Photo by Kirk Stewart
I am most certainly in Berkeley.
The characters are all here to greet me.
I walk by wizard after wizard, college girls clinging to their mates, dreadlocks, Asian couples, the old poetic men with round glasses and confusing hair smoking joints on designated corners. In fact, for me these are the true citizens of this place.
The college kids might as well be invisible because the real power seems to lurk within the strange elders that slide past me and inhabit this cool muggy weather.
This morning finds me in Caffe Mediterraneum.
A crazy mom and pop pit stop run by a man with a thick Greek accent.
He has perfect male pattern baldness and a moustache and looks like a ceramic cookie jar. His star employee is a jittery pleasant girl with short hair and huge glasses who tells me that her father is from Elgin.
“I counted it once, Elgin has three hardware stores, two barber shops, one restaurant.”
“And sausage” I say “they are moving up…finally got an H.E.B.”
We are best friends.
I like this place, I would hate it in Texas but here it fits….It has all of the ghosts of the drag but it has none of the absurdity, the bums are purposeful and multifaceted.
A woman that looks like Tracy Chapman plays slide guitar and sings blues for no applause.
A bunch of dreadlocks trickle in and walk upstairs, I immediately cringe and imagine them wasting everyone’s time. Yet when I actually go upstairs they are all sitting in front of computers having a civil discussion. The food is cheap and the bathroom is constantly occupied.
A wizard lurks outside of the cafe, maybe he’s a street bishop or some sort of cardinal. He has on a red skull cap and possesses a staff that makes me nervously jealous. Its hard to get a read on this place, to me the whole area seems so scattered, hard to focus on.
Last night’s show was pleasant as could be.
Simple, everything worked, the other band was great and HMBSMS is just getting better and better. They are an oiled machine.
I could go into the wonder of my current situation at length, but suffice to say that something is happening.
I remember when I first met Rob, the fateful night that has sort of set the theme for the following years.
I remember following them and taking their photo constantly, recording their practices, and generally doing my best to document our time together.
Some part of my being recognized significance and now here I am.
In Berkeley, leaning against a strange club smoking and talking to a young fan who hands me a hand wrapped demo.
I can hear He’s My Brother playing through the wall and that feeling washes over me.
That strange loss of time.
m I history?
Are we presently on course?
Is this something that I will one day think back to with great admiration?
my first show of my first tour.
The time I met a girl who cried through my whole album and cried through my entire show.
And you were there, and you were there.
We talked about corn and meth math man, we talked about meth dog and how sad he was about his lack of thumbs.
My first night in town was spent in a strangers house in a 65 year old hippie’s guest bedroom, pictures of him young and bushy hung up on the wall. So I did what any honest musician would do…I took his stereo apart.
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