Flaskaland
Friday, December 31, 2010
 

When I was there living near Venice, I'd take the bus up to UCLA sometimes and hang around the Ethnomusicology department and chat up Bess Hawes. John Fahey was studying there at the time as was a guy later to be called "Owl", though I never saw either one of them there.

Nearer where I lived was McCabe's (this is their old location now) and my friend Kenny Edwards had a job there repairing mandolins and stringing guitars and selling instruments. He eventually met up with some of the UCLA people as they'd be drawn to McCabe's like bees to honey ... and he joined up with the early Canned Heat. They were really solid and GOOD! Kenny played me some tapes (I'm pretty sure at his house where he was living in Mar Vista), but he told me they were from a band called "Truck". Also at the Ethnomusicology department was a fellow named Stuart Brotman, and I got to know Stuart a bit. One time we went to the beach and he played flute the whole time. One time I went to the UCLA campus and ran into Stuart who was on his way to his friend's lab, they were engineering or rocket scientists, and we drank some of the alcohol they distilled in the lab from pure lab alcohol, it was 180 proof. I have no idea how I got home, but I recall staring out the window of some kind of vehicle but the stop lights were all blurry and I had a case of the whirlies.

They might have already known him, but I mentioned Stuart to some musicians I ran into at a Lightning Hopkins concert and Stuart later got involved with the Kaleidoscope as he had some ethnic time signatures down majorly pat.

Within a short time, within the blink of an eye it seemed as life moved so fast for some, Kenny had dropped Canned Heat (or Truck) and had tied in with Bobby Kimmel and a friend of Bobby's named Linda Ronstadt.

The last time I saw Kenny there, he and I went to Cantor's and he pointed out Frank Zappa to me, and Frank was wearing a brown satin Tibetan Lama's outfit complete with a little peaked hat ... I recognized him by his nose. And Kenny said, "Frank Zappa" because he knew I knew Frank. I was surprised, as I had no clue that Frank was anywhere in the vicinity.

Or maybe the last time I saw Kenny there was when we drove up to some coffee house in Hollywood (Fred C Dobbs on Sunset Strip, I think it was on Sunset) and were stopped by the police on the way back. The police pulled a "funny one" on the driver. They made him get out of the car and he was talking to them at the rear of the car, then one of them came to me and asked to see the registration which I pulled out of the vehicle glove box and handed to him. Then the other cop talking to the driver asked him to produce the registration, and he came to the car and opened the door and looked in the glove box and pulled out the little book he usually kept the papers in, and I was trying to tell him the other cop had it, but he was walking back to the other cop with the little book in his hand confident he could show the registration. So he couldn't produce the registration to the cop who was asking for it and he was given a ticket. And as the cop was writing out the ticket, which I couldn't see as they were behind the car, the other cop came and handed me the registration through the window, and I put it back into the glove box ... so with that traffic citation, it was an expensive outing. He even hit the steering wheel with both fists when I told him what had happened on the way home.

They still liked pushing beatniks around. Seemed fitting. Fred C Dobbs got pushed around in the movie and by people who didn't need no stinking badges.

The guy I'd talked to Stuart Brotman about got stopped by the police, too, one night and he had to explain why he had a beer bottle neck in his guitar case. He played slide guitar and they assumed he was concealing a deadly weapon in his Volkswagen bug.

I thought it strange but telling that people in LA would name their coffee house after a character in a movie. A number of years later, 1967 or so, Kenny brought the tapes up to the Bay Area and I heard them again on KMPX broadcast. They were still good.
 




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