I think there are two kinds of people: Already Dead People (ADPs) and Not Yet Dead People (NYDPs). I've lost track of some old friends and don't know into which category to put them. Maybe you can help.

Buried Alive with Snakes

Way back in the 70's, Frenchie Renee opened for Charles Biscuit Band, one of the San Francisco bands in which I played. She performed erotic reptilian dances and was, in fact, buried alive with snakes for a long time. Tragically, she was disqualified by Guinness because of a technicality.

Reward: Free CD/tape/record to the first NYDP that hooks me up with Frenchie.

Download!  Buried Alive With Snakes  (3,229 kb)

Leviathan's Dream

I finished this in '99 but it's based on a poem I started in '73.  I was in Provincetown with ADP Michael "Igny"; Connolly and his German shepherd, Luca, who obeyed only Italian commands.  We slept in Igny's van and in the morning washed in the wild waves before driving to San Francisco.

This song is dedicated to Igny, as well as P'town troubadour ADPs, Matt and Tommy Russ.

The Past is Gone

I am not contradicting NYDP Utah Phillips' assertion that the past didn't go anywhere.  We're really saying the same thing.  The past doesn't exist any more than does the future.  It has always been and will always be now.

It's still now . . .

It's still now . . .

It's still now!

Download! The Past is Gone  (3,320 kb)

Elephant

Inspired by an upstairs neighbor who loved to step down hard in her big Frye boots, this tune has to do with the cathartic value of songwriting.  The elephant chewing his tennis shoes and spitting them out of his trunk is roughly analogous to the oyster internalizing an irritant and transforming it into an object of beauty. Or a songwriter finally getting fed up with something enough to turn his or her frustrations into another kind of pearl.

Even Autumn

I'm thinking only already dead people can see things in their proper perspectives, unencumbered as they are by eyes.  This song is dedicated to ADPs Charles E. Edlin and Ken Jordan.  Without either of them there would have been no Congress Alley.

Whiskey Waltz

One of my San Francisco mentors – half-blind, alcoholic, diabetic, double-shock-treated, schizophrenic actor ("I am Lear!";)/bluesman/poet Mad John Condron inspired this piece.  He taught me to sing better and showed me glory where I had been afraid to look. 

Free CD/tape/record to the first person who tells me whatever happened to John.

Prove My Love

In loving memory of the values for which Harley Davidson used to stand, I put the music to biker poet NYDP Steve King's heart stroking lyrics.

Congress Alley

Remembering the genius and love of ADPs Wiley Rodgers and Leo LeClair. 

Free CD/tape/record to the first NYDP who can direct me to Donald Pepper, Terrible Terrance O'Sullivan, Howard Hersh or Frank Taylor.

Sailors' Ghosts

I rented a tiny apartment on Nantasket Beach in '91, a few days before the "Perfect Storm" threatened to destroy it.  I heard sailors' ghosts howling through the cracks and woke up on an island.  A few days later I signed a petition to persuade the Coast Guard to reopen the search for the Andrea Gail.  It was being circulated in the Dry Dock, the local roadhouse, by the grieving girlfriend of one of the already dead crewmembers.

I don't know why I told you that story but I do know how lucky I am to live here.

Download! Sailors' Ghosts  (2,430 kb)

Poverty Mountain

Metacom, son of Massasoit, was the first Indian Chief to organize resistance against the European invaders. His warpath ran from Connecticut to Mount Wachusett. It exists today as the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, part of the Appalachian system. I have hiked from Belchertown to Rattlesnake Gutter, through the January Hills and along the ridge atop Poverty Mountain. In the fevered night I heard the spirits laugh and cry; I was driven from the forest.

Download!  Poverty Mountain  (2,599 kb)

4 Lane Rodeo

NYDP Jaime Brockett tore this one out of his heart and slam-dunked it right into mine.

WW2

America's involvement in The Big One was bracketed by two presidential sound bites.  The first was pronounced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt after 2,400 military personnel died in the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor: "A date which will live in infamy.";  After the fire-bombings of Tokyo and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, over 300,000 civilian men, women and children had perished.  Harry Truman proclaimed it "the greatest day in history.";

Note:  2,400 is less than 1% of 300,000.  I guess we showed them. 

Black Beauty

Civil disobedience is an idea expressed by Emerson and Thoreau, and practiced by movers and shakers like King, Ghandi, and Mandella. If you believe in your heart that a law is wrong, you have an obligation to yourself and to society to disobey that law, regardless of the consequences.

There are lots of good NYDPs doing time in American prisons for possession of marijuana, the most benign drug I can think of, including alcohol and nicotine.

The only thing wrong with THC is that it's illegal and they can't arrest us all.  So, in the spirit of civil disobedience, puff up today!

By the way, if you haven't already, please read A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.  Thank you.


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