Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Friend and Lover - Reach Out of the Darkness

"It's so groovy now/People are starting to get together"

I had a friend in high school whose mother was a traveling Swedish folk musician. She would go out on tour through Minnesota and the Dakotas for a month or two several times a year. Each time, she’d enlist a friend to watch her son as a live-in minder. His house was usually a free zone for him and his friends and it got better when he was being watched. The place was a big stucco house full of harps and papier-mâché troll and goat masks.

One of his watchers was the friend and lover of the male singer from this group. This was the nineties. He was no longer in that group. He had followed the trends and was now a Mark Twain impersonator. Anyway, he was a nice, wily old hippie on the couch upstairs. I was a little star-struck. This guy was known as a real sixties person in our town, and he too was a massive figure in the thrift LP piles I was searching those days.

When we finally had an introduction in the kitchen one day, his response to my name was sort of typical of guys his age (guitar store people, record store people, teachers). “Your name’s Roche? You mean… ROACH!” After a brief conversation I left to rejoin my friends. The singer called for me, “Hey Roach?” I came back. With a weird grin, “Hey Roach, I’m gonna smoke you.”

“Reach out in the darkness/Freak out in the darkness”

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