Cancel the Corvette, Scirocco Indeed…

The Light

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.

Al is decent.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.

22 comments to Cancel the Corvette, Scirocco Indeed…

  • david spina

    great blog al!

  • one hoo nose

    Big bats down to one five five. Over cross, up the thing no. Nose, baseball, hieroglyphics, hopscotch, pouch. Inevitably, two four eight, four eight, four eighth. I, I, with a two two two, three four five. Down here, Mother. We’re all home now. So long, Jill. Beep beep. Hungry hungry, are you? I couldn’t stand it. Not in my house. Up yours too, Don. He’s packin’ them in. We’ll all try it. Fifty fifty. Okay, but not me.

    good stuff, al… when can we expect more?

    • decent al

      Thank you. I will write a column a week, or thereabouts. Platform-wise I will macro out… this blog will not be a music zine’. I have much more in my canon then the current state of music. Thank you for checking in, I truly appreciate it.

    • decent al

      You can expect regular postings… I prefer writing a “column” sans the incidental crap. I’m thinking 2 a month at least. What do you think?

  • ARJ

    Enjoyed your Blog..

  • joewolz

    The blog is gnarly, the words playing to the beat of that rusted sign wiggling in the wind as it dances across the Iowa prairie. Perhaps you’ll get that Corvette, or maybe you’ll get that Volkswagen: The people’s car.

    I sense you’re using the technology as your own personal Volkswagen, maybe social media is the new van.

    • decent al

      Joe, I appreciate your literal translation regarding the Volkswagen as the peoples car. Ich sprechen nicht gut deutsche aber iche lerne deutsche jetzt. danke.

  • Social media is not the van now. The van is still the van. It’s just way more expensive to buy and gas up now. Social media is the zine magnified to ridiculous.

    • decent al

      nice… I truly believe they are linked and not mutually exclusive. but you are not wrong. the zine’ (social media) is bigger, uglier and allows every chigger, every tick to have its day without the work an insect endures to bury his head into our flesh. but you are right… and when you are right you are right. thanks.

  • mark s

    ahhhh, Surgery crashing their van into O’Cayz Corral….memories!

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  • Jeff

    Nick from Killmen, Sicbay etc turned me on to your blog after I posted some Shorty/Maple on FB. This is a great read.
    Used to love seeing you guys at Cicero’s in St Lou. Is there a music website?

    • decent al

      Nick is one of a kind and a genuine human being. The Killmen and us (Shorty, USM) go way, way back. I encourage you to stick with me, this blog is gonna go “off the hook”. Be there when it does… I ‘m just vamping right now… an intro into the blossoming of a journalistic Cicada. Thank you for checking in Jeff!.

    • decent al


      Reminding me of Cicero days really brought me back. I was recently in St. Louis and I love that city now, especially the Benton Park area. There is no music site that I am working on… quite a bit out there, seems silly for me to create another; I will however touch on the music as it was/is such a big part of my life. Thank you for checking in. Stay with me… it’s gonna get weird.

  • hammelcreative

    Where’s Al?

  • decent al


    i will be posting again soon. you will know it’s me and mine as i will be wearing the wife-beater, brown slacks and plaid cap. i am pleased with your offering… a piece of your clock.

  • decent al

    Glad I could help… stay away from the X and the Y diagnosis (axis). And far, far away from the tube top. Cheers.

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