Mudcat Café message #201078 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19622   Message #201078
Posted By: Rick Fielding
24-Mar-00 - 10:15 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Ed McCurdy has passed away (1919-2000)
Subject: RE: Ed McCurdy has passed away
I got an e-mail from Erik Darling today talking a little about his relationship with Ed. I'm sure he wouldn't mind sharing those thoughts with the "Cats"

Rick, Ed and I were quite close. We lived 3 streets away from each other and meshed very well in a whole lot of complex ways -- we got on famously, as they say. I first heard Ed on a radio show that came out of Canada when I was living in up state New York. So he was one of my heroes. I first met him at the Village Vanguard, in New York, and, of course, he was singing "The Strangest Dream." I remember talking to him at the bar down there, and he said "Everyone in the world should get in one big room, take off all their clothes and have peace." Yes, he was a character. At one point when he gave singing lessons to women he would say that it's best to have lessons while in the nude." I think he actually got away with this. Although he was considerably older than I, but both of us would behave like adolescents. He would drink considerably during recording sessions, the first one's of which were recorded in Leonard Ripley's apartment, somewhere in the mid 40 streets, I believe. And on the way home in the subways, we would get into dueling each other with our instrument cases. Just being silly. We would hit each other's cases pretty hard, even though this is an awkward thing to do, if you think about it -- it's hard to get them moving and on an intended line of attack. We didn't hit hard enough, of course, to damage the instruments inside, but there were hits that worried me now and again. God only knows what people who saw us thought. Not many people around at that hour, anyway. The point being, that he was really like a kid, and yet quite wise. And, he did say of "The Strangest Dream" that it was NOT an optimistic song. There was one time when Joan Baez wanted to record "The Strangest Dream" but wanted to change the words to it, and he simply wouldn't allow it. I have the specifics of this written down somewhere. But, he knew who he was, and had a lot of integrity, musical and in other ways. He was not a follower or a belonger to. His moral fiber lived within the straightness of his back bone and commitment to private principle. As well, he was passionate about the poetry of traditional folk ballad and folk music, and understood, eloquently, the extraordinary literacy of song poetry that came from people who would not normally be considered literate. He loved my accompaniment style and appreciated that I didn't get in his way. We really had gleeful times working together. Kids at play. I don't know if any of this is of use to you, but that's how it was. I loved Ed.


Me again. Erik played on a lot of the McCurdy albums and of course was with The Weavers and Tarriers before forming the Roof Top Singers and doing "Walk Right In".