Tuesday, December 20, 2016

 "Do you need a change?"

What an amazing moment in history!  To witness a world gladly stepping backwards.  And blatantly; not the usual business of being covert.  Embracing your inner bully.  Finally following what the powers that be, wanted to be.  Till the general consensus of the outside world decided...that Fascism was a no-no.  Then the non French Red, White & Blue had to save face, play down those lucrative business deals with the Axis: Bold As Lunch (Ford, General Motors, IBM and the Bush Family Elders Prescott Banking Industry) and act the Hero and say, "Bad Nazi!"  Pretend to save the day.  John Wayne Knocks Them On Jaw.

Today is now Backwards In Time.  You couldn't write a more mediocre science fiction television mini-series, than the one we are living through at this moment.  Seriously.  A parallel universe.  Hack writing in the Age of Hacks.  "You Hacksed For It!  Time to meet this week's panel."

"But will any of this affect my internet service?"  So many people not realizing that they are like those Lemmings they watched in Science or Sociology class.  With the implanted wires in their brains.  Running across the electrified grid to hit the switch on the other side.  The one that will give them their amped injection of Switched On Bliss.  What kind of crap did they make us watch in Junior High School?  And speaking of crap, the current head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, compared those fed on media sources, similar to those individuals who have the obsession to eat shit.  It has come to this, Folks.  The Pope possibly aside, most people in charge are like that movie KING OF HEARTS, or Edgar Allan Poe's THE SYSTEM OF PROFESSOR TAR AND DOCTOR FEATHER.  No one is competent enough to run this thing.  The lesson of History: You will forget what it all meant, 'cause everyone else will.  Really...don't bother with any current work ethic or set of rules or plans to follow.  It will be changed.  And all your effort will come to naught.  History always repeats.  Only the lighting changes.  The Pro and Con is Constant.  It's the same always, just the Décor and Language evolve or de-evolve.  It's the Civil War, but with cell phones.  Business as Unusual.  News of the World Stage should be on ESPN.  The Election as Super Bowl. 

You will spot me in the forest, mon amis.  Le Bois Noir.  I will be wearing my black beret.

Saints Preserve Us!
              
And certainly other worldly Saints are needed now.  "When I need shirts, I go to Solvang" (???).  But when I need Saints, I visit the towns of their namesakes.  Hell, and of Troy Donahue, I lived in one for 28 years; followed by a further 19 in another.  Both female Saints, too (it is obvious I'm a Pagan Catholic; Cult of the Goddess, and all that).
              
So where is this going?  What is it all leading up to?  That I returned three times to my old home in Santa Barbara (Santa Barbaria for those in pain; Santa Babs for kids at the malt shoppe), for business and pleasure (and as an old alchemist, I try to make them one and the same).

"You must knock three times at the door, Charlotte."
              
Three recent visits to Santa Barbara, motivated by seeing concerts, but cosmically connecting with old friends and making new ones.  Like in the heyday of SPACE PIRATE RADIO activity.  The Switch Is On.
                  
The first one was to see Ian Anderson, doing his concept operetta called JETHRO TULL.  Legal pressures forcing the creative stimulus.  Ian Anderson, still giving it the best he can.  And at that Santa Barbara theatrical palace, the Arlington Theatre.  (I could write a whole piece on this fabulous theatre, scene of so many special moments.  Like the Granada and the Lobero.  So much history.)

My Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull moments include shows at the Long Beach Arena (STORMWATCH tour with Bruford's U.K.).  Los Angeles Sports Arena for BROADSWORD AND THE BEAST with opener David Coverdale's WHITESNAKE, which I was happy to miss because Chrysalis Records had screwed up the Guest List...ah, the days of privilege.  More recent shows with the Little Lady at Thousand Oaks and San Luis Obispo (a Saint and a Bishop!).
                  
Making this show extra special is hooking up with long time friends Paul Bergevin and dear, dear lost buddy Ryan Bates of the former Nippon ex-pat, now Steam Punk visionary.  Who needs rejuvenating mud baths at La Costa or 29 Palms when long time Fellow Travelers are reunited?  And the entering of spheres with extraordinary new friends like the incredible Hugh Mandeson.  A man of many travels.  An extraordinary evening.  The nightglow smiles were bright.
                         

And the Gods and Goddesses of Olympus were working with this Hermes, when the perfectly timed neutronic collision happened in front of the offices of my old employer, the Santa Barbara Independent, with another old employer, newsman John Palminteri, my wife by my side.  "It's all in the timing."   

I had recently done a MELTING WATCHTOWRE entry regarding the joyful news days working with John after I had left KTYD and joined KTMS, recently in drag as KKOO-FM or 2KO, but still your News Authority, KTMS-AM.  Those were good days.  John was a great boss; gave me complete control as Art & Entertainment Editor on the AM, while I did SPACE PIRATE RADIO, and two other air shifts on the FM.  Time suspended in that moment, that meeting.
                  
Back in the Re-Tardis, Jo.  We shall return for another mind boggling time inversion moment, when our location is set for the SOhO Restaurant and Club, for the Farewell Tour of Chad & Jeremy.  And less than a week after Ian Anderson.
                    
Now Chad & Jeremy takes us right back to the beginning.  The Swinging Sixties.  Those marvelous Beatles era, long haired British duos.  Two stood out.  Peter & Gordon and Chad & Jeremy.  Peter and Gordon benefited by the fact that red haired Peter Asher was the brother of actress Jane Asher, who being at the time Paul McCartney's girlfriend, meant access to Lennon & McCartney songs passed on.  Chad & Jeremy had the task of making the music mostly themselves.
                     
I related to Chad & Jeremy more in my Diamond Bar days.  First, Chad Stuart bore a physical resemblance.  Long, blonde hair and black horn rimmed glasses.  And Jeremy Clyde, also an actor, resembled horror actor Peter Cushing, who in my Mad Gothic Romanticism, I often emulated.  And they were psychedelic with a British sense of satire and whimsy.  Their last three albums are must haves.  DISTANT SHORES is their RUBBER SOUL.  OF CABBAGES AND KINGS is their SARGEANT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND.  And the last album THE ARK is a concept album all its own.  Columbia Records label mates The Firesign Theatre even join in on the later work.
                     
In the Sixties I went to Anaheim's Melodyland Theatre to see Chad & Jeremy in their prime, open for Bobby Darin.  Pretty surreal.  So when my friend Paul told me they were doing a farewell tour and would perform at Santa Barbara's SOhO Restaurant, I was excited.  Finally a chance to see again and say hello & goodbye to these cool cats of my early Bohemia.  And in such an intimate environment.

                        
After the cancelled show by the Alan Parsons Project in San Luis Obispo turned into a visit anyway, as previously described, we head back to the Other Sainted City to see John Cleese with Eric Idle, again in the hallowed halls of the Arlington Theatre.  The last time we saw the former Python member was at the Lobero Theatre, following a showing of ...HOLY GRAIL.  And of course yours truly has some subliminal film time, while watching Cleese, Idle, Jones, Chapman & Gilliam perform live in what will become MONTY PYTHON AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL. 

                       
One of the magical things about my long life in Santa Barbara, is the Architecture.  In the town of Saints, these theatres are places of worship.  Cathedrals of Art.  And like an Altar Boy on my youth, to an Altered Boy in my teens, I gravitate back to these Green Rooms of Religious Contemplation.  Thelonious Monk's Cells or Communion del Arte.  BeBaptism and a Prayer Piano.  A Curtain Calling.  A Church Service has always been a Matinee Performance.  Or a full blown Evening Event.  To Sermon, With Love.
                             
And whatever denomination you choose to attend, these Church Hall Theatres...Arlington, Granada, Riviera or Lobero, when the stage lights come on...it is the Sun of a Sunday Morning that shines through those stained glass windows.
                             
And as the author of PYGMALION and SAINT JOAN  once said, when asked about retiring:  "What?  And give up Shaw Business?"