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California Jon

Subject: conjuring up words
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 8:56 AM

I came back to the island early spring, after raising up some $$ in Calif. and things weren't the same... one day while walking over the bridge...

I was accosted by and planted by the infamous Inspector Dudley of Richmond, spent the night in jail and the next morning, at my hearing, I was suprised to see Max Cuff (a local mag. Editor) show up at the very last second, in his bathrobe n slippers! (he had overslept). He offered to vouch for me to keep me out of the old Bailey and also away from EEP, a condition I could do nothing about. I also had to pay a £15 fine. Of course living daily with Max got a little odd, even though he was a truly grand ol guy.

I set sail for Amsterdam on my BSA with Dave Simmons, 2 knapsacks + guitar sometime late Autumn and we hooked up with Hog Farm / Wavy Gravy as planned down there. Do you remember when they were at the Island? Well they were no less ubiquitous down there I can assure you, man what a time! Anyway I stayed on, when H G finally pulled their painted bus onto the road, off to their destiny which ended in Pakistan. (Wavy Gravy has a site on the net, he mentions EEP I think). I moved shortly thereafter into a cracked house, a beautiful old structure from 1728, almost totally demolished, near the Red Light area.

I stayed there, working various jobs, washing pots n pans at a fashionable hotel and also had an interesting job working with an American, out of Arnheim, who worked conventions, lobby groups, film festivals with a multi-media company. Man this could be truly bizarre. Once I remember sitting down in the cracked house, in candle light, blasting away on an enormous pipe and all of a sudden, Greg showed up needing me to help him with a show. It turned out to be a famous artist wanting to lobby a sculpture, a water fountain for Ams. Cty. and there I was 10 minutes later completely wrecked shrouded shredded clothes, minding all kinds of machines and shaking hands with the mayor of Ams...

In the spring I wanted a rest, heard glowing reports of a tiny little town on the Spanish Rivera, called Arneys del Mar and spent a good deal of the summer down there.

That late summer, I worked ferrying cars for a Dutch fellow working out of Belgium. On one of these jobs I took a car to CPH. There I fell into a commune in a fashionable part of town and eventually stayed there, got married and spent 15 heady years living in DK.

In the early days I connected with Jumbo, Inger, Australian Martin & Meta, Gavin, Ray all from EEP. I have some really epic stories from that time with them if you haven't heard them and are interested, I think most of them were in Wales, living at ah... LlanFair, ClyDogam or some such place. Anyway this was around '71 in CPH. They eventually left, I stayed on.

On one of my travels back to the states, I befriended a curious old man named John Dopera who had a small music store called the fiddle fret shop out in Escondido. He was 94 years old and an amazing inventor. He invented the Dobro, finger-picks and the trussrod for guitar among other things. At the time he was trying to save up some money so he could move up to Medford Oregon and retire, America can be a strange place. We sat and talked for hours in his shop, (no one ever seemed to show up) and it was at least 110 degrees hot in there, he talked a lot about the early days of the dobro and national steel factories when they still were at Chicago... and quite a lot about all the law suits he was involved in.

Appropriately, I took up playing the Dobro, which turned out to influence my future quite a bit as I re-entered the music world as the only Dobro player in scandihoovia. I spent most of my time playing with big name, small time groups, playing on records, small pubs, major festivals, live & pre-recorded radio programs, (I was on the first No-nukes record in the world) it's fun now to go back and read about my self in a few books from that epoch. I also found time to complete a gymnasium ed, and go on to Copenhagen's Univ. I spent 2 yrs. there and soon tired of the whole concept, guess I was still a hippie at heart.

After 15 wonderful years in DK I eventually hooked up with a Swedish girl who I happened to meet in San Diego while there. We stayed lightly in touch for some years and then we fell into a sort of vortex with ea other. We are married now, have 2 kids, bought a house out in Jarna, a small nothing 45 minutes south of Stockholm.

Back in '84 Ninna & I worked, saved and went on a year's travel. My part involved moving back to calif for 6 months where I finally completed my pilot's license, more or less, I still occasionally fly, I'm a devoted fairweather charlie. Ninna lived her dream of going back to Brazil. We started off at Caracas, taking local chicken n peasants in wicker chair DC3 flights, for $10 a pop, all over the country ending up in Santa Maria, gateway to Manaus by newly opened up dirt roads. Down the Amazon we floated, mostly lying in hammochs to Belem and 4 months roaming all over the country taking our time in each place we stayed. Just her, me and our pet monkey named Moochie.

I am now a teacher at an agrarian gymnasium, a sort of school bet. High school and college. The old English O levels I think. My school is on a farm, I work half time there and also work teaching music at another institute, both connected to the Waldorf movement, of which Jarna is quite known for out here in N. Europe.

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