Golden Boy Pizza and Tame Impala at Fox Theatre, San Francisco, 15 Nov 2014
Yesterday I fell in love with the guy at the pizza place down the road, “down the road” today meaning North Beach, San Francisco, near the park where Richard Brautigan wrote “Trout Fishing in America”, a great book which I only read about 5 wees worth when it was in a bathroom I used to visit, and near where Coppola wrote The Godfather, a classic movie I haven’t seen.
The pizza place is called Golden Boy, so I’ll call the pizza guy “Golden Boy” too and he pretty much did glow golden when I saw him. We talked for maybe two and a half minutes while my pizza warmed up, enough time to cover swimming (what I was about to do) and pizza (classic), two great topics to cover when you speak for the first time to the love of your life as he gets things warmed up like your heart and the top layer of cheese. He had a little bit of stubble, I had a little bit of a skip in my step when I left the place.
Anyway, the nights before that it was the Tame Impala shows in Oakland, just next door to San Francisco. We’d left Jil and Jamie and Nick in Los Angeles; they showered crushed up leaves from the balcony as we drove away, with ‘Forever Young’ playing on the car stereo and me and Rex flipping alternate birds and thumbs’ ups back to them through the windows.
Driving up to San Fran there was a crazy scene I woke up to off my big rolled up coat I was resting on, with 500,000 or something tiny birds making formations in the sky, thousands and thousands of them all in groups cutting shapes and making big bird-globules made of their tiny bodies like black clouds with the spirit of many things inside them. They made stingrays, then penis-and-balls, then waves closing out on a coastline, all these things from being together and being themselves. And every time I thought there couldn’t be more there’d be a thousand more winging over and making something new. There was one other lady stopped by the side of the freeway watching too, me and her classically with our phones out taking videos, and Rex classically just watching with his eyeballs.
I was nearly too tired to go to the show after the big drive and ten days of camping in three states and a bunch of national parks and the desert, and a bit anxious in my spirit to be around people, but the voice of the big said “Be Brave, Go!”, in a case again of not much bravery needed, but good advice that I chose to follow. It’s all part of a bigger thing, learning to trust the voice for smalls in order to one day stop a war, etc.
When we got to the show Cam had a video to show and of course it was the boys taking shots at a bball ring to pop music and everyone missing the ring except for Gumby of course making a good shot for everyone to celebrate about.
For the show we got special tags to hang around our necks, to hang out with the friends and which meant watching from the sides if we wanted, and which meant the Fox was our oyster to go wherever we liked to see the Tame show pearl from whatever angle seemed best at each minute.
Watching bball videos meant missing the first band Delicate Steve, but I got to speak with the delicate afterwards and saw his nice face from talking distance and the next night watch him shred with a singlet on so that was enough. The story goes that one of the boys liked the cover art of an LP of his and bought the album and liked the music and that was how they ended up on tour, which is a nice way to end up anywhere.
The boys got pumped up all in their own ways, reminding me in retrospect of the poem by E.E. Cummings called ‘Maggie and Milly and Molly and May’, which is about everyone seeing beauty in the same place in their own style. And what can you say about their music that hasn’t been said before? Wall to wall hits, as always, played as hits, with any variation on the theme being met with roars of applause, and every first note of every hit being met with roars of applause, and Kevin saying “This is a new jam” being met with roars of applause also. And from all the places we watched the pearl moving and glowing all the girlfriends and managers and crew were applauding also, because it’s a pearl that everyone loves to look at and be part of shining up.
For some reason the song I liked most was the one that goes “She remembers my name”, Mind Mischief, and I woke up singing it both mornings too. I think as well as the song being plenty great, it’s a good reminder that even if you’re at the top of your game that’s one thing that’s still a trouble and a treat – even if you make the best songs ever or can run the fastest or write the greatest classic novel in the world, you still can’t make anyone love you, so when it actually happens, well… it’s actually Golden.
“After the show it’s the after party” as R. Kelly says, “then after the party it’s the hotel lobby” as he also says. So later we were all downstairs in the bar of the owner and the most exciting thing appeared in the corner which was little Hershey chocolate drops – jokes, they were the second most exciting thing – which was a shiny black baby grand piano, at which Cam sat and played the start of Fur Elise over and over with a crazy look on his face, and then Dom played some beautiful thing with his soft interior gentle look on his face, and then Dom and Rex played a duet where Dom improvised gentle jazz over the chords in his lovely way, and then I sang one song about honey to Dom and Rex and Delicate Steve when the room was unpeopled and quiet, with Dom on the high notes again.
So that was the best part of the night, all that piano time, as well, of course, as seeing Tame Impala play an incredible rock show in front of thousands of people in the most beautiful theatre with intricate high ceilings, huge golden buddah/god statues with glowing eyes at the sides of the stage, and a new video and light show that just made it all the more epic and outrageously great.
I went back to see Golden Boy later last night, but his shift had finished. On the way there I saw a man on the street asking for money, and at first I went straight by, just saying “Hello”, but then went back and asked if he’d like some pizza, and what kind. So, I got him a slice and felt good to be giving him something hot from the oven, even though it looked like it might be a little bit hard to eat without his front teeth which were missing from not having enough people to take care of him through life.
So last night was a good night, Saturday and Sunday nights at Fox Theatre were good nights – everyone doing their things and everyone working out ways to make someone remember their name, but still enjoying things no matter if the someone doesn’t remember your name, or doesn’t have another shift at Golden Boy, if at least you’ve got music and nice architecture and some friends and a nice little slice of warm pizza.