Saturday, September 13, 2014

Outtakes from Nowhere

This has happened before. The day AFTER I finished writing my latest Kindle e-book, THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, I woke up that morning and things started popping into my head that SHOULD have been in the book. And I thought I was finished. (Actually, I just wanted the thing out of the house.) Same thing happened with my first e-book, the record-store memoir GUARANTEED GREAT MUSIC!
If any of the following interests or amuses you, you should see what's IN the book....

My wife Cyndi had this theory about the Beatles' ABBEY ROAD album. She thought it was a comedy record -- that all the songs connected together and commented on each other. That Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam on Side 2 were planning to climb out the Bathroom Window and go live with Ringo in his Octopus's Garden over on Side 1. That Ol' Flat Top and the Walrus in "Come Together" were gonna help Carry That Weight, but they couldn't because She's So Heavy. Or something like that. Oh, Darling....
This infuriated me. Because I didn't want to see an album I loved turned into a comedy farce by a no-nothing non-Beatles fan -- and especially not the perfect, symphonic second side of ABBEY ROAD.
Cyndi always threatened to write-up her bizarre theory, but she never did. Thank Ghod. It probably would have sent me into a screaming fit.
Or it would have been one of the best, funniest pieces of rock criticism ever.
That probably would have been WORSE....

You couldn't avoid country music in Moreland. With only six radio stations in Wyoming's Big Horn Basin and five of them country stations, a certain tolerance for country was required.
Cyndi got me hooked on some country singers, especially the women -- Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Pam Tillis, Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna. I liked Travis Tritt's "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," and the more rockin' stuff by Dwight Yoakam: "A Thousand Miles from Nowhere," "I Ain't That Lonely Yet," "As Fast as You."
But the women were amazing. Mary-Chapin Carpenter's COME ON COME ON was one of the great albums of its year. Trisha Yearwood didn't do much for me at first, 'til I was sucked in by "Wrong Side of Memphis" and Emmylou Harris's mournful "Woman Walk the Line." Then later Trisha got me with "She's in Love With the Boy," "X's and O's" and "Thinkin' About You."
Pam Tillis had a gorgeous voice and a great band. I couldn't understand why "When You Walk in the Room" wasn't a huge hit. Or "Melancholy Child." Or "Homeward Looking Angel."
But Mary-Chapin Carpenter was IT. Whenever I played "Passionate Kisses" I thought of Deb -- it was her theme song. It summed-up what I hoped, dreamed, fantasized. And I played it a LOT.

A molar on the lower right side of my mouth went bad -- started keeping me up all night in pain. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I could barely work or function at all. I asked my co-workers at the paper who was the best, cheapest dentist in town. I hated dentists.
When I called him -- in mid-February -- his receptionist said they might be able to fit me in around May. I said I'd be dead by then. I begged. I pleaded.
Finally she said come on in and wait in the lobby, and maybe they could squeeze me in somewhere. I mumbled my thanks.
I went in, and they got me into the doc's in 45 minutes. I begged him to pull my bad tooth, just rip it out of there.
"Oh, we don't want to do that if we can save it," he said.
"Sure," I said, "but how much? I'm not a rich man."
"Oh, I think we can do it fairly cheaply...."
He went to work, did a root canal on the bad tooth, built a new surface for it, got me out of pain, and never caused any further pain.
But the meter was always running. The root canal and repair job ended up costing $2,000. A quick extraction would only have cost me $200.
Another reason why I hate dentists....

There was a low-level bass tone that hung over the town. You could hear it especially well at night -- just a constant low-level hum, hovering behind everything. It never went away. You could hear it best on really cold winter nights. I could never figure out where it came from, and I could never hear it during the day.
Moreland had lots of possibilities for what big industry created the tone. The sugar-beet processing plant? The Pepsi bottling plant? The Crown aluminum-can manufacturing plant? They all ran 24/7. Could have been any of them. I never found out which one, and nobody else ever mentioned hearing the tone. But it was always there at night.
The Pepsi plant was a block down the street from the newspaper office, but you couldn't hear the tone there, not even late at night when I got off work.
But it was always there. I always wondered how many other people around town were laying in bed, listening to the hummmmmm....

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