Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Use Christinas Amp

I Use Christinas Amp And Mic On Royal Street
I Go To Jail

I can't remember the exact order of events, but, Sunday night, as I was walking down Royal Street pretty much broke, I came upon Christina Friis, who was on the corner of Royal and St. Louis Streets.

We had a conversation, during which I agreed to hold that particular spot for her on the next (Monday) day. It was also agreed that I would be able to use her microphone and amp while holding the spot from 5 PM, when the gallery (behind her) closes, until around 7:30, when she would show up and take over the spot.

I stood and listened to her sing; she wanted to harmonize on whatever we could, which was a mild and pleasant surprise to me.

Click Hear To Hear Christina with none other than Dorise Blackmon

She is a real perfectionist; she plays with accompaniment from only certain musicians; and they basically follow her lead and are the types who become invisible by not making any mistakes; and not improvising; not taking any (chances, or) solos, unless they have already been worked out in advance, so that Christina knows exactly when to resume singing (and upon which exact note to start on; based upon the last note of the guys solo, etc.).

So her asking me to harmonize with her was a compliment to me; and we did a pretty "Amazing Grace" together; though, she was going through the microphone and I was about 3 feet away; so that my harmonies were subtle, to say the least; but that would be about the preferred mix between our voices in any arrangement.

She gave me 5 bucks as I was leaving; on my way to make about another 5 dollars on that cold Sunday night, which "died" early on in the evening.


I got there at the prescribed time of about 3 PM and was able to set up her mic and amp and play my guitar through it and sing.

Immediately a guy named Matthew showed up, who was about my age and who gave me cigarettes and drink, as we waited for "them" to conclude the shooting of a scene for "CSI New Orleans" or whatever the show that I have never seen is, on the next block, in front of the Supreme Court building.

People were not as interested in a street musician one block away as they were for watching that particular spectacle.

I managed (after they stopped) to move to in front of the gallery, where I played a couple of Beatles songs, and then switched to all originals.

At one point, a police car parked along the curb near me; and sat there, with the window rolled down on my side.

I had just started playing "Crazy About A Crazy Girl," and saw no need to stop, due to their presence. It's on of my better songs, despite some of the "raunchy" lyrics.

I had already garnered some tips after playing "You Are Better Than Nothing," a spoof on the Joe Cocker song "You Are So Beautiful," and "Not A Bad World," a spoof, in the same vein upon "Wonderful World," by Louis Armstrong.

The cops sat there for a while, a veteran, whom I have seen around the Quarter, sitting in the passenger seat, and a rookie, whom I have seen on at least one occasion, behind the wheel.

The occasion that I saw him and which I can remember, was on the night when I was last incarcerated, in December of 2012.

On that night, he was working with another veteran cop.

When the "attachment" (or warrant) came up then, which I still have in Jefferson Parish (for trespassing upon the rail yard), he called it in to "verify" it; and thus guaranteed my trip to jail. I guess, once an attachment is "verified" and it is determined that the right individual is in custody; it is not going to happen that the officer will call back and inform them that he has decided to let the person go (he would probably have to give a good reason for doing so).

The veteran cop shook his head and told the guy: "There are other ways that we could have handled this..."

"But, I already called it in," said the rookie.

Well, Monday night, he (who apparently has a good memory) called me over to the car and asked: "Did you ever take care of that business in Jefferson Parish?"

I told him that the attachment had been there for 2 years, and that they have, on several occasions, said that they didn't want me to be transported over there.

They continued to sit there, with the rookie pecking away at his laptop, until finally I asked "Is it OK if I go sit back down and sip my beer?"

It was OK with the older cop, "But don't play, because he won't be able to hear his phone."

He added assuring words like: "You're alright, we're not worried about you..."

I sat there for a while; they sat there for a while. I even DID play another song after Christina arrived at about 7:20.

Then, she took over the equipment, and I was picking up my pack and my guitar and saying goodbye to her when the cops got out of the car and the rookie told me "Wait a second; we're not done yet."

Then, telling me "Let's take care of this now," and "Put your hands behind your back, please," he put the cuffs on me.

All the while, the veteran cops was assuring me that I would probably only be in for a couple of hours, because it was a 2 year old trespassing charge, and that they (Jefferson Parrish) would only fax over a court date for me, and I would sign it and be released on my own recognizance. "Then, you show up in court, and they will most likely dismiss it and take it out of the computer; then you can come out here and play your music without anything hanging over your head..."

Christina said that she would take my stuff for me; at the suggestion of the older cop, who said that it would speed up the process if I didn't have all that property with me. The property is held in an entirely different building, about a mile from the jail; and I would have to go there during business hours and pick it up the next day.

The older cop told Christina that, after he dropped me off at the jail, they would come back and transport my stuff to place, so she wouldn't have to tote it, along with her own stuff.

Christina handed me some money having held the spot for her, as I was being put in the back of the cruiser.

"This can go on my commissary account, so I can buy coffee," I said, to which the older cop reiterated: "No, I'm telling you; you'll probably be out in a couple hours!"

Well, it turned out that he was being straight with me, however, he hadn't known what I found out when I got to the jail to sit for "a couple hours," that the Jefferson Parrish offices were closed for the night, and I would have to wait until they opened in the morning and faxed my court date.

I lied down on the cement in the holding tank; using my hat for a pillow and glad that I had put on 3 sweatshirts over 2 tee shirts before going out that night.

The Thoughts Of A Man Sleeping On Concrete

I wondered about a few things.

Was it somehow related to the fact that I had just gotten an apartment and was no longer "homeless," and was now that much more likely to pay any kind of fine which might be levied (rather than abandon my nice place and skip town over 150 dollars, or whatever)?

Was it karma, or the gods way of saying: "Just when you think you have a cozy place to go to, life can smack you down at any time; and put you on the concrete floor of a holding cell, with your hat for a pillow, with you being woken up every half hour by another inmate rattling the cage and yelling for the captain to see if his people had posted his bond yet."?

Had Jefferson Parrish begun an initiative to clear up old warrants, beginning with the new year?

Had the cops thought that my music was interesting, and that I would add to the Royal Street atmosphere, and that it would be a shame if some other officers in a bad mood one night were to spoil it for me; causing me to lose my guitar and amp, or whatever might mysteriously disappear from the notorious property building?

Had I just made myself more visible than at the Lilly spot, by cranking my original music up to 80 decibels and aiming it at the posh Royal House restaurant (though I got good reactions from the staff working the front door)?  

Had the arrival of Christina given them the idea that they could then transport me, and clear up the warrant, without having to bring along the backpack, guitar, amplifier and microphone, stand and  stool?

I thought about a lot of things, laying there in the holding tank.

And, of course, I was not taking for granted that I would be out "in a couple hours," and the news that Jefferson Parrish was closed for the night came as no big surprise, because, more often than not, something comes up to complicate things in and around the justice department.

I also had an underlying dread that they were going to come and serve me some warrant from some place that I had never been in my life, telling me: "That's what the computer say's; we have to go by what the computer say's...If what you say is true, they'll straighten it out when you get to Fargo...but for now, you are being detained...."

That would not have come as any great surprise, either. I've had experiences with the law before....

to be cont.


Wheely said...

Ack! Don't leave me hanging, what happened?! :)

Alex said...

I think they took him to jail again...

Keep in mind, occasional vacations in jail are a regular part of Daniel's life.