THURSDAY, FEB 12, 2004
Rewind to early afternoon, 3/26/68, Anaheim. My phychodelipartner was a plane captain down at El Toro. He got liberty early that day, Jefferson Airplane was to play at Melodyland opening for the Dead (who?). From his pocket he pulled two tubes, each of which contained ten fat tabs. "What's this then"? "It is from pilot survival kits. Keeps them awake when they get shot down. Try it for tonight". I didn't know he didn't mean all ten.
We spent the waning hours of the day deep into Mexican felt paintings. When it was time, I was guided into the car, and into a wooden seat in Melodyland. A not so large venue, with a revolving stage in the round. You may have been there. Tall panels set amongst the equipment, and the colored oil lights projected against all. A gorilla in an orange flight suit came on stage to make some final adjustments, and then off went the Airplane. After some Bathing at Baxter's tunes, with which I was familiar, and some AM hits, they disappeared.
Then came the boys, down the aisle next to me. Scruffier than any transient I had ever been close to, smoking cigarettes and looking like they had a secret. After tuning up for about an hour, they launched me into an area I had not been before. Several days later, when my old self never really returned, I gave up on the Airplane.
These days, when I listen to the .shn from that date, I remember the fingerprints I left in that wooden armrest. And revel in the thought that my old self never did get back to me.
THE WINTER JAM By Aren't We Really?
The Winter Jam it was not exactly. Shakedown Street it was! The line outside the Warfield Theater snaked around the block onto Turk Street, the heart of town... if you are a homeless dude or dudette. The ticket said doors would open at 6:30pm but it was probably closer to seven before the line started moving. The balmy weather seemed to suit everyone's clothes, especially the brothers and sisters from nearby Sixth Street who worked the line pushing green bud to the captive market waiting to get in. They did not realize most of us had far better kind in our pockets than they offered. The concert queue is not exactly what the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau has in mind for its idea of promoting tourism. The Republican National Committee would be appalled. The right wing Christians would drop to their knees in prayer. The Democrats would embrace it as multi-cultural. The homeless must be thrilled because the local Supervisor representative, in whose district the Warfield resides, is their advocate. So smoke 'em if you got 'em but try not to step on the local resident laying on the sidewalk cackling at us because he is too high to stand up.
After an hour or so, most of us passed the inspection and were granted entrance into the wonderful lobby adorned with splendid photos and posters. The image of Bob Hope peering out from the stage onto the Warfield audience caught my eye. It was next to a full stage shot of the Grateful Dead's memorable 1980s fall run at this theater. The schmooze in the hallway was in full force with old friends embracing and talking about life as we now know it. This joint was packed, literally and figuratively! The promoter probably could have fit at least two, maybe three more people in before the fire marshall showed displeasure. The uniformed San Francisco police officer wondering through the hall appeared to be amused at the crowd of hippies and hippie wannabes. He left us alone and we didn't hassle him. For that reason alone, life seemed good.
Looking down at my ticket to remember where I was supposed to go, I note it said " General Admission 50.00 - Budweiser True Music - The Warfield - S.F. - Limited Seats on Main Floor - The Dead - No Infants/Doors at 6:30pm, Mon Feb. 9 2004 7:30pm". Hmmm... Budweiser! No Infants/Doors at 6:30pm... maybe we were supposed to start drinking heavily which many folks were doing. Downstairs I counted five bars, upstairs there were two more. The waitresses were doing a landslide business. Hats off to them for negotiating a crowd like this with so little spillage. Ecstatically, the fine aroma of Bud was pervasive.
I never went into the balcony because my ticket wouldn't allow access there. It may have been a more comfortable place for someone with bones that have become as funky as mine. The limited seats on the main floor were indeed limited as they had all been reserved. I am fairly sure I saw Jorma Kaukonen sitting in one of them, or least a man who looked a lot like Jorma. I was convinced it was Jorma! Sure, why wouldn't he be there enjoying the music. Oh yes, the music! It is what it is now, it isn't what it used to be. I thought deeply about what I was hearing. The edge was gone from the Grateful Dead performances. It sounded much smoother, more refined. This ensemble seemed to still be searching for its particular voice at times. But it was still good to hear and they were really throwing it at us. I wondered how it would have been to hear Beethoven or Mozart perform their own music live rather than to hear an orchestra performing its interpretation. The Dead did jam! The second set rocked a non-stop roll with an enormous primordial oil baked light show for their backdrop. As advertised, it was a Winter Jam in spite of the fine California weather. Evolution is unavoidable. He's Gone. We're not!
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2004
WHO WERE THE BEATLES?
WHAT WAS AN ED SULLIVAN?
WHEN WAS FORTY YEARS AGO?
He who cleans his teeth with the point of his knife, may soon clean them with the haft.
-- Iago ab Dewi
This is the birthday of Brendan Behan, the Borstal Boy. He was born in Dublin in 1923 and died there on March 20, 1964. (Forty years ago!) In his teens Brendan joined the IRA, as was the family tradition, and was sentenced to three years detention in Borstal for possession of explosives. As a child Brendan was his formidable grandmother's favourite, and she would often take him drinking with her. One night as they returned home a passer-by remarked, "Isn't it terrible, ma'am, to see such a beautiful little boy deformed?"
"How dare you?" said his granny, "he is not deformed. He's just drunk."
-- Ulick O'Connor
If by accident, you find the back tooth of a horse, carry it about with you as long as you live, and you shall never want for money; but it must be found by chance.
-- Lady Wilde
A friend of mine (an airline hostess) who is a member of the Lutheran Church was suffering greatly from a problem connected with her teeth. She had already consulted a dentist who studied the problem and told her that it was impossible to fix the situation.
Since there was no help from the dentist I told her about St. Appollonia the patron saint of teeth, dentists and toothaches. Saint Appollonia's feast day was a few days away. She took the advice to pray to St. Appollonia and then returned to the dentist.
He came up with a solution to the problem which he previously had said that he had no solution for, telling her St. Appollonia was an elderly Christian lady who had all her teeth knocked out during her martyrdom.
(Another saint who became famous for curing toothache with a blessing is Saint John Bosco the founder of the Salesians.)
-- In Cognito
ah solution abounds around the bounder
as he knocks about his lady friend
and sends her flying toothlessly
praying Saint Appollonia protect us
from Bosco a roscoe who won't tellus
zackly what he did to his fellus
the Salesians climbing up the trellis
-- Dah Capn
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