August 2004


August 28, 2004

Hempfest and the Seattle sky presented the Hawks with a cosmic gift:  as we finished our last song, “Wonder Valley,” the skies opened up and the rain did fall.  Pleased not to be electrocuted, we jammed out to a stadium rock conclusion, feeling like stadium rockers, and then the sky really dumped, and we scurried offstage, the crew covered the gear with sheets, and that was it for live music for the day.  We wandered around the very stony fest, and at 4:20 the crowd gathered for a smokeout:  thousands of furry freaks huffing at bongs with all their might, and a THC cloud hovered above the Seattle waterfront lawn. 
Victoria had a nice chat with Eddy of Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens, world’s largest (and busted) medicinal herb garden.  The Hawks wandered the lanes and byways of Hempfest.  Rob donned a plaid blanket that transformed him into a Redneck Superhero, and he and Shawn handed out the new Hawks sticker to Festgoers.   Paul Marshall stopped by the Kerry Edwards booth and bluntly asked them if Kerry was going to decriminalize drug use, and the Dems hemmed and hawwed as only a modern Dem can do.  Go, Ralph! 
It was time to leave.  We packed up our damp equipment and caravanned to the Continental Hotel, overlooking one of Seattle’s many waterways, and had a fun hotel campout with brother Hawk Dave Zirbel.  In numerous skits performed in the party room, Shawn revealed himself as a brilliant comedian/improviser, available for TV/film through this website.  Thanks to Matt Lacques for an excellent bottle of 100% Agave tequila anejo, you rule, hermano.
When Paul and Victoria took off the next morning, their fellow Hawks had flown the coop, somewhere far down the 5.  Sad.  P & V hung out with the distinguished Jack Slater and wife Deborah, saw the bohemian sights of Seattle, and headed south.  Wandering roads took them through infinite blackberry patches, rain with the sun shining, rivers and riverside farms, and a smoldering forest fire’s black soil and hillsides, smoldering still under a torrential rain.
Ashland is civilized.  Highway 99 gives you roadside fruit stands and crazy junk stores, 5 gives you speed. The choice is clear. 
Paul M. and Shawn powered to Marin, dropped off man of Steel Dave Z., powered next day all the way home, meeting Sherrie at the 152. RW dissappeared at dawn, onto a jet airplane, and back to his secret life somewhere deep in the geographic center of Los Angeles.
Sacramento has accordionist extraordinaire Richie Lawrence, wife Katie, and magical family, and damn good coffee.  Modesto has scary tofu teryaki and a slacker espresso bar where the kids hang around and buy nothing.   The south end of the San Joaquin Valley on 99 is a bit sinister, strange industrial smells and mysterious big machinery among the fields, the loneliest sunset you’ll ever see.   Past Panama Lane south of Bakersfield, Paul L’s O’hare family homestead since 1870, now crowded by creeping subdivisionism, and it’s into the home stretch.
A last trip over the Grapevine, psychotic driving resumes at the L.A. County line, right on schedule, and the Hawks are back.  See you at Coles.

Here is a symbol in which
Many high tragic thoughts
Watch their own eyes.
This gray rock, standing tall
On the headland, where the seawind
Lets no tree grow,
Earthquake-proved, and signatured
By ages of storms: on its peak
A falcon has perched.
I think, here is your emblem,
To hang in the future sky;
Not the cross, not the hive,
But this; bright power, dark peace;
Fierce consciousness joined with final
Life with calm death; the falcon’s
Realist eyes and act
Married to the massive
Mysticism of stone,
Which failure cannot cast down
Nor success make proud.

*Thanks to Randall for adding to the Hawks’ Jeffers collection.

We’re listening to Toots and the Maytals as we head north on I-5 toward our final gig of the tour, The Seattle Hempfest. Damn, Toots can sing.

Last night we played at Mississippi Studios in Portland. It was a blast. This is a great room. It’s set up like an old church — pews as the seating and a tall stage like the pulpit from the film version of “Moby Dick” with Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab and Orson Wells as the seafaring minister. We got some good press and it fillecd the place up. Funny how some press can do that and some can’t. Folks were standing in the ailses and the band just sounded great. The harmonies were right on, the band was all right, and the spirit was flowing into each of us. And it wouldn’t have been quite complete if there were not a great meal attached to it. But there was! HAWKS NON CORPORATE FOOD RECOMMENDATION. Bold Sky Café on Mississippi. Fancy, fine dining at a reasonable price. We had Wild Salmon , Heirloom Tomatoes, Wild Mushroom Risotto, A Skillet Dip (new to us) of Chicken Apple Sausage, Carmelized Onions, Figs, and Blue Cheese. All for about $10 a piece. Check it out next time you are in the city of one thousand bridges.

We barely made it on time but the kind folks who made it out to Café Paradiso in Eugene were very mellow and didn’t seem to mind. One couple drove two hours from the coast just from seeing a review. Thanks, folks. The band sounded great that night. Zirbel really finding some sweet spots with the steel as the full band found its sound. It was a brief but good stop on the way up to the fest.


August 20, 2004

We’ve escaped San Francisco. Just barely, but we’re out. The heavy fog disoriented the band. It was 105 F at the Fresno County Line. In forty short miles, over the Bay Bridge, and the temperature drops to 55 F. A fifty degree drop. How can anyone expect a country rock band to deal with this […]

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HURT HAWKS by Robinson Jeffers

August 20, 2004

I The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder, The wing trails like a banner in defeat, No more to use the sky forever but live with famine And pain a few days: cat nor coyote Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons. He stands under […]

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August 19, 2004

“The current is becoming wilder, more capricious. It’s all absurd, and I’ll never understand why I set out on this enterprise. It’s always the same at the start of a journey. Then comes the soothing indifference that makes everything all right. I can’t wait for it to arrive.” — Alvaro Mutis, from The Snow of […]

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August 17, 2004

It’s late afternoon and the sun is soft under a kind and image laden cloud cover that’s protected us all the way from Gallup, we roll west on I-40. We pulled off at a hail laden pine woods, and Rob created an egg bomb and an apple bomb with some M-90’s we’d bought in Tennessee. […]

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August 16, 2004
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August 16, 2004

The alarm cruelly sounded at 7 a.m. at the Quality Inn in a funky zone of Dallas, and the band lurched to the breakfast Continental in the lobby and speed-loaded Raisin Bran, pastries, and coffee into their systems, speed loaded the Yukon and drove north towards Denton and a rendezvous with the 281 to Amarillo. […]

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