Thursday, May 3, 2018

Where's George?

"Yeah, I need 35 dollars," I had said to the old black man who held the door open for me at Sacred Heart Apartments.
"Goin' out to get it, huh?" he had asked.

The Eckhart Tolle "living in the present moment" stuff has been embroiled lately by the experiments with the LSD that has come to me through Geo and Mindy Lee, who want me to play their "first dance" song at their wedding, which is less than 4 days away as I write this.

"You can bring a speaker, or whatever," said Geo the last time I saw him when he (skip the rest of this paragraph, mom) sold me a hit of acid for 7 dollars, but also handed me a fat pouch of weed, saying: "Get your weed from me," as he did, as if that was a free sample.

I don't have "a speaker," and, if Geo and Mindy haven't made arrangements to have a sound system at their wedding in Jackson Square this coming Sunday, then I guess I will have to be "unplugged" and they will have to dance 8 feet in front of me within a group of other guests, circled closely enough to be able to hear the song that they are dancing to.

But, in that case, neither will the preacher have a speaker, and will be barking out his "in sickness and in health"s using whatever lung capacity he has, so the "drop-off" in sound level once "the song" starts will be negligible.

I don't even know what religion a couple who has basically been tripping on acid and painting the French Quarter red these past couple weeks, eating and drinking at some good establishments and apparently financing the whole thing by selling weed, would be, and what excuse for a good ol' Catholic priest might arrive in the park Sunday morning to perform the ceremony.

I imagine that, in order for the union to be "legally binding" and all that, the holy man would have to be legally certified to form legally binding unions.

I don't know, can it be someone like "'Trey,' this really cool guy that they met at a  show who wears a bird costume and whom they wound up hanging out with for like 3 weeks in the desert tripping on acid until there was a sign in the heavens that said that he was the man who should marry them?"

"Here's a fat sack of weed, and we're gonna give you a hundred dollars for playing at the wedding," said Geo.

He still needed some cash and asked me how much I had to spend on a hit of acid.

It was a Sunday night, and I had started the day with something like 35 dollars that had been whittled down to something like 14.

"I don't know...I figured I would go as high as 7 bucks for a dose.."

"Seven is a good number," said Geo as he handed me a piece of what looked like paper, about half the size of the paper handle on a tea bag.

As he had done the first time, two weeks prior, he told me that it was a nice, hefty, dose, and that I should, thus, enjoy it.

Once again I took this as a sign that I should only do half of it. This is because I have allowed for a discrepancy between what a nice and sufficient dose was, in the mind of Geo, who might have built up some kind of tolerance of the stuff, compared to what might be right for me, to quote pharmaceutical ads.

My goal is to be able to produce something in this world.

This is a goal that comes with a caveat from Eckart Tolle, who points out the impermanence of everything in the world (and that you lose nothing when you "leave" it).

But, it seems almost selfish to curl up in a fetal position on the couch and "take a trip to the land inside of your mind" perhaps becoming aware of the space between the atoms that make up the body and watching those atoms become separated further and further until the whole body is like the Milky Way, floating in nothingness and you feel that you understand without understanding, everything.

Selfish when, on a little smaller of a dose you can hold it together enough to produce an awesome finger-painting, maybe on the wall of your apartment, or, in my case, a 25 minute jam, that has stood the test of coming down off of acid and remaining interesting.

One of the tracks, the acoustic guitar, I had started out by testing the microphone placement and playing along with my track in order to check levels and maybe come up with melodies, etc.

Wanting just to make sure it was recording, I started to play along and soon became lost in doing so and the musical equivalent of automatic writing ensued, whereby I became mesmerized, listening to the whole thing and detaching my ego from the part that I was adding at the time.

Once I added "bathroom" reverberation and other effects to it and played it back, it sounded good, but went for 25 minutes. I would have to listen to it section by section and pick out the "best" 16 or 32 bar stretch of it, to use as "the acoustic guitar solo," something I have already started doing.

The New Approach to music is to proceed under the assumption that "everything can be repeated," which happens to be the mantra of that approach.

This is a total refutation of the belief that "I just caught lightning in a bottle and I could never play that part again in the same way."

After a 12 hour recording session, I took a break and listened to some other music.

I developed a fresh appreciation for the bass playing of Jaco Pastorius. He was doing stuff on the bass similar to what I had been trying to do on my fake bass, only about twice as fast...
Jaco Pastorius,
died from wounds inflicted by a bouncer
at a club in Florida...
I developed a fresh appreciation for the group Yes. They were doing a lot of things that I had been trying to do, with rhythm and melody and harmony...only about twice as fast.

The over-all effect was that the Yes music just sounded "complicated," and after having listened to the whole "Ladder" (1999) album, I shut them off about 3 quarters of the way through their "Relayer" (1974) one.

They are cool enough, but I have trouble trying to not analyze their stuff as I listen, like once I determine that a piece is in a 10/4 time signature, I will find myself counting to 10 over and over instead of just letting my mind go... 

I then put on Pink Floyd's "Meddle" album and, like Goldilocks (when she was on acid) found it to be "just right."

33 Dollar Wednesday

I had played for the better part of an hour and had no money in my basket. I had 11 cents in my pocket. I started at 10:40 PM.

I had resigned myself to having a zero dollar Sunday night, even picturing the modified route that I would ride my bike home on, cutting out any stops to purchase anything. I would have to bust open the can of salmon that Rose and Ed had given me to feed Harold the Cat.

I guy came along and offered me "a dollar" if he could play my guitar.

I accepted the offer, telling him "That's a can of cat food."

He played a song that he said he had written himself, which contained the same chords as "Knocking On Heaven's Door," by Bob Dylan, but had no words. "I'm not a word guy," he said. I played the harmonica along with him.

Just as he was handing the guitar back to me his 2 friends showed up.

He offered me a second dollar if we could repeat the performance for them.

"Come on, throw him a tip!" he said to those same friends, and 6 more dollars went into the basket.

I then got pretty lost in the music, practicing "being in the present moment," and really feeling at rest in the knowledge that I had money for cat food.

Then, over then next hour or so, a few more bills went into the basket, as I struggled to realize that I had everything I needed right then and there, and thinking about getting home was not helping me, nor was thinking that I was playing only for a few parked cars and maybe a cat hidden under one of them.

When I went to scoop out a few of the bills, to leave only 3 or 4 in the basket, I found another 5, and then a 20, about a half hour later.

My going out the door hoping to make 35 dollars had turned into a $33.25 night on a Wednesday.

It was also May 2nd, and the folks at Sacred Heart Apartments weren't doing a good job of concealing the fact that there was a lot of crack being smoked, using money from the government.

"Dude, Come On, George Is Here!!"

They had gotten their 743 dollars and "George" was here.

I knew that because, Gary, one of the residents had been frantically knocking on the door of Carlos, a neighbor on my floor to deliver him the news that "Dude, George is here!!" in a tone of voice so agitated and delivered with so much gravity that I knew that "George" just had to be the crack dealer, and he was here. Drop everything and run to George before he leaves, or before he sells out.
Gary appeared nervous, kind of shaky, and kind of sweaty.

Yeah, George is the name that the dope guy goes by, kind of an inside joke to himself, as, by the time he is done with some of the residents who get 742 bucks on the first of the month, they will be lucky if they have one bill left with George Washington on it.

I can remember crack heads who, if they ran into a dealer and bought some crack, would then rush to wherever they were going to smoke it as if it was going to evaporate if they didn't smoke it within 10 minutes. There was a similar "Out of my way, dude, you're blocking me, why are you so slow?" manner about Gary after he had wound up behind me as I pushed my bike out the front door. I guess I was keeping George waiting.

I wonder if those residents view me differently when they see me on my way out, hoping to make 35 dollars, when they have 742 dollars on them. "It must suck being him," they might think.

Then on, say, the 18th of the month when they are down to a couple George Washingtons until the first of the month, what do they then think of me?

It is Thursday, May 3rd. It is my mothers birthday. I left a message on her phone, having failed to get anything in the mail in time for it to have gotten there by now. It usually takes 3 or 4 days to get to Massachusetts (While, it would take about a week for something I mailed to Wayne, my next door neighbor, to get to him).
It is about 9 PM, and time to go out to busk. He who doesn't work's cat doesn't eat...

I need to refresh my memory on all the lyrics to the song that I'm going to play at the wedding; and probably to call Geo to ask if they will indeed have some kind of sound system set up.
I would like to hit the dollar store for dish soap, kitty litter, a can of cat food, and I guess a 20 pack of batteries for my spotlight, though that can wait one more night.


  1. You're gonna need an amp, with guitar and mike inputs, and a mike. Can Bobby at least loan you these things?

    My understanding is a Shure SM57/58 is the way to go. You're also gonna need a way to mic your guitar, and there are some fairly inexpensive mic setups for acoustic guitar.

    $300 should take care of it. Shure SM57/58, small Fender type amp that plugs in, some kind of quickie mic/pickup for the guitar, and cables.

    Go up another hundred and you can get a good battery powered amp, could you get your Mom to send you the money?

  2. Colin Mitchell has just the right gear and Monday morning isn't a time when he is likely to need them.
    I'll talk to him after I knock off tonight; he goes until 4 in the morning on Royal Street. If he only knew that the Lilly Pad picks up right as Royal is dying around midnight, he might try to weasel his way into the Lilly Pad...I suppose I could offer him at least 10 bucks out of the 100 that I should make; maybe throw him a hit of LSD as a tip...sure...

  3. Ha! Kind of like how the space in front of Rocket Fizz dies by 9PM on Castro Street in Mountain View, but then you start getting the late-night (for Mountain View) people going in and out of Easy Foods, and they're suckers for a really soulfully played "Amazing Grace".


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