Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lenny Bruce






This  story is an attempt to have some fun with the character of Lenny Bruce, it is historically correct some, fictionalised in parts. It's a short story and there is not enough space to chronicle and detail all Lenny's arrest.       

Figaro Lucowski 

Jived to the moon on junk, you shlemiel, schemata, putz…  give me a rim shot, a sleazy drum roll as Cherry Soup takes it all off... real slow, live tits and ass, bang rat ta bing... slassssh. Baby did you cum? Did you cum good now? Lenny on stage a comic, schtick shocking everybody, the fat mayors, cops, the censors, the self righteous, God himself, the sleepers in their easy chairs, white-bread America dead by 9pm every night. Lenny the shark on the prowl looking for a fix at 2 am, brilliant performer and philosopher, the gad-fly bored shitless, poles-apart, scaring the be-Jesus out of middle America in the 50s, 60s, 70s, with off the chart shtick. Non-violent physically with a mouth like a time bomb that could go off any second. Saying things he wasn't supposed to say, pushing it, pressing taboo buttons, trying to get at the silly anal fuckers who controlled the script, the ones that decided what or what-not could be said in public on stage.
Lenny Bruce born Leonard Alfred Schneider, 1925 in Mineola, Long Island, he would become a Socratic one man revolution pouring pepper by the bottle on American white-bread.
From a fucked up family, sure, normality and business as usual never could have made a Lenny Bruce. By 5 Lenny was abandoned by his paternal family and passed around like a piece of meat from relative to relative.
 ….symbol clash schmaltz
AUTHOR'S ASIDE: It's 2 am, Hindemith on the radio is cranking me up, excuse the hyperbole. How many billionares, would give up everything they had to fight for the right of free speech? The right to say something dirty on stage or in a book or sing a dirty little song like "Louie Louie", " My Ding-a-Ling " or " Cock Sucker Blues ". Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler Magazine, is the only one who has spent millions fighting for free speech, as Lenny Bruce did. Lenny ended up broke and shattered in the end, fighting.
Lenny at 13 stayed on the Dengler family farm on Long Island, four years with a surrogate family that gave him some stable white-bread home spun chutzpah, he had of balls by 17 and he joined the United States Navy in 1942. Lenny saw action and once he was out he became hip fast, hanging at strip clubs, the village and Times Square. Lenny never came close to a American Legion Hall or Memorial Day parade the rest of his life. 
Chew on this… Lenny was in the Navy for four years, he was HONORABLY DISCHARGED in 1946, for homosexuality. The Navy, the gayest place in the world, take the Neptune parties as they cross the Tropic of Cancer. Wearing coconut shell bras, put-on ladies' tits or Fijian grass skirts, wigs even. Sleeping in hammocks hung close together on long voyages. OH….any port in a storm hey sailor? Tokhes hanging out of hammocks, over-head swinging back and forth in rough waters at 2am..ahoy there matey?
Lenny served through World War Two, in the heat of  battle. The homosexual stamp on Bruce's discharge was a concession of Navy cluelessness, "This boy is a freak of nature, he doesn't think like the other good ole flag waving boys in the US Navy, we can't pigeon-hole him, he is odd, out there, so we will simply stamp his discharge papers, HOMOSEXUAL." The only category on the list that was odd enough to describe Lenny at the time.
When Lenny got out of the Navy in 1946 he was HIP, a radical concept for many at the time, particular for the Dengler family that raised him through high school. He showed at the family farm dressed in a Wave's uniform. He just got a little freaked out that's all. Lenny had a little taste of junk, fixed it, he started shooting up on Victory Day in New York City. The wholesome Dengler's wondering what happened to Lenny in the Navy? THIS ISN'T THE SWEET BOYCHIK LEO SCHNEIDER WE KNEW?
Lenny was living in New York in 1947. He started to spend time with his real mother Sadi Kitchenberg a comic, who had been on the road during his early life on the borscht belt. Away all the time she couldn't take care of him when he was young, throwing infant Lenny out like schemata in the bath water. Sadi was borscht belt comic royalty and off the chart. Lenny was born to be what he was, he and Sadie would sit in the kitchen at their apartment in Brooklyn and add lib, do comic routines for hours, Sadi recognised that Lenny was a comic genius and had talent.

There is a scene in the film "Lenny", Dustin Hoffman plays Bruce, not bad, not bad at all for a cowboy. Lenny and Sadi, Sadi playing straight, Lenny so fucking funny that he moves Sadi to tears, his Ma has to shut the comic monster down for a few minutes and locks him in the closet some, as a joke, to catch a breath.
By the 50s Lenny stood in as MC at the Victory Club on Ocean Parkway, a nightclub where his mother did gigs, his  first taste of show business. Later, performing in clubs such as Squires on Long Island, Clay Theater in Jersey and George's Corner in Greenwich Village for $2 an hour and cab fare home.
After doing bits performing comedy for the square weekend beats, suits during the week, Lenny became bored with yuk yuk green headed folk music lovers. Lenny was a junky, hip all the time, not just on the weekends. He started performing in east coast night clubs and strip joints. Lenny loved doing strip clubs because he was freer to improvise and could use language with less censorship.
Lenny met his first wife Honey Harlowe at a burlesque theater, a stripper who wore mama-san stiletto heals, asian style silk skirts with leg slits and button up collars. He really fell head over heals for Honey, both outcast by the late fifties! It was co-dependent love at first bite. Two adrift, out of place mentsh falling for each other out of desperation on junky strip club desolation row. Yes, Honey was a shekse (not Jewish), which made her more alluring to Lenny, he was bored by women he could control. Honey would cause Lenny allot of headaches in his life.
Lenny didn't like Honey stripping after they were married. She was curious when Lenny would fix, so Lenny fixed Honey one day wanting to stop her from stripping, to get control over her. It worked, Honey stopped stripping, but the couple needed to come up with more money to support their habits.
One of Lenny's early bust, which got him publicity was the Brother Mathias Foundation bit, a scam for junk money. Lenny put on a clergy collar and went door to door collecting money for lepers. He made a whopping eight grand in a 3 weeks. Eventually he got busted and gave two grand to lepers to get off the hook.
Lenny and Honey moved to LA in the sixties, his comedy bits were becoming known and Hollywood people were starting to go to his shows, narcs and the obscenity police were starting to attend his gigs on a regular basis too. Lenny began to move away from doing bits at strip joints and play more "straight clubs". He got his first big break Ann's Club in San Francisco performing  for $750 a week, allot was spent on junk, , but they were staying at first rate hotels after years on the burlesque belt living in dumps.
Hugh Hefner gave Lenny the introductions that would make him famous in 1959. Hefner was hip literati, Playboy  published the work of the the most gifted authors of the time. On the Playboy band-wagon Lenny was contracted to write comedy and do comedic albums for Twentieth Century Fox. The poker game of life and fame is only won by a hand-few, Lenny was on his way. His LIVE performances in clubs were now being recorded and sold on vinyl. He went on TV, the Steve Allen show, Playboy After Hours and the Arthur Godfrey show. 
(Lenny and Arthur Godfrey two people who couldn't have had less in common, like Hunter S. Thompson meeting Nixon, much more toxic and rattlesnake-like, unpredictable and funny). 
Lenny wowed and blew the minds of TV viewers. FOR FUCK SAKE,  heroin flowing in his blood stream and juicing out through speech patterns and movement while on TV. Lenny and Ray Charles, White-bread Americas first 'taste' of jazzed and jones freak-hood on TV.  Sixties junkies on the TV scene held in check by Ed Sullivan and network suits. Scenes like Jamie Fox playing Ray in Atlantic Studios weaving from side to side and itching his shoulders every 30 seconds could hardly be played out on sixties TV. Lenny never kicked and never tried too, Ray kicked, Lenny the rugged individualist, the rodeo clown with a mouth like a raging bull that resonated across the globe, he loved it on the edge, that's what kept him junked and on stage.
Lenny's obsenity bust were what counted historically and were the crux of his insurrection. His bits in clubs, his poetic on the edge use of humor as provocateur, philosophic self dialogue, tweaking and pushing the buttons of obscenity laws of the sixties, seventies and even today are what made Lenny Bruce the revolutionary he was. 
Joe Schlock of the late 60s, doing the trendy thing going to a club to watch Lenny Bruce do his bits, wondering what the fuck? Unable to understand the political references to his court cases for obscenity, the historical  relevance going over their heads. Lenny not pandering, junked up on stage, fixed on the political bits, which were humorless, not giving a shit. 
The film about Lenny's life with Dustin Hoffman was full of watered down bits so movie goers didn't have to work to hard mentally to get the drift of the genius pontificating. But if you have access to his last work in the library or record, wherever and take the time to listen, you will see, Lenny Bruce, Socrates doing his job.
"In March of 1962 his first obscenity trial in San Francisco is held. He is charged with violating Section 311.6 of the Penal code of the state of California, which provides: Every person who knowingly sings or speaks any obscene song, ballad, or any other words in a public place is guilty of a misdemeanor."
October 6, 1962, he is arrested for possession of junk.
Later that October, Lenny is banned from Australia, FOR SAYING FUCK? What the fuck? ( OZZY puritans, maven motha fuckers who fed cyanide to the Aborigine killing them by the thousands, shocked to hear the word FUCK, go figure?)

In December Lenny is arrested at the Gate of Horn club in Chicago for obscenity. The language dicks, you know, the fat square heads with no necks in trench coats, wearing size 12 Wingtips were there waiting for the bad boy to say ,fuck, cunt, pussy. LENNY WITH THE BIGGEST PAIR OF BALLS IN THE 20TH CENTURY OBLIGES AND OF COURSE COULDN'T RESIST, HE WAS ARRESTED.
"Seventy prominent American figures including Gore Vidal, Elizabeth Taylor, Arthur Miller, Woody Allen and Paul Newman sign a petition in support of Lenny Bruce".
Lenny had a number of court cases going on for dope and obscenity in Illinois, New York and California. He continued to perform in clubs, dodging  hard time by appealing and jumping bail from state to state. His legal fees caused him to file for bankruptcy in October 1962. Hugh Hefner and Playboy continued to back Lenny and published his book 'How to Win Friends and Talk Dirty' on Playboy Press.
Lenny the fucking giant bull, you gotta love him for never giving up and selling out his principles, his passion for freedom of speech and freedom to do dope if he wanted to. Always pushing it to the limits, with little regards for his personal health or lifestyle.
On July 25, 1966, Lenny did a show with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention at the Fillmore East in San Francisco. It was as though the times had finally caught up with him, maybe. Sick, overweight, broke and facing jail time on a shit load of court cases. Lenny siting back stage on an old sofa next to an antique bedroom light on a small table, draped by a red curtain, smoking menthol cigarettes, bored by it all, seeing through the hippies, many who didn't know who he was, most dosing on LSD, somewhere else. Lenny Bruce  wanting to go home to fix and lay in bed, listen to jazz.  
Only a week later Lenny was back in LA, alone in his suburban spa style modern house. Even with the heart of a rodeo bull, Lenny's body finally gave in to heroin and cigarettes, he died of an overdose.

Friday, September 12, 2014

South Milwaukee Outcast




Life, Christ almighty, like Frank Sinatra singing "That's Life, sometimes you're up and sometimes your down." Jesus pure spirited, the king of the world, he liked to party, drink wine. The Evangelous have no ideal what Jesus is about unless they take psychedelic drugs and open up, then Jesus will truly open up......

Wednesday was a grind for Frank Brickhousky at the Riverside Leather and Dye Company. A Nasty smelling place on the Milwaukee River that processed dyed cow and cattle skin sent smack  from the killing floors and slaughter houses all over the Midwest, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Chicago, Omaha. All kinds of skin, Hereford, Brahman, Texas Long Horn, Holsteins, Jersey Reds.
The leather plant was in the middle of town, you couldn't miss it, the die and chemicals running into the Milwaukee River gave off a precise oder, a certain smell, a mix of  cowshit, cement, oil paint, and sulfur.
 On Wednesdays Frank's job was dying the skins that arrived on semi-trucks, all Holstein skins, cows who stopped giving milk, used for dog food and to make leather accessories. Holsteins were a particular bitch for Frank to dye, neutralising the black and white color to make lighter pastels skins used in ladies wear. Dying black skin for bikers chaps and jackets was no problem. To make the pastel colors Frank would drop the black and white Holstein skins into a alkaline and acid mix, fading the skin color, then running them through a large spinning barrow like a cement mixer with sand in it fading the colors further.
Frank Brickhousky was brought up on the South-side of Milwaukee. His old man, Stan, a polish house painter and drinker told Frank the fumes from the oil paint caused him to drink. They would buy Schlitz and Pabst beer by the cases, wooden cases in those days, straight from the brewers, returned with the bottles and replaced with more terrible Milwaukee Beer. 
Milwaukee had a church and a bar on every block in those days and still might today, everyone was working back then. Working men, factory workers could afford to go north to the Dells in the summer, go deer hunting,  fishing. Jobs were past on from father to son,  the women were housewives, playing stupid but aware, laughing at everything, bee-hive hair-dos, making donuts all the time, Paczki.
Frank's best friend was Crazy Kurt, he was a greaser, with long sideburns , acne scares, a brillant mechanic, a misfit. He worked at Harley-Davidson and would ride his Harleys all year long, putting chain-spikes on the wheels when it snowed. Kurt was a machinist at Harley, the go to guy. Kurt had 3 Harleys, all Road Kings. He was married to them, walking into his living room, you had to be careful not to trip over Kurt's broken down bike, totally broken down, to the piston springs.
Some nights Crazy Kurt and Frank would drink with their friends. They would drink boiler makers, a shot of whiskey dropped in a large stein of beer, eat pickled eggs, stored in gallon containers on the selves, smoke filter-less Lucky Strikes and Camels. The Tuxedo, home for gonzo bowlers, non compos mantis, tough south side working class Polish dudes that didn't give a shit about n, allot of the guys were World War II veterans. Crazy Kurt was a demolition specialist during the big one, his motto... 
" Point it out and I will blow it to bits  "
 The regular guys at the Tuxedo were all bowlers, and guys from other bars bowled too,  they had teams with names like...

"The Ballbusters",
 "Piston Fuckers"
 "12 Inches of Joy"
 " The Bozos"
 " The Dip Shits"

Saturday night was the bowling league finals, it was " The Dip Shits" vs "The Bozos"

Crazy Kurt and Frank played for the Dip Shits, The Bozo's were no clowns, and were favoured,  the Dip Shits needed Crazy Kurt  to win, he was a psycho bowler.  The tournament began after the playing of  the "Polish Nation Anthem" followed by "Louie, Louie."
Frank and  the Dip Shits had to start without Crazy Kurt, he was late, way late, they were behind by 350 points in the 10th frame of the last round. Out of nowhere you could hear the clear-cut sound of Harley pipes in the bowling alley, it was Crazy Kurt, wasted, he wheeled his Road King around on the carpet and on the lanes, bringing it to a stop and parking it behind the tournament area,  revving the pipes to show he meant business.  Crazy Kurt took one look at the score, seeing the Dip Shits were losing bad,  pulled a hand grenade out of his saddle bag, pulling the pin and throwing the grenade at the upright pins blowing them to bits, a loud noise echoing through the halls, saying to the Bozos….

"Well clowns, who wins?"

Crazy Kurt and Frank would go up north to the Dells in the summer time, Kurt was absolutely mad, he would lay home-made land mind type bombs underground to hunt deer, getting a kick out of blowing the creatures to bits, when they went fishing Kurt would throw a hand grenade in the water,  collecting all the dead garp and bass that floated to the surface.
On the way home Kurt and Frank stopped at the infamous Ed Gein's house, the serial killer from La Crosse who would murder and skin his victims, they busted the door down and it smelt like death inside. There was a meat hook on the wall,  Kurt took it down, taking it as a souvenir to remember his vacation up north. The friends pulled out a bottle of schnapps, sitting down at Ed Gein's nasty kitchen table, a dark wooden table, drinking shot after shot on the very table Gein had feasted on: grilled human flesh and giblets, the two laughing, wondering how Gein seasoned the meat, if he needed tenderiser, salt, pepper, steak sauce?Kurt telling Frank he was going to hang him on the meat hook, skin him alive and make a pair of bowling shoes out his skin.
Living in the winter climate of the north, on hot summer nights you felt extra horny,  a hooker in a bee-hive with a chop-stick in the doo, walked in the bar wearing a asian style dress and striper pumps. Kurt, Frank, Frank's old man Stan and the rest of the Dip Shits were falling all over themselves. She was ready to take them all on, Chico the bartender locked the  front door, the hooker, Cherry, pulling their chains hustling them, she was a pro, lubing herself with Vaseline first and passing out condoms saying...

" Come on you maggots lets see what you can do?"


Intimidating them to get the upper hand, saying while taking them...
"Have you cum yet? Yawn"
" Is that all the meat you got?"
" Is this your first piece of ass?"
What could have been an ugly gang bang turned into a big nothing, Cherry taking the wind out of the Dip Shit's sails, only Kurt got off, the rest freaked. Cherry walked out of the Tuxedo with a grand, feeling nothing much, in good shape.
Crazy Kurt took a short road trip to the dog track on the Wisconsin-Illinois border on his Harley. He won big time, just luck he didn't know shit about greyhounds, he spent his winnings on a machine gun.
The Dip Shits were having a barbecue at Polaski park on the south-side, it was memorial day, potato salad, brats, coleslaw, a keg of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, at 9 pm it was getting dark,  Mexican teenagers,in leather coats, approached the Dip Shit picnic, menacingly,  waving zip guns, twirling knifes, Crazy Kurt cooly walked to the trunk of his car, not giving a shit, calmly opening the trunk, pulling a grenade out and his newly purchased AK 47, walking towards the latin rebels, holding his machine gun in one hand and a grenade in the others, he says...
"OK you wanna fuck? Let's go dudes, bring it on,"
Crazy Kurt the bad of the bad, rebels, teenage wimps, eyes like rabbits caught in head-lights, just getting the fuck out and going somewhere else.
Later that Summer at the Tuxedo, Cherry showed up again looking hot, she wasn't there to hook, she was hot for Kurt. They sat at the bar and drank for a long time, both outcast, they had strong feelings for each other, Kurt took Cherry home on his Road King.
A month later Cherry and Kurt had the wildest Polish wedding in the history of South-Side Milwaukee at Polski Hall, the Dip Shits were the best men. Shots of schnapps lined up on a long table with a paper table clothe, 10 year olds kids under the table, sneaking shots, nobody gave a shit, kids and adults wasted. 

Cherry and Kurt lived together the rest of their lives, they had 5 kids, feral little freaks who they never layed a hand on, untamable, wild in the streets, Kurt and Cherry not carrying if they to grew up to be wild child's like their parents, as long as they had fun.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Art Pepper, the Junk's Junk









Art Pepper was born in 1925. Pep's Grandparents were hard drinking, hard workin, hard fuckers in general. 
His grandfather Arthur ---Peppers Name-sack-- would beat his wife and Art's dad Richard when he was drunk.  At 15 Richard left home and became a merchant seaman to escape his drunk old man. 
One night ashore in San Pedro, California, Peps dad  felt instant karma as his eyes turned on a beguiling, 15 year old girl with  jasmine skin. 15 year old Milli Betranadini. The scene was straight out of a Fellini film. 15 year old Italian broad like the Virgin Mary in spotlight, sepia on flour. 
Peppers old man was tired of going to sea and wanted to settle. This is how Art explains in his urban hipesse;"THEY MET AND HE BALLED HER, AND I GUESS HE FELT THE OBLIGATION, AND I GUESS HE CARED FOR HER TOO, SO HE MARRIED HER, SHIT HAPPENS MAN." 
Peppers mother got bored with Richard quickly and just wanted to meet guys, ball and booze. And a Goddamn kid would just get in the way. She did everything she could to try to kill poor Art as Fetus in the womb. 
Pep in usual his straight ahead hipesse again. " MY MOTHER STARVED HERSELF AND TOOK ANYTHING THAT ANYBODY GAVE HER TO MISCARRY. BUT TO NO AVALE. I WAS BORN AND, SHE LOST, I WON". 
Art was born with rickets and jaundice as a up-shoot of the shit Mulli took to try to kill him. But by by four----Milli & Richard ( who flipped over what she did) were latter divorce---. Richard brought Art back to life with love and lotza protein, garlic, and anchovies olive oil, when he came home from sea. 
Art was alone with Mulli in Watts, when Richard  (Moses) was at sea, they had moved from San Pedro. And once again in Peps words; "SHE HAD THIS FRIEND, BETTY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY DID.THEY'D DRINK. I WOULD BE LEFT ALONE. THE ONLY TIME SHE WOULD SO ME ANY AFFECTION WAS WHEN SHE WAS SLOPPY DRUNK AND I COULD SMELL HER STINKING BREATH. SHE WOULD SLOBER ALL OVER ME" 
aside:  PEP IS SO DETACHED FROM HIS MOTHER THAT I FIND HIS COMMENTS ON HER LAUGHABLE. 
Richard and Milli would constantly get drunk and fight. Richard broke her nose four times. Art was a precocious kid who knew what the score was in spades. He felt no body wanted him or cared about him, and he just wanted to die. 
Art Pepper a progenitor  of urban cool hated the country. He felt the silence and lack of his kind of distractions made him  come face to face with his terrified inner being. Peps was no Johnny Cash. 
By 10 Art was living with his Grandmother and Dad, attending school in San Pedro, California. Richard was a union leader on the docks, a tall good man, a leader, Art called him Moses. Milli, wild little shit she that she was, running with a besotted country western singer, AND,  after trying to kill Art as a foetus,  was now in love with him wanted little Pep back back. Milli was one toasted bi-polar) 
aside: IT IS MY OPINION ALL THE SHIT MILLI DRANK TYRING TO ABORT ART, MADE HIM A ADDICT AT BIRTH. IN OTHER-WORDS INSTEAD OF DYING IN MILLI, THE OLE DEVIL PEPPER WAS GETTIN JUICED AND DREAMING UP JAZZ RIFFS IN MIL MILS UTERAS. NOW-WITHSTANDING, PEPS IN MY BOOK WAS A DOUBLE JUNK, EVEN WITHOUT THE SHIT MuL MuL WAS DRAINING, TUBING IN HERE UTERAS !and if! ART WOULD HAVE BEEN BORN CLEAN HE WOULD HAVE BEEN A JUNK ANYWAYS, BORN TO BE.  RAY CHARLES AND YARDBIRD WERE THE ONLY FAMOUS PEOPLE THAT WERE IN PEPS LEAGUE AS A JUNK. 
Art was born copiousness with  fear;  " I KEPT HAVING FEARS. IF I WENT TO OPEN A CLOSET DOOR I WOULD BE SCARED TOO DEATH, IF I WENT WALKING A THE NIGHT TIME I WOULD SEE THINGS IN THE BUSHES". 

By the time Art was 11 he was totally preoccupied with sex. He would was keenly as chicks crossed and uncrossed their legs, what he didn't see he could imagine like a X-Ray machine. Art's family would never touch one another. It is amazing they fucked enough to procreate, and if they did they would try to kill their babies, would it be a stretch to say this was animalistic or primitive behavior? 


Moses ( Dad) bought a used alto sax for Art at a pawn shop when Art was 11. Pep was such a detached kid. Art was the inverse jock, detached, deflecting attention, hated sports. The only thing Pep had in common with jocks getting turned on looking up cheerleaders skirts. Arts early life is similar to Bukowski in allot of ways. BOTH,  outsiders lacking self confidence hating the straight and square world, the 20s to the 60s. AND, for some like ~FL~, even still,  if Buk & Pep were alive, THE WORLD WOULD BE AS UNIFORM AS EVER  TODAY IN THIER EYES. 

Peps mother-side of the family was musical. I could play, being from the mother land, they played zithers. accordions and gypsy violas. Art loved music from the start, even the old world shit of Millis family did a thing on him. Everyday Art would pass Old's music shop , eyeballing and perusing the  shine on the horns. he would go inside and touch them, wondering how you could key em and blow em to get music. Finally Pep told his old man he had to have a horn. Moses felt a horn for the for the misanthropic Peps would be a boon. 



Art really wanted to play a trumpet, but when the music teacher saw Art's chipped teeth, he felt a clarinet would suit him bette. Larry Parks the music teacher was a lousy musician, bu he had a kind beardless Santa Claus look about him, cherubic with a lotza love. So maybe for Pep with all his self doubt and fears, he needed a grand dad to get him started playing, not a Coleman Hawkins. 

Parks became like a grandfather to young Art, and many there was many nights Art would go eat dinner at the Parks who were childless. The lessons were so effortless for the wunderkind that he never had to practice the previous weeks assignments. Pepper would just play over them once before class, they were in his heart and mind. When he played for his teacher, he never read the exercises and could just play the full songs instead of the bits you get as a starter. Art just played what he felt. It's like Art Pepper could just play, born to, without lessons. 

Soon after Art started playing clarinet, Moses would take him to a bar to play for the his pals from the docks. All the tough guys from the docks were Mose's friends so no one said shit when the old-man would put Art on a bar, sit him on a stool, to play his clarinet. 
Art was blooding staggering and mind-boggling. He ran through a played a exercise of a song,  through it once, and he had it. The old man made him play songs Art hated for the square dockworkers shit:"Auld Lang Syne ",  "Nola", "The Music Goes Round & Round". 
Arts old man would stand right next to Pep as he played with a look on his face like---- this is my boy, he plays music and you better like it or? The dock workers crapulous sods brawling, Pep would keep on playing right thru it, maybe, " The Church in the Wildwood". By the end of the night Art would take home 20 bucks or so, and ole Moses let him keep the whole some. Pep mostly would spend it in the local bagnio (cathouse). 
By 16 Art was playing at night clubs in LA, living with his Grandmother. Peps was going on and off to Fredmont High, but playing gigs till 2am & get-tin up to go school was tough. Art had no friends at High School, he gave a grand shit about all the hoop la.  
When Peps transferred to San Pedro High as a bandleader he became popular. In the 30s there were allot of gangs in San Pedro. Art joined the COBRAS, thinking it would make him look tough to his dad.
He wore a black silk Chinese jacket with a COBRA on the back. 
It was like West Side Story or James Dean shit in the 50s.  the COBRAS would get challenged to rumble and pile into 'hotrods" go to a remote place, beat the shit out of each-other till they got tired and totter back into the rods and speed off. 

Music soon cut Peppers gang calling short, the accord he found with his musician pals was more euphonic. Most the guys in the high school bands were playing out of tune, with little knowledge of scales, they would look over in the corner, dumb fucked, and there was a little 16 year old kid going through pentatonic scales with key signatures. Allot guys at Sand Pedro High gave up music because of Pepper. 
Art was listening to Basie, Ellington, Charlie Bennett, Benny Goodman. But the first time Art heard  Django Rienheart it blew his mind. He would also go out to see T-Bone Walker and Coleman Hawkins play when they came to LA. He was good enough to play after gigs with them.  
At 17 Pep said fuck high school to go pro. He was playing Alto Sax. He left San Pedro to play with a conventional weekend dance hall band in San Diego  Gus Arnhiem the No Star Band. Of course Art thought it sucked, Gus might as well hung a banner in the ballroom---NO IMPROVISING, KEEP TO THE SHEETS, CHECK YOUR FEELIN WITH THE HAT CHECK GIRL.--- 
After a week of the Gus Method,  Art was back in LA playing in Central Ave. This was a extraordinary  period for West Coast Jazz  at the clubs on Central Ave in LA. Central 40s was like Halem 30s. But the morping of WEST VS  EAST, Davis vs Baker didn't happen till latter much later in the 60s. 
Pep was already  known in the world of jazz at the time, a 18 year old kid. Dextor Gordon Lee Young were looking to put together a quartet to play at the new club Alabam. Art auditioned and got the job. Art was fucking tingled.  The Central Ave, LA , Club Alabam scene was real hot. Dexter Gorden, Mingus, Gerald Wiggins, Slick Jones and now Art.  
I love Arts' description of the times. Just a taste: ---- AS YOU WALKED DOWN THE STREET YOU HEARD MUSIC COMING OUT OF EVERY PLACE. EVERYBODY WAS HAPPY. EVERYBODY LOVE D EVERYBODY ELSE, OR IF THEY DIDN'T I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT. ( THIS WAS THE 40S NOT THE SIXTIES) WIGGINS, DEXTOR GORDEN, MINGUS SLICK JONES WOULD JUST WALK OUT INTO THE STREET AND PEE OFF THE CURB. I WAS JUST COOOL! WE WOULD JUST LIGHT UP A JOINT IN THE STREET, WE HAD MOTA, WHICH WAS MOIST AND BLACK, AND SMOKE IN FRONT OF THE CLUB.  
Pep says-----( talkin about the 40s on central ave) THE DOPE THING HADN'T EVOLVED INTO WHAT IT IS NOW. I NEVER HEARD THE WORD NARCO. NO BODY WANTED TO RAT ON ANYBODY OR PLANT THEIR CARE WITH DOPE.  
Art Pepper was 18 years old playin with the few elite master east coast jazzmen, ( such as Dextor Gorden) using, getting blow jobs between sets, things couldn't have been much better.  
He was hanging allot with  his idle, Dextor Gordon. Dex ( pun intended) introduced white crosses to Peps (pun intended)  it help the guys stay up for late gigs.  
Aside: Keith Richards once said that smells the smells of diesel fuel and horse shit after WWII got him "thinkin" about junk. 
                                                       
                                                             jUnK 
In 46 Art got a call from  Stan Kenton,  Kenton spoke with a German accent and reminded Peps of this Dad. It was a dream come true for Art, through the haze of bennies and booze, he had established a reputation as a virtuoso, inventive and ground-breaking jazz man. Kenton was formidable and puissant.  He had a snoot and eyes like a eagle and would look right through you. Kenton could relate and ally with all kinds of audience: Middle Americans, East and West coast Jazz purest, drunks, chained, zuit suited pimps white and black in Harlem.  
The Stan Kenton Band as a White Band, was a fat and kinky band compared to mainstream traveling big bands of the 50s, such as the Benny Goodmans and Tommy Dorsey types, who were in the majority at the time. Of course Black Bands were on big time by the 50s, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and of course Thelonius Monk. 
Art was playing with Shelly Mann, Bud Shank was in the sax section with Peps, June Christy as scatter, Laurindo Almeida on Guitar. Of course there were chicks following the band.  
In 48 the band was playing a 17 week gig at the Paramount in NYC, backing Vick Damone, it was packed every night.  Arts  libido was in over drive because of all the booze and pills he took, and 19 yr old testosterone.  
Pep was staying in a Hotel on 48 and broadway. One morning a mad knocked on the door and asked if she could clean the room. She was a hot Mexican chick, with long curly black hair and tits and ass to die for. Pep told her to go ahead. Art was sitting in a chair across from the toilette, drinking his usual hangover topper, a Bloody Mary. The loo door was a full mirror. Pep could see the Mexican broad in the mirror bending over cleaning the toilette  He couldn't believe his eyes, she was bent over and he could see her purple lace panties. She had a great ass and legs, Pep was getting really hot. Then he went to the loo door and just stood and looked, Chica just keep on cleaning shaking that awesome ass. Then when it came time to clean the floor, Art still watching, his heart pumping. Chica on all fours with top unbuttoned, exposed her tits to him,  through her purple half-brassiere. Peps still stand at the door on his second bloody marry watched as Chica began to rub her pussy. So Art had a nice wank. 
Circa 50, Art was with the Kenton band in Chicago doing a gig at the Civic Opera House. He was staying at the Croydon Hotel. He was rooming with one of the guys in the band, Stanley Curtis, a charming and talented Trombone player.  Art was now the featured artist in the band, got all the applause, and in his words---it was great while it was happening, but when the gig was over I was still all alone---. Notwithstanding a full blown alcoholic. But his desolation would gravitate to a new dominion as synthesis, he was about to meet his maker, muse-lover and greatest tormentor.  
After the show they kicked Art out of the bars at 4am. No liquor stores were open so he went back to his room with a sick feeling. It wasn't the first time, at the hotel room, roomy, sammy was having a trifling junk party with a few guys in the band. Roy King and the Singer Sheila Harris and some piano player. Art asked them if they had anything other than the China White, and they said no. Pep was feeling crestfallen, disenchanted and flat that night. This wan't the first time he had been around the shit but he knew the minute he did it, it would be over for him. 
Sheila who was a legend in those days both as a artist and nymph,  she had a rep for sucking cock ultra ultra fine.  She came upon Art. She had natural corkscrew hair, and was wearing a moo-moo with fuck me pumps.  Art did have a hard on for her though she was pleasantly plump but real sexy. Sheila could see that Art was hang dog . She said---Art doll, why don't you hang up that jive ass shit and get in a cooler groove---  come in the bathroom with me and I will show you a new way to go---PEP SAYS--- I was at my wits end and the only other thing I could do was jump out the 14th floor window of the hotel. 
Aside: you know junk stuff  seems very gripping and dramatic, but while writing, my ITune began playing a classic piece,  Mahler 5 piece you might associate with Bukowski who, during the pensive moment at midnight in "Barfly" regrouped,  the shit he had garnered after Stalones brother beat the shit out him in the alley. Most my tunes are blues or jazz and it seems natural to shoot up China White for the first time with this sound. But when the Mahler cut in, Man o Man, I felt the inconsolable, sorry, grief stricken rosary stuff that goes with the junk life, for real man.
Art for fuck sack knew god damn well, the "new groove" was a 3000 lb. monkey.
Sammy (Peps' roomy) saw what Sheila was about to do to Art and threw a shit fit.  (Mahler 5 just came back again, hip life, for all it's magic can be a low down life.) Sammy told Sheila not to get Art started. Then Roy said, ---nothing could be as godawful as the booze head shit Pep is into---. So Roy and Sheila cooled Sammy down and Sheila took the virgin sacrificial lamb, Art Pepper into the loo. 
The first thing the nymph Sheila did to Art in the loo was grab his cock. Then Pep said---wait a minute let's get to that other thing then we can get back to this. I was all excited about something new, the heroin, I had made up my mind---.

Peps and Sheila didn't shoot up, they just snorted the shit like coke with dollar bills. Pep felt the sting in his nose and the burning in his throat. Then as though jesus had touched our boy with his own hand Pep felt, quote---as though all the wondering and wondering and the frustration had vanished and he finally found peace----.
a {MY SOURCE FOR THIS STORY IS "STRAIGHT LIFE" 
BY ART & LAURIE PEPPER}
b {I QOUTE WHAT I COPY DIRECTLY, BUT MY STORY IS MY TAKE IN MY WORDS ON ART PEPPER'S LIFE}
                                        {END OF PART 1 ART PEPPER}  ~FL~ 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Van Morrison Knocked up Half the Town

               



Flora and Ted Delmar lived in Bolinas, California population sixteen hundred, a artist community that people from San Francisco visited on weekends, with famous residents Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Van Morrison who owned a ranch outside of town. Bolinas looked like the old run down town in the western "Three Bullets for Ringo". The Delmars lived in a small old wooden house, weathered and sky blue color. They were AWOL, Absent Without Leave from society and the rat race, opting out when Nixon was elected.
Flora had a trust fund from a eccentric rich uncle who lived in the East. It wasn't allot, but the Delmars could afford to live simply and past the time painting, writting, drinking, listening to music and smoking pot. Flora painted her dreams using house paint instead of expensive Rembrant paint. She would glue old newspapers and sand from the beach on the thin canvass to thicken and give it texture. Ted had a old Olympia typewriter he used to write stories with, both were moderately successful and could care less about making it. Flora had a few exhibitions in San Franciso and Ted published a book of short stories entitled ' Mescaline Sombero' on Black Sparrow Press.
One night their neighbors, Dennis and Lola Weaver, came to the Delmar house for a visit. They owned the health food store in Bolinas and were heavy drinkers like the Delmars. After eating some falafel and couscous they began to drink bourbon and spring water, passing a joint of high breed Humboldt County pot around.
Lola Weaver knew that Flora had wanted to get pregnant, bored and feeling like a lady cat in heat she said, " Oh Flora good lord what is wrong with Teddy's sperm? Try this dear, put raw oysters,  earthworms, seaweed and pumpkin yogurt in a blender then give it to Ted before you make love." Flora says " Oh fuck off Lola we all know that Dennis's sperm isn't any better than Ted's, and that your son Moonboy was fathered by Van Morrison", Lola countered by saying " Well dear my darling Moonboy has the DNA of a genius and will be a world famous musician someday,". "Sure" says Flora in reply reminding Lola that, " Van the mans DNA also carries the negative gene of a sexed out doper, booze hound, rogue cowboy and bald fat man". Roaring out loud spontaneously the pair laughed so hard that their eyes teared.
Meanwhile Dennis and Ted were in the backyard, peering through a telescope at the night sky as they passed a joint back and forth. It was a fresh and crisp night and you could smell the ocean. The sky looked like a dark blue tarp draped over the horizon as though someone had pricked the tarp a zillion times with a needle allowing the light source from beyond to shine through the tiny holes. Ted got serious for a moment saying to Dennis " One night broh, I was looking at the sky, like we are tonight and I saw a tiny star like blue ray of light that was moving up and down, hovering near the moon for fifteen minutes, then bingo the blue ray shoots up into space and vanishes."  Dennis was skeptical and didn't believe in UFOs saying " You are not going to tell me it was a UFO, maybe it was a star that just flickered out." Ted thought for a few seconds and said, " Well it sure as shit wasn't your momma's booty"! The two good friends wrestled each other to the ground laughing.
Later that evening Flora decided she wanted to walk down the hill and go skinny dipping in Bolinas Lagoon. She wanted to bath in moon beams, asking the Weavers to come along. After splashing about and chicken fighting the couples went to their perspective Mexican blankets, exhausted, full of joy, necking a bit and passed out. Life was good for the Delmars and Weavers, whom in their different ways had escaped the rat race of the city and found simple joy in country living, living off the grid, opting for a spiritually creative life instead. Aware beings, choosing to generate the smallest carbon footprint possible, using green energy to power their houses. Not wanting to leave behind allot of plastic shit that would end up in the rubbish, more carbon based toxins taking a big dump on the precious environment, perpetuating the cycle of sedate planetary suicide.
One Christmas night Flora and Ted got magnificently wasted on Mescal. They finish putting the colored lights on their tree, which was not a pine but a huge home grown cannabis bush in a painted pot. For them Christmas night symbolized the birth of earthly innocence that was eroding, going down to the low lands as the centuries progressed. 
Flora got up and changed the channel on the old TV, they only had two channels. It was Christmas at the Nixon White House,

Friday, August 29, 2014

Descartes's Colouring Book




Henry sick as a dog, he just couldn’t seem to shake the gookalygok, wondering what kind of a virus last a month? He felt doomed, disheveled, feeble, covered in green slim. 

He looked like shit as well, like an old Bulldog with scattered strands of long blond rooster hair growing out of the top of his head and a mouth full of busted up tar coloured teeth, a contender in the ugly dog contest.  

Hard to get much inspiration here, old age physically beating the shit out of Henry, a hero slumped in front of a bowl of noodle soup, despicable, invisible to most.

Dope and booze made him sick, he couldn’t take it anymore, thinking of it made him nauseous. Nausea didn’t stop  the old fool though, he didn’t know any better, ready to hit the opium parlour for relief on a whim. 

As a young man he spent hours looking at himself in mirrors, never missing a chance to catch a reflection in a window sill, now avoiding mirrors like washed-up vampire.

Wondering what there was to write about? Henry’s latest story, “ High in the Pines” took him out of his pathetic self some,   romantic stuff from the past. Henry a pus and blood filled pimple, Quasimodo dreaming of Esmeralda past… inner self fading fast. 

In front of a computer typing  away madly in a coffee shop, watching the young things sucking up university rot, beautiful and fit, the world was about them, not him, and he knew it.  Henry, poisons festering and morphing inside him, breathing goo on the innocents in mute fantasy, spreading Ebola and plague as he breathed, the destroyer of young dreams and hope.

Stopping by the Chinaman’s on the way home, he scored cocaine and Oxy-Codiene which he pulverised and snorted for a balanced high. 

A few minutes into it and Henry was rocking again, "Tumbling Dice" was playing on the coloured radio. All things were a matter of perception he thought,  Descartes was right, it doesn’t exist unless you perceive it.  “Good and bad days, feelings,” were a colouring book of perception.


Descartes’ colouring book, that's the ticket Henry thought.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

High in the Pines



On a bus late one night in darkness,  Henry deep in Mexico somewhere, doped up on reefer and codeine. 

It was late at night and the driver woke him with a shove, saying…

“Gringo this is the last stop for you, get out and take your dope with you.”

Henry wasn’t sure were he was,  Rio Verde maybe.
He had no destination in mind and this city was a good as any, he liked Mexico of the Antigua, the past transported him.  

Looking for a cheap hotel he found Los Americana, the rooms were somber and rundown with mildewed brown wallpaper and old curtains made of orange lace on the dirty windows.

He laid down in bed and snorted some pulverised Codeine off a small mirror and then took a drink of mescal from his flask with a gold skull and crossbones on it, a joyous poison all right. 

Henry loved the sound of the Cantina bands, happy go lucky speed freak stuff he thought. Sitting alone and listening for hours, he would eat and drink too, copious amounts of homemade tortilla and beans while downing shots of tequila.

Henry was eyeballing  a ravened haired gal with milk chocolate skin, a Barbara Carrera in the jungle, a brick shit house of a women, Henry liked big exotic women. 

Having finished a few hard  pints he was ready to strike it up with Isabella. He asked her to go on a picnic tomorrow afternoon (How corny Henry thought?).

She says, 

“Sure gringo what is your name?” 

“Henry” he says. 

“Ok Poppy (Her name for Henry) meet me in front of the cantina tomorrow at two and bring plenty of booze and dope, I will bring beans and tortilla.”

A good trade off Henry thought.

Then Rosa says,

“ You got any coke Poppy?”

Henry surprised, happy she dug dope.

“ Sure babe,  Codeine  and killer bud too.”

Henry  turgid,  full of sex charged vision…. delicious  anticipation,  would the moment live up to the prelude he wondered?

Rosa and Henry met as planned, heading up hill looking for pine trees to lay in and lose themselves in drug, booze and sex.

The innocents spread out a colourful Mexican blanket on the pine needles and downed codeine with tequila as the smoked dope. With their heads well into the clouds, Rosa spread her legs in a debauched manner. Henry skates his hand leisurely up Rosa’s chocolate coated and wet legs ripping off her panties.

Henry nonplussed says,

“ Rosa darling you have a cock!” Realising that he should finish what he started, after all, he had feelings for Rosa 

Rosa says to Henry,

“ Poppy darling didn’t you know that the Hindu God Krishna is both man and women, the lack of gender propels the God to the top of the chakra chain and into the heavens.”

Henry says, 

“ Babe we sure are high in the pines.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bi Polar Deers






Christmas Eve in Chicago 1990, hardly blessed with the spirit or hallmarks of Robert Frost in a horse pulled sleigh coasting through pure powdered snow delivering figgy pudding to his neighbor. 

The snow in the city was mucky, in the alley-ways wino's hovered close to old oil drums at midnight, burning anything to keep from freezing, hoping the sun would come up tomorrow and warm their bones as they caught a few winks on a park benches at Avalon or Chopin park.

It was Christmas Eve in Miami 1990, Henry worked as an orderly at Dade County Mental Health Center, unofficially, the nut-house. Henry nuts himself, the patients his brothers and sisters, he felt more rapport with them than he did with the staff. 

The Psychiatrist were particularly disengaged and alien. Freudian and Jungian therapy was a thing of the past, therapy was a thing of the past. Big Pharma: Wyeth, Pfizer, Roche, Eli Lilly, Snafu, pushing dope to heal souls and making billions was the future.

People should be allowed to medicate as they see fit, as long as they have the money to support their habits. 

When the ward nurses weren't passing pills, they were passing gas, drinking coffee in the nurse's station talking about sex and shopping, on call, waiting for people to freak-out, cups of Thorazine, hypos full of sedatives close at hand, like stun-guns.

Henry wondered how dope worked over time to stabilize psyches, emotions, brain-waves? People's bodies were resistance to drugs after time. Or could it be people (patients) in another time and place, or in a different reality would be the ones on the outside? Henry often thought, does insanity mirror reality or does reality mirror insanity?

On full moon nights the moonbeams seemed to rattle folks brains more than usual, as though the electric signal in the brainwaves did flip flops, taking some on a roller coaster rides. The selective process out on the street that determined who went to jail and who went to the nut-house, vigilance on the lookout for abnormal behavior, particularly violence or disregard for the laws of municipality, sleeping on the beach, balling on the beach, moving your bowels in the woods. Of course, legal for deers who regularly expose themselves and can relieve themselves wherever they want. But, illegal for humans who regularly hide their penises or vaginas out of modesty, or if gay and liberated, wanting to walk about nude and show themselves, holding back, having to live within the laws of  fat mayors or municipalities.

Henry thought if you were going to punch someone or take a dump in the ocean you were always better off acting crazy when the Stasi showed. If you are lucky enough to get in the nut-house, be cool, down the paper bucket of Thorazine, walk the halls nude, wrap a cigarette in the lip of the foreskin of your uncircumsized   cock, let it dangle as you move, light the cigarette and walk down the hall.  Open your jaws, pointing at your mouth like a geek, waiting for someone to throw a live starling or rat your way to chomp on, but it's OK because, your nuts pointing to your mouth, dry, saliva-less, apparent, teething like a baby.

In the morning, drink plenty of coffee, eat some grits and eggs, then chat up a girl in the ward you like, another nut-case like you, fuck her like crazy in an empty closet, then run out the door in your leopard skin speedo and go for a swim in the sea. Life is good if you know how to play the system.