Fortune Teller

I have no idea what “Fortune Teller” is about, but I’ve always believed that the writer of a song is not necessarily the best equipped to divine its meaning.  Here are some theories about its secret subject:

1. Toni Preckwinkle (winner of the Democratic primary for Cook County Board president, and almost certain to win the general election, since no Democrat has lost a general election for that position in 40 years).  Many Chicagoans, myself included, are putting faith in Ms. Preckwinkle to be an avenging angel of righteousness —  a noble ex-history teacher who cuts down all the Daley drones and restores transparency and efficiency to our beleaguered and oft-mocked county.  My song concerns a similar type of renegade, and I had something compelling me to flesh it out and post it this week — the same week Toni trounced her three opponents in the primary election.  Hmmm…..  Further evidence is the frequent use in the lyrics of the word “prick”, which bears a striking resemblance to the first syllable of Toni’s surname.

2. The New Orleans Saints.  My evidence here is even more specious, but the theory goes something like this.  My hero, Allen Toussaint, scored one of his first big hits in the early sixties with “Fortune Teller,” which he wrote under the pseudonym Naomi Neville (how cool is that?), and which was later covered by the Stones, the Who (whom you may have seen in the Super Bowl XLIV halftime show), the Hollies, and many more.  Mr. Toussaint is perhaps the signature musical ambassador from the Crescent City.  In choosing to complete this song this week, was I reading some tarot cards about the outcome of the big football match?

That’s all I got.  Hope you enjoy the song.  The guitar antics at the end are loosely inspired by the beginning of the Stooges’ “Search and Destroy.”

7 Responses to “Fortune Teller”
  1. Lara says:

    Love it!!
    Could a possible third theory be your fascination with Scott Lee Cohen? Since we’re talking the Chicago primaries, I think he’s number one candidate for “prick of the week.”

  2. Abraham says:

    Yes — that’s a good reading of my subliminal mind. I’m so upset that SLC has already dropped out of public life. I was counting on his hanging around for a while longer.

  3. B. Berkowitz says:

    Is the guitar going straight in and virtually amped? I like that sound. Autentico! It sounds like a high-quality mic you’re using, too, to capture your back-scratching throughout the track and that owl at the beginning. Remember, I gave you my dermatologist’s number. This chronic itchiness is starting to affect your work in previously unimagined ways…

  4. Abraham says:

    I’ve always found it best to be honest about your dermatological malfunctions. Let the critics peck away…. it’s an itch I’ve gotta scratch. Glad you like the guitar sound. I must confess I’m having a blast with all of these fake guitars.

  5. I think all of the Allen Toussaint/”Naomi Neville” work with which I’m familiar is in the form of Irma Thomas songs. Do you think the Soul Queen of New Orleans could be a co-ambassador, or fulfill some lower post at the musical embassy of New Orleans? Or is she just royalty, as her moniker suggests, and therefore in a completely different category? And what of Fats Domino? Although I guess he doesn’t leave New Orleans anymore, so it’s hard to call him an ambassador of anything, except by proxy and already-established musical endeavors.

    I like the double-snare-hits throughout this one. Something makes me wish the drums had more to do with the finale, though.

  6. Abraham says:

    Thanks P M S. Glad you liked the drums…. this was my first attempt at pecking out a Garageband drum pattern on my keyboard, rather than using loops. I’m a fan of Irma and Fats, but for sheer presence in all aspects of New Orleans music-making (writing/recording/producing), there’s no one like ‘Saint.

  7. I will take your word for that one. I’m no expert on any of the three, just more so on Fats & Irma than on Allen.

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