Mushrooms and Holy Men
Petro suddenly appeared in the alleyway, running in their direction waving a brick in his hand above his head. "You're a worthless bum... don't you even think about trying to rob me !" Petro shouted. Petro screamed at the gang of thugs that were in hot pursuit as he ducked into the alleyway and joined Domi, Loretta, and Rawley under the fire escape stairs. He threw the brick and the gang gave up the chase when they saw that they were outnumbered. "Hey man. What's happening?" Petro said with an almost unconnected indifference as if nothing had happened. "What's going on Petro? Where is your guitar? You know we are scheduled to go on right after Zig Zag finishes their set." Rawley told him. "We have been waiting for you. Are you ready to play? Where is your guitar anyway?" he insisted. Petro responded, "I don't know because there was this guy dressed up like Jesus, you know, wrapped with a sheet and wearing sandals on his feet, who told me that he knew where we could get some good acid, either orange barrels or purple haze, so I told him I would go with him to score. He offered to carry my guitar case, so I let him. As we were walking, this gang jumped up from behind a parked car, so I ran toward the club and this guy with the sheet and sandals took off in the other direction with my guitar. Like I said, I don't know where my guitar is now, but I did score this." he said proudly as he held out his arm, opened the palm of his outstretched hand and revealed some clear gelatin capsules filled with white powder. "Psilocybin !" Petro laughed.
"Yeah, mushrooms." Rawley responded. Domi and Rawley reached for the capsules in Petro's hand. Rawley was always amazed at how long Petro's fingernails were, especially the thumbnail on his left hand. It must have been quite a challenge for him to navigate the fret board. "Mushroom hallucinations are a little milder than those from LSD." Domi said, "Rawley was telling us about his theory of the 'balloon you'." "Yeah," Rawley chimed in with a more serious tone, "the shapes and edges are only perceptions as we evolve through an ever changing environment. We are at the mercy of our surroundings in time and space. The balloon 'you' is at the center being warped by the distortions of external stimuli to which we react with human emotion. The best state of existence is the homeostasis that occurs when clarity is achieved. The idea is to enjoy the transitioning between pain and pleasure knowing that peace will ultimately prevail." Petro nodded in agreement saying, "Isn't that a John Lee Hooker tune that Johnny is playing?" The hallucinations kicked in while they sat on the fire escape waiting to play.
Domi responded to Rawley after thinking it over by saying, "Artistic conceptualization is a natural dance that suspends preconceived notions and surrenders to not knowing at the moment of creativity. Spontanious expression and innovative inspiration are no longer separated. Not only do we hear the music, we experience it. There is no pain or anxiety, only awe and amazement. Ego and aggression are suspended and the balance and movement of positive energy flows through us like the breath of life inside a vortex of spiraling emotion. We can be and feel and know the life force moving through us with the rhythm of a heartbeat.
Goodnight innocent children. Sing your song. Dance your dance. No matter if you speak, no one will hear. No matter if you travel, you will not arrive. No matter how much you learn, you will not know. Singularity is where beginning meets the end now and here and nowhere." Domi concluded. "I think it's time to rock and roll. What do you think?" asked Rawley. "Yeah." said Petro. Domi finished his thought saying, "See past watching. Hear past listening. Know past learning. Live in the oneness of heart, mind and soul. Your purpose remains un-named. Ride the astral plane through the parallel universe and discover your Ki."
Domi was a philosopher and a gifted lyric writer. His work was spiritually prophetic. He was working on a new tune called "Slip Inside" that talked about one-eyed men reigning, two-eyed men with mystery training, and three-eyed men who yo-yo where they will. Domi continued, "Visualize pictures, formulate plans, and postulate notions of what you ultimately want to follow. Logic is limited to the task at hand; however, enlightenment supercedes intelligence. I enable my intelligence to implement enlightenment that allows discovery to reveal itself as the balance flows between meaning and purpose. Homeostasis is to metamorphosis as singularity is to evolution. I live in the "I am" for eternity or at least until I become a mortal menace and vanish into the vapor of the cosmos. Meaning and purpose are fleeting emotions amid cosmic dust."
Since your higher fragrance
Is memories' incense
And never destroyed (1.)
Rawley learned to lower his metabolism during the summers down in south Texas because it would get really hot and humid in Space City. He met the bass guitar player, Dan G., in San Antonio while attending college. They played at Sammy's Pizza near the military base. Dan G. was some funky south Texas, hard driving, Tejano rocker. He could play down home funk, blues, and psychedelic rock and roll. They made their way up the fire escape stairs and were definitely tripping by the time they reached the platform where Wizard performed his light show. Rawley climbed the platform and sat behind the drum kit, picked up the sticks, and looked at the crowd. In the next instant, he began clicking the sticks to the tempo of the rhythm. The other guys in the band, saddled with their instruments, gave a nod for the downbeat for "She Lives" and the concert began. Another rock and roll experience was etched into history and into the memory of the fans. Maybe it is the first night that someone fell in love or maybe they took their first trip getting high but regardless of the motivation it was a memorable night. The band rode the seam of the time warp transcending the moment of reality and transforming it into a special life event that brought them closer to being at peace with themselves and with each other but no one knew why.
Your form you can move
Your shape is composed of edges
Your form you can loose
Your edges are ridges
Of your own energy
Your own energy
It's just emotion you feel (2)
Rawley spotted some friends in the audience. Billy, Frank, and Dusty, had put together a new band called Zig Zag. They coined the name from the brands of cigarette papers used to roll your own. Billy had a band in Dallas called the Sidewalks and Dusty had blue hair and played in the American Blues Band at the Cellar in Houston before he joined up with Frank and Billy. Along with them was the President of the local motorcycle club, the Banditos. He was a nice guy as long as you didn't give him an excuse to kick your ass. Billy's band was a trio like the Johnny Winter group and played a strong and hard version of 12 bar blues. Billy made his way past Diana, the guacamole queen, one of the hostesses, to sit with the motorcycle club members at a table near the stage. The Wizard cranked up the light show from his place in the rafters and the walls seemed to drip with colors. The crowd disappeared like melted wax right before Rawley's eyes. The throbbing bass guitar syncopated like heart beats with the pounding drums. Petro blew frantically on his harmonica and K.C. wailed desperately on his guitar as Domi's chu-ca chu-ca on the electric jug warbled like ripples through the air. The harmonic overtones of the music of the spheres chimed out with high volume feedback choruses. The synthesis emerged as a single entity being motivated by Petro as he broke into free verse and screamed in his primitive style. His singing sprang from a more elemental stage of human evolution. Yelping, crooning, and shouting out the melody and telegraphing the words as he sang of a better way. The philosophy of the band was summed up in the notes and lyrics so meticulously crafted by Petro, Domi, and K.C., the lead guitar player. The crowd was hanging on every word in a transfixed almost hypnotic state. Rawley's steady and firm tempo locked the music into a dynamic pulse as "Levitation" aptly described the mood. He could see the backs of the frontmen on the edge of the stage as they challenged the fans to reach forward. Each player glowed in the illumination of the light show, their images shining like pillars of fire anchored to their spots on the stage. Their energy seemed to be a spiritual incarnation. Their performance was effortless, like floating in slow motion. Rawley's subconscious mind took over and his perceptions were filtered through his third eye. Paradiddles and ratamaques, innovations and variations, improvisations and experimentations, all crossed over into the ears of the fans in the crowd as the audience merged into one great mass of passionate flowing dancers with an intensity as great as the music itself. A field of gyrating people, throwing hairheads, moving with fluid motion, unfettered, with a reckless abandonment of massive oneness. A dance here, a tarantella there, a whirling dervish that reverberated through the sweet aroma of incense and peppermint. The band played onward through the fog. It's what they did anyway and it was too late to change.
It was a great night and the Levitators blew the roof off of the venue. Rawley began packing up his gear while his 'you' tried to maintain his high frame of mind as he drifted through his memory about why he had started playing music in the first place. He couldn't remember exactly how old he was but he did remember that his mother would not let him play the drums until he had mastered the theory of music on the piano. And he remembered that he paid for his drums with the money that he had made by delivering newspapers. "Thank you," Rawley mumbled as the fans told him they enjoyed the show. One more gig and one more club, and one more town had become history. The Banditos approached backstage and yelled, "Good show, man." "Thank you." Rawley mumbled, no worse for wear, as he headed further down the time line and over the space plane. "Thank you," he said as he backed away. All he really wanted to do was hurry and get out of there, go home, and go to bed. He walked outside into the cool twilight and looked down from the fire escape stairwell to the grassy area below the club and saw Johnny still strumming his guitar as he sat on the bench in the park.
Rawley looked back to see the pink, red, green, purple, and yellow splashes of colours through his blurry eyes as he glanced through the stage door and wondered if the people who were in the crowd really knew that he was only a funky musician playing the Texas version of a down south chitlin' circuit blues, loud and up tempo. The Levitators were a group of kindred spirits playing in an environment which nurtured the expression of new ideas and through this process they continued to garner fans throughout the world. They were obsessed with the collective notion of encouraging people to rethink their pre-conceived ideas, question authority, and invent new ways and alternative methods of finding solutions for survival. They personified the free thinking bohemian spirit, uninhibited by the conventions of tradition. Another night passed picking the blues. The last few fans filtered out of the club. Rawley was hungry but was too exhausted to care. The mist rose from the black surface of the old Houston ship channel next to the park below Love Street as the fog was quietly covering the grass. The waves still lapped against the banks of the canal whispering a secret message that only Rawley could hear, "Death...death...death." He clearly understood what it said but wondered aloud to himself, "What does it mean?"
The producer, Lemond Roget, was scheduled to fly into Houston from Los Angeles to attend their next gig in Dallas in preparation for the writing and composition of their next record album.