So much of the road trip has been richly & accurately detailed by Michael & Terri, whereas moi, Meltzer, the old fart, finds the blahg form unfriendly & impatient.

My fragments, shards, snapshots, are indicative of the delirium of the road. Michael & Terri drive. I don’t. As a Brooklyn boy, never needed to. Even when I landed in Hollywood with my dad in the ’50s. Took public transport which in those days was somewhat epochal. Was always in the passenger seat as we went from place to place. Each driver had (duh) their own style of moving our Rockpile vehicle through USA, & each had their own way of relating to the grouchy guy beside them. Not that I was always festering or pestering. All of the journey was like a weird wedding; we became a family. A weird family, but a loving one.

Watching Michael grow as a collaborator, improviser, & foot-tapping ecstatic was a delight, a joy; seeing Terri unfold on stage into a delightful & constantly delighted performer was inspirational. It was an 8 week crash-course in releasing & realizing what we could do & how to do it better.

The musicians were our teachers, guides, our obstacles. W/out them, nothing would have happened. I’m so deeply grateful to reconnect w/ my musician brothers & sisters. In the ’60s all I wanted to be was a musician. In a small way, I was part of the SF folk-rock scene in the ’60s & loved working w/ others as a musician, including my late collaborator Jim Gurley. Nobody knew I was a poet. I was a guitar player. Jim & I & sometimes, when he was there, J. P. Pickens, the Coltrane of the 5-string banjo. We drove the folkies out to the bar but we knew more than anybody in the house those nights.

The musicians we encountered in our 2 month journey were always willing if not able to work w/ & for us. I can’t thank them enough. This kind of work is utopian in the most realized sense.
Utopia means no place, but on the stage & in performance it’s all in place. Everyone listening, allowing, giving space for the soloist to arise, then shifting back into the community support of the group. It’s more than a gig even when it’s a gig.

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