When The Music Starts To Play
I was 14 years old and looking through the records for sale at the Scholar Coffee House in Minneapolis – one time home to Bob Dylan, Spider John Koerner, Leo Kottke, and every other musician in town. I’m searching (as always) by instinct, rather than any kind of knowledge. Come on, I’m 14. I come across a cover with three guys hanging off of the remains of a burnt out, English, double-decker bus. One of them is nattily dressed in tweeds with a matching hat, one is kind of normal looking, except for a beard, and another guy has a headband and a big fur coat. The name on the record is, The Incredible String Band.
Good As Gone I don’t really know what a string band is and the word, incredible, was, at that time, bursting with virgin hyperbole. I had to have it. At home, I found they had scratchy, weird voices, played a lot of guitar and banjo, and had a beautiful piece called, Whistle Tune, played on a real whistle. Not only were the melodies fun, beautiful, and catchy, but also the lyrics were poetic and carried the weight of experience and wisdom. They knew about women, life, good times, and whiskey.
Check this out.
From October Song-
I met a man whose name was Time
And he said, “I must be going”.
But just how long ago that was
I have no way of knowing.
Sometimes I want to murder time,
Sometimes when my heart’s aching.
But mostly I just stroll along
The path that he is taking.
Everything’s Fine Right Now
Oh, come a little closer to my breast,
I’ll tell you that you’re the one I really love the best,
and you don’t have to worry about any of the rest,
’cause everything’s fine right now.
Imagine how this blew my mind. They were great players and were really talking about stuff. In the years that followed, I saw them a couple of times and they got progressively stranger and, possibly, more wonderful with each album. Though this record is now kind of old, like me, I still play it all the time and never tire of it.