Fort Myers Florida Weekly




“Do you think I’m fooling
When I say I love you (I love you)…
Maybe you’ll believe me
When I`m finally through
Through, through, through”

— Freddie and the Dreamers


Imagine me on the psychoanalytic couch, the crazy pirate swelling and ebbing waves of disjointed narrative: When I think of meself, I think of pirate. When I think of pirate I think of Long John Silver. When I think of Long John Silver, I think of Orson Welles. And when I think of Orson Welles, well, I think of “The Dreamers.”

“The Dreamers” is an unfinished film project that Mr. Welles worked on in the 1980s.

It consists of two 10-minute segments. The first segment, shot in black and white, shows Mr. Welles as a Jewish merchant telling the story of his beloved Pellegrina Leoni. Ms. Leoni is an amazing opera diva. Her swan song enfolded as part of the set fell to the stage before her, blazing. She continued to sing in that fire. And as she sang she lost her voice, her name, her identity.



The second segment of this film was shot in color. Oja Kodar, the Croatian actress who was Mr. Welles’ lover in his later years, played Ms. Leoni. She bid goodbye to her old life, and spoke about the unfolding of her new life of changing anonymous multiplicity.

In the “Seven Gothic Tales of Isak Dinesen” (the nom de plume of Karen Blixen), this tale appears as the short story “The Dreamers.” Dinesen/Blixen speaks through the mouth of her Leoni character this way: “The time has come for me to be called to be that: a woman called one name or another. And if she is unhappy we shall not think a great deal about it. And if I come to think very much of what happens to that one woman, why I shall go away at once and be someone else: a women who makes lace in the town, or who teaches children to read, or a lady traveling to Jerusalem to pray at the Holy Sepulcher. There are many that I can be. If they are happy or unhappy, or if they are fools or wise people, those women, I shall not think a great deal about that. I will not be one person again. I feel, I am sure, that all people in the world ought to be …more than one. They would have a little fun.”

On the other fun hand, there is Freddie Garrity, of Freddie and the Dreamers. He was a milkman before becoming a rock star. He was a skeletal, hornrimmed leaping spectacle. In “Rolling Stone History of Rock and Roll,” Lester Bangs described dippy Freddie and thuggish friends as no masterpiece, as talentless idiocy.

“Freddie and the dreamers represented a triumph of rock as cretinous swell, and as such should not only be respected but given their place in history.”

When Freddie died in 2006, his obituaries echoed a theme: Freddie was the same person on stage and off. He was one persona, a bundle of fun.

Philosophers and poets will continue to wonder about the basis of jouissance. The one certainty is that they will continue to present multiple, ever-changing perspectives. And in the ebb of that swell this pirate is wasting time, just lying on the couch at the edge of the sea. Just barely witnessing. Perhaps the winds will blow me overboard. Joseph Conrad said it well: “A man that is born falls into a dream like a man who falls into the sea.”

What can one do in this sea embrace? What can one do on a stage already on fire? Yes, one can sing without ceasing, unreasonable senseless songs. Yes, one can jump with ceasing, suspended over the earth but never finally through.

I’m telling you now: The one that will aye endure is the one loving all of you. Believe the many me. 

— Rx is the FloridaW eekly muse who hopes to inspire profound mutiny in all those who care to read. Our Rx ma y be wearing a pir ate cloak of in visibility, but emanating fr om within this shado w is hope that readers will feel free to respond. Who kno ws: You may e ven inspir e the muse. Make contact if you dare.

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