Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Wolf Man's Jazz Stories (Goin' On w/Story 1)

BULLETIN from The Daily Growler crack newstaff; Walter Crackpipe at the City Desk: "Bush (our never honestly elected phony "president") is in Saudia-Arabia at this very minute [This was written two days ago--we're a little slow with our Bulletins] selling the Saudis our national souls. It is the Saudis who are driving up the price of oil. They do this by holding back oil. After 9-11, the Saudis released a lot of oil in order to bring the price of oil down as a favor to their favorite Bush, Pappy Bush, G.H.W. Bush (Bill Clinton's best friend), who Prince Bandar Bush (the Saudi ambassador to the US for 20 years starting under Pappy's regime) was having lunch with, if you remember, in the District of Corruption, at the time of the 9/11 attacks--14 of the attackers were Saudis--joking, smoking illegal Cuban cigars. It was right after this luncheon engagement, after the cigars were squashed out and the expensive wine was drunk, that US Air Force planes gathered up the Bin Ladins who were in this country--from Harvard Yard down into the middle of Jeb Bush's Florida, over 27 of them, including Osama's son--and flew them immediately out of the country. Now here's Georgie Junior's problem--without oil (remember, Bush has already told us we're addicted to oil) Bush is helpless as a Napoleon copycat--domination of the world according to Murray Bookchin is the main goal of US presidents since WWII, an action that takes a hell of a lot of petrochemicals as well as petroleum products--petroleum is needed for the making of the body bags they ship the poor dead dumb soldier boys and girls back home in, draped with an American flag that is made of polyester, which is a petroleum by-product--even the American troop uniforms are made out of poly-cotton blends--jet fuel, fuel for incendiary bombs, fuel for firing rockets, grease and lubricating oils, synthetic rubber tires--you get the picture. Bush is desperate to control the world's oil supply. He never thought he would meet the resistance he's meeting over this--I mean look at the resistance he's gotten from Venezuelan President Chavez--and look at the resistance he's gotten from the Iranians--they know Bush has had his sights on Iranian oil for as long as he's had his sights (the sights of his oil-rich Pappy and his oil-rich pal Kenny Boy Lay (may he not rest in peace) and his oil-rich pals in the Bin Ladin family and his oil rich pal Prince Bandar Bush and his oil rich "Unka" Uncle Dick Cheney, and his oil rich Texas and Oklahoma compadres, like the Halliburtons, the Browns, the Roots, the Kelloggs, all Oklahoma and Texas oil-rich families, all once centered down in Houston, Texas, celestial home of Old Pappy and Mammy Bush, former home and headquarters of Kenny Boy Lay and his Enron energy domination company.... Anyway, we just thought we'd let you know that you'd better start learning some Arabic and you'd better buy a Koran and get acquainted with Islam and you'd better get ready to deal with being ruled by Saudi billionaires and the People's Republic of Capitalist China--hey, check out the latest in Mao jackets and Mao slippers--WHY? you're hollering at me, Why are you bringing this up?--and I'll tell you why, because CityBank, a sub of CityCorp, a bank founded by the Rockefellers, got itself so entangled in this recent prime-mortgage-rate scandal it's losing billions of its depositors's money day-by-day, to the point CityBank is, like Countrywide Finance, on the brink of destruction--EXCEPT--get this, THE SAUDI-ARABIAN GOVERNMENT IN CAHOOTS WITH THE REPUBLICAN CHINESE are pooling their monies to takeover CityBank! In order to bring all this about, George "Little Georgie" Bush is giving the Saudi-Arabian government, check this out, 20 billion dollars worth of high-tech military equipment--smart bombs and a really high-tech missile system--and the Dumbocrats in Congress have already said they're going to let it pass--so, I ask you, is there any reason to be alarmed? I just saw a commercial on teevee for a huge new resort development on its own island somewhere, I assume it's off the coast of Florida, called the Atlantis--hotel, casino, I mean, it looks as awesome as anything the Native Americans have come up with in their casino resort fantasies--like Mohegan Sun (why do their commercials feature a wolf's howl, have you ever noticed that?) in the Native American woods of Connecticut--I mean, it's a colossal resort with dozens of huge storied buildings and what looks like miles of swimming pools and dining islands and fabulous penthouse hotel rooms hanging out over the whole scene--and in New York City there are hi-floor hotels going up simultaneously on what seems like every block of Manhattan Island, like Trump's big colossal 42-story SoHo hotel and condo building that is in the news this morning because its crane operator lost control of the crane and let it fly loose a 2-ton full cement container that then whipped around and knocked off a quarter of the top floor into which it crashed, knocking one immigrant worker (he had a Latin name) off the building and he fell 42 floors and splatted dead on Sixth Avenue while the concrete container then knocked the scaffolding loose on those top floors and sent two more Latin-last-named dudes spinning out and falling, luckily, however, they fell down into the safety net though they are still in critical condition--these rich boys have plenty of money--it's our money [we give the Saudi Royals billions in aid every year anyway]--for instance, Allen Greenspan, that creepy old fool who ran the Federal Reserve with dictatorial authority for years--and allowed cheap interest rates that allowed the real-estate and mortgage schemers and scammers to start blowin' up the real estate bubble in the first place and now the bubble's busted and who's Uncle Allen working for now, why it's John Paulsen of the now private equity and hedge fund firm of Paulsen and Company--and who's John Paulsen? why he's the dude who made 2-to-3 billion dollars in one day on Wall Street, a Wall Street record! And how did he make that money, why off prime-lending loans he bought up and foreclosed on all those properties--USERY, people, we're being driven into slavery by our own lethargic giving up our rights to these 'usery' and greedy-greedy world billionaires--the new world conquistidores!" WE THANK YOU FOR ENDURING THIS, now on with our regularly scheduled programming! [Mitt Romney, we might add, started a private equity company in Boston while he was gov of Massachusetts--Mitt's PE company is currently in negotiations to buy Clear Channel (remember them? Bad Boy Bush's San Antonio, Texas, buddy's company that set out to buy every damn radio station in the country and turn it into a computer-run virtual radio station) for 200 billion--that may be low. Hey, maybe there's something to this Mormonism!]

Jazz Story #1 (cont'd) "A Guy Named Whitey"

By the time we got to Midland, W.L.'s big blue Caddy was smokin' and getting sluggish. "Washy," Carmine said, "did you forget to change your oil again?" "Lord'a Mercy, Wash Man, look at this bitch...shit, man, look at that oil light, blinkin' red, ain't that bad shit?" We chugged our way into downtown Midland and found the Flame Lounge. W.L. pulled the smokin' Caddy into the motel parking lot. He got out of the car and walked around it, dropping his large bulk down every now and then to look under the car. "Why ain't he checkin' under the hood, man?" Speed asked. Carmine and Speed acted worried but in a snide, jive manner. "How the hell we s'pose to get to El Paso by tomorrow night in this piece of shit?" "Don't worry," Carmine said, "it always seems to work out with this cat." Finally, W.L. stuck his head in the door and said, I'll go in and find out where we unload--let's see, we've got 30 minutes--hell we can go on fifteen of 'em late, who the hell's gonna know." "Right, 'sides, niggahs is always late," Speed jived. "CPR, baby," Carmine chimed in. "Hey, Whitey, ain't niggahs dumb?" "I never said that," I weakly defended my indefensible whiteness and its inherent racism. "No, but you thinkin' it, boy, you thinkin' it."

W.L. came back and said we could unload on back around in the alley behind the joint. He drove us around there and sure enough there was the kitchen door. "Goin' through the kitchen again. We always goin' through the kitchen," W.L. said as he pulled the Caddy up by an overflowing garbage dumpster. We all bounded out of the smokin' Caddy. I hadn't noticed but Speed had his guitar case with him in the backseat. Then I saw him haulin' W.L.'s electric bass out from the backseat, too. Carmine's drums, it turned out, fit perfectly in the trunk of the car including the two amps for the guitar and bass. "Come on, Whitey, help me with these drums, piano player, you bastard, never have to carry an instrument." "I will soon as these electronic pianos and keyboards catch on."

We carried the instruments in through the kitchen. The kitchen staff was all black except for a little white fat man wearing a chef's hat and he was wheezing like hell around that kitchen, cursing, hollering; a mad house it was. We banged our way out to the club area, a small intimate space, about 20 tables and a long bar behind the tables, with a tight little stage sat in one of the corners of the place. All behind the stage were windows that looked out onto Highway 80 that flowed alongside a string of railroad tracks just to the north of the Highway.

I helped haul in Carmine's drums, him bitchin' all the way, "Hey, Whitey, careful with that snare, man, that cost me an arm and a leg." Or, "Jesus, Whitey, that's my best cymbal, dammit, careful with that."

Once in the club, I noticed the piano. An old Baldwin console that looked to be in pretty good shape, just off to the deepest window side of the little bandstand. "Help me set my drums up over here, Whitey," Carmine called from the other side of the stage. "Fuck you," I hollered back at him, "I ain't your god-damn roadie." He didn't say anything. I was just pissed. So what if my instrument was already at the club. Fuck him. Then Speed hollered at me as he was prancing in with his guitar to set it up on the stage, "Hey, Whitey, drag my amp outta the Caddy will ya?" "Fuck you, too," I crabbed at him, "I ain't your roadie either, man." "Hey, Whitey, take it easy, cat," Speed hollered back. "Yeah, take it easy, Whitey, we just jivin' you, man," Carmine hollered from settin' up his drums--not a full set, I noticed, just a snare and a bass drum with a hi-hat and a big ride and that was about it, no floor toms, or if there were, I hadn't seen him put them up yet. I couldn't believe how much shit they'd gotten in that Caddy and I hadn't noticed how much stuff they had jammed into that backseat. My concern throughout the trip down was had I made a mistake taking this gig because these guys seemed to hate my ass, resent me being white, and were being openly rude to me, openly meanly jivin' me--not just jive, I can take a little kind-hearted jivin', but this was cold jive, see?

I went over and tickled the ivories on the Baldwin. Not bad. Seemed tuned OK. Keys were all working, no stucks, no missing keys, no "ivories" missing, not bad at all; I thought, shit, I think I can handle this baby easy, and then the devil in me said, 'Unless they call all their tunes in E-flat or B-natural or something,' but the jazz in me said, 'No, man, this band's lead instrument is the guitar and I don't know any guitar players who don't usually play around E or G, never F, and they all could always play in C or A and I could hold my own in those keys--the less accidentals the best, as the beginners all say. Then I was suddenly feeling good and cool and like, hey, dudes, I'm the piano player in the W.L. Lee and His Advance Quartet, check me out!"

I went back out to the Caddy to get my clothes bag. The clothes bags had been piled high in the back window of the Caddy; mine was on top. I'd brought a pair of black slacks, a white shirt, a tie, and a cool light blue sport coat I'd just bought; damn it looked cool.

W.L. came out and I asked him where the restrooms were so I could change into my gig clothes. "Did you bring black?" W.L. asked me. "Black slacks, yeah...." "Damn, Whitey, I'm sorry, I forgot to tell you we wear black, solid black, with black shirts even, white ties--I forgot to tell you, man, I apologize." "Shit, man, I've got a white shirt, a black tie, but a blue sport coat." "Hey, man," W.L. jived, a good jive, you see, "You gonna stand out like a sore thumb in there." He chuckled. That was the second time he'd laughed since the trip began. "By the way, Whitey, I hope the boyz ain't buggin' you too much. They ain't worked with no white man since joining me. My old pianist was Sleepy; did you ever know Sleepy Frank?" "Sure, he's been up to our jams a lot, especially when he was workin' the Coach and Six in Albuquerque last summer." "Yeah, that gig's why he quit me." He took a flask from his inside coat pocket and handed it to me. "Heah, man, take a slug'o this...and don't worry, man, this is class shit...the little 151 rum thing was just some...." "I dig, W.L., don't worry 'bout it." I took a slug from the flask. "Whoaaa, is that smooth." "Four-star Remy Martin, baby." "Remy Martin?" "Yeah, a new cognac outta France." "Damn, now that's booze." "Damn right it is," W.L. said, offering me his palm up. I slid him some skin and felt suddenly really damn sweet and cool and relaxed and wondering when Carmine and Speed would break out the muggles so I could have a couple'a viper hits on the muggles stick 'fore we went on--and shit, we were on in a minute or so, damn, it was 9 then. W.L. said, "Don't worry, cat, black dudes are always late to gigs--the white man expects it."

I changed into my contrasting clothes in the men's room of the Flame Lounge. When I came out and went into the club the band was no where to be seen. This young punk stopped me and asked me if I had a reservation and I said I was with the band and he looked at me like I was crazy and said, "The band has to stay in the kitchen or out back 'till the show starts and the show ain't startin' ever on time when those damn niggers play here, but, hey, they're good and draw the crowd, man." Then he skipped off to check something else and I headed for the kitchen. The club was packed. I was excited. I found the boys out in the alley--just finishing a doob--"Damn," Speed let out a swoosh of smoke, "Whitey, you a snowflake in a coal mine here, look at you, dude!" They were all smiles. Then W.L. came from around the corner of the building from parking the Caddy and pulled me aside. "Whitey, we got a problem." "Wha's that...and, hey, can I have a hit off that joint?" W.L. continued as I took a drag off what was left of the joint--it was a solid roach by then, "No, Whitey, I'm serious. Mister Charley says you can't appear with us; he don't allow it." "What?" "He don't want a white boy playin' with a bunch of niggahs, cat, that's it." "Where's the motherfucker, let me talk to him." "Naw, man, don't cause no scene, this is a good gig, man, so let's see what we can work out."

To be Continued.


for The Daily Growler

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