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 Post subject: Pissed as Farts
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:03 am
  

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Sometimes you wake up with the sun hitting you in the eyes, you know, you turn and you cover your face but the heat and the light scream and beckon to a new day. This happened to me recently in London, and I was surprised ‘cause there ain’t supposed to be sun in London in November. I came to, I was feeling pretty good actually as I had managed to stay up late the night before, relatively speaking, and I have always found that the best after flying east through the night. When you arrive, stay up as long as you can and try to normalize the time. I had forced JB (my traveling companion) onto the streets after the plane had landed and we wandered down to Holloway street looking for adventure and a pint or two. God knows how long we had been up when we went into the Hercules Pub on Holloway at noon and asked for pints and sandwiches and tried to figure what to do. We had another pint and stumbled onto Holloway and headed for the center of London. We tubed to Picadilly Circus and walked to Trafalgar square and Lord Nelson and the Parliament and the Abbey of dead kings and stuff. Hit a tube just after dark back to Tufnell Park and talked of times past and present over pints near a barmaid from Galway before stumbling in the night to Charlies Budget Hotel at the corner of Dalmeny and Anson. That is where I found myself when the sun came up and I was scrambling out of bed to catch one of the famous English traditional breakfast before the kitchen closed.

I stumbled down the stairs in need of coffee to bring back my soul and I hit the breakfast room in the nick of time. It was your typical cheap hotel owned by an old man from Cypress, run by his son, and administered with women from Lithuania. Well I was sitting trying to look like I was together when this Lithuanian woman said something to me that I couldn’t quite comprehend. I don’t know, maybe it was the traveling, maybe it was the pints maybe it is just my Okie nature but all I could say was HUH? JB had already been there and he said ya he wants breakfast and I choked out coffee please. I noticed this orange type drink substance sitting on the table and I held out a glass to JB and he filled it up. It had been years since I had drank Tang and why hell, I didn’t even know the stuff still existed on the planet. JB was like “no I can’t” and I was like “ but I need to rehydrate, give some”. I drank a whole pitcher of Tang that morning for the first time in probably 40 years! Then she brought me the English breakfast of stale toast, two lookin at ya hard (they weren’t runny but they had fed them chickens marigolds by the color of those yolks) and about a half of pound of English bacon. I am a telling ya if you weren’t hung over before ya started eatin’ that then you was hung over when you was done. But the Lithuanian girls was cute (beautiful eyes, light clear blue eyes) and the coffee, well it was instant. I put me some HP brown sauce on my eggs and wolfed it down and I must admit it pulled together because before you knew it JB and I were heading out the door and down the road in search of Abbey Road.

We ended up at Tufnell station and found the tube closed for the weekend but we found some real coffee at a shop there and headed out for Holloway station, eventually finding the tube and sorting our way to Baker Street station. It was a beautiful sunny morning and a great day for a walk along Regents Park toward Abbey Road. It seemed a nice part of town as we walked along the park and I consumed my mind with thoughts of relative insignificance. My only concern was contacting Pete which I hadn’t been able to do yet. I remember I was impressed when we ran smack into the London Central Mosque, here I thought it to be one of Her Majesties properties when I saw a crescent moon weather vane on the top of the building (pretty impressive). We stumbled on following our map toward the road there when this Indian fellow come running up asking where the Lord’s Cricket Field was? His woman seemed impatient but he seemed to be on a mission from God to find the Lord’s Cricket field. I was like shrugging my shoulders saying “I’m American, we don’t know Cricket” and his woman was like at the last straw and hauling him off. You could see the hurt in his eyes as this was like a Mecca to him this Cricket Field , so I yelled “hey wait we gotta map and there we were on the corner looking the map and trying to sort out where the field was for the poor chap. JB got his map bearings first and looked up and pointed across the street from where we were standing all along and there was a carving of a Batsman in the wall. It was a huge Cricket stadium right there before our eyes. I never saw such a look of relief as came across that Indian fellows eyes and his woman acquiesced and let him go tour the field. I did read the blurb there at the gate as I have actually watched Cricket on occasion but this place is like the Vatican of the Cricket world apparently dating back to the 16th century.

I was glad because there was one of those English phone booths at the gate (as neither JB’s nor my mobile functioned) and I attempted to call Pete (or at least I thought I was). I don’t know why using the telephone can be such a task in England. I guess it is the difference in the formats of the numbers but when I left that booth I still hadn’t contacted Pete. We stumbled on around the field and continued our walk another 100 yards or so and there we were, Abbey Road, at the little crosswalk and everything. It is really not much to see there as you already know the place from the famous picture. So, of course I am like thinking where is the ugly little yellow bug? Right? The other thing that catches my eye is the traffic, there was no traffic at all when the Beatles crossed. So we go up to the wall there (all you can see of the studio in the famous picture) and it has a fresh coat of paint in honor of the release of a new George Martin reconfigured Beatles anthology. The wall is sort of a tie dyed orange dream color with the four lads doing one of their coordinated jumping routines in silhouette. We walked up and down there looking at the studio and taking a few photo’s but the real interest here was watching the people who came to have a look. Teenagers in various “hip” costumes but mostly in a punkish style from the late seventies to JB and I walking about to the occasional Taxi pulling up for people to pop out, get a photo and pop back in and off they go. Then there was a short queue as people take pictures of people in the crosswalk there (to the dismay of a substantial flow of traffic). I always think of the Fab Four as they were in a Hard Days Night. I remember when that opened and how cool it was being in that crowd and seeing it back in the old Big Screen movie house where you stayed all day Saturday watching movies over and over and playing it cool with your mates down on Southside.

Away, on down Lisson Grove with a vague notion of seeing the Royal Albert Hall, a beautiful monument to the dashing Prince Albert, Father of European Aristocracy of the 20th century. I always associate things in my mind and the Royal Albert Hall is forever linked with the great Bobby Dee and that film maker Pennebaker in 1965. Truly one of the greatest documentaries of the Artist as a young man ever created. Bobby Dee with menagerie in tow goes to London in the midst of a chaotic (what appears to be) almost nightmarish world of the shaman of the day. A mean little shit full of vinegar, seemingly at war with the world and all around him and insecure as insecure can be. His relationship to Ms Baez is trippy. He is obviously annoyed with her, primarily it seems her seeming purity in the carnival world he would prefer to inhabit and is busily creating and so he ignores her entirely throughout the film. It seems she may be responsible for some of his most revolutionary and creative work because it seems when he was most annoyed with her he would isolate himself and type endless streams of words which must have eventually turned into things like Subterranean Homesick Blues or something. The encounter with Donovan is classic, classic psychological nonsense. Then there is the show at the Royal Albert Hall. From the recordings I have heard (the sound is pretty amazing for a live recordings of that time) it has to be on the top ten of the most historical events of a cultural shaman of the 20th century. Split between an incredible acoustic set and a blistering electric set and complete with an incredibly confused and disoriented audience cheering madly and calling out Judas at the same time. I was thinking of these things heading for the RAH when we were side tracked by a street bazaar. I am talking a bizarre street bazaar. Here we are in what would appear to be a posh section of London when we turn and are walking through a bazaar that would fit in Syria or Baghdad. JB and I were the only non Bedo on the street and the women covered from head to toe in black cloth were looking at children’s clothes that looked to imported into these stalls by Walmart. There were rug dealers and strange food stalls and Arab men standing to the side smoking cigarettes as their women went through the stalls. It felt a very odd moment in this world of transition?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:38 am
  

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i see it's beginning to come back to you little by little :)

just real quick...
it's funny your mentioning too, about the beatles "hard days night" as just the other day there was a radio show special on about george harrison (of which i only heard part) but anyhow, it got me thinking of the opening (mob chase) scene which has one of my favorite george harrison moments on film...i went and found it on youtube...the picture quality is pretty bad, but what i do remember is george falling flat, his feet going up in the air behind him (ringo wiping out too as a result) and the amazing recovery, laughing, as they continue running for their lives.
here's the clip if you wanna see it...
http://youtube.com/watch?v=84Gl3i6qAYo

anyway...later!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:14 pm
  

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that was possibly the coolest movie of all time (maybe its perspective and age but I have never seen anything since the Beatles invasion that so completely dominated the youth culture) ... There was another movie in the 60's that I always thought was cool but I can find no reference anywhere.. it had Roger Miller and the Lovin' Spoonful in England.. Anybody else remember that
England swings likes a pendulum do


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:47 pm
  

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i think it was called "The Big T.N.T. show. Also had the Byrds, Joan Baez and lots of others.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:35 pm
  

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Yep... that must be it!!!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060167/

Roger Miller is listed in the additional credits link


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:46 pm
  

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So we broke away from the bazaar and headed on down toward Hyde Park and the RAH but we had been out walking for awhile and it was noonish and I hadn’t contacted Pete and the bazaar was bizarre and so well I looked up and it seemed a light from heaven shown down on a sign that filled my mind, The Perseverance Pub. I mean it was almost noon and I had been walking and besides when we opened the door there was two stools sitting at the bar next to one of those giant bar phones and besides there was already at least 9 locals with pints watching the football (Manchester and somebody) and the crowd was very welcoming to two American lads along way from home. Alright Alright two pints please as I began the struggle with the English phone. I messed with that damn thing for at least one full pint and was getting nowhere. I figured my perspective was off a bit and why hell I’m on holiday so, two more pints please. The bartender was a nice fellow and he offered to assist and after some debate throughout the bar it was generally agreed that the number I was trying to call was definitely not from Oxfordshire. Crap, I traveled this far to party with Pete and the consensus was this wasn’t his number. So I go digging in the wallet and come up with an old business card from God knows when that has a home phone number (perseverance at its best and Eureka, Pete’s on the line). Pete’s putting new strings on his guitar and finalizing his Kinks set and catching a train for Marylebone station arriving at 5. My God, success, bartender another pint as I hit the loo. I return to the discussion of those who have been and those who will go to the States soon and the recommendations for things to see in London and the bartender recommends the chips shop across the road for lunch (Madonna and Michael Jackson have both had chips there!).

So there we are three pints down at about 12:30 in the carry out zone of the Sea Shell Fish and Chip Shop where American Pop stars go for chips. We are spraying our cod and chips with malt vinegar and trying to look civilized wolfing down chips. I felt good as I emerged from the lobby onto the sunny sidewalks and headed out for the RAH. We was talking crazy and looking down alleys at cool looking Pubs but moving unwaivering to our goal, crossing busy avenues and all until we hit the edge of Hyde Park. Now that was a jam packed place. The crowd was big, the traffic fast and a barrier along the walk forcing you to find a safe place to cross (which didn’t seem to be in the near vicinity). Now I don’t know about you but I am at an age where I can’t hold three pints of ale so easily and topping it off with fish chips, well, I needed a loo and the stroll through the park didn’t look to promising for such a need. I didn’t want JB to miss out on his London experience so I pulled him up to the barrier there and I said (pointing to the right “down that way is Knotting Hill (then I pointed off to the right into the park) over there is Kensington Palace where the divorced princesses raised the next generation of the royal family (then I pointed into the park) and across there is the RAH with a plaza to dear Albert just before you get there (then pointing to the left) and over there is Buckingham with the grand Victoria monument and on from there is Westminster Abbey or turn left to Leister Square and Picadilly Circus. Now let’s find a pub and a loo. Well JB wasn’t arguing so we ducked down an Alley and Eureka, a pub.

I walked into the pub with a mission, gotta find a loo , gotta find a loo. I did notice this is quite the posh pub, clean tiles around the bar and clean carpet stretching into the public zone and no dust on anything but I was on a mission. I hit the loo and got things flowing and begin to relax and start taking notice. This loo had the cleanest whitest tile and metal work I had ever seen (not typical of most pub loos). It was so bright that the light was highlighting all around, very neat and tidy. So I shake it off and wash my hands and head out to tell JB that this is the cleanest loo I have ever seen and kinda chuckling when I get to the bar and grab my pint and say cheers. JB is looking at me says “you notice anything about the décor?” and so I start talking about how clean the loo is as I look around and see a white piano next to a Venus de milo statue that favored de Milo a little more than Venus. I also noticed the smart looking art work of nudes on the wall, male nudes. There I am standing with JB at the bar and notice that male couples are pretty common and I look up and see one of those ad screens that had Minnie Dripper (great name) appearing for a smart Karaoke. Minnie didn’t really look that feminine although the apparel was an evening gown. I moved a step away from JB and pointed out a lovely couple in the corner. We finished our pints and took in the sights there at the Quebec Pub and we didn’t order another but it was a fascinating experience. One of the funniest conversations I ever over heard in a public place was down Baltimore one time. We were in the city café for food and drink before seeing The Riders in the Sky (great group) with the Baltimore Symphony. Anyway this couple next to us was going at it. It was two males and the relationship roles were pretty clear. They were black and the masculine had a voice like Barry White and he had obviously strayed and was begging forgiveness over dinner. His partner was hilarious, waving that finger and saying things like “how could you treat me this way” and “I am far prettier than what you deserve” and he was like “I am sorry Baby, it didn’t mean nothing” and the waving finger would come out again “don’t you tell me it didn’t mean nothing it meant something to me!” People are funny! But me and JB put those empty glasses down and headed for the door.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:32 pm
  

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well, the glasses were empty after all!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:23 am
  

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http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/ ... arble_Arch

It is funny that this is actually a landmark place in the history of the gays of the world because it was the first openly gay pub in England (dates to 1946) had to be tough to go there then I bet!

oh well!

We abandoned our RAH plan and headed back into the heart of Marylebone to collect Pete at the Marylebone station at 5 or so (fortuitous that we happened to be in that part of London). North on Gloucester, a broad avenue of Victorian England apparently and I would dare say rarely frequented by Americans out for a tour of London. JB and I were of course acting more manly than usual and blaming each other for the choice of the last Pub but generally enjoying the stroll when we noticed historical plaques on some of the buildings. So I looked and low and behold I was at 74 Gloucester Place, once the residence of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (How do I love thee let me count the ways). Of course my knowledge of Ms. Browning came from the 1934 classic The Barrett’s of Wimpole Street (too much TCM) with Charles Laughton as the tyrannical father who kept little Liza and her siblings locked up tight with good Christian values. Reminds me of that song by David Crosby (who I don’t recall being in that movie with Roger Miller and the Lovin Spoonful but that was ages ago) called Carry Me. Ever here that one:

I once loved a girl
She was younger than me
Her parents kept her locked up so tight
She was crying out, she was wishing she could be free
I mostly remember her laughing
Standing there at the stage and listening to us play
It seemed then, for awhile,
the music could take her away

I don’t know why? It is funny how time seems irrelevant at times. Ms Browning, whose life roughly paralleled the young Victoria, was actually a child of the 60’s. She was a weak and fragile woman who had been raised the daughter of a wealthy West Indes Speculator (not necessarily the most moral or ethical of speculations at the time but well isolated in England from the human bondage that it financed). Her father was apparently a bit tyrannical in an acceptable Methodist fashion and did refuse his children’s requests for freedom from his control (she did run off with Robert as they say). He did however educate her as a child of the enlightenment (a bit odd for a Methodist), one of Voltaire’s children it would seem and she spoke out in verse against slavery and social injustice. On that day I was just looking at a house with a plaque on a corner in Marylebone. I noticed another plaque on one of the buildings there (62 Gloucester) and it read “Here lived Benedict Arnold, Great American Patriot.”

We have all been here before!

You know I went out with JB tonight and talked bull and bits! I talked of Andrew Martinez and Kiowa and Oklahoma and My Great grandfather WP whose portrait from 1910 or so with him tipping a pint of spirits prompted my Mom Mom to say "there he is practicing his profession". JB is from Scranton, The first time I was partying with JP we was down on Harford road in Baltimore and bent over the tap of a keg and hell we had both been full of shit for some time and he looked at me and he said serious as a heart attack he said "Fuckin' A is from Scranton!". Well I am an Okie but I aint real dumb and so I just stared in disbelief and he said "Oh.....Oh those people from Pittsburgh think since the Deer Hunter that Fuckin' A comes from there, no, Fuckin' A comes from Scranton! So I lookde back and serious as a heart attack I said "well Shit Fuck comes from Oklahoma and sometimes when we want to make it stick, why hell, we say Fuck Shit! It's amazing how friendships are born! He told me tonighht how the family had a house that eventually watched the hill next door go away as a strip mine (UhH UhH lookin' out my backdoor)

Have you ever been to Muhlenburg County

Now Daddy won't ya take me Down
To Muhlenburg County
Down by the Green River Where Paradise lays

Well Sometime we would travel
Right down the Green River
To the abandoned old Prison
Down By Adree Hill
where the air smells like snakes and
We would shoot with our pistols
but empty pop bottles was all we would kil

I can't explain but

my mind collides head on with stuffed
grave yards false goals I scuff
with pettiness it plays so rough
walk upside downinside handcuffs
kick my heals and crash it off
and say all rightnow
what else can you show me?l

Hell it is not even 3 pm as I wander these London streets, should I write more?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 12:30 pm
  

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well, yeah! ya haven't even met up with pete yet!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:27 pm
  

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I'm kinda waiting for the reader's digest condensed version of this epic to be released, my monitor it appears hasn't got enough electrons for me to view the whole thing. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 9:42 pm
  

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for some reason the story of your meeting your friend jb reminded me of me and my best friend in school...she isn't around anymore i'm sad to say, but anyway i can remember one time when i met her at her house and i asked her what was going on with her dad's car...i could see that she was getting annoyed with me but i remained focused on the car and asked, "does the car look a little narrower?" she really kind of blew up at me because she was hoping she would be able to get away with saying nothing, with the plan that no one would notice and went on to explain to me about how she had miscalculated the distance between two immovable objects and muscled that car right on through anyway. i can't remember what the two objects were...maybe it was two trees. 'course this had me laughing hard which eventually got her to laughing...but i sure didn't want to be around when her dad found out, he was such a nice guy...it would just be pretty awkward for everyone i guess.

anyway,,,the streets of london!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:47 am
  

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There we were waiting for the train with two hours to kill and so naturally we looked for a pub, The Allsop. A new Pub in the old style with big screen TV’s playing sport. Rugby, England versus South Africa, If England loses they are officially the worst team in the history of English Rugby. Pints and Rugby and a room full of England fans watching a dramatic second half comeback by an English team that through brute force did not want the moniker “Worst”. The following terms were new to me; Mountaineering, climbing onto the scrum, Sin Bin were they put you if you mountaineer and Critical Gap a two score deficit. Anyway three pints later Pete pulled in and off we went to Muswell Hill. The tube from Marylebone to Camden street was full of the people of London going out for a Saturday night (interesting mix of humanity). At Camden Street we had to catch a bus because the Northern line was closed for maintenance. The tunnel was packed and I truly felt to be an ant ascending to the surface from a giant ant colony. Nearing the surface I looked up and a big sign came into focus in the dark subdued tone of night lit by neon and fluorescence, The Worlds End.

http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/show.shtml/25

This pub is definitely designed to attract that portion of humanity that is either searching for something or who have found nothing. The lighting is subdued with the faces in the bar being lit by the reflection of the bar lights from the various assorted glass behind the bar. Definitely gave you the feeling of a black and white movie with the corners of the rooms all dark and forbidding. The sound of 60’s punk music was blaring from the speakers (I was born , in a dump, my mama died and my daddy got drunk..by the Blues Magoos). I turned around and somebody gave me a pint and the glasses clinked to cheers and we were talking and Pete and I talked of the things that are impacting our worlds as we watched the people about. Young people in places like this always seem to be searching for something: the right look, the right attitude, the right high, the right dream, the right friends or maybe just trying to be there at the right moment. It appears to be a generation looking for a style as the dress is a mixed assortment of the last 50 years. Another pint and a Kinks song by an American 60’s punk band blared out (I am not like everybody else, no I am not like everybody else, I don’t want to live my life like everybody else…by the Chocolate Watchband). I looked at Pete and said Kinks song and he said that one is one of Dave’s I believe. This was definitely the place where you saw the carnival world and if you looked to close in the faces you could find experience that came from searching a little to close to the edge. Maybe it was that night or all the pints or the personal discussions of our own lives that led to these for after all my whole purpose for being at that spot at that time was to recreate that feeling of searching that I had in my own bizarre close to the edge youth.

sorry for the excessive use of electrons, I promise to practice restraint in this life of dissipation


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:26 am
  

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Joined: Oct 04, 2005
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Location: Clintondale, NY
Now, now, lad! None of that! 'Twas the accountants that ruined the Royal Navy, lad. Have another pint. Where were you?

kurt...


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:59 am
  

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http://www.hookysam.f2s.com/hookybeerfest/

go to this link
open photogallery
open 2003 festival page 1
go down to the twelth photo of a young girl and a manic guitarist
click on the thumbnell

THat is Pete with his daughter Becky
The Pear Tree is a lovely place to stay and the Hooky ales are very good (although I don't drink many pints myself)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:51 pm
  

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this isn't funny, so don't laugh

http://youtube.com/watch?v=TO-Ut3yVLh0


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