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Rock Tales #97-Jay Vaquer
In 1970 we had a band called FANE, Bill French on drums, Manfred Rackow on bass, Larry Fox on keyboards, and me on guitar. We went to Belem, Para, Brazil, which is at the mouth of the Amazon River. My wife's relatives had a country farm about 30 miles from the city, into the jungle, which was ours to rehearse and live in and on the weekends we would go into town and play gigs. The house was surrounded with tropical fruit trees (my favorite was the cashew fruit) and there was a spring fed lake at the end of the property line. A servant family lived on the property. The woman cleaned and cooked for us and her husband kept the yard and fresh drinking water in a large clay filter. There was an old hand water pump outside but the water did not flow through the plumbing system. We would defecate into plastic bags and throw them out into the jungle and take baths in the spring. Hey, we were in the Amazon jungle. In the afternoons we would rehearse and some locals would bring beer, sit in our front yard and listen. One day a young boy had just captured a three-toed sloth. We bought it for a dollar and it became our household pet. We named him speedy and he entertained us for hours. We would lay in our hammocks on the front porch and tie Speedy to one of the posts, which was about twelve feet high. It would take Speedy a good forty-five minutes to reach the top where he would hook his claws together and hang upside down. A low metabolic rate equals super slow motion. After being there about two weeks, Jane's (my ex's) dad came to take us into town for our first gig. We thought we sounded pretty good both Friday and Saturday nights even though the locals reacted to us as if we had just arrived from deep space. On Sunday night, Jane's dad took us home and on the way asked me how I liked jungle life. I said I was grateful for the electricity but missed running water. When we got to the house he took me to the well pump. Next to it was a lever, all you had to do was pull the lever, pump and the water was diverted to a water tank on the roof of the house which, when full, the hydrostatic pressure would operate the toilet, shower, etc. Duh? After he left, I thought about those plastic bags and sought consolation with Speedy, who was no where to be found. The next day, Jane discovered, from the maid, that some neighbors down the way had taken Speedy and, ate him for Sunday dinner. I waited until three o'clock in the morning, then I rolled my 200 watt Marshall stack out onto the front porch. With the volume on 10, I didn't play any notes, only feedback and weird noises for a good hour, Speedy's epitaph. I'm sure my message traveled for miles through the jungle. The next day, no one came to our rehearsal and we filled the water tank.

Rock lesson #97-Woman who fly upside down have hairy crack-up.

 


 

 

 

 

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