|Charity and me.|
He didn't seem to take any notice of me, though, until we all went out onto the porch to jam. Wade Johnson set up his drums in the back corner and I sat on the floor with my guitar. The other guys had their acoustic instruments as well. Charity had a pipe. Ahem. We all jammed a bit, then Gary asked me to sing one of my own songs, so I did, although I have no recollection which of my songs I performed. I guess my friends had told him that I was a singer/songwriter at the beginning of a promising career.
|Gary listens to me sing.|
|I watch Gary.|
"I was the drummer on the porch the day you were there and I have pictures of that day, and you. I remember a very pretty girl we were all attracted too and Gary was the lucky guy."
Fast-forward to 1990. I was looking for a quick way to make some money and somehow I found out that a guy in T.O. was needing an assistant to help him set up lighting at some punk raves in the L.A. warehouse district. I called him and he told me his address. "Just come over around seven and we'll go on to the gig," he said.
|Moving a piano up the|
hill to Gary's house.
After the gig we went to The Atomic Cafe for a huge bowl of ramen, and then back to his place in T.O. We talked a lot during the trip and, in his driveway, he asked me if I wanted to come up for a while. I declined. He wasn't the Gary I remembered. It was like being with a total stranger. Spending the entire evening with someone who didn't remember me and whom I could barely recognize was weird. It was kind of like an alien had taken possession of his body. He was pretty whacked out.
Yesterday, I read on Wade's Fb that Gary was killed in a car accident a number of years ago and it made me sad, nostalgic, wistful. Not only does Wade have pictures of that day, he says that he may even have a reel-to-reel of the jam. Suddenly, I'm being propelled back to 1972!
I never told Gary who I was, or that we'd met and shared something lovely for a very brief time; I didn't want to make him feel bad about not remembering me. I've never forgotten him, however. And now I'm becoming friends with Wade because of Gary. In his absence, Gary has become a magical connection between two people who barely remember each other from a jam session on a front porch overlooking the Ventura Highway.
And now, in the heat of writing my Rock trilogy, I realize that I have been blessed with two Gordons in my lifetime; I can't help but see the similarities between Gordon's and Gary's personalities, and my tender feelings for both of them. And then there's Ernie, one of my oldest and dearest friends who is also a magical, brilliant, special man. We surely do write what we know.
Isn't life amazing?
Pictures 2, 5,6 and 7 courtesy of Wade Johnson.