The Monkey’s got the main line sewed up tight

Yesterday I posted to Palo Alto Weekly that I voted No on the school parcel tax as a protest against the political machine that chugs along a bit too easily here. Reading furthr into Dennis McNally “A Long Strange Trip” I rebooted me trusty MacPro to add this link to Bob Weir and dem, circa 1980, Radio City Music Hall doing “The Monkey and The Engineer”.

It’s a Jesse “Lone Cat” Fuller song, but probably older than that. It’s also on Michael Wanger’s Mother McCree Uptown Jug Champions (early Dead prototype, and reputed first recording of Weir-Garcia-McKernan. Supposedly Weir and two buds strolled past Dana Morgan’s music shop in Palo Alto — 520 Ramona or so, which is either now Coupa Cafe or the dildo store– on Dec. 31, 1963 and heard Jerry Garcia inside working on blue grass banjo and the rest is hysteria).

So if you excuse the mixed metaphor, the machine, the homonculus*, — Mary Shelley, anybody? — I am the worried engineer and the Monkey has the main line sewed up tight, in Palo Alto policy and politics.

Terry and I also rocked the Jug Champions cd as we huffed it over Grant’s Pass coming and going in our little epic odyssey last week.

(Please note that earlier I also compared the occult and obscure nature of Palo Alto or Deep Palo Alto politics to “Scooby Doo”.

edit to add: I don’t believe enough has been written about how this set list presages the entire GD oeuvre:

1. See, McNally, pp. 66-67
2. Here is Jesse Fuller. Note, you Luddites, that he is also famous for his “fotdella” machineyesjesse
3. And yes, last week or so I quoted Hendrix “evil man make me kill you, baby”: so what is it? An evil man? A ghost in the machine? No idea. I’m just saying it’s not that we are evil or corrupt. There’s something external we need to wrangle.
4. Jerry Hill called me back last week and left the message that yes he played against O.J. and his Balboa beat their McAteer “31-0” but even though he represents San Mateo and parts of Santa Clara County he is still kind of a City guy so doesn’t necessarily have a fav 650 rock band; I am going to suggest, to Bill Monnings’s Deadheadism, the anecdote about Carlos Santana jamming with some other youngbloods in Mountain View and bonding with Gregg Rolie of Palo Alto and later co-founding The Santana Band that played at Woodstock.
5. The other thing about the Monkey displacing the Engineer calls to mind Beth Custer and Ben Goldberg joke or wisdom about “be careful who you send as a sub”.
*calls to mind also William Shatner “The Twilight Zone” circa 1966

and1: I am Palo Alto’s “Lone Cat” populist and “Plastic Alto” is my fotdella?


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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