Seeing Spots Before the Eyes



Same old song, I know you heard it,

Many times before.

Why does life in poverty seem so much like war ?

Just make sure you’re careful,

Where you place your feet –

When it’s the last tango on 16th Street.



Some of them don’t see so good when they leave the bars

Talking loud and ugly –

Step in front of cars. –

If you’re holding valuables, it pays to be discreet,

’cause it’s the Last Tango on 16th Street.

– Last Tango On 16th Street

performed by  Boz Scaggs

“‘Last Tango on 16th Street’ is a poignant portrait in a late night stroll through San Francisco’s Mission District, the city’s oldest neighbourhood,” Scaggs tells Rolling Stone. He calls the song “a picture of its rhythms, its contrasts and colours in high focus” and notes that it was “written by a friend and fine, great S.F. songwriter, Jack Walroth, who’s lived it for many years.”

Rolling Stone February 2015


7 thoughts on “Seeing Spots Before the Eyes

  1. I love the image of the buildings on the street and the way your first image looks like sheet music. Or rather, it looks like a visual interpretation of the sound of the song. I wrote another blog post in response to the comment you left on my blog about social media. It goes off on a tangent but here’s the link if you are interested –
    Thanks for your thoughtful responses to my recent posts. Your ideas are really helping me sort out my creative direction.

    1. Most kind Suzanne. An interesting response/interpretation to the first image. I was curious as to how others would see it within the context of the post. 🙂

      I have been listening over and over to “‘Last Tango on 16th Street’ and wondering when & how I could incorporate it into a post. That first image actually started as series of new photo frame effects. I decided to play with it and insert the orange abstract pattern provided by the imaging software. Then as I was playing with it – turning it into an aged photo, I thought of the line, “Some of them don’t see so good when they leave the bars”, and I had it.

      I then searched through my archive on Dark Pines Photo for some related images.

  2. Strange, as a musician I saw this first image less as sheet music, more as a circuit board — in which I have no interest at all!

    I’m at one with the early sentiment expressed here, that poverty must feel like being in a state of war for many people, except that too often it’s as though the state apparatus that’s waging war on its disadvantaged population.

    1. Wonderful connection. Perhaps you both were associating the abstract pattern with those things that you personally find opaque/difficult to interpret.

      That line about poverty also stood out to me. i think both the lyricist and the singer would agree with your assessment . Our daughter is a Downs person and, as with many Special Needs citizens, there are government subsidies that she is entitled to. The forms that must be filled are not easily understood. My wife and I I are both retired teachers and we had difficulty understanding them. Since many more Special Needs individuals are part of families from working poor incomes with limited education, the paperwork becomes a barrier .

      Reminds me of lines from God Bless the Child,….
      “Them that’s got shall get, them that don’t shall lose, so the Bible says, and it still is news…”

      “Yeah, the strong gets more
      While the weak ones fade”

      “You can help yourself
      But don’t take too much”

      1. I’ve little to add to the last point other than to agree; but I also think you’re probably right as far as the first is concerned. We’re certainly hardwired to either make sense of what we see (whether right or wrong) or ignore it if it isn’t within our experience.

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