Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Manassas via Antigua

Man-a-sis, Man-asses, Man-a-sass, Man-ass-ass. There are few things more embarrassing as a teenager than mispronouncing the title of your new favorite band's debut album. Continuing this travesty for days, weeks, months even until one of my buddies, turned music snob, and Fremont to Lancaster Ohio transplant, Rob Van Evra, corrected me...in front of his band mates - Ohio bastards. Robbie taught me many things that week. One of them being how to move my limbs independently behind a drum kit. I owe him a crapload. This was during my one time stint as a 9th grader mind you and there was nothing, NOTHING cooler than Rob and I boarding a plane in Muskegon headed for Columbus,Ohio, guitar cases in hand, sitting at our assigned seats, lighting up a smoke and sippin' ginger ales. How cosmopolitan is that?
Stephen Stills' third solo outing, Muh-nah-sis, was my favorite album from anybody during that time in '72 and I would have worn the grooves to nothing had my dad been more liberal with his prized Harmon-Kardon stereo. Way cooler yet, Stills was bringing Manassas to Michigan, frikkin' Grand Rapids, freakin Grand Valley's Dome Fieldhouse.
My God, the guy sitting in the middle of the couch on the porch along with the guy peering through the window of the door off the porch of the same house from C,S&N, is the same guy sitting confederate style behind the mutt in the tin-type photo for the law firm Crosby,Stills,Nash,Young,Taylor and Reeves' Deja Vu.
Giddy? Crap, I was ecststic. To see AND hear: Song of Love, Cuban Bluegrass, So Begins the Task, Bound to Fall, the Stills/Bill Wyman penned Love Gangster, Johnny's Garden and my fave, It Doesn't Matter performed by Stills, Chris Hillman, CS&N and DejaVu alum Dallas Taylor and bass player Calvin"Fuzzy"Samuels. Unfortunatly, my one defining memory, or my only memory rather, was the band finally hitting the stage and they did so without a bass player. Not only was Calvin Samuels not present and accounted for, neither were his bass guitars. Until Stills querried the student population for anybody who might have a bass. Soon a roadie appears on stage with bass guitar in hand along with many thanks going out to the student who ran the extra mile back to his dorm room. The show begins with Hillman and Stills trading bass duties until the bowler hat clad, talented Mr. Samuels, finally appears.

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