You learn something new every day

Posted in Whatever Else on May 15th, 2006 by bill


For instance, I had always assumed that the title “Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)” was devised by Brian Eno for his 1974 album of that name. (By the by, today is Eno’s 59th birthday. If you haven’t already, by all means please read last year’s Eno birthday tribute.)

But no; turns out he lifted the title from a “Maoist revolutionary opera” that was one of the “eight model works” promoted by Mao’s wife, Jiang Quing, during the Cultural Revolution. Eno apparently never saw the opera, but was inspired by a set of “Tiger Mountain” postcards, which you can view (along with a plot synopsis) here.

And just to bring things full circle back to rock’n’roll, Jiang Quing later became known as a member of the Gang of Four. I think she played bass.