Peregrine flight

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Murphy lives!

The Coming of Arthur - Lord Tennyson
Wave after wave, each mightier than the last,
Till last, 
a ninth one, gathering half the deep
And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged
Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame.

One of the great blessings of my life was my luck in meeting some of what I consider are the best artists and writers around. I was in the right place at the right time. I have had great friendships with Sam Maloof and Allan Adler, got to meet Garcia many times, Sturgeon, Kirby, Crumb, Corbin, Moscoso and Zelazny and many other truly incredible people. Some of these people have tended to be dismissed by the supposed experts in the mainstream but their contributions will in my opinion live forever.

The brightest light for me was Rick Griffin. Rick always did it his way and sometimes didn't show you all his cards. He could be wonderful or leave you seething on occasion. My friend Garry Cohen, who knew him all the way back in the fourth or fifth grade would tell me about the amazing contraptions he would build even as a child. He also told me that Rick was a spiritual medium. In the twelve or so years that I knew him I have to say that I definitely concur. There were a few times that I viewed Rick as a bit of an antediluvian but I also can recall him leaving me in the crib sucking my thumb like a baby when he rose to the occasion like a noble giant during some very psychedelic art project. He had a commitment to art and god and truth and beauty and an unmatched eye for capturing the essence of his work. He had a singular style and technique that can be copied but never equalled.

He left no stone unturned in his quest for knowledge, sometimes treading on the very mystical side. Easter Island, Mayan, Celtic, Hebrew, Christian, Native American, Szukalski, Teutonic, he always found the root and the juice. I got to sit in on various projects with Rick and it was a privilege. He would devote as much energy to the least lucrative, most simple task as to his great commissions and that is why his work will live forever. Consistency and brilliant genius in every stroke of his brush or pen.

I can't believe he's been gone for 18 years now.

Seeker, Seer, Scribe.

Rick would sometimes talk to me about the mythical ninth wave that he believed would change the course of mankind in a powerful way and so I remember him today on 9/09/09.

If you are listening Rick, out there in the great beyond, I extend all of the love and thanks in my heart.


Daisy Deadhead said...

Impressive!!! Is R Crumb nice in person? (I think it would depend on if you were male or female actually...)

What was Sturgeon like?

Blue Heron said...

Crumb was gracious and unassuming, asked me if an old man could have my seat. I got to tag along to Spain's house to put one of the last Zap's together. We brought up some of Rick's Arthur Pendragon artwork. S.Clay, Victor, maybe even Stanley was there. Really fun. Pretty much the whole group and some poster guys. Crumb was his cartoon self, hat included - didn't see any evidence of misogyny...

I met Sturgeon much earlier and he was already aged. I was a little tongue tied just being in his exalted presence. He was gentle and circumspect. Very pleasant. Zelazny was a prince.