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A Musical Homage to the Chronicle Crime Reporter: The Ballad of Henry K. Lee

| June 30, 2011
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I don’t think you have to do exactly what I do every morning to fully appreciate the video below, but it would probably help.

See, it’s my 6:30 a.m. pleasure each day to sift through a hundred or so articles from Bay Area media, culling the most important news for inclusion in our Morning Splash feature. Among the municipal affairs of state — the budgets, court decisions, and political goings-on — inevitably, included in the pool of potentially newsworthy items, is the crime reporting of the Chronicle’s Henry K. Lee.

During those groggy 6:30 a.m. sessions, it’s been my indulgence to picture Mr. Lee as a Weegee-like figure, working late into the night to document the region’s noiresque underbelly. Haunted, perhaps, by things he’s seen, the places he’s been, the dark corners of minds touched by just enough madness to murder. Yet driven by an unwavering sense of professionalism — hey, it’s a job, you gotta pay the bills — he carries on, cigarettes and flask at the ready for those rare moments it all becomes just a little too much. “Just the facts, SFPD spokesperson. I’m on deadline…”

And then I’m moving on to read about the Twitter tax break or the redevelopment agency fight…

Silly, I know. But I’m not the only one who has projected onto the man-of-a-thousand-crime-scenes. Check this song by the Berkeley-based rock duo The Manna Tease.


Lyrics and more
about the song here.

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Category: Arts and Entertainment, Law

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  • http://www.itwaslost.org Sandy, The Manna Tease

    Thanks so much for plugging this video, Mr Brooks, and we appreciate you linking to our facebook page and blog. That was just a rehearsal version of the new song on my camera phone – - The Manna Tease will try to get a better recording up some time. I love your further mythologizing of the legendary Henry K. Lee, I’m glad I’m not the only one who pictures him that way. (Even if the real Henry K. Lee doesn’t chain smoke or work in a grey office, perhaps now we’ve forever changed the way Chronicle readers picture him when they read the crime news.) Cheers.