20 July 2008

Closer to the Flame

Last night more than a dozen of us sat around a backyard campfire drinking everything under the rusty moon. There was dope, there is always dope around here. Some of the people had downed ecstasy. Ecstasy is getting to be as common as grass. We were born Free, Free as the wind blows.

A young man had hooked his laptop up to a wee mp3 player with external speakers. The little outfit sounded surprisingly good as it competed with the crack and flare of the fire for everyone's attention. He was trying to pick songs out of his mp3 player we all might like. It was not working. If the mp3s in your collection will not entertain people without being able to hit shuffle and leave the machine alone do not even bother.

He was a philosophical guy. For a while, when his machine was playing a pile of Bob Seger songs, we talked over beers. He told me, "Don't go to bed with an itchy ass or you'll wake up with stinky fingers."

I am not a big Seger fan. His was the music of my high school parking lot. not hardcore enough for me even in '75. I rebelled against that shit. When you have aimed yourself towards burning out instead of rusting Seger does not cut it.

Last night Seger sounded good as we sat there rusting, no longer looking for gasoline to pour on the fire. 

I woke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain't it funny how the night moves
When you just don't seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in


Jon said...

It helps to have lived in Michigan in the '70's. Detroit loved Seger and Seger loved us back. He used to do his annual Detroit world tour, where he would play 30 different High School gyms around metropolitan Detroit on the thirtyfirst night he would have his grand finale show downtown at the Michigan Palace. I saw one of those Michigan Palace shows. I went mostly for the opening act, Captain Beefheart. The Captain put on a lousy show and left the stage in a hurry, but Seger really did put on a nice show. Also, those songs like Night Moves were hella sentimental. I am highly suspicious of any sentimental teenager. Fuck that. Now that we are old bastards we can afford to pause nostalgically from time to time. I have less time for silly bullshit than I did when I was young, but more time for cornball philosophizing.

I'm pretty much ready to give up my blog, so I'll post this here, because it's pretty good cornball philosophizing. Heard this the other day from my friend, Mark:
"To be on The Bridge at sunrise. To see the light and the fog, the city and the bay. To be up high where you can see over the railings and take the whole thing in, you pretty much have to drag your ass out of bed at 3:30 in the morning and go drive a bus. That's the way life is."

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

The world is full of promise when there's just you, the fog and the crackheads there to take it all in.

Nice story about Seger. Of all the rock scenes I have read about and experienced, the scene in Detroit when you were there is hard to beat.

Jon said...

I don't think there was another city (circa 1973) where you could stagger out of a bar at 2:00 AM and get on a bus driven by a nineteen year old white boy with one of those new portable cassette players listening to Jonathan Richman, The New York Dolls and Mott the Hoople. I only lived there for a couple, three years aged 19-21, but I owe that city a lot.