Monday, June 26, 2017


- the Jazz Loft, pt. 14, 1967 -
One time I went way uptown, into the
deep east 60's. That was 'way' uptown
for me. One of the guys had sent me
there, as usual, with an envelope, to
bring back some stuff. I think that was
called being a mule, but I don't know;
I've heard it, but always on larger-scale,
international carries. I think, anyway. I
never cared. For me it was a way to 'see
the world' (my world) and make a few 
bucks too. I kind of knew what was going
on, but I convinced myself I didn't,
and didn't care anyway. When I got
to this place, I immediately realized
it was like no place I'd ever been before.
Absolutely palatial  -  a massive,
crenelated, townhouse thing, from
about the 1880's. Gilded era stuff.
Gigantic front doorways, bronze or
whatever that metal is, brass or just
iron  -  so massive that if one of them
fell on you you'd be dead. The hinges
alone could hold a car. The doorway
and the front lobby had attendants,
and a desk  -  where you had to check
in, be announced and all that, before
being let up. I'd use whatever name
I was given for that day, I guess the
name they'd called ahead with. Fred
Trench, Marvin White, whatever; it
didn't matter, but even the fictions had
to jive. I got upstairs, past all these
portraits and scenes and polished
stairway and doorway things When
I got where I was going, it was to this
guy, probably about 35, maybe. A
vicious, rich punk. I could just tell.
This guy was living in a sort of closed
glory, and I bet he answered to no one.
At that time, I really thought that, now, as
I look back, I figure he was probably as
big or bigger a schlub than anyone, and
probably felt himself to be enslaved as
well, or at least ensnared. And for sure
that he was -  I sensed he knew nothing
about anything at all, just dispensing
whatever crap he was dispensing. 60's
crap was all assaultive : you never knew
what you were getting and every 2 weeks
some university drug-lab or basement
crunch-up would proclaim that they'd
developed a new hallucinogen, a higher
high, a longer long. All that. This guy's
job was the peddle. His tight-white pants
girlfriend was no better, but at least she
looked like something. In addition, she
appeared actively on the make, which was
cool and a sparkle, in my then estimation.
This guy himself, he reminded me of some
TV Batman thing, Bruce Wayne, I think
the TV character's name was  -  some 
fuss-budget cake-walker living off some
trust-fund millions and commanding the
high city. That was a 1965 thing, maybe 
'66, a sort of NYC high-camp pop art 
show, all POW! and WHAM! and a
sort of sham cultural irony too. (I don't
even know if it was a NY show; probably
California). This guy sat there like that,
behind a huge old desk probably worth
six-hundred grand itself, pulling in cash
for the illicit supply network stuff he
commanded. Totally weird, and somehow
he'd connected with these music guys. I
was there, hopefully for the minute. He
started gyrating and talking, fast, and
with numbers and things I didn't understand.
The she came back with a silver tray, from
which he helped himself. Offered to me, 
I declined, just mumbling 'Can't.' I 
figured the jerk would get the drift
maybe that I was 'working' and that
would suffice. If he even knew what'
working was.' Later on I found out that
he was a walking joke, in spite of himself 
and success. He was also dead in about 
two years. I heard. Someone there once 
told me that this guy had been so dumb
that he 'probably thought a musical score
was drugs you got at a recording session.'
I thought that was pretty funny.

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