We were talking about sad songs with no resolution yesterday. A friend suggested that there was no reason to write anything that didn't take care of the loneliness or the heartache. Of course I realized immediately that life is the same. I wouldn't write this junk if I could come up with happy endings. I wouldn't live this life if I could do better.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Just read something from my pal, Uncle Ralph, in Oklahoma. Reminded me that one day you'll be nothing but a memory. Leave a good one. Loving happens if you don't get in the way.
The pendulum in our culture has swung all the way over. Let's swing it all the way back. Peace and love, that's all.
Friday, December 6, 2013
My failures take up most of the room in my memory bank. Business, romance, art, blah, blah ad nauseam...
Sometimes I try to make myself feel better by telling myself that I'm just not a salesman. I'm not. How do I know that anybody would have ever bought it if I had been a salesman.
Occasionally I have been close to the right place at close to the right time. I've zigged as fashion zagged. When it's time for psychedelia I've moved to hillbilly music. When Americana gets hip, I quit the club.
I would battle dragons for love but I surely won't beg someone to stay.
There's a fine line between principle and self destruction. Success and suicide aren't many pages apart in the dictionary.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Oh, I wish you could have seen some of what I've seen. I witnessed the Von Brauners whip the Volkoffs so that the dirty commies had to leave town.
My mom held me up to the tour bus window so that I could shake Roy Rogers' hand. Actually, he shook my two fingers, as I recall, but that was some time back.
The only time I ever skipped school was to go see President Kennedy speak at Plant Field in Tampa. We lost him a week later.
Gregg Allman took me outside the Electric Zoo to play me rough mixes on a cassette from the first album. It was pretty good.
I saw a fistfight, and I use the term loosely, that involved Don Garlits, Art Malone, Chris Karamasines, and Bobby Hunt. Good thing those guys didn't fight for a living.
The Lone Ranger gave me a mask at an air show in Birmingham. I seem to have misplaced it.
Pop Staples and I were left in a room together with this; "Ill leave you two alone. I know you have a lot to talk about." We had nothing. After a bit he had the good sense to leave.
I hope I live a lot longer and a lot more stuff happens.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Well, the fellow assigned to me from the State Department wasn't just helpful, he was downright friendly. I had applied for a license to visit Cuba as a writer. I was planning to write about Cuban music. My guy called from D.C. and asked if I had anything available that I had ever written for a newspaper* or magazine.
My most recent newspaper articles were from The Tampa Tribune from the late '60's and early '70's. He assured me that they would do just fine. I sent him clippings of stories about cars and race car drivers and reviews of rock'n'roll records. The only magazine pieces that I could find in the attics in the trunk were my Ask Dr. Underwear columns from Go! Magazine from the '70's. That had been my "advice column" that I did with Harry where I made up the questions so that I could match it with snappy, clever answers. I split my paycheck with Harry so that I could use ridiculous photos of him for the column. The fact that decades had passed since this drivel came out didn't seem to matter.
Well, like most of us, I had dreamed of seeing Cuba and it was as special and spectacular as I could have imagined. The beauty of the land and the architecture, at least what's left of it, was beyond my wild expectations. The people were the sweetest that I had ever met.
It didn't take long to realize that I was in way over my head to write about their music. It was as though some wild and crazy guy from another culture decided that he would write about "American music." Every club that I entered slapped me in the face with something wonderful that was nothing like the music from the previous venue. It was all over the board with no boundaries. It didn't take long to recognize that I won't live long enough to know much about all this magic.
Maybe I was ready for some of the splendor and most of the heartbreak. What I had not been made aware of was the situation of the domestic animals on the streets. The dogs of Havana captured and broke my heart. I'm hoping there's a heaven.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The only thing that keeps me from being a self important spiritual leader is that I have nothing to say. Heck, I'd be a rock'n'roll star but I can't sing on key. Stand up comedy interests me but I can't remember jokes. Well, I remember that one about the thermos but that's not much of a show.
Living life is my calling but I've not quite gotten the hang of it yet. I know what you're thinking: better hurry up, don't you think? Now, is that nice?
I remember that Jackie Wilson clutched his chest, crying, "My heart! My heart!" as he was closing his show, singing Lonely Teardrops. That was the end.
Monday, December 2, 2013
While I hardly consider myself a Luddite there are certainly times when I wonder if all technology automatically improves our standard of living. Is it my imagination or was it just a year or two ago that the garbage hauled out to the curb in suburban neighborhoods all contained cardboard boxes from giant, flat screen tv's in the week following Christmas? Now it seems that all of those same consumers and taste followers are comparing notes about how much they love watching their favorite reality shows on their tablets and their phones.
Imagine if texting had been with us for the last century or so but there had been no way until now to actually speak to someone on a phone line. Now imagine a Steve Jobs moment where the magician in the spotlight pulls out a telephone and actually converses with another human in another state. That's right, no typing! You can actually speak, in real time, to someone in Kansas City. Human emotion can be expressed without emoticons.
You play prettier music, I'll be the first one on the dance floor.
Let me know when someone tops the wall of death for a thrill.