Music was a big part of it… ~ Mikael Covey

November 7, 2007

You’re right, the 70’s was pretty much sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll. But goddamn, we were trying to stop a war, y’know. Friends of ours were getting killed. Wild times. Long hair, Nixon, bluejeans full of holes patched over with bits of flag. And we were all young. What I remember, what any of us remember, it was pretty much a constant party. Like “yeah, I was high all throughout the 70’s…but it was cool…I think.”

Blacklights, fluorescent posters, bell-bottoms, and the constant smell of incense. It was always dark. I think maybe slept all day. Like living in a Camden Town record store. I liked it. Music was a big part of it.

Two things mattered, getting high and the music. Every week the next band was like the biggest on the charts. Mott the Hoople, Slade, the Allman Brothers, ZZ-Top, Arrowsmith, Lynard Skynard, Alice Cooper, Mountain, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, West Bruce and Lang, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Jefferson Airplane, Heart, Kansas, Head East, Pink Floyd, Foghat, Humble Pie, Savoy Brown, Blue Oyster Cult, to name a few. (I’m working from memory here, y’know.)

We were poor. It’s hard not to be poor when you don’t have a job. But who had time to work. This was a time to live. And you could always sell some dope to be able to buy some more dope, and maybe a bag of cheetos. Get the munchies something fierce. Local bars had to stock ‘em by the case. I suppose they thought it was odd, this run on cheetos all of a sudden, but business is business. Gettin high and playing foosball with the young vets back from the war.

Everybody wearing green Army jackets, even the school kids. Kinda looking like The Clash. Ratty, wasted. Not even fuckin worried about it. Don’t even realize it. We cool. “He aint no fuckin corporal” says Izzy “I’m gonna kick his ass.” Forget it, I tell him. Get some coffee, chill out. Sittin there in the bowling alley wired to the gills. Smoking a cigarette, can’t find an ashtray. Figure you can just flick the ashes into your coffee. So what, doesn’t really matter.

Alice Cooper at the big auditorium. Feels like you got blinders on. Tunnel vision. Beach balls flying around through the haze. Dodge the frisbees soaring across the arena coming straight at you. Duck! Kids selling dime bags. Joints moving across from one end to the other and then both ends at the same time. We got no acid, just popper. Hard to get the same kinda buzz off popper, but what can you do. Then they turn the lights off. Shit, you mean there’s a show on top of it all?

Next show, Ted Nugent comes out “we’re gonna play the songs from our new album.” Fuck you Ted, I paid to hear Tooth, Fang and Claw. Not this new shit. Motherfucker. ZZ Top was the tightest band I ever saw. Well, only three guys, but damn they’re good. Gracie Slick sings all the songs off their Worst album. “One pill makes you larger…” Very clean, great sound. Decent light show, like sunrise in the desert or something. What the fuck.

Arrowsmith is so fucking loud you can’t hear the music, just feel it from inside out. Ears buzzing for two days coming down. Kansas was good, electric violin, Dust in the Wind. Eyes blinking like shutters opening and closing. Feels normal after a while. Like you’re stopped slow-motion draggin yer ass around when you’re not tripping. Doesn’t feel right. The world’s quit spinning like.

Spirit opens for Bachman-Turner Overdrive. I think I remember Nature’s Way. You can actually see the music like it’s floating across in the dark. Kid behind me shaking so bad he knocks over his co-cola. Funny, watching him is like seeing how my insides feel. Then those crazy Canadians pounding their guitars with big mountain man fingers like it was gonna go on forever. I’d like to thank you, I’d like to thank you… Over and over ‘til you kinda lose track.

For some reason they turn the lights on and you have to go home. You shittin me? Janey helps me down the cement steps from the way up high seats. It was so safe and warm up there in the dark. One at a time Mikey, we gonna make it. She got confidence. But I’m gettin worse. Smile at the old cop at the door. Yeah, we goin. Make our way out to the car.

Janey can tell by the way I’m fumbling at my pocket for the cigarettes. She gets one for me, lights it. See, that isn’t so hard. “We gonna go to the house?” Process that one
word at a time. It must mean, are we going to go to the house. Damn, that would mean driving the fucking car through traffic and all. Can’t we just sit here in the parking lot? No, they might think we’re all fucked up or something. My hands shake in rhythm to the blinking of my eyes. But the car key finds its own way in, so… Jesus fuck, O Street in Lincoln. My friends live on F Street. There must be an alphabetical correlation here. Just process it, slowly.


3 Responses to “Music was a big part of it… ~ Mikael Covey”

  1. Hi Mikael, Really good stuff.

  2. jake said

    i like the first five paragraphs.. and i’d consider it more of a poem than a short story

  3. Made we want to put on my bell-bottoms, become a midnight toker, and then morph into a space cowboy

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