Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Summer Of The Lion

This has been my summer of the lion.

First, word got out to my co workers that I had never seen The Lion King.  I was the only one.  Everyone had seen it.  Except me, and they were thunderstruck that I could have gotten through lo, these many years without having seen the film.  So I got a copy and watched it and enjoyed it and showed off my new knowledge of the film and was applauded by everyone around me.

Then a couple weeks ago I was struck by the magnificent description of Solomon's throne in the First Book Of Kings.  I couldn't get it out of my head for days.  I had read it several times in the past, but had never been struck by the sheer grandeur of the thing.  Jesus is the lion of Judah, and the twelve apostles will judge the twelve tribes of Israel.

Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.
The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays.
And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.  1 Kings 10:18.

A couple mornings ago I went to youtube to listen to Young Lions, by Adrian Belew.  Young Lions is the incredible title track.  I knew there had never been an official video made, but went to youtube just to listen to it.  But then I found this fantastic homemade music video that had been made by a guy called Metal Guru Messiah.  I left him a complimentary comment, he wrote back to thank me, I remembered a story I hadn't thought about it some time, youtube wouldn't allow me enough characters to tell it, so I wrote it this blog and posted Metal Guru Messiah the link.

In 94 I moved to New Orleans and in 95 was there living out of a backpack with a hammock.  I was friends with the transient street performers, and after I had spent one night on the streets they invited me to come stay with them.  They had rented a small warehouse to use as a combined practice space and living quarters.  There were two huge support shafts in the middle, and my hammock hung perfectly between them.

I had gone there with a friend who was a mime.  He was an older guy who dressed as a silver robot; he took the money he earned, kept himself in coffee and cigarettes, then dumped the rest into video poker machines.  There was another guy named Paul, a rubbery Australian gymnast who by day juggled on a six foot high tight rope strung between two stepladders and made 300-400 for two performances; and by night he was banging his European girlfriend in the loft.

I would sing the praises of Adrian Belew and Young Lions to everyone who would listen.  I went on and on and on.  One afternoon Paul came in and handed me the cassette.  He’d seen it in a dollar bin in the record shop.  It was not a common item, the album had not sold well at all and was out of print.  I went out of my head.  They all left to perform for the afternoon and I had the place to myself and drank beer and cranked it for a couple hours.  I’d forgotten all about that joyous afternoon dancing in the warehouse on Frenchman Street till listening to Young Lions again the other morning.

And so continues my summer of the lion.

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