Wish You Were Beer

Further at Highland Bowl in Rochester, New York
Further at Highland Bowl in Rochester, New York

Our friend, John Gilmore, won a pair of tickets to the Further show at Highland Bowl. He was the ninth caller to Scott Regan’s WRUR morning show. He already had tickets so he gave them to us and encouraged us to go. He was there early enough to hear the sound check and stake out the perfect spot for his chair. We got there just before the show and wandering around looking for him for whole first set. The Bowl was packed, wall to wall tie dye, and if that was Frederick Douglas instead of a statue of him looking out over the crowd he would be stunned at what post emancipation looks like. We watched a guy pass out as he walked. He fell over a group of people who were sitting on a blanket spilling a woman’s beer. She jumped up and said, “That beer cost me seven dollars.”

Further at Highland Bowl in Rochester, New York

The band opened with Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away.” We had just seen a “Not Fade Away” t-shirt and another one that said, “Wish You Were Beer.” The smell of pot filled the air, not the old fashioned scent but pungent, skunky stuff. The band was playing Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright” when a group of kids in front of us asked if we had seen a bone bowl. I could barely hear with my earplugs in and said, “What?” “A small bone bowl pipe. I just had it a second ago.” The band sounds like the Dead on steroids doing athletic versions of their classics and crazy covers like “Strawberry Fields” and Pink Floyd’s “Time”. The sound was fantastic. The intermission music was all James Brown.

Phil Lesh and Bob Weir’s band includes a guitar player from a Dead cover band who sounds like Garcia when he sings and sort of sounds like him when he plays and a piano/organist who is the musical foundation. They do an admirable job of carrying on the Dead legacy. I’m glad we were beer.


Urban Realists

Detail of a Rembrandt self portrait etching at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY
Detail of a Rembrandt self portrait etching at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY

Peggi dropped me off at Culver and Clifford right in front of the church my parents were married in. She was headed out to her mom’s and I took off on my bike to meet Scott Regan at the Memorial Art Gallery. Scott suggested we walk through the Memorial Art Gallery together after we had a an engaging discussion at the the Little Theater one night. I casually mentioned that I liked the little abstracts on the wall and he pushed me to explain why. I told him I don’t usually try to explain why I like something. I just respond in a flash. Of course some things are acquired tastes but Scott is more reasoned. Abstract art is usually not reasoned although Kirk Varnedoe made a pretty good argument in his brilliant “Pictures of Nothing” book that it is.

Scott had just come from a photo session for an upcoming profile in “Lake Affect” Magazine and he had to be somewhere else in an hour and half so we got right down to business. We started in the gallery store looking at Janet Williams’ posters from her Primordial Flea Market Series. The posters bother me because someone has added type to reproductions of her absolutely beautiful paintings. Absolute doesn’t need any more. I asked if they still had any of the paintings and they did in the back room. We were allowed to go back there for a few precious minutes.

Down the hall where the gallery staff sometimes display their new acquisitions we stopped at a beautiful abstract wood cut print by a Japanese fellow. Can’t remember who it was by. I’m slow with names. Scott again asked me, “Why do you respond so favorably to this”? I felt like I was explaining the obvious but of course it is not that simple. Did I really say, “I find it delightful”? On down the hall past the hideous fireplace mural recreation to the Lockhart Gallery for the Rembrandt etching show. We both agreed he is our favorite artist, hands down. Whether he’s sketching the country side or a constructing devilish self portrait he is masterful.

Scott suggest we go upstairs and we spent some time analyzing paintings from the 1800’s before studying the “Urban Realists” from the early part of this last century. Someone came over and asked us to keep at least six inches away from the paintings. He said the people behind the camera were going crazy as we gestured. He pointed up to the ceiling. I wondered why we didn’t see any guards hanging around.

We only saved a few minutes for the modern collection which is where I usually spend most of my time. Peggi and I had just watched a beutiful Alfred Stieglitz documentary and it was fun to see paintings from his stable of artists lined up there. Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley and Georgia OKeefe. On the way out the door we stopped in the “This Is A Series” show in the gallery of the Creative Workshop. I have three paintings down there, one of which I am still uncertain about and Scott helped me sort that out.


Four Minutes To Fidget

Leo fixes our ceramic fish
Leo fixes our ceramic fish

Peggi was trying to bust the screen open in our kitchen and she knocked our ceramic fish off the widow ledge. We bought it at the Clothesline Show a long time ago and we never found a place to hang it in our new crib. Funny thing is the fish came from one of the nearby ponds that we walk and ski around. A tag on the back of it reads, “The mold for this fish was made by a Perch caught by Joe Lake in a pond of Durand Eastman Park in Rochester, NY in 1993.”

Rick Simpson suggested that we take the pieces over to our neighbor, Leo, who excels in glue applications. Leo chose a two part epoxy that looks black when it hardens. We tried holding the pieces together with nails, our hands and duct tape. We had four minutes to fidget. The seam is pretty visible but it is a whole again.

I sat down to talk to Sue Rogers at last Wednesday’s Margaret Explosion gig and I remember fidgeting with Scott Regan’s pens while we talked. Well, I found the pen in my pocket the next day. I’m bad. I will return it.

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