You’re gonna buy me a corvette. You just don’t know it yet. Me think… a Stingray 77-81′, all chromed up front and all that “yup”. It’s a woman’s world and her prerogative to change her mind so don’t get all creepy on me if I recoil in fear and resuscitate an early fetish of mine for the Volkswagen Scirocco. She’s the beautiful 16 valve bastard offspring of a DeLorean had it made bad, bad coitus Pontiac Fiero. I remember the pitch black louvers rolling down the backside obscuring the rear window, hiding its hump. She came standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and on some models… 7! “The Poor Man’s Porsche” they called it; the Scirocco name is derived from the Italian word for “wind”. The Volks at Volkswagen for this period had a penchant for naming vehicles after prominent winds.
I have owned two such desert winds’ – the last of which was borrowed permanently by the City of Chicago while U.S. Maple was touring Europe in support of, “Long Hair in Three Stages”. I parked her safely, legally on Racine, had spoken with the Italians about keeping an eye on her, caught my plane for Frankfurt and that was that, the last time I saw her. Daley’s cronies took her from me. They lied and placed a Handicap Zone sign alongside her, hooked her up and bagged my sweet desert wind. They took her to that place where they punish and tease fast foreign angular weirdoes like the Scirocco, beneath the city to the Central Towing Yard lock-up. I tried to get her back. But after 4 weeks of touring, the fines and fees were abominable and absolute. I am 44 years old now. I am very excited. You’re gonna buy me a Corvette. You just don’t know it yet.
Last week I had a dream about The Eternals. I have always loved this Chicago outfit for many reasons, the most important being their musical singularity and integrity. Their ability to remain relevant without being pinned down critically after all these years is an admirable feat and should never be undermined or taken for granted. It’s important to realize the context of our current time.
I remember when getting in the van was the pass/fail curriculum for all artists and bands. There was a time when to see a smelly, dilapidated black ambulance pull up to the venue meant one thing and one thing only… Surgery was playing. I remember Shorty opening for them on a few different occasions and it always seemed that two of them were crying. I specifically remember their ambulance crashing through O’cayz Corral in Madison.
Where are the Evil Knievels’ today? Where is the talent?
Technological determinism is creating all kinds of nonsense for new bands and artists. Any simpleton will tell you how much easier technology has made it to: promote, record, exist and distribute one’s wares. But where are the new non-derivatives’ now that risk and sacrifice are extinct? Let me make clear: I am not anti-technology… just a concerned civilian, wading through a muddied, over-populated template, TD and the social media formats. Has social media become the metaphorical “van”?
I’ve decided to tap into my inner Robert Evans and Tom Landry. I’m going to morph these flavors. You are my public and together we are going to flag the voices, rally through this camp and country looking for the visceral talent. We are going to combat this irksome condition with graphic detail and comment.
My name is Al Johnson. I am 44 years old. I live in Dubuque, Iowa. I am decent. You are gonna buy me a Corvette. You just don’t know it yet.