Friday, April 8, 2011

Need To Go

Widespread Panic, ready to jam around the campfire with me.
Preparations are underway, to make my way to Live Oak, Florida for the Wanee Music Festival.
I am going through my stuff, deciding what to leave in and what to leave out.
I can see myself cooking my food over Live Oak wood, should I be fortunate enough to have any. I will have to spend cash for food, because I am out of food card money for this month, just as I had told the people who begged me to buy them things off my card, that I would be, if I bought them things off my card. They act like they think that the food is free, but, now I am spending my cash on things that I would have had, had I not caved in to them.
Yesterday was a bum filled day.
I played in front of the Save-A-Lot in the morning, until a drunken (in the morning) bum came and sat next to me. He wanted me to play "Hotel California." He wanted to sing "Hotel California." I humored him, thinking that his singing would provide a strong argument for my telling him that he needed to move on; he wasn't "cutting the mustard..."
He wanted one of my cigarettes. I told him I only had one left. He said that he would give me 50 cents, if I shared it with him.
"Just give me a quarter, how's that?" I said.
I shared the cigarette with him. He handed me a nickel, acting as if he thought he had a quarter in his pocket, but, by golly it turned out to be only a nickel. Easy mistake to make.
Then, as I played music, and he remained sitting next to me, despite me telling him that I wouldn't be able to make as much with him sitting there; people are funny that way; a lady came along and handed him two dollars, one for each of us, perhaps.
The bum pocketed the money. I stopped playing and asked him about that.
"Oh, you want half?" asked the bum.
I said something sarcastic. He said "I got you," and promised that he would pay me back "later" and started walking off.
That was the closest that I have come to beating a man half to death in the parking lot of the Save-A-Lot, in a while. Over a dollar, no. Over the way that he used me, probably thinking that he was being pretty slick.
An elbow to the head, to knock his drunk ass to the ground, and then a kick to the face, and he would have gotten his dollars' worth, in my opinion.
I let the incident go, which is good, because I ran into no less than 5 more bums that day.
One snivelling dweeb in front of the beer store tried to strike up a conversation (ie. give me his "pitch")  and I told him: "I'm doing pretty good today, except for getting panhandled everywhere I go. I can't stand panhandlers."
He looked at me, as if he was still considering panhandling me, regardless.
I hate panhandlers, but the one's who approach the people who are listening to me play and say something like "He accepts tips, you know. Support the arts!" and then pocket the money. They need to GO!
I need to realise that there is always a chance that I will never make it back to Mobile, so, anything I leave here may be forever lost.
Depending upon how well the "Panic" show goes in Florida, there is another one shortly thereafter, in Pelham, Alabama (near Birmingham, they say). Then, they make their way to the west coast, finishing out by Los Angelos, where one of my old friends, Shawn Patterson lives, and works as a music composer for some kind of animated movies.
(3271 visitors -note to self)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Daniel > Becca

Right about the time you sent that, I ran into my friend, Alan, who offered to buy us each a beer; he gave me 2 bucks, I went into the store and there was a 5 dollar bill laying on the floor; then I played and got up to like 20 bucks and satisfied my worldly needs with some of it, and I got to play motown songs on a front porch of a woman whose birthday it was, while about 5 others sang along, satisfying an artistic need to feel connected to everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, through the universal language of music; plus, I am closer to becoming an "old school R&B" force to be reckoned with, and I got a good night's sleep, in my new and safer spot; which I consider part of my day; the last, your hope has been fulfilled and thanks for the :) LOL no need to feel :( or :/

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How Much Further, Though

Crazy For Trying?
Last night, I went to the Garage open mic, even though I had less than 5 bucks on me.
Nobody tipped me 5 bucks this time.
I played a song with the band, the "Snoopy" song from the peanuts, and then the guy told me to do a couple solo acoustic songs.
I was pretty sure he meant the originals that I had been doing on previous occasions. I did "Crazy About A Crazy Girl," and then, breaking from the program, I unwittingly did a Patsy Cline song.
I had heard a lady ask the band if they knew any Patsy Cline, which they didn't. I launched into "Sweet Dreams," a song that I knew because Elvis Costello did it on his "Almost Blue" album, and could immediately sense the air go out of the room, as they were probably hoping for "The Carcass Song," or "The Man Who Couldn't Decide What Flavor He Wanted."
The lady who had asked for Patsy Cline came up and asked me if I knew "Crazy;" Patsy's song which was written by Willie Nelson. It was apparent that she wanted to sing, not listen to, a Patsy Cline song; oops.
I never really recovered from that. Nobody tipped me 5 dollars, or offered me a beer or a cigarette.
I learned another lesson about what works and what doesn't, though.
I also noticed that the band had one particularly talented member, who sang and played acoustic guitar and harmonica.
The electric guitarist sounded awesome in spots, mostly due to a barrage of electronica which he employed heavily, making his guitar sound like everything from an elephant, to an uninspired, out of tune elephant...
This further emphasized the point that there are a lot of bands and musicians out there, with more joining their ranks daily, and a very good band can easily be relegated to jamming at The Garage for free, or for a few beers, only.
Carcass Song! Carcass Song! Carcass Song!!!
Once again, it seemed like the pieces of the puzzle are all there, but are just not falling into place on their own. The bass, drums, acoustic and myself on electric could probably make it a lot further than the lineup that played. The question is: How much "further," though...
The Wanee Music Festival (above)
Meanwhile, the music festival in Live Oak is a week away.

Monday, April 4, 2011

He Who Doesn't Pluck, Doesn't Eat

According to Google Maps, it is 325 miles to the Spirit of the Swanee Music Park, near or in Live Oak, Florida.
It is out a bit in the country, on a county road, so, I envision parking lots hewn out of the forest, surrounding the venue. There will be probably 4 entrances, at least, on each corner.
I should probably find the parking lot which is the most expensive to park in, and perch somewhere between it, and the venue.
It would be good to arrive a couple days early, as, there will surely be spectators there, doing the same, in order to beat the traffic and get situated (translated: party) before the influx of people. There will be those there, to shmoose the roadies and soundmen, in order to perhaps meet and hang out with, their heros.
This will mean leaving next week, approximately.
The drive to get a duffel bag, has been mired in two uproductive days, playing street music in Mobile.
Saturday night, people were going beyond walking past and ignoring me, to performing acts of theatre, like, walking up and saying "Wow, man! You ROCK!" and then, reaching toward their back pocket, toward a supposed wallet, only to withdraw the hand, and make a gesture to infer "got 'cha!" and other similar hilarious vignettes. I got back to my spot with $10.63, I think it was...
Two of that was from the guy in the apartment above where I play, who showed up around 2 am. and said that he was going to go to sleep, and payed me off to move down the street a bit.
I'm not totally superstitious, but I may never wear that blue shirt with the USA flag on the front of it, again...
I think that they were giving away free crawfish at The Music Box, and, perhaps that had something to do with the state of mind of the people..
Sunday, I played like 2 and a half hours for, like 6
I am handwashing my clothes, and will somehow get myself on the ramp next week, or, at the convenience store.
I figure it would be nice to meet the person who is going to give me a ride, to make sure that I don't see abject darkness and evil in his eyes before getting into the vehicle...
Apart from that, It is Monday; a day not famous for the amounts one can make by playing "Early Morning Singing Song" by the bank, but, "He who doesn't pluck, doesn't eat."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Egg

The Haystack
This morning I woke up with the sun and couldn't go back to sleep, so I went to the Save-A-Lot, to wash up and discovered a broken egg in my backpack.
I had forgotten all about putting two eggs in there, the previous morning.
I had a dream that I found my backpack somewhere, and I was sure that a bird had built a nest in it, because it was open.
Karrie and I used to live in a wooded area where birds would build nests in anything that is left hanging on a tree, or left open.
Sure enough, (in the dream), when I disturbed my backpack, a fat, swollen bird jumped out. It looked like it was in the process of laying an egg. The subconscious mind is a mystery, for sure.
I was in the last bench in the back of the second trolley. There was a black man sleeping in the seat immediately in front of me. Out of about 20 seats, he chose to sleep in the one next to me. I remembered him arriving at about 4 in the morning. I wrapped my guitar strap around my wrist and went back to sleep. He must have felt safer sleeping near someone else.
I've seen him around town, but can't recall if he is a bum, or a decent person. I get my homeless people confused, there being so many of them.
The Needle
I Find My Old Friends
That morning (friday) I googled the name of a girl that I used to babysit, back in the 90's. I had always meant to get around to doing that, and this was the morning that I did.
It took some sleuthing to navigate from MySpace, to the website of the sports bar where she is a waitress in Tucson, to her Facebook page, where I found her, along with her mom and sister. It seems to have made each of our days.
We sent some messages back and forth, and relived some memories.
She (Jenny) is 27 now, married and has a little girl. It made me long to go back to the time when we all lived in Middleburg, Florida and I had a job and a car, and a house to stay in. But, we are all products of our choices.
I left the library walking on a cloud. I had a renewed sense of optimism, probably due to ruminating upon a time when I was a lot more optimistic.
Then, as I had less than 5 bucks, I bought an Earthquake High Gravity Lager, drank it behind the store where I ran into Sheldon, an acquaintance who smoked some botanical incense with me. This combination sent me on my way into town, where I played and drank more and only made about 10 bucks before I was too drunk to want to continue. Earthquake also has the tendency to put me in a foul mood and I will just stand and watch the people, not really feeling any urge to entertain them; seeing the dark side of human nature in them.
I should have known better, about the Earthquakes. Any beverage named after a natural disaster is best avoided. This goes for Hurricane Lager as well.
Then, I went to my sleeping spot and used my backpack as a pillow, having totally forgotten that I had two eggs inside of it.
Tonight should be another opportunity to make some money. I need to get a duffel bag large enough to hold all my stuff, so that I can begin to roam.
There is a music festival in a couple weeks in Live Oak, Florida, which seems to be maybe 200 miles from here, down Rt. 10.
I think that if I made a sign which read "Wanee Music Festival" and stood by the exit with my guitar on my back and my thumb out, I whould be able to get there. Or, if nobody picks me up, I will have to re-assess my opinion about the basic goodness of humanity, and maybe just try to get a job in a supermarket and dwindle away the rest of my life...