Sunday, July 13, 2008

She's Not There

I had planned to go to Chicago for the AFT convention but when friends bought tickets to see the Zombies this past Friday night, I knew I had my priorities straight. The four of us went to London in March to see their 40th anniversary concert.

I mean, why go see 800 plus Unity/UFT zombies - they do all vote as one - yucking it up at our expense in Chicago? Has anyone calculated what this junket costs? Figure at least $2000 a person times 800+ – I bet it's closer to 1000- the reason so many people join Unity.

Unity Caucus/UFT AFT delegates in Chicago celebrating Weingarten's election

Yikes! Is that like $2 million? (Someone do the math.) No wonder UFT dues are always going up. And they went up at the AFT too.

By the way, many AFT locals cannot afford to send their full complement of delegates so they send a portion equipped to cast more than one vote each. The UFT could do the same - like send one delegate to cast 800 votes, since they will all be the same anyway - at least for those Unity Caucus delegates who are not shopping.


My favorite bitter sweet Zombies song was "She's Not There" which always reminds me that at the time it came out around 1965 I messed up with the girl I liked, leading to her no longer being there. The song still reminds me of her.

On the other hand, in today's world of UFT politics, the song could also be about Randi Weingarten who will no longer be there - meaning here in NYC all that often as she races around the country as AFT president (her acceptance speech is Monday.) Here are some lyrics and you can watch a Zombies performance of the song from the 60's here and from the March '08 London reunion here.



Well, no one told me about her

The way she lied [about the 2005 contract]

Well, no one told me about her

How many people [ATRs and in the rubber room] cried

Well, it’s too late to say you’re sorry [for agreeing to merit pay]

How would I know, why should I care [hell, I'm retired]

Please don’t bother trying to find her

She’s not there....



I was not necessarily a wild fan of the Zombies but once seeing them in person they are hard not to like. (Our friend is close to being a Blunstone groupie - she cornered him on Friday to autograph a picture.) Awesome enthusiasm and tremendous skill. Maybe because Blunstone and Argent were apart for 40 years- the group had already broken up when the Odessey and Oracle album was released.

Ron Argent on the organ and Colin Blunstone on vocals are the only originals from the touring group, which has the bass player from The Kinks with his son on drums. All the surviving members were at the London concert, where they played the entire Odessey and Oracle album. Here is some video filmed by, Mark, my partner in NorMark productions in March. He is putting more up from Friday and I'll add the links to this post.

4 comments:

  1. Modern version a bit slower than the 60s one, and the verse doesn't drive into the chorus part as aggressively. I guess that's what happens when men get older.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Back to the topic, though.

    Weingarten may have already been out to lunch while the last contract was negotiated. Some say she collaborated (and threw senior teachers under a bus), others say she was outwitted.

    These days she lets other execs on her staff deal with the specifics of the contract, doesn't even pretend to have a complete handle on what she negotiated and signed off on.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I played on a concert tour with Argent back in 72-73,my group was Ursa Major, signed to RCA with Bob Ezrin as producer. Also toured with Alice Cooper, Jeff Beck(BBA) other biggies back then. Ezrin went on to Pink Floyd fame, the group broke up. I went into teaching. Zombies were great fun, interesting musical style. Enjoying the summer, hope you are all doing the same.
    Rick Mangone-check out my album by googling Dick Wagner for anyone interested..

    ReplyDelete
  4. I played on a concert tour with Argent back in 72-73,my group was Ursa Major, signed to RCA with Bob Ezrin as producer. Also toured with Alice Cooper, Jeff Beck(BBA) other biggies back then. Ezrin went on to Pink Floyd fame, the group broke up. I went into teaching. Zombies were great fun, interesting musical style. Enjoying the summer, hope you are all doing the same.
    Rick Mangone-check out my album by googling Dick Wagner for anyone interested..

    ReplyDelete

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