Friday, June 22, 2018

Television – "See No Evil" (1977)

What I want
I want now!

In the last 2 or 3 lines, I told you about day one of my two-day trip to northern Delaware, where I rode the bike trail that parallels the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal.  You can click here to read that post. 

On day two of my trip, I first drove to Lums Pond State Park and rode the unpaved loop trail around Lums Pond.  It’s relatively flat and not so rough that you need a true mountain bike to handle it – my new 700x38-tired hybrid did just fine.

The Lums Pond trail is nothing special, but the weather was perfect, the trail was devoid of other bikers or hikers, and I had just refilled my iPod with fresh music.  So I had a very enjoyable ride.

On the Little Jersey Trail
in Lums Pond State Park
It was a short drive from there to St. Georges, Delaware, a very small town that sits almost directly underneath not one, but two C&D Canal bridges.

The St. Georges Bridge, which opened in 1942, is the oldest of the four-lane bridges over the canal:

For the last few years, only one lane in each direction has been open, and only vehicles weighing less than 15 tons have been to use the St. Georges Bridge, which will be closed to all traffic this fall while repairs are made.

The absence of the St. Georges Bridge will hardly be noticed because there’s a much newer six-lane bridge – the Senator William V. Roth, Jr. Bridge – that crosses the canal less than a mile to the west:

St. Georges was smack dab in the middle of the part of the C&D trail that I hadn’t ridden on the previous evening.  After riding west and then returning to my starting point, I took a break and had lunch at the St. Georges Country Store – which is more a bar and music venue than country store.

The former owner of the joint was a merchant mariner who learned to cook in New Orleans, so the store has a real NOLA vibe.  If you’re ever in Delaware and get a hankering for a muffuletta sandwich (complete with olive tapenade) or an alligator sausage po’ boy, get your big-ass ass to the St. Georges Country Store!  

The St. Georges Country Store
For my lunch, I opted for a simple egg-salad sandwich and potato chips.  The $5 sandwich was so overstuffed with the store’s mustardy egg salad that I could barely finish it.

*     *     *     *     *

The eastern terminus of C&D trail – Delaware City, Delaware – was only half an hour’s ride from St. Georges.

Battery Park in Delaware City
There’s nothing fancy about Delaware City (which is home to roughly 1700 souls), but it has its charms – including a quaint little main street and Battery Park, which overlooks the Delaware River and Pea Patch Island.

Pea Patch Island is home to one of the largest migratory bird habitats on the east coast.  

It’s also the site of Fort Delaware, a 19th-century coastal defense fort that was later turned into a prison for Confederate POWs:

You can visit Fort Delaware by taking a short ferry ride from Delaware City.

*     *     *     *     *

After briefly exploring Delaware City, I settled in on the deck of Crabby Dick’s Bar & Grill to enjoy a big-ass beer and the beautiful weather:

Half an hour after leaving Crabby Dick’s, I was back in St. Georges, where I packed up my bike for the drive home. 

Before getting on I-95, I decided to stop at Stewart’s Brewing to replenish my precious bodily fluids.  

I sat at the bar next to a couple d’un certain age, and ordered a beer.  A moment later, the distaff member of that couple leaned forward and said, “Excuse me, but I’m the woman who made your egg salad sandwich today.”

And indeed she was.

*     *     *     *     * 

Thomas Miller and Richard Meyers met in 1965 when they were 11th-graders at the Sanford School in Hockessin, Delaware – just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the C&D Canal.  

The two ne’er-do-wells ran away from school together and ended up in New York City, where they changed their names to Tom Verlaine (a reference to the French poet Paul Verlaine) and Richard Hell (a reference to you know what) and formed the band Television.

Television performed regularly at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City in 1974 and 1975, and quickly established a cult following.  But schoolmates Verlaine and Hell went their separate ways shortly thereafter. 

I bought Television’s debut album, Marquee Moon, shortly after it was released in February 1977 – which was shortly before I graduated from law school.  

You can call Marquee Moon a post-punk album, or you can call it an art punk album, just as long as you recognize it as one of the most original and influential albums of its day.

The musicians who have cited Marquee Moon as an influence include members of U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M. Joy Division, and Echo & the Bunnymen.

Click here to listen to “See No Evil,” the first track from Marquee Moon.  

And click on the link below to buy the song from Amazon:

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