Biography and the Road Towards Journalism

Notes:

Click open the pop out player (in lower left bar) while reading! There are selections from the musos mentioned in this post.

I was interrupted a couple of times in the composition of this page today by the needs of my 94-year-old granny. I think ‘ve repaired all the messed up sentences.

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When I was very young I scurried through my world thinking of myself as a quiet unassuming personality. I lived largely in my imagination. I loathed the thought of imposing myself psychically on others. People who didn’t really know me felt free to toss the “weird” word my way.

When I was 16, I got on the road to anywhere. I knew there was a more complex set of variables out there and I was determined to find it. I discovered new lands not physically far from my home but light years away intellectually. I had a whole period of intensified socialization, as most of us do.

I moved to southern California’s high desert with some free thinkers to a place appropriately called Sage. In the evening, after the hot, hot days, the sage brush would cool and fill the air with that beautiful fragrance. That aroma coming off of the moonlit rolling hills is forever recorded in my sense memory.

Few people were interested in being out in that desert back then. Now houses have spread over most of the lonely clean-dirt places. Suburbia has devoured my teen-dream paradise.

I felt good about living communally, outside of suburban rules and consumer culture’s shallow values, away from TV and back to nature.

I spent the winter months working this halcyon dream. I was ecstatic but very young, not yet 18, and I left it all before the summer came on.

Nature had been my closest playmate in childhood. But as I got older I was seduced by words and pictures.

I wanted to become the word person I seemed to be. I’d learn and find a way to do it in the real world. I’d be  part of the information age that had not yet been born.

I had always loved magazines, radio, interesting T.V. culture and most of all, rock and roll.

I loved the bands and singers that lived in the canyons in Los Angeles and felt akin to the crazy children who had grown up in and with Hollywood. Two of them, Rodney Bingenheimer and Kim Fowley, were everywhere. At every show and in everyplace I happened to reach.

 Buffalo Springfield and Love lived there in the canyons, Laurel and Topanga. They were in the epicenter and could still feel that back to the country thing.

 Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were in LA, too. Uber free thinkers.

I wasn’t old enough at the peak of this musical thing to get to Hollywood or to the canyons, except that time Rita Blevins’ mother drove us around and we spotted Robby Kreiger at the ice cream stand in Malibu. He had a black eye.

We were looking for Neil Young. Didn’t find him that day.

I did go off with another 13 year old who convinced me Cream was playing in Riverside. Heather and I hitchhiked to some seedy club. Cream was not playing. I never did that again.

I will admit to having been somewhat impressionable. My head was filled with music and thoughts of the simple life surrounded by musicians. I’d write and take photographs for some of the hipster mags, I thought.

How would I get those skills? I’d never know anyone who went to college.

I did not think then about doing illustrations for those magazines.

It was a trippy time. Peter Max was kind of middle of the road for the psychedelic times. He must have come from the advertising world and decided to capitalize on psychedelic pop (Thank Andy Warhol, Peter).

My fave magazine back then was Teenset. Dorky name, I know.

I think that is supposed to be Monkee Mickey Dolenz in the bottom right corner of this Teenset cover.

Why aren’t there any Wikipedia entries on 60’s rags? Teenset, Aum, Cheetah?

My head was lost in this tasty sauce. I signed up for journalism classes at Santa Ana Jr. College as it was then called.

It would take years to get anywhere near journalism. It’s possible I haven’t managed yet.

More later.

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