Monday, 8 December 2008

08 December 2008

audience (which was just people laughing at a dozen tables, the room thirty by thirty feet and low ceiling) and he never stopped. He was very simple in his ideas. Ideas meant nothing to him. What he liked was the surprise of a new simple variation of a chorus. He’d go from…”ta-tup-tader-rara…ta-tup-tade-rara”…repeating and hopping to it and kissing and smiling into his horn---and then to “ta-tup-EE-da-de-dera-RUP! ta-tup-EE-da-de-dera-RUP!” and it was all great moments of laughter and understanding for him and everyone else who heard. His tone was clear as a bell, high, pure, and blew straight in our faces from two feet away. Neal stood in front of him oblivious to everything else in the world with his head bowed, his hands socking in together, his whole body jumping on his heels and the sweat, always the sweat pouring and splashing down his tormented collar to literally lie in a pool at his feet. Helen and Julie were there and it took us five minutes to realize it. Whoo, Frisco nights, the end of the continent and the end of doubt, all dull doubt and tomfoolery, goodbye. Lampshade was roaring around with his trays of beer: everything he did was in rhythm: he yelled at the waitress with the beat: “Hey now babybaby, make a way, make a way, it’s Lampshade coming your way” and he hurled by her with the beers in the air and roared through the swinging doors in the kitchen and dance with the cooks and come sweating back. Connie Jordan sat absolutely motionless at a corner table with an untouched drink in front of him, staring gook-eyed into space, his hands hanging at his sides till they almost touched the floor, his feet outspread like lolling tongues, his body shriveled into absolute weariness and entranced sorrow and what-all was on his mind: a man who knocked himself out every evening and let the others put the quietus to him in the night. Everything swirled around him like clouds. And that little grandmother’s alto, that little Allen Ginsberg hopped and monkeydanced with his magic horn and blew two hundred choruses of blues each one more frantic than the other and no signs of failing energy or willingness to call anything a day. The whole room shivered. It has since been closed down, naturally. On the corner of Fifth and Howard an hour later I stood with Ed Saucier a San

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