Saturday, January 2, 2010

Above Ground: The Paisley Side Of L.A.

Neil took slow, deliberate steps, with his hands clasped behind his back, past each guitar on what seemed like an eternal guitar rack. Like an army drill Sargent provoking a smirk from a new recruit. Someone from the back, possibly Poncho or maybe Nils jokingly prods;
"How bout the 12-string Rick, whens the last time you strapped on one of those?"
It was enough for him to pause for maybe 5, er10 ticks on the clock, but not long enough for serious consideration. Another step...two steps maybe, and his furry brow lifted just enough for his forehead wrinkles to co-mingle. I'd seen this before. It was subtle but I picked up on it.
There, above and to the left, was a red, 12 string Gretsch. A Fatty. Probably Mike Nesmith's.
He grabs it and stoops down to plug into a tweed Fender Twin and cranks up the jangly dial to just above 6 before the power light is ever ablaze. Funny/weird things, almost sounds like a small dose of Middle Eastern Trippy start eminatin. Outta nowhere, he throws his head back in what looks like some form of euphoric transformation, and begins calling out random Pink Floyd covers as the sloppy groove-masters known as Crazy Horse explode.

That's Rain Parade as I see em and as they've often been described. You could also add the ingredient, British Invasion, and still not be disappointed. They were tossed into the early 80s movement, along with The Bangles, and The Three O'Clock among others, known as The Paisley Underground. If you get a chance, check out "You Are My Friend."

In the 90's, I too belonged to a movement. Known as the "Whatever it is you're doin Pal, it ain't happenin for us" movement. Belonging, it's a wonderful thing.

Of the four of you who read this, one of you may may be curious as to why I chose an image of Susanna Hoffs for a post honoring the Rain Parade? Well...why indeed?


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