Santana!

Last night, I took Stacey and Matthew to see Santana and the Doobie Brothers at the Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas’ Fair Park. Sadly I didn’t see as much of the show as I would have liked. Not because I wasn’t there for every minute but because throughout the performance, there were tears in my eyes.

We arrived early. Knowing we had lawn seats, I wanted to make sure we had a decent view of the stage. Texas in July, our biggest fear was being baked in the blazing sun and, according to the forecast, we were in for a scorcher. Spreading our blankets, we bought a round of Margaritas in souvenir guitar-shaped cups and waited for the fun to begin.

As show time approached, we noticed a hefty grey mass of clouds forming overhead. At first, it seemed like a good thing, a welcome respite, blocking out the too fierce sunshine. Then we looked at the radar. Then the rain started to fall.

Being hot, the first few drops of rain seemed a relief. Then it began to pour. Lightning flashed in the distance. The modest crowd began to disperse, some leaving, the rest massing into the shelter of the pavilion. We used one of our blankets as a makeshift umbrella and hoped for the best. The rain fell harder and then harder and finally, we were drenched to the bone. We joined the crowd under the roof, laughing with everyone at our misfortune.

Twenty minutes later, the rain slowed and finally stopped. We went back to the hillside, spread our wet blanket and sat gingerly in the damp. An old man beside us lamented his wet lighter. It was a long time before anyone could smoke. “She looks good wet,” he said of my lovely wife with a laugh. He was right.

An hour and a half late, the Doobie Brothers took the stage. They were great, everything you would expect from a classic rock concert – superb musicians playing old favorites, blazing away with three guitars and I sang until my voice faded away. No Michael McDonald easy listening Doobies, these were the hard rocking Doobs, climaxing in a roaring version of China Grove. If the show had ended there, I would have gone home satisfied.

The set was struck, new drums were rolled in. The jumbotron displayed typical Santana iconography; images of peace, love and spirituality. Pictures of the crowd at Woodstock, playing in the mud, began to dominate, a memory that resonated with the rain-soaked older crowd.

Then Carlos took the stage.

As I am fond of telling people, I have been a fan of Santana for a long, long time. And for Santana fans, there is no more iconic lick than the first blistering solo of the Woodstock Soul Sacrifice. My eyes filled with tears when the drums began to play the introduction. Then the guitar burst in. I lost all control and today, the morning after, it still hasn’t been regained.

He started by playing the Woodstock set; Soul Sacrifice, Evil Ways and Love Supreme. As a life-long Santana fan, this was the most magical bunch of songs he could have played. I never dreamed I would get to see the man relive his introduction to the world at large. Ladies and Gentlemen – Santana!

He then proceeded to play every great song he ever played before, a catalog that grabbed my soul and took me to the stars. Best of all, he played nearly all of Supernatural, the album that showed the mainstream world how good he had become. Stacey danced and I tried not to cry.

I have watched lots of video of Santana playing live and what always comes across is what a generous musician he is, never afraid to share the stage or the spotlight, paying constant attention to the members of his band and making sure that we did too. He brought out the Doobie Brothers to join him for the solos of She’s Not There, a moment that proved how good the Doobie Brothers actually are, more than their own set had done.

He has incredible vocalists, which made me very happy because a guitar like Carlos’ needs a great voice beside it. His wife, the drummer, played like she has three arms. The keyboards were as blistering as the gold PRS he plays. The conga player … if you know Santana at all, you know what it means to play congas with him … was better than I could have imagined. The rest of the band … there’s no point in laying on more praise. Santana has the accompaniment he deserves.

The best Americans have always been immigrants. Anyone who doesn’t see that, doesn’t know our country’s history very well.

The evening was, for me, like a religious experience. Listening to Carlos Santana play guitar is like looking into the face of a loving, benevolent God. I still haven’t recovered. I am uplifted, inspired and humbled by the experience. I spent a great deal of money for a few hours of entertainment but, quite frankly, I would have, should have spent more. I’m ready to start following the show on the road, paying top dollar for front row seats if I could get them. It was an evening I am honored to have been a part of and I would relive it a thousand times without being wholly satisfied.

Except for the rain. I’m still wet. In a way, it was fitting, cleansing us, relieving us from the heat, uniting us as an audience having lived through a wild storm together. The crowd was amazingly diverse, a bit older than a typical crowded rock concert but filled with every kind of person I can think of. The lawn was packed from front to back, despite the rain, and everyone was kind, loving and full of fun. We were united in our soaking wet joy.

As he closed the show with Smooth, I could hardly speak. I am a better person, having spent an evening with Carlos Devadip Santana. He is the best man I have ever known of. His music is my soul.

David

Posted in music, writing | Leave a comment

psychopathic devaginations

I had introduced no unearthed characters as yet in the novel. I was still timid. More in love with words than with psychopathic devaginations.

Henry Miller, Nexus

Posted in writing | Leave a comment

corked and bottled

Nowadays we have a blue bird in every home—corked and bottled. Sometimes it’s called Old Kentucky, sometimes it’s a license number—Vat 69. All poisonous, even when diluted.

Henry Miller, Nexus

Posted in writing | Leave a comment

Method

Method
by David Cain

“Derrick, let’s get together later and work on our scene.”

“Sure. Where do you want to go?”

“Let’s grab dinner at Marco’s and then go back to my place to work.”

“Where do you live?”

“A few blocks from Marco’s, those apartments by the shelter.”

“You just want to go over the lines?”

“I have some ideas. You know I’ve been taking a class with Kellerman.”

“The method guy?”

“Yeah, he’s really intense. I really recommend the class. We do all kinds of crazy shit.”

“Wild. I’ve read Stanislavski but haven’t really gone for method acting much.”

“You should. It makes acting so much more interesting. Trying to get inside your characters, trying to find their emotions and motivations and trying to find ways to bring those same expressions out of yourself, by trick or by trade.”

“I’ve never heard it described that way. So what are you thinking about for us?”

“We’ll discuss that tonight. But like, you’re supposed to be my husband. We’ve been married for a long time, almost twenty years and it seems like a pretty good marriage, right?”

“That sounds right to me.”

“So we’ll have to explore what that means, how that would feel, what we might be thinking, doing, wanting, needing, desiring, all culminating in speaking the words written by the author.”

“That sounds so cool. Desiring?”

“Married people, some of them, think about sex. I know my parents did. Which I will not be using in my acting, thank you. People who have been having sex together for twenty years behave differently from people who have never had sex.”

“Like us.”

“That’s something we need to take care of. We have to be able to find a physical familiarity with each other if we’re going to become these characters.”

“How familiar?”

“Did you ever see Patrick Steward play the Scot with the RSC? At one point, he stands behind the Lady and cups her breast in his hand for a silent minute, while they thought. That’s the kind of thing a physically comfortable couple will do. My dad used to handle Mom’s breasts all the time. I’m still not using that, though.”

“So tonight?”

“We’ll talk these characters into the ground, give them rich backstories and figure out what is going on inside their heads. Then we’ll try to find that in ourselves. And we’ll get familiar.”

“Misses Robinson, you are trying to seduce me, aren’t you?”

“Exactly.”

 

Posted in books, erotica, fiction, literature, literotica, personal, writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

make a pig

Yes, it’s good to sin once in a while, but not to make a pig of yourself.

Henry Miller, Nexus

Posted in writing | Leave a comment

just finished

He had just finished saying that, according to Zoroaster, man had been chosen to continue the work of creation. Then he added: Man is nothing unless he is a collaborator.

Henry Miller, Nexus

Posted in writing | Leave a comment

so unconfident

‘Then tell me why your God is so anxious to destroy the innocent,’ Osman raged. ‘What’s he afraid of? Is he so unconfident that he needs us to die to prove our love?’

Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

Posted in writing | Leave a comment