I got my brown paper bag
and my take-home pay
— the prophets billy f. gibbons and joe michael hill
i grumble that i have only cat-butt coffee mugs.
but then i glance at my current view of the kitten’s rear end, and i’m reminded that art is at its essence a reflection of life.
it’s all about the caffeine. and catnip.
i saw dusty hill play live in 1974. ronny lane, charlie van pelt and i were meandering up and down the drag in san angelo one september evening and had nothing to do, so on a whim we drove all night to austin for the boys’ barn dance and barbecue. tres hombres in a ford falcon. no tickets, no common sense, no note to the parents. craziest thing i ever did. i think i’m still grounded.
it was an experience. santana, cocker, bad company, sunburns that lasted for weeks. standing on the turf of the UT stadium looking in awe at the three coolest guys on the planet.
and now there are only two.
you think those times will last forever, but of course they don’t. the third act sneaks up on you. james taylor’s tortured angst becomes quiet contentment. we still play “imagine” at the opening of the olympics, because 50 years later nobody has come up with a finer song. and bass players take a bow after the final encore. we all die. except keith richards.
i sit happily, content to cherish the memories and sip cat-butt coffee. i look at the photo of me on the “fandango” album, and then at the cat snoring. caffeine and catnip.
i wouldn’t change a thing. you can’t go wrong with caffeine and catnip. and that third album. waiting for the bus all day.
thanks for everything, dusty. if art really is a reflection of life, you led a good ‘un. see you at the next fandango.
i’ll bring sunscreen.
(i’m the one in the baseball cap)