Ohio: Land of Nod (1975)

Attention, Earth People, we hit our limit, three days into deep space. Sixty six followers jumped on board, becoming-- like the Unholy Three, the Jalopy Five, and the Chicago 7-- thee Kicksville 66. You second stringers can tag along, but you may have to ride on the boosters. And the ride is bumpy tonite-- Ganymede occults Europa today and I know somebody has baked a big black cake to commemorate. Second stop is Jupiter.

Actually, the stop is Cleveland, Ohio and its immediate environs, but what's a few million light years, here or there? Before heading west on I-80, or I-90, depending on whether you need to hit Pittsburgh first, let us rehash the first three posts, which were intended as a chronology, to correct all the bad information out there in Wikipedialand courtesy a mess of sad apple rock scribe historians who wouldn't know a perpetual calendar from an automatic wristwatch. It's all about time-- not only what happened, but when. Every rock n' roll band marks their existence with their creation, the first gig, the first big gig, the first review in the local pennysaver, the first recording, and then with each subsequent blast of sight and sound, every move up and down the ladder. One no-hit band's datebook from thirty years past may not count for anything, really, but it's a lesson to anyone who loves this life and comprehends the reasons and seasons, that patterns past can offer an incredible peep through the keyhole of time. The smallest life, the most dismissable little band of dirtballs ever, when all is said and done, will have created a beautiful finite statement of whatever, when the day draws dark.

I've waxed myself into a corner today. Just as I had pecked out that wiggy intro to Blog #4, we got word that record pal Lennart Persson was hospitalized in Sweden, that it was a serious deal. In something of a panic, I immediately wrote him a letter with rambling reminisces and shot it out to him, via Per, a mutual pal who would be visiting with the patient in short order. Lennart had been very much in my mind as I began this blog on Friday, as we had been penpals, going back to the horse and buggy days. He was one of those rock n roll pals who listened not only to music, but to people, to friends. Really listened, and further, understood. The first time I met him in person, he'd come to visit in NYC, in 1981. We spent the day walking around the village, to CBGB's, to Gem Spa, down to the Bridge, and we talked about my harebrained experiences in the city, about good bands versus crappy bands; it all seemed trite and yet wildly important at the same time.

Lennart passed away today, in his sleep, Per said. I hope you don't all mind if I reneg on a promise to blog every night from now until doomsday. I think I've got to close out for this evening.

Ashtabula-born Charles Burchfield's watercolor at the top of this page was intended to set the mood for my Ohio post, what with the attitudinal night trees and glaring stars, and all. I think it will always make me think of this day, now, and with sadness. Goodbye, Lennart.


  1. Christ. Another goodbye too many. My deepest condolences, and biggest hopes that you won't need to do this again for a long, long time. Like Charlie Brown said, too many goodbyes, not enough hello's. Hang in there, hon'.

  2. my new favorite blog!

  3. Hey Miriam - Sorry to hear about Lennart. I heard about him via Lindsay Hutton.

    I've really, really, really enjoyed your blog so far! Looking forward to more. Thanks so much for sharing this stuff.


  4. Hey kiddios, Check the new red letter edition of the first post. Hell has frozen over. A big stash of mega-letters from Lux and Ivy has appeared in my mailbox this morning. These are all circa 1975-76. This is a stunning development.

  5. Anonymous10:19 PM

    I'm sorry for your loss

  6. Thank you. Keep going; this is important stuff!

  7. Thank you for the years of joy and lessons from KICKS/Norton, bot visual and aural. And though this may not be KICKS, it is maybe certainly the next best thing.

  8. Thanks, kid. Will get out the seventies and back where we all belong very soon. Hope this fills in some blanks for those who care.

  9. kiely cronin5:40 AM

    i (and many of my friends) are still enjoying your wit and sincerity.
    i was raised in CLE a few years after you and feel many of the rock things and the cleveland things you write about. thank you very much, it is beautiful.