The inimitable Tav Falco has lead the unapproachable Panther Burns since the 1970s. The ditch-diggers of American music, idiosyncratic and effervescent, purveyors of arcane wisdom. Panther Burns have howled their way around the globe through those six decades bewitching, beguiling and sometimes bemusing fans of the blues, old soul and good old rock’n’roll. We’ve checked in with Tav often along the way. We even had a previous Christmas sojourn back in 2016. So of course we were going to ask Tav to join in with our December wide “Bunch of Five” project. Mr Falco went above and beyond and provided us with a mighty missive detailing his recent move out East and laying out his five great things… We’ve split it into 12 parts and we’re sharing it out one day at a time to see everybody through into the New Year. It’s the twelve days of Tav-mas! Here’s part one. Happy Christmas everybody!
Tav Falco – New York September 15, 2022 by Sean Law
Merry Xmas greetings from the extreme Orient. Perched on my balcony high above the Gulf Of Siam, this is Tav – Tav Falco – reporting in from Wongamat Beach just south of Bangkok where I now reside. Yes, I have decamped from Vienna where some of you may have heard from me last – much as I had decamped from Paris and migrated to the merry/sinister old empire town on the not so blue Danube.view from the balcony
A year ago November I came down here from Vienna where I’d been living for quite a spell in the theater district. It was to return a visit from my publisher, James Williamson, who had similarly decamped from the UK to Bangkok ten years ago. I’d never before traveled to the east other than to Australia for concert tours, which doesn’t really count. The idea was to poke around a little in exotic corners of this seething capitol of the Royal Kingdom of Siam. Maybe an opium den? That I soon learned would require travel to the northern regions of the country.
TF at Konzerthaus, Vienna by Graf Karl-Heinz von Riegl
Part of the allure of Bangkok was the claim that author Joseph Conrad had once been a denizen of Hotel Oriental with its terrace vista over the Chao Phraya River. Could he have penned Nostromo from a garden table there? Somerset Maugham was also a guest and at times an unruly one. He pilloried the hotel in print after attempts to eject him. At the Oriental bar, Noel Coward quaffed his favorite cocktails, and Nijinsky danced in the hotel ballroom. In Vienna I had already been drawn in behind the doors of the smaller, similarly named, Hotel Orient – a fin de siècle bordello known for its erotic Kaiser suite and rooms rented by the hour where I caught Kenneth Anger fingering his Tarot deck amidst risqué statuary in the hotel bar. More about that later….
Joseph Conrad by Hulton Getty 1923
TF – returns to La Conventicola Degli Ultramoderni, Rome July 2022