What I usually bring home as a keepsake, when I travel far enough from my beer fridge to make me a tourist, is books and records. Books and records last. Even the best tourist crap ends up in the dump eventually. Books and records help me to remember my forgotten life.
Sonja and I were recently on one of the hippy islands that separate Dope City from the fucking Japanese to our west. While I was there I bought two old records and a book. Did not spend money on anything else but food and beer. Fear not though, producers of tourist crap, Sonja came home with a box of shit with your island's name on it.
The first record I tucked under my arm in a second hand shop was Mountain's "Twin Peaks." Twin Peaks has always been one of my favourite live records. Leslie West is one sick motherfucker. Years ago the record disappeared from my collection, stolen, no doubt, by one of Leslie West's sick motherfucking fans. Now I have it back.
Other record is "Blows Against the Empire" by Paul Kantner's shortlived Jefferson Starship in 1970. I was not even a teenager yet when this one came out. What I liked about Kantner (the Jefferson Airplane were my favourite American hippy band) was that he liked making music that was meant to be listened to on acid. I have some advice for you: do not take acid and listen to this record. Drink half a case of beer tonight, like I am going to, and go to bed.
The book was Ralph Steadman's "The Joke's Over." Reading Hunter and about Hunter used to always make me happy. Now Hunter has been gone awhile, reading about him makes me feel sad. I hope I will start feeling happy about Hunter again one day soon.
The island was dope. All sexy curves, salty taste, evergreen, quiet, noisy and abundant. I emptied a few pint pots of Race Rocks ale while I was there. Canadians can sure make good fucking beer.
I should point out that today's Message To the World contains three of the secrets to my good, long life. First and most important secret - Never drink more than a six-pack on Monday night. You have to give your body time to recuperate at least once a week. Reading books and listening to records are the other two.