Hey all, friendly webmaster here (no, not Spiderman), anyway, you may notice that the ability to add comments has been removed.
I'd like to say it's just because people are trying really hard to advertise Civtra and Viaglis on the very popular site of Calico Soul, but as it must be clear to everyone here, no-one who reads this site needs THAT.
No, the real reason is that the Comment Elves have gone on strike. While normally I'm all "rail against the corporations" or "what more can we give them, we need our elves!", in this case there's really nothing to be done.
Apparently, they were mumbling something about "that guy in charge of your country" and "until you guys start voting, we don't want anything to do with you", and then they all got into a big white sailboat (still can't figure out how it fit in my office) and floated out the window.
So, long story short, while previous comments will still be there, there can't be any new ones.
I'm in talks with the Oompa Loompas and a group of fellows calling themselves gnomes, but I'm pretty sure they're fairies (do gnomes have wings?), but for the foreseeable future, there won't be any comments.
So don't take it personally, I guess, okay?
So there I was, in this small town college, and my first Love had just broken my heart. I think a heart can only be broken once ...
And I was like 19 years old (this is Blog #19) and Preston Love was like, ancient and wise. I called him up, felt like shit. He came over. This was in Indianola, Iowa, folks - a very nice nowhere place with a little college that no-one has ever heard of (except my parents). And Preston came over! Wow.
We sat in this abandoned dorm room across the hall. We played music together. Gawd damn, that guy was my idol, and STILL IS! I miss you so fucking much, Preston, do you have any idea?? Yeah, we just sat there and played, me on guitar and he on sax. "You play pretty good, kid." 'Twas all he said. Man, that made me feel so good, so high. Then, I remember that I was in that same room a few weeks later with a cute girl, and my huge warm orgasm was no where near the feeling that I got playing music with Preston. Shucks. Can anyone other than musicians understand this? I mean, he was like 70 or 80 something, and I was just a teenie. Fuck! That's unbelieveable ...
And he saw that I was down, and he helped me. We played. I will never forget it. In that little, white-walled college dorm, swingin' with this ultimate Black man on tha sax. And I would croon with him, doing a scat to match his waterfall solos. Then back to guitar, and we'd get on a groove together, never ever heard before, totally improvised. I just thought, "This guy can play FOREVER."
Yeah, he taught me to play forever, never repeating a note or a phrase. He said, "You just ride that endless waterfall of ideas, kid. Every solo springs from your mind, from your life experience." He was so amazing. So natural. Now, I can hear melodies day and night, non-stop, and it's all due to you, Preston.
People started peeking their heads in, hearing this sweet music. They'd see this skinny (almost) white kid, and this battered old genius black sax man, sitting there, playing together. Isn't that incredible? Then we'd take breaks (not too long!) and talk about Life and Music. My life is music, and music is life, like Prince said. Preston was like Prince, or James Brown, or Miles or any of those guys' fathers! What a guy. Bad-ass to the fucking BONE! He'd tell me stories that you wouldn't believe. He'd definitely been there. Felt the blues, lived through. Music is the expression of the Soul. Fantastic tales, all true!
"Don't be too sad, kid. You'll live. Just feel the grief, and write it down."
Love! (Right here in this room ...)
On a sunny day, so quiet. Just like a dream. She whispers in my ear:
"So this is love ..."
Again, Love is not what you think it is ... beautiful, indeed.
One time, we drove over to see Preston (Love) play in Omaha, and we found ourselves in the strangest situation. It was a cold night, in a danky club somewhere on the east side of Omaha. The place was full of smoke. You couldn't breathe at all ... so of course my buddy, (the other) Todd wanted to smoke. We were, of course, too young to smoke, but we stood out anyway, and no-one really cared. (Or so it seemed.) So he asks someone if they have any matches. "We don't call it, 'matches' we call it 'fire.' And I don't have any fire."
So he asks the next person, "Hey - um ... do have any fire?" They answer no.
Suddenly this huge guy appears outta nowhere, and says in a really aggressive tone, "Why do you white boys want FIRE?" He was so angry and was probably on coke, or something. Man, were we scared of this guy. We were terrified. This guy was just livid, and thought that we were going to burn down the place, or something. My friend just said sheepishly, "I just wanna smoke, man." The guy was huge, and pissed off. Some weird white boys had rambled into his club, and wanted to start a fire? Hell, no! Then Preston stepped in, and said, "Leave these boys alone. They're with me." And that was that. That other guy could've killed Preston, but he stood up for us. It was a very brave thing to do. We stayed and enjoyed the music all night. He played the holy hell outta that saxophone that night.
We didn't even know that clubs like this existed. We were completely out of our element. And we were 16. This was not on the beaten path of high-school discos and dances. But Preston showed us another universe, another world. It was real. I will forever be indebted to all the things he showed me, musically and otherwise. Thank you, Preston!!! I miss you and will write another 20 blogs about you!
Love, the Music. -Todd
Love is not what you think it is ...
Yeah, dig that one. But this time, it REALLY isn't what you think. Preston Love was my hero and musical mentor. Maybe he was my best friend. (Or one of them, at least.) He just died a few months ago, in Omaha. When he came to our sleepy little town high school, in Iowa, to show us a thing or two on the saxophone, we ... um ... didn't really have any black people in the town. Imagine that.
Yeah, whitebread america got served some soul that day. Some people were actually afraid of him. We struck up a friendship over a few years, and I really looked up to him. I remember being 16 years old, and we'd drive over to Omaha, and he'd sneak us in these all black clubs. It was awesome. We were the only white people in there (yes, the Midwest is weird!) and we were KIDS. We stood out like crazy, and we were so into the music. Me and this other guy, also named Todd, ironically enough, would hang out in the wings, backstage, on the side of the stage, while Preston played the saxophone with his band. The cats in the little blues combo were much younger than him. They accepted us, even if the people in the clubs didn't, even though we were white, wet behind the ears, and SIXTEEN! Todd and I would swap stories with our parents, that we were sleeping over at the others' house, then hop in the car and drive over to Omaha, a few hours away. We got away with it a few times ...
It was then that I decided to dedicate my entire life to music. Through the highs and lows, I would be committed to my dying day. I still am. Music is the thread that binds, a universal language that spans the globe, devoid of any borders. He introduced me to the sacred brotherhood / sisterhood of musicians.
Yeah, it was amazing, Preston. Wherever you are, I thank you so much. (Todd talks to ghosts.) I learned so much. Any of you who were around me in Santa Barbara, a few months ago when I found out, saw how deeply sad I was. I was completely torn up inside. Only now am I even beginning to deal with the loss of my friend. I miss you so much, Preston!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or: "Firestarter." There's someone setting fires in seattle all over the place, and it's not me. (?) Heh.
In a coffee house, called "Coffee Messiah," actually. And this guy's talking to anyone who'll listen that last night he was riding on his bike at 4 am, minding his own business, and suddenly three cops rolled up and spread him out to the ground. Poor guy. Seems he looked like a guy they thought was starting fires. Then it was suddenly SIX cars and dogs and the whole sha-bang. And I just say, "Who's REALLY starting fires in this country?" ya know??
Hanging out with my buddy Lott. Good bass player, likes his Czech beer. Standing on the beach, talking about the surf, the economy, the vibe. Times are lookin' down. So he says, could be right, sure-sure. He's got this theory that stoplights on city streets are an idea from the oil industry - the more ya stop and go, the more you use. Never thought of it that way! I think he may have something there ...
We end up at a crazy eat-Asian eatery (Oooh, I like the sound o' that - "east-Asian eatery!"). It's called, "Wah's." It's owned by a guy named Wah. He is awesome. He cooks up a serious lunch (we're the only customers, wrong time, but they peter in), and it rocks. We swig coffee and talk about more fucking important musician shit. My buddy has a cool hat on, and everywhere we go, someone makes a comment or compliment. This is his town, and I'm really enjoying his company ...
Short list of some other crazy things that have happened in the last couple of days. I had my first "Dick's Burger," a famous burger in Seattle. Bought a Prince CD I've been meaning to for awhile, ya know, the one with that song, "Mad Sex" on it. Also the soundtrack to one of my favourite Robert Altmann movies, "Kansas City." Went to two parties, one with a bunch of german guys, great cooking ... so what am I rambling on about? Guess the last few days were a rollercoaster. One guy freaked out (drugs?) and said we were some sort of "stalkers" and the other musicans laughed and said, "Yeahhhh." I think we ARE stalkers for the best party in Seattle. Highs and lows. But you don't wanna know where I slept ...
Watched the ships and the fog roll in at day-break. Ice cold. That was deep, beyond human stuff ... Sunrise over steamy, foggy gawd awful beauty, rustic and moving in the breaking day.