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Morning Music – Tom Paxton with memories of The Lions Head

Tom PaxtonSo once again as I closed in the market at Target, for the second night in a row, a forgotten song came on “the jukebox in my mind”. This time it was Tom Paxton;s “You should have seen me throw that ball”. Certainly the song is not one instantly recognized as a Paxton standard but never the less one I
always liked! I guess it popped into the mix because of thoughts about Prine and Goodman and maybe even thoughts about whether the Eagles would be throwing the ball today! So this morning I looked for a video, knowing that I’d never find one, but I did find the song on Tom’s MySpace Page and you can listen to it here.

As I did look though up popped this video of Tom performing his song the title track from his album Comedians & Angels. The video is a portion from a June, 2008 HBO program, “Live At The Bitter End ” in Greenwich Village. This was a tribute to Liam Clancy who was to pass on December 4, 2009.

Now to prove that this video is being used for educational purposes I went to Google to find out about The Lions Head and found this article from the New York Times that speaks to the core of Tom’s song….by Clyde Haberman

They’ve been shooting at Dermot McEvoy’s regiment for a while. Their aim is now getting distressingly good.


One by one, at an ever-faster pace, old Lion’s Head regulars are dying. The Lion’s Head was a bar, a few steps down from Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. Some bars are special. This one was.


For three decades before it, too, died, in 1996, it was a haven for writers and other wastrels who went there to drink, of course, but also to joke and argue and swap stories, some of which may have had the added advantage of being true. Mr. McEvoy said Jimmy Breslin once told him that “there’s nothing better than going to a bar and lying to your friends.”

The roster of the Lion’s Head fallen has grown rapidly these last few years: writers like Norman Mailer, Frank McCourt, David Markson, Wilfrid Sheed and, just the other week, Lanford Wilson; actors like Jack Warden and Val Avery; newspapermen like Vic Ziegel, Sidney Zion and Dennis Duggan. Add the folk singer Liam Clancy, the nightclub impresario Art D’Lugoff and the boxer José Torres. If the lineup seems top-heavy with men, well, that’s how it was.


There are others. One is Paul Schiffman, a longtime bartender and sometime poet, who died in January. He was an often-irascible man, with a growl that made some wonder if he was trying to put the cur in curmudgeon. One day when he answered the phone, the person on the other end asked if the Head, as regulars called the place, had a happy hour. “Yeah,” Mr. Schiffman said, “8 o’clock. As soon as I’m off.” Then he slammed down the phone. Read More

Hum – you know what I think, we all miss Tom’s friends night and day!!