It has been a great year for concert events. And if this post is up after Universal Studios and KULA SHAKER at the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip, then it means I have skipped the chronology of Ian Anderson at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara and Chad and Jeremy at SOhO the following week. And John Cleese and Eric Idle are in the picture for the end of this week. ANDERSON RABIN WAKEMAN are scheduled for the Orpheum in DTLA on JFK's murder anniversary and then again in Anaheim at the Grove, end of November, early December, along with the Dingyland Experience.
Plus psycho-rendering experiences in the home of my youth, Fullerton, as well as new experiments in my later teen years at the ranch turned residential community, Diamond Bar.
But for now, train and hotel have been booked for the Alan Parsons Project show at Cal Poly that has been canceled. So let's make it a two night, three day stay in the town that once meant new beginnings. San Luis Obispo. A lovely, but odd Village, that prides itself in mispronouncing its name. Like a town filled with people who have slept with pods growing in the planters, gardens and basements below, the burg is united on saying the middle pass word as "Lou Isss." When I was doing SPACE PIRATE RADIO at NPR affiliate KCBX and artists from out of town would send me station I.D.s, you always knew they weren't familiar with the place by saying "San Lou-E O-Bees-Poe."
Like I said, San Luis Obispo was at one time a possible home for new beginnings. Of late, SLO town seemed like a movie set of disappointments. KCBX had pulled the plug on SPACE PIRATE RADIO to cover their own butts. If I ever was cynical about my many years in commercial radio, one need only witness the big fish/small pond corruptions of a rinky dink "public" station. Don't be fooled by that mantle of a "liberal minded 'All Things Considered'" haven for community-minded broadcasting. Like the Big Boys, The LIE is still there, functioning in a back room of deceit. More eye opening moments for yours truly and I would love to name names. But seriously, Fuck Them. I put some (quite possibly hopeless) faith in the Returning Wheel of Karma, and wish everyone well. *giggles*
Anyway. SLO but, sure...Let's put this fear and loathing about the place back to bed. I was MARRIED here, for God's Sake. In a County Clerk's Office that once was a Porsche dealership. ("Your Marriage May Vary"). Even the clerk who married us wasn't the person we were scheduled with. Disappeared off the face of the Earth, like Judge Crater. Not good omens.
I'm running out of Saintly towns to Minister in. And the easy ability to merge right in. Add to this, the town is filling up with psychedelic Sacred Cows. Like the one from NOTHING IS SACRED in Santa Barbara, 1973. We have already revisited the Mission Santa Barbara on our Chad & Jeremy visit. We do the same in SLO. The testaments to Junipero Serra are everywhere. I'm convoluted between piety and heresy. The ambivert me, always.
Everything about San Luis Obispo is coming through on an upbeat vibe. Like the early days in 1992; my marriage vows in 1997. The mixture of bohemianism and Classic Caliphornia. The history of the area comes alive again to me, even though so much of it is tragic. I love the railroad. It is my chief (pun intended) mode of transport. The area was perhaps the most difficult part of the route to lay down track. The Central Connection in Central California. And a living Hell for the degraded Chinese brought over to do the near impossible heavy work. SLO had a historic Chinatown once. Quite populated in comparison to the size of the ruling white areas. Most of the Chinatown area was buried under a brutal style multi level car park garage. Artifacts and opium pipes still turn up in the redevelopment of SLO's "progression." I am fascinated by the area.
My mood is so good, I consider going over to the Palm Theatre and buying a t-shirt if they still have the kind I liked before. I love the Chinoise motif and design. The Palm is SLO's so called "arthouse" theatre located in what is left of the Chinatown district. I liked the place when I first came to town, even though it more closely resembles a N.Y. smoker or 2nd tier Pussycat Theatre of the '70s located in the San Fernando Valley. Jim Dee, the owner of the theatre has a movie related show on KCBX. We meet and though I have hopes of doing movie-related events like I did in Santa Barbara, we never really connect. I was far more satisfied working with the late Terry Boyle at the Riviera Theatre. He was truly a kind man, although oddly on the opposite side of the political fence for one playing "decadent, liberal free lifestyle films from Europe and Asia." He was a kind, considerate and giving manager/projectionist. And I had a tremendously satisfying filmic relationship with him and his historic theatre. After losing his gig at the theatre, he thanked everyone in Santa Barbara who promoted the high level of film offerings he had presented, including me and SPACE PIRATE RADIO and my arts and entertainment show on KTMS. And then he took his life. I am so sad to lose such a sensitive friend.
But I never make it to the Palm Theatre, so my magnanimous mood for the t-shirt is curtailed. I do spend large amounts of time at Cheap Thrills Records and Captain Nemo; the comic book store connected at the spine. A most eclectic combo, worthy of the bohemian environs of San Francisco or Los Angeles. I am in an artistic archaeological mood, so this place figures twice in my stay.
My current state of personal insecurity demands I need THINGS. "I need a new toy..." Totems for my Temple. As a champion of the Under Cat, I snap up two STAR WARS figures. Jar Jar Binks and Watto. Cult items. My cult. I Dig 'Em. Keep your D. Vaders and fartin' Stormtroopers. Your cranky Han Solos and stuck up Skywalkers. I get the joke. Jar Jar Binks is the Keep On Truckin' inside character, the Goofy in the Lucas Mouseketeer Empire. And Watto is the Middle Eastern Businessman who waves away Liam Neeson's Christ figure miracles. Watto is the Banker who understands the Kabbalah.
The vinyl temptation aside, musically my mindset includes Martin Denny, Les Baxter and a Stereolab I don't have. All on CD. All pre-owned vehicles. I stay out of BOO BOO Records for the newer stuff. It's connection to the "decisions not made in a vacuum" by KCBX are still vibrantly fresh. I will give my new CD kopeks to AMOEBA RECORDS when I'm in Hollywood. I do drop in to the eclectic bookstore next door, PHOENIX BOOKS for more lost treasures.
The visit is heightened by excellent gas, food & lodging. I don't drive a car anymore, so the gas will come later after the food. And we are In The Moment with nosh the first day at California Pizza Kitchen. Everybody is really, really friendly, so the Magick is constant and carried into the second day at BLISS. Perfectly named, the nourishment is both in the meal and the environment. Eating outside overlooking the creek and Mission, the Vishnu Deities observing the Franciscans, giving us an all inclusive afternoon.
Our lodging is the Embassy Suites, a Hilton thingee we always enjoy. This is our first stay at the SLO sanctuary, four floors with the atrium themed elevators, the lowest but appropriate height for the area. The vibe in the Diplomatic Domestication is always smooth, having enjoyed with the wife previous Diplomatic Immunity in San Diego and Santa Monica.
I am amused by the clear shower doors and my Amon Dual Nature of voyeur and exhibitionist comes out. I am possessed by some alchemical spirit of Maximillian Schell in THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH, denying his Nazi Past and Janet Leigh in PSYCHO.
Another Trip Experienced in Dream State. Cheers everyone! And *giggles* 2.