Hill Country and ECT
Artistic conceptualization suspended preconceived notions as snatches of melody radiated in intermittent waves of psychedelic sounds. The overtones disguised as feedback added the echoes of the Sirens of a Greek chorus in ancient times. Melodies blended through thresholds of the harmonic voices of the music of the spheres. Rawley wanted to escape but he was caught in a sonic trance. It was like some sort of hypnotic dream slowly overwhelming him. He wanted to leave but to where, for what, and why? He was irresistibly drawn into the magnetic vibrations where there was no pain, only awe. His ego felt the sensations of death. His aggressive tendencies were suspended and replaced with an exquisite feeling of a natural balance of movement of positive vibrations in sync with his bio-rhythms. The sunlight sparkled through the mesquite bushes outside the windows of the old stone pioneers cabin.
Sweep the shadows from your awning
Give the morning winds a chance
Always catch you thunder yawning
Lift your mind into the dance
"What do you think about those lyrics?" Domi asked. "Fine," Rawley answered being more preoccupied by the way the hallucinogen was causing the sunlight to glitter through the leaves. "Escape from what and to where," Rawley repeated as he thought to himself ,"from my skin...from my thoughts...unfinished business? That's it, escape from things left undone. No, that's not it, that's a bunch of garbage. I had already escaped to this place, to find the here and now with friends of a like mind."
Our chances reawaken
When beginning meets the end
As I love you now it's safe to say
There's no hang-up in our way
"You know a good friend is hard to find. A good friend always has your best interests in mind." Rawley said to Domi. "There are those types of people who nurture and those types who destroy." Domi replied. "Nurturers will cultivate the essence of your being and destroyers will poison your soul." he concluded. "Yeah, we are the last of a dying breed," Rawley said, "whose bleeding ghosts will tell the sad stories to the drunken philosophers who are hopelessly inadequate to suit their own needs for a sense of identity but instead are the unhappy strangers who have had more dead friends than fair weather acquaintances."
"Listen to this." said Domi.
Drawn from the realm of unchanging
And its union nourishes on
In the right rearranging
Till the last confusion is gone
Water brothers trust in the ultimust
Of the always singing song they pass along
"Sounds fine," Rawley answered, "let's play, Where's K.C. ? Let's get this down on tape." After spending the summer months in the hill country, the Levitators finished writing the songs for the album and called it Resurrection tout le Monde. They were ready to head out of the hill country and go on the road on tour after the new record hit the charts. The album was released and received nationwide acclaim. But the future of the band was caught in the vortex of a downward spiral that soon would end in their destruction. Domi and Petro left Texas to escape the authorities because they too had warrants for their arrests. They made it to San Francisco and settled there in their new home with Loretta. K.C. ended up being addicted to heroin and became embroiled in a domestic fight with his wife and was shot and killed by her. Dan G. died from a liver disease. Artist Production Company went bankrupt. Lemond and his family moved back to Los Angeles. Lemond went to work for MGM and ABC records. His son, Danny, agreed to adopt Pepper and Rawley bade his little monkey buddy a fond farewell.
The singularity was the place where everything became infinite. The singularity was the heartland where the purpose became meaningful but not for Rawley any longer. Survival became a 24 hour a day job for Rawley. No more did he have a need for pictures and postures. No more did he have a need to astral plane into parallel universes. The innocence of the stark reality of his new isolation brought forth anxiety over what would happen next. Nothing became no thing. No need to get high because being high did not shatter the bonds of short sightedness. Religion did not help. Meditation did not help. Rational skills did not help Rawley find a purpose and meaning. Homeostasis to metamorphosis to evolution to singularity to death. ah, death... the total wreck where all the bits and pieces were scattered throughout infinity for eternity. Rawley found neither meaning or purpose any longer. No more music, no more drugs, no more fans, and the future was no longer in store for the young man who thought he saw through heaven. "Why pursue it?" he pondered. "Rhythmic patterns gave me a sense of control and the Levitators made music because it symbolized a lifting of the spirit. Drugs opened the door to spirituality for some of us who took them but they opened the door to death and destruction for others. Psychedelic drugs could have been a means for creativity or perhaps could have been the obstacle leading to destruction. Who knew whether or not it was the drugs or whether it was fate that led to the destruction of the band? What was the significance?" he mused. This was how the Levitators fell from fame into oblivion. At first it was all about rock and roll, making the music. Eventually, real life happened. It was in this reflection of the true bard, the vagabond, that proved to be their legacy.
Rawley began reading the Bible and found a passage that told the story of a prophet whom God commanded not to speak another word from that point forward until he was given a sign by God to speak again. Rawley took this as a challenge as a good way to receive a revelation for the answer about what he should do with the rest of his life in the future. From that minute forth, he became reclusive and monkish. He retreated from social activity. He stopped communication and rarely went out. He took a few courses in art history at St. Thomas but things continued to get worse. He tried meditation and fasted. He asked God for a revelation but no revelation came. Everyone thought he had gone crazy and that's when the trouble began.
Rawley moved back to Houston. He got more and more reclusive in his apartment near Westheimer and Montrose. He did not think that refusing to speak would cause such a problem. He stopped answering the phone and simply refused to communicate, waiting for a sign. He waited and waited for days then weeks but the revelation never came. He heard a knock at the door and as he unlocked it, after a few more louder knocks, the door was pushed and swung open. Maybe this was the revelation for which he had been waiting . Two emergency medical technicians in white coats hurried inside the apartment and grabbed Rawley from behind and forced him onto the floor as they wrapped him into a canvas straight jacket, tying his arms across his chest. They told him that they had a court order to take him to a mental health treatment facility. The attendants got a firm grip on each arm under the shoulders and dragged him backward down the stairs with his heels bumping on each wooden step, thumping until they reached the landing. Bound to a stretcher, Rawley was loaded into an ambulance. The medical technicians gave him an injection to sedate him on the way to the hospital.
He felt as though he had been abducted by an alien force. "Do what we tell you. If you don't obey then we will give you another dose." the attendant commanded. "Yeah, you had better co-operate or we will knock you out cold." said the other one. Hazy and bewildered, Rawley tried to maintain consciousness and kept repeating to himself, "I am a holy man." When they arrived at the hospital, Rawley could now see an ominous hulk hovering next to his stretcher. It was the psychiatrist. The doctor leaned over and locked eyes with Rawley and asked, "How are you feeling?" in a Bavarian accent. "I am Dr. Crane, your doctor. I am here to examine you and to determine your condition. It appears as though you may be suffering from catatonic schizophrenia. We will make a determination and prescribe treatment." he concluded. He examined Rawley with a penetrating stare as if Rawley were some sort of laboratory rat. As Dr. Crane examined him, Rawley could see that the hair on the doctor's head was shaved close to his scalp. There were layers of wrinkled fat on his thick neck that were pushed up from beneath his stiff starched white shirt collar as well as more wrinkled fat folding over the tops of his ears. A pince-nez monocle was squeezed onto his ruddy bulbous nose. He inhaled from a Calouise cigarette as he held it between his extended fourth and fifth fingers, the fourth finger having been amputated at the second joint. Rawley was told to disrobe and was left alone on the stretcher in a padded room by the orderlies, their voices seemed to echo as if they were in a canyon. Dr. Crane returned to explain that he had scheduled Rawley for a series of shock treatments. "What kind of treatments?" Rawley asked. "Electro Covulsive Therapy," he responded as the orderlies retuned to roll Rawley to the treatment room down the hall where he was transferred from the stretcher to a stainless steel table. All four limbs and his head were strapped down with leather belts and buckled tight. Electrodes were inserted into the contact points on the belts. Wires led to a black box electric transformer with meters and dials. Two paddles rested next to the box. The psychiatrist and a nurse stood next to the box wearing skull caps, face masks, and heavy black rubber gloves. The room seemed to vibrate with a low humming sound. They hit Rawley with another injection of muscle relaxers and sodium penethol . It made his mouth dry. He felt like a nest of maggots were crawling around in his head. His ears shrieked with a high pitched noise as they forced him to accept a rubber bit into his mouth. Dr. Crane stood at the head of the table with a stainless steel paddle in each hand. He instructed the nurse to turn up the voltage on the black box as he yelled, "Clear !", and placed the paddles on Rawley's temples. A sharp jolt of electricity penetrated Rawley's body as he jerked spasmodically. Rawley could not swallow. His body seized with uncontrollable intensity. He pulled at the leather restraining belts and bit down hard on the rubber mouth guard. The attendants stood across from each other tightly holding Rawley down on the table. The Neo-nazi doctor had the nurse twist the dial on the black box again. "Clear !", yelled the doctor. Another surge of electricity jolted through Rawley's body, this time causing a putrid smell of burning flesh in the treatment room. Rawley was still conscious. His brain was fried and all he could see was pure white light. He uncontrollably writhed with spazmotic jerks, turning from side to side, but restricted by the restraints on his head and limbs as the electricity surged through his body. Dr. Crane stopped and stared through the thick lens of his pince-nez monocle, locked eyes with Rawley and then two more jolts sparked from the spatula shaped paddles on either side of Rawley's head, again and again, while Rawley jerked like a wild animal caught in a hunter's trap. Rawley could smell the odor of burning flesh slowing cooking his brain while he received the therapeutic shock treatments. Finally, he passed out.
The doctor visited Rawley in his hospital room and told him that since his admission to the hospital, a week had passed and over which time Rawley had received a series of four Electro Convulsive Therapy treatments and that it was his opinion that the treatments were successful. Rawley had been cured and would be moved to a rehabilitation facility.