flyer: Kista Cook
Elvis Birthday Bash Photo Gallery
The Elvis show went very well, and lost money again.
Furthest travelers this year were the folkie Ronstad-Ramirez Band from
Tucson. Twenty five acts, all terrific. Its the greatest show on
1ST RECORD/ 1ST CONCERT
Its Monday morning the tenth of February in the year of you-know-who 1964.
The world is different place to me this morning; everything is in turmoil, everything
is up for grabs and theres something new and strange in the mirror. I stare
for a few minutes until I suddenly realize that the strange reflection is me.
I wonder why Ive never seen this person before but I do know it has something
to do with those four English guys with the Moe Howard haircuts that were on
the Ed Sullivan Show last night. Shit, I had no knowledge of, interest in, or
even the faintest awareness of RocknRoll or anything that went along
with it. I do remember the older girls a few years earlier singing along to Big
Boys Dont Cry but that too came and went. Something was afoot here
and even at my freshly achieved age of 10 I could tell that much.
So, at 8pm est on the night of February 9th, I tuned into to see spooky old Ed
Sullivan to see what was the hub-bub, Bub. Well, let me put it this way, when,
because of my association with the great Dion DiMucci, I met (for a brief lightning
bolt of a moment, met) AND shook hands with Paul McCartney, 30+ years instantly
melted away and there he was holding that Hofner Violin bass left-handed and,
with those big puppy dog eyes, singing All My Loving. And now, here I was. A
full circle of life. Like finally meeting an estranged birth mother. And, this
was a Paul McCartney that had recently lost his wife, had already lost his best
friend, and his band, but to me, in that instant he was smiling and singing,
and looking into the sun and not being able to look away, too. So mighty was
that appearance. So mighty! I am who I am, what I am, and what I will always
be since, and ultimately because of that moment. Just trying to chase down that
magic, hold it for as long as Heaven will allow, leave a mark, and then move
on to the next town and rock em all over again. And again.
So, the evening of the tenth, my dad comes home holding Meet The Beatles and
hands it me, happily and casually, and glad that I have an interest in something
other than the New York Yankees, totally and blissfully unaware of what he has
just handed over, what he has unleashed on the world. And right under his roof.
Nothing less than a religious missionary. An eternal seeker, hunting down a deep
magic first revealed in a long ago TV instant, and carefully doled out in shining
RocknRoll moments ever since.
And, do I really have to tell you how unbelievably great and life changing Meet
the Beatles was/is?? I think not.
Concerts, now that was a tricky proposition. Ya see, in those first years of
my true birth (1964) and life (64 on), Im just a little kid living
up in the Bronx, and concerts, well they were happening in Manhattan, which involved
a subway ride to and from, and maybe just me, or maybe me and another young un
to brave the 5 train. While NYC was not the OK Corral it would become under Dinkins
and during The Crack Era, it was still not a comfortable scenario for my folks.
But, in the summer of 1966, The Mothers Of Invention booked a theatre called
the Garrick on Bleecker St. above the Café Au Go Go (where I would later
see Howlin Wolf, Sonny Boy, Furry Lewis, and even Mitch Ryders Detroit)
and they were doing Sunday afternoon matinees. This was a negotiation I could
win, and did.
So me and my buddy Sammy Klein took the D Train down to West 4th Street, and
walked down 3rd, turned right on MacDougal, left on Bleecker and there we were.
Now, in 1966, there was little you could find that better represented the new
changing attitudes, sounds, sights, sensibilities than the Mothers. All the new
bands that were popping up everyday seemed to know something you didnt,
none more than these guys. They were funny, outrageous, musical, and very theatrical.
Unbelievably hip. Being there felt like I was I now inside the walls of the city.
It was comforting, like I was on the winning team. I looked around at the others
in the audience like I was greeting the survivors of a great disaster, and maybe
I remember Frank Zappa coming out and greeting us with, Good afternoon,
Buckaroos. I remember them doing the 50s style, Big Leg Emma, the
freaky (their word) Help, Im A Rock,
the awesome blues rock Trouble Every Day (Im not black but theres
a whole lotsa times I wish I could say Im not white). Everything
was magical, and daring, and subversive, and so completely identifiable. Yeah,
even at 12.
After the show, at the record store downstairs I bought a copy of Absolutely
Free, the second Mothers album. I remember that for some reason the album would
be delayed about another six months, so now, I had an album no one else that
I knew had. I am cool.
There ya have it, a couple of firsts on the road to becoming Top 10. Pretty soon,
this would all be a blur as my life would be consumed by records, concerts, magazines.
Hey, still is.
Scott Kempner is a singer-songwriter-guitar player with good pedigree,
with someone in the dugout at all times and a quarter to call 'em... He
now lives in L.A. Til he moves to Nashville.
Another Fein Mess/
AF STones Monthly
Last ish I wrote about some mental pressures, and some people became concerned
about me. Im sorry to have alarmed anyone. All Things Must Pass, and by
George they did. (And the lost weight has stayed off! So far.)
Good Vibe Radio
Recently a program host at KCRW, the world-music NPR radio station1 in
Santa Monica, was busted2 on
suspicion of improper behavior with a 14-year-old girl. This got big play in
the L.A. Times on a Friday.
The following Tuesday (1-17-06), the paper ran a glowing, if not worshipful article
about Nic Harcourt, one of their air-men not under investigation.5 This
article, by Deborah Netburn, refers to Harcourts iconic program,
and effuses about the wonders He performs, including his other job as
music supervisor of a new tv show which, though not yet seen by most newspaper
readers (unless the readership is as small as people are claiming and only read
by Variety readers), Netburn informs6 us,
is just, well, wonderful. (With St. Harcourt providing the music, how could it
Harcourt, a pioneer on the musical frontier -- hes been there
eight years, we all remember what wilderness radio was before 1998 -- has, uniquely
- miraculously! - booked buzz7 bands. Nic
has credibility and is credited for being the first to
play Moby, Norah Jones, and Coldplay (ergo he is responsible for their popularity),
though his magnificent music-consultant presence on a short-lived ABC
show last year is not held against him.
If your name is Netburn and you are gaga, Harcourt can do no wrong.8
(For another opinion on the KCRW conflict-of-interest
front, see Neal McCabes letter at the end of this column.)
1 How do you describe such stations now?
NPR it is, but once that wouldve meant the hippie station, like KPFK the
Pacifica station that broadcast Patty Hearsts statements when she was on
the run. I find NPR stations suffocatingly politically correct, chock full of
women and men who speak anemically. And we know who their audience is! Volvo-driving
(Wait, I have a Volvo), liberal (uh...), middle-aged (I hope still!), kids-going-to-private
school (uh....), bland taste (finally, a break), west-side (not me!) rich (and
away we go!) Baby-Boomers (that tag extends to births as late as 1964, so Shut
up, half of you!).
2 Actually the article said there was an
investigation going on, no charges, but the article aired all the cases
possibilities and negative speculation.3
3 Whats with American libel law? In
Britain you cant discuss the terms of an untried case in the press. Here,
you can levy all sorts of dross and put allegedly in front of it,
or the suit says. Recently (1-3-06) Robert W. Welkos in the L.A.
Times imputed Christian Brando with details from a suit against him by his former
wife. Do ex-spouses hold grudges? Do they exaggerate claims to whittle down their
adversary to admit to lesser ones? Are claims, as such, untrue bec theyre
not factual - yet? This article quotes The suit paints..., the
suit alleges..., allegedly..., the suit alleges..., and according
to the suit..., the suit alleges..., the suit claims..., according
to the suit..., while also, just to be completely one-sided, quoting HER
lawyer, According to Deborah Brandos attorney, Brian Oxman, of Beverly
Hills4 (sic)..., Oxman said..., and Oxman
said.... Irrespective of the sexual assault charges, what IS known is
that Welkos is really screwing Christian Brando.
4 What the hell? This is inserted as a positive,
to buffet the wifes case (with her fancy-shmancy lawyer.) If Christian
Brandos attorney was from Pacoima, itdve been mentioned here
- bec its not cool!
5 Was this spin control at work? Was
a later article about Nic Harcourt rushed it into print to offset the bad NPR
PR at KCRW, a most-favored-station of Timesies?
6 Debbie, new to my eyes, has a new
word and shes loving it! This tv show is INFORMED by music
details, such as that a restaurant is square bec it plays Air Supply music and
a woman is cool bec she gifts Bob Dylan music. (This in fact is an important
explication bec most people dont read rock critics, whose opinions she
apes. And when they leased the Air Supply track for thousands of dollars, did
they tell the band that it was being used to inform us that someones
character is cheesy?) Music INFORMS this world she tells
us, and tells us St. Nic INFORMS the music selection. I thought someone
who informs was a fink.
7 When I think of a buzz band
I think of the Ventures, whose 2000-lb. Bee was played entirely in
fuzz tone. Harcourt would never play it.
8 You Can Do No Wrong, a great
song by Carl Perkins, has never been
played by Harcourt, which is why I never listen.
I like to save money as much as the next guy, but the Sony digital camera I got
came with rechargeable double-A batteries. AAs, in bulk, cost 40 cents
each (or less, drugstore house brand), how badly to I need to save 80 cents by
recharging? It seems silly.
And also, whats with digital cameras film speed? Its
never indicated. This baby is 7.1 mega-pixels, so then if I drop it down to 4.0
(I can do that, they tell me) does that increase the film speed to
allow me to shoot in darker situations, like increasing film speed, and graininess,
on a real-film camera?
Jerry Lee! Jerry Lee!
I was interviewed by phone in my office by a guy in SF. He had a sound-recordist
there to direct-tape my answers. Someone (the Smithsonian?) is honoring fifty
important songs, one of them Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On, and
a SF friend suggested he talk to me.
I gave him an earful. I think WLSGO is a revolutionary record; when I hear it
on the radio I am surprised they are allowed to play it -- it is a clarion call,
a call to battle! For what, against what I dont know, but it is an emotion-rousing
battle cry, in part responsible, like Elvis, for the kids revolution of
the 60s. And lets not overlook the fact that of the five big guys
of the 50s, Elvis, Jerry Lee, Fats, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard, three were
piano players, and piano played a big part in Chucks music. Pianos should
be the symbol of rock & roll, not guitars!
But when he asked me if I thought the sexual content of the song was a factor,
I was struck dumb: I had never thought of it. OF COURSE wiggle it around
just a little bit from the thrice-married 21-year-old was suggestive, but
when I heard the record I was eleven, and like so many of my thoughts from that
age, I never updated.
Oh, Bob, stick with movies will ya?
On Turner Classic Movies, Bob Osbourne was explaining Ed Sullivan (did they air Bye
Bye Birdie?) and said He was a newspaper columnist, but he introduced
many of the eras biggest music stars like Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Elvis
had been on tv at least six times before with the Dorsey Bros, Milton Berle and
Steve Allen (who, by booking Elvis beat the pants off Sullivan in ratings and
prompted Sullivan to cough up $50,000 for 3 appearances, a colossal amount of
Reminds me of my appearance on Split Second in 1973. I won the game but picked
the wrong car. Afterwards I explained to them that one of the questions was wrong.
In the category of Sullivans they had three to choose from: Helen Kellers
teacher, the turn of the century boxer, and the man who introduced Elvis Presley
on his tv show. The last was Ed, and I told them it was wrong. They
panicked, but since I won the show I wasnt contesting the outcome.
Joe Queenan, in the 7/31/05 NY Times book review section, opens his review of
a bad book thusly:
Ten years ago, Kevin Costners career took a turn for the worse when
he made a hugely expensive film called Waterworld. Since then, the
film has become synonymous with megalomania, hubris and all the other fancy words
that journalists like to use when things fall apart and the center will not hold.
But unlike his other movies Wyatt Earp and The Postman, which
are really bad, Waterworld is simply a dumb, expensive dud, not an
epic studio-imploding disaster like Heavens Gate or Battlefield
Earth. If you are in the market for a truly horrendous movie, one of the
worst motion pictures ever made, you are going to be cruelly disappointed. Waterworld stinks,
but it does not reek.
He could have stated simply that the book -- remember, this is a book review
- was bad but not the worst, but instead trots out opinions agreed-upon by all
critics and merrily trashes Kevin Costner, whose entire career, by Queenan, is
a comedy of errors.
What are Queenans big works, that he can trash him so freely? He writes
about filmmakers HUBRIS? What does he think his trash-talking is? Someone
put a muzzle on him. And by tossing in Heavens Gate he is aligned
with the Patrick Goldstein Im superior to what I write about school,
which aint even accredited.
More Things Everyone Knows But Me
In the 11/23/05 NY Times, there was an article about a White House tradition
of pardoning turkeys instead of killing them - and sending them to
Disneyland. It said nothing about when this tradition started (it says previous
years) but I guess I was the only person shocked to see President Bush
sparing their lives, after his record of executions in Texas.
I Should Have Invested in Stale-Bread Futures
I went by the post office at 7:50, drawn by their Were Open At 7. Thought
Id beat the rush. I did, by 40 minutes. They still open at 8:30 (for
your convenience,) but they let you in at 7 to get stuff from your postal
box. Why, I ask incessantly, do postal WORKERS open fire at the post office and
not postal patrons? At Xmas, the Hollwood branch on Cherokee had two windows
open at noon and a long line. Exactly what time of year do you open all
six windows? I asked the manager. Oh, we dont have the staff
to do that. But with the rate raise itll all be solved.
Already theyre closing the one near me on Saturdays - for my convenience
Crystal Geyser water now comes in bottles that are thinner than before. When
you grip them the sides collapse - a miniature version of the blimpish gallon
soda bottles that must be grasped like a balloon. Mfrs skimp. One grocery chain
thinned their produce bag to the thickness of milk scum, so an apple thrown in
would exit the bottom. And when I used to go to 7-11 for Slurpees, I felt the
thinning of the wax-paper cup so that it, too, collapsed in your hand. Cut cut
cut. An 11.5 oz pumpkin filling can when the recipe calls for 12 oz. Maybe
theyll buy 2 cans. The Nestles chip bags that weigh in just below
what every recipe requires.
Ah it harks me back to my childhood at the movies when they had 10, 15 and 25
cent soda cups. One was about 8 oz, the other about 12, the big one was something
like 32! Needing the brain food thats made me what I am today, I opted
for the big one, and they handed it to me half full.
You didnt fill it I said. Yes, he responded, and showed me
a line halfway up the cup which said Cup Full At This Point. Someone
manufactured a cup to cheat children, and the theater owner bought it!
And in a non-grace note, Ralphs Grocery has raised the price of stale bread.
Once, outdated Halloween cookies, bread loaves, baked goods went on a wire rack
for half off. Now, thanks to some calculations by the Main Office, a bag of dried-out
danishes marked $3.98 when they were edible are now $2.79
Keen Eye For the Vambo Fan
Watching a PBS show about Broadway musicals, they get to the 60s and show some
young people singing, outside in a park, a song from Hair.
Am I the only person who spotted The Sensational Alex Harvey strumming the guitar
at the mike? Guess it was in England.
A Link To Smokey
Twice lately, walking through supermarket I heard Hi, this is Smokey Robinson. Whoa!
Hes in the store! The manager asked him to say something on the PA!
... and if youre in the frozen food aisle, stop and pick up a container
of my Bowl Full Of Soul gumbo.
I probably will. I still regret not buying Conway Twitty jeans at K Mart in the 80s.
Last week in December I drove around west Oregon - Medford to Eugene to Portland.
Big snow had fallen 2 weeks earlier and I anticipated the worst. Yet it just
rained. Part of the trip was scary. I left from Bend, and went south. At the
Crater Lake road I considered cutting west to save 20 miles to Medford. I drove
ten miles past Chains Required signs but figured the recent rains
and mild temps had eliminated the snow. When I passed a Jeep wagon lodged in
a snowbank (the road itself was clear) I wondered what had happened, then immediately
encountered packed snow on the road. It was a downhill road with nothing but
white on the ground and black clouds and night sky above. It looked like the
end of the world. I tapped the brakes and the rental car slid. I made a cautious
u-turn and headed back to the main road (97) to Klamath. If it had been an hour
later itdve been dark and I would have been scared to death.
But I was scared on the road from Klamath to Medford. It was a mountain road,
and in the encroaching darkness, terrifying. I had driven in plenty of snow in
Chicago and, especially, Colorado, but that was 35 years ago so I was full of
dread on my climb, especially when a 4-wheel-drive vehicle in front of me slid
to the right and lodged backwards in a snowbank. The road wasnt icy, just
slush between the tires! Mr. Scaredy Cat made it to Medford OK, but shaking.
I never had an audio book before, but wanted one for the long drives, so bought
an Elmore Leonard CD set cheap, ten bucks with damaged cover. Ill not buy
another one. You must pay strict attention when youre being read to: miss
a name or an action and youre lost. You can rewind, but what the hell,
its not the same as poring back a couple of lines in a book, its
tedious and inexact. At least for me. And even though its read by an actor
(readings by authors, who are not speakers, is usually deadly dull), its
still wrong. Stagings, with actors, is the only way.
At Powells in Portland I bought The Story Of Classical Music (Read
By Marin Alsop) CD-set intended for kids. I know nothing about classical
music, and thought an elementary primer would be perfect for the road. When she
said In Mozarts day there were no CDs or DVDs I
winced but left it on, but then she gave 3- or 4-minute bios of the composers
and 30-second music snatches, so I didnt learn nuthin.
In the 12/31/05 NY Times, Jodi Wilgoren laments the passing of an old restaurant,
The Berghoff, in Chicago9,
falling back on the meaningless old price/new price tack: Started as a
humble tavern where a mug of the house brew was a nickel...
What does that mean? Shes talking about 1900. A weeks wage was $2.
If you make $200/wk now, that makes it a $5 mug. And why say home brew? All beers
were locally-made then. Why do editors allow this argy-bargy to go through?
9 Im surprised this wasnt scooped
by the L.A. Times. Since being purchased by the Chicago Tribune the L.A. Times
has had an inordinate amount of Chicago coverage - recently we learned there
are 2000 coyotes in the Chicago area.
In that same piece, it said customers were stealing The Berghoffs logo
beer steins, for personal nostalgia or resale.
That resale value could be nebulous. Fr Rip says many people bought up 1976 Cadillac
convertibles bec they were, by proclamation, the last year for convertibles.
They cost, then, $15,000. Then they stored them at some expense, and kept the
parts greased and the top fixed and the paint clean for twenty years, only to
find out that they could only get about $17,000 for them as the 21st century
neared. Nobody wanted the big old boats.
Likewise, when the Los Angeles Herald Examiner ran their last issue in 1989,
the papers disappeared off the newsstand as soon as delivered. The only people
who didnt get them were newspaper-readers. You see those papers in plastic
bags at swap meets today for $2 and $3. Deteriorating.
Cell Phone Etiquette
I am a big cell-phone booster. Champion. Fan.
In my early adult life I dreamed of three things and got them all: a typewriter
with correctability that didnt involve liquid or correction sheets (Im
writing on one now); a telephone that I could walk with: and a child. All have
been very satisfactory.
When people criticize cell phone users I point out that the abusers are just
boors: period. And Im quick to whip mine out in a crowded elevator when
anyone is broadcasting their call and half shout Hey, Mom, how are grandpas
hemmorhoids doing? Or Yeah, Im in an elevator right now, talking
at full blast.
But you dont make important calls on a cell phone. Especially in a car.
(On a Seinfeld he tells Elaine that she cannot break up with a guy on a cell
phone.) By definition - by its instability - a cell phone call is one that might
give up at any second. You just dont do it.
Xmas Business News
My wife bought the wrong camera at Target in Burbank. After Xmas she returned
it to a Target in Walnut Creek, 360 miles away, without a receipt and they credited
her charge-card. I can only guess that the store has its own bar-code on the
box which shoots back the purchase-point info.
And we rented a car at Avis Media Ctr/ Burbank, an Impala whose brakes chattered
and slipped when descending the Grapevine. (A steep hill 60 miles north of L.A.)
On level land they worked alright, and we drove the other 300 miles with trepidation
but no problem. I phoned the Burbank site and they arranged for a new one to
be acquired in San Ramon, 15 miles from our destination. We got there tired and
inconvenienced: had to unload the car completely rather than relaxing after the
The guy said Did you fill the tank? We said, No, we came here
directly. We dont want to be here. The car was defective. He said
maybe our Burbank unit would cover the cost. We later got a bill that had an
$87 charge for gas (1/3 tank). I pointed this out to the Burbank Avis people
and they called Customer Service (for me!) and had the charge removed. They have
also booked us cars in other cities so I dont have to go through the maze.
Im still an Avis fan - its cheaper than Enterprise.
My fr Don has 14,000 songs on his iPod. So then how does he make a decision what
to listen to? I suppose random-play produces surprises, but what the hell is
going on? People used to buy one album, one single, and listen to it til it was
ingrained in their heart. Now what? You have more plentitude than you can possibly
use. Just making a decision must be mind-breaking. And lets hear it for
movies the size of a postage stamp!
Im For Equality
At Mayfair grocery in Hollywood, I walked past a woman with my arms at my side
when she pushed a hip in my path. Did she say We have to quit meeting like
this? or Sorry? No, she smiled and said Next time Ill
call the police. It was an ugly joke. Her daughter said Mommmmm....
My 44-year-old woman friend smiled and said that now that her 15-year old daughter
is having boys come over, Im in love with all of them.
I got it, shes saying that young boys are attractive. Harmless comment.
But if I said my daughters 15-year old girlfriends sure look good to me
someoned call the police and put an ankle-monitor on me.
The same gal had a date a couple years ago with a spiritural chanter (very
big right now, crossing over) at his house. She discovered he wore an ankle-monitor
bec he is under federal indictment for money-laundering for the Mafia in India.
(She found that intriguing. She is an idiot.)
Lost, and Found, On the Net
"Liten film, En" (1999) (mini)
Art Fein: They probably didn't know what to do with their lives, I think. So
they started doing things that, you can compare to Elvis, things that didn't
make sense. I think that's what happened to them.
A quote from me. I have no more idea what it means than you do.
Maybe it was translated into German and back into English.
|Al Kooper, AF, Todd Everett 1/16/06
chief David Bash, AF - Studio City Lanes,
|Paul Body, writer John Tottenham,
||Jessie Fein gets her ears pierced.
|AF, former Rollin' Rocker Jimmie
||Rhino Record Store's final day
- 57 -
Mark On The Move
Went to McCabes in Santa Monica January 14th to see the masterful Geoff
Muldaur, whom Ive seen several times, so was surprised and ecstatic to
see him introduce a band consisting of John Sebastian, Greg Leisz and Van Dyke
Parks! (3 outta 4 on stage were simultaneously signed to WB Records in
early seventies.) They played in front of a large photo of Fritz Richmond,
who died November 20th, and a pamphlet that Geoff wrote in tribute to Fritz was
placed on every seat in the room what class! Sebastian played baritone
guitar, banjo and harmonica, Greg everything with strings and Van Dyke accordian
and piano. The set list was a dream (tunes I first heard from the Lovin Spoonful
like Wild About My Lovin and Fishin Blues, plus
Blind Willie Johnsons Trouble Soon Be Over, Sleepy John Estes Drop
Down Mama and devastatingly sublime encores of Irving Berlins Waiting
At the End of the Road and the setting of Bix Beiderbeckes Clouds with
words by Linda Thompson and Rufus Wainwright). But it was the casual, friendly
stories swapped by Geoff and John (about smoking grass with Mississippi John
Hurt in Greenwich Village for inst) and the ESP-like instrumental interactions
that gave us the hearts of those on stage. We even rehearsed some
of these numbers, and its your job to figure out which ones Geoff
said to the audience early on. I was too busy swooning to care.
-- Mark Leviton
KCRW radio host Chris Douridas is alleged to have drugged a 14-year-old
girl in a Santa Monica bar (Jan. 14). I believe there is a more plausible
explanation for what seems, at first glance, to be a serious crime.
Any listener to Mr. Douridas's radio show knows that his soporific delivery
and bland musical tastes rapidly induce drowsiness, followed by deep sleep;
driving while listening to KCRW constitutes a hazard to public safety. Is
it so unlikely that he may have put a young woman to sleep with his frightening
lack of personality and non-existent conversational skills? I suspect that
the girl he carried out of the bar was comatose as a result of time spent in
the company of Mr. Douridas.
Perhaps she became woozy after listening to the mind-numbing
musical selections Mr. Douridas played over the bar sound system, or maybe he
let her to listen to his iPod, whereupon her head landed on the table. Is
it so surprising that a teenager would keel over from boring and derivative music
programmed for unadventurous middle-aged dolts from the west side? I
I have long feared that the entire KCRW staff would be arrested in an FCC raid
and taken out in handcuffs for violation of payola regulations and criminal conflicts
of interest. Thank God they're all still on the air, still slavishly doing
their bosses bidding when not working at their real jobs at local
record and film companies.
How wonderful that they have all parlayed a gig at a college station
into big Hollywood bucks! I look forward to more crummy movie soundtracks
put together by Mr. Douridas and the other talentless music coordinators moonlighting at
-- Neal McCabe
A few years ago I met a woman. We became lovers. I was married, she was
not. Her beauty made me gasp. I wondered what wonderful Fate brought her
to me. We shared passion for music and each other. But after a year she moved
to Texas. Still I managed to see her occasionally. She was resigned to a
life of celibacy, broken by visits from me. Men no longer look at me she said, at age
43. Im old.
Shed led a torrid life. Grew up in the southwest, moved to NY at 18
and lived fast: punk-rock, escort work, heroin addiction. Married in 1994
and moved to LA, and got clean and sober, then divorced.
Our affair was somewhat torrid. Even though Id been long without sex and
was quite pent-up, I often felt I was not entirely up to the challenge. Her sexual
experience FAR outweighed mine. Once I suggested something I thought was extremely
intimate, and said lovingly, Ill bet nobody ever offered to do THAT
to you. There was awkward silence. Sheeplishly I realized it meant Everyone
does that to me. I was humbled.
Last summer she met someone in Texas and they began a relationship. We
both knew this could happen she said on the phone and I suddenly realized
that this was the end of us. I said Oh, sure, I know.... and
fell to the floor. I sobbed every day for 80 days.
I knew I was the luckiest man in the world, and I also knew I was due for a terrible
fall when she left, for we were doomed. When she told me of her new love, she
said nothing more, just goodbye. I was left with a heart full of love for her,
unwanted. It was cold, but it was necessary. She needed a real relationship,
which I could not provide.
She calls once in a while to say how happy she is. She is not sadistic, just
oblivious. The strong eventuality of us parting was always high in her mind,
while the slim possibility wed go on forever was high in mine.
I went to Texas last fall, and she dropped in on me at a friends house to
say hi. After she left I sat perfectly still, hoping to collect myself,
then ran to a bathroom and sobbed. I growled violently from my gut, trying
to dislodge my lungs and stomach. I anticipated, and somewhat welcomed, death
by strangulation. It was the screaming animal low-point of my life.
I lived alright before knowing her, but then she surrounded my heart with joy.
In its absence, incoming light was swallowed by the void. I heard an unknown
ferocity in my voice when angry, which was often. I saw darkness and emptiness
Well-meaning friends give me books, suggest help groups (SLAA) and offer
condolences. My AA friend insists I am addicted and going through withdrawal.
Another looked at me with cold pity and said Grow up!
But I was over 50, and in over my head.
-- Bill W, L.A.