I can remember hearing the the Eagles first lp for the first time. The fresh crisp sound of the guitars, the vocals the lyrics. An irresistible combination of the Byrds, CCR & rock. I payed that lp grey. Then along came Desperado – a brilliant concept album that worked. On the Border with its white cover. So you could say I was a fan. I also really liked Poco – another of those rock country bands that were influenced by Buffalo Springfield & the Byrds. It was the California sound that left the Beach Boys and the psychedelic sounds behind in its witchy dust. Beautifully engineered too. Plus Jackson Browne working with them. Good clean boozy boys.
But on the first lp was ‘Most of Us Are Sad’ – a banal slice of greeting card hokum that was an indicator of where the band was heading .When I got the mp3 set of these albums I cut out the songs I never wanted to hear again ‘Sad’ was one of them. I couldn’t understand how band could do such great stuff & include such tripe at the same time. Sadly this middle-of-the-road took over their creative energy even though there are great tracks on One of These Nights and Hotel California I found myself liking the band less and less. Too many sappy tracks that I was happy to discard forever when I compiled them into an Mp3 collection.
Hotel was the last lp I kept. I heard later material & what a yawn. On the mp3 set is some Jackson Browne (For Everyman; Running on Empty; Hold Out; Lawyers in Love) who they worked with frequently.
I also have the Very Best Of 2cd collection as a stand alone & it has enough of the later banal hit tracks to remind me of why I gave up on them. I also grew bored of the heteronormative, boozy celebratory lyrics that reinforced how as much as they wanted a witchy woman they didn’t want her lyin’ eyes either.
The sun would set soon. Maybe an hour; maybe ten minutes. Many nights that part of the equation was hard to predict. Sudden clouds would blow in across the bay and force the sun to set sooner than planned. Tonight didn’t look like one of those nights.
I paced the bluff behind my rental cottage. The edge was soft, crumbly but the fall was only a few feet. That allowed me to be brave. The soft red and white sand below would still be warm from the afternoon. In some spots warm enough to cook.
Not that I’d be prepared to eat the white fish the natives considered such a delicacy. They would wrap the fish, unscaled, still shivering with life, in thin grappo leaves and bury them in the hot sand. Half-an-hour later they would dig them up ready to eat. The white cooked into a sky blue.
I like my fish boned, cleaned & broiled.
The native women were used to this off-island-man reluctance. They didn’t pressure or disdain. Just offer and smile, just unwrap the crisp leaves to show me the pink-eyed white now blue fish. The nudge was their speciality.
It was the same nudge they used when offering anything. Clean your house? You like my sister? My brother perhaps? Now if they’d offered their fathers or husbands I might have been interested.
The older boys and young men would take their boats out in the cool of the evening to fish. Their tiny slivers would skim along the surface of the water with a thin net behind them. Some had bamboo spears to help. They always came back with something.
At first I was dismayed to see them in brand-name shorts. I had hoped for the short, quick wrap of colorful fabric that would barely cover their privates. The encroachment of commercialism. Running shoes had replaced the local sandals. Running shoes without laces or tongues that they would flip off quick. The shorts would come off as fast as they dove into the water after a fleeting fish.
I wanted to keep them natural, fresh.
Across the bay I heard the echo of the evening conch. It called those who were interested to the sunset service. Several small black sails would dart out from our snug harbour and follow that call.
Some night I would go along to see what this service was like. To see if I fit into their form of worship and community.
Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6
on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted: Disability after Dark iTunes
June 9-10: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already
check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016
August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already
November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
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