18 wheelers in California need to stay in the right lane. You’re on a steep curvy road and the trucker thinks it’s Nascar. Dude, lay off the Nascar, lay off the Skoal Bandits, stop hunting, and lay off the Skynyrd. Wait, I take that back, don’t lay off the Skynyrd, crank the Skynyrd, but your truck is still too big to be driving it like that. Like a St. Bernard that thinks it’s a lap dog.
Soundcheck in Santa Cruz at The Attic. There was an art exhibit on the walls called “Transfigurations’ - Portraits of people who have gone through full sex changes. Honoring their process. Pictures showing different stages of the transformation. A powerful exhibit.
I loaded into the club and set up without having time to notice the exhibit was there. The sound guy needed me to check my microphone. We’ve been listening to lots of Black Eyed Peas in the van, I had been singing Peas all day. So I check the mic with their song, “My Humps.’ It was right on the tip of my tongue.
“Whatchoo gonna do wif all dem breasts, all dem breasts inside dat shirt.” Mid check I start to see part of the exhibit on the walls - a series of women showing the scars of their breast removal procedure. The before and after shots. From full breasted woman to full on man. A man that probably watches Nascar, with a beard and everything. Then I see people are sitting there looking at the portraits. A group of them - women that have become men and men that have become women. I could tell. Maybe even some that are in the portraits. Glaring at me. And I’m sitting there busting, “Watchoo gonna do wif all dem big big breasts?” My own extended soundcheck version. I remember thinking, “These people must really hate the Black Eyed Peas.” Then I realized what was happening. I stopped with the Black Eyed Peas and finished the check with Neil Diamond’s ode to ET, “Turn on your Heart Light.’ What can you do? I felt like a complete utter jackass.
After the soundcheck disaster, I went to the record store across the street feeling pretty dejected. I was picking through the used cd bins. An apocolyptic skater kid came up and stood next to me going through the same bin of cd’s. Black trenchcoat, 2 sets of headphones, the gloves with the fingers cut off, cigarette behind his ear, and massive patches. He flicked through the cd’s with inhuman speed. There is no way he was able to read the titles. It was like he was in the Matrix. I was stuck in the Bananarama’s, and he had gone through the entire bin. He was like, that’s the best you got? He showed me up. I tried to redeem myself by asking him if he worked there and if the new Hootie and the Blowfish was any good. He flicked me off and walked away. I saw him standing with his friends by the door on my way out and asked him where the fanny packs were. He asked me what my problem was.
The show was all ages and I saw him there. I busted fat beats into his eardrums and he was confused. He walked up to me after and was being all nice. I said, “I am the master, run along and pierce your cheek.”
Found a spot by the ocean later and spun the earth.
trent - out.
Head Like a Kite
Photos: Dan Tyler (firstname.lastname@example.org)