We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Declaration of Independence- July 4, 1776
Born November 27,1942 in Seattle,WA. Played guitar left handed. He allegedly hated the sound of his own voice.
We remember Hendrix for his rendition of the Star Spangled banner at Woodstock in 1967. I think it must have thrown the authorities flat on their asses to hear it- if they did. Maybe they finally got the message as spelled out in distortion. It was Jimi’s state of the union: “I love my people but fuck the institution”, so articulated using an electric guitar and our national anthem.
After setting a guitar on fire at the Monterrey International Pop Festival (1967), braining another against the stage, and completely blowing everyone’s mind with Bold as Love, Jimi died. Drug overdose- Sept 18 1967. Age 27. There’s a bronze statue of him cradling his guitar on the corner of Broadway and Pine.
In the C.D. we had a house on 29th Ave. It was green craftsman, built in 1910.
The designer who remodeled our house based the interior on a wash of desert color. The living room was orange, sweeping into a crimson sitting room, followed by a kitchen with copper counters.
My room was green with a slanted ceiling and a nook for my bed.
My biological mom got a job with the Teamsters as the “in house attorney” for Local 117. The truckers she worked with made her laugh out right- loud, brash, honest cussers. Once unleashed from the law firm and set upon the greedy employers- we traded in her Toyota for a blue Ford.
We moved. My bio mum toured this empty shell of a house in process and declared it fit for a law school Dean. Non bio mom said “Honey- you choose”.
Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain died young- like Hendrix. Shotgun to the head following fallout with wife Courtney Love. His house in the Madison Beach neighborhood still stands, eternally sought out by tourists in black nylons and skinny jeans.
Personally, I don’t like to go there. I hate thinking of Kurt face up in his living room. I imagine Smells like Teen Spirit hugging the turn table (even though it probably never came out in vinyl) …
….Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
****We ended up on 56th Ave- Seward Park. The most “diverse” zip code in the U.S., which is basically a lie because the neighborhoods are so fucking segregated. The wealth starts at Lake Washington and ends at Rainier Avenue. On the opposite side of Rainier Ave is low income housing and old Buicks with silver rims shooting up and down Martin Luther King St in the dead of night.
Suddenly, the 90’s ended and grunge died. The flannel shirts were buried in closets, lyrics about chemical saviors faded off of CDs and the radio. 103.7 the Mountain still plays Pearl Jam, but only the soft stuff- like Daughter or Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.
“Now, this- this is classy.” No- this is beige mum. No more salsa colored sitting room, noxious cheese living room- hot breath and tortilla chip kitchen. No more Catfish Corner with collard greens and French fries. No more Verite- cupcakes and coffee. No more getting hit on at the bus stop unless I make the effort to walk across Rainier, past the DMV, and down to the beach. There are no more black women yelling at me to “get the hell off my lawn!” ‘cause I cut corners on the way back from the park.
There are sky lights and tasteful furnishings and huge windows.
I don’t feel guilty- but we’ve lost the ability to separate self and clock. Cause money means time and we all need money but…
We hold these truths to be self evident: no musicians are created equal, and if you want to pick a fight about it, go ahead and lift that guitar.