Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mostly Madness - The L& N Cafe

I am sure there are people with unclouded memories who can say a lot more about the L&N- who owned it, who worked there, when it opened and closed. I keep hoping that these folks with find my blog and fill in some of the details someday. I will keep plugging away meanwhile with what few fragments I have remaining of a very fragmentary time of my life.

It is hard to describe a dreamscape. Having just seen Avatar, I realize that words on a page are hardly adequate. I am going to try.

Playing in the background are leftover riffs and phrases- Al Kooper, Staple Singers - and I am jamming with Electric Ladyland on the piccolo. The telephone and all the telephone wiring is flung into the frontyard. The sound of napalm bombings and cries of wounded soldiers and Vietnamese on the television provides the drone sound. I remember the exotic feel of the cassette tape spoken tour of American Samoa that John sent.

I tried to reconnect with some of my friends who had scattered, running from the craziness that I had fallen into. They had also descended into their own madness. Everyone was wasted. I think that is why the L&N was so appealing. It was the most "anything goes" place at the time. So I started going regularly with Caveman and friends. His household included his very smart artsy girlfriend, his roomate and my best drinking and hanging out buddy Bobby, some monkeys and other assorted creatures. He was actually an intelligent guy who went on to get several degrees-don't know where he is now. We payed Go and Mastermind and listened to Miles Davis and Charlie Parker when we weren't at the L&N.

At the L&N we would get a booth and start drinking huge mugs of beer that soon slopped all over the table. Each table had a large candle. We started a tradition of making melted wax art on the table top that was easily picked up and then plastered on the wall. After a while we could sit at our favorite booth with our own wax artwork surrounding us. That was carousing at its finest. How I drove after that is a miracle and something that still sends shivers down my spine. I was in a blackout most of the time. I do remember looking up at the bar one night just before closing, and a la Ugly Coyote, there were dancers up there, but all guys, who suddenly as a group- mooned us all.

I don't know why I quit going, or if the bar just closed. The curious thing is that I cannot recall a single memory of music from the L&N. It remains a dark and mysterious chapter in my life.

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