Top Hat and The Thin Man

I saw two women making music at Lytton Plaza on July 14, 2018 and thought they were great. I call them Top Hat and The Thin Man because I was on my way to watch some Fred Astaire movies at Stanford Theatre. Neither of them wore a top hat and although I did not scrutinize their bodies they seemed of normal and not thin build.

I’m not sure if their songs were original — maybe I heard a couple songs and then chatted them up a bit. I am sensing they played a mix of covers and originals. One of them sat on the bench, sang and strummed a guitar but not a banjo. The other sang and tapped a rhythm on tamborine. I’ll say “top hat” was the guitarist and “thin man” was the percussionist.

Their lyrics were something like

……seventeen hours/

rock me like a wagon wheel/

rock me mama any way you feel/

Hey, mama, rock me.

Maybe the internet will tell me who wrote this, if not these two rising stars of street music.


If it was never new and never gets old its a folk song


Ladies and gentlemen, or anything in between, via the magic of the mediation of technology and Marianne Chowning’s father and his FM stuff, here they are, in 2008, yet still timely, the Rebecca Riots (briefly known as Final Girl)

edit to add, meta-note: I don’t know why first you see the video (or rr) and then you only see the link,but I will try and try, and try and try, again:

edit to add, a day or two later (during the lucid dreaming collective stage known as social distancing): also, Bob Dylan at his concert at Stanford’s Frost Amphitheatre about six months ago used “Ballad of A Thin Man” as his encore — so there’s another connection between the movie marquee, by catch of Ana and The MRI, Bob Dylan and the apocalypse.

Something’s happening but we don’t know what it is. If not the answer, live music is a pretty good guess.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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