- the blazers & me -
things've been down, w/death of friends, post-surgery complications, painful realizations i've had to make re music/friends... i was surfing & came across - yeegad! -a T-shirt i designed 15+ yrs ago for the blazers! it came up along w/the most rockin' tune, too (lyrics excerpted above), & took me instantly to a better place. a worshipful moment! music again saves a life...
back to the T-shirt: actually, manuel gave me the frame, then i took it to dr derek lamar, who then had the art dept downtown, & we put the design together... & there it is still online today, along w/that cheerful blazers song from way back in the palomino days.
i was intoxicated on music & substances 24/7 back then, & so enamored of the blazers' down-home roots-rock&roll innocence, grit, & heart, i could scarcely touch earth. flyweight ruben & sumo-ish manuel, buddies since childhood w/ea other & w/los lobos, led this east-LA band, their repertoire influenced as much by vicente fernandez as chuck berry. i was crazy (really, tho i didn't know it) over their then-bassist, a 6.5' ladies' man w/penchant for dark humor & drink, & became the blazers' "#1 fan" (there've been many since, & such a determined creature features heavily in any band's success, i think!): wrote their monthly newsletter; designed show flyers; press kit; copied & mailed out promo tapes; wrote 50-60 letters to record co's (one actually got bill bentley's attn & they were signed to rounder!); drove down 2x or more per mo to watch their shows (& hang w/"boyfriend," of course). all this from bksfld, & them in e-los! i couldn't dance, but my skirts & enthusiasm were so high, i don't think most cared. the blazers filled me w/good cheer, w/life, w/soul when i could only find it elsewhere in bad habits.
manuel & ruben don't play together much now, tho both still have many options, ruben working w/pete anderson still. they are well-loved & respected individually, but i think most who know them pine for the day they'll reunite. i'm so lucky to still know them both, good men, brimming w/musical spirit & humanity & humor. i hope eventually they'll reconcile musically, as i always hope i will, too, when i have to part ways w/a friend...
eventually, love & communication & music can bring rebonding; if not, probably there was nothing to a relationship to begin with. (some people never come back because they were never meant to be there in the 1st place...) i parted ways w/the blazers having to get sober. it was painful, but from it, a new & better life came. like they say, "pain is the touchstone of growth." old-timer mudd, may he rest in peace, used to say, "i'm gonna grow, or i'm gonna go..." positive action, tho too often prompted by pain, is what is needed to keep evolving, to honor this beautiful life.
i'm there. it's time. like manuel wrote, "talk is cheap, anyway." "if you're feelin sad & blue, don't sit around & cry, no one's feelin sorry for you, you're just a-wastin your time." wise words, pleasantly put!!
blazers links follow: discography: http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/artist/Blazers/a/Blazers.htm ; manuel's page: http://www.myspace.com/thebigmanband ; the blazers' page w/music! http://www.myspace.com/theblazers
Labels: alcoholism, americana, barrio rhythms, east side soul, friendship, life lessons, los angeles, manuel gonzales, palomino, roots rock, ruben guaderrama, the blazers