Monday, January 20, 2014

Take out the papers and the trash...

...from a photographer's notebook

...or what do Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller have to do with Bath, England?

I often write in these pages about that trusty old “Gray Matter Gramophone” that so often fires up between my ears and behind my eyes when I’m out shooting.

And, oh my, did the old GMG crank up – on multiple-play at that – at the end of a delightful visit to Bath last November.

Lots of fun shooting this motif-rich place that goes back to the time of the Roman Empire, but is quintessentially British, of course. If you know me, you might expect the ol’ GMG was well stoked for the occasion with lots of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst, and perhaps a pinch of Delius…

But I was not expecting some mysterious force to slip in the old Coasters hit from 1958, “Yakety Yak” at the very end of my visit, as I was walking back to the First Great Western Railway station for my return to London

Well, you guessed it, all the way back to the station…all the way back to London…not an Elgarian crescendo…not a Delius pastorale…but Coasters hit and that great high-energy Ray Stevens cover from the late ‘60s…and a big contented smile, though I suppose it would have been bigger, had I stopped and partaken of the succulent mutton and the rum punch…

Here’s to the Nepalese restaurant Yak Yeti Yak for one great name! Next visit to Bath, for certain!

For now…

Put down that tripod and that bag
This menu’s wavin’ quite the flag
You’ll miss your train, but that’s all right
You gotta shoot this groovy sight.

Yak Yeti Yak
Don’t talk back

That mutton’s stoked my appetite
On this freezin’ cold November night
An’ hot rum punch is quite a treat
Damn, I’m sure glad I took this street!

Yak Yeti Yak
Don’t talk back

Bath got Nepalese cuisine
Great for a hungry human bein'
But dammit, I just ate some Thai
So tummy’s full an’ I wanna cry!

Yak Yeti Yak
Must come back!

[Long funky yakety sax solo]

Great Western waits for no gourmand,
Their trains are fast, of them I’m fond
So ‘cause my tummy’s got no room
Back to the station I must zoom!

Yak Yeti Yak
Will come back!

Yak Yeti Yak
Yak Yeti Yak
Yak Yeti Yak

(audio fades)

©2014 Steve Ember 
And now for the guilty pleasure(s) you have - I hope - been waiting for. Ladies and Gentlemen, Ray Stevens! And then, stay tuned for The Coasters.

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