Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Morning Raga : Monterey Pop . 4

Mist & Music

Sunday morning in Big Sur. Mist and campfire coffee. Cornflakes and an apple eaten at a picnic table as I scrawl in my journal like a good fifteen year old soulful artist type. I get up for a moment and two bluebirds have swooped to steal only the seeds from my apple slices. My sister has bedhead, which is considerable as she has hair down past her butt. "Bluebirds of happiness?" she asks no one in particular. The mists ghost through the Torrey pines. The smell of dust and old trees. It's quiet here.

At the fairgrounds life continues in a mellow mood. Naked children crawl out from sleeping bags. Oranges are being passed around and eaten. I feel like I'm in an indian encampment in the 19th century. This morning I'm wearing my my WW1 green army cap with a flower stuck on it. Also I have on a button that reads "Frodo Lives!". I bought a lot of buttons over the last few days. I'll wear them to summer school as a badge of my travels. Summer school - that seems so far away on some other planet.

This morning I discover the Moog Synthesizer room, a little nook past the concession stand. Walking in it's brown and dim with a room of audio equipment set up. A patch board with cables and many knobs . No keyboard. That hadn't been invented yet...instead a sliding ribbon of copper that you can put your fingers on to produce a sound. Anyone can come in and mess about with it. It's mysterious and very cool. I manage to produce a few burping noises by switching around the patch cords randomly. I'm hogging the machine- I best be off it and out the door. Outside is a man with a beard wearing a sportscoat. He asks "Did you have fun?" I nod, wondering if he's a cop or something. Turns out he's Robert Moog.

The sun is still hidden by the Monterey fog as we settle in to listen to Ravi Shankar and Alla Rhaka, the tabla master. Flowers are being passed down the rows. This mystifies me, am I supposed to take it or pass it on ? The tribe is silent on this one. I keep a white daisy and pass on a small orchid. Soon everyone is wearing flowers. Incense wafts everywhere...this time it is from the stage- a traditional offering to the gods before the music. It's all dreamy. A little sleepy. Rock gods stud the audience down front. It's a morning for many in the pantheon to actually hear the greatest Indian master musicians live.

I love the mood here this morning. Like we are all dreaming up some utopia in the curls of this music. It seems as if my young brain is being rewired quietly. My sister grabs me from behind and holds me in a soft hug for a while. The music builds like sex and becomes so complex that all we can do is let it flow over us. then it ends and there is an explosion from the audience of cries and clapping, like waking from the best dream ever and we're all here. Here.

We are off after this. It was enough. Tomorrow is Monday and I have to be at summer school. I will arrive in the quad that Monday dazed and with a little gleam in my eyes. Friends will notice that I'm different. I will make a new friend that morning. Following my nose I will cross the quad to find a girl in a black velvet dress, wearing a siver paper star on her forehead. She is scented with patchuoli. She had been at Monterey too. We find each other and garb and jump up and down. Kids look at us like we're crazy. It's gonna be a good summer.


tapsi said...

I found the link to these posts over at Heather's "I am fuel, you are friends" blog and I must tell you it was a pleasure to read (even though I was born a lot later and on another continent)... thank you for sharing these extraordinary memories with us!

Nazz Nomad said...

very enjoyable post, thanks for the memories!