Here is the deal. If you missed this event, you missed what could be the best time you would have had all year. Shit you not. When I arrived it was raining. We drove up after dropping my girls off at their GPs and headed to the Glidden House (the only place with rooms when we checked – got lucky because it was GREAT). Decided to cab over – most excellent move in hindsight – and when we drove up we exited the van to rain, an empty stage, and what appeared to be nobody around.

Anticipation spirit sagged. Once inside, though, we realized the rain did not dampen the bands or the people and we settled in to a Shiner Bock for me and Tanqueray and tonic for Holly. After saying hey to the peeps in the room I knew, I moved to those I had not met but suspected I knew online. I got to meet Jeff Hess, Jack Zen, and Bill Callahan…all three I had wanted to meet for some time. I spent far too much time talking to Bill and Russ Hughlock. I kept walking up to them and hearing “Blah blah blah blah blah” and walking away to get another beer. Such was my mood. I was not in for long drawn out political conversations. I wanted to get to know other sides of people and party down, really. You’ll soon see I accomplished my goal…yeah buddy!

All of the bands were great and Scott and Michele Bakalar seemed to really do a good job of keeping the music coordinated despite the rain. Great job Scott with the lineup of bands. How very fitting for them all to be both eclectic AND talented. Much like the blogging folks I kept looking around and seeing. We had RTR (I was standing RIGHT next to a speaker so forgive me if I misheard anything – LOL), which was a classic rock group doing covers and some originals. They rocked and really got things started with the Hendrix inspired guitar solos – one even with teeth!

Elderly Brothers – Since I Started Drinkin’ Again:

The Elderly Brothers were next and they were great. Very fun and upbeat stuff that kept the crowd going. The most fascinating part – and most fun for Holly and I – was that this band had both a Hunter S. Thompson AND Richard Brautigan look-alike. I saw HST (George Hanrahan) and asked him if anyone ever told him – of course they had! I tell Holly about this and she says she saw one of them who looked like Richard Brautigan (Gene Orlowski). Hunter is probably my favorite writer, Richard hers. “Brautigan? No…Hunter Thompson,” I say. She insists. Then I remember I have wifi access there and look up a photo of HST. I also post my quick “we’re here” post. Holly looks at the HST photo and says “No way, he doesn’t look like that”. I’m beside myself. The hell he doesn’t. This goes on for a few minutes more until we both realize we are talking about two DIFFERENT people. Much hilarity ensues.

Hunter and Richard

Ghetto Wisdom – Lorain:

Ghetto WisdomThe wrap on the night and the show killers were Ghetto Wisdom. Some might call their music “rap”, “hip-hop”, or even “R&B”. All would miss the point. This talented troupe transcends all that. Their music speaks to you, like good art should. It draws you into their world for an hour or so (I hear they can go 3!) and takes over your soul. I had heard of them via Scott Bakalar and his WoM blog. I had even complimented them on a song I heard, but had never experienced them live. Experienced. Not heard. Not listened to. Experienced. The music is tight, the lyrics are inspired, and their prescence is heavy. These people make you want to dance on your chair. And, yes, if you haven’t heard – I did just that. This was the best live music experience I’ve had in a long time. I hope to be able to be a part of it again, and recommend you do the same if you catch wind of them coming anywhere near you.

What I took away from this event most, however, is that the real power in what we do lies in the connections that we make with one another and the exchange of ideas, opinions, and experiences. That is what struck me. I felt alive and part of a vibrant community. That was the feeling that was in the air. It also made me feel like politics is such a small thing compared to us all. Very small, in fact.

This is why in honor of those I drank with, danced with, and talked with I’m declaring this Gonzo Week here at Plunderbund. No politics. I’m just going to tell you some stories that you will hopefully like. Feel free to tell me yours in comments or send me one or three as guest posts. I’d love that.

Thanks to everyone for their part in what I can only describe as an absolute killer event and truly great time! Gonzo Week follows…

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