Saturday, November 25, 2006

Desert Journey

We travelled thru the desert,
Crystalized sand seeping down into our shoes
Creating its own tiny universe in the folds of our feet.

Moving ever forward, slowly trudging thru the entrapment
Under foot.
Traversing thru mile after heated mile
Seeking escape
Seeking new life
Casting the old one behind like an abandoned pet,
Trying not to look back, trying to forget,
Trying to metamorphosize.

Blinded by the sands as winds carry it aloft,
Driving the particles deep into our skin
Little cuts appearing, blood quickly clotting
Scars embedded
As a reminder to us forever
That we escaped
But we left behind another life
In another time
In another world
Someday to be forgotten

The desert journey
Becomes a
Cleansing force, driving out the maddening demons of the past
Perpetuating a change
and manipulated.

Our heads rise as we move out of the desert
And back into a new town
A new place
A new beginning
A new origin
A swirling genesis
Of being
and of

Forward we move.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Word Of Note To My Faithful Few

Just a short note to wish all of my faithful few a very Happy Thanksgiving.

You all have no idea just how much I appreciate you reading and leaving the occasional comments. They are a fuel to me that inspire me to keep on adding to this page.

The onslaught of the holiday season will indeed be taking its annual toll on me as I prepare once again to survive yet another Christmas season, but it's an annual tradition that I, do, indeed love, regardless of how frustrating it can become sometimes.

I am indeed thankful for each and everyone of you and I will do my best to continue to write as time and energy permit, and again, it is for you all, as well as for myself, that I keep this labor of love going.

God richly bless each and every one of you.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Remembering Summer Heat, Part Eight

The dance for the sorority at Franklin College was one of our most anticipated performances we had had up to this time.

It proved to be a major disappoinment, for a lot of various reasons.

The venue itself was awesome. We were to play at the Lincoln Center in Columbus. Such a plush place Summer Heat would only play at one time. It was a multi-faceted venue, and the stage was located in an area between two large banquet rooms, almost like a huge foyer.

We set up on a stage that was a challenge. It was reminiscent of the stage at Greensburg High School. It was a wooden affair, spaces between the slats, but it was highly varnished and quite slick, if you weren't careful. Thankfully, the slickness would never be an issue. After this evening though, it would definitely need a new coat of varnish.

We arrived about ninety minutes prior to showtime and began setting up the stage. It was a challenge at first because it was the smallest stage we had performed on to date. Things were very tight on stage and each band member had limited space to perform in. However, as always, we managed to work it out in plenty of time. Denny went and visited with a gal he knew, probably the gal who had set this whole gig up, I would imagine, and the rest of us sat around and verbally visualized what it was going to be like to be playing for a "college crowd."

I guess we assumed that since we were playing for college students, they would have their heads into some really good music, the type of music Summer Heat was known for playing, and we thought they would enjoy the show immensely.

Firstly, this was thought to have been a large crowd, but in reality, there might have been eighty to a hundred people in attendance. Okay, we discussed amongst ourselves, this would be a more intimate show, and one the audience would truly enjoy.

Since this was a college dance, it started one hour later than our other shows did. We took to the stage around 9 PM, and set right off with some hard-driving rock tunes and the band sounded so together during this first set. My special effects and lighting dazzled even me, because of the location of the stage and all the windows around where we playing. Almost everyone in attendance was out on the floor dancing. This got us all fired up and we actually played about fifteen minutes past our first break, which in hindsight was probably a blessing.

Jay announced we were going to take our first break, and as we left the stage, this one dude motioned me over to a table where he was serving himself with some kind of nasty looking punch. As I approached him, I noticed he had one of the stangest looking moustaches I had ever seen, a pencil thin looking thing that didn't match his hair color at all. He was wearing a french beret and what was supposed to be an ascot wrapped around his neck. When I got to him, since HE had called ME over, he seemed more intent on impressing the two chicks he was standing with. It was when I got within three or feet of him that I discovered his moustache was drawn on.

I almost burst out laughing, but I held it in, because, he was frankly, supposed to be enjoying our band and it wouldn't be right to laugh in his pathetic looking face. "Excuse, please," he said in a very fake French accent. "Don't you think music you playing is too loud, no?" His eyebrows went up as he asked this question, and I had to check and make sure that they too, were not drawn on as well as his foolish looking moustache.

Without hesitating, I replied with a smile, "Man, if it's too loud, you're too old." That remark brought some giggles from his girlfriends and he nearly spilt his punch or whatever it was he was drinking.

"What is you playing, sir?" he again kept it up with the fake accent.

I realized at this time that I was face to face with a college loser and he was trying to make me look bad in front of these two college bimbos so he could be the cool dude.

"Well, Pierre, that's called progressive rock and roll, which I was under the impression was known well to all college students across this great nation of ours. Actually, it's quite the rage of most people with any taste, but there was survey done amongst college students in the midwest, and it was discoverd that those who spoke in fake accents usually were more into polka bands and country-western music and isn't in our bands repetoire. And by the way, the punch has made half your moustache disappear, too." With that comment out of my mouth and too late to take back, I headed back to the stage, shaking my head in disbelief.

Mike came over to the edge of stage and we sat down together and rapped for a few moments. "What a pathetic crowd of losers, man," he said. "I thought this was going to be a great dance, man, but the people don't seem to be in touch with what we're doing, Charlie."

"No, they don't, man. But we've got another hour to try and get some of them into our good graces, so let's see what we can do."

Jay, Jim and Denny soon joined us, and Denny told us that everyone was complaining we were playing too loud. He mentioned turning the volume down and everyone else immediately protested. No way in hell were we going to compromise our performance and make it into something it wasn't.

We reluctantly took to the stage for our second set, started off with Edwin Starr's "Twenty-Five Miles" and that seemed to bring out a few more smiles in the audience. We went into Spirit's "I Got A Line" and that got everyone up and dancing. A tune by Spencer Davis followed and then we did a tune by the Doors. Things looked to going better by now, so we decided to cut into "Rock Me" by Steppenwolf, which included a very lengthy instrumental along with yours truly playing the cowbell during the instrumental part. That seemed to lose a few smiles in the crowd as well as a few that were dancing, but we didn't care at that point, we just played a few more of the top 40 tunes this strange audience seemed to enjoy more than the more progressive tunes we usually played.

During our second break, our emotions were all mixed up. We had a few that seemed to enjoy us, but the bulk of those in attendance seemed determined that they weren't going to like us, no matter what. We pondered what to do, and finally, I think it was Mike, said that we had come here to play our brand of rock and roll and that's exactly what we were going to do for the last hour.

Which we did.

We played Blue Cheer, Cream, more Steppenwolf, and we started off set three with Summer Heat's own "Sounds From 46,000 BC." The crowd almost seemed unimpressed that we had actually written our own music, so we followed that with "Quicksand Mother."

People actually started leaving during that one.

So, this was what a college crowd was like, huh? That seemed to fuel the fire of the rebel in the entire band and we simply went back to playing the songs we liked to play the best, and even though the crowd seemed to be dwindling, we were having a great time. It was almost like a rehearsal for our next dance at the Community Building. We put the attitudes of the snooty crowd behind us and played what Summer Heat played best, and damnit, we were so good that last hour.

By the time the dance was over, we were lucky if there were still thirty people there, but we didn't care.

We were damned good that night and we didn't compromise ourselves that night to become something that we weren't. Surprisingly, a few people stuck around to tell us how much they enjoyed our music and that it had been one of the best dances they had attended since they had been in college.

And you know, that made that entire miserable evening worthwhile to us all.

For some reason they never asked us to play for them again, much to our delight, and to this day I've never seen that pathetic fool with the painted on moustache again. I can still see him standing there with that stunned look on his face after I gave him my smart ass answer with half his moustache running down his lips and over his chin. Damn, what a loser he was.

And damn, what a bummer that college crowd had been.

We couldn't wait to get back to our crowd at the Community Building again.

to be continued.....