We’re rolling through somber deep redwoods and deciduous dense growth on the narrow winding highway outside of very hip and mellow Sebastopol, woods yielding to cow pastures and taking back again, to the hamlet of Occidental and radio station KOWS, for a taping. Nice, nice, nice.
Post KOWS interview. Our gentle and enlightened Songs In The Round DJ host Scott guided us through an acoustic performance and interview that went in our favorite direction–a consideration of the fauna and flora of our surroundings and of Los Angeles. It’s good to be with people who think about the land, about the mall and its consequences. We bought a strawberry tart with a long German name and delicious nettle/mint aqua fresca from a sweet 60’s mama at the farmer’s market that had burgeoned in the parking lot below the radio station, which is housed in an old wood frame mercantile building. The tea’s green goodness is suffusing our sytem and souls, and we are so digging the vibe on Bohemian Highway.Thin shadowed twisting highway. We dip into deep forest, passing thin young trees making kinescope of the green mysteries behind. An old wood cabin with only a dirt road for access through forest. An abandoned pickup truck with its brains blown out. Roadside gardens bursting with vaginal fertility. We stop at a roadside organic bakery, and inside are tables overflowing with the most beautiful earthy seedy fruit chunk bearing loaves and scones we’ve ever seen. The scone tastes as good as it looks, and the espresso is perfect. Are we dreaming these green fields, these flowing skirts, these goddesses, this nuclear free zone, into existence? Are we in a matriarchy? Heal us.
We drive back down the Bohemian Highway to Santa Rosa for our second radio performance of the afternoon, Steve Jaxon and The Drive on KRSO. This one feels quite a bit different. It’s a commercial radio station. People actually work here, in long rows of cubicles, and they act like it. That always takes a while to get used to. This particular show is a drive time comedy show. As we arrive one of the contributors is doing a long bit about tea bagging and being trapped in an elevator with two old ladies who smelled like Ben Gay. The long puerile arm of L.A. guy talk radio. Holy shit, what do we do? This is strange new territory even for us road worn Hawks.
But we soldier through and it all turns out fine. Steve, our host, is a nice guy and very professional, with a rich classic DJ baritone. He knows what to do. We follow his lead, play Slash From Guns N’ Roses, everything is cool. We even talk to some callers about tea bagging. So there you go. Pack up and head for the gig in Sebastopol, stopping along the way to buy PL some seriously strange cough syrup. It has pine needles and ammonia in it. It seems to work somewhat but it also makes PL have an out of body experience. Not necessarily a bad or unusual thing for a guitar player on the road but not all that pleasant either. The cavernous Aubergine is a warehouse thrift store by day, bar restaurant by night. They even have wi fi and very good French onion soup. We meet our drummer from the night, Chip Trombley (he’s great). We get to reconnect with our brother Hawk and long time steel player Dave Zirbel and his lovely wife Jeanine. It’s a fun night in the rural northern California scene. Dave Z is the Missing Hawk, the sound we hear in our heads when we think of the complete sound. He sounds great tonight, Chip rocks the grooves gently, and we make a solid connection with the crowd. We’ll definitely make our way here again. We hang with the locals while Dave Carter and his Trailer Park Rangers do an inspired set of unusual and innovative songs. Serious hippie dancing is alive and well up. It’s grand.
Next morning Paul M hits the road home solo from Marin in his Astro Van. Rob and family, in Volvo and Yukon, gather Paul L, stricken with a mysterious flu, from brother Matthew L and wife Nicole’s Marin guest room, and caravan south. From Paul L’s point of view, the Wallers are the coolest possible traveling family, parents and children endless sources of wit and novel point of view. We trade off combinations of drivers and passengers, and we and the time fly, 5 south, over the Grapevine at twilight and a rising gibbous moon. We’re back in the Southland.