Friday, September 20, 2013


               There are big differences between street level economics and high finance. But the basic principles remain the same.
                The inflation rate is supposed to be low
but the price of bread has doubled in the last two years.
Lies! Prevarication and damned lies! 

           Working with the band, Johnny Rock and the Angels, we didn`t always make sound financial decisions There were five or six people involved and we all had families, and if not families,we had expensive habits. We usually wanted something we didn`t have...
          But not always!
         Sometimes the delicate balance of friendship, good liquor and stimulants all mixed together into a flow experience, a free-flowing kind of jazz music  And when
that was happening, it was grand.  


           You can say what you like about the boulevards
of Barcelona, Buenas Aires, or 42nd Street New York.
But when the sun and stars opened above Yonge Street
in that Shining City north of the Great Lakes.... the
sunlight off the lakes, the gleaming and reflection off the 
new high rise buildings, this brightness shone within our eyes and heart and mind...And the music
pounded its rhythm and rhyme into the bright
clarity of street blues...  played in the darkness of
an old style tavern.
           This loud, howling music ran through our arteries and veins along Mainstreet.... the Mainstreet that flows through the Americas, north and south and central.... one music converges like water - rivers mix with different rivers - one music flows.
         Latin music, Caribbean, hard-edged Rock, R&B, Blues, Punk to Techno to Rap  and on always, forms mixing together, Rock Reggae, each deriving one element from each another... showing the Cosmos what Cosmopolitan means.
         And of course, it all starts with gospel, gospel
and the early blues - one man and one guitar , sitting
in an alley somewhere...singing away his despair.        
         No money, that`s one form of the blues...
your woman`s left on the midnight bus...she wanted
to head south on the train... but the government`s taken
 the train...
         The only logical thing you can do is sell
your wedding ring... and that might keep you in spam and
liquor  for one more day.
          BAD, times are bad - I`ve been squeezing those
coins so hard... the moose ran away, the queen slapped me and the buffalo screamed in fright.
          I pawned my guitar. A beautiful neck on it, an old
Gibson hollow body; then I got arrested, was stuck
in jail, and I lost the pawn.
          We all got troubles. And those of us who think
they have no troubles, they haven`t seen the
whole picture yet...
           Either something`s waiting for you around
some corner to jump you and take your shoes... or
the woman you want is disappearing
around some corner.

           I ran into a Scotsman at Spiro`s Cafe. He
showed up all ragged and he looked like he just crawled
out from under a bush somewhere.
           He slept on a park bench in the east end.
 A gang of six teenagers attacked him
and stole his coat and suitcase: 

           "Then  they went for my six pack of beer
and my boots, that`s when I started to fight...
At times like that, your tactics aren`t pretty,"he said.
            I laugh, "I know what you mean. What did
you do?"
            I bit the first guy`s thumb damn near right off...
I gouged the second one in the eye with a stick...
I whacked one fella in the temple with
the steel toe of my boot... I had the steel toe right over
my fist...
          One was bleeding, the other was screaming..
and I started ran after the rest of them in my stocking feet." 
          We laughed and I bought the guy a few beers.
We drank them at Spiro`s.  Spiro joined
us at the table.
          Then he lead me out into a little yard behind
the bar... and we cracked the six-pack which
he`d stashed.   We drank his beer...
we were beginning to enjoy ourselves.
           A woman came down the alley wearing
a long winter coat in the summer...she joined
us and sat on a stump beside us...
           So the day was turning out all right,
after all. 
           She had a good sense of humour.
She took a drink...But it was when she took her coat
off the day really improved...
           She had tight powder blue pants on,
of a light terrycloth type material, which hugged
every curve. Her top was powder blue also and
of the same material.... Her figure
was outstanding... 
            What was driving me crazy was -
she had a distracted air... almost as if she
was moving in her sleep.. and was
unaware of  what a knockout she was...
             The conversation was over
between me and the Scotsman...
all I could think of was jumping her,
pulling her down in the fields like
a lion does a wildebeast, and
feeding on her until the orgasmic
moment passed.

                Rhythms of the river, rhythms of the sea, rhythms
of the City of Man, the City of Women.

          The scene honked, blasted , ran and crashed
thru the sharp electric light. The music ran into the heart of the year... Until the year we were living was all years,
this very day ... all the way back to the time when there was no history, and the original Ancient City played "The House of the Rising Sun" for heavily made-up,perfumed and lipsticked women, lounging by the waters of Babylon.
           The people who emerged passing on the street were Archetypes, the gods of human psychology rising out of the original sea...through everlasting mists...   the ancient city
resounded in this new one.


           As usual it`s ` Urban Survival` at street level... Needle in the arm level. Machetes at 3:00AM level... and gunshots on the fire escape, hookers with crack  
pipes on the roof out back, just up the seven stairs...
        This is the level I lived at, this was the
hopeless disaster I came to love...
where suicide is always a possibility, and
passionate love can blossom in an instant.

I`d throw some water in my face... and stumble downstairs
to where the bright summer sun would slap you in the forehead  and you`d stagger back and lean against the
hot bright glass outside the mirrored tavern.
            I`d lean back beside the hookers, and we`d laugh
a bit, and tell highly suggestive jokes, dirty and
otherwise... and tell stories about who chased who 
naked across the asphalt roofs with the leg of a chair in his hand.
            "And he was a paying customer, man!" Ruby says,  "And,Peter, did I marry him?"
            "Not yet Ruby, not yet..."I said.
             "Then why he acting this way?"she calls out, seeming to be complaining as she rubbed
my groin right at the packed traffic jamming passed...
and people looking out and watching close,
as I stood swaying in my pants,
between swats and grabs and feels...
 Ruby steps forward in her spiked heels
leans forwards and thrusts her breasts in
the face of a young man in  the back seat 
of somebody car.
             "Suki yelled out, "Watch it!  Cops!"
So Ruby adjusts her satin blouse...
              But no, it`s merely Ezmeralda, our Jamaican
lady cop, who walks past and gives me a wink. and
steps past through the tavern door to go downstairs... 
She walks downstairs where the male
strippers dance, and where Mike has his Greek souvlaki
and steak and burger stand...  I can still taste the steak
sandwich and I want one even now as I write this.

          Ezmerelda would go downstairs in hot-looking plainclothes to see who was selling what and who was shooting what quantity of heroin, or the new synthetic drug,
China White, which was a fentanyl-PCP mix which
would put you right over the moon, if you snorted just
a tiny line...
         And this fine looking woman sweetly asking
around... "Do you know where I can get some?"
          And some men falling for her tender trap, whisked
from our comfy bar right into the dark cells of the Don Jail
in an instant.
          None of us  would talk to her about anything serious,  naturally, and she took this as a given, an understood fact.
           She became part of the scene down there. She
preyed upon the newcomers and the crazies
who from time to time lost their minds.

             "Ruby says, pulling  at me, "Let`s step back into your
office... I`ll relieve this burden for you....Make you ready
cheered up to face the day. Just for you,
Johnny ---only ten dollars. But keep it a secret,"
she whispers in my ear.
             "Not right now, Ruby," I said. "I need buy lots of wine..."I`m pulling back and stepping away.
             "Aw... Johnny, you know and I know you want it."
              I`m walking south along the wide sidewalk...
sun gleaming off the chrome of cars, sparkling and spot-lighting off the windshields.... Twenty feet away
I shout back to the girls, "You almost had me this time, Ruby!"
              I hear laughter behind me...catcalls and the 
shouted taunt: "Next time... you don`t
 have a chance!"
              The young women shriek with laughter in their
miniskirts and spandex pants... all of them
wearing stiletto heels. One or two are looking cool
in sunglasses.
               I stop at the red light at Yonge St and Dundas,
catch my breath.  Ah, what a marvellous morning!
Bottles of sparking wine to purchase... strippers
to watch, a bright red gleaming Gibson guitar to caress
 and music to play on stage... in the long
dark cavern of the Zanzibar, giving out to the
sunny street...  

       A different kind of Eden can be found.



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