Another curious cameo, this one in a speedy lockdown montage video collage by a punky reggae band from London called Smiley and the Underclass and their song “We All Get Like This” from their EP “The Way To The Bomb” (Bandcamp) released July 1st / + FB & YT
It all flashes by rapidly but if you look sharp, you might see your old pal in the grain barn studio lip-syncing along to the chorus.
There was a time I went to Amsterdam with one way ticket arriving with $220 in a variety of currencies and travellers checks plus an emergency (entirely useless) $100 Canadian bill tucked into my boot, a backpack with an inadequate sleeping bag, butane camp stove (somehow allowed on the plane), a cooking wok (surprisingly versatile), comically coloured outdoor gear purchased at various close-out sales and 2nd hand shops, and other sundry items, but deliberately did not take anything of value including a camera – instead took a sketchbook which is filled with poetry, doodles and other whatnots, and a watercolour pad in which I produced several paintings.
As you might expect, I got up to many adventures by sticking out my thumb and ending up coffee shops, barns filled with drying ganja, a Gwar concert, being a “roadie” who didn’t do anything whatsoever of usefulness for the Bad Yodeller’s ill-fated tour, got deathly ill at Oktoberfest in Munich and related ridiculous campground.
Then down to last few Deutsch Marks (noting pre-Euro), ended up meeting old pal Trevor in Rheinpfalz area where we embarked on fun nights in dungeons, bars and ruins, wandering forest with a giant dog called Bongo gathering chestnuts to sell in the endlessly adorable village of Rhod unter Rietburg and picking grapes – noting we were on different work crews and I fortunately got on the slacker team which included frequent breaks for wine and smokes and abundant cheese and bread and wine at the end of the day – including a couple of bottles to take back to stay warm in the tent/hayloft.
Then, after sleeping in haylofts and tents, partying at new wine festivals #secrets, a visit to hospital for a pal who couldn’t fly over ramparts and a ride with 7 crammed into a Citroen 2CV, we received our pay packets (after some trepidation thinking that any day we would be shook down by black-gloved immigration officials for illegal labor) came a hitchhike back to Amsterdam for usual unusualness, then a bus to Belgian for a ferry to England then a stretch in London which was cold wet and miserable, expensive and prone to bad decisions then via an dodgy credit card, somehow ended up in Miami in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. Following was even more ridiculous adventure of a drive-away car to Dallas, and rather shockingly we survived but, I digress…
All this is to tell you that: I have two photos and one wine label from Germany and one photo from London taken by a lovely Canadian girl we knew from “home”.
Puffing along a trail recounting leaving cold, miserable London en route to post-hurricane Florida with flashbacks to working in Rheinplatz grade fields, gathering chestnuts to sell for beer and bread money, strange encampments at Oktoberfest, and hitchhiking to Amsterdam with gaggle of pals. To London by ferry and rapid exit via cheap flight Florida, quickly interjecting in chaotic domestic situations, meals with surly Hare Krishnas, sleeping on unglamorous beaches, and avoiding looting commotion, while plotting forward momentum, which eventually came in form of a dubious drive-away car situation to Dallas… and beyond (in 1992).
Features music by: “Brave Captain” fIREHOSE (recorded live in Ancienne, Belgique, March 12, 1991 – via Archive.org), “Florida” by Blue Rodeo (recorded live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), and “Crazy Fingers” by Grateful Dead (recorded live in Phoenix, AZ, 1993 – via archive.org).
Just back from New Orleans, Uncle Weed shares anecdotes from a stop on hi-jinks-laden drive-away car delivery journey from Miami to Dallas and recounts recent culinary forays including turtle soup, Po’boy sandies and crawfish ettouffee, along with social observations about the French Quarter and Frenchmen’s street including the joy of brass bands and convenience of “go” cups. Recorded on a backyard in Squamish, BC on the late Jerry Garcia’s birthday.
In a collection of transitory reminiscences, Dave O rolls on from rainy North Van by taxi down venerable Granville St. down the spine of to YVR with indigenous dioramas. Then travels by plane to Gatwick Airport, continuing via train to Victoria Station, then by another taxi to Piccadilly Circus passing notable London sites along the way. And recapping visits to New York neighbourhoods, San Jose developments, importance of stimulating road literature, podcast faves, outstanding Vancouver activities, worthy podcasts, street music, thoughts on going with the flow, healthy breakfasts and provocative TV in London.
Wrapping up the White Poppies for Remembrance series with a narrative late-night wander through Westminster, London, DaveO meanders past military monuments, victory squares, cenotaphs, palaces, royal parks, war museum, war chambers, riot fences, war protesters, churches, parliament and finishing at St. James park for a sitdown under a weeping willow to consider monarchy, individual rights and responsibilities, and the role of class division in waging war as London’s sirens, trains, and Big Ben fill the night.
In Camden Town London, Uncle Weed visits Hemp for Victory author Kenyon Gibson to discuss his motivations and influences for writing the book, using hemp for fuel, fiber and food, unique modern hemp products, the political pressures surrounding re-mainstreaming cannabis hemp, activism tips for emerging hempsters, his research for UK Parliament on hemp as a replacement crop for opium in Afghanistan, plus conversation on contemporary hemp production in the United Kingdom and around the globe.
Yup, whilst in London, I hooked up with my Atlantic doppelgänger, The Dopefiend – a guy who homegrows a cannabis podcast called Dopecast. He even has a herd of cohorts gleaning wisdom and inspiration to bust out shows of their own. Uncle Weed in the Dope Den
Note to say i’ve fastidiously documented thick slices of my travels in London … Didn’t make it Scotland this time around but heaps of good times starting with staying at Piccadilly Circus in the midst of downtown chaos taking late night walks through famous sites, to lounging in a nice middle class neighborhood equipped with vaporizer to a proper English day trip to the seaside of free-wheeling Brighton and a herbal respite on a canal in Camden before an interview with an ex-pat author.
Around my toil, I managed dozens of hours of concentrated goodness in audio recordings including intrepid dark adventures past the new Globe Theater over Tower Bridge in the pouring rain en route to Cleopatra’s obelisk while Big Ben’s bonging 3AM – seems i didn’t record *allthatmuch* but ended up with a’ plenty – and even a decent stack of photos and video clips from the front row of a double decker bus. Yeah i am a sucker for thrill ride (heh).
A few quick shots before i head to Book Expo American in NYC (skyscrapers and everythang …) where i will be shilling the goods for the day job while soaking in some literary and otherwise atmosphere – hopefully meeting up with the filmmaker and illustrator of the Uncle Weed book, Brandon Kiggins of brooklyn, see the wild Alex Grey museum about the his trippy art and of course visit the mysterious haunted speakeasy pub in the village with a local amigo.
Taking Haruki Murakami collection of stories and Herman Hesse‘s Reflections – not the quintessential NYC lit but see what serendipity delivers – i am going to a book show – gotta be something worth reading (and i am admittedly somewhat stuck to older (dead-er) writers). Of course taking mobile podcaster-o-rator/recorder, notebooks and the snapshooter.
Then to San Jose for another day-job related trade show and since no time for San Fran hi-jinks- might be decidedly vanilla so to speak but will likely find some adventure. Will be catching Stanley Cup finals on the road (kinda need a sling box eh).
Back to beloved Vancouver for a couple days before London UK-bound. More podcasting for the job and then heading on a 4 day walkabout – likely to Dumfries (a home of Robbie Burns and one of his many loves – Jean Armour), Scotland and then mayhaps to a festival of sorts in Leeds. Gonna not get too hung up the deets here but i will be stuck with more than a backpack in London so might be a wee bit limited.
– really wanna bust out some more White Poppies for Remembrance episodes – next one will feature a track by Drive by Truckers and a chat with a disenfrancished soul at the New Amsterdam about the conceptual conditions of Vancouver’s downtown eastside