Thursday, September 06, 2007

One Spring Morning Off Spring Street #2

"I suspect almost every day I'm living for nothing."
That's the way a certain generation felt back in those late 1970s; not my generation; we took the NOW out of the Beats (the Bea-tifics) and "tuned in, turned off, and dropped out" but the generation after me and my kind, I call my generation the "Forgotten Generation"--or perhaps one could say the "overlooked" generation, the first generation to break with WASP values and kick against the Conservative pricks with OUR antiauthoritarianism, which we passed on to our young protoges, no longer "mommy's and daddy's" kids, no longer children of God, but children of a coming Chaos, very nihilistic children.

Most of my hang buddies back in the spring of 1979 were ten or more years younger than I was. I had evolved from an electric blues purest to a rather "avant garde" jazzist, though when I worked as a musician it was as a white blues singer and pianist, though I was a pianist before I was a singer and one day in the Ear Inn, I came in and pushed old Mike Bloomfield off the piano bench and played Chester Burnett's "Little Red Rooster"--I was able to walk but I was sloshed (not quite conked totally drunk) and Mike Bloomfield was sweatin' out tons of heroin sweat and I finished my piano slice at Mike's musical throat but the bartendress, a New Orleans girl, too, declared Mike Bloomfield the winner--"He plays the piano better than you, Wolfie." "But, the son of a bitch is a god-damn white-boy-Jewish guitar player who just because he's from Chicago thinks he has Manifest Destiny rule over the blues just because he's from fucking Chicago. God, I was bitterly dictatorial when it came to music in those days.

Later in that summer of 1979 we had a blackout across a big slice of the Eastern Seaboard electricity pie--our valiant Con-Edison (a pack of con-artists alright) claimed a lightning bolt hit the main grid and slammed down the power--FOR TWENTY-FIVE F-ing HOURS!

But I'm jumping the hurdles ahead of the starter's gun. I'm still waking up on that spring morning just off Spring Street when I thought I was being awakened by an earthquake that turned out to be Bobby Fuller's "I Fought the Law and the Law Won" being played by such a wild uneven unthoughtout racous almost jackhammer-bothersome in its incessant bad drumming whingding POW on the 2 and 4 and in my sort-a-half-awake-state I was screaming "Hit it on the 1 and the 3, dammit." And then I was awake and then I realized what had woke me up and shook the bejesus out of my--like I was climbing a pair of stairs simultaneously though a little out of step on each staircase.

Holy Shit, I started growling, it's that fucking Matty Quick, what in the holiest of hells is that music racket. Jesus Holy Christ on a Christmas tree. Yeah, I was pulling out my hair. The Law was kicking my ass, too, and dammit, I didn't even know Bobby Fuller! Hey, let me go, I ain't fightin' no law--I got marijuana plants growing on my fucking roof!!!!
There's Bobby at his peak with his Four.

As is continued...always continued, as if presently, perpetually, continuing...


Michael said...

Re Bobby Fuller covers. For some reason, punk loves this song!

By an odd coincidence, I recently had occasion to listen to (and to my more bluegrass-attuned embarrassment, greatly enjoyed) this screaming rendition of the same:

Marybeth said...

I remember that big NYC blackout as occurring in the summer heat of the hottest damned summer in Manhattan, which was in 1977, not 1979. It seemed to me that it lasted for 5 days and one hour but I bet you are right that it only lasted 25 hours. I was helping a flute player friend of mine move her furniture from Perry Street to Jane Street and suddenly everything was dark and we ran up onto the roof to see if the Empire State Building was out-- it was, the whole city was -- and saw the Milky Way over Manhattan. Later we were back down on the sidewalk, my friend holding a flashlight on me while I lit a roach, when a pack of cops walked past us and one of them said "Don't burn your fingers". We had a good laugh about that.

When the lights came back on, x number of days and one hour later, I ran down the stairs of my building on the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal to see if the whole Vlllage was illuminated, and on the corner there was a blues harmonica player wailing away in manner that just slaughtered me. I was bare footed and wearing a bluejeans overall dress and looking like I just blew in from the Ozarks. The harmonica player said "I never saw anything like you before, around here. I want to know you." And I had never heard anything like him, and that's how I met Sugar Blue who was one of the best friends I've ever had.