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Music, this last Saturday's gig, VERY long, beware..

October 10, 2017 09:14PM
This is long.. ONLY for obsessive music lovers, musicians.

This last Saturday we played in Pozo.. I’ve written about Pozo. It’s in the middle of nowhere and yet the Pozo Saloon has hosted some of the biggest artists of all time - from rock bands to rap guys to rhythm and blues… seriously big time stars. We didn’t play at the saloon but rather the Cowboy Winery.. a stones throw from the Pozo Saloon stage. Alas…

The Pozo Saloon closed down this last April… WHICH, gave me perhaps one of the saddest sights my eyes have ever beheld.

I last played in Pozo a few years ago, when the saloon was still a’hoppin. So I pulled into the Cowboy Winery about 3pm to set up for the night’s gig. And there… literally only a stone’s throw away… lay the Pozo Saloon stage…. already, even though it’s only been closed down for 6 months, showing it’s age. The light poles, (not sure of the technical term), rising high, higher than the surrounding oak trees, but pale and rusted. 4 of them. The saloon itself boarded up. The wooden stage already cracked and weather-worn from the hot California sun. The stage where Steppenwolf performed, Willie Nelson, several Rap artists (sorry, I don’t know them). And, of course, yours truly.. but not this gig.

You have to see Pozo at night to appreciate it…. no light pollution, (middle of nowhere, Pozo itself, the town, has a population of maybe 5). Oak trees, juniper, manzanita, wild oats, very few lights from surrounding cattle ranches/wineries. When the sun goes down it sets the sky on fire… and when the fire turns to embers only the starry night, more stars than you’ve ever seen in your life, illuminate the surrounding hills, mountains, and valleys. You are - - - alone - - - other than the few gathered with you to dance, drink, and make merry… meaning - more than enough.

For this gig our stage was a flatbed trailer… directly facing the old Pozo stage. The brilliant starry night, even DURING night, allowing me a view of the fading into memory light poles of the once vibrant pulse of what music brings to this world. Music knows no boundaries, obeys no human laws, nor natural laws… it exists beyond our realm, and even beyond our ability to fully comprehend it… which keeps it ever evolving yet never, not even for a moment, generational as we humans are… it transcends time, and makes no judgements, and Mozart as well as Linkin’ Park are given equal consideration, and respect.

We began with dinner music.. soft, or reasonably so anyway. And…. And… the evening wore on… becoming more raucous by the moment.. then quieting, gently fading.. until, only the very drunk and unwilling to surrender to the nightly shadows were left on the dance floor, or perhaps prone on the surrounding straw bales too tired to continue or too reluctant to give up the night. 3, maybe 4 couples…locked in embrace… thinking it was the most beautiful night of their lives… and hey, perhaps they were right. And on that note.. we played the final song of the evening. Time to pack up.

Un-connected my drum mic’s, removed my cymbals… standard tear down regimen. All the while I kept looking over to those light poles… soon to be gone - sold perhaps, collapsing perhaps. About 2am, loaded and ready for the 3 hour drive home… I pulled out of the cow pasture and I stopped.. just before the paved road began.. and looked one last time at those light poles. Then I gazed downward, knowing I could never explain this to most… least of all rejuvenate it all… it was the past, it’s gone.

The grey of dawn had just begun as I pulled into my driveway at home, miles from Pozo.. and yet I paused, once again, before entering my front door, disrobing, and retiring…

Those light poles haunt me… They are part of me, as I’m sure they are too many others as well. And we won’t forget.. though the world surely will. They fade, as we all do…but NOT..

Music… who has not even begun to hit it’s prime. You will never experience Pozo.. it’s gone… but then again, you can… you just have to see beyond yourself… this concept of ‘time’ that we think rules all.. it doesn’t. Shut your eyes, surrender to music… and YOU, will see those light poles yourself, And you will rejoice with those lingering lovers on the dance floor... the remnants of time's past eroding into history, and me... a lifetime of playing music, even if poorly, whose evenings on this earth diminish like the light poles, but in fact spawn a perpetual dawn of something that will never die.. music. - JamesJM

  Music, this last Saturday's gig, VERY long, beware..

JamesJM202October 10, 2017 09:14PM

  Beautifully written...

sstrams56October 11, 2017 03:48AM