When you’re a kid the record collection of older siblings are gateways to other worlds and or me – Spirit featuring Ed Cassidy and Randy California was a special prize. I don’t know why my older brother had it but the weird album artwork got into my head and I often wondered who they were and why I didn’t hear about them through the usual channels.
Let me take you, baby, down to the river bed Got to tell you somethin’, go right to your head, I got a line, I got a line on you, babe Gotta put your arms around me with every bit of your love If you know what to do I’ll make love to you We got the right line to make it through these times I got a line, I got a line on you, babe Now listen, our winter’s almost over This summer, she’s comin’ on strong I can love you, love you, love you Love you all year long I, I got a line, I got a line on you, babe
The more I read about them the more there’s too much that’s amazing. First of all Randy California played with Jimi Hendrix in a band with another guy named Randy so Hendrix called one Randy Texas and the other Randy California. Love that.
In the obit it said his bandmates broke down his apartment door after he wasn’t seen for more than a week.
I saw him play in those early just-moved-to-Toronto days where Grossman’s Tavern made me feel much more like a musician than York University ever did. I haven’t walked into the place since sometime in the 90s but I remember this guy very well for he had a unique style – the same signature that made Jeff Healey a spectacle – played the guitar with his thumb – the fingering hand not the strumming hand.
The 60s were such a mystery to me. I was born then but grew up in the 70s always feeling like I missed something more important 10 years earlier. People who actually were connected to living and making music then held a lot of fascination for me. He was one of them and I could see success didn’t shine its lights on his life yet he had the sort of plastered smile on his face that survivors of airline crashes tend to live with. Everything is beautiful from here on in because I’m still here.
The novelty of his thumb playing was striking but anyone with a good musical sense could tell his actual musicality was right on the money and his tone showed he was a bit of a scientist. Looking through his blog the most amusing thing is every comment on any posting seems to also be by him. I admire a man as delusional about self publishing as I am.
On New Year’s Day 1961, used car dlr. Ernie Barnhart introduced me to Ronnie Hawkins.
I heard “Robbie” Robertson play his Tele and on the leads I thought it sounded “thin”
and I formulated A THE0RY, to wit: all u need4 a gd blues tone is 2 pickups & a metal
playing surface on your bridge. “` ` ““` ` “ ““` ““ “ ` “““` ` ` ““`
“““` “““` “ ““ “““. I mean, look at Freddy & Albert King! Don P. & Declan D. played ’54-56 LP gold-tops when others around them were buying Teles, and their tone was excellent! SO, I drew a CONCLUSION. Soon Mike Bloomfield, E. Clapton, J. Page & J. Beck were also playing LP’s and sounding great. TONE to the BONE, my brothers! Case closed, nya-nya, nya nya-nya. I’d rather hear these gtrs. than attend the Sandy Claws Parade ANY year!
Earlier in 2015 I noticed if I used the Gmail Telephone the light from my camera would briefly come on. I don’t want someone to have access to looking at me in my underwear online unless I asked them to. So I put a piece of tape across the camera and when I need to use it I take it off.
Similarly I noticed when I click on private browsing (because I like the idea that I’m not recorded) I get prompts informing me that even though my history isn’t tracked on my browser my IP still tracks everywhere I go. I don’t want big brother in my life. Ruins the imaginary freedom I grew up believing I had. I still want that fantasy so I bought Hide My Ass and they ruin the IP tracking.