Saturday, March 21, 2009

That's how we roll

"If you don't have a dog, ya hunt with a cat."-Vance Deniston
Back in New Mexico and Colorado, people took it upon themselves to adapt their vehicles to the surrounding terrain, hence, these two fine examples. The Lincoln Mark III was 'living' across the street from me when I lived by the airport. The Firebird was seen in the area of Silverton, Colorado. Low-rider, schmo-rider, give me a homemade 4-wheel drive any day. Good job boys.

My 4th vehicle

When I saw the post of Ricks truck I almost spit my coffee all over the computer. I also had an industrial type truck in the 80's and it is the Travel-all I traded for the Norton motorcycle. This is a '73 but mine was a '70 International that I bought from a jeweler who was living at "The HiWay House Motel" on Central Ave. in Albuquerque. Mine was decked out with all the New Mexico trimmings of the day. This included, but not limited to, the canvas water-bag (filled) hanging from the side mirror, a lantern hanging from the roof inside in the back and complete set of Indian and Mexican blankets for the overnight stays, wherever I might be. The International had some type of rear-end that would engage the second drive wheel if one started to spin and was equipped with TALL tires that nothing would stop. The options ended with wipers and a heater, that's it. I loved that beast of a truck and traded it to 'Buster' who lived in the Manzanos up off of south 14 in the heart of 'plague' land. I dropped off the truck and rode the Norton back to town with no license plate, lights or brakes. I miss that truck.

A bikers life, 80's style in Albuquerque

"New Mexico is like a whirlwind, sometimes you don't know whats happening."-William Bonny, aka 'Billy the Kid'
When my little brothers car caught fire and burned up in moms driveway, I gave him my 1972 Caprice Classic. The car still holds some kind of record for being the largest 'land-barge' known to man but he was grateful for the ride. That left me with only my motorcycles and winter was coming. I rode to work on my Honda 750 from the west side to M&M Honda in the heights in a blinding snowstorm with 3" snow on Interstate 40. Swanny said I was nuts and he was probably right. A Little later I was trying to get my life together and quit drinking for a spell. That's when I met Bridget in Arizona. She moved to Abq. where I was sharing a house with a student of photography at the University. The pic's at the bottom show the house by the Univ. that we lived in. The top is a apartment that we had at San Mateo and Montgomery. We were both trying to put our lives back together and it was working for a while. AA meetings, 5th Chapter bike club and road trips. Everything was cool. Some old ways are hard to get away from and I think we both had our own demons to deal with. When we stopped being honest with each other, the old behavior crept back in. I'll speak for me on this, I wasn't being honest and using behind her back. I turned in my patches to 'Big Tom' and kindda hung around with them for a while but it was never the same. Bridget had a friend who was trying keep her straight and that meant get away from me. I came home and she was gone, lock, stock and barrel. Two days later I was in Virginia with my dad and a week after that got help for the problem and said goodbye to meth forever. The biker girl from Arizona went on to get her stuff together and salvage the relationship with her daughter. She even found me through the net and sent me copies of these pictures and my 'ol biker cutoff denim, thanks Bridget. Over twenty years later, I find shes married and happy out west and I'm married and happy out east. Right on.

Rick's cars #3: The Chevy Panel Truck

Mine was a 1970 Chevy C-15 Panel Truck. It was flat-black with a peace sign spray painted on the roof. I bought it off a coworker who had converted it from an automatic to a 3-speed. In the conversion, he'd put the linkage in backwards, but since I had never really driven a standard (aside from the three-on-the-tree Impala, it didn't even faze me.

The most annoying thing about this thing was that the air-cleaner -- one of those steel mesh and oil affairs -- was missing a bolt and whenever I made a left, it tilted, sucking in too much air, and killing the engine. I had to be sure to pop the clutch quickly as I finished the turn to restart the engine.

It had about 3 feet of play on the steering wheel and, virtually, no suspension. When driving on the freeway, the entire vehicle might be at as much as a 30 degree angle to the road.

I did a bit of customizing on this puppy. I got an old-fashioned coca-cola bottle opener and mounted it on the dash. Also installed a 360 degree beverage holder -- designed for a boat, but perfect for driving on the logging roads in Washington's old growth forests. I'm thinking I actually might have a genuine photograph of me and this truck.I'll have to track it down.

On the side I got some vinyl letters and wrote out "Dr. Gonzo's Space Truckin' and Haul-Assin'." I added a phone number which was the local number for weather reports.

The truck was left by the roadside one night after I'd lent it to a friend and he ran out of gas. It got side-swiped, shearing the gasline and rendering it vaguely useless. iirc, I sold it for scrap.

When driving a Mini made you different

You may note that on the sidebar to your right (my left), there is a link to a mini-cooper page. Why? Well, back in the 70's our good friend, Ben Zimmerman,who was a little older than us (Vance can explain the whole link of Ben, Eve, and etc.) had a Mini. Like, an original Mini, not these pansy-assed things on the road these days (although the ones these days actually haul ass.)

Vance would borrow it on occasion and we'd go tooling around (This photo is of me riding shotgun sometime in the winter of 76. Vance took the photo and, hence, is not driving, though the car is moving somewhere.... Hmmmm). It was great for throwing donuts in reverse (though not as good as throwing donuts in reverse in an Army Jeep in 4WD.)

In the spring of our Senior year, I had a cast on my leg from toe to crotch. In the Mini, I HAD to sit up front, but was only able to do so by wedging myself in there. Vance used to drive that car down Montgomery Blvd at 90mpg. The damn thing only weighed in at 200lbs, and when he'd hit a man-hole cover, or a pebble, we'd go airborne for a couple hundred yards. It was exhilarating and terrifying to me because I was basically trapped in that seat.

I think this was probably the first car in which we played Road Rallye.

Another great feature of this car was in going to the drive-in movies. You could roll up the windows and do bong hits, trapping all the smoke inside. Wicked cool.

Oh, and here is a picture from the time Vance rolled the damn thing trying to negotiate a turn in the men's room at the Drive-In Snack Bar.
"Ladies and Gennelmens. Can I have your attention please. The snack bar will be closing in ten minutes and after that it won't be open no more."

Friday, March 20, 2009

We took a different trail

After high school and a failed attempt at art school in Denver, I became the biker who could repair typewriters. At this time I was working for Albuquerque Public Schools as a repairman for the typewriters in the high school classrooms. I also was drifting down another path that would get real weird, real fast. Meth was all the rage and I was knee deep in the shit. I left the repair gig and went to work in a motorcycle dealership where I met Swanny. We rode all over the state with some 'colorful' characters and partied down. I'll be going into this era of my life this weekend. This was also a strange time for Rick and I and soon after this era we didn't see each other for years. Meth was such a wonderful drug, you could shit-can your life in 11 seconds.

Start children young 'in the arts'

As a youngster, Rick was drawn to art work. Ricks first dog, 'Blizzard' was not so fond of Ricks talent. Though the family pet would lay for hours and act as Ricks canvas, the baths that would follow were pure hell for the animal. As is evident by the circle around the dogs eye, Rick was a fan of the 'Little Rascals'. Rick is also credited with designing his own pajamas.

Jobs I had

I was employed by Celtic Thunder singers for a summer in 1978. Right after that I became fat, gray and not so handsome. But back in the day, whew! Enjoy the music and catch Celtic Thunder on your local public television channel. Cheers! Check the following link for a sample of my singing.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One last one for St. Paddy's day, eh?

Kickin' it old school, yo.

Jobs We've Had: Westside 'Chard and the Jukejoint Jimmies (Feat. Vee Den)

Vance and I had a brief musical career as blues musicians. Here’s a studio-released promo shot of me, known then as “Westside ‘Chard” and Vance, who was known as Vee Den. Playing with us are the legendary Muddy Water (to my left) and the fictitious Blind Lemon Jefferson. We were at the Stax studios in Memphis to record my song “Wee Paper Boat Blues,” which goes like this;
Well, it’s just a wee paper boat
float’n’ down that muddy Rio Grande.
Said it’s just a wee paper boat
afloatin’ down that dirty Rio Grande.
Gonna float my way to Mex’co
‘nd all the way out to Japan.

It used to be a letter
from that long gone gal o’ mine.
Jus’ an ol’ Dear Johnny letter
from that long gone gal o’ mine.
It ‘ppeared to say she’s leavin’
Shoulda took it as a sign.

The day she packed her suitcase,
Oh, I wept, I moaned, I begged.
Yeah, when she packed that suitcase, Lord,
I wept, I moaned, I begged.
She said “get off your knees, you tired fool
an’ le’ go my goddam legs”

The session was going good until we actually started to play. I sang the first line and Blind Lemon began projective vomiting and Muddy keeled over dead on the spot. Little known fact.


Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!!
Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!! Aiiiiiigh!!!
This dude is like one month younger than me.

Speaking of being the shits, dig this.

One of the coolest actors ever was Steve McQueen, and one of the coolest movies, "the Great Escape," and one of the coolest scenes was when Steve McQueen jumped his bike over the barbed-wire fence.Now, Steve McQueen’s most famous motorcycle has been recreated by the Rickman Brothers, legendary themselves within the moto fraternity. Just 300 examples of the Desert Racer will be built, by hand, and retailing for £13,000 (US$18,000) a pop. The gearbox and engine are period Triumph TR6, with a single Amal carb, set in a Mk III M├ętisse frame. Forks are 35mm Cerianis with over seven inches of travel: BSA yokes position the handlebar behind the steering stem for better control. Wheel rims and exhausts are chromed, and the rear shocks are authentic Girling reproductions. Delicious, despite what some might say.

(Courtesy of {stolen from}

I'd love to have this bike, though the chrome does seem a bit much. I guess once you mudded it up a bit it would look respectable.

Irish-Americans Gear Up For 'The Reinforcin' O' The Stereotypes'

From "The Onion: America's Finest News Source"

Daughters, what can you say?

At long last, I present Ryan, my daughter. She is only the love of my life (yes, Janet, my wife is the love my life and so is my other daughter, Lia.) Ryan is back in North Carolina and hanging with Harry. Ryan has been the reason that I am even on the east coast. My wife Janet would have never meet me if it weren't for Ryan. I wouldn't be a landscaper if Ryan had not been born. So much revolves around my daughter Ryan, it would be very hard to imagine my life without her being here. I met Ryans mother in the late 80's and Ryan was born into a family with a sister that was 8 years old, Lia. Lia was the coolest kid I had ever met and I knew that we would be friends forever. I once asked Lia if she wanted me to adopt her and give her my last name and at the time she wanted to stay a Saborski, no problem. Both girls were my daughters in my mind. The only 'steps' we had were on the front porch. Ryan, Lia and I went through some very difficult times together but managed to come out the other side in one piece. Lia is living in Ohio and Ryan is ready to embark on a new life in North Carolina with Harry. I'm proud of my girls and wouldn't have them be any other way than the way they are right now. I love you girls. Peace.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from a Manky Scots Git

Ceud Mille Failte!
Here's Rick, sporting the Ancient Hunting Tartan of Clan MacFarlane (from his mother's side.)
It has been said that the Clan MacFarlane traces its history to ancient Ireland among Celtic heroes who came originally from Spain. Alwyn Mor, first earl of Lennox was said to be the great grandson of Mainey Leamna, the son of Conc, King of Munster, himself fifth in descent from Con of the Hundred Battles, King of Ireland.
That there is our crest -- some half-crazed "demi-savage brandishing in his dexter a broad sword Proper and pointing with his sinister to an Imperial Crown" which, as the motto declares, "This I'll defend" (referring to the crown of Bonnie Prince Charlie.)Here's a drawing of a MacFarlane from the 1800s.

The Irish lineage is one possibility (unproven.) most likely it was a Saxon one. Also...
The 11th Chief and many of his clansmen fell at Flodden in 1513. The MacFarlanes later opposed the English at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547 where Duncan the 13th Chief and his uncle were killed along with many others. After the murder of Henry Darnley, Mary Queen of Scots' second husband, the MacFarlanes opposed the Queen and were noted for their gallantry at the Battle of Langside in 1568.
That's right, chumps; The Battle of PINKIE!We were there, kiciking ass and taking names. Furthermore...
For much of their history, the MacFarlanes were a very turbulent lot. Their rallying cry, "Loch Sloy", signalled many a night raid to "collect" cattle from their richer neighbors to the south and east. Their march-piobaireachd " Thogail nam Bo theid sinn" (To Lift the Cows We Shall Go) gives ample notice of intent. They were so competent that the full moon was known as "MacFarlane's Lantern".
The MacFarlane's homeland is just the other side of Loch Lomond (Me and my true love will never meet again on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. Yeah. That one.) from the MacGregors (of Rob Roy fame.)

Happy St. Pats........

Irish women, they run the spectrum from ugly to "very nice." On this holiday, I will let you know that I am half Irish and part Mexican. What a combo, I don't know if I should drink or mow the lawn, prehaps both. Clyde Kelly was my great, great grandfather who homesteaded in what is present day Nebraska. Ella Kelly, my great grandmother was in the first graduating class of registered nurses in the state of Nebraska. The Kelly motto, as my cousin Lyle "Kit" Emory would remind us was; You can always tell the Kelly girls, they've ten toes up and the Kelly boys are always ten toes down. Amen!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Albuquerque Civic Auditorium: A Response to Vance's Concert Post

I was originally going to just post this as a comment to Vance's post about concerts, but it really drifts into the realm of Moonpie Chronicle material.
I saw Motley Crue about 4 years ago and was up pretty close -- in a private box at Journal Pavilion. Any concert venue with a corporate sponsorship must be automatically disqualified for this discussion, even though I had VIP passes courtesy of the corporate sponsor. There were a shitload of girls who treated the show like it was festival seating in order to be able to flash the boys in the band.

But, yeah, I know what Vance means when he's talking about going to a concert. I think the old Civic Auditorium in Albuquerque was one of the best venues for that sort of thing. I saw my first concert there (Seals and Crofts). One of the last ones there was The Pretenders (original lineup) in the early 80s. Totally awesome. Wikipedia says:
Albuquerque Civic Auditorium was an indoor arena located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With a capacity of 6,000. The auditorium was notable for its innovative construction, as the dome was created by pouring concrete over sand. Afterwards, the hill of sand was removed. The venue opened on April 27, 1957, with the Albuquerque Civic Symphony playing the opening night. The Albuquerque Civic Auditorium was demolished in 1987.
If you've not started the music player above, do it now. It's an entire set of the Grateful Dead live at Albuquerque Civic Auditorium on November 17, 1971. No, we weren't there, but it just reflects the spirit of the times. The poster at the top is from when Hendrix played the civic in 1970. Zeppelin played it a year earlier.

The best concert I saw there, and one that is probably tied for best ever (with Queen in Seattle, and Crosby Stills and Nash at Tingley Coliseum) was the night Vance and I went to see Brewer & Shipley (of One Toke Over The Line fame), Arlo Guthrie, and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (before they became a mediocre country act.) This was in the spring of 1976. I was on crutches, my leg in a cast from a hiking fall. There was this fellow there who took me under his wing (because he'd had a brother who had a bad leg or something). Anyway, he bought us beer and shared his weed. It was awesome. I remember Arlo singing "The Story of Reuben Clamzo & His Strange Daughter in the Key of A." The audience was singing the refrain, which was "Clamzo me boys Clamzo." (Yeah, whatever. For the entire lyrics, go to Anyway, it was just such an awesome evening, and the buzz was just right. I remember looking over to Vance and sharing this total look of "This is the absolute shits" Big old possum-eating grins pasted across our mugs.

We had to leave shortly after NGDB started their set. It occurs to me now that one of us was not supposed to be there. I’m thinking it was me, because The Jacqueline was the one who came and picked us up.

To me, the destruction of the Civic was some kind of an end of an era that, I'm sure, every generation encounters. The place hadn't run a concert in years, having been purchased by St. Joseph's hospital, who viewed it as prime parking space. Still, there was just something about that place, about being there in that atmosphere that gave you some kind of hope for your future. Like maybe this was what you'd do for the rest of your life—which at the time seemed like a pretty cool idea. I guess it still does. Who could complain about being in a dark place with 6,000 like-minded individuals, listening to—and singing along with—some of your favorite musicians, all the while drinking cups of beer and smoking dope. Sure, that may not be what life is all about, but if you could somehow do that the rest of your life, would it be all that bad.

And, you know, I guess in the end, the demolition of the Civic really did signal the end of an era. Not long after the auditorium fell to the earth,, an exotic, erotic dancer went and led me to Jesus; A true story, but one for another day.