My old lady and I were walking towards Griffith Park last night, up Commonwealth Street, trippy clear sky, geese heading north, why so late in summer?, lonely Venus on horizon, saw a big coyote in some rich guy’s front yard, it just rustled the leaves and appeared, then we’re up on the overwalked fire break trail, it’s getting dark so no one’s up there, and the coyotes start howling, and then we hear Robert Plant and his band, they’re playing at the Greek Theater to the west, and as we walk closer we can hear Robert wailing, he sounds really good, the coyotes around us are wailing along with Robert I swear to God, and the crowd is singing along to “skinny legged woman ain’t got no soul,” cheering like crazy, we look down on the amphitheater and then walk back, right as we’re leaving the trail I see a big shadow at the top of a dead pine tree, it looks like a huge bird, but it’s not moving so we split the land and hit pavement, and I’m told there’s a spiritual guardian of the park, he prays for its soul and the people below–is this true? It was a trippy night.
Onyx Man, Los Feliz
Dear Onyx Man,
In July of 1973 I took acid every night at midnight. I’d already been awake for months consuming mass quantities of uncut Peruvian marching powder and working as a photographer for the Kansas City Star. I couldn’t stay focused on my assignments: fires, traffic accidents, high school football games. So I’d spend the night taking photographs of colonial mansions juxtaposed against a little smiley face I’d drawn on my right index finger. See, I like to work in the shadows, my friend. Which is why I am where I am right now. The Star refused to publish my work, marked it trivial and unnewsworthy. But it was the subversive nature of the work which drove them to box me out. I’d complain, but it’s so much worse for any deep thinker working in the news media today, if there are any. So rock on, my man, and don’t fear the fucking reaper.
Fight The Power,
I was driving through the Valley coming home from work feeling pretty
good, pretty mellow day at work, and I checked out Indie 101.3. They
were playing stuff from the 70’s, like concert ads for the Allman Brothers
and Joe Walsh, and I was getting into it. That was my decade, you know.
I was digging it, and then they played the theme from Rocky, you know,
“feelin’ strong, now,” then they played “A Fifth of Beethoven,” the disco
hit. And they sounded terrible, all squashed and thin. The drums sounded like
mud, which I know is from bouncing tracks on tape, there was no way around it
back then, my brother was an engineer for Gloria Estefan in Miami back then.
And the guitar solo sucked, I thought it was maybe a remake for a second, you
know, the guitar players who can play rhythm but suck at lead, but no, it was
the original stuff. Sounded bad.
And then my favorite Steve Martin routine from the good old days came on,
the one where he ends with “Well, Ex-CUUUUSE ME!” and the audience goes
nuts, and I’m realizing, it’s just not that funny. And analog sucks, digital sounds
much better, and lyrics were at least as stupid back then, feelin strong now?
So I’m bummed, my era kind of sucked, I’ve been baggin on the 90s
all this time and I’m feeling very dark and nihilistic right now. Wondering if
you can provide some kind of perspective.
Eric From the 70’s
Dear Eric From The 70s,
I’ve only really driven a car once and I was out of my mind on a bitchin’ cocktail of quaaludes and Algerian hashish so I can’t really answer your question about listening to the radio. While I’m sure your attachment to pop culture moments from the decade of your adolescence has some significance to the larger human struggle, I’ll be damned if I can figure it. My advice to you is this: turn off the radio, stop driving the car, and send all those old LPs to the glue factory. You’re simply looking for your liberation in the wrong place. There’s only one way out, my man, and it’s through prolonged distortion of the senses provided only by years of isolated meditation or very heavy drug use. The choice is yours brother.
I’m On Cocaine and I Vote,
Email your questions for Stonecutter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
L.A. Weekly Pick of the Week, July 22, 2005
Though he’ll forever be remembered for the satirical “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” made famous by Jerry Jeff Walker, legendary Texan Ray Wylie Hubbard — the headiest headneck of the Outlaw Movement — wrote dozens of killer, smart songs. More recently, he’s chosen “to play in the mud,” perfected his slide-guitar technique, waxed lyrical about “The Knives of Spain,” and cracked wise in the anti-yuppie howler “Screw You, We’re From Texas.” I See Hawks in L.A. are our hometown cosmic cowboys; like Ray Wylie, they’re equal parts spiritual seekers and honky-tonk storytellers, creating an American West of honor and wisdom. Does that ethos exist in a time of spilt blood? Did it ever? It does tonight at McCabe’s. (Michael Simmons)
We’re into the home stretch, and the heat is mad, 119 according to the Bun Boy thermometer in Baker, but we catch a break heading into Barstow: a summer desert rain with a few lightning bolts, and we are cooling down, breathing in petrichor and watching the raindrops. The 10 east through the Inland Empire’s going to be a rush hour mess when we drop down, so we head east through welcome home Joshua trees on Pearblossom Highway, the gray brush stroke of rain our friend to the north. The 14 south is kind, and we’ll be home before sunset.
The Hawk mobile powered north and then east through dark Idaho hills, and we almost ran out of gas again. There are few gas stations on I-15, so fill up in Pocatello or Idaho Falls. Eastward on 90 and we unholster cell phones, functioning again after hours of silence, and we roust Ron Craighead, KGLT honcho and DJ, and Dave, owner of Big Sky High Studios, as we approach Bozeman at 1 a.m. We wind up dirt roads to Blue Sky High, a huge studio/B&B nestled among alfafa farmers and grazing cattle in the shadow of Middle Cottonwood Canyon and Montana mountains.
Dave’s up and plays the gracious late night host, shows the Hawks around his studio and beautifully appointed living quarters. Poco recorded a live album in the main room recently, and it’s being mixed on site in the pastureland. The Hawks give Blue Sky High a hearty recommendation to bands looking to record and get in day hikes in alpine speldor.Next day we woke and raided Dave’s refrigerator, making a big eggs and goat cheese breakfast, shades of the generous larder of Doran and Katherine in Winters, CA, hung out
with Dave a while, then Ron and sound man Noose arrived with the PA, and we sound checked for an acoustic and electric show. We drove down into town, hung out with PL’s sister Mary and her old pals Steve and Mary Lou Osman and their film school finished daughter Julia. The Osmans are the embodiment of the Hawks song “Raised By Hippies.” They met in the wilds of Jackson, WY, are professional outdoor guides and artists, split from running rapids in Jackson to Costa Rica, then moved to Bozeman. It can be done.
As show time neared, gentle Renee, who has been booking our mountain tourette, and KGLT DJ Jenny, a wild and mercurial evolved spirit, arrived, lifting the Hawks slightly road weary spirits, and the crowd filled the room. We played an excellent acoustic and then electric set, to a wildly enthusiastic response from the crowd. We felt like we’d become fast friends through music. Fans and friends slowly drifted away as the wee hours swept cool breezes onto the meadows, and the Hawks retired.Next day PL’s sister Mary came by as promised at 9 a.m., and with Mary Lou and Ron we climbed a few miles up the trail into Middle Cottonwood Canyon, through beautiful meadows of Indian Paint Brush and other local flowers, lupines, cottonwood and aspen stands, and the canyon widened into big vistas of surrounding peaks. We stuck our heads in the creek, and it was nice and cold, blew giant dandelions, and discussed the new ruling that will allow snarling ATV’s to race up the canyon and trample the meadows. Et tu, Bozeman? Perhaps Peak Oil will rescue Middle Cottonwood Canyon. Bring it on soon, say the bunny rabbits.
A late afternoon acoustic show at the funky and sophisticated Cactus Records in classic downtown Bozeman, a farewell to our kind friends, and we were off for Virginia City, MT. —–