Saturday, April 11, 2015

woke up Thursday morning with 7 dollars and 70 cents on my coffee table, after having made a little but spent more on Wednesday.
The album cover to the left is the only presence of Johnny B that I could find on the whole friggin' internet....
This, along with the fact that I could find no photos of the band; means that, as blog readers, you are still in the dark about what Johnny, the guy who wants to crash at my place for 10 days in exchange for a pretty new Roland Street Cube amp; looks like.
I had referred to him in past posts, but just put up a picture of Steve Martin with Jeff Gordon's eyes as a representative of him.
The guy is totally anti-Internet, anti computer; and doesn't care about anything like Facebook, etc. and so I will have to take a picture of him when he stays at my place.
I want the amp bad enough to go sleep at the sign spot for 10 days and let him have the whole place,,,I think we can find some middle ground..
Who knows, maybe it will be ME skeezing cigarettes off of HIM, while he is there.....

Friday night, I had finished with a couple 5's, a 2 dollar bill, and 8 singles, after having had a 30 dollar night playing a guitar which had 2 bottom "E" strings on it, with the one in the wrong spot tuned up 3 steps and the other 5 tuned down, so that they met in the middle.
I was able to play the harmonica along by transposing everything a whole step.
This allowed me to play all of my key of D songs, as well as B minor, E minor and A blues; which is what I had been looking forward to doing when I had gone to the music store to buy a key of D harmonica, and wound up getting another C major, when they had none in stock.
Friday, I left the apartment around noon, after having slept 8 hours and woken up with 20 bucks.
I immediately ran into Tim, my caseworker who was pulling in to the parking lot in the tiny car that he drives.
Multi Legged Creatures
We have been having an infestation of a certain king of caterpillar; and we talked about them, as we observed hundreds of them covering one of the pillars at the parking lot entrance.
Two Legged Creatures
We also talked about my upcoming decision of whether or not to let Johnny Bivona crash at my place for 10 days, in exchange for a Roland Street cube amp ($300 dollars new; but Johnny bought one off a guy on the street for probably less than $100).
I voiced my concerns about the matter, the biggest of which was my fear that Johnny would use the 10 window of opportunity to use money which would otherwise have gone for rent to go on a 10 day bender on crystal meth.
Which leads to my second biggest fear that we would have some kind of "falling out" on about his 9th day on the bender, his biochemistry causing him to become super irascible and ready to misinterpret anything I might say and jump down my throat; and ultimately he would angrily say something like: "I'm outta here! You're getting on my nerves! And I'm taking the amp with me! The deal is off!"
My other concerns; not in any particular order:
He would say things like: "I hope you don't mind but I fried up that fish that was defrosting in the fridge. I was starving..."
Or: "Could you please not peck on your computer keyboard at 4 AM, it's very annoying and makes it impossible to sleep!"
Or, he would show up at the Lilly pad, to tell me that he is calling it an early night, and wanting the keys to the apartment "When you get back, just have the security people buzz me, and I'll let you in." And then, I would "get back" only to discover that for any reason in the world, he never arrived; and I would be consigned to sitting in the lobby, watching the street for any sign of motion, while my ice cream melted and my chicken fried rice grew cold, as I waited to be let in to my own place.
Or, I would show up to discover him an some adoring female fan whom he met while busking; rolling on the couch "It's cool; she showed her ID at the front desk and they let her in; it's just for one night.."
And then, in the morning "Wow, what a sneaky little bitch; I never heard her leave. Don't worry, I'll see her on the street and get your laptop back!"
Or, he would come out of the bathroom after a long shower, and say: "Boy, that felt great; until the water started getting cold; you might want to wait an hour or so before trying to take a shower."
Or, he would leave some crystal meth on my dresser and say: "I'll tell you what; you snort this and you'll busk your ass off for 10 hours straight, playing songs that you forgot you knew and hitting every note; and THEN see if you aren't making at least a hundred a night; easily; and, if you need more, just let me know! (and if you wind up owing me, you can just give me the amp back at the end of 10 days...).
But, I could also think positively and see it as a win-win situation.
I could get him to sing some back up harmonies on some of my songs (I mentioned the idea to him and he replied: "Sure, I'll help you out."
There was a slight overtone in the way he had said it which seemed to imply: "I normally charge 50 bucks an hour for session work -hell, I backed up friggin' John Mayer, for crying out loud- but, I'll help you out, since you're helping me out..."
And, Johnny's stated plan is to bankroll a couple grand through 10 days of intensive busking (which would have him out of the apartment those times) and then to take a Greyhound to wherever his "summer spot" is that he goes to each year when it slows down here.
And, of course, he would want to jettison the extra amp to travel as lightly as possible; allaying my fear of him reneging on our deal.
And, even though it would be the slow season; the spot across from the Hotel Monteleone will become vacated by him when he does go; leaving it as a prime spot for someone else (who has an amp and) who can play and sing AM radio hits from the 70's.
After talking to Tim, I went and spent myself down to about 9 bucks with the purchase of an energy drink and a half pint of gin to spike it with; and a pack of cigarettes.
If and when I quit smoking, it won't be because I am forced to for lack of cigarettes, I surmised, as I walked back to the apartment.
I walked into the quarter, having spent myself down to the 2 dollar bill and 3 singles, and arrived at the Lilly pad where I played from about 10 PM until 12:40 AM, and made about 30 bucks; helped by a 10 dollar tip at one point when I had decided to pack up and call it quits, but then changed my mind, took the guitar back out, and kept going. Bam -10 bucks, almost immediately.
I ran into Johnny on the street car on the way back home. He seemed a lot more calm; and wasn't talking a mile a minute; didn't spar with any other passengers; and told me to let him know (today) what I had decided about letting him crash for 10 days at my place.
I did mention that I was thinking more on the lines of a 7 day period, to which he replied "No, I would have to have the whole 10 days, in exchange for the amp."
I guess that is fair because, even at the "used" value of 200 bucks, letting him stay the whole 10 days would be like getting 20 bucks a day out of the deal (minus whatever fish he might eat).
I am going to have to go over some guidelines with him beforehand.
How much stuff do you have to move from the other apartment (more than one trip?)
Do you have your own toothpaste, towels, laundry soap, etc?
You understand that I am going to hold the key card at all times because it is like Linus' security blanket to me; making me feel that, come hell or high water, I can go lock myself away in the apartment, and relieving a lot of stress of the kind that I had when I was homeless and would go under the dock and flip on my flashlight, hoping that my blanket would still be there; and that there wouldn't be some other guy wrapped up in it.
And, basically, we have to work out a schedule.
Unfortunately we have just about the exact same one, and might wind up taking the cable car into the Quarter together, and then taking it back together at the end of the night; and then cooking a meal and eating together, waking up and having coffee together -which will go against the grain of the "loner" lifestyle which I have become accustomed to over the past 5 years (since Karrie and I were inseparable, both night and day) but it is only for 10 days; at the end of which I will have the ability to make up to 4 times as much money busking, just by adding volume and a little bit of echo and reverberation to my sound.
Johnny just called at 3 PM, he is going to pick me up a set of new strings from the store where they are only 6 bucks -the store that has been closing before I have gotten there the past 3 days...
I did learn a lot about alternate tunings though, while working around my string situation; and even recorded a few songs using unorthodox setups ala the band "Sonic Youth," who; I read in Guitar Player magazine; have a separate, differently tuned guitar for each one of their songs.
I had always wondered if they are just too lazy to learn tricky chord fingerings -lazy like the majority of "youth" out there, sonic or other types.


Alex said...

Time to get out the popcorn I guess...

Daniel McKenna said...

I am lost on the popcorn reference; I entertained Howard with popcorn the night that he crashed...

Alex said...

Oh, its a common expression to mean things are going to get interesting, as in, a guy letting a psycho girl move in with him, etc. Generally used when the person uttering or writing the expression feels it will be one of those train wrecks you just can't remove your eyes from.