J.Edgar Hoover

1960s: The Decade of Assassinations

Assassinations 

If America finally died at Kent State, it had been slowly tortured and already beaten in the decade before it finally went down. The 1960s could easily be referred to the decade when the National sport of political assassinations replaced the National pastime of baseball.

Despite the fact of numerous investigations into the assassination of the Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King and Marilyn Monroe, there will always be doubt as to their elusory links and to who was the responsible party. Official investigative panels must think the American public is naively stupid to believe that in each murder, the gunman was a lone, crazed malcontent who acted out of single-minded hatred; or that Monroe’s association with the Kennedy men was innocent celebrity cameo.

In their careers, the Kennedy brothers had made enough enemies, burned enough bridges, or double-crossed enough powerful men to have been killed six times over. They were also trio of egalitarian, womanizing, arrogant and condescending hypocrites who suffered the deadly sin of Hubris.

Unfortunately for them they may have been innocent in a naïve way because they learned it at home from their crooked bootlegging father, Joe. Once in power two of these brothers were also determined to erase the history of their father’s close ties to organized crime and to create a future legacy of white washed lily pure family history.

I had a patient who was a CIA operative and who was one of the last agents to leave Havana when Castro came into power. He was also on the beach at the Bay of Pigs when John Kennedy failed to bring in the previously promised and desperately necessary ground fire and air support to aid the landing parties. In relating the fact of this betrayal, he told me how frustrating it had been to see the U.S. aircraft carriers and gun-ships sitting off on the horizon as the Cuba Libre troops were mowed down on the beach.

He also stated that there was a highly-placed mole in some U.S. governmental organization that had alerted Castro to the time and place of the assault.To make matters worse, JFK blamed the fiasco entirely on the agency itself and then tried to dismantle it after the fact. This man then subsequently hated John Kennedy with a passion.

Failing an invasion, there is documented evidence that the President’s office may have recruited the CIA to kill Castro in an eventually failed assassination attempt. They wanted him to smoke a poisoned cigar. my patient stated that the idea was patently stupid.

Kennedy was also hated by the mob boss of South Florida, Sam Traffacante, who wanted to get back his confiscated Havana casinos and nightclubs.

Lyndon Johnson had no love either. He was a politically ambitious conniving snake, whose world was caving in because of the Bobby Baker and Billy Sol Estes scandals; and feared being dropped from the 1964 Presidential ticket. His sole ambition in life was to become the U.S. President; so being a heart-beat away would make him a close second; as well as exempt from scrutiny of his own scandalous financial dealings; including the diversion of military contracts to Texas.

Then lurking far in the distant past was the fact that Bobby Kennedy in his early pre-Attorney General career had sidelined an attempt by Aristotle Onasis to gain U.S. seaport access for his oil tankers.

The Kennedy’s connections to organized crime are well outlined in the book “Double Cross” written by the mafia boss Sam Giancana’s nephew. Old father Joe had been a great asset to the criminal world during prohibition because he supplied their stills with vitally needed sugar. He was also able to freely import Scotch under the diplomatic immunity conferred on him by being Ambassador to England for which services he was owed a favor.

Apparently, the favor was called in and delivered when the Presidential election was handed to the Kennedys on a mob promise to father Joe; having been effected by the ever so ethical mayor of Chicago, John Daly, stuffing the ballot boxes in Cook County, Illinois. This was why it was so poetically and justly pathetic to see John Daly Junior adamantly plea the case of election fraud in Florida when George Bush II was elected over Albert Gore.

Payback can often take a long time, but it is always still a real bitch.

Part of the original deal between the mob and the Kennedy boys was that Frank Sinatra would be the mob’s ambassador as well as its liaison to the White House and that certain special favors would periodically be required of the Kennedy Administration for the big assist at the voting booths. Keep in mind that Nixon had won the popular vote in Illinois and that Cook County only reported the next day when the number of necessary electoral votes to win became known.

However, once in power the Kennedys decided to expunge their father’s past. They not only reneged on the deal but then decided to turn around and break the spine of organized crime in America; thus, hoping to bury their sordid past connections forever. They believed their power placed them above the law of the common man and that the sins of their father should no longer be visited upon them.

Among other things, Bobby Kennedy had the mob boss of New Orleans, Carlos Marcello plucked off the street and unofficially ‘deported’ by dropping him into a jungle in South America. After he miraculously made it safely back o civilization, Marcello angrily castigated Bobby for his cowardice and corruptly brazen use of his office to avoid the customary legal channels of deportation.He was also royally pissed off that his family had no clue as to what had happened to him because if he had at least been plopped down in Sicily instead of in Honduras, this would have been an acceptable and more honorable chess move.

The Kennedys then quietly began to snub Sinatra by making it clear directly that his presence was no longer required at the White House. Bobby then went one step further in bringing mob bosses in front of Congress when he launched his campaign to finally eliminate organized crime in America.

He jeeringly and repeatedly derided Sam Giancana in a nationally televised public display where he stated that Mr. Giancana (Gin-cahna, in Boston brogue) was “giggling like a little girl.”

  • Are you giggling Mr. Gin-cahna. Are you giggling? Is that you giggling? I thought only little girls giggled, Mr. Gin-cahna.

Even as the U.S. Attorney General, discretion would have suggested this to be an insane allegorical accusation.

Add to all this the fact that J. Edgar Hoover, who liked to play the horses, especially the trotters, would regularly meet Sam Giancana on a park bench in Washington D.C. to get his periodic list of sure winners. Some historians believe that not only did John Kennedy want to emasculate the CIA, but he also felt J. Edgar Hoover’s tenure and power was too much for one individual to hold. Hoover also despised having to cow tow to Robert Kennedy as Attorney general.

Richard Nixon felt the same way about Hoover when he became President but recanted his call for Hoover to step aside after Hoover showed Nixon his own FBI file.

Finally, does it not seem strange that Marilyn Monroe, who had three-way sex with Giancana and Sinatra at Lake Tahoe, at some other ill-defined point in the process, then became a paramour to both Kennedy brothers? After Sinatra’s snub the mob simply sent in their moll to get whatever information they felt they needed. Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

Sam Giancana’s nephew sates that the mob planned J.F.K.’s assassination. Giancana wanted to eliminate Bobby instead, but Marcello said that:

  • When the dog bites you, you don’t cut off the tail. You cut off the head because the head has the teeth. Otherwise the dog can come back and bite you again.

He also had a sign outside his office that stated: “Two people can keep a secret only if one is dead.”

Who knows if the CIA or the FBI or the Free Cubans or any rouge element of the same were also involved. Strong evidence supports the premises that one or all were co-conspirators because the stakes were too high and the cover up was too slick. Then once J.F.K. was gone and Bobby resurfaced to run for President, there was little choice but to finish off the job because if not, then the players would have to face a brand-new snarling, dangerously angry, more viciously powerful, and vengeful dog to boot.

That is, unless you happen to believe that Aristotle Onassis, as he admitted to his mistress Maria Callas, paid radical elements of the Arab terrorist world to kill his old nemesis, Bobby, after which he then took the ultimate trophy bride, Bobby’s now sufficiently post bereavement sister in law, Jackie, whom Bobby was already tired of screwing anyway.

Martin Luther King was in a different bind. He was on the wrong side of the FBI, an organization who believed that he was a communist and felt that a grass roots street revolution could not be tolerated. The Watts riot of 1965 would have paled in comparison with what they feared might happen if King could continue his crusade. Blackmailing King by releasing tapes of him banging his girlfriend in a motel room would not have been enough to derail his accelerating popularity.

Marilyn Monroe also had to go because she either knew too much or her role as a spy became too compromising. Who killed her is anyone’s guess. She had played with everyone’s matches before she finally got burned; or rather had her passionate flames  doused by a barbiturate enema.

But for the Kennedys, no matter how you slice it, when your list of enemies includes the FBI, the CIA, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon, LBJ,  Free Cuban expatriates, and three of the most powerful mob bosses in America it would be very difficult to find a friend, much less even a loyal body guard.

Then, there is the final irony.

After Castro took over Cuba, Santo Trafficante went there in an effort to resurrect one of his gambling casinos. Castro put him in jail. Carlos Marcello sent Jack Ruby to Havana to negotiate Santos release from prison. Castro agreed after the three men then set up a Caribbean heroin drug traffic operation. No. There was no conspiracy to kill Kennedy. It just happens to be a small world.

What I do not really understand however is why there is so much doubt that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was a conspiracy and that the dots were purposefully never connected. Just watch the Zapruder film.

Kennedy takes the first bullet, that going into his back then exits through his trachea and hits John Connelly. Both men react. Kennedy falls slightly forward and to his left while bringing both hands forward with his fists clenched and then up toward his throat. Connelly at the same time turns hard to his right as the bullet goes into his back.

Jacqueline quizzically looks toward JFK and begins to move to assist him, at which time the President’s head is forcefully blown back or sideways by a second shot that coming from the front or the side, rips through his head and blows his brains out the back of his skull. Entry wounds cause a little hole. Not splatter.

This is the point where Mrs. Kennedy panics and tries to crawl out the back of the car.

One can look at mountains of evidence, re-creations, and tedious explanations from both sides of the theory and form opinions either way, but the film is real and the film tells it all. Then there is the testimony of mob hitman James Filer who admitted that he shot Kennedy from the fence behind the grassy knoll.

By adding insult to injury, a mob stooge, Jack Ruby, known to be a soldier employed by Carlos Marcello, then kills Lee Harvey Oswald, a man undoubtedly involved and naively recruited to have been history’s greatest patsy. We are then supposed to swallow the propaganda line that Ruby was so upset about losing his ‘beloved president’ that he simply could not help himself. How perfectly maudlin.

The History Channel airs an astute series on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In the final capitulation one commentator states that if it true the murder was covered up at the highest levels of government, then it is also true we do not live in a democracy, but rather the case that we live in a hierarchy.

One does not even have to link this concept to a political assassination. If we actually lived in a democracy, then even an unemployed blue-collar Pittsburgh steelworker or a Detroit autoworker would have an equal chance to be elected President.

Or even worse, perhaps this country was spared the frightening possibility of reverting to governance by monarchy. Think about twenty-four sequential years of a Jack-Bobby-Teddy Presidency, and because the family breeds like Irish Jack rabbits, following this with endless generations of Kennedy political animals running amok in Washington.

This may have been foremost in the mind of one of LBJ’s daughters, who in being far less than jubilant after his Vice-Presidential nomination in 1959, was told by her father that they had not come to the nominating convention to pout. She quipped back that they had not come to the convention to be the Vice President either.

Funny thing then about the death taking place in Dallas, no?

 

kennedy-shot

 

 

 

If you really want to hit a moving target, you must triangulate it. Two shots successfully hit from two different directions. The third one hit the pavement.

Final score: Guns two. Brains nothing

 

 

Or if you don’t like triangles, perhaps a perfect Pentagon fits the bill.

  • CIA
  • FBI
  • Mafia
  • Cuba Libre
  • Ambitious Vice President. The man who would be king.
Zapruder clips http://pages.prodigy.net/whiskey99/fig21.jpg

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones (1960s)

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were nothing more than accidents waiting to happen.

Even though Rock and Roll in the United States had been suppressed nearly to the point of extinction, the powers that be failed to realize that this music had already infected the rest of the world. They were also afraid to admit to themselves, or more likely were mired in a great collective denial that it was not already too late to stop it.

On the West Coast, the Beach Boys were beginning to sing about the carefree California lifestyle of surfing and drag racing. Then like a second invasion of Normandy, the ghost-like musical heritage of American Rock’s prior generation had crossed the Atlantic to liberate the minds of a few scruffy street musicians who passionately decided to revive it.

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had neglected to become vaccinated against this musical “cancer,” so when the music got under their skin and then into their blood, it germinated, grew and blossomed. Then before long these musicians changed the world forever.

The two bands formed by these individuals had scooped up the ashes from the funeral pyres of J. Edgar Hoover’s rampage through the American music industry. And being geographically enough at arm’s length from the oppressive American political climate, had then been able to resurrect an unstoppable Phoenix.

It was the equivalent of a musical Second Coming.

Then just like God and the Devil, it soon became obvious that the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were diametric polar opposites.

The Beatles dressed in neat, uniform cookie-cut suits with tight pant legs and black pointed leather boots. They played original, clean lyrical music with a somewhat tame, polite demeanor, and curtsied when they finished a song. The Mersey beat music was new, fresh, and pleasant; having a peculiarly unique sound that had never been heard before, albeit interlaced with a few haunting Buddy Holly tunes or similar refrains.

The Stones appearance on the other hand was scruffy, wild, more colorful, more individualized and more outlandish. They played a venue of recycled Black American Blues, which eventually became blended with their own unique style of raunchy Rock.

Having a raw edge, they were rougher and tougher than the Beatles Yet for some intangible reason, possibly rooted in White repression and repressed bigotry, it seemed easier for the American public to accept an English band playing “The Little Red Rooster” than it would have been to embrace the on stage presence of it’s original black author, Howlin’ Wolf, who had composed the song over a generation before.

It was actually this contrasting style in both appearance and in musical venues that created the basis for the ever-escalating popularity or the two groups, as adolescents seemed to identify with or to gravitate more to one than to the other.

Although the bands were cast somewhat as polar opposites, cults and subcultures were beginning to develop as they generated great immediate controversy, along with universal fear in the minds of the White middle class. It was a sneak attack on the soft underbelly of America, only because they became so enormously popular so fast.

Ultimately no matter how it was sliced , the unifying element that portended the new corruptive ruination of America’s youth was not so much what these groups sang, how they sang it or whether the clothes were nice, neat or scruffy and disheveled.

The principal feature predicting a new rallying point for America’s youth was imparted in a key part of the haberdashery which had nothing to do with the clothing. It was something America’s youth could identify with, and something which would allow for a unique form of adolescent rebellion that would particularly yet definitively distinguish the old from the young without the limiting rebellious outlaw image that had been cast by the motor-cycle riding James Dean or by the crazed ramblings of the disaffected author Jack Kerouac.

What was uniquely different resided on their heads; that awful decidedly sexy styling that flopped and shook, partially covering their eyes and ears as they pranced around on stage, occasionally looking like a kennel of shaggy sheep dogs. It was the Pudding Basin haircuts that finally put the audience over the edge as it caused hysterical mass frenzies in the teenaged female population.

Shaking manes and cute suits had replaced the Duck’s Ass slick back coif and the Elvis pelvis as the new sex symbol for the girls, while bawdy blues with a raunchy casual delivery had created a new masculine icon for the boys.

Viewed either as a blessing by some and a curse by others; meaning either as repayment for the Allied liberation of Europe in World War II, or as the penultimate revenge for the British Army’s defeat in the U.S. Revolution, history had now come full circle with all the favors being returned. But this time the troops on the beachheads were armed with guitars, drums and amplifiers instead of cannons, M-15s, machine guns and tanks.

The genie was out of the bottle for good. The Liverpool Mop-head Mods and the British Bad Boy Rockers had invaded America.

Rock and Roll

Rock n’ roll is here to stay,

It will never die.

It was meant to be that way,

Though I don’t know why.

I don’t care what people say,

Rock n’ roll is here to stay. 

We don’t care what people say,

Rock and Roll is here to stay. 

(Danny and the Juniors)

 

Photo source. The Lindey www.swingdanceshop.com

Dangerous Love Ballads of the 1950s-1960s ( per J. Edgar Hoover)

Typically dangerous love ballads

 

   Since I Don’t Have You                                       You Belong to Me

 

I don’t have plans and schemes                         See the pyramids along the Nile

And I don’t have hopes and dreams                 Watch the sunrise from a tropic isle

I don’t have anything                                           Just remember darling all the while

Since I don’t have you                                          You belong to me

 

I don’t have fond desires                                     See the market place in old Algiers

And I don’t have happy hours                            Send me photographs and souvenirs

I don’t have anything                                           Just remember when a dream appears

Since I don’t have you                                         You belong to me

 

I don’t have happiness, and I guess                   And I’ll be so alone without you

I never will ever again                                          Maybe you’ll be lonesome too, and blue

When you walked out on me,

In walked old misery                                            Fly the ocean in a silver plane

And he’s been here since then.                           See the jungle when it’s wet with rain

Just remember till you’re home again

No, I don’t have love to share,                             You belong to me

And I don’t have one who cares.

I-I-I don’t have anything

Since— I don’t—- have

You, you, you, you

 

(Jimmy Beaumont and The Skyliners)                                     (Jason Wade)

 

 

 

Rock and Roll 1950s-1960s

Rock and Roll

The man that hath no music in himself

Let no such man be trusted  

(Shakespeare) 

Even though I did not excel at either baseball, piano or clarinet, when I was a teenager, recorded music became a significant part of my life. I was particularly drawn to the acapella Do-Wop and the Be-Bop of the street corner singers as well as the early electric guitar rock of 1950s and 1960s.

The pining sentimentality of the ballads side by side with the energetic drive of the rock songs played like a sympathetic sine curve over the hormonal surges of America’s youth. It also became the first major hypnotic distraction for the baby-boomer-atomic-bomb generation and began to replace religion as the opiate of the sub-adult masses.

American Bandstand, with its host Dick Clark, were in the vanguard of televising the music while people such as the disc jockeys Allan Freed, Scott Muny, Murray Kauffman, and Wolf Man Jack had become the gospel spreading prophets of the radio airwaves.

My friends and I would buy our favorite 45 speed recordings; spend hours listening to or swapping the discs, and then dream about seeing our favorite groups or stars either in person or in the ersatz zone of black and white televised airwaves. Although our parents thought differently by presupposing that we were rotting our brains, we certainly could have been doing a lot worse in our spare time, such as shoplifting, smoking cigarettes in the protected watershed woods or enticing our little girlfriends to pose for a private collection of naked lady pictures.

I had a transistor radio with a wired earplug that I would take to bed listening under the covers to the Allan Freed Show until late at night, always with the hope that my father would not come into the room to see if I was asleep. If I got caught, I knew I would be punished, most likely by having the primitive I-Pod confiscated. But because I had become hopelessly addicted to the music I was willing to make any potential sacrifice.

Besides, I knew I could get the radio back the next day if I whimpered enough to my mother.

  • But, Mom; Dad just doesn’t understand.
  • You’re right. He doesn’t understand anything. But get your homework done first before you screw that silly thing back into your head.

Most of our parents, who had been influenced by the Big Band era, had little or no understanding or any patience for this new style of music, much of which was felt by the general public, the media and the bureaucracy to be corrupted by the influence of black musicians.

There was a great sentiment in America that the music was dirty, degenerate, and rife with too many sexual overtones or innuendos all of which thus had the potential to undermine the entire fabric of the society. Just the sight of Elvis Presley’s suggestively gyrating hips and wiggling pelvis on the Ed Sullivan Show was enough to cause major apoplexy in the entire Southern Bible Belt. Trust me on this one. It wasn’t exactly so much penis envy as much as it was the fear of setting loose and liberating the penis itself.

In truth, the music was one of the first elements that actually had a positive influence on integrating the entire society because it had a commonality that spoke across many races or cultures, thus transcending bias and bigotry. But in those days there were also significantly powerful well established elements both in government and society that feared and loathed the very idea of racial integration, in turn viewing the music in such a negative light that they then felt obligated to extinguish it.

The teenagers of America, however, knew what they liked and their affinity for the new sounds was never to be derailed despite parental, societal, religious or even Federal Governmental pressures all conspiring independently or as a group to suppress it. Rock and Roll had been infused into the blood of America’s youth as it had uncontrollably spread like the new strain of a wildly contagious virus.

Today it is reasonably known that J. Edgar Hoover had a passionate hatred for Rock and Roll. He became personally convinced that it was a morally corrupting form of entertainment, rooted in black culture, which left to itself would destroy America’s white youth, then subsequently and inevitably, the entire culture.

This was an interesting phobia coming from a man who would eventually be determined to have lived his entire job for life ‘au gourmand’, with a male companion, trans-sexually outfitted in pink dresses when he came home from a hard day of forcing his own brand of morality down America’s throat. Suppression of Rock and Roll was probably one of the more benign things that Hoover did to America.

Hard pressure from top government agencies like Hoover’s FBI caused both subtle as well as not so subtle attempts to eradicate the evil noise. Congress held hearings on payola as the government even went after the likes of the lily-white Dick Clark who lost a contract on WINS Radio in New York because of scandalous accusations of graft. He caved in by deciding that the best part of valor was not to protest too much.

Higher visibility Disc jockeys like Allen Freed, who brought the black groups out from relative obscurity, got into serious trouble, when for example on one of his live ABC-TV shows in 1957, Frankie Lyman committed the grievously unthinkable sin of actually dancing on stage with a white girl. The Southern TV affiliates screamed bloody murder as they rushed to cancel contracts with the parent company.

Unfortunately for Freed, he was already in trouble for giving himself the sexually suggestive endurance moniker: “The Sixty Minute Man,” because this was also an era, when at least on the surface, women were expected to equally endure but not to enjoy sex. It was on the surface a neo-Victorian era when the White housewife of America was cast in the image of a duty bound, sexually indifferent vehicle designed and programmed only for the purposes of breeding, keeping house and making dinner.

Meanwhile, many of the lyrics by Black musicians implied a sub-Rosa agenda that sex was normal or that it could actually be fun, too. This Black musical heritage was rooted more simply at the reality level in the life of everyday relationships, along with the unspeakable concept that somehow drugs, alcohol and sex might make it ever so much easier for people to cope with those realities.

Freed was also accused of inciting a “Rock and Roll Riot” at the Boston Arena in 1958 with his boisterous, exuberant MC on-stage machinations that were deemed at best to be “grossly obscene.” Then when he was forced to confront the accusation at a congressional hearing investigating possibly taking money under the table as a bribe to play songs on the radio, the simple but directly truthful statement summed up Freed’s defense on the payola charge:

  • Senator, I never played a song that I didn’t like.

A career in ruin, Freed drank himself to death at the age of forty-three; the only real sin having been his love of Rock and Roll music and a great desire to provide the venues for people to hear it.

Shortly after the payola scandals ruined the careers of people like Allan Freed, or with the harassment and occasional arrests of some of the black musicians, like Chuck Berry, usually on flimsy charges of smoking marijuana or activities stemming from being drunk and disorderly, then especially after Buddy Holly’s death in 1959, there truly was a time in America when beside Holly, finally the music too had literally died.

Most of the stations I listened to in New York stopped playing Rock and Roll as they drifted back to more conservative musical venues. It was hard to get any contemporary play as the airwaves were rapidly becoming void of rocking tunes and love ballads.

For awhile it seemed that the Congressional Anti-Happiness Committee was on the verge of a securing a victory that would relegate Rock and Roll to the historical footnote of being a brief cultural insanity; possibly just being no better than how we all had come to remember the Hoola-Hoop craze: just a passing fancy.

Although I was too young to understand the political implications of what was happening, I was not too young to know that the whole scenario was literally making me very sad and very blue.

 

Allen Freed

(Allen Freed)

Just let me hear some of that Rock and Roll music

Any old way you choose it.

It’s got a backbeat, you can’t lose it.

Any old way you use it.

It’s gotta be Rock and Roll music

If you want to dance with me

If you want to dance with me.

(Chuck Berry)

Photo source www.philbrodieband.com/quiz-pic_allen-freed.jpg