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October 2004


Super 8 Motel, Yucca Valley Gramfest 2004, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Oct. 4, 5, 6

We’ve come to celebrate the death of Gram Parsons in the great California desert. It’s a short trip but a trip nonetheless. The Hawks are back on the road. Not much has changed in the last few weeks. John Kerry and George Bush are still staring each other down meaninglessly. Gas prices are higher than ever. The war in Iraq continues to spiral downward into a bloody pit. America is busy trying to forget it but, folks, we’re knee deep in guts and it doesn’t look likely to end anytime soon or not soon. On a brighter note, it looks like Mount St. Helens is going to blow up again. Steam and ash are escaping that old crater. It’s like ’81 all over again. Gramfest night one was a mildly cursed series of near hits and misses that were actually okay. Paul L’s amp blew up again, there’s a deep electronic ghost in the Deluxe tube maze. Rob lost his ATM card and his garage door opener. So he couldn’t bring CDs, his sweet California Blonde acoustic guitar amp, or get cash at will. On top of that, it was a terrible food day.

We did an early set at the lovely and intimate Hi Desert Theater, right on the highway, with San Diego drummer John Kuhlken, who did a fine ESP job. Our set ended before Victoria could rock on “Humboldt,” but tonight might be a different story. The Burrito Brothers alumni band was similarly a disjointed experience, couldn’t hear Sneeky Pete despite crowd urgings to turn him up. But it was good to tread the sand and breathe the 2700 foot high air. The Gramfest poster is amazing.Yes, it’s Gramfest night two, Saturday, and we’re hanging at the Motel 8, about to head out for a hang with our band pals and our hopefully not later than 2 a.m. show. Victoria and Paul had a good little hike in Joshua tree, had a picnic and were visited by a huge white hawk which symbolized PLs untimely, Gram Parson’s-like death, bats flitting around their heads, a very fast and paranoid jackrabbit, and two big coyotes who wandered by, looked up solicitously to their rock perch for a meal and a cup of coffee, kept on walking when they didn’t receive. The signs say don’t feed them, and PL reluctantly agrees. We don’t need another species on the mass grid.
Like always, we’re watching the weather channel with the sound off. It’s 43 degrees in Cleveland.

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