For Eddie Van Halen
There was for a spell, a street on Manhattan, 48th Street specifically, that some referred to as the music street. 48th Street, of course, is still there, but like Cartago, all the music stores ceased to exist, gone now, every last one. The very buildings they occupied have been ripped down. Vacant lots where once stood holy places.
As a teenager, I’m proud to say, I was asked to leave probably every one of those stores, if not thrown out outright. Still, we would linger on the street. Why? For the chance encounter with a rock ’n roll god, come to Earth in mortal form to shop. In a land of wonders, anything is possible.
Jimi was already gone by that time, but ClaptonPageBeck might come through 48th Street. And B.B., and Duane and Carlos, Johnny and Rick, PeterFrampton, Jerry, Jorma, Jim Messina and Steve Miller and more. Of course, there were George Harrison and Keith and Ron Wood.
Singers sang the words and bassists and drummers and keys brought up the rear, but those were the roles of squires, pages and grooms. The guitarists were the shining white knights we longed to see atop white steeds with their glinting lances, now guitars. Electric guitars, yeah.
There are certainly a few ways to consider Woodstock. For the sake of this bulletin, it was a big celebration and homage to the guitar. More to the point, to the Guitar God. Gods.
Eddie Van Halen shuffled off to Buffalo this mortal coil the other day. Now that kid could play that thang. Tore the shit up.
My favorite story about him came from his brother: when of an age to go out for the night, he would leave his younger brother Eddie, guitar in hand on the couch with the TV on. On returning hours later, he would find the pair just where he had left them.
It started with Chuck Berry. He was the first. Pianos, maybe tenor saxes, and guitars vied for an interval for who would be the avatar of rock ’n roll, and then Chuck decided. Guitar, a red one. Some might credit Buddy Holly with this determination, but I think not. Holly’s huge contribution to rock ’n roll was a musical one, profound, ubiquitous and still present today.
Eddie wasn’t just a guitar god, he was a guitar cutie. Not because I think so, but because an alpha It girl in that time of their primacy thought so enough to marry him. Their child was named for Mozart.
When I’d see bands at the Fillmore (closed June 1971), folks would come out, stand there and play just as hard as they could. I don’t think standing still would fly now. When the directors took music from the producers and engineers, rock ’n roll became primarily a visual thing. Hence,the Monkees. You had to look right and you had to move right, and then the stage show had to look like the video and your head shot was more important than an audition. Blech. I regret to say here that maybe, “A Hard Day’s Night” was the first step on that road to perdition. The Elvis movies were still merely Hollywood musical formulas.
Eddie could really play. No kidding. He was the last Rock ’n Roll Guitar God, in my book. There’s a little number from the 19th century called Gotterdammerung – Twilight of the Gods. Eddie knew just what that meant.
Good Night Good Night
Sweet Rock and Roll
Good night Good Knight
Sweet Thing to You
We dimmed the lights –
It don’t feel right
And it’s only
Only all I long to do
Tear down the Temples
Tear down the Walls
Crystal Skin Touch Visions
Six Strings in My Hand
Deep Blue and a
Good Night Good Knight
Sweet Rock and Roll
Yet An Other Bulletin
If I could and would I could, I would bring up and back my Dad.
We would sit at a table with the remains of a dinner between us and I'll
pour him a beer into a tall glass.
In that moment, I would ask him,
“What is the most important thing?”
The answer would not incubate long at all .
“The most important thing is, that to the best of your ability,
try to always conduct and comport yourself as a gentleman.” Were my
sisters asking, he might say, “gentlewomen”. One would hope for a
better equivalent term than “gentlewoman”. “Act like a lady” connotes
something not my intention here.
He would say, “If all would behave in the manner of gentle
people, we might have a platform upon which to examine, repair and
hopefully avoid the pyre of crisis and plague we all now inhabit
together.” Awright awright, that last bit was my voice but my Dad
would've said, “Yeah, 'at's the stuff.”
Do the right thing.....
Easy as pie.
Didja ever make a pie?
Should integrity, decency, and humility find no safe haven
on our acre, then no sustaining crop will we sow.
Parent teach the children
The worth of our gold
Is only in proportion
To the luster of our soul
Gentles be us all
Women and Men
All Means All
Sitting on the stoop,
The porch, a lawn
There are no scoundrels here.
Folks in Ardensville,
8/22/2020 Honor as a Verb
In 1935 or there abouts a Mr. E. Hemingway of Oak Park Illinois,
a writer by trade, said of “Huckleberry Finn” that all modern American
literature comes from that book. At this time though, I must disagree with
Mr. Hemingway who I hold now and ever in deepest reverence and awe.
Huck Finn came out in 1885 so Hemingway was writing about
it on the 50th anniversary of its publication. I have read that book more times
than I can count and it remains ever fresh and wonderful. The Art of that book,
the disrobing of the human condition, the simple truth about American culture,
the concision of writing, the humor, humanity, empathy and plain old wonder
of it all, inhabits every page. It is a free standing miracle and in its own unique way,
a terrifying work of prophecy as the truth often is. And it is an original work,
a designation un-deservedly applied to many pretenders.
The disagreement, what is the disagreement? I'll tell ya.;Hemingway said
Huck Finn/Twain was the source and others say, Hemingway was the source.
I don't know what Twain said on the matter. Could he have realized the innovation
he authored? I don't know.
But now me,
What do I say about this?
I'll tell ya,
Like the best and greatest of poems, that which it expresses cannot be
expressed or explained any better. Its concision is breathtaking. One might
believe Lincoln was double parked and or had a hot date. The economy, brevity,
humanity and punch in the face truth contained in those263 words is the
unsurpassed acme of modern American literature.
But, what is said?
What is said?
All of our problems
In 2020, are right there
Slowly, and then read IT again
Juan put it as a footer
On every page of the site.
Juan is a genius
Read IT until you can recite IT in the shower
Read it til you weep
Recite IT as you're watching
what passes now for news.
Any first grade student of Buddhism learns, attachment to permanence
creates impermanence. Let no one of us believe the ground beneath our feet
permanent or even stable. There lies the source of destruction.
The past is difficult and not subject to change. Symbols and gestures,
songs and slogans, speeches and op-eds can wither like flowers in a vase.
Concentrate and strive for things real
But ask yourself......what is real?
Can you know the Truth if you see it?
if you heard it?
That's tough......tough as it gets.
Maybe our time is better spent identifying untruths. I don't think so
but, maybe. If you can find any in the Gettysburg Address of Nov,1863,
please let us know.
Folks from Ardensville
6/27/2020 (never a soap box)
Another Corona Bulletin
Dang ! I thought too many stores were closed before? Now,
it's like an unused Hollywood set out there. So sad. So sad.
A friend sent me a sad song this morning. He expressed a
cathartic power in this song which caused him to weep for the
travail of the past not few weeks. It should be noted here that the
song was not in his language and indeed a very complex spectrum
of cultural influences.
Okay, didn't hit my buttons and I can see why it might another.
What language was it? Sadness, a most common tongue.
Loosely understood, a rainbow is the prismatic articulation of the
constituent colors of white light when passed through water
molecules. Damn I hope I got that right. ROY G BIV.
Sung in sadness using the recombined colors of diverse
cultures and what do you get? Blues.
Everybody knows the blues.
Everywhere knows the blues.
Oppression. B.T. Washington says no one can be oppressed
without their consent (hope I got that right) . A difficult notion.
Of course, Mr. Washington knows of what he speaks. I say the
mountain is named for him.
Oppression is when you're getting your ass kicked for no
reason. Nothing you perpetrated. Punishment for no offense.
American Blues is a body of work sown in oppression and
sung in sadness. Its creators saw who held the cane.
Now, a different though not quite novel oppression saturates
the earth. We do not see the cane or who holds it. We see only the
spent and vacant forms of our sisters and brothers.
If one does not hear the blues now, if one does not sing the
blues now, possibly that one has no soul. Such things can happen.
Reach down and scream
Even if no one hears
Peace in the Valley
Souls are on the March
An'another thing !!; If we're going to wear masks,
and we should,
let's all smile
4/22/2020 with our eyes.
Just recently just, upon the recommendation of someone at my job,
I read, “The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato. Was that his first or last
name? Don't know.
I found it in a jiff on-line: in different translations and formats. I read a
bunch of them. Not a hardship. 15 or 20 minutes well spent. Not at all
time wasted and the elation of intellectual reward has yet to dim.
I doubt it ever shall. The piece is about public perception, mostly kinda.
Though his focus might have been on human nature(?), with amazing
impossible accuracy, Plato predicts the media jones we immolate
ourselves in now. 2400 years old this ditty is. How do you do that?
I don't know. Really I don't.
Now do We live in a time of prophecies realized. Or not. I think I'm
informed about things and maybe I'm not. That's bad. I see people around
me who are not informed – some through ambivalence and some by
choice. Either one, that's bad too.
Is Gaia done with us? Sick up and fed with us? Had it up to here!!
It might be the grossest immodesty for a generation to say,
“Boy o' boy, it's never been this bad. We are in some deep shit now!”
But ya know what? Boy o' boy it's never been this bad. We are in some
deep shit now.
I can't look at the news and I can't not. If great justice is inevitable,
We in some deep shit now.
But, then there is Celia.
Celia on the good foot.
Celia on the good foot now.
Your response(s) to both “The Air” & “Nation” have been outstanding.
For this we are grateful. Thank You.
Let's All go for a walk.
Debt. Debt is the thing most sited to be insufficiently represented
on the list of things that make us nuts in the “Nation” article. I confess
the failure to recognize debt as the pitch fork poking demon that it is for
many Folks is a subjective oversight on my part. Okay.
We once indulged
the Vice of debt
But now We don't no mo'
I wrote in the article “Scrapes”, a while back, that electronic
billboards were replacing paper billboards thus eliminating the
possibility of organic real Art. I find lately one of the sequential
offering of this highly evolved medium is this kind of board approved
poetry and some of it might be alright however I read 3 or 4 lines and
then the screen changes to an ad about something I must have or do to
be a content, secure and upwardly mobile person.
Now c'mon you poets, get with it. Learn to write poetry like
advertising copy or be swallowed whole by the great snake of
efficiency. You(s) have been warned !
We welcome JJ Pinckney to the stoop, the porch, the crew.
I found him and find him a charged painter and creator. Good Luck to
Us. I hope you enjoy him as do we.
The Folks in Ardensville are breaking the surface like Crocus in
springtime now. And away we go.........
Absurd. Even the word is sorta absurd. Absurd.
I embrace absurd. Don't condescend or dismiss it. How could I?
For I, am just that. I am absurd, an absurd person. 'Magine that, hm, m, m.
Some of you may have noticed, the cover page – nowadadaze
sensibly referred to as “home”, has been altered. Though Robin's image
of Celia and Petra holding an Ardensville banner, - now something like
a brand name and a fine one at that- still appears, now, upon coming to
the site one is confronted by a hippopotamus in a tutu considering the
Empire State Building. Hmmm, I always consider that spire when I see it.
Make no mistake: this is a photograph. A photograph. This sight,
the moment, this reality, now preserved in golden amber – happened.
Bet on it.
Shall you dismiss it and stamp “absurd”? You may do that.
Please, feel free. Stamp it, be my guest.
Then, turn that stamp
upon yourself for
We are all absurd.
Bulletin to myself....;
The responses (all positive) to “Talking Goose” and “Nation of Geniuses”,
have been, to me, remarkable. So many interpretations. Yesterday, a very
nice woman told me “Nation” was the truth. It just don't get better'n that.
Ardensville is rolling now. There are such things as wondrous
places. Places out of time and beyond reason. Places absurd. Bet on it.
And the crooked places shall be made straight,
Folks from Ardensville,
Get in touch,
1/22//2020 Stay in touch.