Stories, all true.

Here you will find stories of questionable truth regarding music, life in music, and life in general. If you would like to contribute, or counter a particular story with a contrary sequence of events please do so! go to my contact page.

None of these stories are true in any journalistic, verifiable fashion.

 

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High-Center Festival-

or, "The universe will guide us!"

     I used to play bass and sing for mamaSutra; we started in Denver and moved to Los Angeles and  had lots of adventures. When Arlan Schierbaum joined the band on keys and analog weirdness, we started stacking up the adventures wholesale. Arlan bought a 44 foot bus with a lift to carry all of his Hammonds and Rhodes and Jupiters and moogs. He put bunkbeds and a beanbag and one of those hand-shaped chairs in it for seating. That's how we'd roll: no license, no paperwork, no maps- letting "the universe guide us," as Arlan would say while showing yet another happy camper how to drive a 44' bus along a desert highway. Often, we would all pile in with all the equipment and friends and those hangers-on whom forgot that yes, it had a bathroom but no, no one knew how to empty  it, and we would head out on the open road to play one of those pie-in-the-sky gigs, a festival.

      Festivals are dream-gigs for jambands, with audiences already there, camping out to be a part of the whole movement; eager to find new favorite bands and share whatever experience has been planned by the festival planners. It's totally awesome. It's an instant party full of these close-knit people ready to accept your music and your crew and whatever  wacky point of view you could wish to entertain. (-By the way, this is the last festival I have ever gone to, and I'll tell you why-because I lost my keys at that festival and was forced to spend the night listening to every wacky point of view anyone wished to entertain until a tow truck service could come at 9:00 the next morning to make me another car key.)

       In any case, I decided to drive myself to this festival outside San Diego- I think The Sidewalk's End. I remember being proud of myself for deciding to meet the bus at the festival, since the universe did seem to guide the bus but typically in three-day orbits, usually absorbed in an attractive bus-guest's life details and involving moving a couch.

I was the first band-mate to get to this festival and was gloating over my parking spot to the other early-birds.

      "This never happens," I was telling the other folks setting up their vending tents. "I'm usually the last one to arrive and really scrambling. But this time, I'm so early, I'm all set up, got a prime spot- this is beautlful, man."

       I expected them to congratulate me but they all mumbled what, in hindsight, was really ominous stuff like, "Yeah, my whole crew is late. I can't reach anybody and they haven't even brought the trailers or the beverage cart or the sound system, " or, "Yeah, where the heck is everybody? I had hundreds of friends coming to this!" or, " I can't believe they've left me to set up the whole disco tent!"

         Then it began to get dark and it started to get kind of weird- like no one could even get a phone signal to call and complain to anyone else about the apparent mass-ditching of a rather big festival. Finally, someone powered up a two-seater lawn-mower contraption and decided to drive back down the road in search of a signal and the beer vendor.

         After about 30 minutes, the contraption came roaring back over the hill, with the guys shouting, "The whole festival is stuck behind this 40 foot bus that's high centered on the road back there. Been stuck there for hours!"

        Finally, the farmer from down the road had come up to complain about the backed-up traffic blockin' his driveway and found, "This nut drivin' a damn city bus up this mountain road-claiming that the universe was guiding him in to a god-d***n festival!"

         I guess that, in this instance, the universe was a cranky old farmer with a back-hoe with enough horse-power to get this "forty-foot hunk a hippie-junk out of the god-dang way! Some people gotta live around here, ya know!"  

        The rest of the festival was totally fantastic...right up until the point that I realized I had lost my keys there.

 

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