WTM #1118: Trains1

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3  http://freeteam.nl/patapoe/ 
Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies

Ride the wrong rails, live your life in vain
• Savoy Brown, Train to Nowhere

Freedom Wreck Marfa > b/art vs Stephen Vitiello http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Vitiello
The Nighttrain (Original) > D.O.N.S & Dbn Feat. Kadoc
All Aboard Little Axe > B/art
On The Train (Original Mix) > Daniel Steinberg
Railroad Gamelan > Ellen Band [90% Post Consumer Sound / XI]http://www.ellenband.com/
Green Train to Nowhere > FL + Mini Moog VA
Train Station Alexanderplatz > Ned Bouhalassa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Bouhalassa
Trancendental Train > Hyperborea
All Aboard / Back to the Crossroads > Little Axe
N’Existe Pas [train] >  > Tarwater
Railroad Gamelan > Ellen Band
Long Train > Sergio Scalella
Nwk Values Your Safety > B/art
This Train is Bound For Glory > Johnny Cash
Blow Yo’ Whistle Freight Train > Delmore Brothers [Classic Cuts / JSP]
Alpinic Railway > Pierre Bastien
Train To Nowhere > Savoy Brown
All Aboard Little Axe 2 > B/art
Long Train > Dj Áder
Train to Tehran > Namito (Eleven Kling Klong)
Last Train (dining Car edit) > Sören Matschiste
Telemann > Klangwart http://www.discogs.com/artist/Klangwart
Life’s Railway to Heaven > Patsy Cline [Crazy / Golden Stars]
Choo Choo Train > Trio Schmeed
End of Marvelous Night Outro 1996 > B/art

Like no other modern invention including the car, the train heralded the new hope of progress. The muscularity of hope, the awesome force of movement but the train also came to be associated with emotional states like the blues via Blues artists and the lonesome whistle blues of Hank Williams and the yodeling of Jimmie Rodgers that seemed to fold into the the very train whistle as it headed forlornly to the horizon to disappear in the West. If you listened hard especially at night the train whistle seemed to be part of a jazz combo issuing plaintive calls that represented the plight and flight of the black man.

That the train embodies a broad range of emotions from loneliness and despair to the hope of a future bound to the dynamics of motion like Kerouac’s preference for movement over stability certainly flags itsmythic qualities. The train by its very motion from destination to destination gives it a linear, narrative quality, the passage of time is cinematic, you can watch your trip like a movie and each trip tells a story that is defined by time, motion and the excitement of reaching one’s destination to meet a loved one or the executioner or an editor – sometimes they are all three or two of the three.

I can tell more stories about trains or from inside trains than I can involving cars. That is I have some creepy stories regarding cabbying or when hitchhiking being picked up by insane drug-crazed idiots hepped up on the fact that their car had more horsepower and pick up than any car in the county.

But its stories about train rides I remember the most or best: the first day of taking the North Jersey Coast Line from my new home in Ocean Grove in 1982, with trains that may have been found in Eastern European junk yards and put to use here, with heating systems that created dirty terrarium like biospheres or were so cold in winter you would wrap the newspaper around your body. That first day, it may have been August 1982 and I arrived late and another man late for work decided to run and leap on the moving train – not recommended because things happen and they did and right before my eyes this business man who did not want to be late grabbed the railing pulled himself up and slipped, his legs swinging under the metal wheels right before my eyes and one leg was chopped off immediately and there he lay on the side just twitching, his face in a tremendous grimace, as panic ensued. The train stopped, the conductor came running over and ambulances arrived quickly as the blood flowed across the pavement. After the ambulance had carried him away. The conductor eventually mounted the train and turned to the bystanders and said “See, that’s why we don’t recommended this kind of behavior.”

I remember my first trip to Italy with my then girl friend P who looked uncannily like Chrissy Hynde and apparently from what I heard on that trip in the museums of Florence is that school girls in uniforms and white socklets who chased us giggling through the museum because they said I looked like Rod Stewart or was it Billy Idol. I think it was both since I was in a transitional state from hippie to punk or wavering between both and neither. I remember the girls giggling from the statuary and calling out my name “Rod Stewart” and then others yelling “Billy Idol” and then rushing off to another room in the museum.

Later on the train from Florence to Venice, I think it was, we caught our breaths feeling like something equivalent to, although lower budget and with less hysteria and smaller crowds, like something out of “Hard Day’s Night.” The trains at that time in Italy were mostly individual cabins of 6 seats – three facing three, with overhead racks and a crank to ope the upper part of the window for ventilation. This can be a great opportunity to strike up a conversation with someone. It sometimes leads to incredible long-lasting friendships. But there is no guarantee that the people you will be sharing the compartment with will be attractive, fascinating and/or friendly. The man across from P was an older dapper man in tweed suit jacket and slim cut slacks, a certain sharp sideburn and I caught him looking at himself in the window, catching his reflection, at age 50-something you begin to look more into the mirror although what you see has to be negotiated with more appreciation or interpretation, a loving lens that makes of you something much younger. He must have seen his handsome 30-yr old self while P. Saw just a slight man of a certain dapperness who could have been her charming/lecherous in his over-confidence that he was indeed charming… Anyway, from the beginning of our trip he – we were just the three of us – was fixated on her. He said she looked familiar, beautiful and kept repeating the phrase “Tu sei bella.”

He began leaning over, slightly touching her leg – she had good legs – grazing her knee with his knuckles, saying witty things which emboldened him to take more liberties and palm her kneecap and then stroke her leg and up her thigh all while distracting me with periodic comments directed at me in broken English all while he kept on… And this went on for the entire journey until we all got off in Venice, where he got up adjusted his shirt, hist jacket, looked in the glass to make sure he was still 30 years old and then just got off without even turning back to say “ciao bella” or even simply “goodbye.”

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