Thursday, August 21, 2008

From Out of the Past Come the Thundering Hoofbeats...

A Review by Robin Rothman (tgw says it really reads like her)
From the Village Voice, 11/2/1999, byline: Robin Rothman

Was a time when a chick in a slampit was a rarity. One badass bitch. It was cool that she'd get into the thick of things. Guys dug that; they respected it. They'd surf her from front to back and back again, hands passing her quickly along with an occasional grab, but usually a boost. It's the kind of crowd Kid Rock envisions when he urges you to "get in the pit and try to love someone."

But then there was Woodstock '99 (Boobstock, Tittystock, Rapestock), where moshing wasn't just a release of aggression or a reaction to the music, and the pit sure as hell wasn't any place to love someone. It was a breeding ground for a male-dominated mob mentality, where girls with women's bodies riding the crowd weren't equals who could hold their own, but fresh meat to be poked, prodded, and sometimes penetrated. Eight cases of rape and sexual assault, allegedly occurring both in and out of the pit, have been reported to the New York State Police; countless more haven't. Rome City Police indicted a 26-year-old state prison guard for assaulting a 15-year-old in the concert's final hours; however, the violation occurred not on concert grounds but in a nearby gas station, where the girl, a Woodstock attendee, had gone to use the restroom.

State police have made no arrests to date, the Voice confirmed last week, and one case has been dropped due to lack of adequate information. Despite optimism expressed by Lieutenant Jamie Mills of the State Police Public Information Office, the outcome doesn't seem promising.

"No perpetrator has been identified, and we have no suspects," says Senior Investigator Dennis Dougherty, who heads one of two departments handling the seven remaining cases. "We haven't received any tips from anyone. We encourage anyone with any information at all to contact us. We'll continue to work any lead until the cases can no longer be prosecuted." That would be a five-year statute of limitations, just long enough for the bastards to come back for more felonious fun at Woodstock 2004.

To read the rest, here ya go:
In Memoriam:
I can't imagine Robin resting in peace. The last time I saw her, way back in those "meatball" days, she'd just been hit by a bus over by CBGB's--she was on crutches--she was over by my pal the rocker Matty Quick's apartment--getting some chill pills--I mean, she had plenty of pain killers--we all always had plenty of pain killers--and brown acid, too, like was served at the 1969 Woodstock (which I was headed for with my copy chief boss--it was raining so hard and the traffic was backed up from Yasgar's Farm all the way back to the Turnpike exit in Harrison, New York, so the copy chief and I saw a motel in Harrison and we went up and, yes, they had a room, and we took it and spent the rest of the day making love not war--eventually we both called our spouses, she her husband and me my wife, to explain how we'd been delayed in getting home--each of us lying, not about going to Woodstock, but about who we were going with! Ah deceit!)--we also had Captain Marvel tabs of pharmaceutical LSD, schrooms, TCP (Angel Dust)--and speaking of Angel Dust, a friend of a girlfriend of mine, and a friend of mine, too, told us one strange night while we were all stretched out on her floor doing doobs and drinking brandy how the night before she had smoked some Angel Dust--she lived on the 30th floor of a huge apartment complex on the West Side--she said a dude had left the stuff with her, had dared her to try it, so she lay down in her bed with the lights off and her curtains opened onto her balcony and the moonlighty night--then she laced a cigarette with the Dust, fired it up, and casually and dreamily smoked it. She said after entering the Dust dream state she began to feel like she was floating on air--and then she got a paranoid thought that somebody was controlling her, causing her to float on air--you know, floating her in mid-air like she was a puppet being manipulated by an evil puppetmaster! She said out of nowhere came the thought that her only escape from this compelling person or thing that had control of her was to run and jump off her balcony into the safety of the darkness beyond--she said it was opaquely eerie, you know, scary yet she was able see through the veil at what she thought was Jesus X Christ himself--and she was propelled by Jesus X's strong voice that she said she felt was coming from deep inside her and not from the foggy JC see imagined she saw through the veil--it was as if her body, the bed, the view, the room, the outside was pushing her to jump off her balcony and be saved; yet she kept her senses, too, she said--like when you're dreaming and know you're dreaming--as if you are standing outside the dream and watching like you watch a movie--and she stated arguing with herself about jumping, agreeing with her paranoid feelings and the offer of her imaginary Jesus Christ that if she jumped off her balcony, yes, she would be free from the puppet strings, but her conscious senses told her though she might be saved from the puppetmaster's strings if she did that, but at the same time, SHE would also be stone dead, splattered on the pavement thirty stories below--she said just as her paranoid side had convinced her to jump off her balcony to the point she was up, throwing off her clothes, standing on her bed, trying to fly toward the balcony edge just beyond the sliding glass doors between her and the jump when the phone rang! It was a guy, she said, wanting to come over and bang her--she kept him on the phone long enough to come down enough off the Angel Dust to gain her complete senses back. Well, you may ask with panting anticipation, did she let the guy come over? Damn right she did; she said she gave him the best piece of ass he'd ever had that night she was so thankful he had called when he did.

I never did anything but pot--of, come on, sure, I've tried them all, almost killed myself doing a rock of pure coke after a fan of my band singing days gave it to me wrapped in a twenty as a tip but then forced me to do the whole O. Z. of the god-damn pure shit and it almost wiped me out! That did it for me and coke; I never liked it; it did nothing for me; except I did always have a package on me because the women I craved loved their coke--this is the generation right after the valium and lithium craze women went through--this generation of women was a generation of free and upwardly mobile women--women you met in your office or at happy hours in the big midtown places to go after work--and we went out every night after work and then partied hearty and escapaded heartily Friday night and Saturday all day and all Saturday night (dead or alive), to finish your fun about 4 am Sunday morning to then be knocked out until late afternoon when you showered together and you lit up a calming doob while she did the last of the coke and you parted and the rest of Sunday was for resting and accumulating enough strength to start the next week in fresh and eager energies.

Robin was on crutches. About gettting hit by a bus? Robin said, hell, she got hit by a city bus down near CBGB's. You suing? "God-damn, you dumb goy, of course I'm suing, I'm Jewish, a meatball, without a pot to piss in right now, so what'da'ya think, Wolfie?" That's the last time I remember seeing Robin.

Robin booked my band the Fabulous Swilltones for at least one whole summer, a summer of discontent and therefore great creative accomplishments, and Robin booked us into several venues--yes, we did play CBGB's, a great gig, we came out, nothing worked, the mics were dead, we couldn't get the amps to working, something was wrong with the wiring, or the plug ins--and the CBGB gopher, a dumbass pogo-dancing rocker, finally using electrical tape and cheap extension cords got us up and running, the amps were perky and solid sending and the mics lit up like X-mas trees and we came out on stage, the chicken wire was up--in case we sucked the audience would throw beer bottles at you--or eggs, or get up and try to piss on you--so we came out, got ready, and started our lead-off song, "Chicken Shack," and we were cookin' like mad, had the CBGB nutjobs digging us--we were a Chaotic band plus we were all smashed to the gills on a variety of uppers and lowers, psychedelics, and 100-proof Old Grandad Sour Mash Bourbon--when suddenly I smelled smoke and thought my piano was on fire--but no, suddenly there was a horrible buzz that was louder-than-hell and sent people to putting their fingers in their ears, even dogs started howling loudly out in the street this buzz was so maniacally demanding--it ended when the guitar player's amp exploded, literally exploded, and then caught fire, a blazing fire that looked like it might recreate the coming hells we'd all have to face--and there we were trapped behind the chicken wire--and we ran like hell back to the green room--holy shit, that was just behind the stage down a narrow dark hall and in the green room we were doomed if the place caught on fire. Finally we heard a lot of commotion going on and then we started hearing clapping in unison and shouts of "Encore!" and our body guard, Johnny U-Think-It'z-EZ, came and said, "Fellows, they love youse guys out there, c'mon, they wants an encore!" We went back out on stage--nothing worked--the sax section started playing "The Stars-Spangled Banner" and I started singing, "Silent Night, Holy Night" and soon the audience was hooting at us, getting ready to heave the beer bottles, so we packed up our smoke- and dirt-smeared instruments and mics and shit and hit the road running....

[I had written a lot more on this but my modem went bonkers and disconnected me and I lost it--once lost, let it stay lost. It was a wonderful tribute, too. Just think of how much brilliant writing and music and art have been lost over the centuries do to disconnections.]

for The Daily Growler


Marybeth said...

And it's Matty Quick's b'day today to boot. The big six-oh for him.

Marybeth said...

And by the bye, in addition to it being Matty's 60th, it is also almost your b'day too, I know, and I composed a little story for you that I am trying to write down, a fictional little ditty about fictional characters we both know, but goddamn if the little sonofabitch isn't getting hugely long and I have lovers from twenty years ago suddenly rocketing in from the Antipodes and endless intrusions of other things and I might not get this little thing writ down all the way before it is your day-- but goddamnit I'm trying to. So just sos you know, I'm writing down a little tale I created for your birthday but it might not show up in time.

The Daily Growler said...

Write it, baby--we'll publish it--you'll be read by the Chosen Few!

The Daily Growler

Marybeth said...

It's coming along. I've got a bunch of it down now, but there's still more to go. It's ridiculously silly, super-silly. (How can I be super-silly when I'm not even silly, one of my friends said when our boss told him to get rid of his supercilious grin.) But it'll be coming your way soon.

Marybeth said...

From out of the past, thundering hoof beats, and finally my winning entry to your "Hal the Horse Poetry Contest"

Do you remember your "Hal the Horse Poetry Contest?

Well, here was your challenge:

The Hills Are Full of Echoes
Surely, surely that's been used as a title; just as surely as I once wrote a song entitled, "Surely, Surely, Shirley She Loves Me," which, surely didn't sell. And I surely am ramblin' and rantin' but hell that's about all you have to do when you're free and able to just hitch your guitar up across your back, pack a few vittles in a headrag, make sure your harmonica's on your hip and your rack's around your neck and then you just head out. I should, I guess, say "you jist head on out," but I'm not one of these people, I'm just an echo in their hills.

Hey, Pals o'Mine, I'm Honest Hal Horse, OK, Start Neighing or Saying 'Hay, Hal?' and Stuff Like That 'Cause I Can't Help It That's My Name but I Can Help You Learn to Write in Respect of That Writer Struggling Within You to Get Out & Write

A Sample Hal Horse Instruction Lesson

Hi, I'm Claudio Persimmon. Every day as a small child in my native quaint US Elizabethan hometown high in the hills on some lost plateau on a Southern Cross reflection side of the highest hill in 40 miles I knew I wanted to write books. I wanted to write books like the books in my father's fat library. I was born lucky; I admit it; I've never been ashamed of being born rich, though in order to write books the way I wanted to write books, I tossed into the pig slop my birthright, an insult to my rather fake-Shakespearian father who conferred with his lawyers and then with a bold stroke of his expensive Mont Blanc pen scratched my name off the records of the vast Persimmon holdings, and at the tender age of 14 sent me packing.

My father's last words were, "I do not in the slightest give one hoot in hell what happens to ya, boy; to me...[dramatic pause] you...[another dramatic pause] ARE WORTHLESS [with stentorian might and gesturing], as worthless as that shiftless skunk Willie Hog who I make live out there in the barn though he is as much a Persimmon as you, boy. In fact, as soon as your butt's over the horizon, I'm bringing Willie Hog into the damn house in spite of the condemations that will befall me 'cause of it; in fact, I'm giving him your room. Ah, but I am a magnificent yet treacherous work of homo sapien art aren't I? So toodle-do. Adios. Whatever gets you out'a here."

So there I was, 14 years old, home tutored, so you know I wasn't very practically educated at all, out in the street on my own, a little confused, but not defeated.

I did have a talent that perhaps I could fall back on in some licentious way. I could quote passages of Shakespeare by heart, with the right gestures added in, too--hell, I not only could quote real Shakespeare but I could also improvise long passages of phony Shakespeare, make 'em up as I declaimed them--just like my old man could do. His theory was the masses are idiots; they wouldn't know real Shakespeare from fake Shakespeare as long as you declaimed it as though you were Shakespeare.

Like the first place I went after getting the patriarch's boot up my ass was a small cafe in downtown hometown. A place I knew knew who I was and perhaps could at least let me hang around there until I got my bearings and made some plans--plus, as I admitted, I had no money; come on, my Dad was true to his vindictiveness--"Better you be broke in the streets than with money. Someone would always be trying to steal your money. Nobody will try to steal from you if you are broke." I accepted that as logic and that's why I trotted on off without turning and acting like a sniveling cowardly idiot and getting on my knees and begging for a second chance. My Dad had trained me well; I, too, looked deeply and darkly down on cowering idiots--one reason I was home schooled; I never made it in any public school and after a month or so private schools all over the country started sending me home as incorrigible whether I was enrolled there or not.

Anyway, my ability to fake Shakespeare got me my first gig. Yes, Mel Parmijean, the Lonsome Cafe owner, refused to serve me at first as I charmingly strode into the joint, plopped down at the counter and smilingly piped out, "Hey, Mel, old buddy, how 'bout a hamburger on my tab?" "Whoaaa, chile, where's your daddy?" "My Dad's burnin' in Hell now, Mel, and I've just inherited the family, how much you want for this dump, Mel?" "Whoaaa, chile, beg pardon, hamburger like you like 'em comin' up...." "Don't hold those onions either, Mel."

I felt good as I ate that hamburger. Damn, I perhaps had found a source of power. As long as this fool Mel didn't know the truth about my "out-of-the-Persimmon-will" status, I could hang here the rest of the day, then hit on Mel for chump change enough to get me to the Hometown Steal-Your-Savings Bank and Loan Asshole-a-sociation and cash out my savings account and also try and cash out my trust fund. This kind of thinking made me so powerful confident, I just suddenly as a lark started declaiming some Shakespeare. The joint was packed, too. I just finished the hamburger, slid off the stool, and stood in the middle of the joint--and with a gesture of mighty thespian skill, I took control of that cafe as I trumpeted, "Fear thee not, oh patrons, fear not my so abrupt attempt at getting your attention...." Wow. The joint hushed down and everybody looked up from their food, eyes wide, giving me their full attention. I continued on with so much sauve exhorting it even amazed me.

I collected a twenty dollar bill at the conclusion of that performance. Then Mel, his eyes bright with his new culture, brought me out another hamburger. "Damn, kid, you were great. I never would'a taken a snooty little hilltopper like you to be a pretty damn fine little entertainer." "Except I want to write books." "Here, put this in your book." He handed me a fiver. "What's this for?" "Your little act. Folks ordered a lot of food after you pulled all that emotion out of 'em. Would you do another set? Another fiver and another hamburger, plus you'll probably pull another 20 when the blue-collar stiffs come in from the bowling alley later--hell, those birds are liable to give you 20 bucks from each of 'em; there's at least ten of 'em and extra if their wimmen come in with 'em...." "OK, Mel, you got me. One more show. Except, my family didn't get rich off fivers, Mel; how 'bout a ten spot this time?" "Jist like your old daddy. It's a deal."

My second declamation went over even hotter than the first...and I gave them at least a 15-minute soliloquy in the manner of Hamlet that had a couple a big bozos cryin' like babies 'fore it was over. I heard one blue-collar peone (whoops, I'm showing my class) say, "I bet that kid could go on like that for hours with that shit...." Wow, he was right; I could go on like that for hours. What had I come across here? My heart was beating madly. My jesting Shakespearian babblings were taken seriously enough that after a third, a "special encore," performance, I walked out of the Lonesome Cafe with over 200 bucks in my jeans.

I was confident and cocky as hell when later I walked into old Judge Ludicrous Lyons the bank president's office and calmly ask him to proceed to cash out my savings account and my trust fund. I didn't say "please" or act like a kid; I was tough, confronting and demanding, just like the bank was really my father's, so up and out of that easy chair, you old reprobate and bring me my money...NOW.

The Daily Growler Inquisitor
OK, we assume if you're this far, you've just read Claudio Persimmon's little tale--we thought he spun it out cleverly enough--but HERE'S the PROBLEM: Claudio doesn't know how to finish it so he's asking you, dear reader(s) to maybe either write it on out--your writing assignment from The Daily Growler Famous Writer and Bennett Cerf Memorial School of Unhinged Writing (in Sublimity, Oregon, of all places)--or analyze it and suggest the direction it is more than likely realistically, what if Judge Ludicrous Lyons tells young Claudio, "Kiss our ass, your dad's already closed the books on you here, sonny boy, so it's out the door with you or I call the cops." Or, what if Judge Ludicrous Lyons in respect for Little Claudio's family influence--and the fact that they own the bank--gives Little C his savings in 20-dollar bills and even more intriguing, what if the Judge does release Little Claudio's trust fund--over a half-a-million bucks--"In small bills, please."

Give it a shot. Take some school kid notebook paper and weave an even more intriguing tale than Claudio managed.

So you want to be a writer. Here's your chance to learn writing the Hal Horse way.


And I take up my pen...

Whoaaa-hooo! Not so fast little Persimmon. Nobody, not even Lord Persimmon himself, just marches into Ludicrous Lyons office without first passing through Ludi's secretary, Rosie Roostercaper's office. Yes, Rosie sits in the anteroom filtering out the riffraff that try to see the bank president. She is a young engaging beauty with flaming red hair, like all the Roostercapers. Ahh the Roostercapers. They are almost as fancy as the Persimmons, only without the money-- an aristocratic old family from Rhode Island that is famous for its gorgeous women. So, little Shakespeare first walks into Rosie's office where she informs him that Ludicrous is unavailable at the moment because he is tied up with another client. Oh yes, is he tied up! Tied up and gagged in the the bank vault where the infamous Catpaws Sneakby and Le Gris Nuage Gang (are these names too subtle for you?) are pulling off a grand bank heist. Ludicrous, of course, was able to push the secret button that informed Rosie that a bank robbery was under way, she sent out the all-alert before the phone lines were cut, and the arms of the law are assembling just as Shakespeare appears in Rosie's office. Oh yes, the local police, the state troopers, the FBI, the AFT, the feds, the hostage rescue team, and the government snipers are all getting ready for their raid on the bank. Good timing Shakespeare!

Meanwhile, in another part of town, namely the zoo, a young female Orangoutang, has been carrying around, between her cheek and lower teeth, a strip of wire that was carelessly left in her cage. She has been assiduously working it in the lock at night and has finally figured out how to pick the lock, not just her own, but everyone's and there is a major break-out at the zoo. The Orangoutang, being the socially conscious type, has liberated every single animal at the zoo. The lions and tigers have swooped down on the cafeteria and are gobbling up all the hamburger and hotdog meat. The wolves, who are more sophisticated than the big cats, have trotted into town following the whiff of finer dining options. The lowland gorillas have figured out how to use the elevator, which connects to the subway station below the zoo, and they are merrily ferrying all manner of beasts into the public transit system. There are now full herds of zebra and water buffalo wandering through the subway tunnels. All the law enforcement agencies are ignoring this emergency because they are absorbed in the bank robbery crisis.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, namely the air, space aliens have been hovering, looking, watching, waiting, waiting for the right moment, a moment of maximum chaos, to make their invasion, unobserved and with no resistance. These particular space aliens come from the Matty Quick planet, the planet where everyone is Matty Quick, the planet where everyone is a wild-assed rock and roll drummer with a secret classical percussion background, where everyone has a quick wit, a sharp tongue, and a mercurial disposition. You can see instantly that a planet like this would never work. There couldn't possibly be enough devilment for all those Matty Quicks to get up to on one planet, so they are fanning out across the universe looking for new territories to conquer with mad incessant drumming. Their space ship, at the moment is invisible because it has invisibility shields that work just fine in oxygen poor environments. But when they descend into the lower atmosphere their invisibility shield will be burned off and their ship will be seen by anyone's who's looking. They hope nobody will be looking. Their space ship, by the way, is not in the usual boring shape of a snare drum or highhat, shapes that are so common with other space aliens. Oh no, the Matty Quick ship, to disguise its true drumming mission, is in the shape of a gigantic over-sized tenor saxophone.

Meanwhile, back at the bank, Shakespeare's in the alley. Shakespeare's NOT in the alley. Don't listen to Bob Dylan, he always gets these things wrong! Actually, Shakespeare is in the alley. He just doesn't have any pointed shoes or bells. Bob does get carried away with things. Rosie Roostercaper, whose full first name is Rosebud, obviously has magical powers. After all everybody knows that Rosebud is really a sled, and any woman who can simultaneously be the secretary to the president of a bank and the heroine of an old black and white movie AND be a sled, surely has magical powers. She has taken pity on little Shakespeare. His father had already phoned the bank telling them that his son is in no way to get any funds from them. Now his father's armies are arrayed outside the bank ready to invade. It would look awfully bad to them if the first thing they saw was Shakespeare. In a desperate attempt to save this arrogant little homeless fop, Rosebud has used her magical powers to turn him into, what else, but an old reel-to-reel black-and-white film and has slipped him out of the bank, through the mail slot, where he has rolled across the alley, and come to rest under the dumpster out back of the Chinese take-out joint.

Just as things are looking a little less precarious for Shakespeare, who should come sniffing down the alleyway but a lone wolf who split off from the pack searching for his own fulfillment. He is now sniffing around the dumpster behind the Chinese take-out joint. But this wolf is too sophisticated for Chinese take-out. In fact, he is quite an intellectual wolf with a fondness for old black and white films and this particular film that Persimmon has been turned into stars none other than the young Natalie Wood, the wolf's favorite. Rosebud, however, will not help Shakespeare now, because this chick is a full-blooded Rhode Island red, as alluded to earlier, and she ain't gonna get into any scene involving a wolf.

So just as the armies are poised to strike, and Sneakypaws and crew have just lit the fuses on the dynamite that will blast out the wall that separates the vault from the subway tunnel, and the get away subway train is poised to meet the Sneakypaws team, and the water buffalo are just about to cross the tracks and block the subway train, and the wolf is just about to sink his teeth into the Natalie Wood film that is really Shakespeare, the Matty Quicks, one moment too soon for perfect synchronicity, I mean why come in on the 2 and the 4 when you can come in on the 1 and the 3, burst into the lower atmosphere, burning the invisibility shield off the Matty Quick spaceship, revealing its true tenor saxophone shape, and the wolf, you know, is really a jazz piano player and he has been looking for a tenor saxophone to round out his jazz combo.

with love, thewomantrumpetplayer

Oh, the name of this thing is "Just Another Day In Birdland".