Jefferson Airplane

Next on the shelf is Jefferson Airplane. I have as stand-alone or in mp3 collections: Takes Off, Surrealistic Pillow, Feed Your Head Live 67-69, Bless Its Pointed Little Head Live 1968, After Bathing At Baxter’s, Crown of Creation, Live at The Filmore East 1968, Volunteers, Blows Against the Empire, Bark, Long John Silver, Red Octopus, 2400 Fulton St, Spitfire, Earth, Reunion.

I can remember the thrill of hearing Grace Slick sing Somebody To Love, then Greasy Heart. I loved the Airplane & the journey of their first releases that went from folks, to counterculture icons – from Surrealistic Pillow to Blows Against the Empire. I couldn’t wait for where each new album would take me. Then they lost focus, thanks to drugs & booze released wildly uneven lps like Bark & Long John Silver. A sort of return to form on Red Octopus, Spitfire, Earth – but lost their edge & became a fine pop group. When corporate rock I lost interest. Members left, new ones joined. Finally an original members reunion 1989 that I do enjoy.

Those early albums are the epitome of late 60’s summer of psychedelic love vibe. Baxter with its amazing engineering, harmonies, guitar work & awesome songs is a classic. Volunteers – ‘up against the walls mother fuckers’ blew my mind. Blows Against The Empire with its scifi underpinning stunned me with where rock could go. 

The live albums are amazing, even when the sound is a little muddy. Feed Your head is a collection of rarities & oddities. 2400 is a nice compilation of hits & some B-sides that never made it to lps, that is worth having. I’m resisting name checking my favorite tracks, even the sloppy lps have good moments (Pretty As You Feel).

 

All have created work outside of Airplane that is worth tracking down. Marty Balin’s Lucky is amazing. Sadly my cassette copy disintegrated & it has yet to be re-released 😦 Don’t know the band?! Shame on you 🙂 Start with any of the hits compilations & After Bathing: some of those cuts are best heard as they are sequenced on the lps. 

Scent

The morning was silent. Cool. I could smell the cold. Some quality the cold gave the air. What ice remained on the streets would crack underfoot like bullets. I wanted to go out, to feel that crack, to hear it echo down the still street, before the noise of life took over. I wanted to make the first noise of the day.

There was that dim blue light hovering on the roof tops, starlight reflected off snow and clouds, early distant sun waiting as the earth turned to face it, as the earth turned my house to face it. 

Too much cloud cover now for a real sunny morning, it would be dim cold and flat. Another day to race the sun to nightfall.

A noise – birds. The flutter and chirp. Bird feeder two houses down brought them out. Twitter twitter – small, harsh, clacking sound and flutter of crisp feathers – flutter feather and fly – tiny nails clicking along the eaves trough of my house, right over my window –

Can birds smell – did seeds have some scent that attracted them – I never figured out how they knew when and were to find those seeds. When that house stopped putting them out in the spring it took a few days before the birds would stop skittering around and even then there would an occasional foray to see if the seeds had returned.

Winter birds, little warm balls of heart racing heat. Was it worth it? To find some nook in a tree somewhere and hope not to freeze into a black fuzzy ice pellet overnight.

More light. I could see the ceiling now. Clouds must be thinning as the light has some red in it. The ice blue warmed by some red. Nice. I’d like to get a sweater in that color. Cold Morning Mist. Now there’s a color name. Something with a cracked black line across the mist with a single pair of dirty brown birds snuggled together near the shoulder, over my heart.

Hmm. Good ideas won’t get me to work. Why hasn’t that alarm gone off yet? Bed too cozy to leave anyway. Lift my head enough to see the window, to look out, to see roofs of the world. That’s enough. Those hoar black streets can wait. White frost and salt residue along the curb. One good rain will wash it away. One good rain and spring will spring into summer. Yes, I think I’ll pray for rain today. Lots of rain.

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every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
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September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

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The Incredible String Band

 

 

The cover of The Incredible String Band’s The 5000 Spirits (by The Fool) is the epitome of 60’s psychedelic art. Iconic & instantly defining the best of the era. I didn’t have to hear the album to know I would love it. To be honest I was expecting something of the Jefferson Airplane style of psychedelic but instead got almost straight-ahead folk music.

 

A sort of gothic, renaissance sound of dulcimers, lutes, tambours with slightly off-kilter sing-songy  songs full of Yates type lyrics. On my first listen it sounded like something anyone could perform. I loved it. As I listened more it became layered, more complex & emotionally involving. No Sleep Blues, First Girl I Loved … so sweet & with a twinge of humour. Way Back In the 1960’s is a time-capsule of that era. I may still ahi emu regional lp saved because of that album art. It was one of those lps that a actually made it to Cape Breton.

I picked up their First as a stand-alone CD, on sale, at Sam’s way back in 2003 – October Song is sweet; also as stand-alone a double cd set of The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion & The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter – this took some searching as I was replacing my Layers lp with the cd & I found it via eBay in 2003. Hearing 5000 crisp was a delight. Hangman I had never heard – it continues that psychedelic folk mood. Both sound traditional but lyrically combines trippy with almost renaissance folk lyrics.

 

They also had the classic hippy look of long haired, beaded, fringed & farm living commune minstrels. I didn’t really follow them though. Maybe too twee for me then & now a fond memory. There are lots of great folk/pop bands: Fairport Convention, The Pentangle, Kaleidoscope, Donovan – of the time but only The Incredible String Band had such a homespun feel. They were too gentle to become big stars. The band gained, lost members, split up, reunited, continued recording but became & stayed a folk mainstay.

Dream

The dish ran way with the spoon. The spoon had belonged to my grandmother and the loss of it became an insurmountable obstacle to progress. Several important scientific discoveries were put aside as futile gestures without the spoon. Mankind was bereft of the one key, the one object that was vital to intellectual stimulation and financial progress.

My sister wasn’t sure what to to tell me. I had been late, again, coming home from flying school. I had hoped to follow in my father’s footsteps and keep up the family name but the tragic news of the spoon put all that in jeopardy as well.

‘How could such a thing happen.’ I demanded of her.

‘I wish I knew. No one was expecting it. Least of of all I.’

‘And just where were you when this transpired.’

‘Asleep.’

‘Asleep!’ my voice rose. Two windows in the left wing were shattered by my explosive anger. I had to keep it in check and usually did, but occasionally I lost control. This was one of those rare occasions.

‘After losing two nights of sleep worrying over Gabriella, is it little wonder I drifted off. The afternoon was hot, balmy.’

‘You have a knack for making excuses.’ I set about packing my bags. ‘But this time you have gone too far, even for a sister.’

‘Ferdov please, please forgive me. I doubt if I can go on knowing you feel so strongly.’

‘Tell that to the spoon.’

I dashed down the hand-hewed alabaster stairs to the dock and leapt into my motorboat. I had longed to escape this island, this family trap of of the past but had hoped it would be an easy departure and not this sort of emotional break.

‘Wait! Wait!’ my sister stood on the pier waving her apron aimless in the breeze. I would not return. How could I? There was nothing holding me to them now. Now that the spoon had run away with the dish the next part of the prophesy would also come true. If I could somehow keep that in check perhaps there was hope after all.

The two-way radio on the dash sparkled to life. 

‘Reports have come in that the last of the three blind mice has perished in a disastrous fire in the east wing.’

‘God!’ I raised my fist to the sky. ‘This is all your fault. Why have you deserted me now in this moment of trial.’

I stopped the motor of my boat. I needed some silence. Some small dollop of calm before I could face what I knew remained to be faced. If this was to be on my shoulders I would need to be ready. A hand appeared at the side of the pea-green boat and two men pulled themselves aboard, one on either side. ‘So Ferdov this is where you skulk to when you are needed.’

‘Father,’ I was amazed at the beads of water that dripped like topaz diamonds from his thick black beard. It had never shone so in the afternoon sun. ‘I did only what I felt in my bones I had to do.’

His valet, Rudo, grabbed me from behind and yanked hard on my arms, clasping my hands and wrists together tightly.

‘You’re hurting me.’

‘You like that, don’t you?’ Rudo breath rosewater assaulted my senses.

‘On your knees,’ My father punched me in the forehead. I sank to the teak deck of the boat on my knees.

‘This is a fine mess and you are responsible.’

‘I? I’m not the one who fell asleep.’

‘Yes but it was you who fed those silly notions of freedom and adventure to the dish. It was you who convinced him that there was more to life than being convenient conveyer of our food stuffs. You made him question his basic sense of self and now you see the result of your interference.’

‘But Father, I was only repeating what you had told me so many times.’

‘Do not try to cast aspersions on the legends of our family. Never has such a thing happened. I will not allow you to escape punishments.’

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every Tuesday 2019


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
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If 

I bought a cassette of If I at the Radio Shack in the Zeller’s Mall (now the Sydney Shopping Centre) when I was living in Cape Breton. In fact that is where I bought my first stereo system. They had a rack of discontinued, discounted cassettes from which I bought music that never showed up at the local record shop. We’re talking early 70’s.

 

This British band has a great jazz sound – a British Blood, Sweat & Tears. I loved that cassette. Each track is sweet & still contemporary – it could be released this week & sound fresh. Dockland is brilliantly moody. The horn work is superb, as are the lyrics, the singing.

I kept my eye out for more by them for decades. Nothing else by them reached Cape Breton. None of my music buddies ever heard of them. They got reviewed by the US rock press: ie Rolling Stone. As far I know they never had a hit song. When I upgraded from cassette to CD this was one cassette I wanted to replace before the tension was shot but I could find nothing. It was as if they disappeared. Then in I found a 2008 CD compilation ‘What Did I Say About The Box Jack’ of tracks from heir first albums. I was happy to hear those songs I knew & some that I had never heard. The booklet was excellent too.

When I finally upgraded my internet to high speed I did a search & downloaded mp3 version of their first two lps & a live concert from 1972. If you are unfamiliar with If, that first lp is worth tracking down. Or if it’s still around the 2008 compilation.

Care

‘You’re nothing but trouble.’ Drak resisted the temptation to hit. He knew hitting would get some response but would also slow things down. And things were going badly enough as it was. ‘You hear me? Trouble.’

‘Yes,’ Steve stepped back. ‘Sorry. I’m …’

‘I know what you are trying to do.’ Drak lost control and the back of his hand smacked Steve across the cheek before he could stop himself. Struck Steve twice more and was stopped on the third blow by a hand that clenched his wrist. Hurt it.

‘Enough of this. There’s too much at stake for you two to be playing at enemy with each other.’

‘Sorry Sis Care’

‘Sorry Sis Care.’

The two men were ashamed.

‘But he …’

‘Drak,’ Sis Care stood firmly before them. ‘I don’t want explanations or excuses. I want action. Not infighting. You know that.’

‘Yes.’ Drak answered.

‘You both understand that?’

‘Yes,’ Steven muttered.

‘Drak, you understand that don’t you?’ Her face was inches from his interface.

‘Yes, Sis Care. It’s just that …’

‘I said, no explanations and no excuses. This one is the last one.’ She tapped the laser pistol at her side. ‘I don’t need much to make me use this. You both know that.’

‘Yes,’ they replied.

‘Okay. Now we have less than ten minutes before we rejoin Group R. Have you laid all the trip wires?’

‘Three to go but Steve here was …’

‘Drak, cut the crap. Three to go and they take five minutes each to set. We have ten. Get your asses in gear.’

The three of them laid the trrace2 wire filaments along the base of the copter pad and over the catwalk entries. Once all of these optic paths where broken the blast would be set off..

‘Hurry up,’ Sis found herself impatient with Steve. ‘What are you fumbling with there anyway?’

‘Sorry, I get …’ Steve reddened as the ply slipped from his hands.

‘Give it to me.’ She snatched it up. ‘I’ll finish this off.’

As she picked it up Steve stepped on her hand.

‘Not so fast, Sis.’

She had her laser in her hand before he could react. A blast ripped through his arm and sent him sprawling ten feet away from her.

‘What …’ Drak raced over.

‘I guess he wasn’t your fault after all. Okay we’re done here. Let’s go.’

‘What about?’ Drak nodded at Steve.

‘Leave him. He’s not one of ours.’

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http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday 2019


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

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The Hollies

I have a love & not-so-loved relationship with The Hollies who since the 60s have made some great recordings & also some banal, tedious records. I have a fairly large collection that spans 4 cds of mp3’s as well as one stand-alone, Romany (one of my favourites).

Part of the initial British invasion in 1963 The Hollies are still together & performing in 2018 with some of the original members. Members have come & gone & come back. I think my first memory of them is Look Through Any Window. My first lp was Stop! Stop! Stop! But because they were considered radio-fodder & not as deep as say, The Rolling Stones, I didn’t really follow them. 

When Graham Nash left 1968 it was a ‘thing’ because he felt the group was trying to be too serious by doing an lp of Bob Dylan covers. His departure was probably the best thing that happened to them as they went on to produce some amazing singles & lps: My favourites are Distant Light, Romany, Another Night, Crazy Steal. Romany is a under-rated masterpiece & a great place for anyone to start their Hollies exploration.

I have, as mp3s: Stay With the Hollies; In the Hollies Style; Hollies; Would You Believe?; For Certain Because; Evolution; Butterfly; Hollies Sing Dylan; Hollies Sing Hollies; Confessions of the Mind; Distant Light; Out on the Road; Hollies; Another Night; Write On; Russian Roulette; Crazy Steal; 5317704; Buddy Holly; What Goes Around (1983 reunion with Nash); Staying Power; Then, Now, Always; A’s B’s & Eps; Epic’s Original Master Tapes.

The later recordings: Staying Power; Then, Now, Always – aren’t bad but not as vibrant as their mid-period work or as playful as their earlier lps. Also in this mp3 collection I have CSN; CSNY. these are here because of Graham Nash. These are classic pop & highly influential recordings. Stunning songs, harmonies & politics, though only Neil Young managed to create great music outside of the group. I  find Nash’s songs to be banal but pretty. 

Gentle 

The eraser tore through the paper. The fourth page Jan had spoiled. Only ten minutes left to the end of the class and she still wasn’t any closer to starting than she had been when the class had started. She shoved the papers, pencils, crayons off her desk and to the floor.

‘What’s wrong Jan?’ Her teacher, Miss Grant kneeled by the desk and began to pick up the stuff that had just been pushed to the floor.

‘Nothing. Nothing is the matter. Why does something have to be the matter? Why?’

‘It doesn’t, Jan. Let’s see what you’ve done so far.’

‘Nothing to see.’

‘Miss Grant! Miss Grant!’ Dave piped up. ‘I have lots for you to see.’

‘I’ll get around to you Dave. Why don’t you start again Jan. Try something simple. Small.’ she folded a page into quarters. ‘See. You don’t have to fill the whole page like the others. Such a waste of the rain forest, don’t you think?’

Jan nodded in agreement, clutched a pencil and began to make lines on the page. Lines that became tree trunks.

Miss Grant stood and went over to Dave.

‘Whatcha you doing?’ Syl turned to peer at Jan’s picture.

‘Never you mind.’ Jan covered her work as best as she could and in doing so crumpled the picture she had started. ‘Oh shit. Why don’t you leave me alone.’ She balled the page in her fist and hit Syl on the ear with it.

‘Now, now, Jan. You have to play gentle with the other. Not everyone is as strong as you.’ Miss Grant rushed over.

‘Well, so what. Just leave me be for a few minutes.’ Jan stood and tried to push past Miss Grant. The teacher held her firmly by the shoulders. ‘You let me go. I’ll report you. I’ll tell.’

‘Tell what?’ Miss Grant forced her back into her desk. ‘You have to be slow with your self Jan. There is no hurry. Just take your time.’

‘I don’t give a crap about you or this school or growing up. I don’t. So just leave me alone.’ She covered her head with her hands and sobbed onto her desk.

The buzzer went. 

‘That’s all for today class. Now leave quietly and I’ll see you all back here tomorrow.’

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October scary poetry every Wednesday & Thursday

November 1 -30

http://nanowrimo.org

November 15: Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – 8p.m. – Buddies In Bad Time Theatre, Toronto
http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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Herman’s Hidden Cameras

As much as I enjoyed Herman’s Hermits as a teen I wasn’t encouraged to admit it. They were radio-fodder bubble-gum as opposed to real musicians like the Rolling Stone or even the Beatles. They were regarded as sweet, squeaky-clean and a band only girls could enjoy. Music hall songs like ‘Henry the VIII’ didn’t help their image either. I picked up stand-alone cd The Very Best of back in Dec 2006 to reclaim that part of my past.

Sure some of the songs suffer from ‘clean’ but many of them are solid, if not brilliant, pieces of pop music. The band wasn’t terribly original, creative or even were outstanding musicians. But their studio work is impeccable. It helps that Peter Noone’s voice is sweet & appealing. ‘No Milk Today’ is a breathtaking track – the production work is sublime & still amazes. The fact that it was written by Graham Gouldman (10CC) certainly helps. 

I picked up stand-alone Highs of the Sixties back in 1994. This is the complete opposite of the Hermits. A compilation of the sort psychedelic, garbage-band music that I could easily admit to enjoying. It includes tracks by Love, Count Five (one of the first latino bands to make it big), The Standells – many one-hit wonders but all fun. I’ve since tracked down collections by some these one-hitters like Blue Cheer, The Seeds, Count Five. I already had an extensive Love collection before I picked this cd up.

But what about the present you might ask? Next on the shelf are these stand-alones by The Hidden Cameras: The Smell of Our Own; Mississauga Goddam; AWoo. This a fun, queer, musically-diverse band that I really enjoy. With songs about water sports ‘Golden Steams,’ politics ‘Ban Marriage,’ love ‘Music is my Boyfriend’ & life ‘Learning the Lie’ performed with energy that invites all listeners into their world. Led by Joel Gibb  the band uses standard rock augmented by strings, wind instruments to create an often rollicking, sometimes folky, sweet romantic tapestry of music that often makes an ‘ironic’ counterpoint to the lyrics. Hidden Cameras take sound pictures of the world in a way I like to see it. 

Lucky Day

It felt good to sleep in. Something I didn’t allow myself to do that often. A warm, snug bed from which I could hear the cold wind outside. As I rolled over to try for another few winks the door to my room opened enough for a head to pop through. 

‘Good morning, sleepy head.’ Jim smiled at me.

‘What are you doing here?’ I sat up.

‘What do you think?’ he came into the room.

‘And why aren’t you dressed?’

‘Another dumb question.’ He slipped into the bed beside me. ‘Neither are you.’

Our bodies nestled together comfortably. 

‘I got the day off so I figured, why not drop over here and spend some of it with you.’  Jim gently bit my shoulder.

‘Great idea. That spare key was for emergencies.’

‘Yes, well this is an emergency.’

‘So I can feel.’

I rolled over on top of him. Just then my cell buzzed.

‘Don’t get it, or you won’t get it.’ He warned, twisting the ring in my left nipple.

The cell buzzed, and as programmed, the buzz got louder the longer it rang.

‘I have too.’

I reached over and picked it up. ‘Hello.’

‘Hi Dave.’

‘Steven is that you?”

‘Yep. Just arrived in town.’

‘You should have warned me.’ I covered the receiver, ‘It’s Steven, my agent from New York.’

‘Well, I was hoping to surprise you. I have the new contract. Bidding stopped at 2.5 mil.’

‘2.5 mil!! I’m amazed.’

Jim was biting my stomach under the covers. ‘Stop that for a minute will you.’

‘Sounds like I caught you at a bad time.’

‘Not at all. No wrong time for 2.5 mil.’

‘Free for lunch?’

‘Lunch? Sure. You staying at the same hotel.’

‘Same room is fact.’

‘Okay see you around noon.’

‘Frank wants you for lunch and I want you for breakfast.’ Jim came from under the covers to kiss me.

Just then the door bell rang. I jumped out of bed and pulled on my bathrobe and dashed down the stairs to the front door. A flower delivery man waited.

‘David Bradley?’

‘That’s me.’

‘Sign here.’

I signed for a box that opened to reveal two dozen red and white roses.

‘Looks like this is your day?’ Jim looked over my shoulder. ‘Who are they from?’

‘I haven’t checked yet. But find today’s paper. I should check my lottery numbers.’

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October scary poetry every Wednesday & Thursday

November 15: Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – 8p.m. – Buddies In Bad Time Theatre, Toronto
http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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Jimi Hendrix

What can I say about Hendrix? Died too young period. I played the Are You Experienced? lp grey, replaced it twice. He was one of the first pop stars that I fantasized about when I was jacking off (the first was Jim Morrison). He was one of the few stars that all my friends liked. I once knew all the words to Purple Haze. All alone in my little basement room in Cape Breton I cried the day he died. 

In my collection I have as stand alone’s: Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Lady Land, Ultimate Experience, BBC Sessions, Isle of Wight 1970, Feeling Good, Sunshine of Your Love. An mp3 collection that includes Axis Outtakes, Rainbow Bridge, Band of Gypsies & tucked away in another mp3 collection Cry of Love. Plus a ‘is it Hendrix or not’ set of jams with member of Traffic. 

Wait there’s more: Hendrix at Woodstock. A dvd of his Monterey Pop break though. Not to mention Gil Evans’ jazz take on Hendrix. Plus biographies by Curtis Knight and one by Charles R. Cross. In a pic file I have a photo of the cast of his cock made by the Plaster Casters. A bough in San Francisco teeshirt of the Axis cover art & a lunch pail of the same.

I’m not going to name check every track or every lp. The Experience studio albums are still state of the art engineering. They are also state of the art psychedelic. Feeling Good, Sunshine of Your Love are weird odds & ends of live stuff that slipped under the radar of his label. Messy at times but fun. One track has a very drunk Jim Morrison bellowing away. 

It’s his Experience studio work I enjoy the most. He seemed to lose direction without the band. The Woodstock release isn’t true to the event, though, as the percussionists & horns playing with him on stage, have been nearly erased from the mix that has been released. But it is still worth having. His sense of fashion still inspires my selection of shirts. 

Craving

‘You want it? Don’t you? You want it bad? I can tell. I can see it in your eyes, in your flesh. The way sweat beads along your upper lip. You want it? Don’t you? You want it bad? I can tell.’

‘Are you talking to me?’ 

‘Yes. Of course who else would I be talking to.’

I glanced around the mall. It was thick with people scouring the stores for that ultimate bargain. 

‘Anyone of them?’

‘Oh no. You heard. It had to be you. You want it? Don’t you? You want it bad. I can tell.’

‘Excuse me?’ Another woman stopped. ‘Are you talking to me?’

‘No. He’s talking to me.’

‘Perhaps I mean both of you.’

‘What’s he going on about?’ the second woman asked me.

‘I don’t know. I heard him babbling like this and stopped. I thought he was a pan handler.’

‘Ladies! I am not a pan handler.’ He stood an inch taller. ‘I am here as a warning, as an oracle to your future.’

‘Oh please. Give me a break.’ I started to leave.

‘No. Wait. You can’t go. You know you can’t go. You both know I’m right. You both want it? Don’t you? You want it bad. I can tell.’

Another shopper stopped. ‘What’s he selling.’

‘The future.’ I told her.

‘Been there, done that.’ She started to walk away.

‘You cannot have been there,’’ he railed at her. ‘No one has seen  the future. No has done it.’

‘Look. I know what I’m talking about. In a moment I will be gone.’ she left.

‘I guess she didn’t want it that bad.’ I wanted to laugh. ‘So get on with it. What’s the spiel. What do we want?’

‘Yeah. Come on,’ the other woman added. ‘I haven’t got all day.’

‘You have a life time ladies. A life time. But you want it? Don’t you? You want it bad I can tell.’

‘We’ve heard that bit. Get on with it or we’ll be gone, too.’

‘No. You can never escape once it had sunk its insidious claws into you. Never escape.’

‘Look,’ The other woman stepped away. ‘I’m escaping now.’ She disappeared into the crowd.

‘What’s with you people these days? No depth. No real sense of value.’

‘You have to give people something of value. I’m sure you mean well. What ever it is you may think. But words aren’t enough.’

‘But don’t you feel it? Deep. In your bones. Feel that something, that need.’

‘The only need I’m beginning to feel is the need to take a …’ I stopped. I couldn’t tell him that. What was coming over me? Telling a stranger I had to go to the bathroom.

‘Ah. So I was right. You want it? Don’t you? You want it bad, I can tell. The ladies room is through the food court.’

‘Thank you.’

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http://buddiesinbadtimes.com/event/hot-damn-its-a-queer-slam-feat-janice-lee/

http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

October 5/6/7 – Gratitude Round-Up

https://www.facebook.com/TorontoGratitudeRoundup/

October scary poetry every Wednesday & Thursday

June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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Harris Harrison

I can remember hearing Richard Harris’s McArthur’s Park for the first time on my radio & being amazed & impressed by the lyrics & that such a long long song was on the charts. It wasn’t rock or actually pop music as I knew pop music. In some ways it still defies category – adult pop? Harris’s voice clearly wasn’t a rock voice either, nor was it say, Tom Jones or Frank Sinatra. But it worked.

I bought the album A Tramp Shining – which my buddies at time dismissed as romantic tripe but I loved it – here I am a tramp shining. It was unapologetically adult romantic, with little or no political or even trippy subtext. Later I realized the work was more the product of the genius of Jimmy Webb than of Richard Harris.

The follow up, The Yard Went On Forever, had no hits & was even more adult & also much darker in mood & lyric content. I liked it a lot as well but no one I knew cared for it. It had no freaky guitar work. It also was not pop, folk or rock. I have both of these – Tramp as a stand alone cd & The Yard in an mp3 collection. Both are too short for my liking 🙂

Another singing actor was Noel Harrison. His first lp Collage was a collection of folksy covers of thing like Whiter Shade of Pale, Strawberry Fields. I liked his low key take on these massive pop hits of the time. Not strictly folk as there was some sweet psychedelic flavouring, even sitar, to some of the tracks. I played that lp grey & now have it as an lp to cd transfer. 

As a stand-alone I the limited edition Life is a Dream – a compilation of songs from his other lps. It repeats some of Collage & there is some of Santa Monica Pier as well. He never did get a major pop career. He lived in Nova Scotia Canada for a time & hosted Take Time a TV show out of Halifax. Much like Richard Harris he was too adult to become a pop star.

As I said both were actors – though Richard Harris had a ‘bigger’ career. Harris became a singer thanks to film of the musical Camelot – he eventually did live touring shows of it. I don’t know that Noel ever did a film musical but he also did do touring shows of Camelot. 

Poor Old Marat

‘And on your left we have the bathtub in which Marat died. Poor old Marat.’

The group came to a stop behind the tour guide. 

‘But that’s not a tub at all. Looks more like a big pail.’ One of them said.

There was some polite laugher.

‘Perhaps,’ the tour guide smiled, ‘You are unaware that they didn’t have all the modern conveniences we do. You know,’ he lowered his voice, ‘they didn’t even have shower heads.’

‘What!’ another member of the tour said.

‘Please, you all must be aware of that! Our lives are very much different from those of people in the past.’

‘Yes, but still they must have had something.’

‘Not even a tooth brush.’

The tour guide continued up the hall.

‘Who was Marat?’

‘Pardon.’ The guide stopped.

‘Who was Marat? It’s all well and fine to tell us this is the tub in which Marat died but, if it isn’t too much trouble, please tell us who Marat was.’

‘Sir, this is an exhibit that encompasses famed baths of the past not personages. Now if you have a question about the fixtures, plumbing or such, I’d be only too happy to tell you what I know.’

‘See. He doesn’t even know who Marat is, only that he was too poor to own a real bathtub.’

The guide reddened. ‘I certainly do Madam, but that is not my job.’

‘Not your job?’

‘Quite right. I am to show and explain these particular relics. Period. If you wish to know more perhaps you should sign up for a different tour.’

‘I’m disappointed you don’t know more about these people. I mean these famous personages.’

‘I do, but that is not what I am permitted to tell you.’

‘Permitted?’

‘Right.’ The guide sucked in air between his teeth. ‘I am in the Plumbing Relics Tour Union and therefore cannot overstep those boundaries without infringing on the territory of another union.’

‘I see. Why didn’t you explain that before. How long has there been such a division of union jobs?’

‘I’m sorry, Sir, I cannot tell you that. You’ll have to speak with someone from the History of Unions Union.

‘Now if you’ll please follow me, we next have the toilet stall in which Lenny Bruce was found dead. As you can tell it wasn’t very clean but functional. The cubical was designed for single occupancy.’

‘Single occupancy? How did they manage.’

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every Tuesday

October 5/6/7 – Gratitude Round-Up

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September or October but to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

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Not A Deadhead

To be honest I was never a Grateful Dead fan. I didn’t get their vibe but as I aged it began to appeal to me more. Maybe if I was more of a stoner it would have worked for me. I have their 1st tucked away in an mp3 collection. It’s hard to categorize their sound but it was not pop the way Jefferson Airplane was, or blues like Canned Heat. The 1st holds no nostalgia for me but I’m happy to have it too. 

As a stand alone I have Anthem of the Sun – the cover is classic psychedelic. The music is fun & shows their jam band experimental sound. A mix of live & studio that slips into delicious acid trippy – in fact I have a great memory of listening to this on LSD back in the day & being amazed. This cd release includes bonus tracks that are great.

On another mp3 collection I have Workingman’s Dead; American Rose. Recent additions, though I did have Rose as lp at one time. These are sweet but depressing recordings. Sort of lifeless with a kind of country/pop flavour to them. Not music that makes me long to hear it or that even holds any memory of my past.

As with many of my mp3 collections I like to mix genres & time eras so there is a some Iggy Pop here which spans his career for 1977 to 2016. An amazing live set: Iggy & Ziggy Cleveland ’77, Post Pop Depression – his most recent release. I watched Velvet Goldmine & checked to see if Iggy & Ziggy had performed together & found this set on iTune. Good sound quality, mostly Iggy’s material. Was he dedicating I Wanna Be Your Dog to Bowie? Post Pop is solid fun.

Next a couple of Tumblr finds. Tomorrow – is a mid60’s British psychedelic band – the music is chockfull of wha-wha, phased echoed passages – very Saucerful of Secrets. Completely different is Sir Stan: The Nitty Gritty’s In Town – r’n’b blues bar music of the first order in the Paul Butterfield style. 

Even more different is Earth, Wind & Fire: Greatest Hits; – some of these bring back disco memories of when I moved to Toronto. Funky, dancing, romantic but rarely adventurous or even raunchy. And to end this particular cd is a collection of even more coming out disco memories: Twelve Inch Classics: Classics from the 70’s which includes Peter Brown’s Crank It Up. Songs which I vaguely recalled & some that never hit the dj’s in Toronto. Some of which were done by ‘groups’ that only existed in the studio for a song or two. 

From the Grateful Dead Keep on Truckin’ to disco down Crank It Up this is a fun mp3 collection.

Scam

What could she do with the girl? It just wasn’t easy being a mother. At least she wasn’t like her brother Sal. Sal took after his Dad. Quick to anger and always on the look out to pull a scam. Judy was more like her. Quiet and pretty. Yes, very pretty. That would get her into trouble one of these days.

‘You seem a little down honey.’

‘Oh it’s nothing mom.’

‘You’re doing okay in your classes aren’t?’

She sat on the edge of the bed. Judy was at her desk with a book opened in front of her.

‘As good as I can.’

‘What’s this? That old skip rope of yours?’

‘Oh yeah. I found it my closet the other day.’

‘I remember how excited you were to get this and then you hardly ever used it.’

Kids were like that. New one second and old the next. No keeping up with them.

‘You sure there isn’t something? Some boy?’

‘Ma no … well, there are these girls … ’

‘You have to try harder to make friends. I know it isn’t easy but if you only made an effort you could do it. You know what I mean.’

‘I guess so Ma. Thanks. I’ll try harder.’ She turned back to her book.

‘You miss Sal don’t you?’

‘A little. Sure is quiet without him around here.’

‘Not that he was around here all that much.’

‘Right.’

‘He may not be back for awhile. You know that don’t you Judy? What he did is serious.’

‘I know Ma. He’s not a kid anymore, right.’

‘Right you are, but you are still a kid. Why don’t to finish that homework later and have some ice cream with me. I got some on the way home. On special at the Market. Strawberry Ripple. Your favourite.’

‘Okay Ma. I’ll be there in a minute.’

‘Don’t be long then. That show you like is coming soon too.’

She stood, reluctant to leave the room. She could tell there was something Judy wasn’t telling her but she could figure out what. Wasn’t drugs or boys. That she could tell easily enough. She could remember what it had been like when she was fourteen. Drunken dad and crying mother. She had made sure her home wasn’t like that. Peace and quiet.

Though Sal hadn’t turned out like she’d hoped she felt sure Judy would. Judy was a good kid. Sweet and patient but just kept too much to herself. What was a mother to do? If only we were mind readers. Yikes, now that is a scary thought.

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every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)
 capfireslam.org 

September 25, Tuesday – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

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#CCR

Creedence Clearwater Revival – was a ‘real’ band – not soft rock, not druggie rock, not British but 100% red-blooded USA. One could be a fan without feeling defensive or categorized for liking them. Everyone dug them. At least until I got bored of Proud Mary & couldn’t bear to hear it one more time by one more singer – Tom Jones! please, no.29.Frabic01I can remember dancing to Suzie Q & not wanting the beat to end. I don’t think I heard it though until after they hit hit parade dominance with songs like Born on The Bayou, Lodi. At one time I had the the Bayou Country & Green River lps then moved on because their sound didn’t progress & was too basic for me. 29.Frabic02A few years later the local Cape Breton band I ran lights for highlighted one set of CCR material & I grew to hate it Lodi in particular & still have little fondness for it, ditto Proud Mary. As I result I divested of what I owned. Lived, listened happily enough with out it. When my Dad died in early 2000’s & I visited home the following summer I was given his cd collection, which included a double cd of CCR’s hits. Most of which I enjoyed a fair bit.

Then I came across a cheap mp3 set of their 8 lps CCR, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy & The Poor Boys, Cosmo’s Factory, Pendulum, Mardi Gras – no bonus tracks, out takes – just the lps. I like the bulk of it. I’ve read about the creative ups & downs, the conflict with their record company (who sued Fogarty for plagiarism for copying his own guitar style in his later career.)29.Frabic03The first 6 lps are chock full of great music, harmonies & memories. The last two are bogged down with fulfilling a record contract & also an attempt to broaden their sound. Interesting enough. 29.Frabic04To round on this mp3 collection I added Crowbar: Bad Manors; Biscuit Boy: Official Music – a pari of Canadian bands working a similar musical vein to CCR – bluesy, almost pub rock. Oh What A Feeling was huge hit for Crowbar but they never managed to follow it up. Biscuit Boy is a harp player featured on the Crowbar lp. All perfect music for the next bad moon.

sample

Taxes

Venerable El’r  B’la stood on the dais. He looked up at the dozen or so other Venerable El’r in the forum. So few, so few, once there had been nearly fifty of them.

‘Venerable El’rs a situation has arisen which taxes our spiritual resource to the extreme. An outsider has penetrated our sacred fields.’

‘There is only one recourse.’ Venerable El’r J’ds called out.

‘As I thought my friend, as I thought. But it is not as simple as that. He has the Spark.’

Venerable El’r  B’la held up the tissue sample he had taken from G’th a few hours earlier.

‘We cannot damage one who carries this., You know that over rules all other Codixles.’

‘It does not B’la. It cannot. Outsiders are outsiders. That is also one codixle that cannot be tampered with.’

‘Then my friends, you well see what my, what our, conundrum is. To damage the Spark is to tamper with the Knot. Is it not so said?’

‘You must be mistaken. We must do the test again and again to make sure.’

‘None of us have ever questioned the reliability of the test. If you did, none of us would be here today. Would we? If this man is to be tested and retested, so must we all.’

‘Heresy.’

‘Outrage.’

‘B’la you do not know the full implication of  what you are suggesting.’

‘J’ds, old friend, please. This will not advance our task. We must take this opportunity to form the Mind Quorom.’

‘Yes. Yes by all means let us do that.’

One by one the Venerable El’rs left their seats. They knelt together in a circle on the cold stone floor and reached out to join hands. B’la hummed a low note and each El’r joined in turn till were blended together into the wind frequency, the hushed note that was produced by the breeze as it moved through the falfa.

Overhead an orb of pale yellow light appeared and descended. As it encompassed them the hum ended. Their bodies became translucent and then invisible.

soon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

October  6 – Thursday Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.

et

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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine

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6DC0301

Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

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June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

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check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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