork by Wendy Schiller and quotes from Pickney Benedict, Angela Faye Martin, Jesse Sykes, Joel Hamilton, John Parish and Jason Lytle. Thanks for the heads up Angela-Faye!
It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since Mark saddled up his sparkly horse and rode off into the sunset. We still mourn the loss of a brilliant artist and a friend, and we ache for all of the music that we will never get to hear. But we are thankful for the memories and especially for the music that has been left behind.
So in honor of Mark and in tribute to him, we present two recordings that we think you’ll probably have never heard until now. They are especially fitting as tributes to Mark, as between them, they well encapsulate Sparklehorse’s musical and emotional range. And both come from Good Morning Spider, my own favorite Sparklehorse album.
First, A very rare live recording of Hey Joerecorded in Richmond in the Summer of ’98, in excellent quality:
Secondly, something very exciting indeed; perhaps what could be considered a ‘holy grail’ for Sparklehorse aficionados: The unreleased Sound of Music studios mix of Happy Man, in all it’s unfettered glory. This is not the “Memphis Version” that Mark later disavowed. It is a re-recorded version that was made in 1998 and which preceded the “Memphis Version”, but which was never released. It’s basically like the studio version from GMS – without the radio static stuff obliterating half of it. According to Daniel’s notes, the band consisted of Mark, Scott Minor, Scott Fitzsimmons, and Jonathan Segel, with John Morand and Jonathan DeMaio behind the boards, with a little help from David Lowery. And it’s amazing. And yes, we have it. And now so do you: