what math is this

wonder of wonders, guns and roses released an album.
i’m sure it’ll do well, even if it’s been in the works for a decade and a half.
sorry world, but if takes that long to tweak,well….it might be more about retirement money…
i can vividly remember seeing their videos playing on one of the four scrapbar televisions – we always had one tuned to MTV – and for a number of months i could not connect their videos to their music. this was nothing personal. of course eventually i connected these musical dots. stay in the barbershop long enough, you’ll get a haircut. i remember a bartender who worked for me telling me, when “welcome to the jungle” was playing on our double-casette tape deck, “this is the song playing when they play the video all the time on MTV.”
“oh,” i would say. then go to the back and take a couple of hit off the joint jojo roled for me.
jojo was french-african and one of my earliest employees. he was slight of build and called me “steevenz” or “goodbad” or “badgood”.  he would roll me a fatty and say, “steevenz, zisis for yoo.” i would ask, “what’s in this one, jojo?”
“eet ‘azz tobac, ‘ashish, cocain, ‘eroeen, weed,……smoke – ees good”
later that night, the video would be on the tv and the bartender would remind me about the song mentioned earlier in reference to the video currently playing. “huh?” i would say.
jojo put all sorts of goodies in his spliffs. whenever i wanted anything he would hand it to me and never take any money from me. he said because i gave him a job, i would never pay for anything from him. he was our waiter/busboy for almost three years and later i would find out that he made a fortune dealing. he would deal at scrap, then after hours he’d deal at the underground. then one day he went to montreal for a week and fell in love with an italian girl who was the daughter of a government official. he stopped everything, got married, and had children. he went to school for audio engineering. i ran into him in midtown, in the theater district in 1998. a friend of mine who used to be a handsome cab driver picked me up across the street from where, years earlier, i had picked up ginger rogers’ groceries. that would be the north side of central park south, near the plaza. that’s almost funny. twin irish brother who didn’t look alike were partners in a handsome cab and used to hang out in scrap bar and drink way too much, but that was ok. everyone at scrap bar drank way too much. it was what we did. as far as i was concerned, i got what i wanted and i was ready to go. death was at every turn in my life back then and i was ok with it.
but back to jojo. when i was being chauffered around the theater district by my irish friend, there was this guy in one of those mushroom-rastah hats. “hey – is that jojo? hey jojo,” i called and it was him. i hopped down and said thank you very much to my irish friend. “stevenz,” we hugged. his english was now almost ten years better. he told me that he was renovating his brownstone in harlem. a brownstone in harlem! (i can’t afford my rent.) – and his kids were in school. and he was hustling a little bit of weed to pay the mortgage.
alright, back to back to guns and roses in scrap bar for the first time.
here’s some perspective;
they – guns and roses – came to scrap bar around the time they signed their record deal. they hung out one night and carved their names into the black paint on the corrugated sheetmetal that was our bathroom walls.
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this is one of the bathrooms, just to give you a general idea.
they did it in a place that only they’d know, which meant probably behind the back of the bowl or under that tank or something. it’s not that important.
i do recall it was a fairly quiet night, probably midweek. i further recall axl saying in a shy and almost dreamlike way that they were gonna be as big as the beatles.
and for a while, they were.
but i’m all over the place. there’s a band playing just below me, downstairs in “the bodega” and
at the wall to my left, there are faint beats playing next door in what is my store, goodbye blue monday. i’m playing opera real loud in my loft. it’s not helping anything cancel anything else out and i’m an ass for thinking it would. hiphop/psychjazz/opera – yeah, right.
it’s an audio clusterfuck.
i was hoping to write some of this, then drift off to sleep because i have been physically tested and made it to the word “done,” but i had no choice but to run out and sit downstairs in my place. at least i could be confined to one stream of music, so this note went on down there for a while.
but i need to get back to the math. it was because, then as now, it didn’t matter. i had stopped “actively” listening to music by the late ’80s. i guess disco, punk and tom waits were my musical endgame. by then i had begun to regress.
btw/we play records and tapes at GBM as well as i-Pods and i-Tunes. i’m looking for an 8-track player to complete the circuit. but where am i ?

i heard from those days in the form of a dear friend who went west to become a punk-rock chicken farmer and now has become a roller-derby queen.

she used to eat fire and spank asses. i love Cleo.
a few blogs back (nov. 14th), there i was wondering aloud in form of word processed binary if i should key in on writing about scrap bar and my experiences there. i had unearthed an axl rose at scrap bar video, something that happened after a long day of filming an interview that became the MTV Rockumentary about G&R. the point being, this performer named Sarah, who performed here a while back and has since gone back across the pond, suggested that this might be the time after reading that blog. then cleo, this record release so soon after i posted the scrap-spot not to mention; i heard my scrap bar closing song today for the first time in a year or two. i used it for…oh, i don’t know….three, maybe four years – tom waits “somewhere” from the blue valentine album. the one from “west side story,” bernstein and sondheim.
i may have gotten a little sad when i heard that song today.

About stephen trimboli

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