Sunday, June 25, 2017


- the Jazz Loft, pt. 13, 1967 -
One thing I guess you could say was
that I was never lonely. At every turn,
there was something. I think it was
fairly safe to say that I was experiencing
a concentrated form of foreign travel,
without going anywhere. Looked at
from my perspective, this was major
stuff : my little cubby-hole of place,
town, and, just before that, Blackwood,
NJ nestled into that combine of a
cloistered seminary school had made
all of  my outreach and expansion a
mental expansion only. One day it
was all I could do to corner-walk to a
local Avenel store, and a week later
I was immersed in the most bizarre
form of international-style immersion you
you could imagine. Avenel to wherever,
and quite quickly. To many others,
people I knew, the scenery of foreign
travel became mere SE Asia and a gun.
 I was much more happy on these
international streets. I quickly realized
that if you get the internal dialogue right,
you don't have to go anywhere; the whole
world will come to you. Languages, locations,
foods, habits and manners. Each little
new segment of time brought me
something. The jazz guys, and all their
what I considered essential support and
the glimpse they gave me of what I'd
missed and never new existed, startled
me. My father, for instance, had always
had this thing about strength and right
being manifested by muscle and brawn.
I had never had any interest in that at all
and it seemed pretty stupid to me : go to
the circus and take a look at any old
bodybuilder type  -  and aged waste of
flabby time, and no one wanted them
anymore. There was certainly more to
all that then what I'd been led to, and
these jazz guys showed me. There was
a steely strength in their determination,
and that strength was stronger than the
other kind.
Anyway, now and soon enough then, that
was all  a memory and was forgotten. I
found that people who just saw race were
cutting themselves way short. Race was
so immaterial, and on the wide-world
level, everyone pretty much intermingled
in a quite cosmopolitan fashion. I soon
decided that this was New York, and
Senegal to Saigon to Switzerland to
Saint Louis, the world was one big
puddle and I was wading in it because
it was right there around me. Parochialism
was soon to be out the window, and there
was a really grand life-harmony that, if
you learned to tap into it, it could be
immediately helpful. That harmonic
convergence is what people meant,
and still mean, with all their gibberish
about a person 'creating' their own reality.
Of course that's the case. If you learn to
do it right, it's a real easy way of going.
Most people don't  -  me included  -  and
there's a lot of sorrowful 'misses' walking
around. You just have to learn; a person
needs to learn to leave out sometimes as
much as he or she leaves in. Like cold
weather against hot weather, it's all just
part of life's grander mix. And it talks
to you, invites you in, for good, for
positive. It's like religion tries to do;
it's the 'Jesus' voice beckoning. You
have to let it in, not say 'No' to it,
or stop saying no anyway, and the
world is yours. Religion gets it all
mixed up  -  because of their own
hierarchical ways of thinking and doing,
using whimsical words like 'forgiven,'
'saved,' and 'Salvation,' instead. They
have it all mixed up, misusing that
'last shall be first and first shall be last'
 thing to their own evil ends. Of course,
what they preach is that everyone wants
to be first. Period. That's why they
have their Heaven. What is it anyway
but a big, endless 'first.' No retribution.
But it's the same thing. These black
jazz guys were like going to mass, or
church, everyday, and coming from
the environment I'd previously been
in, I knew all about that.
Ok, so all that was good and well
taken care of, but what I had to
safeguard against was the crack up,
or just going crazy. It was a fine line
to be walking  -  I was in terror of the
unknown most every step of the way.
That's a trait I still have; it's never left
me. I'm scared of every situation and
every possibility. Between my time on
8th street, and 11th, and then the jazz
loft stuff, I had the whole mix right
out before me and knew what surprise
was going to pop out of the bag I
was holding.  I'd go back to the loft,
under cover, usually, of a November
or early Winter spectacular cover,
just to be unseen. I had learned a
little something else too  -  about 1966
rock n' roll had really hit its stride, and
an entire range of people, from Dylan's
Blonde on Blonde to west coast stuff 
and more British stuff too, all of that
got jumbled up and simply became  -  
even though of course the bloviators 
made it out to be more than that, as 
they wrote about it all and were 
programmatic about boosting and 
pushing along a new level of crass
bullshit culture, Godless too - it
became (as I was saying) more 
about the performance and the 
presence of the little dweeby 'star'  
-  and the big propaganda lie 
machine took over. It had to, 
because there wasn't really any
music' there, going on at all. No
on ever called them out on it, and
that was OK for their purposes. But
these jazz-guys, they had none of that.
Their idea of 'performance' was more
in the middle finger range. Audience 
be damned. Everything in the key of F.
That's what 'cool' was really about.

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