I woke up. I made coffee. I made breakfast for my sons. I picked up my phone.
I put it down.
I went to my room and pulled the Fender off of the wall. I carefully removed the pictures that my sons had slid between the strings. (They think that guitar strings make a perfect place to display their art. I encourage this...) I tuned it up, and played.
My arms. My hands. My heart. They just weren't in it. I trailed a water glass that was on my night stand up and down the neck. The Resonator whined.
When I had picked up my phone earlier, the first message I read was a link from a buddy. At the end of that link was an article telling me that BB King was dead.
I bought this guitar on an impulse from a pawn shop in Vegas. That impulse was fueled in equal parts by whiskey, depression, and a flash of recognition. When I saw it hanging there...
black and chrome and steel.
BB King's Lucille flashed in front of me. It doesn't make sense. They are completely different guitars. They sound different. They play different. They look different. But in that moment, I saw Lucille, and I wanted her.
Does it matter that Buddy faded away? I suppose it does to those who loved him. It does to those who were there while his flame flickered... They had to feel it. They had to sit there. In their loss. And feel it.
But when you watch this video. When you feel how hot he was burning in that moment... Does the way he faded away diminish it? Does the flickering of his life, and the way it reminds us of our own flames...
Does that change the fact that Buddy Rich burned as brightly he did?
No. The dude was a blow torch.
What matters is this moment. What matters is that he lived. What matters is that he burned.
So, the Cherubs have a new album out... It kicks ass. It's like Buzz Osborne and Kim Gordon had a bastard love child. The child, named Be Sharp, was raised on a diet consisting entirely of prunes and leftover Thanksgiving turkey. The prunes were cooked via low voltage electricity. The current was generated by wrapping 38 D-cell batteries in aluminum foil and gently rubbing them through the fur of newborn Siamese-twin Persian kittens. The kittens, joined at the genitals, were abandoned by their mother, but lovingly raised by a pygmy goat named Alice. Alice suffered from halitosis. Her owner, seeking to cure Alice's skunky breath, invented an animal mouthwash made of acidic oils distilled from orange peels. The orange peel mouthwash killed Alice, but ended up being repurposed as an environmentally friendly solvent, and made Alice's owner an overnight millionaire. Years later, Be Sharp (Buzz Osborne and Kim Gordon's bastard love child... Remember him?), who had grown up and became a world famous thief, stole all of the money. He spent it on cocaine, several tons of glitter and 67 disco balls. He packed the cocaine and glitter into the disco balls, along with fistfuls of firecrackers. He hung them from the ceiling of the Fillmore right before a Cherubs concert. He blew them up during the second encore. The disco balls, not the Cherubs. The audience went ape shit. It was fucking awesome. Just like this album. Go buy it. Go buy it right now.
I started a new project. It has consumed me... Eaten me whole. It has taken on a life of its own, and now I have this living thing in my grasp, and I am trying like hell to not squeeze too tightly. It twists and turns and dives of its own volition. It's a helluva ride. I have been going back to Bukowski quite a bit for inspiration. This poem in particular has been resonating:
I was sitting on the couch, laptop on lap, struggling with a graphic I have neither the skill nor the software to create. I had a random playlist cranked through the TV, and a Sex Pistols song came on. The screen saver is set to show album covers. I looked up, and this is what I saw...
I loved those album covers and posters. Seven million years ago, when I was in high school, we had to have a separate spiral notebook for each class. A thick one. One of those hefty, inch, inch and a half thick, bad boys. At the start of the school year I would decorate the front of each notebook in what I called, "Sex Pistol Style". I'd go through my mom's magazines and cut out letters that spelled out the name of each class and glue them to the notebook covers. Then I would raid the art department at school and splatter paint across the top of them.
I wish I had kept those things. By the end of the year, when all of the paper had been torn out, and all that was left were the ratty covers... They were amazing.
I threw them away in a moment of Joy Division inspired teen angst.
I regret it to this day.
Copyright Burn Flicker Die 2021
Don't steal my shit.
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