1. we rafted down the kern river the day after they let the water go from the isabella dam (we did not know this). as soon as we put in, rapids yanked us from shore & hats & my paddle were ripped away. from then on, i was fearful rudder, my pal admirable steerer (w/one paddle now). we hit 3 big sections of rapids. i was scared sh*tless, & it didn’t help to hear my big strong pal panting w/dread, “oh god, oh god!” i knew we were dead. after a few hrs, the water calmed considerably & there was a serene & still 20 mins or so as we drifted along cool river & lazily considered the riverfront mansions & deep green banks. then i saw river locks ahead – w/churning rapids!! we hurriedly put out & started the slog back to truck. we cut thru an oil lease & i fried my hand pretty badly on a steam pipe. phil tells me later i was lucky i didn’t breathe oilfield gas & die immediately.
at gordon's ferry, our original ending pt, just past the locks, stood a comely tv reporter. a man had tried to go thru the locks we’d narrowly avoided & had drowned, his corpse found washed up under the bridge. usually the locks are passable bc the river is low. w/the dam opened up, the water level was much higher. he tried to make it anyway. the killer kern is aptly named. mama said she’d murder me if i ever went on water again w/o a life vest. i soberly agreed.
2. we played 2 shows in one day. how i love doing that, adrenaline junkie i still am. 1st was @ vinny’s opening for whiteboy james. i had to cover up head to toe due to being a bruised mess from moving & it was appallingly, punishingly hot that day, however what tremendous fun & what a positive success the event was. many people we knew were there, greeting us w/smiles, & what a happy thing that much of “our crowd” has become the bikers of oildale, not just upending some stereotypes but letting me know we’ve got folks watching our backs just in case (tho the phil’s one tough boy scout, & bet the other fellows are no slouches, either). our set was met w/happy cheering & laughing. and again, i looked out & saw women mouthing words to my songs!! how can that be???? i talked w/a swell guy named big e who looks like hoss cartwright... after our set, i was pulled out on the dance floor by all the gals & it was hot sweaty fun fun fun.
james arrived finally & started up, weird & wild, funny & obscene, in powerful voice, w/his heavy rockin jump & blues. a big flirt w/all, he mouthed to me “i love you” & i mouthed back “no, you don’t.” i don’t know how someone, w/o speed, can drink so much beer, smoke so many smokes, & be so alive & powerful. his band was crack-tight & scott abeyta ripped & roared on that guitar! finally i had to head for the 2nd show & james walked me out & told me about voicing a video game that’s a huge hit in korea, he & his son going to video game conventions & korean people greeting him like a movie star… what an interesting life he -- & i – & we all! -- get to have!
3. the narducci’s show was fun, but of course, being the early openers (8 pm @ narducci’s, where no one shows up til 10!!), we had a small crowd. rick pinch-hitted for us on drums & did a swell job! elvis from 3 bad jacks sat in back & laughed @ end of “2 left feet,” he therefore being the only person we’ve played before who’s caught the hank ballard ending on that song. next was los creepers, big solid young guys from east la who played heavy psychobilly & were pleasant & polite offstage. we ate our free narducci’s meal & then james showed up w/kaykay & tanna! k books vinny’s & loves mick j & tanna is a big-hearted little biker gal. they were bummed to have missed our set. while 3 bad jacks played to an enthusiastic crowd, we all sat in back, laughing & roaring & doing parlor tricks, like wiggling ears & lifting eyebrows, then mark blew everyone away w/his cigarette stunt (you’ll have to ask him to demonstrate). the others smoked & drank while phil & i had our sodas, then the phil had to go so i just hung out til i couldn’t any more… drove home & crashed for a short while -- then in the early morning, james & co showed up! i was blown away to share great music & conversation at my place, as well as to meet fellow mad & movie nerds! (they left behind about 500 cigarette butts.)
4. more above... eventually...
Labels: 3 bad jacks, dusk devils, friends, killer kern, life life life life life life life life life, live music, los creepers, rick on drums, scott abeyta, tanna and kaykay, whiteboy james