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,
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