Cryptic Envelopment November 17, 2006Posted by Mark Folse in Dancing Bear, Grateful Dead, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Cryptic Enveloment, Tarot
A guest post by Dancing Bear on the Tarot Card meme….
I am Skullf**k.
The card is best known as the cover of the Grateful Dead’s 1971 album. Bassist Phil Lesh actually suggested to Warner Brothers executives the LP be named Skullfuck. They were so taken aback they apparently didn’t even hear guitarist Jerry Garcia’s more reasonable suggestion of Skull and Roses. Intead, the record would simply be known to the lawyers and accounts as Grateful Dead, and as Skullfuck to us. The record would join that pantheon of magnificent recordings of the early 1970s that includes Abbey Road, Sticky Fingers, Dark Side of the Moon, the Dead’s American Beauty–need I really go on? The great secret of late 60s music is that some of the finest examples of the artists of the period were released in the very early 70s.
To hear this record is to understand the attributes of the card.
I owned this record both in vinyl and on an 8-track, the latter essential to carrying it along anywhere we might go. “Not Fade Away/Goin’ Down The Road (Feelin’ Bad)” more than once blasted at volumes that rattled windows from accross the bayou as we tore down Wisner Avenue through the early morning ground fog at faster than the speed of blue lights, the shade of Cowboy Neal grinning in my rearview mirror as the guy who would later in fact be my attorney–in spite of his profound racial handicap of a Scots backround–might begin to pour beer all over the floor of my car to extinguish a glowing roach.
“Playing in the Band” is a slow tempo song of such swing and power that to hear it even today is to reExperience the formulaic anomoly we called Captain Invincible, something like the milk drinks which Alex and his droogies swilled in the Korova but which in the halcyon days of nineteen seventy something gave one the more innocent feel of Tom Bombadil striding through a mystic forest with a basket full of tasty mushrooms on his way to get laid. Listen, and you don’t just hear the lyrics but actually stand in a tower, world at your command, as yellow sunshine spreads across the edge of the purple night.
And “The Other One”, a live version of the second part of the longer “That’s It For The Other One” subtitled “The Faster We Go the Rounder We Get” on Anthem of the Sun, is an extended free-form jam, one of those cyptically enveloping extended sessions that begins with a long, primal drum solo and erupts into the sacred spontenaity that entered into the cosmos in those days, sweeping away the Deadheads along with the dumbstruck fans of jazz who suddenly were confronted by Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Sun Ra. It is this song out of the entire double LP which perhaps best expresses the milieu of the Ancient Mystic Brotherhood of Swiss Alchemists, and speaks to the implications of this card.
Spanish lady come to me, she lays on me this rose.
It rainbow spirals round and round,
It trembles and explodes
It left a smoking crater of my mind,
I like to blow away.
But the heat came round and busted me
For smilin on a cloudy day
Comin’, comin’, comin’ around, comin’ around, comin’ around in a circle
Comin’, comin’, comin’ around, comin’ around, in a circle,
Comin’, comin’, comin’ around, comin’ around, in a circle.
Escapin’ through the lily fields
I came across an empty space
It trembled and exploded
Left a bus stop in its place
The bus came by and I got on
That’s when it all began
There was cowboy Neal
At the wheel
Of a bus to never-ever land
We are all Bozos on this bus…
For meme’s sake, yes I took the quiz. I was amazed (but not surprised) to draw this card;
You are The Fool
The Fool is the card of infinite possibilities. The bag on the staff indicates that he has all he need to do or be anything he wants, he has only to stop and unpack. He is on his way to a brand new beginning. But the card carries a little bark of warning as well. Stop daydreaming and fantasising and watch your step, lest you fall and end up looking the fool.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.