Peregrine flight

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Morning Mad Mumbles

I got a nice note from New Yawk Blast reader and cultural artifact maven Len this morning. He really likes the Blast right now. Thank you, Len.

Len has been rotating the window display at East Village Books on St. Marks with items from his collection for the past several months. He enclosed this photo. He is honoring the recently deceased Tuli Kupferberg, a member of the famous Fugs and I believe the Motherfuckers, a long forgotten New York political sect.

St. Marks was the epicenter for my radical growth as an impressionable young man in New York City.

In fact, living at 24th and Third, I stayed on the east side about 90% of the time, until I started school at Walden, on 88th and Central Park West. Lived across from Midnight Munchies, Panacea and Once Upon a Stove, if that means anything to you.

St. Marks and the East Village was always a little darker and seedier than the trendier and gayer West and Greenwich. I loved it.

As a kid I remember buying comics on St. Marks and reading radical treatises from deranged revolutionaries, cruising for old bomber jackets at Grizzly's Furs, the patch and head shops Naked Grape, Different Drummer, bopping down to Washington Square and catching some philosopher on a soapbox shouting it out over a hipster playing his saxophone. Beautiful times, pre crack.

I remember waiting outside the Fillmore for my older sister Liz to float out of an jefferson airplane concert. My stepfather must have busted her copy of White Rabbit ten times. She would just go buy another one. Tore down her yabyum poster too.

People that get all apoplectic about the sixties now probably forgot how much fun it was. It was a gas for me, even on the tail end.


I was in the grocery yesterday and I met an older couple I know, he pushing 80 maybe and somehow the conversation got around to that youthful scourge, marijuana. He admitted to having an occasional toke. I started to do the subtraction: 2010 - 50 years, make him about 30 back thenbingo!

Marijuana users are a great hidden constituent base of this country and probably a largely untapped political force. But like deadheads, they come in all shapes and colors. Why even Ann Coulter loves the dead. Do you think she still tokes? If she went to all those shows without ever once partaking of the sacrament, she certainly missed a lot. The youthful offenders get put in political office and then suddenly develop pot amnesia.

What do potheads have in common besides smoking pot? Probably nothing much. In the sixtes, seventies, you smoked pot and bought the rest of the attendant package, peace, social justice, civil rights, a clean environment, sexual liberation, eastern religion. Now all that stuff is as passé as a nehru collar. Now we get to talk about our prozac, Roth IRA's and running injuries.

Besides, so many stoners' body chemistry changed. They couldn't smoke anymore, they started to get paranoid. They had kids, they moved to a cul de sac, so that the neighbors could raise their kids for them. They found jesus, they joined a bowling league. They forsook the Democratic Party, those people just want to tax us to death. Woke up one day and became mom and dad.

While the majority of elderly in the country are probably medicinally toking to help with their glaucoma, lupus, MS, appetite, etcetera it was refreshing to meet an older guy who just still liked to get stoned. Imagine.

In the blast's perfect world, potheads would gather together like wine, food and book clubbers, sharing that magnificent Santa Marta gold doobie, that was nursed from some forgotten seed found in an old Grand Funk record album. I could become the Ruth Reichl of the movement - grassy, with hints of french oak and currants.


Does anybody remember Zotz? I was living in Texas, maybe '67 or '68. Texas was really early to catch on to the psychedelic thing. To make a zot, you would wrap a coat hanger in dry cleaning plastic, really tightly. It would hang from a ceiling and you would carefully place a pie tin underneath. Put the appropriate Moby Grope album on the hifi, turn on the strobe light, off with the room light, light the bottom of the thing and presto! The dripping plastic stroboscopically hitting the pan was a sensory e ticket. Made an unworldly Zotz sound. Kids today, they don't know how to have fun. Frigging game boys.


Enjoy your labor day!


Anonymous said...

I got the same effect in the late 50's by igniting a piece of my busted Hula-Hoop (by Wham-O!). It dripped molten fiery plastic lava and made that same zotz sound. Was like napalm if it hit your skin, tho...I have a scar on one eyelid from the hellish stuff. Lucky I didn't burn my eye out.


Blue Heron said...

Seriously, Ed?

Anonymous said...

knew I'd seen you someplace before ! Come on back & visit your old hood sometime : )
Absolutely welcome to post photo & looking forward to the next amazing encounter with
Blue Heron Blast ! Well, we've had enough excitement for one day : ) Best to you all, Len

grumpy said...

Ann Coulter a deadhead? this i find hard to believe...

Blue Heron said...

Read it and weep, sucka!


Anonymous said...

Not everbody who stopped partaking ended up in the GOP party. My thoughts are still left of liberal.
Maybe some of us oldtimers quit smoking because we got tired of being stoned.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for getting Tuli on the site. I used to hang out with the fugs Ed Sanders Tuli Weber Weaver and stayed at their Mongolian Cluster Fuck sin pad when I was in NYC instead of my McCarthy loving Irish uncles. The Fugs stayed at my place in Bloomington when the would visit the Sex Institute. Weaver the mad Texan drummer stopped up my kitchen drain with peanut butter and Kathy and I had to wash the dishes in the bath tubs until I could afford a plumber.

Denis Kelly