Wednesday, January 13, 2010



Oh, Bob!  I'm at my therapist's office here in Santa Rosa a half an hour early and the receptionist gave me this paper.  I'm using for a desk a book called Sigmund Freud and Art:  His Personal Collection and Antiquities.  Ha!  I looked at it before.  Kind of interesting.----

----What is new and noteworthy?  Well, my Stepdad just bought me a brand-new Ibanez acoustic six-string with built-in pick up and lovely "skeletesque" cut-away!  May it melt those many hearts of stone.  I wonder what to name it, though.  Bisquick?  Flea?----

----The first guitar I could call my own was this Yamaha 12-string, strung with only 6, that was given to me in 1990 by some Deadhead friends of my cousins, when I was aged 20.  It got named Lucifer-Benedict, due to a psychotic break I had later in that same year, in which, among other things, I re-lived the blessing of Christ, re-conquered Lucifer, and began "mind-communicating" with the Grateful Dead, [especially you and Jerry Garcia], and with Benedict.  Due to the invalidation, repression, and the accompanying sedation I received at MGH's Crisis Center during my ensuing 5150/5250, I was desperate to guard as subject my massive experience, even if it had supposedly arisen only from my schizophrenic and drugged-out psychosis.  This diagnosis was in no way an easy pill to swallow.----

----It happens that Benedict was a flirtatious French lesbian, one year my elder, whose parents, due to the surprise of her conception, felt her to be a benediction.  Benedict and I were both employed as cooks at my cousin's San Diego restaurant earlier in that year, and I was wholly and utterly enamored of her.  Nobody can throw the ball, like Catfish can, and such.  But when sailing away to L.A. for a new life, my sweet sister did not want to even stay in touch with pimply old me, and I was awesomely sorrowful for years to come.----

----Three years and some recovery later, [just after the completion of my homemade album: "Your Pretty Sweater," (sent to you and JG, 1993), upon which Lucifer-Benedict is featured], I was hallucinating ridiculing voices off the strings during practice, and, so, battered to splintered bits with a boom stand the honey guitar that had once gently wept for me in my hours of confusion and loss, my tears hot and wild.  One guitar down, three to go.----

----Just months later, finding myself unexpectedly in my then-newly-deceased grandmother's will, I inherited a few thou, by which I was enabled to obtain a very handsome rosy-wooded 6-string, of forgotten brand, but with, as I recall, very tasty Native-American-ish detailing.  As trite and childish as the name may sound, Strong Friend was my choice for this beautiful guitar, because, at that point, I was quite seriously in need of one!----

----Just as my magical thinking had rendered Lucifer-Benedict a virtual Velveteen Rabbit for my loss of love and sanity, so also did my wishful regard of Strong Friend provide me with an object of power to revere in fantastical light.  Sometimes I would annoint Strong Friend with a small amount of rose oil, and, so my ideation held, make with my playing of it vast blessings.----

----NOTE:  [It happens that Strong Friend is heard on the bereaved "You Never Give Me Your Money" I sent you last year, recorded during my exploration of the desolate fringes of unhindered, unmonitored, and unbridled delusion, in 1993.  With SF, my goal and habit was to consecrate the cosmos.  Therefore, when I sang, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.  All good children go to Heaven," for example, I felt myself to be making an immediately effective blessing.]----

----From that same period of delusion, I recall in particular a time when my intent was to finally get John Coltrane his saint status.  My procedure consisted of wetting slightly, I remember, a zig-zag which I had adhered to my bathroom window, and leaving it there for a day or two.  See, Bob, how musically pure can you be?!!----

----Actually, in retrospect, I guess I was thinking of infra-sound for that, as traveling through the glass.  Or, how about this idea as music?  One day, when I had accidentally burst my empty coffee caraffe on the stove burner, I utilized the opportunity to create with it a "sound-sculpture," putting a silver bell-ball inside it and leaving it to sit.  This "sound-sculpture" ended up getting the attention of and healing the spirits of the Holocaust victims, who were on Jupiter.  If only everything else in life was as easy!!----

----I had a whole series of sound-sculptures that year, it happens, from a finished plate at breakfast getting fresh sun, to an empty washtub with silt on the bottom after I had been rock-washing.  You just leave them for a bit and let it sink in, like a spiritual blender containing a smoothie of silence.  Nice concept, really.  But, at any rate, Bob, don't laugh.  I think you might get like that too after a little while, if you thought Jerry and the rest of the planet were always listening to your inner mind!!  HA HA  Come to think of it, that not being perhaps completely outside the realm of experiences you could have felt yourself to have endured at points, I guess you've done better than I in this!!  HA HA HA----

----Little was recorded of Strong Friend, actually.  However, I did believe, while playing at my home in Cloverdale, that people [especially you and JG] were listening to my music, through my own ears.  One night, under the sky, where I'd been playing each night for a week or so, I was continuing my improv-saga, and I felt myself to be performing for quite a large bunch of folks, all at their various homes, who were maybe seated next to loved ones and pretending to watch TV.  I remember especially Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford were included, at home on their bed.  Those two were friends with my dog, too.  Good people!----

----NOTE: [A recurring, and very majorly-absorbing factor of my delusion, during my periods of psychosis, was the fact that I believed Jerry was habitually introducing me, as musician and friend, to poeple of such caliber as Crawford and Gere.  This snowballed and I became a regular telepathic butterfly.  I enjoyed making telepathic friends with Lady Di, Pete Townshend, McCartney, Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John-Paul II, Juliette Binoche, Robert Plant, Eddie Van Halen, Fogerty, Stallone, Eddie Murphy, Clapton, Elton John, Nelson Mandela, Stevie Wonder, Jacques Chirac, Gorbachev, Bruce Lee's widow...and on and on.]----

----Anyway, it just so happened that the wholeness of this week-long improv-saga when completed was so articulate and refined, and the impact on a spiritual level so direct, that, musically, the only thing left to do was smash SF on the concrete of the parking lot.  To me, that was an expression of my sensitivity to the TRUE and DIVINE ROCK AND ROLL, the way the Lord intended it.  The instrument became simply an accessory, insignificant.  Why I did that with so many other non-musical objects while psychotic, I am not wholly sure!!!  HA HA!  If you want to make an even higher Rock 'n' Roll Creation, try smashing up a TEAC portable 4-track recorder on your bathroom tile!  Get down, brother.  Get down!  HA HA  Two guitars down, two to go.----

----Another aspect of my musical consecrations with Strong Friend was my idea that I was responsible for making a sort of spiritually-fresh and pure "sound-canvas" for the Grateful Dead (especially you and JG).  To me it was as if I were cleaning some negative spiritual residue or banality off of yours and Jerry's strings, and guarding and cleansing the silence for you both, in my golden unlimited devotion.  I believed that the GD (especially JG and you) would discover and ride on these heaven-high formations of glory that I had found and made, if you were mindful and fearless enough to detect what was softly right next to you, directly in your gentle and grounded view.----

----NOTE: [I felt that some of it reached you, or, that is to say, was not all lost on you, the Grateful Dead.  I also felt that some of the energy got intercepted by that year's up-and-comers, and could be detected in songs like "Black Hole Sun," for example, or other songs from 1993.  I felt that most musicians were scratching their heads about the effect I had had, wondering, "Who is it?"  I was smug, but hypnotized, and left them to their own devices.]----

----I also took pride in the fact that you would know these gestures to be made by me, set out by me, especially for you and JG, like an Easter basket from down the road, because who else could be loving you so much and in just such a way.  The mightiest musical and mystical meaning of all, which I hung upon the winds to find you, was always the same musical assertion put in a variety of ways: "I have seen the glory of the coming of the King."  It all boils down to that.  There was no higher love to give.----

----In February 1994, I relocated, re-medicated, and rehabilitated, eventually ready to continue my journey on a borrowed Takamine 6-string.  I worked up a very concrete, three-hour reperatoire, as well as wrote about five or six new songs, my schizophrenia then-back in remission, and spent that summer performing at rest homes, mental health functions, and sober situations.  I gave no name to the borrowed Takamine, nor did I have much special attachment to it, but I did have the opportunity to get a performance recorded at the San Rafael Alano Club, of which I sent you a portion.----

----It was this same guitar which is also featured on my most recent...albeit stoned and troubled...effort, "The Concert of Armegeddon," sent to you last winter.  While the sloppy lapses on that spontaneous "rock opera" detract and the singing is rusty and sour, the impromptu lyric-writing and post-Jerry originals were pleasing to me, and cathartic in respect to the processing of his death, with such songs as "Pray for Jerry" and "Back at The Dolphinside."  The latter is based on the premise that, posthumously, Jerry returns to a more original home [in which he would feel really tough and good] incarnated as a dolphin, or at least as a presence beside dolphins, somewhat like the ending of The Big Blue.  I was inspired by his joy for diving and his alleged final words to certain friends, "Goin' to Hawaii."  Still I carry a torch for him, in my heart.----

----Two guitars down, one returned, and another....built to last?  What should I name it?  T'ashes?  Zelda?  Aveugle?  That's French for "blind."  A-VUH-GLUH.  Hey, maybe.-----