It is Saturday and Bebo and I go to Hardly Strictly Blue Grass in Golden Gate Park. http://www.strictlybluegrass.com/
This is a big festival. There are 5 stages spread around the west end of the park and over 80 bands perform over Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Get this – it is all free.
A certain Warren Hellman, multi millionaire person, pays for the whole thing. He loves blue grass and plays the banjo. Here’s to you Mr Hellman.
The first show we see is Dave Olney with Sergio Webb. Bebo used to play in a band with Dave when at college. This means that Dave was able to get us VIP passes and we swan around like glitterati. Dave Olney is fantastic, wise, funny intelligent. He recites Coleridge during his act. Here is an excerpt
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such deep delight ‘twould win me
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome within the air!
That sunny dome, those caves of ice,
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry: “Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle ’round him thrice,
And close your eyes in holy dread:
For he on honeydew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise!”
Move the big stage to listen to Carolina Chocolate Drops, a black swing band. Bebo knows them too. Check out their music; fiddle, banjo, guitar, drum, bones, jug, kazoo.
So who would you like to listen to on a Saturday afternoon in San Francisco with the fog blowing through the tops of the trees? Yep, Joan Baez.
Farewell Angelina, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, House of the Rising Sun, There but for Fortune. I listened to her a great deal when I was very young and it was truly moving to hear her just in front of me. Same clarity.
Next up are Kinky Friedman and theTexas Jewboys. This is a really good act. I would vote for Kinky. He is totally incorrect but with exactly the right dose of wisdom and humour to make you think rather than protest
Here are some of his lyrics:
Women’s liberation is a-going to your head,
Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in the bed. ”
Here’s another great song.
“I’m proud to an asshole from El Paso”
‘Love Jesus or go to hell! ‘
Yessir, Kinky Friedman is a hero.He plays this stuff while drinking tequila and smoking a huge cigar.
We stumble through the park to go see Richard Thompson. I saw him with Fairport Convention in 1932 and was expecting songs about herbs and elves. Forget it! This is hard, loud volume, rock music. He and his band are very good at it. Because of the VIP pass we were in the front row. It was real loud and I did not know if I should jump up and down.
Another whole day tomorrow. 750,000 people in 3 days.