The Crass Menagerie

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Location: The Promised Land

This is my triumphant return to the lifestyle I've always furthered and forwarded in my heart, at least, so let's blast off. The first half of my life has been incredible and the second segment will include more splendors than any Ottoman Sultan could ever have wished for in his golden repose. Anyway, fasten your laughter belt cuz you're on a collision course with wackiness.

Monday, March 24, 2008

It was twenty years ago today...

My last post got some nice comments from fellow heads so I'm glad to continue in that vein. This date, March 24, is very special in Dead history with at least eleven different shows on this spot on the calendar. I just finished listening to the first show the boys ever played at the Omni, having outgrown the Fox. It happened on this date in 1988 and I recommend you give it a try: Tripping back through the songs, the memories flood in of that wonderful, dank, old building that shook with emotion. There aren't many venues with any character left. Anyway, this was my second Dead show, having come home from the long road, and I was redirecting my life in Atlanta (a lot like I am now, kinda). But the music on this night went to the next level that I can hear going backwards in time, before heroin had taken that last, extra spark away from Jerry. The second set had four big songs come after "Space" which almost overnight changed with the old men running off stage after a few closing tunes. No, on this night they played large. Even "Lovelight", normally a snoozer of a closer for me, really cooks. I saw many, many great shows after this one, but I didn't know that I was getting a flavor of something that was almost already gone, to be shared by some and untouchable to most.

No big surprise here, but this part of the year holds multiple memories and this date hits another special one. In 1993, we had three sweet shows here at the Omni but that wasn't enough for my friend, Jeffrey Nathan Speer, and me, so we piled in to his Honda and tooled up to Chapel Hill and two nights at the Dean Dome. The 24th was the first night of the UNC shows so it was already an anniversary of a sort but the earlier night at the Omni in '88 had been Jeff's first show so this was his five year anniversary. Sorry if that got convoluted but we had a hell of a time getting into the disaster of the building that is the Dean Smith Center. This stupid joint holds 4000 more than the Omni did but has smaller concourses and fewer facilities. I was in such a sour mood by the time I got settled in that I was shocked when this incredible music pulled me up and out and the energy from that night still shakes in its own unique way only we 20,000 can actually remember. Give this really cool show a try, too:

In other news, the painting above is my first try at an abstract in oil. I call it "Venus on the Whole" and I give no explanation. The view at left here has a little skull I started tonight. I'm not sure if he's finished yet. I'll probably go in for some refinements. Story of my life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Night Equals Day

The equator leveled off 41 minutes ago and we enter the period when night and day learn to share. Still, this shining ball of blue we call our home is tilting toward the sun and I offer my own pale skin, so starved of colour now. Time to cut into the winter growth and expose myself to new forces and problems. The wind thunders and swirls in a rage at this dark minute while the sun is away and I listen to an Omni show of the Grateful Dead from this date, 3/20 in 1993. Those were salad days of a different sort when this time of year meant spring training for the Braves and spring tour for the Dead. I still have the Braves but recordings of Birdsong and all the rest will have to do until the next messiah cometh. I miss the Dead and the Omni and the Hawks and basic decent fair play. This spring will hardly rock which is to say that the manner in which it rocks will be hard.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lock and Load

I'm still here. I'm figuring out the direction to take in every facet, right down to the way I masturbate. Anyway, I'm taking my own head, screwing it on straight, and some woman's gonna tell me that it ain't. That's a variation on an SCTV theme. Stay tuned. And a happy birthday to my cousin Liz in Santa Barbara. She's one of my most faithful readers. The injection of youthful, springtime mojo is at hand. Groovy.