For Our Bridge Over Troubled Waters

For Our Bridge Over Troubled Waters (FIRST DRAFT)
Dedicated to John Boncimino
by O’X

I think it was around 1958 that Larry Brown (L. Russell Brown) and I recorded “Wait Up, Baby” for Harlem’s Fury Records at Bell Sound* in New York. King Curtis — who had played such great riffs for the Coasters and more — was there, fully available to lend a hand, mouth and gut, but… we wouldn’t let him. [Pause.] Guitars were becoming the thing, so we went with what we thought was in. Yeah, we insisted upon having what we thought was fashionable.

*Where Bill Doggett laid down the tracks for Honky Tonk, Parts I and II.

Over half-a-century later, I no longer care about what’s in fashion. I mean, not at all. I finally can feel what Edna St. Vincent Millay recited to me (from Renascence) shortly before her death… about eight years before my silly mistake at Bell Sound… a year after that serious experience with Paul Robeson in Peekskill:

“The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky, –
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.”

I didn’t really know anything about Keb’ Mo’ until very recently. I mean VERY recently. [Pause.] But with every experience with him online I can feel the face of God shine through. That’s enough for me. I should think it would be enough for anyone. [Pause.] For what?

One of the beautiful aspects of Keb’ Mo’s art and his deeply personal communication is that he sees beyond. Beyond what? Beyond himself.

I believe him. I feel his conviction. His blues.

And now his insightful, gracious manager (John Boncimino) has written a very enthusiastic response to my missives. And everything has changed. Not just for me. For everyone. For I can see what so soon will wake and grow.

This wretched width of cold which envelops humanity begs to be addressed. And although it is not fashionable to move in solidarity these days, I know… I know… I know there is an immeasurable surprise on the horizon for us all.

Something that will starve the atomization, the resignation, the cynicism that’s in.

I have no doubts whatsoever that Keb’ Mo’, John, Mark and me and my family — and the many devoted new friends we’re all going to meet — will grasp that something utterly unlike the snow can materialize.

And, then, we shall create a watershed in history (… from which point all abominations will be unfashionable.

When our musical bridge will bring out (and be played by) the best.

And sweet-voiced honky tonk Kings and Queens will provide….

Rest in PEACE,
P.S. For a long time I’ve been glued to the phrase “take over” in our project for Taking Over the State of California. Keb’ Mo’ & Co., however, have moved me to consider using Transforming Our State of California as the name for our effort.