Tag Archives: gridlock

Skyline at Twilight

Women’s March Phoenix, Arizona 2019

Nashville’s famed music district is being dismantled. Nobody can blame anybody. Times haven’t changed but the price of real estate has. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

Jazz a favorite idiom frequented by this street act no longer sells. America’s great gift to music exists in the hearts and minds of the musicians. The marketplace not so much.

I am ramping up for shows. If I did not exist the world would have to invent me. I’ve played the parkways and boulevards of America’s greatest cities since 1974.

The gods have tossed sky high real estate, fierce solar radiation, and an ever decreasing value of that famous buck that is supposed to stop here. Dollars do stop but in what quantity and to what useful purpose?

I got my heart set on playing Fort Collins, Colorado. Not now! I’ll arrive and set up shop uninvited. I’ll play as I can as much as I can for a few weeks in June. After I’ll run north with the arrival of summer crossing the border into Canada.

The whole street performing enterprise is scaled to the grass roots. If I can draw a crowd is one thing. If I can keep them until the end is another. Between I play my song, sing my lyric, tickle a few unsuspecting minds with my version of vagabond dreams.

Honesty is our Ultimate Elixir

Andrew Elliott a fine Australian entertainer friend employs the same tactics as I use. We move from place to place landing in the least likely public thoroughfares. Catching a crowd off guard, unprepared…think cultural shock therapy of a kind.

Hit people in the heart. Give a citizen a living example of betting everything. Funny is useful but earnest charm, authenticity and soulful purpose transcends and takes an audience further.

Death in Venice was a movie, hard times falling on Nashville’s music scene is a reality. Street theater, street performing, busking, call it what you will is the ultimate fungible form. I’ll fudge my way into the hearts and minds of the least suspecting.

I’m coming for a thousand clowns and a few thousand altered softened hearts. I’m coming for the better angels and freedom seeking immigrant Russians. I’m coming to alter the fabric of the commons. To bless the youthful dreamers looking for their true path.

As I said if I did not exist they’d have to invent me. I am like Nashville, jazz and the American Musical an indispensable historical artifact of our cultural life.

See you out there.

April 19,’18 Gridlocked in Tsunami Zone

Bio-Debatable Bat-Poop-Crazy 

Rattan Bike

Not the Destination? It’s the Journey? Are You Sure Sherlock?

We’ll say a quick hello… Thursday here in LA with Emeryville on our evenings itinerary. Got that? We’re aboard the vessel Sweet Seas.

Yesterday foolishly believing I could do better than be held hostage to the tyranny of Los Angeles traffic I took it to Malibu. There amidst the splendor the the brilliant and beautiful I walked along the shore briefly imagining I would speak with Dylan who wasn’t home and Cindy Crawford’s doorman who informed me that she couldn’t see me right now.

So instead I took a table at Gladstones where I’ve carved out heaps of almost free time- if you don’t count the $10 it costs to have valet parking hold your keys and car hostage until finished with that portion of the other part of the self indulgence you have so fruitfully come wallow in.

Highway One was bounded in traffic congested fender bending behaviors while I was completing the pleasant part of the adventure. Next came the extract the American from the inundation zone. Gladstones parking lot spit me out onto Sunset Boulevard and there snug and tightly fitted between others who had also taken to their automobiles I rotted away growing way too old way too soon on an otherwise lovely afternoon. A mere two hours and twenty-five minutes later I limped into my parking place in downtown some twenty plus miles away.

Let me leave you today with a quote from one of my favorite bachelors from one of my characters in Hot Spring Honeymoon.

Warm tubs

“You’re coming out for ‘naked night?’” Keefe asked.

“We’re going to have strong feelings for one of the guests.”

“What are you going to do with those pictures?” Keefe had a sly look on his face.

Glenna resolved. “Change how a person thinks…”

“Help him see the error of his ways?” Keefe asked.

“Finding a way to changing a man’s mind isn’t necessarily done by playing around with what he has between his ears,” Glenna said.

“A lot of men do their most penetrating thinking by way of another part of themselves altogether,” Keefe said.

“I’d say that holds true for near all the men I’ve ever known,” Glenna said.

Edited Red Star

Time to Go

ship

Following the Big Boys

We have thrown the baby of leadership out with the bathwater of abdicating any responsibility to govern. That splat you here coming from the horizon is the sound of dunderheads colliding with reality.

We have no idea how to get out of Afghanistan. Until then we extend and pretend. Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman were far smarter. Within seventy-two days they’d seen enough and threw the towel in.

Some low flying duster pilot while knocking back a cool one at the local titty bar after a day of crop spraying scrawled his formula for governing on the back of a cocktail napkin. Knots, strangleholds and infinitely regressive feedback loops were doodled on one side of the disposable napkin in the middle an equals sign and on the other in bold caps was spelled out TOTAL LEGISLATIVE GRIDLOCK.

Citizens of Kansas are treated to economic laboratory experiments executed under the misguidance of the the unrepentant failed economist Arthur Laffer. The idea from corn country was if you are going to try something to be sure to try the worst possible ideas in the world and then keep shooting yourself in the foot. Mission accomplished!

Never attempt to do the right thing, or the best thing. You want to do the thing that works for you and your tribe. That’s leadership in a post Fellini’s Satyricon world. Media tycoon and Prime Minister Berlusconi brilliantly pillaged Italy prototyping then perfecting the oligarchic model of bamboozling while cavorting with adolescent hookers. Thanks Silvio!

Leadership isn’t lost so much as unrecognized. Dueling ideologies discredit and delegitimize. Ripe followers are left to rot while lesser well funded minds rush to fill the void. Great ideas are the currency of the realm. Leadership is not happily married to great wealth. We may be having our Ernie and Ethel moment. For the sake of world peace and marital bliss someone needs to pack their bags and go. This indecisiveness, this inability to know when to leave is that un-peaceful, uneasy sucking sound you and the rest of us have been trapped in for a good while now.

porthole

The Way Way Out