There are certain people in my life that I associate with music. When I hear a band they pop into my head.
I’m not sure I have ever written about Monkey before here in this blog.
His name was Jeff, and yes that was confusing because my best friend’s name at the time was Jeff, who is now Alan… anyway, I called him Monkey. This was due to the fact that he was a rock climber, among other things and he climbed the tree in the front yard at the house where I rented a room on 3312 N. Summit Avenue right off the UW Milwaukee campus.
I knew him as Jeff, but once I came home from class to find him rope climbing in the tree in the side yard, he became Monkey.
Monkey was intense. He was in the room across from me and he was into 3 things.
I used to hang out with him in his room and talk crap and have some beers and for the life of me I can’t recall anything we ever said, but I remember the ambiance. Monkey only had one desk lamp in his room and he had little if any furniture, so I usually sat on the floor. I remember in particular several nights that I hung out with him while he was prepping some photos for a showing at the University. Oddly, I have no idea what kind of classes he was taking.
Monkey would sit at his desk, under the desk lamp, using a blow brush to clean dust off his photos as he put them in the frames that he would put up for his show and while he did that… we listened to Hawkwind.
Hawkwind, for those of you who don’t know is a band formed in the early 70’s that was the epitome of space rock. Lemmy famously came from the band. There was a huge sci-fi bend to the music and it was cosmic and psychedelic and hard rocking. It was an experience. He had them all on vinyl and played them back to back to back all night long. I really don’t recall him playing anything else. He would jump up occasionally and do some really exaggerated rock moves and belt out the lyrics in a half shout, and then just as quickly he dropped back into his chair and continued to wisk away dust that I couldn’t even see, but that he claimed would simply “destroy” the presentation of his work.
The Hawkwind was SO not the kind of stuff I was listening to at the time, but I dug it. There was a certain sound to it that I liked and coupled with the weird ambiance of the room and the weird time in my life that those day became, it was a good mix.
I recall specifically these 2
Warrior On The Edge Of Time
and a song from Space Ritual came up in a Spotify playlist that other day and blew my mind.
Oddly, when I think of Lemmy, I think of the “Young Ones” episode that Motorhead played in. When I hear Hawkwind though, I think of Jeff.