Thursday, December 6, 2007

Birthday ponderings

So here I am, sitting and thinking, which are both unavoidable owing to the broken ankle and all.
It's my birthday. I'm 48, which comes a big surprise to me, since, for some weird reason, I had somehow convinced myself for the last year that I was turning 49, and only one year away from 50. When I went in for my ankle surgery, I saw on the admitting form that I was 48. Wow, I thought, how did I do that? I guess I was so concerned with being one year away from 50... well now it seems very cool that I am actually TWO years away! (heh heh) Oh-- it's just funny now!
I looked up birthdays for today... my birthday is the same as Peter Buck's! Nice... because I have a good and dear friend who also knows Peter. So now I'm going down memory lane, thinking about all my good and dear friends over the years and how I used to be a complete music junkie, local band supporter and sometimes band groupie.
First I thought of Tinsley Ellis, the mind blowing blues guitarist, and googled him to find he has a new album out... and yes I still say "album"...

I've known Tinsley since 1989 when I was "dating" his keyboard player. That "relationship" didn't last long, of course, but because of it Tinsley and I became a good friends. We don't stay in touch often these days, but he's a great guy and I'm proud to call him friend. I ordered the CD today and can't wait to hear it!

I started thinking about the Cincinnati music scene that I was a supporter of in the 80's. I say "supporter", because I was only in the background as I actually had a "real" job, but that meant that I could supply crucial fundage at times. Believe it or not, we had quite a progressive and creative little bubble in the midst of all that conservative Cincinnati bull shit. Maybe that made us closer... and very protective of one another. (The good citizens of that city are famous for, among other things, banning Robert Maplethorpe's photographs, banning Larry's Flint's Penthouse mag, burning a KKK cross in the center square of town and infamously brutalizing it's AfricanAmerican residents) The police would wait for our bar to close and then follow us home, stopping us at every intersection, trying to intimidate us punk-ass freaks I guess. In fact, repeated police harassment and beatings were a major reason why many of us fled to San Francisco and New York City in the last years of that decade.

But for a short while all us freaks banded together and built an amazing art/music scene around a couple of bars, The Metro being the center in Cincy, with the Jockey Club across the bridge in Kentucky. I was thrilled this morning to find Shari and Kelly's band Perfect Jewish Couple has recently released a remastered CD... If you go to their Myspace page, you can listen to some of their tracks... click here

I ordered it and can't wait to share it with my friends. What a blast from my new wave/alternative/punk roots! Of course the band RedMath was next on the list.

Long ago I lost my RedMath album during one of my many moves, but today I was able to find a used one on sale thru Ebay, so that's on the way too. No websites for RedMath, but it was a very influential band at the time. Three of the band members moved out here to SF, and we keep in touch. I don't know where the others are. Paul moved back to Dayton, Geno is owns a successful hair salon and still records music, Mike is a world renown tattoo artist (he did all of mine) and still makes art and music in his rare spare time. A LOT of 0ther folks from that Metro scene all moved here too- Kenny is a bike mechanic in Northern Ca., Nelson is here in SF, and every once in a while I run into someone who looks very familiar and we find out we were both back there at the Metro.
Another guy from our little Cincy scene , Ital Shur (Sleep Theater was his band at the time) moved to NYC, eventually wrote "Smooth", sent it to Santana and won a Grammy. I'm sure he wouldn't remember me at all, but it was very exciting to see him up on stage accepting that award!

Those were fun years I will never forget. But the future is now, and there is lot's to be done, so let's get hoppin'! Happy Birthdays to everyone! ;)

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