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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lovers Come and Gone

The world is full of love songs about people you love madly and the ones that broke your heart and the ones you drop as well as the ones that drop you in return, and…it got me to thinking. I want to talk about the loves I’ve had in the past. Real and imagined (the imagined ones can be defined as Internet Lolitas with the accent on the first three letters LOL).

There are the girls you ran after and the ones that ran after you. You worried about looking like a stalker when you ran after that girl, but when a girl runs after you she makes no bones about the fact that she’s stalking you. She’ll even tell you straight out, “I’m stalking you”. “Don’t you wish you never met her”, as PJ Harvey sang in Rid Of Me. Well, sometimes. It’s sexy when it’s the girl you want, but if she’s not then it’s a scene from Play Misty For Me, all signs of manic desire, obsession, unhealthy fixation, so on and so forth.

But I digress: I’m driving up Pacific Coast Highway making a delivery, staring at the big, blue waves and listening to The Flying Burrito Brothers. Feeling like such a California boy. “She’s the devil in disguise, she’s been telling dirty lies…she calls me ‘The Man In The Fog’, ‘Take me’, she says, ‘Just one time’”.

I think about the Jim Jarmusch film Broken Flowers, where he visits a few of his ex-girlfriends to find out who is the mother of his only child. In his quest for the mystery woman we see him visiting a biker mama, a high-strung animal psychiatrist, a reformed hippie turned Stepford Wife, and an over the hill dragstrip queen.

None of the women are connected in any way, and collectively represent the phases of his life and what interested him most at that time about women. I think we’re all like that in many ways, and in that respect I can say that what interested me in a woman thirty years ago would never interest me now, because I’ve changed. I think we’re all like that; we change our taste in people, as we do in music or films.

People search endlessly for someone to love, not because they lack independence, but because who they choose to be with marks a milestone in their life. To live an entire life without love is a life lived without reference or signposts.

But I digress: Drove for 11 hours straight yesterday, and the last job was delivering some fashion over the hill from Laurel Canyon. It was pitch black and I was already tired and felt myself floating in the darkness up the canyon and when the job was done I drove back down the canyon, floating in the darkness and feeling like a Laurel Canyon ghost. It was a beautiful feeling.

There were the girls that made me cry and the ones I made cry, but above all the ones that gave me fire, inspired me, great pretenders of the muse…some of them were the real thing and others who just didn’t have it.

I think about people who have love all the time and others who never get any, and even worse, the ones who have to fight for it, like beggars in a tent camp. Do the people who never have love dream pleasant dreams or is life just a long nightmare for them? I wonder.

P.S. Many of the girls I've loved are either still single, a few are divorced, and most of them have gone mad. What’s it all about? You will know love and love will drive you mad, but loneliness is worse.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Does This World Make Me Look Flat?

When I was a kid I went to my music school's talent show. It was a fairly dull affair; lots of classical piano pieces, a homely girl on clarinet, even some operatic aria.

Just when all seemed lost, however, the big finale was worth the trip: ten boys and girls came out with electric guitars and music stands to perform Heartbreak Hotel. It was absolutely glorious. Half the guitars were out of tune, louder than sin and no one played in time with each other. It was the most no wave thing I ever heard, DNA, Mars and Theoretical Girls be damned.

On a separate note, I don’t need to go into laborious detail about the bizarre victory of a highly unstable and unqualified man for the most coveted position in the free world, the President of the soon to not be United States. Get ready to see reversals of everything resembling remedial thought, including the concept of the World being flat. Science, along with our natural resources will be taking quite a beating for the next four years. I’m sure even Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity will be destroyed by these imbeciles in the years to come. No one is safe.

How will that affect art for the next four years? I suspect that there will be a lot of artists playing it safe out of fear of the new bully regime. On the other hand I suspect we’ll see more Joel Greys than ever, artists becoming more decadent and defiant as a form of revolution.

On the way home from the psychedelic dance party I had to drive through Skid Row. In the middle of the street was this girl who looked like Cissy Spacek all covered in blood a la Carrie. She was looking for her other sneaker. When she saw my car slowly crawling she made this intolerant Aileen Wuornos face and threw her arms up to wave me through. If I could put subtitles under her it would be "WAIL CUM ON, SPORT!"

Am I the only one who nurses a strange nostalgia for obscurity? Thanks to the internet, nothing can honestly be branded as obscure anymore. What I’m referring to is a day and age in my childhood where tons of data couldn’t be gleaned from a computer and had to be simply discovered. Case in point, when I’d take a bus up to Hollywood Boulevard and I’d walk up and down the street and its many side streets, an endless labyrinth of old pulp magazine stores, magic shops, stores specializing in Eastern herbs (not yet approaching the mainstream as this was 1966), and even the odd witchcraft store with black candles. Bereft of any advertising, one had to roam through the Hollywood jungle to discover all these esoteric shops.

But all the mystery and kink of Hollywood Boulevard is gone, now, it’s just a jumped up Disneyland for tourists with the odd teen runaway wearing a Misfits t-shirt. Kids nowadays don’t even have a clue who Sid Vicious is, even. That might be a good thing. Maybe Sid can finally rest in peace.

Speaking of Syd I’ve posted a picture of the late Syd Barrett in the autumn of his years. I find the photo interesting, probably because the resemblance to Brian Eno is more than coincidental. Barrett was definitely a big influence on Eno during his Taking Tiger Mountain/Another Green World period, China My China and Third Uncle, for example. Kink and mystery, kink and mystery…it’s all over now.

Guitar art by Tim Biskup; DJ picture by Chris Reccardi.