san mateo '71 -  the song notes

on this page, i give brief biographical and contextual information about each song,  how it came to be written, etc.   for a more detailed biographical memoir  by kendell kardt, click the link: ' the poems of bernard rudolph ' on the home page.   be sure read the disclaimer before proceeding.   click on the title of any song to go to the 'lyrics' page.

            1)  get in a groove        this song, and a second song ' old funky song', were written in late 1971 after the break up of my marriage to Lynne Charles.  i was living at the time at 201 Sequoia Dr.  at the foot of our hill, on the main drag out of San Rafael,  was a night club called the Lion's Share,  that featured live music by local bands.  i was booked there to perform several times,  and also resorted to it as my local hang out.  Van Morrison performed there frequently as well.  it was  convenient venue to for him to try out new material, since he lived just up the road on the other hill.  i knew him and all his band members and family,  so it was a friendly environment where we often partied till late in the evening.

            2)  have a cigar        first recorded on the RIG album for Capitol in '69.  i prefer this recording.  the song itself pokes some fun at fat cats who can't get the cuban cigars they were accustomed to before  before  castro took over.  unfortunaltely none of their other vices were much curtailed.

            3)  liza bookman     this song written in 1969,  is a tribute to Sister Elizabeth Bookman,  of Harlem NY.  (see below)   in 1964,  my friend,  poet and priest, Ed Marshall,  suggested that we visit a storefront church in Harlem, where one of his colleagues was the minister.  we embarked on a series of sunday evening vists to the Gospel Light Tabernacle.  we were warmly welcomed by the small congregation, which soon made us feel like one of their number,  even inviting us to join them on a bus trip,  a visit to their sister church in Roanoke, VA.  this was my first exposure to the gospel tradition of the black community that had become a high art form by mid century.  in spite of the Gospel Light's limited resourses,  the music provided by Ms Bookman on her out of tune broken down spinet piano was simply the most inspiring i've  ever experienced.  the song's lyric tell the story.

            4)  stealin' love    this song,  written in 1971, is one of several that chronicles different emotional perspectives on the break-up of my first marriage to Lynne Charles.  there were many stresses that lead to the break-up.  there is no 'correct' view.  it was a failure and a tragedy for us both. it was not simply the failure of a marriage,  but of an idea each us had of a potential way to cope with life that ultimately proved inadequate to the strain of reality.  this was recorded in hopes of getting a 'cover' by a recognized artist.  the song had impact, and was well recieved by audiences in my own performances.  i remember showing it to Bette Middler after a concert she gave in SF in '72.  she stopped me after the first verse.  'too depressing.  let's hear something else'.  the song was never 'covered'.  too depressing.

            5)  strongest love   i can't recall if i wrote this for a specific person or situation.  it's clearly meant to encourage someone.  :-)  i used to think it was too corny,  like 'climb every mountain'  ( ok kids,  i know you don''t remember that )  but listiening again after all these year,  i like it!

            6)  three steps   third in the 'gospel series that year.  ( see the notes for liza bookman and  walk on the water )  the opening riff is taken from a marion willams recording of the song 'blow, gabriel, blow'

             7)  walk on the water    this was written in 1971 along with 'three steps'.   this song was inspired by Mahalia Jackson, Marion Williams, and. of course, by Elizabeth Bookman, 'live' at the Gospel Light Tabernacle at Lenox Av. and 132nd St in Harlem, NY