David Blue (Cohen)

By Stephen Jay Morris

I got 4 albums by an artist named David Blue. I found his works in the used album bins at a independent record store. I bought it for the reason that I like to buy by any L.P from the 60’s. All I got is his music and nothing more. I didn’t know his age or any thing about him. Hey ... for 2 bucks, it’s a bargain.

The first album I bought by him was called “These 23 days in September” I was smitten by it’s sheer poetry and morose vocalization. It was folk .... but a shabby folk. Not mainstream fare. You put Leonard Cohen, Kris Kristofferson, and throw a little Jimmy Buffet in the mix, you get David Blue. His songs was so much filled with Melancholia and love lost, that you wanted to drive him to the nearest E.R room of the clinically depressed. He wasn’t an underground slouch on some indy label, like Karl Richey (Another mystery) on studio 10 records. No ... he was on 2 major labels, “reprise” & Asylum. I always thought David was a better singer than Mr. Kristofferson. Kristofferson and Leonard Cohen had other artists cover their songs, which gave them songwriter status. Nobody (Not to my knowledge) covered a David Blue song. Maybe I will someday.

I did some research on him. Came up with a big zero. From the little blips written about him, he was written off by the critics as some sort of folk hack that crowded up the folk landscape in the 60’s. It was said Bob Dylan wrote a song about him (circa,1965) called “It all over now, baby blue”. He also appeared in Dylan’s art movie Called “Renaldo and Clara” in 77. It was around that time David died.

The man is a mystery to me. His albums is similar in possessing a painting without the artists name on it. His songs seem to portray a sad and confused man, like most artists. It is known that a successful artist is accepted during his lifetime, then forgotten. A Ignored Artist dies, then becomes Legendary. Blue will become a legendary artist. Isn’t that always the case? A true artist is so obsessed with his work, money is a tertiary concern. That’s why they get ripped off. David Blues songs left a impact on me. If any body knows anything about him, please let me know. I am a fan.

Now a commentary...
It is tragic that someone like David Blue is discarded like a old computer. America is so conditioned in the work and pleasure cycle, that Aesthetics becomes a unknown apparition. The only blatant conflict in modern America is moral religiosity opposed to the pursuits of avarice. The artist is treated like a unwanted intruder. Any nation that ignores their artists is condemn to spiritual suicide. Artist do contribute to society. It enriches the nation. Some rare individuals do have the perspicacity to acknowledge that fact. However that perspicacity transforms into a cheap tax burden. The artist feels the rejection and internalizes it and numbs the pain with drugs, alcohol, religion , and a underage whore. Then they become insane, thus killing themselves. I don’t know for sure, that’s what happened to David Blue. The record industry saw he wasn’t economically viable. Then it was all over for baby Blue. That’s why we have so much bad music, bad T.V shows and bad movies. When profit is the only motive, then all expressions of commercially produced art is transitory. Americas junk yards are full of “Make a buck” products. Americas museums are full of the ignored and martyrs of beauty. Just keep on ignoring your artist America, see what happens. Artists are not on the priority list of oppressed people to free. All is needed is little understanding and a pinch of compassion. Artist are extreme individualists who do not fit in the framework of worker/boss society. The poor get religion to forget about their poverty. The rich get Psycho-analysis to forget about their wealth. The artist gets a boot to the head for not playing the master slave game. A priest reads about Heaven in the bible, a artist decorates Heaven. And here comes the final analogy. Material objects are just conduits of spiritual pursuits. Owning a beautiful and expensive car does end with the mere satisfaction of ownership. When you drive to Mecca, your driving in style. As I lift my can of Budweiser into the air, I give a toast to David Blue.