Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Easy Strumming

(Names and locations have been changed to protect the innocent, though innocent of what is unclear.)

Weekends are the obvious time for spring-cleaning. Saturday, at least, one supposes. Been living for a bit in a kind of unfortunate hotel downtown to ride out some of the Great Recession...some of my own bad choices and personal, almost physical-seeming allergy to money. We’ll call the place the E Street Hotel, though it isn’t. It’s not the Golden West, though, okay?

A sign on the elevator door in the lobby reads: DO NOT WALK ON 6TH FL. EPOXY BEING APPLICATED. I want to correct the sign, of course, but don’t. Beneath it is another sign: “Extermination Saturday,” and instructions to clean apartments and pull wooden furniture away from walls. Saturday rolls around and I begin.

Moving furniture out a foot or so soon provides a kind of Chinese puzzle-box problem due to the size of the room. First the big bureau with books and meds lined up, with mustard and a small, one-cup coffee-maker on top. These items, along with other items of assorted bits of junk (nail clippers, etc.) are arrayed in rough formation like soldiers in an irregular outfit. Pulling the dresser toward me launches several of these to the right and onto the floor. The top drawer slides forward and nearly spills its contents, among which are a series of old photographs I’ve been packing around with me for months.

The top one is a shot from 24 years ago, myself onstage with a Stratocaster, my sister to my left on a Fender bass, behind us, my late brother Paul on drums. Paul was the best drummer I’ve ever played with, and I’ve played with some good ones. I’m not just saying that because he was/is my brother. It’s true. Not in this shot is our lesbian/recovering alcoholic lead singer. The band is Strange Brew, and we’re onstage at some bar in Chicago, possibly a lesbian bar. We played quite a few of those. I am 36 or 37 years old in these shots, a quickly trotting-toward-middle-age rascal. I’m hardly the only drunk in the Brew, however; just one of us doesn’t drink. Actually, we were quite popular doing originals and covers both and booked quite a bit around the city in 1986 and 1987.

After cleaning out the closet, I decide to break. It’s about 10 a.m. I no longer smoke, but I make my way to the second-floor mezzanine smoking area where two other guys are sitting on a couch, having already finished their clean-out. Presumably. One of them is Davy, with an imitation Stratocaster, called a Maxtone or something. It is duct-taped together here and there.

“Hey, Davy.”

“Hey.” Davy is maybe 40, I don’t know. He’s got long red hair to his shoulders and thick, gnomish facial features. He looks like a Scotsman. I’m betting he is but I don’t ask. He’s not playing the Maxtone at the moment, and I ask him if I can. By way of answer, he swings the broad-necked axe toward me. Davy and the other guy resume their conversation while I finger a fretboard for the first time in two years.

“So this guy is telling me, ‘Don’t say that stuff on my cell phone, like, buy and sell and stuff. You’re going to get me busted, man.’ I say, ‘What are you talking about? I’m talking about selling Frisbees to a preschool.’”

Davy says, “Guy’s probably an old dope fiend, never had a job.”

“He is, man. That’s exactly right. In fact, he’s just a freelance telemarketer avoiding taxes. Hey, sounds good, man.” This last directed at me.

“It can’t, man. I haven’t played in a couple years, and this is like playing with a garden tool.” I lift my left claw. The guy I don’t know nods his head. “You can’t just set these things down for years. You pay.” In fact I’m playing like an arthritic orangutan. I know it, but I want to listen to more of these guys, They’re like characters in a William Burroughs novel.

“Jungle Boy Timmy is coming back here,” says X man. “His shit didn’t work out in L.A.”

“He still doing his thing?” asks Davy.

“I believe so, I believe so. Hey, you getting inna band or what?”

“That’s what I’m working on,” Davy hacks out a few chords: blocky, heavy. “This town does not have itself together or know what time it truly is.”

“What time is it, Dayvo?”

“Rock and roll will return!”

I return to my room after thanking Davy and start pushing a broom, concocting a story about Davy and Mr. X. With dialogue just like theirs. Thinking of calling it “Mystery Train.” And though I could, I know it’s been done.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
WANTED - SPORTS CARDS
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
SINGLE ROOM AVAILABLE IN CLAREMONT MESA $600.
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
GUINEA PIG BABIES
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
DELIVERY DRIVER for Albertsons
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
1971 YAMAHA XS650 $4000,
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Ad
Previous article

Marisa Dabice: people see it as brave

Mannequin Pussy’s songs are often “short aggressive burners”
Next Article

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in Mike Love’s Fairbanks Ranch mansion?

Ocean, mountain, and golf course views for the Beach Boys singer
Comments
1

Once saw a publicity photo for Strange Brew. 80's hair!!!

April 25, 2011

Sign in to comment

Sign in

(Names and locations have been changed to protect the innocent, though innocent of what is unclear.)

Weekends are the obvious time for spring-cleaning. Saturday, at least, one supposes. Been living for a bit in a kind of unfortunate hotel downtown to ride out some of the Great Recession...some of my own bad choices and personal, almost physical-seeming allergy to money. We’ll call the place the E Street Hotel, though it isn’t. It’s not the Golden West, though, okay?

A sign on the elevator door in the lobby reads: DO NOT WALK ON 6TH FL. EPOXY BEING APPLICATED. I want to correct the sign, of course, but don’t. Beneath it is another sign: “Extermination Saturday,” and instructions to clean apartments and pull wooden furniture away from walls. Saturday rolls around and I begin.

Moving furniture out a foot or so soon provides a kind of Chinese puzzle-box problem due to the size of the room. First the big bureau with books and meds lined up, with mustard and a small, one-cup coffee-maker on top. These items, along with other items of assorted bits of junk (nail clippers, etc.) are arrayed in rough formation like soldiers in an irregular outfit. Pulling the dresser toward me launches several of these to the right and onto the floor. The top drawer slides forward and nearly spills its contents, among which are a series of old photographs I’ve been packing around with me for months.

The top one is a shot from 24 years ago, myself onstage with a Stratocaster, my sister to my left on a Fender bass, behind us, my late brother Paul on drums. Paul was the best drummer I’ve ever played with, and I’ve played with some good ones. I’m not just saying that because he was/is my brother. It’s true. Not in this shot is our lesbian/recovering alcoholic lead singer. The band is Strange Brew, and we’re onstage at some bar in Chicago, possibly a lesbian bar. We played quite a few of those. I am 36 or 37 years old in these shots, a quickly trotting-toward-middle-age rascal. I’m hardly the only drunk in the Brew, however; just one of us doesn’t drink. Actually, we were quite popular doing originals and covers both and booked quite a bit around the city in 1986 and 1987.

After cleaning out the closet, I decide to break. It’s about 10 a.m. I no longer smoke, but I make my way to the second-floor mezzanine smoking area where two other guys are sitting on a couch, having already finished their clean-out. Presumably. One of them is Davy, with an imitation Stratocaster, called a Maxtone or something. It is duct-taped together here and there.

“Hey, Davy.”

“Hey.” Davy is maybe 40, I don’t know. He’s got long red hair to his shoulders and thick, gnomish facial features. He looks like a Scotsman. I’m betting he is but I don’t ask. He’s not playing the Maxtone at the moment, and I ask him if I can. By way of answer, he swings the broad-necked axe toward me. Davy and the other guy resume their conversation while I finger a fretboard for the first time in two years.

“So this guy is telling me, ‘Don’t say that stuff on my cell phone, like, buy and sell and stuff. You’re going to get me busted, man.’ I say, ‘What are you talking about? I’m talking about selling Frisbees to a preschool.’”

Davy says, “Guy’s probably an old dope fiend, never had a job.”

“He is, man. That’s exactly right. In fact, he’s just a freelance telemarketer avoiding taxes. Hey, sounds good, man.” This last directed at me.

“It can’t, man. I haven’t played in a couple years, and this is like playing with a garden tool.” I lift my left claw. The guy I don’t know nods his head. “You can’t just set these things down for years. You pay.” In fact I’m playing like an arthritic orangutan. I know it, but I want to listen to more of these guys, They’re like characters in a William Burroughs novel.

“Jungle Boy Timmy is coming back here,” says X man. “His shit didn’t work out in L.A.”

“He still doing his thing?” asks Davy.

“I believe so, I believe so. Hey, you getting inna band or what?”

“That’s what I’m working on,” Davy hacks out a few chords: blocky, heavy. “This town does not have itself together or know what time it truly is.”

“What time is it, Dayvo?”

“Rock and roll will return!”

I return to my room after thanking Davy and start pushing a broom, concocting a story about Davy and Mr. X. With dialogue just like theirs. Thinking of calling it “Mystery Train.” And though I could, I know it’s been done.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
BUYING OLD PHOTOS, MAPS, POSTERS,
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
Magazine Rack
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 25, 2020
3 Bedroom 2 Bath
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 26, 2020
$80/NIGHT
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
2014 Suzuki DRZ 400 SM
San Diego Reader Classified ads
February 6, 2020
Previous article

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Princeton poetry

Like William Faulkner’s verse, many of his poems served as a training ground for his prose
Next Article

Is the corona virus pushing us into the future?

“Unlike with MERS and SARS, this is so televised. All day, every day!”
Comments
1

Once saw a publicity photo for Strange Brew. 80's hair!!!

April 25, 2011

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close