non compartmentalized

the title pretty much says it all; rather than having blogs for art, music, photography, yard work, garden work, home, travel, etc. AS I HAVE DONE & ALREADY DO HAVE, this will be virtually "life as i live it"... day by day... non compartmentalized

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thursday June 14, 2018 RANT

Thursday June 14, 2018 6:25PM

If I may be so open… and I can be, of course… I woke, and due to yet another something ‘going north’, after morning rituals [morning prayers, coffee, meds, etc] I sat at my computer, just staring, thinking about “everything” that’s been going down, and tears came to, but didn’t pass, my eyes. The death of the air conditioner was the last straw, on top of all the other ‘breaks’ and losses. Then for some unknown reason, I put on Aretha’s 1979 album, Amazing Grace, and went directly to “God Will Take Care Of You” and feeling the spirit move inside me, the previous stinging tears, turned to tears of joy… because I know it’s true.  

I sat a while, and began writing lyrics about that, and my situation [again] - and past situations- letting the album play. That album has always spoken to me, since it was released. As Marianne Faithfull once said of Aretha’s voice , [her’s is] “the voice of God”; and when she sings gospel, you FEEL the spirit moving through her. It often brings tears to my eyes.

When she sings “Precious Memories” I always think of my family, especially my late brother because a [non Aretha] version was played at his funeral. Her version touches me as no other has, can, or will. But, I didn’t listen to that, today; instead I played her cover of the old Clara Ward song “How I got Over” and indeed, “my soul look[s] back and wonder[s] how I got over” ; followed by Climbing Higher Mountains, “I'm climbing higher mountains trying to get home”... Amen. The road does “get a little rocky”...

When i run into old friends, whom I’ve come up with, or have known for decades, or longer, we marvel that we have made it thus far, through everything, when so many of our loved ones didn’t, and haven't. [Tommy Miller, then Kenny Bill & I were discussing that just recently] Never in my life did I think I would live this long; especially when so many of my closest friends, from the 60s onward, didn’t. The recent and no so recent deaths of so many of my musical brothers has really hit me. I mourn not only them, but their spirit, their soul, which shone through their music. I am blessed to have been their friend, and to have worked with them. Lord knows I did enough in my past life, to kill anybody. I was obviously given not only good genes and a strong constitution, but some sort of a purpose to still be here. I often question that purpose… but as I wrote in “Living the Blues”, “I just keep on going, that’s all i know how to do…”

After writing about 3 verses, and taking a break [so i can come back and re-read what i wrote, edit or leave it, and continue whenever] I have attacked this day. I began to ‘attack’ this house, with a vengeance. I put on my ‘abdominal wraps’ and got to work. I felt energized and compelled to do it. I’m ‘on break’ at the moment, but needed one. I ordered a portable air conditioner online,
Because I’ve learned trying to get anyone to do anything is next to impossible. My friend Tommy’s cousin works on AC units, so I’ll have him come and look at all. But I figure, i can always use the portable; especially on the front porch of the family home; or in the ‘storage room’, which I am going to eventually turn into a dark room.

It hit me last night, as I sat here going through hundreds of ‘unlabelled’ CDs and cassettes, while trying to find the ‘software programs’ for a few things that had just ceased functioning, as they had done. I also discovered a week or so ago, that some of the boxes stacked hither and yon were FULL of cassettes of my original music; i thought i’d put them in storage, but no; so I take it they survived the winter in this house with no heat, while I was in Switzerland. In opening some of the other boxes, they were filled with my negatives, slides, from time immemorial, from all my travels, etc; even OLD family negatives; and a few boxes of photos; also binders with photo files inside, as well as a plastic container of photos on cds, from when I’d had negatives [C42 process] developed at wally world or wherever; i would always have them scan them, cut and sleeve them, and put them on a disc. But here are alllll the many Black & white negatives I developed myself; many have been scanned and many have not been. I have all my “artworks on paper” in big plastic tubs, since, also while i was gone in winter, mice got in and started eating it!
I finally decided to take action, starting last night,  to put whatever work needed to be digitized or re-digitized- [be it k7 tapes, negatives, vhs videos etc.] - to a space where they are easily available. Areas dedicated to function for each type work. In seeing all the negatives and such, i was freaked out- thinking, I have to scan them all- even if I have scanned them in the past- because I know better how to do it than I did in the 90s. AND with each scan session save them to folders, then archived, and eventually books from the best.

When adding lyrics to my posts of youtube videos today, I began ‘searches’  for certain lyrics, which I couldn’t find, but when i did a search of “lyri” [because I sometimes name folders lyrics, or lyrix] thousands of lyrics were discovered, and that was only from ONE small hard drive. I shudder to think what all is on the 3 messed up hard drives, but I know all the old family photos are, as are old and new music art photos lyrics, etc. I may have to do a ‘go fund me’ since each hard drive starts, lowest base price @ $500. Last time, when Babs [oh, my baby] nudged the HD off my chaise longue, the Data Recovery company charged me 1600$ for ONE, then i happened to fry that backup [it’s one of the 3 HDs] - so if the people I use this time, say “oh it’s gonna be more than we thought” and ask that much, I cannot afford it; but, i cannot afford to lose that work. I lost enough when the damned thugs stole both my laptops with all my works on them in 2012. SO… [not to go there, again] in finding so many lyrics, I decided I have to do a book of lyrics from all cds released, starting with the early solo stuff, to now. So, when I get up again, inna minnit, I am going to get back to organizing that idea; bring it all to fruition. I may eventually do all the lyric scanning in the other house- because i have trunks full of writings: diaries and journals, poetry, lyrics, rants, even drawings and ink drawings, collages- ALL on paper- IN the other house… especially if I get air in there! Lol. that porch can be like an oven.  I call those trunks my ‘coffin’[s] because [almost] my whole ‘body of work’ is in them. I want to digitize it all, then put the originals in climate controlled storage; the digitized end products into safety deposit boxes. My work IS my life’s work, and my main earthly treasure.

I’ve ranted for over an hour. But what work I did was tiring; but I gotta get back at it. i want this nightmare over with.  Ever since I left New Orleans [the last time] in 1992 everything was in storage, until I took control of the family house and eventually stored my stuff there; then when i came to look after my Mama, I dragged a lot up in here. But due to the unpredictable heat, cold, humidity and damp, and then thieves, I moved the majority of everything into storage… again.
Because I used to be constantly shooting photos [film] my mama asked “what are you ever gonna do with all them pictures?” good question. But i have that question of all my works. At least beginning to arrange and organize and digitize, is a good start. On that note, since I haven’t eaten today, I’ll go eat a banana, make a fresh pot of coffee and continue til i can’t.

“Thanks for sharing…”


Saturday, June 9, 2018





the best laid plans ... again fall through. i removed myself from FakeBook for a few days, as it tends to eat all my time. and yet, here I am ranting on Blogger, instead.

     i slept all day yesterday, and if and when i woke, would take more meds and go back to sleep; I had a gig at enoch's last night, but slept til about 7PM, then started getting dressed; planning not to get there until 9-ish. we started at 9.30. I think the gig went well, but i was narcoleptic; like i was sleep walking through it. As soon as it was 'quittin time" I, as is my wont, split. i dont 'hang' anymore, unlike the old days; but "hanging" makes alcohol a temptation, and I have to drive a long way to get home; so never want to risk it. I stopped drinking mainly because of that; and because of all the meds i take, i didn't want to risk being another rock and roll casualty. silly me.

     i got home from the gig, tired but awake. Finally ate, while watching
Camilla Läckberg crime series on MHZChoice; went to bed shortly thereafter, but slept until 5:30-6Pm today. I made coffee and worked on a drawing in Photoshop; then activated my FB account and posted it to my ART & PHOTOGRAPHY page. I need to spend weeks uploading [and adding the texts to] all the art i did in 2017 and 2018, which I'd edited for my Fine Art America site. I also want to start scanning all original works on paper, and wood, and sell the originals from the site; but keep them available as prints. So much of the digital work are on 3 kaput hard drives; but that will be described here, later.

     I grabbed a few of my old 'commercial' cassettes last night and listened to them on the way to Enoch's. They were mainly made [had runs of 50-100 done at a time] to sell on gigs, back in the day; i sold a lot of them when I worked on Bourbon Street, late 80s early 90s] - the tracks on "Rock & Roll Bitch" were done at various studios: JY Studios, Monroe; James Arledge Studio, Nahville; Ronnie Kole Studio, Slidell, La; Sullinger Studios, Little Rock. While driving/listening, I was trying to figure out where what was done and who was on the sessions. On one tune i thought, "damn, that [guitar] sounds like Rusty [RIP]" then I remembered he, Don Garret [RIP], Ty Corbett, and Puddy Man, had done several tracks with me at Sullinger's in Little Rock. After hearing that one cassette, i've decided to clean the tracks up, if I can find original recordings that have been digitized, OR just transfer everything from cassette to digital, Master it in Sound Forge or Audition, and release them. I didnt really remember what a rock and roll animal i was, until i hard that stuff, again...
     I didn't get around to hearing "Sex & Soul", or "Hoodoo U Love" again...  and gave them to Dan to listen to, in parting last night. Tonight, curiosity got me, and i looked in the same full box and found the original "Honest Mistakes"[originally recorded at JY Studios] which later got chop shopped, as did my Ultrasonic sessions "Living the Blues" - taking out 'like' tracks, to create 2 cds- which are now the solo sessions vol. 1 & 2- Louisiana, and Cabaret Vieux Carre. Still songs on both original sessions never got released.

     then there are the hundreds of live recordings; me solo at Jazzfest, and me & Anders Osbourne [duo] at jazz fest; the big 12 piece band here at La Folklife Fest, and many european concert recordings [with and without band] I keep saying I am going to do these, and never do. ALL the Street Level shows, and - well, the list is endless. Even now, in this decade, LSRFDD, and BADD have some great live recordings; we should release them now, instead of 20 years from now. I doubt i'll be around 20 years from now. I probably need to release all MY old stuff "the whole long cassette" on youtube w/only a photo; but have the individual songs on an 'album' for downloads only... or as 'burn on demand' to cd, cassette, or thumb drive.

     i've said it a million times but i really need a 'grant'[or several] to archive all the music i have written and recorded; as a Louisiana artist, there should be something out there.  

    i am exhausted today, and have been most of the week. i don't know if it is severe depression or what. i've certainly had enough lately to make me depressed: the loss of
2 dear friends, back to back, just after losing more friends. The sorrow takes its toll. I have almost come to the point of just accepting it, and moving on. after a certain point, of SO much loss, the grief and pain adds itself to the grief and pain that already lives within one; you absorb it, and carry it until your death. i live in a constant state of despair and despondency, which my priest says is a sin [of sorts]; that God wants us to be happy. I might eventually get to that, on my spiritual journey, but at this time and place, it seems very distant.  

     I never imagined I would be going through this as much as i have done. It makes me want to NOT get involved with new people, to never love anyone or anything, ever again... I get to that point very often; too often; and to the point that i don't even want to be 'here' anymore. most days i wake up, and wish i hadn't; or dread waking to what this life has become. If death is like sleep, or when they 'put you under' for surgery, i think mine will be almost welcomed.
[Ich habe keine Freude im Leben; je n'ai pas de joie dans la vie; and haven't for years]

"We now return our souls to the creator, as we stand on the edge of eternal darkness.
Let our chant fill the void in order that others may know.
In the land of the night the ship of the sun is drawn by the grateful dead." - Egyptian Book of the Dead
     Then there is every kind of bill shit coming at me at once: 450$ to get my car ready to go to little rock to do 3 gigs; one of which fell through because i [and friend] couldn't get the PA to work [so lost that check!] .. and then there were 2.... [did I break even?] - I also discovered on getting home and checking the post that my auto insurance had been cancelled, and i had to cough up 450$ [magic no.] to be re-instated, which is only about 1/3 of the total bill. But i told them i couldn't hand over 1200$ on the spot. not with a new hand almost every other day wanting another 500$+

     i paid 'the plumber' 450$ just before leaving, who didn't finish installing the tankless hot water heater, saying it wasn't working, and that i needed to replace it, etc. which i don't understand, it was totally new and in the box! he took all info and went to home depot, then i never heard a word from him; he wouldn't return my calls, or messages. he did 2 out of 3 jobs; installed dishwasher, new toilet, but I still have no hot water.... and even though he told me the dishwasher heated it's own water, when i looked, after running it 2 times, the dishes are still dirty. one spoon was still thick with peanut butter residue. so, cant take a shower, cant wash dishes- unless i manually do them in a plastic 'dish pan'- can't wash any white clothes, etc. to say I am pissed off would be an understatement. Seems I have been handing out 450$ to I don't know how many damned people, last week!!!!!  there are times that i truly hate human beings. it's so hard to get good help, these days. 
     Thank God for my yard man, who is as good as gold, reliable, honest, really an all around super nice and good man; who does great work... and doesn't bleed me white. i got home from Little Rock to find he'd mowed the acres; that made the return somewhat nicer. but i only see it when I drive into the driveway; I haven't been outside except when i had to go somewhere... and with this heat i wont be able to enjoy 'outside' until October...

     I have to recover the data on the 3 hard drives i accidentally burnt up; data i desperately need, containing all original works and works in progress [art, music, photos, lyrics, etc] plus so much irreplaceable stuff, like family photos I can never replace; some of the family photos i had borrowed to scan; those family members are now dead. Thank God my 'computer' guy, is like my yard man- honest, reliable- and is very helpful. Data recovery is costly; and he told me [at enoch's last night] that the company we chose to work with, wants $500 up front, for ONE HD, but I have 3- so I'm looking at 1500$, which isn't gonna just drop out of the sky. BUT the last place I used charged 1600$ for one! it's always something... either a miracle will happen and 1500$ will fall from the sky into my bank account, or I am gonna have to do them 1 at a time... which is still a bitch.

   Then there are my health issues, which I keep trying to avoid. even though I am always in pain, i really do not want to have the hernia surgery, and be out of commission for possibly 6 weeks. I suppose bed, heavy medication and books would be a good choice; but, i don't even read anymore, either feel i don't have time; or feel guilty that i am not doing something productive/creative or profitable. passive entertainment just doesn't 'do it' for me. Thinking of being cut open again [last time was my colon cancer surgery] just terrifies me, now. And the idea of a knee replacement is totally out of the question; I don't want any alien parts put into my body. I'll suffer it as long as i can stand it... 

     Doing my creative works, which are all basically "creative avoidance" of everything outside myself, are all that keeps me on the rails. As long as I can stay focused on them, lose myself in them, i don't focus on anything else, like all the ever pervasive BS in the world.

     even though i have been a zombie for the past week, i think it's time to go back to bed, NOW [even though i haven't been awake that long] and try to get up and get to church in the morning; unfortunately i slept through confession today, so will not receive 'the Holy Gifts' [communion] tomorrow...
but, I seriously need spiritual revitalization... asap.


Friday, January 19, 2018

January 19, 2018

I've been waiting on an "important" call all afternoon, which is why I haven't gone out. they're 20 minutes late. I wish the damned people would call when they said they would. Louisiana is 7 hours earlier than here, and they have all day! Which means I gotta hang here until after midnight. dammit.
Today was sunny and bright, but i didn't 'get' any of it [waiting on said call]... instead, I woke and began editing even older piano tracks I found on backups of backups of backups, etc. some of the older tracks done here, before we found Mr. Right [Herr Schmidt] the piano was not sooooo in tune.
It was a gift from God that we found the piano in a Salvation Army many many years ago... i can't even remember when. It's given me back something I had been missing for decades: sitting down to a real piano, playing for hours on end. Even though I hauled the spinet my parents bought me [when I was taking lessons, at about age 12] to New Orleans in 1987; that was the last time i really played it. It went into storage in 92, now the poor thing just sits in my house. Adam gave me a beautiful studio piano, which I have to have seen about very soon, so I can carry on this tradition, there; where it actually started in the 60s.
In looking in backups of DR recordings, pre-tuning, I found a piece or two and 'time stretched' them to oblivion, adding phasing and reverb etc. one short 2 minute piece I stretched to 23 + minutes, very 'ethereal but a bit menacing'... but, i like that kinda stuff... thinking of adding weird vocal things, and maybe synth stuff over it.
I also rediscovered a ton of LSRFDD rehearsal recordings from Oct 2015, and some live shows from then, done with the DR- if I was in the sampling/looping mood, I'd tear into them; I didn't wade through them all, but think I found the ‘sound check’ recording from the 1st NELA Music Awards. I just know that I heard a lot of weird 'big room sound', which grabbed me immediately, before I ever even got to the music. it’s very reverby, people talking, someone tuning a horn, etc. I might sample all the sounds between the music, stitch them together for some kinda strange something.
But my executive decision du jour, and is for the days to come, is to do NOW / HERE what I can't do in MLU... which means: do more acoustic piano tracks, since Herr Schmidt recently came and tuned my beauty. I need to write/record as much as possible; need to get both pianos at home [in each house] tuned; but i have other emergency priorities to deal with 1st; like getting everything that's broken, oder kaput, fixed/replaced. I hope the bad weather there didn't break any pipes, or water heaters etc. i’d be totally f---ed.
I dread flying in and having to deal with all that, asap, but that's life. echt wel, "Just Remember The Good Times" ... and I did have man good times here, as always.

I cannot believe I only have 3 more days here, after changing my ticket. I could've and should've 'edited' all those tracks in MLU, not here... wasted days and wasted nights... but they are ‘done’ ready to be uploaded for cds, or added vocals to.
I refuse to unpack my luggage, yet keep dragging out computer scheiss, from carry on. I cannot go through the stress of re-packing. I will wear my 'travel drag' if and when we go out, and wash it Monday night for the flight; however, I don't plan on going anywhere, despite invitations. I'm back in hermit artist monk mode; just want to sleep and work, ad infinitum...
Normally at this time of year [fasnacht/carnavale/mardi gras*] I'd be drawing/painting MG* stuff. I haven't been to a single MG* thang here, and they began weeks ago. But, we did have King Cake on Drei Konig's Tage [aka Epiphany]. It's always too damned cold here to go hang out for parades and such. Nowadays, walking with Krewe of St Anne, photographing folks in costume, is more my MG* style; but walking a mile is beginning to be a bitch. Thank goodness + Alfy for my Alfy stick; I used it to go up the mountain to Giger museum; I would NOT have made it without it.
It's weird, I have been living between two continents for over 25+ years- I feel equally at home in both places, but sometimes feel like I am a stranger in both, a total vagabond, rootless. Until I came to Europe, New Orleans was the 1 place where I spent most of my life; the rest was spent 'on the road' [from 1968 til 1987, when I again moved back to NO and got my first ever long term ‘sit down gig’], or like a seasonal worker: seasons in Nashville, Denver, Little Rock, Hollywood, only going back to MLU in between. When I began coming over here [1992+] I decided to leave NO, and stored everything in MLU; I'm not always sure that that was such a good decision; I left my 'home' and career in NO for a bag of magic beans... mais, je ne regrette rien. Now 1/2 my life is in MLU and 1/2 here. I love Europe; I love Louisiana. I have wonderful friends both places. When I feel like the baby in the Solomon allegory- I stop and realize, I have been incredibly blessed. IF 'home is where the heart is" [or "home is where one's stuff is"] my heart is bi-continental; when I’m here, I’m totally here; when there, totally there. I'll continue to float between these two worlds, as much as I can, for as long as I can.
I look forward to getting back to LSRFDD, my [USA] musical tribe/family, and getting back to work. When listening to some of our live cuts, today, I thought “Damn! What a great band!!!!” and it is. In looking at all the long, ‘daily’ rehearsal recordings, today, I saw that we really worked our butts off putting this band together, starting 2015. I need a week of down time, when I land in LA, but after that I’ll be “up for the downstroke”...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

the times they are a-changin' - or rather, they already have [rant]

Last night I watched documentaries, ad infinitum. One was on folk music in greenwich village circa 1950s/1960s; a bohemian era that no longer exists, just as haight ashbury in the 60s no longer exists. Then I woke this morning and saw a post on Facebook by my friend, Cindy Chen, discussing 'nouvelle new orleans nouveau', the gentrification americanization thereof, and bemoaning [as i have done forever, and still do] the loss of  'our' new orleans, the dowager grand dame of american bohemia...

'our' new orleans was, to quote a dickens line, “the best of times, it was the worst of times”. But 'our' is now a bygone era. The days of my waking with a hangover, looking out the shuttered window of my friends Quarter apartment, to see tennessee williams in his muumuu, hosing down the banana plants, elephants ears, etc. etc. cocktail in one hand, hose in the other; or george dureau descending a never ending dark staircase, drunk as a fiddler's bitch, champagne glass in hand- or going to south rampart to pick up and haul professor longhair's rmi piano to a gig, or ernie k doe [taking my tips] or guitar slim jr [with a butcher knife up his sleeve] sitting in with me on bourbon street, etc. doing acid with the creators of the jazz fest at the dream palace [names withheld] - drinkin' wine at dawn on the steps of the cathedral, etc- so many stories of so many artists, musicians, characters, quarter rats, run amok in such a 'no holds barred' insanely liberal city, are now faint memories; fading photographs; my brain is crammed full of them, starting with my 1st era of 'being there' when I was 13... 

As becky allen [comedienne extraordinaire] always said “we had culture when the rest of america had agriculture” - true dat. She was speaking specifically of nawlins, BUT I speak of ALL Louisiana. Natchitoches [1714] was the 1st European settlement here. The Louisiana Purchase to this day infuriates me- that Napoleon sold us [about the size of 15 states] to America [via Thomas Jefferson] for a mere pittance! Je ne comprend pas! BUT THAT was a VERY bygone era... way be fo my time...
louisiana is a land of many multi and varied cultures, many which, thank God still flourish

as for Nawlins- for me, the death knell/bell tolled, when the Old Absinthe Bar [where we- Razin Cain- did the graveyard shift in the late 70s] was turned into a daiquiri shop. DESECRATION! Also there was the changing/moving of Maspero's from it's original spot- DESECRATION! And a Shoney's in da qwawtuh, dawlin... DESECRATION! Corporate dueling piano bars popping up left and right- trying be Pat O's on coke- but there was a "whole lot of changin' goin' on", even in the 90s. That's normal. Time marches on. Shit happens. They iz a fresh crop of folks every year! thangs gots ta change. the only thing that is consistent IS change.

I howled in the streets w/friends during many a hurricane in my day. we always had hurricane parties; it was an occasion to celebrate [but then, anything is, in new orleans]and challenge life! But never in my mind could I have envisioned one [even though betsy and camille caused much destruction] that would do the damage of katrina. i watched CNN relentlessly, for days, unable to sleep; not believing what i was seeing happening as it happened. i felt gutted. 

After Katrina, new orleans was a skeleton lying in a broken soup bowl, a cadaver floating  below sea level. It was no longer the same place. I went to the first Mardi Gras afterward [2006] and it felt like 'dancing on corpses' to be partying, drinking, parading [oh my]- especially when the stench of death could STILL be  smelled, especially if you crossed over the bridge down St Claude. The few pockets of the city which hadn’t been destroyed or affected went on... business as usual; all the outlying areas were like a war zone. the quarter seemed pretty much the same- whereas other parts of the city were completely GONE. I spent all of Ash Wednesday driving all over the city photographing, documenting the devastation, the horror, the tragedy [and continued to do so throughout 2006]- photos which will never be seen. I certainly wouldn’t exhibit them, unless it was for a new orleans based charity. 

I always loved new orleans* more than any place on earth. I spent so much of my life there; had so many life experiences there. So much of who I am is because of  'being there', living there, absorbing it all by osmosis. I always called it my 'spiritual home'. When it was destroyed I felt like a family member had been beaten to almost death, and was just barely hanging on. I wanted to move back and nurse her* back to life, back to health. I wanted to be a part of the resurrection of the city*... but, I was/am dug in, in north louisiana, with my career being primarily in europe since 1992. I had, literally  'bought the farm' [family land and home outside Monroe] and continued to travel back and forth to work in europe every year. I had responsibilities here. I rolled the thought of moving back, over and over in my mind, for years, until I finally realized that the window of opportunity had closed shut; it* was no longer possible... and it was no longer my reality. The thought of pulling up stakes, picking up and moving, leaving my my roots, family and friends, homes and land, at my age... was/is not going to happen... [unless I won/win the lotto]

having been here all these years, ever deepening my already deep roots, my ties to my  terra firma, my sense of place, my comfort zone, having fallen into my own routine, basically evolving into a hermit monk and recluse- [except when I DO perform locally, or work abroad] I have no intention of any major life changes. Life does enough of that to me, itself; I don't need to make more. AND the thought that there could be a hurricane worse than katrina in the future, always lurks in my mind... 

BUT what I have discovered, and what is the 'punch line'/point to this whole rant, if there is one, is that- as I wrote in IF IT AINT ONE THING [thank you, Marcia!] “no matter where you go, there you are” - When I read my old new orleans diaries, I realize I was just as reclusive then and there as I am here and now. Of course, i did get out more- [i was also 42 and in good shape] I would go to museums, art galleries and to coffee houses and such, but I wasn't big on hanging out in bars. I did enough of that in the 60s, 70s and early 80s, thank you. I did have my haunts: la Madeleine, Cafe Kaldi, A Museum for Fine Photography, the Country Flame, Sid Mar's in Bucktown, Beckham's bookstore [and every used bookstore in the quarter- some open all night] when i DID hang in bars i was drinking non alcoholic beer, which is an oxymoron. blah blah blah. I went out mostly in the day time, but even walking the streets at night, I was seldom afraid, like I would be NOW even in broad daylight. 

IF Monroe were a walkable city, with a thriving functioning downtown, [which i remember it had in the 50s, early 60s] I might get out more. They're [the famous 'they'] trying to, God help em, build up and gentrify downtown; but, i don't foresee it happening in my lifetime. There again, living in the country, as opposed to living in the city [as I did in NO] also makes a BIG difference. i've grown accustomed to and like the peace and quiet, the solitude, or country life. I 'occupy myself' when here; i feast and gorge on culture when i go to europe. 

I remember my cher ami, gloria powers, always chiding me because I didn't “hang out”, I didn't schmooze, I didn't go out to be seen, rub shoulders with, or to mingle and hobnob with, the movers and shakers there. Whether living in new orleans, hollywood, nashville, or working in NYC- I've never liked playing the fame game: hustling to meet famous and/or powerful people, and playing kiss ass, thinking they can or will somehow help you in your career. They're usually either too protective of their own status, or give you a line of bullshit, or empty promises that never come to anything. I learned that very early on. 

I ran into [late 80s early 90s] barbara hoover [whom I knew from the punk daze] in the quarter, walking down royal street, with a big crucifix. I asked her if she was “starting a street mission” [y'all know that laugh] She was helping decorate daniel lanois' house/studio on esplanade. we walked, talked, and somehow got around to the new orleans music 'business' scene [which, as far as I was concerned was non existent, a lot of meetings and talks, events, but no REAL action] – she said “Everybody comes to 'new awluns' thinking they're gonna make it big. New orleans is like sleepy hollow, you don't make it big here, you come here to 'get it together' and 'make it somewhere else, like new york or L.A.” a statement I have never forgotten... and she would know.

The pay scale, for the most part, back then, was not great; it wasn't even good, in MOST joints. Working in a band? forget it, you'd starve to death. I lucked out, working Bourbon Street [Tricou House] and Decatur street [Storyville] I made a good living and didn’t have to leave town... I didn't have to tour! For the 1st time in my life I had a normal work routine, which also gave me a chance at a semi normal life. the absolute best thing I got out of  my last period there [1987-1992, other than forming DOUG DUFFEY/STREET LEVEL/NEW ORLEANS] was solo performance experience! working my ass off, playing and singing 4 sets a day, 5 or 6 days a week [7 during mardi gras] AND working that crowd, dawlin'... 

Things WERE different then [but then things were different every decade I lived there] but The CITY*, especially the Quarter, was pretty much ALWAYS the same. Living there [1960s] when I was about 12-13 w/family; then in my mid teenage years [runaway- oh la la], the hippie daze, the 70s/early 80s rock punk days, the late 80s early 90s -je ne sais quoi days- 1987-92 my 'clean and sober vegan years' [which is the only way I survived it, again] and then... the end of my eras there, except for occasional visits, nowadays. 

I've always said “new orleans: a great place to live but I wouldn’t want to visit there” and there IS a truth in that; there's different rhythm/vibe to living there, or visiting there. I had been 'on the road' in America, playing in bands, from the time I was 18 until I was 35, playing in every watering hole from coast to coast. When I moved back to New Orleans in 87, I gave up 'the road' [USA] and have not, and will not, 'do it' again. I have only gone back and forth from Monroe to Europe, for the past 22 years- and have only seen America from the inside of airports. I have no idea what is 'out there' anymore; nor do I want to. I'm sure it is only much more of, the ever increasing, ever devouring, same crap being thrown up everywhere. Environmental rape in the name of progress and business. 

The gentrification of New orleans is inevitable. We live in an age of greed. Katrina washed away so many locals to distant shores; shores they can never and will never return from. Whole neighborhoods vanished, and with them rich and irreplaceable cultures. Wheelers and dealers, land grabbers, developers, and property snatchers jumped with deep pockets and took over. Realtors were already hawking properties the minute the waters subsided. 

Things will most definitely change- and probably NOT for the better- but it's not only happening in New Orleans; it's everywhere in America. As Manhattan was sterilized and Disney-fied, new orleans will be white washed and gussied up by strangers in a strange land, that have NO idea or concept of what it* was [or is] all about; nothing but hints of our past cultures, traditions, and ways of life; none of which will mean very little if anything to them. I miss the good ole days, but then we always do. Hindsight is 20/20 and very often overly romanticized and unrealistically remembered/portrayed. 

Many comments were also posted on CC's page, agreeing about how corporations have taken over, how the city has lost and is losing so much of it's soul. That IS indeed sad. They also spoke of the lack of respect for musicians; but I never saw much respect for musicians there, unless your last name was marsalis or neville. the more things change the more they stay the same. i would not want to be starting out in the business there, or anywhere, in this day and age; much less be out trying to hustle gigs 

the other documentary i watched last night was on J.D Salinger [Catcher In The Rye] whom i identified with because he got out of the rat race, went into seclusion, but continued writing/working, even though he wasn't publishing anything. he said [paraphrased] it was only important to write for yourself, to do the absolute best work you could do, for yourself. he was very pro spiritual, and extremely anti commercial. [he could afford to be] but it is HARD to be in THIS tres modern age, and not deal with the commercial... you're surrounded by and bombarded with it every nano second.  

i've never understood the mentality [or lack of] of Bourbon Street club owners. [back to CC's thread] instead of clubs with musicians/bands playing traditional new orleans music [in any of it's many forms] they play to the lowest common denominator. they don't need professional musicians when they have karaoke bars and boobs onstage in abundance. american idol/idle on steroids. everybody is a drunk star with their 15 minutes of false fame. [the other documentary i watched was on warhol star "candy darling"] - if it ain't dat, it's bands playing either whatever passes for 'urban' music, loud as hell rock, or the old chestnuts like 'mustang sally' - where IS the new orleans music that the city is world famous for? duh? i done served my time

BUT on the bright side of things, young energetic people ARE moving in, and are willing to work to rebuild and revitalize the city; even if they do modify it; photoshop it; create it in their own image. At 64 I am a little too long in the tooth to sling a hammer for habitat for humanity, even if I can still kick a 20 year old's ass onstage! [lol] i'll miss the old funk; but it, like elvis, has already left the building. Whatever the 'new' New Orleans becomes, it will not be 'our' new orleans, but that of those who are working to bring it back to life... as well it should be.

[c] 2014 doug duffey

Monday, February 3, 2014

Reality is relative...

I woke up this morning, to quote every old blues singer, or the theme to 'the sopranos', with this lingering cold [la grippe] still lingering, on top of jet lag which takes me much longer to get over these daze. I was supposed to go have bloodwork done, but I “chose life” instead- even though I did NOT eat even a cookie after midnight. OR even another one of the big ww pita breads I made from scratch- rather than go to the grocery. and even if i DID wake at the crack of doom. I have a business meeting at 2:30PM today, so blew the blood work off. tamara is anudda day. As much as I dread leaving the house [what's new?] thank God today is overcast rather than overflowing as was yesterday. I have a certain sadness connected to my Mother and this day, but I wont go there... not today... 

So … made coffee, came to my electric chair , my cross to bear, to this desk, again watching nature devour itself. Sitting as a DEAR friend one said of me “like an old Grandpa, hanging on your window, drinking your s—t Louisiana coffee” - due to my frequent sloth mode, my eternal hermitism. Hermetically sealed; c'est moi. Thinking of Louis Prima “as life goes on without me” but then, it goes on without everyone; it flies by while I peck out drivel.... Reality is relative... 

A cardinal hopping and pecking, on the beige brown canvas; a fat beige brown black sparrow flying in, landing n and bending the twig of the tree at the window. Various UFOs flitting hither and yon, as well as unauthorized cats about; watering at the pond, or hooking up. The spit and image of Barbra, my pink mouthed, blue eyed [crossed] baby girl, is 'down there'- I thought it was her until I went and looked on the bed. Could one of her 5 brothers have come back? Domina was crawling, now sitting sphinx like, on the burn pile; like a body on a gat/a pyre. At least she's wearing her winter coat. And the beat goes on...  

Louisiana has once again seduced me, lured me with even her faintest of charms. There is a certain beauty to this beige, brown grey hibernat-ive state of all the vegetation; beautiful like an old sepia photograph. but as soon as the emerald green begins to come, so comes the jungle which I dread and fight every year. Thus, ALL unwanted flora and fauna and foliage [oh my] must be destroyed NOW!!!! [lmao] 

I spent most of last night trying to untangle myself from google+'s tentacles- which reach into and want to access and share every damned thing in one's cyber life. why i signed on for it or LinkedIn is beyond me. i can't even keep up with all the other time consuming useless merde brought about by technology. Facebook eats more than enough of my time. But Google+, like China, gobbles up everything- all apps accounts I have and use- Blogger, Picasa, Youtube- all are connected to Google. AND google plus is NOT an alternative to FB- I don’t WANT to join “a hangout” or have 'circles' of friends. I dont want everything connected to everything- if I furz online I dont want it sent to my phone, bitte. I went to youtube and not only were none of my videos there, but I could not even get into my account, which I have had since time immemorial, without mucho air pulling, lots of cursing, and doing my best to hack myself. I finally got it sorted... I think... after going in and 'making public' EVERY VIDEO I had ever posted, which took a LOT of time, and did NOT help my nerves, chile. 

i don’t blog, [don't ask me] anymore; this is a first in a while. But due to the evaporation of my earlier rant on FB, I chose to rant in OpenOffice then cut and paste to Blogger. I HATE being forced to use those little boxes. Dont fence me in! Dammit! I havent  ventured to my dinosaur 'myspace' page in forever; so it's dead in the water. But I dont have time to keep up with all this merde; even though i have nothing BUT time. and since moving my website from Bayou to Hostbaby due to certain perks, a lil lagniappe, it's a bitch to update. Cdbaby, my global distributor, which WAS an indie company, got gobbled up by Diskmakers- who used to make my cds before I decided to stop making them [plastic is poison- petroleum products etc]- then started their own [said] web hosting, which I switched to. BUT I only studied web design using Front Page, which they dont use, so I chose to use their templates, which suck. SO, now I will have to LEARN Dreamweaver and hopefully be able to FTP something more artistic to my own site*, when I want,- OR just use it* as a frame work/skeleton for links to all the other damned sites I have- for my music, my art, my photography, my books, all of which are too many- so many sites, so little time.  Updating all this caca? As sweet brown said, “aint nobody got time fuh dat” - can I get an amen. I dont think i've written an email in ich weiss nicht... 

that said- my whole life is uber filled to the brim with clutter, which really and truly causes way too much hassle [and psychosis]. I want my life to be rather zen-ish; ou peur tetre Swedish Country. Get rid of everything that does not serve a purpose, or have a function, or anything I haven’t used in the last year! That goes for files furniture equipment cds dvds vhs cassette 1000 cables vintage computer shit- 5 televisions- [oh my]- ALLES! Getting rid of everything would also help me to LEAVE here when duty calls, without fear of thugs or fires or wtf? Feeling very Matthew 6:20+: 19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. THAT would definitely be a better option, as said: Swedish Country... lots of nothing painted white and bird's egg blue... 

Oh shite !!!!!! 2 hours till I have to 'meet'- and i am totally unprepared!!! hurry hurry ding ding hurry hurry ding ding  [c]2014 Doug Duffey

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


faith and begorrah, sodom and gomorrah? or wtf? I HAVEN'T BEEN BLOGGING.... [OBVIOUSLY]... or answering emails or snail mails, or voice mails [oh my] or messages  texts, land lines, nada nada nada. etc etc etc ... 
there are days when, as my friend memo says, [paraphrased] "it doesn't pay to try and chew through the restraints"...  charles bukowski wrote "love is a dog from hell"; in my version it would be 'life is a dog from hell" ... WOOF! 

i thought by now, after about 2.5 years of therapy and enough head medications to fill the superdome, that i would be better. i don't think I am, or my mind is, "the problem"; it is the non stop, relentless getting beating down by life. i get up just to be knocked down again. with MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER sometimes i wonder why i even struggle to maintain the level of existence [torture] that i do. 


Saturday, August 17, 2013


AUGUST is almost half way through - which is a blessing. Even though the past few days have been pleasant enough to be outside, i haven't been; but then, i haven't been outside, very often, for the past two years. i will not repeat all the reasons here; people probably assume i have Munchausen syndrome, as is. 

As always, i look forward to fall, which is my favorite time of year.  there is something magical about the light- and a different kind of cool than spring. in summer i seldom if ever turn on the stove, except to light a cigarette when i cant find my lighter. i keep all windows and doors and shades blinds curtains closed. i live like Dracula, waking late, going to bed late. But that also goes with my line of work, which i have done for 45+ years. fall- spring i am forever baking home made bread, muffins, etc. cooking soups. enjoying living in flannels and thermals 24x7 and snuggling in my flannel sheets. et voila. i have repeated these things in many older posts. 

fall is like dying, winter like death, spring like rebirth. i am looking forward to my rebirth. 

my muses left me. they will return. they come and go. they sometimes work me non stop for weeks on end- then vacate the premises, leaving me exhausted, to renew/refill my energies, then come back with a vengeance. in the past months [since the robbery in february] i have not touched my piano, i have made no music. i haven't even edited any past works in the 'archive'. and even though i did many [hundreds] of line, or marker drawings, many mornings, they rest in chests of drawers. the plans of doing large watercolours and works on canvases did not happen. i'd planned to do them outside, but the heat became unbearable. nor did developing about 30 rolls of film, which i had planned to do. everything was to be done in summer, when i would be inside. everything has been postponed. delayed.

not to be maudlin, but in the past few years i have seriously questioned everything! questioned everything from life to death to heaven and hell, GOD and the devil, and the age old question: what is the meaning of life? what is our purpose? after 2 years of self imposed exile, much introspection, prayer, meditation, and therapy i STILL don't know THE ANSWER. but i believe being in, and living in, "THE NOW"... and "following your bliss" as Joseph Campbell preached [doing what you LOVE to do; doing what you have a PASSION to do]