I had a brilliant idea this afternoon! It had to do with our geopolitical situation. It occurred to me, as these things most often do, in circumstances that I probably ought to replicate more often as a public service given the lightening flashes of brilliance so often generated by those very circumstances.
It came as I set out in the pickup going across town to pick up my mail from my mail service at the Fabrica Aurora gallery complex, doing the Dance of Death in the narrow streets and alleys of San Miguel de Allende with the buses, the taxis, the propane trucks, the water trucks, the señoritas on their four-wheelers, the other pickup drivers with eight Mexicans loaded in the back grinning at me, the family motorcycles with mamas and babies on the back clinging to papas driving with another child astraddle in front, the big black Chryslers with distrito federal plates and blacked out windows—strangers who do not honor the rules of the street here and drive as if they were still in Mexico City.
I pushed the eponymous Led Zep album, their first, into the disk player, the volume set on “sternum vibrate.” Is my favorite How Many More Times? Naw, it has to be Babe I'm Gonna Leave You. Has to be. That blow-your-hair-back bridge with John Bonham's explosive drums, may God rest his soul. Then his high hat so subtle back there during the quiet parts, so perfect.
Perhaps I have not mentioned this tidbit before. Led Zeppelin's first North American tour took place only because the Jeff Beck Group canceled their tour. Led Zep was a substitute! With no album out yet! Can you believe that? And here is another little interesting thing. Initially, in that tour Led Zep was only opening for other groups—Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, Country Joe & The Fish. However, early on and by the time Led Zep got to San Francisco, the other bands just stopped showing up. Led Zep was blowing everybody away.
If you will check the tour dates of that first North American tour of late 1968 and early 1969, nestled there among dates at other venues—in Vancouver, Denver, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, West Hollywood, San Diego, Detroit, Boston, New York, Chicago, North Miami Beach and a host of others—you will see an appearance for one night and one night only in Iowa at the old Fieldhouse in the city known locally then as the Peoples Republic of Iowa City. Fifteen January 1969. A young Iowan, a student 21 years of age, a young man of good posture and clear promise though with a remnant innocence, attended that concert in his big swingin' bells.
But I digress . . .
As always I had the windows of the truck open. Air conditioning would be a sacrilege, an abomination. A little Led Zep will do the pedestrians no harm once in a while, even walking by right next to my side windows as they must. I listen to their booming Spanish hip hop when I am walking around.
Today it seemed as if man and machine were one, the Canyon so responsive dressed out as it was in its brand new Uniroyals®. Mid-sized pickup my ass! When we have it working, we are the equal of all except buses and concrete trucks.
Tan in decent shape with a white, Mexican shirt featuring intricate embroidery. The gold Seiko® Mickey Mouse watch flashing. And goodness gracious! The hair! The hair, down and waving in the breeze, was as good as this hair is ever gonna be again. Ever. Add the Ray-Bans®, the only sunglasses, my friends--that is not a product endorsement but rather a simple, unvarnished truth--and you have the picture.
In short it was the full tilt boogie manic phase today bathed as the day was in mountain sunlight. The beauty of it is that since I have been here, I have never, ever had to pay the price for one of these manic phases of high elation in the form of even one teeny, tiny depressive phase. It is like these manic phases are completely free, God's own gift.
And yes, Christ on the Cross was doing his little dance, too, keeping a vigilant eye nonetheless, there on the end of the black and silver rosary that matches the truck and hangs from the mirror, as we bounced together along those cobblestone streets and alleys cruising the town. I held up traffic every time a Mexican lady on the sidewalk indicated in the slightest way that she wanted to sashay across the street in front of the truck and me. Nodded and smiled, caballero that I am.
There came a point when I no longer gave a fuck where I was going, let alone whether I would ever get there. Mail. Shit.
The whole package was one custom tailored for brilliant thoughts at the outset before one settles in too far. One might ask then why I do not do this more often and perhaps solve one of humanities many intractable problems. Only because the voltage maxes out my wiring on these occasions, wiring that is admittedly nearing the end of its useful life. The deal at this point is, use it but don't abuse it. All of humanities intractable problems, therefore, will have to go a begging solutions today in so far as I was concerned this afternoon.
If that paragraph made no sense whatsoever to you, please do not feel alone. I myself am still pondering it.
To tell you the truth the brilliant idea that occurred to me today has now escaped my mind. But what is one brilliant thought that dissolved amid pure animal living right smack dab there in the center of the moment? Which, it seems now, was the real subject of this blog entry today anyway.
|Led Zeppelin - Babe I`m Gonna Leave You .mp3|
Found at bee mp3 search engine