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  • hardie karges 5:59 pm on March 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Grateful Dead, hippie, psychedelic, rock-and-roll   

    Muchas Garcias for the Grateful Dead… 

    me@venice…who were possibly the most phenomenal rock-and-roll band ever, whether or not the most successful.  Bathed in the fire of the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests in 1966 and the ‘summer of love’ in 1967, they gave new meaning to the term ‘cult following’.  They not only defined the psychedelic era in the US, but single-handedly passed it on to another generation.  I saw them for the first time in 1972 at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis during their initial wave of mass popularity following the Haight-Ashbury formative era, and following on the heels of the top-notch ‘Workingman’s Dead’ and ‘American Beauty’ albums.  They were always best live, though, and I saw them again in 1983 in a nostalgia show for their ‘Deadicated’ hardcore following at Kesey’s Oregon Country fairgrounds.  Throughout all those years they played a New Year’s show every year in the Bay Area for the faithful.  But the real mania didn’t start until about 1990 when ‘all that hippie stuff’ was supposedly long over, and the ‘hair bands’ were dying as Nirvana was climbing the charts with their toe-tapping grunge and despair.  The Dead ruled the concert arenas, however, playing to full stadiums.  People would follow them all over the country ‘on tour’ with the band, just like the old days, building instant cities on site in each city.  These were little hippie ‘Indian villages’ complete with Main Street and local politics.

    That’s where I came in, peddling import ethnic fashion accessories for hippies, and it was good, if a bit chaotic, for a while at least, typically selling $500-1000 worth of goods a day with little more than the hood of my car for a table.  Well, you can bet some people saw the $ there, caravanning around the country with a fleet of vans and goods and advance men, even drop-shipping pallet-loads of nitrous oxide containers for pick-up at the show-site cities on the respective dates.  That was for those imbibers who favor a quick rush, frequently falling out on the spot for a fifteen second eternity.  I always declined those ‘whip-its’, both for sale and ingestion.  As a businessman, I was more of a hit-and-run artist, flying in with a few large boxes of merchandise, renting a car, and jockeying for parking space on the ever-volatile Miracle Mile.  The hype got too big, of course, and I stuck it out long enough to see it decline because of its own excess.  The music lived on, though, and still does.  I doubt seriously that anyone out-performed the Dead in concert sales from 1990 until 1995, when bandleader Jerry Garcia died.  All good things must come to an end sometime.

     
  • hardie karges 7:23 pm on February 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Cuba’s Ironic Curtain, through Uncertain Countryside… 

    Old Cathedral in Trinidad

    Old Cathedral in Trinidad, Cuba

    Continued from previous…spent four days getting my internal bearings greased and realigned, so now my Cuba trip is one-third over… good to finally get out into the Cuban countryside… too little of that, and too much city…

    …nothing spectacular about the Cuban countryside, but still it’s nice, rolling fields with agricultural plantations and the occasional wilderness.  We pass through Cienfuegos, a small city on the western coast, where half the passengers, mostly backpacker types, disembark…

    …finally pull into Trinidad an hour and a half later… I gulp audibly.  Uh-oh, I’ve been here before… rot sets in first where the fruit is ripest… it’s too small, a tourist enclave and little else… lady on the sidewalk holds up a sign reading “ROOMS $15”, looking for all the world like a cute little webcam ‘performer’ with a sign across her bare midriff reading something like “$.99 min.”  (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:17 pm on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bluegrass, , Mamou Playboys, , Pickamania, Sarah Jarosz, , Steve Riley   

    #SilverCity #NewMexico #USA: Hippie Fix, aaahhhh…. 

    Bluegrass, Silver City style

    Bluegrass, Silver City style

    If you were a member of the 60’s-70’s counter-culture, then it never really leaves you: that camaraderie, that look in the eye, that length of the hair, that… that… hipness that defined you as a card-carrying member of a special group, raised in revolution and defined by contrariness, contrary to the mores of ‘society’, contrary to the dictates of government, and—especially—contrary to the will of Mom and Dad. Hey, you gotta’ have priorities.

    Sure, there was a certain amount of self-satisfied know-it-all smugness to the term (i.e. I’m hip; you’re not); and the politics were never as notable as the parties; and more than a little bit of the economy was based on clandestine agriculture or Mom-and-Pop trustafarianism, but still… Being a hippie was good, and fun, and had meaning, in stark contrast to the increasing materialism of modern Western societies and the increasing militarism of the US, in particular. (More …)

     
    • Esther Fabbricante 9:38 pm on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love it. I have a niece by marriage living in Albuquerque.
      I have never been there.
      You are the greatest.

      • hardie karges 9:47 pm on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve been in Albuquerque the last two days, escaped to Santa Fe to dodge the storms. Thanx, Esther, stay tuned…

    • Esther Fabbricante 10:32 pm on September 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t begin to blog, as you suggested. No one would want to read my trivial stuff. I want all my children to read your fantastic writing and unlimited vocabulary.

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