Seems with the end of summer approaching it has been a few weeks of old memories and friends popping up out of nowhere and summer time cruising listening to and enjoying music, Mary at band camp and all the experiences I had doing such things. Some of the friends have changed, they are different people. That's another blog post, I got too much of that on my mind that I can't digest right now. But one thing I like to think about is the memory how much I have always enjoyed music from India.
I guess my enjoyment of music kind has a band camp connection. Pop music in my band camp days had some great horn sounds. Also the Beatles were still big news and as horn players we listened to their records with a critical ear, there were horns on some of them, band instruments, that made us and the Beatles one, the uncool band geeks validated by the music of the greatest pop musicians of the century.
One thing we were exposed to through the music of the Beatles was the influence of the music of India in some of their songs. I really fell for the the sounds of the sitar and sarod. I knew that there was an Indian music master Ravi Shankar who played with the Beatles. One day while browsing one of the few places that carried the latest music in Lufkin back then, Jack's tapes (Jack's is still in business, cds only now) I was looking in the used section. You could trade two used 8 track tapes and get another used one or trade 3 and get a new one. They still carry used cds and the music hound I am I have to stay out of there because even though the new selections are mostly rap and pop country I will always find stuff on the used rack that results in impulse buys. Anyway sometime in the summer of 1974 or so I found a Ravi Shankar tape on the rack. I bought or traded, I can't remember which.
Now the band camp connection. Someone owned a small portable 8 track player, nothing like the boom boxes or ipods of today and on trips to out of town football games that fall we drove everyone crazy with the droning of the Indian music. Maybe it was really the terrible sound quality, I don't know. We alternated the Indian music with Jerry Jeff Walker and Waylon Jennings. That stuff can be irritating also, remember in these days there was no Little John ( ya-uh, ok) so we had to work hard at pissing people off with music.
In November of 1974 some of us band geeks ended up seeing Ravi Shankar open for George Harrison at the Hofinez pavilion in Houston Texas. I still have the program from the show.
This is the back cover. Outside in line at the show I signed a petition to protest the deportation of Beatle John on drug charges. I figured that when these petitions were turned in the U.S Attorney's office would soon be contacting my parents. They did not, John was never deported and so I count this as the first time I alerted the U.S governmet that I would be talking revolution and singing the blues. They are still watching and waiting with an ever mounting list of my dangerous activities.
The Indian thing as well as the revolution thing have remained constant, with refinements of course. I still like that kinfd of music, not sure about the Indian Bollywood stuff yet, need to listen to that somemore. The emusic download service (link on side bar) has been great at really expanding my Indian music collection as well as expanding my interest in music that spans the region from Africa to India to the Balkans.
I have even played with Indian people. On New Years Eve 1999 we had a Mass at ST. Patrick's and sang songs in four languages, Indian, Taulog, Spanish and English. Hopefully one day I can expand my skills in this area. There are several Indian slide guitar players coming to prominence and they do some interesting things with slides and drones.
I guess what I am trying to arrive at is that sometimes we do know what we are doing when we are young. We just need to polish our dreams, and make them grow with no limitations. Damn, I am all sensitive, crying and stuff this morning, there must be things in my head, trying to get out and this is what came first. I'd publish a picture of my state for you guys if I was not typing this naked.
Anyway stay tuned, tomorrow we commemorate another event from 1974. It is the anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon as the President of the United States of America. In honor of this event we will host the annual Tricky Dick Catfish Rodeo and Round up.
This is what Dick said on that day:"By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America."
Wise words at the end, point Dick.
No doubt that Dick started well, as we all do, had some ideas, he just did not have the best interest of all in mind. Refine the dreams for good of all Dick.