It's interesting to see what the world looked like in 1978. Better or worse than today, who's to say. I'm interested to know from you, longinglook, how far removed from that time the culture of New Orleans and Mardi Gras is today. Is the spirit of the place the same or has march of time taken its toll?
I wasn't sure if anybody would bother to watch the whole film, peggs. It's kind of long, and I'm not certain of its appeal outside of New Orleans.
I had seen it a few years ago, and I came across it again last night when I was up late cooking. I'm trying to get a bunch of meals prepared and stored in the freezer before the Mardi Gras parades start in a week or so. Once the parades really get going, I won't have any time to cook. That may give you a clue about what my answer to your question will be.
Except for the hairstyles, the clothes, and the cars, everything in the film goes on today almost exactly as it did then. New Orleans holds on to its traditions very, very tightly. There was some concern that some of these would disappear after the levees broke and the city was flooded. With its citizens scattered far and wide, people were afraid that the things which are unique to the city would fade away and die. Thankfully, that didn't happen.
Mardi Gras itself better NEVER go away. Would you cancel Christmas? No, you wouldn't. Mardi Gras is just as important as Christmas down here, (maybe even more so for some of us.) photos.nola.com/4500/gallery/mardi_gras_day_in_new_orleans_/index.html#/0 Although, my personal goal is to one day have my costume decided upon and completed before this point in the season. That never seems to happen. If anybody has some good costume ideas, please send them my way. Time's a wastin'!
So, is anything in the film different from today?
Well, a number of the people in the movie have died. Frankie Ford, (who sings the first song on the soundtrack), Kid Thomas Valentine, Blu Lu Barker, and of course Allen Toussaint have all passed on. All New Orleans icons. The movie touches upon the influence of Allison "Tootie" Montana on the MG Indian culture, and he's also gone. Look him up sometime. I love his story and what he did to make Mardi Gras better than it was before he came along.
The tv show "Treme", brought things like second lines more into the public eye, so now you have tourists paying for bands to play at a parade for their wedding reception or for their business convention. That never used to happen, but it's more money for the musicians, I guess.
The worst thing that is different today is the same tragedy that plagues the whole country. Gun violence sometimes rears its ugly head at Mardi Gras parades or at second lines. I don't have anything to say about that, other than I hope it never happens again.
One more thing, and then I'll shut up. All of these New Orleans traditions are focused on celebrating the sweetness of life. It's about having fun, but it's deeper than that. It's also about appreciating the fleeting nature of the joys of life. Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you may die. While we live, let us live!
Longing look, I started watching the documentary, and realized I didn't have time to watch the whole thing. What I saw took me back to the times of 70s fashion and music...and when I went to New Orleans just prior to Mardi Gras in the late 80s. A festive mood was in the air, and everybody was hospitable and happy. My ex-husband was there for a week of job related training, and I went along. We were staying at the training site, the Riverfront Hilton, and there were Krewe meetings all over the hotel. I walked up and down the levee and admired the river traffic, especially the Riverboats. I wish I had done much more exploring on my own. I will make time to watch the whole documentary! Thank you for sharing your city and heritage, longing look!
I went to that last Saturday. It was insanely crowded! That made it difficult to really dance much, but it was certainly a testament to Bowie's popularity. If they had kept the route to just the big streets bordering the French Quarter, (instead of trying to parade through the narrower streets inside the Quarter), it would have been a better plan. But I don't think anyone could have anticipated a crowd quite that large. Most second lines might have a hundred people marching, maybe a couple of hundred on a big day. The Bowie one had literally thousands of people in attendance.
You always want to stay as close to the band as possible in a parade, which wasn't easy in such a huge crowd. When we'd get too far away from the music, my husband and would duck down a side street and then cut back toward the route of the parade in the next block in order to get closer to the musicians. So, cutting in and out like that I didn't get to hear every single song they played, (I missed their rendition of "Oh! You Pretty Things", for instance.) But I did get to hear them cover "Fame", "Heroes", "Suffragette City" in long, brassy jams. Very cool!
Mare: sticksman1...Hey Terry! Thank you so much for sharing! Thanks to The Fossil Fools and all who helped get the show off the ground with a thoroughly enjoyable performance! I'm excitedly awaiting the release of your set after post winds up!
Sept 28, 2021 2:04:41 GMT