Sixty-Six And All That

So what’s so bad about turning sixty-six? All the cool and famous people do it. For instance, how about…Peter Tork?  He turned sixty-six this week, just like me. And don’t you dare say, “Who’s Peter Tork?”(Deafening Silence)

Brother! OK, children, if you really don’t know, Peter Tork was a beautiful, Grammy award winning singer from Iceland. Oh wait, that’s Bjork.

Sorry. Now I’ve got it. Peter Tork was an funny guy from another planet who lived in Mindy’s attic…hmm, that doesn’t seem right either.

Let me think, He must be famous for something. Now I remember! He is from another planet but he has long pointy ears and used to have a job on the Starship Enterprise.

Oh, I don’t know! I can’t remember either. I’m only monkeeing around. I guess it just shows – fame is fleeting. Take for instance, Brian Jones. (Don’t you DARE ask ‘Who?’) He’d be sixty-six this month
if he hadn’t drowned in his swimming pool in 1969 after being eighty-sixed from the Rolling Stones. Poor bastard. But you probably already know his sad story. If you don’t, apply to Marianne Faithfull
(and don’t give me that ‘who?’ stuff again.) I only tell stories about the interesting unknowns and barely knowns of my San Francisco youth.

Anyway, what’s the point of all this scrambling for fame so our names will live forever?

Like Brian Jones, for all his fame now laying in a country churchyard off the A435 forgotten by flowers and children.

Like Yvette Mimiuex (age sixty-six), beautiful freak from the future famous for her wonderful name, now immersed in money somewhere in the LA basin. Does she collect her lobby cards? And dream she’ll still be
famous again when the time machine lands?

Like…like…CAROL CLEVELAND! She’s sixty-six, and look at her! (Oh look her up. If you know who Monty Python was, you should know who Carol Cleveland is. She was famous.)

Like Pete Best, ousted by Ringo so long ago, still organizing his next nostalgia band tour. If that promoter in Winnipeg ever calls, I’ll be down pub.

Like Tom Fogerty, he waited a long time for that steamboat round the bend, but it never came. Now he’s in the ground. About him, people like to say, “Wasn’t he John Fogarty’s brother?” Other people say, “What was
Credence Clearwater Revival?”

Or like Ellen Naomi Cohen, really Cass Elliot, but really Ellen Naomi Cohen, big voiced, big bodied, still alone in a little grave in the LA hills. Just a few months older than the Pondering Pig. If she were here.

Like Fingerless Joe Novakovich, missing on San Francisco streets these long years, and following a trail of tokay glistened glass somewhere towards home…

Like Saint Jack Kerouac who vomited his guts into the toilet, cried out, “La j me rapele! La j me rapele!” (Now I remember! Now I remember!), breathed deep one farewell breath for remembrance of this rainwet earth before the black shroud finally smiled upon him.

Like the Lovely Linda, one half of rock’s greatest love affair, the kind that comes with children who grow up without artillery holes in their hearts and grandchildren and a marriage that didn’t let massive
fame snatch love forever and homemade loaves. No early death from cancer can take that laurel from her brow. God bless that girl, also sixty-six.

Or like Country Joe McDonald (age sixty-six), who don’t care (I think) that he’s not headlining Woodstock any more but getting on with his life honoring Woody and Vietnam vets and still singing “It’s one two three what are we fightin’ for don’t ask me i don’t give a damn next stop is Vietnam” in the shower or in the daffodils come spring.

Like our own Saint Joan, who will matter forever, already far past her sixty-sixth, yet still on the road night after night through phantom music halls of Yugoslavia and South Carolina.

Like, I don’t know, like me.

Like you, dear reader. Well, maybe not YOU. You’ve got too much sense.

Whaddayasay we forget the whole thing, walk over to Golden Gate Park and join The Syndicate of Eternal Friendship in a little game of Frisbee? As Jinx the Cat says, “Where are the snows of yesteryear?
They’re playing Frisbee in the park.”

Once I heard him add, “See that dog over there? Watch out for that dog”

Photo Credits: Cryptomundo, Linda McCartney, FSM Gallery 1964-65