Twice Born A Vagabond
A Novel [Copr. 2008]
By D. DeWitt Thomas
Danny G. and I became friends while I was attending Trinity University in San Antonio where we played in a band together at Sammy's Pizza near the local military base. Danny is some funky, south Texas, hard driving, rock and roll musician. He is the only Mexican bass guitar player I have ever met who can play down home blues and psychedelic rock music too. The gig in Houston at Love Street Light Circus and Feel Good Machine went well last night. We blew the roof off of the place as usual and then hung around long enough to sign some autographs for the more die hard fans. Later we returned to the funky mansion to crash out not waking up until mid-afternoon today. I woke up squinty-eyed and feeling kind of groggy as I groped my way down the hallway toward Danny G.'s room where I heard him practising some new riffs. He was always practising his bass. His mood was ill probably as a result of an over indulgence in the Desoxin pills that I gave to him which were prescribed for me by a doctor in San Antonio a couple of days ago. "Where is Roky?" I yawned. "He never did come back from the gig. I think he is crashing out with some chick from the club." Danny answered. "I wouldn't be suprised if he turned into a vampire bat." I joked a I sauntered toward his room. "What did you think of the gig last night?" I asked. Danny continued to go over and over the new riff that he had discovered as if he had not heard me so I continued. "I think as musicians that we filled the void with rhythmic vibrations and melodic harmonies." He nodded as he thumped the strings. "Yeah, we created an energy field that set me free and it felt good." he answered. All of the guys in the Elevators are compassionate and believe that sincerity is the key to performing well. We are totally spontanious. The only thing that is predetermined is the skill that we bring to our instruments. Everything that we do is improvizational. "Seems like you're still a little wired from that speed I gave you last night." I said. "Yeah," he answered, "still a little dingy." "Where is Stacy?" I asked. "Oh, he is crashed out on the couch downstairs." he answered nodding in the other direction. "Speaking of dingy, I saw Dingy Larry at the club last night. Was he looking to score?" I asked. "No, he brought some smack to Stacy and they hit it up last night and again this morning." Danny responded.
Dingy Larry, one of our roadies, was seated at the red aluminum chrome-trimmed kitchen table with a spoon in his hand holding it over a burning candle. "Cooking up another batch of junk?" I asked. "I hate heroin. It's a slow way to commit suiside." I added. What Stacy and Larry do is their business and there is nothing that I can do to stop them becaused they are hooked. It will kill you one way or the other, sooner or later. They will stay stoned on heroin for a week then switch to Jack Daniels or Southern Comfort Bourbon. When they run out of stuff, they smoke marijuana so that they can make it through the withdrawals until starting the whole cycle over again. Everyone in the band has some kind of drug habit including myself. Tommy Hall is almost religious in his advocation of the benefits derived from taking LSD and the use of other halucinogenic drugs like peyote, mushrooms, and pot. Roky Erickson, our lead singer, will take any drug that someone gives him, if it's a free turn-on. I think the reason that we do drugs is because we have low self esteem. Musicians have a tendency to be easily influenced by the people around us. In a way I feel retarded as a result of using drugs but that is the only way I know how to escape from the abusive treatment of narrow minded and insensitive people. I escape into a drug induced fantasy land of my imagination and rationalize it as being creative. Drugs are the gateway into a state of mind where the subconscious rules opening the Freudian bottle neck.
Tommy doesn't live with us in the funky mansion and Roky is never here either. There is just Stacy, Danny, the roadies, and me who live here full time. Tommy lives in a flea bag motel called the Western Skys over near the Astrodome off of Old Spanish trail. It's a pretty seedy hovel that the record company got for us. Alot of illegal activity goes on at the Western Skys like drug dealing, prostitution, gambling, and there is a "Doctor" who performs abortions in his motel room. Seeing that Stacy is crashed out and that Danny is preoccupied with his bass guitar practise session, I left the funky mansion in my old sky blue Ford Galaxy 500 and headed for the Western Skys motel to visit Tommy. When I pulled up to the curb at the door to his room, I notice that the curtains are drawn. I knocked on ther door but no one answered so I let myself into the room. I opened the door a crack and reached in to flip on the light. I caught about five thousand roaches having a snack on an old peanut butter sandwich which was left on the kitchenette counter. A nauseating rustling sound ensued as they scampered in all directions making me want to puke so I stepped back outside into the evening air to take a deep breath. I stood for a while under the broken blue-violet blinking neon sign and stared at the message which read "No Vacancy".
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