With Good Reason

Three deer in Spring Valley
Three deer in Spring Valley

I remember going to the zoo at the top of Zoo Road in Durand Eastman and looking out over the hillside full of deer. That zoo is long gone but the deer are still here. Rochester didn’t need two zoos anyway. This set up with them wandering freely around the whole town seems much more civilized.

Peggi and I seem to have been buried in an endless amount of tweaks to sites we thought were done. A lot of this is mission creep and a good bit of it extras. That line however is pretty fuzzy.

When we do get caught up the first recreational project on our to do list is creating a shopping cart for Pete LaBonne’s “Gigunda” digital box set. Pete has been remastering the tracks in his Adirondack studio and the last of the reworked tracks arrived in today’s mail. Pete has added the original cover art for the full blown download experience and he selected tracks from each album to giveaway as teasers. The full albums will be available as downloads for chump change. I noticed that “Antique Revolt”, a project I played on along with Bruce Eaton, was not included in this set. With good reason.

Title song from Godiva Records cassette, “Antique Revolt” Recorded by Arpad Sekeres in 1992

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Like Flies On Sherbert

Dead mole in woods

Our friend Rich used to write the obit column for The Herald Telephone in Indiana. It was about that time that I put it together that people actually died.

Friday’s obits really got us going. I didn’t realize I had been so manipulated back when I wanted to sleep with my Davy Crockett coonskin cap on. Turns out, with over 3000 Disney/Crockett toys on the market, most kids in America had the same desire. I don’t remember having any of the other products though.

On the same page, right below the Fess Parker obit was Alex Chilton’s. I loved the songs he sang in the Box Tops and bought those singles but never caught on to Big Star. We absolutely loved the Cramps first singles and I knew Alex Chilton’s name was on those as producer. In fact, Peggi drove down with some friends to Max’s Kansas City to see the Cramps during that time period. I was in the studio that night with New Math recording our first single with Howard Thompson behind the boards so I missed the show. And I knew our friend Pete LaBonne played with Alex and would regularly send him his own releases. He and Shelley visited Alex backstage at one of the recent Box Top reunion shows. I played a few gigs with “Pete’s Rock Band” with Bruce Eaton on bass. Buffalo Bruce is a big Big Star fan and wrote the 33 1/3 book on “Radio City”, Big Star’s second album. Bruce wrote the Chilton obit for Salon Magazine.

So now that he is gone, just what was he all about. We downloaded about ten songs from various blogs and put them them in our iTunes library. The songs were pop and grungy and country and bluesy and all over the map. “September Gurls” is stuck in my head. And then I remembered Pete had given us a solo Chilton lp called “Like Sherbert on Flies”. Since he doesn’t have either electricity or a record player he asked us to keep it for him. We played both sides of this particularly odd record. It sounds sort of like Pete’s “Antique Revolt” and I know how that recording went. Pete bought some big cans of malt liquor and instructed Arpad to roll the tape.

On the editorial page of today’s paper Paul Westerberg wrote a piece on his mentor called “Beyond the Box Tops. He talked about Big Star and how Alex went on to record more challenging and artistic records “Like Flies On Sherbert.”

We spotted this dead mole in the woods and and Steve Hoy called us on Friday to tell us his mom had died. I feel especially lucky to be alive.

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I Mow The Lawn

Pete LaBonne, along with Bruce Eaton, released a 45 with their Buffalo group, “The Party Nuggets”. It was called “I Mow The Lawn” and it was pretty close to the Staple Singers’ tune “I’ll Take You There”. I start singing it every time I fire up the lawn mower. Yesterday was one of those days.

We were supposed to be at Peter Pappas’s for a pre Jazz Fest party at 7 and I got a late start and so I mowed while walking really fast which reminded me of the job I had in Bloomington mowing the lawns of University owned houses. There were about a hundred of these houses all over town. Caroline Peyton from the Screaming Gypsy Bandits who went on to do the voice for many of Disney’s animated cartoons (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) lived in one of the houses that I mowed. And I think her roommate at the time was Andrea from Angel Corpus Christi. I would stop and chat with Caroline but my main objective was mowing my lawns as fast as I could, hiding the mower in someone’s bushes and then riding my bike back to the trailer I lived in to hang out for the rest of the day. Then around four I would have to ride back into town to punch out.

My boss had mouth cancer but he continued to smoke Lucky Strikes. He had open sores on the side of his face. It was my first glimpse of cancer. I remember a woman opening a window and giving me six pairs of grey socks. She said her husband had recently died and I looked like I could use them. It was a little creepy the first time I put them on but I got over that. Near the end of the summer one of the other mowers told me that the boss was spending some time driving around looking for me. So I made a point to hang around and let him see me. I remember smiling and waving when he drove by.