By: Kyle K. Mann
April 17, 2015
Our boy Kyle from 40 years ago was crashing at this time with Hook and Rose, friends who were extremely tolerant of my homeless, carless and virtually cashless state. Four decades later, one might ask why.
Looking back, people seemed a lot more tolerant of each other’s foibles than they are now. The 1960’s survivors were bonded in ways that no longer exist, for most of us. We had been through a lot of incredible horrors, and now those still standing were helping each other make sense of what had happened from 1965, the escalation of the Vietnam War, to the final wind-down of that evil criminal enterprise ten years later.
It was slowly dawning on me that writing just might save me, in ways I only dimly sensed. As much as I enjoyed being a musician and playing in front of appreciative audiences, the fact was becoming clear that I was unlikely to cash in on it. Yes, I made a bit of spot cash teaching at the Family Light School of Music. But I played, and still play, the harmonica, specifically the blues harp, which is not a major instrument, and while by this time I was favorably reviewed in Rolling Stone Magazine for my recording work on an album with the Sons of Champlin, the twenty five bucks that I’d received from The Sons obviously didn’t help me a whole lot.
Writing, while not offering much better financial opportunities, at least allowed me to attempt to sort out my experiences, and get feedback from my peers. Another factor was that I knew my father would be sympathetic, as he was a frustrated writer forced to work a day job to support a family. His support, both financial and emotional, would be intermittent but crucial.
So, puzzled by life and my curious circumstances, I continued to scribble, for scribbling it was, into a smallish Herald Square record book. There were no iPads or computers, and I wasn’t a skilled typist. Forty years ago today, I gritted my teeth, having so far only written a few recent entries and determined to at least finish writing down the names of the fine people I had met at Cal Arts recently, I picked up the book and pen, and laboriously printed:
Thursday, April 17, 1975
I space out too much trying to write this diary/fet journal. Got to go back to Light pretty fast here so this won’t be too long—to continue, Mona Levisa, Jenny, Neal Cord, Nann, Jenn, Steve Bee, Bob Frazier, Bill the bassoon teacher, Bart Canasta, Shorpy Izowitz, Steve the piano player, Crush Orange, Ann Crunar, Art James… On & on…
Talking with Summer and Baby D- today I flashed on yesterday’s conversation with Summer – hurt her much more than I realized – hope to see Baby D at Disneyland! Got to pull it together, bubba. [End of entry]
April 17, 2015
So that list of names may not seem like much, but they were real people I met at Cal Arts, and all were outstanding people and amazing talents. Most were musicians, but some were dancers or otherwise skilled in an artistic discipline. Some are gone, some remain, but they, as well as my friends in Marin County, Hawaii and New York would have a monstrous impact on me.
After this short entry, the daily writings grew longer, more detailed, more dynamic. With that in mind, the 2015 Kyle will be concentrating the entries henceforth in weekly or bi-weekly postings. This will reduce the stress on yours truly as well as the Gonzo Today infrastructure. The dual journal continues, and I salute any and all that have expressed interest and support, both 40 years ago, and today.