If it's September, then its Autumn... yes yes yes... beautiful weather and a sense of actually working and getting things done. Summer is play time, and Autumn is the harvest, its back to school and back to work.... that's the Almanac part of this. The rest of the title means you should invest in Kinks records.
Almost exactly a year ago I was getting ready to head out on the tour you've read about in these very pages. Last year, I was torn between my Day of the Dead special show in Memphis and possibly jetting over to Paris for a one-nighter with the Andy Warhol Factory crew in an homage to the Factory's famous photographer, Billy Name, with whom I share an agent... the lovely and talented Kevin Kushel, who organized a Billy Name / Andy Warhol appreciation show during the Paris Photo event. However, I got an once-in-a-lifetime command performance by Jack Oblivian and Tyler Keith as punk rock mariachis.... and I spent several days in Mississippi, a place that I hold dear because of William Faulkner, Elvis Presley and Jimmie Rodgers.
Just like last year, I am busy making exhibition prints.
There are three shows coming up for the rest of this year...
October 11 in East Nashville at Creative Space (400 Davidson Street, near LP Field), a group show and fashion extravaganza called Kaleidoscope, where I will be hanging up Punk Turns 30's greatest hits.
On Halloween, I'm in Harrisburg, PA with my friends Joe & Christine on the DJ decks for Punk Rock Day of the Dead... a show that will be a perennial.
In December, opening on the 5th in Lancaster, PA at the Metropolis Gallery, Unguarded Moments: Backstage and Beyond will have its final showing. The show will be up through January 31, so instead of a hazy shade of winter, we will make it kind of high contrast and neon for you.
During the course of the tour, I've met a great many wonderful people, and I have seen a great many wonderful places. A lot of great punk rock bands have entertained me and you. My sojourns in each city have been both one-night-stands and never-ending stays. I feel like Bob Dylan on his never-ending tour!
As I look out on the Nashville Skyline - the Bat Tower, the Shelby Bridge, the ridiculous scrap metal heap right by the interstate and the capitol in the shadows of downtown... I do think of three albums recorded here... three of my favorites - not punk rock albums, but Bob Dylan albums. Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline.
"All Along the Watchtower," a track from John Wesley Harding comes to mind more for me when I look out my window than even the term "Nashville Skyline."
We live in scary times. I just watched the honorable Joe Biden and the ridiculous Sarah Palin participate in a "debate" and in a couple days, this town will welcome Barack Obama and John McCain to debate at Belmont University. I shudder to think what may happen if things don't go as I want them to.
Weird times make for good art, though. Last time politics were this ridiculous, punk rock was born. Europe gave us the Theatre of the Absurd during political repression, and the Absurds playwright, Vaclav Havel ended up presiding over his country decades later. Perhaps someday we will elect Wayne Kramer President. He could kick out the jams, huh?
Wayne Kramer, MC5
Anyway - please vote. If you're not registered, you have til Monday to do so. I don't care who you vote for - although I would really like if it you voted for Obama/Biden. Just vote. If you don't vote, then you have no right nor reason to complain.