October 2010


I traded work for art, a beautiful framed print from my friend Cheryl Long. This painting accompanied a childrens’ book or book of poetry. She is, indeed, a “colorist”!

http://www.cherylrlong.com/

a summer night magical moment

1994 – weighed down by the depressive effects of interferon/chemotherapy and the stress of having a malady about which not much was known at the time. Further, trying to bear it stoically, without seeking the support and encouragement of friends. Finally I had to break down and share it with friends. I must have been reaching the point of tears and/or being a jerk. I’ve learned a lot about trust, openness and honesty since then.

It’s an impressionistic memory, a sort of tone poem, in the style of Jack Kerouac’s “sketching” writing style; which I learned about recently in the book, “Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters” – a great, illuminating new book filled with the humility of the authors’ search for meaning and enlightenment – and Kerouac’s long suffering plea for the cause of tenderness.

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Summer – still, quiet, dark warm gentle soft morning air humming, 3am out for a drive, to get some air, the magical stillness of the hour – windows open – listening to the sensual music of Quicksilver Messenger Service

in the bliss of the music,  going along the side of a steep hill, the road winding, curving around, a wooded glade, gentle down grade –

suddenly, there they were: four foxes, going one by one, single file. They looked like a family – a pack of foxes?  …beautiful, wraith-like creatures, trotting along beside me for a few brief moments…

it was as a communique’ from another world, a communing… A release, an unconsciously inhaled breath of life; transcendent essence of something that moves me – wilderness; perfect animal nature, like the otherworldly screech of bald eagles wheeling overhead, metallic scrapings of heaven; creation

http://www.myspace.com/theweathervanes

Here’s a very talented singer / songwriter / musician / arranger – Kevin Gunn. A friend from years ago, we recently were back in touch.

There’s some really funny stuff. He’s got a great, dark, intellectual sense of humor – he’s a great writer. The music has something for everyone; some of these are really rockin’! The tunes stick with you. There’s a couple of country-ish ones I really like, with violin and Spanish guitar. They’re all good. His singing compares favorably to Warren Zevon’s, emotive and plaintive at times, if not quite as ragged (a good thing.) If I was a radio programmer, these songs would all be top forty.

I love his singing, playing and arrangements. Listen to “Aunt Bee” and “Honey, It’s the Police” as a whacked-out introduction to a finely honed sense of  humor.

I particularly like “Honey It’s The Police”.

I was listening to the director’s commentary track of a movie recently. I paraphrase: “The human mind is a rational thing. As such, it does not comprehend the meaning of violence. Presented within the context of art, the brain’s imagination is stimulated enough to comprehend the ‘meaning’ of violence on a different level.”

This song, for me, gets inside the mind of  someone that has taken things to the nth degree – some bizarre strain of violence. As their world becomes narrower and narrower, they are left wondering, detached and perplexed, at their own actions. It’s examination via the vicarious.

Plus it’s got a great melodic vocal hook that drew me back to the song, got me interested.

Kevin, outstanding songs! I hope a lot more people get to hear your work!

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“Aunt Bee” by Kevin Gunn

(to a driving hard rock beat):

Slavin’ night and day for the sheriff and his son

Cookin’ and ‘a cleaning but the work is never done

Now she’s lurking in the kitchen  honing up her butcher knife

Gonna be trouble in Mayberry tonight!

She’s heading down the street to Floyd’s barber shop

Now that she started she just can’t stop

Sticks his head in with the combs now he’s trying to breathe through fluid

Floyd’s got the blues but Bee she feels so good

chorus:

Aunt Bee, where are you goin’?

Aunt Bee, where are you goin’?

Aunt Bee, where are you goin’ – now?

Goober’s in the station with the car up on a rack

But with a cut hydraulic line it comes down fast

He tries to stop it but the rack doesn’t yield

And Goober’s flatter than a bug on a windshield

Aunt Bee, where are you goin’?

Aunt Bee, where are you goin’?

Aunt Bee, where are you goin’ – now?

Barney comes looking for the sheriff and his son

Sees all the blood so he takes out his gun

But the bullet’s in his pocket – there’s no time to put it in

Last thing he hears is the click of the firing pin

(repeat chorus twice)

“Bridal Shop”, a photo I took at night, out walking, c. 1980, in Ballard (Seattle, WA.)