April 13, 2010

Julie & Walton, Listen to Layla & Clapton


Few artists can drive home the blues quite like Clapton. Take Layla for example. It's a most sorrowful soliloquy. In many ways Layla is really two songs smashed into one; a broken-glass work of art that stands apart from all great rock ballads.


We're hearing it right now with the radio turned up high, as the industry anticipates the Wal-Roehm road-side crash just ahead. We see almost everyone already racing down Madison Avenue to voyeur-esquely gawk at the mess. There's the anticipation of an adrenaline rush that sirens and blinking lights excite. This is no fender bender. Even the governor plans to visit the scene of the accident or as some say, the scene of the crime.

What'll you do when you get lonely
And nobody's waiting by your side?
You've been running and hiding much too long.
You know it's just your foolish pride.



Layla depicts the pre-crash and post-crash sound of Julie and Walton's head-on collision. Part one of Layla begins with the lightening crack of Clapton and Duane Allman's screeching guitars, hydroplaning above the thunder of their heavy metal 18 wheeler tractor-trailer rhythm.

Now we are witnessing the sounds of each trucker's acrimonious engines revving up for a race to nowhere. They prepare to speed like h*ll away from one of the most embarrassing agency review accidents in history; now leaking gas all over the (Madison) Avenue.

What both truckers don't realize is that they are about to make a wrong turn. It's going to give them that wide-eyed neck-hair-standing sensation a road warrior gets once they realize there's no air bag in their vehicle. A sick feeling of the eminent crash they are now helplessly incapable of avoiding; just before they witness their on-coming 85 MPH collision they could have braked for.

Amid the thicket of this musical storm, Clapton shouts Layla and his plea to help him through his emotional twister-in-the-wind predicament.

Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.


The Wal-Roehm disaster has this inevitability. Each party should realize they are doomed to spill blood that's going to mix with the freezing rain; staining the icy pavement until the temperature changes and is washed away upon the light of day. From rage to remorse.

Part two runs us over with Layla's piano soliloquy and soft weeping guitars. It's heartbreaking.

I tried to give you consolation
When your old man had let you down.
Like a fool, I fell in love with you,
Turned my whole world upside down.

The tyranny of this bloody mess has now sprawled beyond the pages and computer screens of MadAve trade media. Ambulance-chasing consumer rags are now covering it. It's only a matter of time before it hits the evening cable networks; who we envision will soon be rushing down the highway like tow-truck vultures, hurrying to get there first; to rejoice in carting away the bent tin spoils. Maybe as early as next week? Who knows?


The highway media police have their radar detectors on for sure. One just has to look at the blogosphere. Google already shows over 90,000 matches for "Julie Roehm" & "Wal-Mart".

Here's one blurb off just one of the many Julie-tire-slashing blogs:

On behalf of all us at Bernstein-Rein, just wanted to say thanks for all the kind words over the last few weeks. You have quite an avid fan club here at B-R.... And I also want to say thanks to all the clever people who write the comments to your columns. There has been some fantastic stuff in there in the last couple of months. Kind Regards to you all.


Let's make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.
Please don't say we'll never find a way
And tell me all my love's in vain.


It was once proclaimed that "Clapton is God." In retail, "Wal-Mart is god." Julie Roehm has certainly enjoyed playing master of the universe.

This bad road trip began when Julie drove off the Chrysler lot, acting as an excited tourist lured in by Wal-Mart to bring new octane to their organization. Let's face it, as demonstrated to their suppliers and employees, a trip to Wal-Mart is no joyride. They're clearly located on the wrong side of the tracks, as demonstrated by how they grind the gears of their employees and suppliers. Julie should have known the road map. She should have read the directions more carefully. She's old enough to drive.

But many spectators to this only too real bumper car ride are surprised that Bentonville didn't just put the whole affair in the garage with both parties driving away under the speed limit. A simple resignation for personal reasons would have gotten everyone home safely. Both now have too much grease on their hands to wipe it off with some good old soap and water.


Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

It's not too late. Pull over. Get off at the nearest truck stop. Get out of the cab and stretch your legs.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Look at who's in the truck with you. That's your family sitting in the suicide seat.


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