Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jerry Garcia

Cover Band

Clash cymbal disperses
into salted beer reeking saloon
glass tinkle blends with human walla.
Hootchie mammas brazenly laugh,
making wallflower boys demur
even more.
 
Five guys not named Moe,
not candidates of groupie affection,
crowd onto ripped carpet
on a grimy wooden riser.
Distorted plug-in squeals
metallic guitar tuning shrieks
tom-tom clunks
bass line glissandos.
 
Drummer counts triplets on sticks,
chk, chk, chk,
and a Hammond B3 roars
awfully big organ for this tiny tavern.
 
That’s how a computer tech, an accountant
and three lawyers escape anonymity;
reaching that place just a little better
than minor obscurity.
 
These everyday guys become Big Brother
and somehow that burley accountant sounds
just like Janis Joplin.
 
Subsonic rhythm
propelling beer barrel boob jobs
onto the dance floor.
Heathers, Tiffanies and Jennifers,
flat as bar tap ginger ale,
crowd into crotches
of two drink minimum guys.
 
Those girls work it out
like they were dancing for tips.
 
The resonating stage apparently shuffles toward  
this evangelized freak of a crowd,
over-driving Marshall amplifiers assert massive reverb,
the computer tech pounds vintage Ludwig traps.
Dog-eared fake books topple from amplifiers
plastic water bottles roll past distortion control pedals.
These Wilshire Blvd honchos
reel and wail like they were Little Feat.
 
The guitar playing lead attorney
mugs like he were Lowell George himself,
the mosh pit swarms bigger, drunker, dumber.
Santana riffs buzz while bouncers sweep
doobie-smoking patrons off the floor.
 
Sentimental tears well up
because the CPA has energized into Robert Plant.
Power chords and keyboard trills
render strident blasts at my brain,
ears start to hemorrhage,
omigod it’s like Eddie Van Halen-loud.
White noise cottons up my wits
percussive, stinging, chord heavy rocknroll
segues to a thumping dance floor
throbbing with intoxicated vibrato.
 
Slowing it down a bit
the reproduction rock stars sing
Carter Family style with five-part harmony
practically a cappella.
The boys are working harder than ever
trying to make wooden music play
for a battle of the bands crowd.
 
Stoned revelers return to the whisky bar
leaving this swag-bearing idiot
alone at the stage
applauding each note
that doesn’t fall
flat.

2 comments:

  1. See Jerry Garcia read Sunday, September 23rd at 2pm inside the Avenue 50 Studio in Highland Park.

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  2. Jerry, this reminds me of my days at Dudley's in West Orange, NJ with all my friends from high school. WOW! does this poem ever ROCK! Yeah...

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