Orion – “Reborn”

The Sleeve:
105_5407 105_5408

The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
 * At the top of a massive winding staircase a man paused. He looked upwards allowing the depths of his wearied eyes to explore the dome of the high ceiling, resting finally on its center. The mural painting which long had been covered with white paint, was now faintly exposed, almost as though it had a life of its own, determined never to be shut away from all that was visible. How many times had he ordered that ceiling painted and repainted? But the mural persisted on breaking through, teasing him, testing his patience, his endurance. He could have had it sandblasted into eternity but strangely he had chose the immortality of the thin milky covering. He looked downward, mentally traveling each lavender carpeted stair until his own dense lavender eyes settled upon the yellowed marble foyer.
 A statue of Pallas Athena stood in full view. When he had purchased the old Byzantine Church some years ago and had it renovated into his Nashville home, his “Dixie-Land,” he had purposely chosen the virgin goddess to adorn its entranceway. Athena was an odd contradiction of wisdom and war but above all, she was the supreme patroness of the arts. It was only of late, when instrospection preoccupied his thoughts, he had suspected it was the strain of his mother’s premature death which had prompted Athena’s purchase as well as her carved niece in the the pinnacle of his Dixie-Land power. Suddenly his pule quickened angrily. Athena was a lifeless statue, dammit! Nothing more than a hideous hallucination of a demented mind! Virgins and Goddesses, damn Kings and Legends!
 Slowly he began the deep decent, each step downward more hesitant than the preceding. His right hand began to tremble and he grabbed hold of the banister. An involuntary shudder vibrated throughout his entire body yet still, he was filled with a sense of anticipation and excitement. Today was the day. Freedom. After twenty incredible years of incarceration this day had come, a day which he doubted could ever materialize, but one which nonetheless had sustained his very existence.
He heard a sharp click as his boot-hell met with the hard marble floor and once again he paused. Above his head dangled’ a revolving ball which contained loose pieces of colored glass and mirrors which upon turning became a kaleidoscope of colors. Danielle hated that ornament. “It belongs at a high school prom, Orion, not here! What on earth prompted you to install such a monstrosity?” She said it was “tacky” and “immature.” The thought of his Danielle filled with a kaleidoscope of rainbow colors, all good…. his Danielle, but not his. Never again. As the mirrored ball revolved above his head, a flash of memories swam through him, spinning him in a caecum where it seemed even the depth of his bowels spilled downward. Dear Jesus! When would the agony of memory end?
The library was at the far end of the foyer; its thickly carved rosewood doors were closed. His breath caught. Mac Weiman would be sitting behind the familiar desk, the desk he used whenever he visited Dixie-Land. Although the man was well into his sixties, the years had done little to miniature the status of his enormous physical bearing. Danielle once told Orion she was afraid of the man, and although Orion called her foolish, he well understood her feelings. Mac would have his rubber soled-shoes crosslegged and lengthwise on the large scarred desk. The black leather swivel chair would be in a slight leanback position. Mac’s scrutinizing black eyes would be half-closed and he would be chewing on that damned cigar.
Orion Eckley Darnell’s mouth cornered into the famous smile as he shook his head knowledgeably. Even though he was standing on the outside of the closed library doors he could smell the stale, heavy odor of one of Mac’s cheap cigars. The man was amazing. After all the millions he stashed away he was still the cheapest s.o.b. Orion knew.
The gold-leafed mirror on the wall beside his attention, and for a moment he was mesmerized by the stranger he saw. There was little in the mirror that resembled the man he had been or if the truth be known the man Mac Weiman had created. The man staring back at him was the man God had created or was it? Was imprisoned image simply another clay form molded ingeniously by messianic Mac Weiman?
The truth would be revealed soon. Opening the wide doors to the library, Orion walked in. Mac was seated behind the large desk, but not in his usual position. Both feet were planted securely on the floor, and he was leaning forward with his hands folded in front of him on the desk. His grey and balding head was lowered, and if Orion did not know better the would have thought the ageless man in the act of prayer. Quietly Orion locked the doors behind him as he stated at Mac silently.
Mac Weiman raised his eyes and Orion thought or one horrendous moment the man had been crying. Crying? Jesus Christ! Mac Weiman was the hardest, cruelest wheeler-dealer to ever hit Nashville or the entire South, for that matter, so what could bring such a bullheaded man to tears? During that one second, Orion’s eyes locked with the man who both controlled and destined his entire life, and in that second Orion knew.
Orion nodded in understanding. “Now?” he stated more as a fact than a question.
Mac Weiman slowly rose, replying, “Yes. Now.”
Allowing Mac to direct him to the far corner of the library, Orion accustomed his eyes to the shadowy corner, then he gasped aloud. In the corner, upon a white marble bench rested a coffin. Mac half pushed, half led Orion toward it. The closer they came, the whiter, more ominous the death-box appeared. Stopping in front of it, Mac reached down and clenched Orion’s cold, trembling hand in his own, then slowly he lifted the lid of the casket.
For what seemed an eternity, but was reality another split second, Orion felt he had suddenly been hurled into a blind, unfathomable abyss where life and living were merely an afterthought, where pain was measured by its depth. A scream formed internally within Orion until he hurled forth violently, finally crying aloud, “Oh my God!”
In the sterile seamless coffin, its lifeless head surrounded by yard of pearl satin, lying in Death’s Repose, was the body of Orion Eckley Darnell……
*Preface from the forthcoming book, “Orion”
Written by Gail Brewer-Giorgio [1978]

“I am standing on the threshold of eternity at last,
As reckless of the future as I have been of the past;
I am void of all ambition, I am dead of every hope;
The coil of life is ended; I am letting go the rope.
I have drifted down the stream of life till weary, sore and oppressed.
And I’m tired of all the motion and simply want to rest.
I have tasted all the pleasures that life can hold for man.
I have scanned the whole world over til there’s nothing left to scan.
I have heard the finest music, I have read the finest books.
I have drunk the finest vintage, I have tasted all the cooks;
I have run the scale of living and have sounded every tone,
There is nothing left to live for and I long to be alone.
Alone and unmolested
Where the vultures do not rave
And the only refuge left me
Is the quiet, placid grave……”
(On the Threshold – Poet Unknown)
from The Best Loved Poems of The American People)”

Personal Review:
 The story of Orion is definitely an interesting one, basically imagine a man who sounds exactly like Elvis, his tapes are sent into a record company and thought to be lost Elvis recordings, the record company meets him, sees he is not actually Elvis, they come up with a gimmick of making him wear a mask and pretending to be the ghost of Elvis or something along those lines, he has a nice career of Elvis impersonating, then he ‘retires’ from music to run a convenience store and gets shot. True story.

 The album opens with the track “Honey” and let me say, Orion does indeed sound like Elvis. You know, it’s not a bad song, just a little too blah for me, if you’re going to sing like Elvis, at least sing Elvis songs. Oh look, a faster song – “Lover Please” comes next, and hey it’s not overly bad or anything. Then after that comes the song “Got You On My Mind” and it’s a pretty good song, but it’s kinda not an overly important track. Then comes “Mona Lisa” which seems to be a better song as opposed to the previous, I do like how Orion does sound like Elvis, I think that is what makes this recording so cool. Then comes the track “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and I’m pretty sure that is a Freddy Fender song, but hey, it’s a good song, and it’s a nice way to close the A-Side. I like it.

 The B-Side opens with “Ebony Eyes” and well, it’s a slow song, but it’s an okay song to open the B-Side – but then it goes into a spoken word part, and basically, it says what is going on in the song, and it’s a guy waiting for his wife to come on a plane, but the plane crashes and she dies. So, the song is about a plane crash. “Washing Machine” follows next, and hey it was written by Orion. It’s an alright song, but putting a woman in your washing machine doesn’t seem normal. “Baby, I Still Love You” comes next, and it’s another slower track, nothing overly special. Though, this song is about a car accident, so we’ve now covered plane crashes and car accidents. “You Can Have Her” follows next, and it seems to have a nice build up to it, and yup, it’s a good track. The album ends with another Orion written song, “Lonesome Angel” – and well, it’s an alright song, all in all the album is sort of forgettable.

Interesting Facts:
It’s on ‘Gold’ vinyl!
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Track Listing:
A1 – Honey
A2 – Love Please
A3 – Got You on My Mind
A4 – Mona Lisa
A5 – Before the Next Teardrop Falls

B1 – Ebony Eyes
B2 – Washing Machine
B3 – Baby, I Still Love You
B4 – You Can Have Her
B5 – Lonesome Angel

Label:
Sun Records

Catalog Number:
SUN-1012

Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Recorded at Singleton Sound Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Engineer – Leroy Duncan
Album Cover Art – Betty M. Cherry

Other Albums I Own by Orion:
None.

Released:
1979

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