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ONE BROWN TOOTH & A BOTTLE OF JACK.. PTS. 1 AND 2

Posted on Friday, February 6, 2009 in Theatre of Sheep

amz1.Journey thru the past..LO-TEK,..the LOST tapes….PART ONEpl2
It was on a recent nature hike thru the hills along the river..up off macadam off Taylors ferry in an area where the hills are sheer cliffs ….and the houses all built with decks facing OAKS PARK …the now dilapidated depression era amusement park…whos sad little fireworks show becomes less quaint and more pathetic each year..at least compared to the big bangs at the downtown waterfont and Ft. vancouver across the river in washington..

I saw this house..I probably mentioned it in a recent blog..and said to Mak and my date..”this house used to have a studio ..we used to record here..I wonder if its still going…” I impulsively knocked on the door…I was amazed when “Mike” who was 50 back in the day answered the door…with skinny scabby legs,shorts,..his trademark ass length bushy grey pony tail …and one brown tooth..

“Mike..its me ..Rozz..we used to record here …is LO-TEK still going?”.I queried..

“OH..Rozz!..what are you doing here?…yes rozz, ROZZ” as if suddenly pleased with putting the name to a face in his mind and having it all connect…”GREENHOUSE…right?”greenhous

“Oh yeah”..now it was me searching my memory banks…we had recorded there as “greenhouse” back in the late late 80′s after the SHEEP phenomena was “Officially dead”…it was brian,his ex wife diane..jim evans, jimi,.koster..o’hearn..god how many people had i been there with and how many times….I ecused myself for barging in on his saturday morning and told him “I’d try to call him”…never meaning to really call him…

it was Jimi..who reminded me when I informed him of the strange chance encounter…that we had recorded several reels of tape there over a couple years…I told jimi that Mike had indicated the studio was no longer functional since Deb (his girlfriend of 40 years) retired…it broke down and he didnt fix it..he had diabetes and all kinds of ailments…they were moving to a retirement community in florida next to Disneyland..jimi says “you gotta call him..before he goes..there might be treasures on those tapes…thats where youre version of VALIUM on loverlegendliar was recorded”..

“really?” hadnt even remembered where that had been recorded…..how can my mind be so concise and articulate in some things..and completely disconnected on other more weighty matters…so I got his number from brian and made arrangements to go over today..

IT WAS THE LAND WHERE TIME STOOD STILL…stacks of magazines and papers creeping ever closer to the middle of the main room….solitare was on a big computer moniter…Deb in her recliner, Mike in his well worn office chair…surrounded by empty cans of DRUM tobacco and empty 1/2 gallons of JACK DANIELS…dust and cobwebs growing on every musical instrument hanging on the once expansive walls…

I looked across to the open kitchen area… it was still there..atop on of the two old fridges..one for beer..one for food…a gallon pepperocini jar with peeling tape on a not quite square piece of yellowing notebook paper…even the sharpie message had faded ..”MUSICIANS BEE FUND”…oh…the R was gone…musicians beer fund…I swear to god it still had the same two crumpled dollars and a smattering of change that was there twenty years ago…a thick layer of silty dust covered everything…I started flashing back…aa

now I remember why I dont remember…LO-TEK was never about money…mike only recorded stuff he liked…they were pretty wealthy…they had 1/2 gallons of TANGUERAY (DEB’s drink) and Jack Daniels …and the one old fridge was always brimming with RAINER POUNDERS 16 ounce bottles…so we’ld show up there on hot summer nights, pound some beers and record..while mike would roll endless spleefs and cigarettes…no one ever put money in the jar ..and by the looks of things 20 years later…didnt seem to matter much…

the walls were covered with od posters…one of them was DEAD MOONS first or second show…it was like a time warp….I started remembering how you couldnt hurry things with mike…you had to sit and talk a bit…catch up on him and DEBs latest disneyland vacation….they were like big giddy kids still…they still had that childlike hippie lust for life…smiling happy….

ONE BROWN TOOTH…”Ya want any?” Mike shakily refilled his 6 ounce tumbler of Jack…he shook like he had parkinsons back in the day but now it was really bad…it was 11 am

I guess we all like to see examples that make our alcoholism seem mild by comparison…but this was ridiculous…but after an hour I stopped feeling sad for mike..and happy for him and deb..they are incredibly goodhearted people living life on the terms they chose…I was eager to go downstairs to the studio but I knew for the best result I need to be more casual..than overt…so we sat a spell..aaaaaaaa

me in the guest chair..a soiled recliner…yep still one chair..everyone else had to squat back then…now there was no realestate left to squat anywhere….dusty piles of magazines books and records covered the entire upper floor..I looked out the sliding glass doors towards the river “did WADE ever win the battle against the blackberries?” I asked…

“No..see for yourself” I looked down the steep hillside towards the river…yeah..I wanted the tapes…but this place had a lot of happy carefree memories…it still had that good rich hippie neil young vibe…though whereas I saw that OAKS PARK had been renovated a bit..LO-TEK and mike and deb were in a decline of there own choosing…

suddenly I noticed that there was no empty half gallons of TANQUERAY around DEB..”Deb,..did you quit drinkin’…”

end part one

bif526.a duck, a puppy,a kitten that looks like a puppy,..an another duck!…LO-TEK PT. 2!

I havent slept for 3 nights now…dont know quite why..its as if my most lucid moments are at 3 or 4 in the morning…I have all these Ideas and actions…dreams I want to actualize…things I want to address…I make these lists an inventories in my head and then keep a watchful eye on the clock to get Mak up at 7 am…then its off to cafe…internet…bloggage….coffee

started this intense new medicine..my doctor described it as “a Percocet like muscle relaxer for the heart”…it had to be approved by the state coz its very expensive…but it should “Significantly lower your risk of AORTIC ANNUERYISM”…Shit..I cant spell but you get my drift …the whole “sploding heart” thing..anyhuzen…I had a night to myself after a week of company..doga

my visit to retrieve lost tapes from LO-TEK STUDIOS was really eye opening as to just how fast time is flying by….

I dont know if theres any point to finishing the story of my visit to the dusty old studio…coz , in essence…its the same old story…my dear friend Autumn (from the METAL CHURCH flat,..now in Boston) was a heavy AA’er and her haunting words have always stayed with me “Alcoholism is a progressive disease”

never was that so evident as my trip to the studio and my visit with ONE BROWN TOOTH and his wife DEB….when I asked DEB if she had stopped drinking….she sighed and kind of gave me this angry yet resigned look…her shapeless obese body spilling over the sides of her recliner…and while OBT(one brown tooth) was surrounded by resplendant amounts of empty half gallons of JACK DANIELS and DRUM tobacco cannisters…gone were the empty half gallons of TANQUERAY that usually surrounded the little TV tray tables strewn with papers that she called her “Area” back in the day…

she went into some tale of how her sister had died and she got a DUI right before retiring from the postal service and she had to complete a DIVERSION PROGRAM or she would lose her hefty pension…they had to do that before moving to florida…then she went into the “it was kind of screwy coz the cop blah-blah blah..”…you know the tale…I have never met anyone who got a DUI that said “YEP..I was driving BLOTTO”…There is always some extenuating circumstances backstory that just makes people look worse when they use it for an excuse…

longstorylonger…DEB cant drink or smoke pot for a year…and she is one bitter pissed off half eskimo indian…she glared at me “yeah ,..got another 9 months of this bullshit”…personally..I dont think she’ll make it…and ONE BROWN TOOTH..I love the guy..he’s like an older version of CITYWORKER…he’s a exhuberant teenager when he rattles on about DISNEYLAND this and DISNEYLAND that….but the reality is…oct4

with his glucose level at 550…still pounding JACK DANIELS…the state of his legs and feet…he would rather have his feet amputated than stop drinking…I dont see how DISNEYLAND could be any fun…him and deb are both on disabled carts when they go there, cant really ride many rides…but they havent changed in 20 years…DISNEYLAND IS THIER LIFE…

I asked CITYWORKER whats the big deal with DISNEYWORLD…why would someone want to live next to the theme park and get a year round pass so they could go daily?…cityworker looks at me and says “DISNEYLAND OR DISNEYWORLD?” and I notice that his eyes are twinkling like OBT’s as he asks me….

“Disneyland…why is there a difference? the one with EPECOT CENTER”" I ask…

“Oh yeah…DISNEYLAND is really cool” cityworker is jazzed up and animated as he tells me about the merits of DISNEYLAND over DISNEYWORLD…He’s been home “sick” from work so Ive had more conversations with the usually invisible roomate than Ive had in the last 6 months..he’s just about “well” and is a little stir crazy I think…I realize he’s a DISNEY FREAK too…pp81

okay..I must have been a deprived child or something…Ive never been to DISNEYLAND,DISNEYWORLD or any “theme” park for that matter…so maybe I just dont get it…but when I see thier ads on t.v.I get kind of creeped out for some reason…

ONE BROWN TOOTH had been so excited as he told me how the MAID made these lovely towel animals out of “towels”(well ,duh…) when I went up to the corbett area studio…mike ponted them out on top the TV…”a duck..a puppy, a kitten..that looks like a puppy..and another duck…the maid in our room at disneyland made us one and left it on our bed each day….”

what I saw atop the TV was 4 dusty browninsh towels folded not that amazingly in some sort of lame oregamy…with GOOGLY EYES glued to them…they just werent the astonishing works of art he lavished praise on…to me, anyway…more like something you’ld buy from the special-ed kids at a school bazaar around christmas…maybe they had looked better before they got packed in luggage and shipped back to portland to die an undistinguished life gathering dust on top of the boob tube…but to him they were picasso’s…shoe5

eventually I broached the subject “so should we head down to the studio and see whats a crack-a-lackin’”

“Whaaaa” he looked at me quizzically…

“crack-a-lackin’…just some slang the kids our saying nowadays” I suddenly felt very young around these aging hippies dying in thier failing bodies…OBT got his cane and unsteadily followed me down to the studio ..very slow…about halfway down the stairs I ask casually”do you have a MYSPACE..great for finding old friends..an people finding you”?

“Im not so sure I want people finding me” …the old big brother paranoia was a familiar theme back in the day with him and it hadnt changed…the studio was a shambles..the piano was still there…drums set up in a booth …garbage and junk piled in front of the bookshelves housing hundreds of master tapes…the control booth was torn up around the board as if a futile attempt to fix the deck had been aborted…it was sad…the ceiling was still low..I remembered banging my head so many times on this place where I would stand playing guitar..and mid-take I’d bang my head on the jutting heating vent…good times..

anyhuzen we found 3 master tapes two labeled GREENHOUSE and one labeled ROZZ-THEATRE OF SHEEP…so I was estatic..I waited for an opening and at what seemed the appropriate moment I asked casually “can I take these for jimi to go thru and see if theres anything usuable?”..direct,..but not demanding…

“sure” OBT was amiable and goodhearted as always …just a big old kid..so we got the tapes and went back up…he printed me out his “special”recipe” for jerk chicken seasoning…though I dont know why..the subject of food or cooking or jamacian spices NEVER came up…nonetheless..he printed it out and prattled on excitedly about DISNEYLAND…sp4

I looked around the large room which the wall and shelves and stuff was literally encroaching towards the center of the room…”when are you gonna start packing?”…..

“real soon”

I looked at the mess…this is a half million dollar home in complete disheveled state of disrepair…I had the distinct feeling one of them would die before achieving thier dream of living next to DISNEYLAND…and the other would abort the move…the level of PACKRATDOM was incredible….even dwarfing mine

ONE BROWN TOOTH started into another story of how they got “SPECIAL” buttons from the management that they would wear on thier DISNEYLAND VISORS and they’ld get all these special 2 for one deals..he was getting excited an riled up again….”Hey I got to be going..but I’ll come by again before you leave..eh?”..I stood up with the tapes…sl17

as I left he said “the tapes are yours..keep them!” and I left thier house feeling nostalgic, sad,..happy and angry at the cruel joke of aging….If theres a god he must be quite mean…funny how thier lives made me a little down but ..aside from DEB’s anger at not being able to drink for awhile…they were exceedingly happier people than all these chicks I know on PROZAC,SELECTA,WELLBUTRIN,PAXIL, and ZOLOFT…

SO …now I know what happens to rich hippies after a lifetime of excess

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