Lose This Skin

Listened to Fela on the way to work this morning. Another gray overcast day. If I had the money and my friends and family were willing, I’d relocate us somewhere to where it’s sunny and warm, most of the time. Maybe a month of snow. This place doesn’t exist, I know but it sure would be nice. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be willing to take them into consideration as we moved into our commune.

Been loading a lot of things into the Ipod. I used the Cool Edit Pro program and turned a few cassettes into files on my computer. I burned a cassette I made when I DJ’d at McSwells and my brother was in Speed the Plough in March 1987.Pretty good, starts off with PiL, goes into some South African music. An excellent mix. One of the few that I was able to pull off successfully.

As I was playing the South African piece, I was reminded about how when I first got the South African record and played along with it on the guitar. It was a wild time, for me at least. I thought I was fitting in nicely, not too obtrusive. I went to work the next day, feeling like I had accomplished something musically. I had the idea, to get a few other musicians, or merely people that played musical instruments together and jam, in an African style.

Seemed simple enough. Then Wolf Knapp entered the picture. Wolf Knapp, a young man from somewhere. He grew up all over the place, and was in the process of becoming a Jazz Queer as Ann Boyles called him. Wolf, who learned how to play Bass from the Punk Rock DIY approach, threw cold water on my dream, telling me that I could never play like those South African musicians and I was fooling myself.

That hurt. Didn’t really like Wolf much, after that. I still have a crumb from that dream, and if anyone was ever interested, I’d be into jamming with them. As long as it wasn’t Wolf. Years later, I told Jane Scarpantoni about what Wolf had said and she was a bit pissed off that someone like Wolf would dare dash someone’s dream like that. Jane was always very supportive of me, and she still is.

In fact, one of the first times I ever played live was at a showcase that Jane had at a pub called Tin Pan Alley, located in Tin Pan Alley, Times Square. WE wrote a song together and she asked me to play it with her. If she told me to jump off a bridge I’d probably do that too.

My part of the song was all about fast strumming, two chords tops. She was doing things on top of my playing with her cello. Ethereal stuff. It was over two nights, a Saturday and Sunday. The second night was the nerve wracking show though for I was playing guitar in front of 2 guys, Jim Mastro and Richard Barone from the Bongos. The Bongos were a fave rave for me for a few years in the eighties.

All I could do is strum and look at the floor, not at Jim or Richard. They were somewhat of an influence on my guitar playing and I’m not too fond of playing live anyhow. I usually wind up doing an imitation of a tree trying to scratch its trunk. Picture that visual.
Jane was wonderful and gracious and named the song we wrote, after me.

I played live a few times after that. And obviously I still have the dream of jamming with likeminded people with instruments in an African style. Fuck Wolf Knapp.

and here’s an ACTUAL JOB OFFER I received today:

Mr. Ozed,

My name is SGT Davis of the US Army. I was looking over your résumé on career builder. I am glad to inform you that we have many jobs available in the administration field. Attached is a flyer on what the Army can offer in regards to benefits. You can contact me any time at (877) 555-3279 or email me back.

SGT Davis
US Army Administration Recruiter

There is an actual flyer attached but I can’t seem to upload it. If you’d like you can email me at johnozed@gmail.com and I’ll send it to you.

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