Tonight I am swaying my hips in my kitchen to a new artist I just found out about, making peanut butter, butterscotch and cranberry raisin cookies. They smell like Jesus. Also, I'm drinking some Moroccan Pomegranate Tea and totally feeling these vibes. The person responsible for this whole evening is Corinne Bailey Rae. I watched this really amazing independent film called "Venus" and all the songs in the soundtrack were by her (I watched the credits). I had to get her album. I don't even care if she is popular or if people will make fun of me (Can't hear snickers all the way up here anyway) her voice is like listening to molasses drip on a tile floor, sweet and wrong.
I'm working on a really special hemp necklace also. It has an amazing galaxy glass blown bead in the center. That bead has an amazing galaxy story behind it you might find amusing.
Last year at High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, California I was at a close camping neighbor's tent after a late night show. We were approached by an old hippie. I mean real old, this guy was around when glaciers formed. He had a denim vest and every single square inch of it was covered with patches. There were probably thousands of patches on that vest. It was 6 am we were all bundled up and it was the only top he wore.
I was sitting with a couple of old dudes talking about all the amazing bands we'd seen at the festival and chillin' out before the sun came up. As we sat at their camp living room tent drinking coffee and shooting the breeze this mega old hippie approached. He had a drum in one hand and a rolled cigarette in the other. He had a really long scraggly beard and long matted hair with beads tied into the knots. He was probably only sixty but he looked ancient and worn out like an old rancher's glove. His eyes were barely open from the wrinkly crow footed corners of his eyes. He hobbled and was barefoot. He had denim cut off jean shorts on and they were so short the front pockets hung out of the front.
He said "Hello Fellas" as he beamed for us, it sounded more like "Hewo Fewa's," and it was immediately apparent that he had no teeth. Although there was a lot of open chairs for him to sit in, he sat down on his drum, it between his legs. The oily shiny animal skin djembe drum stared at us and he started to play it slowly and softly. His fingers were like those of a motorcycle mechanics, dirty fingernails and callused. They were curled and looked crippled by the years yet they played like they were new. The beat was steady and sounded kind of like a march of some type. He looked at the three of us and smiled a toothless, hairy grin.
"Freakin' at the Freaker's Ball y'all, freakin' at the freaker's ball," he started to sing. His voice was clear and sounded like a homeless man sounds when they say "Spare some change? God Bless You." The song had about twenty versus about what exactly took place at the "Freaker's Ball" but needless to say it was incredible. It was a ten minute long song he sang, each verse more ludicrous, ridiculous and inappropriate than the previous.
Myself, the two old dudes and a few passer by's of the early morning hour all looked at each other in amazement. It was like watching the Babe Ruth of Hippies hit a grand slam in the Counter-Culture world series. Some how the song ended and he bust into a throaty congested cough. The small crowd was laughing too. He stood up asked for a light and Bruce one of the old dudes obliged. The old dude took a puff of his bent, dirty smoke and reached into his pocket. He pulled out something. Then he reached into the other pocket of his epic patch vest and pulled something else out.
He put his curled crippled hands together and opened them. In his dirty hands sat exactly 5 glass blown centerpiece necklace beads (the same amount of people that watched his entire "Freaker's Ball" performance). He gave one to each of us and said why he chose it.
He gave me a black one with a swirling silver and purple galaxy type picture inside it and said, "For your travels around the universe."
We all said thank you and said it was way too much of a gift for strangers and he said, "Well lets all get a hug and then we won't be strangers anymore."
He went around and wrapped his sagging, tanned arms around each one of us. When he hugged me I could smell, rolled cigarettes, motor oil, and patcouli. For some reason it didn't bother me. Then he bowed, giggled, and hobbled away.
His name was Buddy. I didn't see him for the rest of the festival. But now as I sit here listening to heaven dripping out of my speakers, the smell of holy everything filling my nose, and this crazy bead dangling in front of me, I remember Buddy and many of the inappropriate lyrics of "Freaker's Ball."
You can't pay for stuff like that. I can't give this necklace to anyone either. Some things you find, or earn, or buy or acquire, and even though they would make an amazing gift, you just got to keep em. No one else would understand the importance of the "Freaker's Ball" galaxy necklace. I mean, it was given to me for my universal travels. That is awesome.