Rock Accountant

Month: January, 2019


I bought my first cane. Old age brings with it a lessening of pride, at least it has for me. It has made me nearly invulnerable.
I have become an opportunity for those around me to be kind. It’s my new hobby. I can feel their sympathy like breezes.
The world would be a better place if we all had canes. Pain is easier to see with props.

Stealing your kid’s food

I feel safer around people who believe in a God, and any deity is OK with me as long as It is unreasonably stern. Elastic deities are too convenient for me. I like the lightning bolts, frogs, and salted inlaws types. They keep the real lousy next-door-neighbor in check.

Morality does not spontaneously spring from inside us as they teach it in colleges. Humans can’t be trusted to do the right thing without divine policing — a sad but unarguable truth.
Any goodwill our species accomplishes has been under development since the first apes whistled.
People never recognize how many Gods, over thousands of years, it has taken to prevent modern-day fathers from stealing food from their children. Thieving your kid’s Fruit Loops is, of course, no “Rape of the Sabines,” but without divine discipline, peaking on the horizon, the practice would be rampant.


Why are all barbers Italian?

You will notice that this sign, posted in my childhood barbershop, is the official one and that this barber specialized in cutting hair “correctly”, and “The way you like it”.
Hidden inside these haircut names are the formulas for what made American men the “best”. These were cuts for invading other nations, stripping the poor away from their self-respect, and, it goes without saying, only for white men. This barber knew there wasn’t room inside a football helmet for long hairs, cut out messages for your mother or Afros. No one knew why all the barbers back then were Italian but we had suspicions.


Dopey Shits

We can’t hold two big silly ideas in our heads at the same time. Those of us who believe in God rarely sweat the coming apocalypse of global warming. On the other paw, people who wake up every morning and tune into the Weather channel like it is the third book of Revelations are never concerned with debts to any deity.
That said, those dopey shits who predicted massive snow in Westchester should be crucified.


The Grateful Dead Authentication

Art will never thrive until we understand what it is not. The comparable beauty of a girl or boy someone loves is a hard-fast secret that we all honor out of a deep-seated kindness to one another. Nobody ever says,” that person you love is not as pretty as you think.”
How do we manage this, given all the other shit we smear on each other day to day? Is it because falling in love is art with no real right or wrong?

At least five of the most meaningful people in my life are “Deadheads, including my wife.” Do I think they are musical idiots? Sure. However, they are in love, so I let it go.

When push comes to shove we are a beautiful species, killing each other notwithstanding. Somehow we get that love is an authentication of a joy we need to respect. That said, The Who are a much better band.


Bill Graham, The Who, and The Grateful Dead

I saw this picture of Bill Graham posted by Lisa Seckler- Rhode this morning, and it grabbed a memory from that section of my mind that is usually only aroused by drugs.
We were doing a deal with him for The Who to play San Francisco sometime in the late 1970s. He was bawling that we were not paying him enough, a not unfamiliar theme.
It can be exposed now that concert promoters never got what they said they did on deals with the Who. Usually, we took most of the money in exchange for our permission to lie about it for face-saving.
Predictably Graham’s negotiating tactics relied chiefly on whining and screaming.
When doing deals with him in the old day’s Bill Curbishley, the Who’s manager would be on his suite’s phone, and I would be in the bathroom on an extension. No cell phones.
In Graham’s standard, and there are pictures, we put the phone on a coffee table between us and could still hear him screeching.
He was a formidable adversary. He controlled San Francisco. Few promoters had the courage to stand up to certain bands — the Who had become too big to lose.
That said, when I started with Genesis, he did me endless favors, which he did not have to do. He was infinitely and deeply kind.
The other variable was that the band (The Who) loved him, so we never really fucked him. No doubt, he did them many favors too early on.
The conversations about these shows actually went on and off for years, Always breaking down somewhere.
We had settled on the Cow Palace in San Francisco for two shows.
The contract between us was one of a kind. It was one sheet of paper because we could not agree on anything.
The shows represented at least 250,000 tickets( most likely far more, I can’t recall), to be sold at an agreed ticket price.
Our biggest apprehension was that The Grateful Dead wouldn’t leave the stage when the Who were set to begin. They sometimes just played and played, on and on.
The contract read, ( and I still have it somewhere), The Grateful Dead can commence their show anytime after dawn and must leave the stage at sunset.
The Who will guarantee The Dead X. 50% payable on return of contract. That was it.
These were fabulous shows— in the sun in a beautiful football stadium. Everybody had a backstage area, The Who, The Dead, the press, self-important assholes, various Indian tribes, and bicycle gangs. Nothing could have been more fun.
They indeed started very early and played all-day. Everybody was nice to each other.
They were a fabulous band. I seldom knew an individual song unless it was about trucks, cocaine, or Uncle John’s band.
In the greatest trick ever pulled by a rock promoter, without telling us, Graham raised the face ticket price ( which he printed) one dollar, hoping to keep the money.
When confronted, he replied nearly in tears,” But you were stealing from me” — again at the top of his lungs.
One of a kind. We took the money.


To Boldly Go

I wonder if falling Autumn leaves are ground probes sent by trees to hunt for alien life.

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Little Girls Hold Lots Of Love

Little girls hold lots of love.
They brim with it so early
It spills out to cover everyone
But mostly dolls and daddy
They wait for boys to notice them
But boys can be such babies
Boys show off and push and shove
That says they will be coming.
Crushes are fun and kill the time
with the handsome men in movies.
Then engagement rings slip on and off
As proposals, there are so many.
She will be there waiting still
Until her little boy is ready.

We are finally free

Enlightenment is an individual pursuit. As such this accounts for how few of us achieve anything like it. It isn’t fun.
Wisdom is simple and used to be hard-earned before social platforms made it pithy and easily communicated from person to person. Now we are all wise.
We are in a time when our definitions depend not on what we are but what we suspect others to be. This is an understandable human relief. We are finally free.


The Who get robbed

“Can I have a word?” Pete Townshend says to me by hotel phone around midday.
We were having a laugh working out a new poster for an upcoming Canadian leg of a Who tour when his call came.
Canada is big and mostly settled by moose. So far we had a drawing of a frog with a big piece of Canadian​ bacon in it’s​ mouth hopping from city to city and landing on the towns we had scheduled to play. The so green amphibian was outfitted in a Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform with a proper little hat. He appeared to be pursuing​ a masked beaver. The bacon was my touch because I grew up eating it.
Townshend on tour was not a daylight creature. There are fables of morning sightings of him where observers were never heard from again.
The phone call dampened me. I headed down to Pete’s suite.
He did not look well. He had his tea.
”Did you give me money last night?” he said without looking up. I got the feeling that if I lied to him, he would be pleased. ” Yes,” I said.
He looked up when I told him, “Fuck,” was all he said.
“How much? ” he asked. “Fuck, fuck” he groaned.
“Want me to put Jim on it?” I said.
“No, it’s gone, thanks,” he said.
And I left.

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