Monday, January 21, 2008

A High Plateau in 1968

Lately there has been an interest in the year 1968 because of Tom Brokaw's book and TV documentary. He didn't tell a hundredth of the story. I spent that whole year at Redstone Arsenal AL as an inmate of the US army and there I made friends who have remained my friends ever since. There's something about stupid wars and the threat of imminent death that make camaraderie essential and true. One day in the autumn of that year some friends and I, well-fortified with some excellent inspiration I had received in the mail from an army buddy back at Fort Bliss TX, decided to spend the afternoon in a piano room at the enlisted men's club making music. Three of us were musicians of sorts and, although we had never played together before, we felt we were on a similar plane and could probably jam as well as the 4F guys in Hollywood who were putting out "Supersession" albums.
So, with me on my 1966 Gibson ES-335, Rick Murphy on the piano and Peter Blue on the comb and tissue and vocals, we started playing. Chris Clement had brought along a jury-rigged tape recorder with echo and recorded the whole affair, of which a short segment is provided for your listening enjoyment. Others attending were Rockee (soon to be Peter's wife) and John Lennon (no, not that John Lennon).
The song was completely ad lib and as Peter states, called "Late Again", followed by something that must be known as "High Plateau". After the session we went back to our dreary military jobs, survived the debacle that was Vietnam, and have lived exemplary lives ever since, in spite of the machinations of Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and whoever next will keep sending young people off to fight for their mistakes.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Toehold performing their only hit, "Late Again/High Plateau".

1 comment:

Gavin L. O'Keefe said...

Fender -
Great songs, and great ol' recording! Very late-60's, very Blues-Surreal. And some hot comb-playing. Any more where that came from?