Monthly Archives: September 2011

calling Michael T- shirt

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Howdy folks, thanks for reading. Recently I have been inundated with requests for Space Hippie t-shirts. Unfortunately I’m completely out of them. I had printed up about 500 or so with the help of my friend, Michael T-shirt. ( Michael if you’re reading this call me. ) I drew the Space Hippie logo and he made it into a silk screen. Michael is an old Grove hippie that started making t-shirts in the early 70’s. He told me at first it was just him and a friend, silk screening them in his apt. Then one of designs took off. Remember those t-shirts that said “ Smoke Colombian Smoke the Best? ” That was one of his. They sold 1,000’s of them and his company grew. Back when I met him he had factory and a huge warehouse full of horrible oversized glitter tee’s ( it was an 80’s thing. ) He had contracts with Disney and other big companies but all that finally fizzled out. I lost touch with him a few years back but I know he’s still around.

So my t-shirts were professionally silk screened and tye dyed as well, definitely high quality and for the small amount of them we made they sure made a big impact. I gave one to Jack Herer. Dave Wyndorf, the lead singer of Monster Magnet once rocked one. I of course wore one on national television, pot leaves and all when I was on People’s Court. Rachel Goodrich, Miami singer/songwriter ( now in L.A. ) recently told me she wore one all the time back in high school. Another high school girl told me she wore it in her yearbook picture! That makes me proud.

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did I ever tell you about the Doobie Tosser?

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The Doobie Toss was an annual event that happened in downtown Gainesville. Every fall, just after harvest season, all the local growers would donate some of their best buds of Gainesville Green to the cause. Teams of people worked around the clock in the days before the event,  rolling joint after joint and loading them into shoeboxes. The Doobie Toss took place in a park downtown in front of the main library, down the street from city hall. Bands would play all afternoon and then when the clock striked 4:20, the Doobie Tosser and his merry helpers would appear, dispensing free weed to the crowd. Hundreds of doobies would go flying through the air from all directions. Then everyone would light up and have a big smoke out in public. Everyone would get really, really high. It got so well known it was featured in High Times magazine. That issue had a centerfold appropriately featuring Gainesville Green.

 

I looked forward to the Doobie Toss. I would go up there and play the Space Hippie thing solo, a few times I played with local bands. I had been spending more time up that way, playing at G.M.A.’s Harvest Fest which was in Live Oak and other gigs. I could often be found on Main Street hanging out at CMC Civic Media Center. Hey gutter punks are my people! I was up at the Krishna farm, helping deliver Krishna food to the homeless with this crazy renegade hippie I met. Commie Dave’s mom had a derelict farmhouse outside of town. Me and Dave were up there and we invited the U.M. Hemp Awareness Council to come up for the Doobie Toss and stay with us. I had drawn them this map. We were pretty remote on long dark winding backroads with no lights and no street signs.They were all freaked out and were about to give up when they pulled up to the property. I remember walking across the field towards their headlights, clomping along in these big boots waving my arms, going “ hey man it’s ok,it’s me, you made it. “ That was a great Doobie Toss that year. No problems whatsoever just a fun event that was good for the local economy, Think Global, Grow Local that sort of thing. This went on for years with nobody getting busted. Then they got a new sheriff in town, Waylon Clifford or Clifton. ( cue the music ) He was going to put a stop to all these stoned freaks that were running amuck in the town square ( and having a grand ol’ time I assure you. ) So at  the next year’s Doobie Toss, the new Sheriff Clifford and the Gainesville Police were out in full force. Early in the day, no doobies had been tossed. Just a bunch of already stoned people showing up to listen to some music ( or play some music. ) The cops started surrounding the perimeters, not busting anybody just standing around intimidating the crowd. Gainesville of course is a big college town with lots of kids. It’s known for being pretty tolerant so these kind of heavy tactics rubbed people the wrong way. Bands were playing, people were trying to have a good time despite the heavy police presence. When federal patient Elvy Musikka who was speaking on stage lit up a joint, they cops jumped the gun and tackled her and arrested her. The cops arrested the one person there who could legally smoke! As they led her away to the police station a few blocks away, the crowd followed. They milled about outside the main entrance smoking out the place while chanting to let her go. The cops had to apologize and let her go. Now they had an angry crowd to deal with. Sheriff Clifford’s plan backfired on him and he ultimately lost his job over the incident. I wish I had a copy of that picture.He was a real strange bird. A couple of local crazy activist/artists had taken pictures of him the day of the bust. He was standing in the crowd with dark shades on, a black turtleneck, black pants, black leather gloves ( and it wasn’t that cold that day ) talking into a walkie talkie. He must have been acting out his super cop fantasies and evidently it was turning him on because when they blew up one of the pictures into a huge framed portrait, the hard on in his pants was evident! Later when we took over the old train station we had that picture hanging on the wall ( along with a billboard for Café Risque which we nabbed off of 75. )

 

Cafe

 

That train station was the shit. We used to put on shows there with G.M.A.Gainesville Music Alliance who’s office was at the other end. I enjoyed working with those guys. Gainesville’s music scene was hot back then. Sister Hazel was getting big. River Phoenix’s band played locally. Gainesville was the place to be, music was all over.

 

 

Later on,  I was staying with the Doobie Tosser himself. Murli owned a block of houses in southeast Gainesville, the hippie ghetto everybody called Murliville. After he got busted they changed the name to Fort Ganja. I remember one of the residents showing me it said that on his license, Ft. Ganja. As you drove up, they had a huge banner that read Overgrow the Government.  Those guys were crazy. One day the helicopters did swoop down. They had busted Murli and put him on trial, that was the end of the Doobie Tosses. He eventually got off and moved out of state. Yes the Doobie Tosser lives on. I saw him at Rainbow Gathering a couple of years ago. I gave him a Space Hippie t-shirt.

 

here’s an article about Florida Movement that appeared in Cannabis Culture Magazine:

http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/1592.html

here’s a link to the 2011 Melbourne and Gainesville Hemp Fests put on by C.A.N. Cannabis Action Network

http://flhempfest.org/

Sailing with Star Climber!

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Ok so where was I ? Oh yes, beat up and sleeping on the couch that smelled like pooter dog, at the office of McKenzie Oerting.  I was on the second floor of one of the boat warehouses at Coconut Grove marina. I had a beautiful view of Biscayne Bay. There was a certain sound, a mix of howling wind and clanking sails that lulled me to sleep at night, waking to the blinking colored lights of passing ships. I must have a fever. Surprisingly I’m not alone in the cavernous hull of corrugated tin. I just found out there’s another stowaway and she’s cute. She’s sleeping in the adjacent office…

One day looking out at the dry dock a sailboat caught my eye. That wasn’t there before. It was a pale green Tartan 57 up on lifts. Something familiar about it but I couldn’t place it. Then I saw a head pop up from the cabin. I caught a quick glimpse of a scruffy hippie dude. Woah that looked liked…no that couldn’t be? Could it? Holy shit it was! I knew I knew that boat! It was the Aquarius! Star Climber must have sailed it down to Florida! So my buddy Star Climber just happened to end up in the dry dock that was just outside my window. Man it was good to see him. Once he got the Aquarius ship shape, he was sailing to Key West and he asked me to join him. That was the trip of a lifetime. My first ( and last ) ocean going voyage in a sailboat. The one in which I was forever dubbed the Landlubber. It’s all chronicled in my book Landlubber’s Log, which I wrote but can’t find. It’s just as well. One of the few things I wrote that ever came under scrunity of a professional proofreader, when I got back the manuscript it was awash in red scribbled marks. The gist of the story is this…

Sailing down there was a breeze, the wind in our sails over two clear nights. It was all we could do to switch off holding the tiller as we throttled over a sea of glass at maximum velocity. I remember dancing ecstatically on deck illuminated by the full moon. I could see stars I’ve never seen before. When we arrived at our destination we anchored off Christmas Island. We drank a toast with our catch of the day. We sung sea chanteys and drank rum. Life was good. I played guitar and Star Climber played the fiddle. Every night we’d be dingy-ing in at 4 in the morning after playing in all the bars for tips and drinks or waking up onshore if we got lucky with the local womenfolk. A simple carefree life, we never even locked the boat. We left the dingy tied up at the dock and it was always there the next day. There was a code of honor among the pirates and scurvy dogs in the Keys back then. Citzens of the Conch Republic, they seceeded from the union in 1982. I’ve forgotten all the names but never had I met a more colorful bunch of characters. After a week or two, we had endeared ourselves to the local populace and they sent us off in style with a grand fete at Barefoot Bob’s, a hippie hang out on Duvall street.

We sailed away with smiles on our faces on a sunny summer day. But weather changes moods and by midafternoon the sky had turned dark and foreboding. I had never experienced a storm at sea, much less one on a 27 foot boat that soon was tossed like a bobbing cork. I remember violently retching over the side as Star Climber who was a hardy sailor just laughed and dubbed me a landlubber. That night it was to get much worse. Huge swells crashed across our starboard bow. The boom swung erratically from side to side. We jibbed the sails as much as we could. At one point we thought we might capsize. When Star Climber told me to put the harness on my ankle I thought we were goners. That was some scary shit. We made it through the night alright but it put the fear of the mighty ocean in me. When we finally made it back to shore I kissed the ground. It’s a landlubber’s life for me thank you very much. I was back on dry land once again but with nowhere to call home.

Wacko in Waco part 2

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Yeah it’s funny looking back now, end of an era. I was for a brief moment in time a jukebox hero. It turns out “ Wacko in Waco “ was a one of the last jukebox 45 hits. I wondered why it had the big whole in the middle. That Jeff was always thinking. He had struck a deal with the company that serviced all the jukeboxes. Of course it made it hard for common folk to play. Back then you had a devil of time finding the adaptor so you could play it on a regular stereo. You know what I mean the little round plastic things that you put on the turntable to play a 45?

Ah yes I forgot…ancient vinyl lore. More apochrypha for you young ‘uns. The 45 was made to be played on jukeboxes. We used the same distributor that had made “ The I-95 Asshole song “ such a big hit.  I once met the author August Campbell in a bar and he regaled me with stories. He told me he met the Grateful Dead in a bar somewhere in Michigan and they were all more impressed to meet him, shaking his hand and saying, “ wow man, you wrote the I – 95 Asshole Song! “ That song had been a big influence on what I was trying to do at the time, writing novelty songs and political satire. So yeah “ Wacko in Waco “ was on the jukeboxes in bars all over the country that played 45’s. They’re all pretty much gone now but I hear it’s still on some in Waffle Houses in the Midwest! I know ” The Ballad of Sloppy Joe, “ a Buffet parody of mine is still on a jukebox in Key West. If anybody spots one let me know. Also I’d appreciate any “ Wacko in Waco “ stories as well. A bunch of UM kids told me they heard “ Wacko in Waco“ up in New Jersey. They were playing  it on KROCK out of New York. I don’t know if that was on Howard’s Stern show or not. I heard Don Imus played it a few times.  Of course locally in Miami, the man was Neil Rogers. Neil GOD! Gone but not forgotten, he hosted a long running talk radio show on WIOD that pretty much defined the term “ shock jock. “ Outrageous but intelligent, he is missed. Oh and I forgot completely that Michael Stock played it on his weekly Folk and Acoustic show on WLRN ( because I called up and requested it! ). All these years and still going strong, his show airs every Sunday at 2pm. He’s my Facebook friend so if he’s reading “ Hi Michael love the show! “ I played a couple of songs live on his show one time including a hillbilly hemp protest number that provoked some angry phone calls. ( sorry Michael… ) A grow house operation had just been busted just down the block from then Sheriff of Broward County Ken Jenne and I dedicated the song to him. Oops, I thought WLRN was the Dade County School Board’s station. Then in the interview we taked about  the FTAA, the Free Trade Agreement  of the America’s and I said something to the effect of marijuana and coca being the staples of poor peasant farmers in Central and South America, called them “ agricultural products. “Oh well, that was nothing compared to the phones calls when I played live on WDNA’s Pandemonium. It was a weekly comedy show. Let’s just say I sang a song that used the f-word but creatively. The shows hosts encouraged me to sing it but it ultimately brought down the wrath of the FCC. So you know those 7 words you can’t say on televison? You can’t sing them on radio either. Wow you know I just remembered after the last time I played live on the FAU station in Boca the FCC made them cut back their transmission to only on campus.I most be doing something right!

Even all of those times, pale in comparison to the angry phone calls and out right bomb threats when I played “ This Land Ain’t Your Land ( Apology to Woody ) “ on the Beast and Baker show during the Elian saga. Hey man it’s a very “ up with people song “ ( to borrow a phrase from Kimba. ) Those crazy Cubans just misunderstood the words and all those rednecks it just went over their heads. So basically it pissed off a bunch of people for completely different reasons. I wrote the perfect song. Woody would be proud. This here guitar kills fascists and all that.  What all these folkies nowadays don’t understand is I’m a guy that writes song like Woody Guthrie and they’re guys that drive SUV’s worth more than my house and play Woody Guthrie songs on guitars worth more than my car! Hey how many folkies does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  …Five… one to screw in the lightbulb and four to stand around and complain that it’s electric! ha ha

APOLOGY TO WOODY  ( This Land Ain’t Your Land )

As I was rafting south of the border,

I found myself in U.S. waters,

I saw the Coast Guard, in the land of the free,

But this is what those bastards said to me,

This Ain’t Your Land, This Land Is My Land,

Were going to send you Cubans back to your island,

Were going to send your mama to Krome Avenue,

This land was made for me not you,

From the Bay of Pigs, South to Havana,

To the Port Au Prince toTexarkana,

I heard Bill Clinton say on the tv,

This land was made for you and me,

As I was talking to Janet Reno,

She said there nothing I can do,

I’m sorry but you’ll all have to go,    

Ship you back to Guatanamo,

This Ain’t Your Land, This Land Is My Land,

We’re going to send you refs back to your island,

We’re going to send your mama to Krome Avenue,

This land was made for me not you,

As I was drowning in the blue ocean,

The politicians making commotion,

I saw the shoreline, I was going to be free,

This land was made for you and me,

This land was made for you and me,

An enduring song even if a little dated. Political satire has a limited shelf life, like chewing gum it loses it’s flavor overnight. Hey I write all kinds of songs. Who wants to hear a song about Bob Dole called “ the Banana Republican? “ Geez, what am I the next Phil Ochs or something? Now I could only remember the words to “ Wacko in Waco part 2. “

Wacko in Waco

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12936722_1152212384797631_2650349463262612650_nDid I ever tell you about Alice Nutter? She was a teen witch that had lived at Manor Lane years and years previously, at least according to local legend.  Supposedly, she had died mysteriously after dabbling in the black arts. Her spirit still haunted the place. A stray black cat would show up out of nowhere around the time of the full moon and disappear just as suddenly. We all thought it was all bullshit until one day a piece of mail arrived address to Alice Nutter. Manor Lane was a trip. The first couple years were great. My Grateful Dead jam band Smoking Toad practiced in the living room, legendary parties like the one where we invited Estimated Eyes, a local Dead cover band to play with us. Were were gigging in the Grove, and every week at Coaches across from the University of Miami and at all the frats. All was good but then things turned weird.

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As 1993 began, I was busy playing gigs with the band and solo acoustic on campus and in the Grove. I had been doing a lot of songwriting, working with Jeff Sadowsky from M.T.A., Music Talent Associates. Jeff had been a fixture on Miami music scene since it’s heyday in the 70’s when it had been a disco mecca. He had worked for T.K. Stone Productions which had all those big hits with Wayne Casey aka K.C.of K.C.and the Sunshine Band. ( It wasn’t the last time I would cross paths with the ghosts of disco past. )  Nowadays, Jeff worked with local rock and reggae acts. M.T.A. had produced one of the first local compilation cds “ Miami Sunburn Remedy.” The local scene was heating up, acts like the Mavericks and Nil Lara were getting signed. In fact I got a good union gig in an oldies rock’n’roll cover tune band, Flashback, when the Maverick’s bassist Bobby Reynolds vacated the position. Corey the drummer hadbeen one of the original  Eggs. I was finally getting good paying cover tune gigs playing at places like Firehouse Four and the hotel ballrooms on Miami Beach but I longed to get my originals heard. There was a big Billboard convention going on in Orlando so we drove up there to crash it.

RICKY

It was me, Jeff  from M.T.A. and Ricky Williams ( not the Miami Dolphin player. ) Ricky is a 6’2” blind, black piano player, an incredibly talented guy who was the house band at the Forge on Miami Beach for years. As you can imagine the three of us made quite a sight as we stepped out of the elevator into a swanky party going on in  the penthouse, kind of hard to look inconspicuous.  But to my surprise instead of being escorted out when all these music industry big wigs saw Jeff they greeted him by name. “ Hey Jeff long time, hey Jeff how’s it going? still in Miami? “ The party was a who’s who, Jon Bon Jovi and his band were there and CharlieDaniels.Ricky commandeered the grand piano in the center of the room which may or may not have been revolving ( it certainly seemed that way. ) I joined him on guitar and we had the whole place singing along, eating out of hands. We had arrived. We partied like champions and when we left in the wee hours me and Jeff decided we were too drunk to drive so we asked Ricky to ( he’s blind. )

One the way back to Miami, we kept hearing on the radio about some crazy shit going on in Waco, Texas. I was scribbling down lyrics the whole way. By the time we got there at dawn I had finished what would become my biggest hit, “ Wacko in Waco.” I had always had an element of comedy in my music but this was truly some funny shit. It was basically about how this madman in Waco had become an overnight media sensation. I must have tapped into some sort of zeitgeist because Kimba, a DJ on SHE ( WSHE  ) was talking about it on her morning show so I called her up and sang it to her. She cracked up. To my surprise she played me singing “ Wacko in Waco” over the phone live on the air! By that evening we had recorded it and I had wrote a b-side “ We Ain’t Coming Out. “ The next day I frantically tracked down banjo player Vern Miller at the South Florida Bluegrass Associations monthly Ives Dairy festival and I squired him away to record it live in a friend’s bedroom. Then legendary Grove blues harpist LAW-GUYS Don dubbed his parts and within 24 hours our 45 single went to the presses. Obstensibly, we had recorded it on Jeff’s reggae label, Greenland Records but there was one small problem of actually getting the labels from the printer, a Jamaican Rasta Jeff owed money too. Oh and one minor detail later to come back to haunt us, actually mailing in the copyright forms! …classic Sadowsky.

Norelco_Auto_Mignon_CRApril1961-record-player

So now we had a stack of 45’s in our trunk and we were driving around dropping them off at radio stations. They were playing it too! First Neil Rogers on WIOD talk radio and WVUM, the University of Miami Station, Kimba on the rock station WSHE, then inexplicably on the commercial station Y100! We had a crossover hit! Me and Jeff had mailed out 100’s of copies to radio and tv stations and before you know it they were playing it everywhere. I was getting mail orders from an ad I had put in Maximum Rock’n’Roll. Jeff had got it on jukeboxes ( which I didn’t learn about ‘til later… ) It was happening fast and then it was all over.

PEOPLES

The stand off in Waco ended in a fiery blaze but before that happened I got beat up by a drunken ex Marine named Chiz. Actually I got evicted and beat up by a guy named Chiz and my car brokedown on the way home from a gig at Churchill’s all in 24 hours. I remember me and the two sisters I was with abandoning the car on US1 and putting the equipment in a grocery cart and wheeling it down the highway, back to Manor Lane. The drunk ex Marine guy had just moved into a room there. He had been up all night drinking and in the morning he fractured my skull because “ my puppy shit on his rug. “ I had found a little lost black puppy wandering the streets with his head stuck in a plastic container. I couldn’t get it off, he was really stuck and whimpering so I ended up bringing him back home with me to cut it off. He shit on the rug in the living room so this idiot hit me. He really injured me too. When I got back from hospital I was the one who got evicted. So now I was beat up and homeless. I ended up sleeping in a warehouse at Coconut Grove Marina. My friend Lancelot had a business that designed boat name logos that I worked for sometimes, McKenzie Oerting. They let me sleep on the couch upstairs. A lot of crazy shit had just happened and I need a place to recuperate. No phone, no tv, just my bike and a beautiful view of Biscayne Bay, in a week or two, I soon forgot all about it all. One day I biked up to the Tiger Tail, a seedy bar where all the dock rats hung out. They were playing mysong on the jukebox! Like every 20 minutes. “ Hey man that’s me..” “Wow, no shit free drinks all around. “ I called Jeff and he was feaking out asking where I had been. They had been playing it all over the country! both songs! ” Turn on Channel 7… ”
The show 7 at 7:30 ( the precursor to Deco Drive ) had done a story on the Waco siege and used our music. The showed the record and talked about how it was a sudden phenomenon.  The host, Jessica Aguirre said we were cashing in, what cash? I was broke and sleeping in a boat warehouse! Unfortunately, the whole place burned down a day or two later and no one played it any more after that ( actually later I wrote Wacko in Waco part 2 and a few stations played that. ) I went back to my idyll at the marina nursing my wounds and sleeping on my friend’s couch & then just the other day…

 

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Freedom of Speech

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Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment. It is one of the basic freedoms guaranteed by the U.S.Constitution. ( not to be confused with the U.S.S. Constitution see pic ) that makes us the greatest country in the world. In theory, U.S. citizens can speak their mind freely including airing grievances against their government without fear of the S.W.A.T. team showing up at their door ( again. )

The only exceptions are speech that is deemed obscenity, defamation, perjury, incitement to lawlessness, or matters pertaining to National Security. In reference to speech that is deemed obscene, here’s George Carlin’s Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on Television ( Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation,  Supreme Court Ruling 438 U.S. 726 (1978). ) write on…

today is the 10th anniversary of 9 -11

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9-11 was 10 years ago today. I had just flown out of NYC a few days earlier. I was up there taping a People’s Court Episode, Space Hippie vs. Club M. We sued a club in downtown Hollywood on the show ( and won ) after they stiffed us for a gig. We had opted to fly up in the morning , tape the show, and fly back that same night. We were lucky, if we had stayed in town we would have been caught up in the chaos following 9-11.

Ironically when we got back, we found out the hijackers had spent the weekend before the attack drinking at Shuck’ems, another club in downtown Hollywoodthat we played at. They had been throwing money around telling everyone they were pilots. Rumors were they were the same guys selling opiated black Afghani hash and Persian brown, powerful heroin freebase, the same stuff Jerry Garcia got hooked on. Everybody said they were C.I.A. All I know is parts of the official story don’t add up ( Building 7? )

If you remember the mood of the country those first couple of weeks afterwards, people were putting flags on their cars and G.W.’s approval rating was the highest ever. No one was in the mood for talk of conspiracy. Even at the ultra liberal Unitarian Church my talk on 9-11 was given a cool reception. I basically compared it to the Nazi’s Reichstag fire and explained the concept of mass trauma based programming, that William Cooper described as a technique used to condition the sheeple to accept the coming New World Order ( Ruby Ridge, Waco, Oklahoma City, et al ) I also talked about the Bush’s and the Bin Laden’s long time business dealings and Dick Cheney’s efforts to build an oil pipeline through Afghanistan when he was C.E.O. of Enron. All this was completely radical at the time but some of it was later proved true in the mainstream media. (check out Rolling Stone’s coverage and Michael Moore’s movie  ” Fahrenheit 9/11 “. )

I don’t regret speaking out but it definitely put me on somebody’s shit list because a few years later the A.T.F. showed up an my apt.one night in full S.W.A.T. gear. After searching and finding nothing, they seized my athame ( a knife used in ceremonial magick ) and charged me with possession of a weapon, a violation of my probation. Nowadays I keep my conspiracy theories to myself.