All the way up… I was lookin’ back

25 Guitars

Everybody there used to be somebody once…

Everyone had a story. Some had been factory workers laid off from a string of jobs. A couple had been suits, grinding away in corporate offices. There was an accountant. He liked to joke that he’d help the others with their taxes for a swig of Mad Dog 20/20.

For a while, there was even a doctor, a foreign guy who’d been caught overprescribing. Word was he’d overpribed half the inland empire and, when he lost his license and his world came down around him, warrants out for his arrest, the doc had run away, eventually spending all his cash and ending up under the wide overpass, on the railroad right-of-way… not more than a quarter mile from the harbor. With the rest of the nobodies who used to be somebody.

When people asked the lanky, long-haired guy with the cloudy blue eyes for his story, he kept it simple:

“One day… I just fell.”

That was it. All you could get out of him. He kept to himself and slept somewhere else, only coming into the encampment to trade and occasionally score something to take the edge off. Folks said he drank — but he drank alone. Someone said he often sat by the bluffs along the beach, a pony bottle in an inside pocket of his worn, gray parka.

One day some college kids came down into the camp.

“We heard about this guy, here. He used to be a rock star.” They said a name and a younger guy with half his teeth missing, taping a battered baby stroller back together with duct tape said, “Yeah, I heard of him.”

The college kids passed around a photo. It was one of those head and shoulder shots with the top of a guitar showing and a rough and chipped brick wall in the background.

“Oh, yeah. That guy. He comes around here maybe once or twice a week. He’s kind of a loner. So… what? He was a big rock star? When?”

When? A long, long time ago, indeed. A million miles and ten thousand years ago.

A condo, a fiance, a fancy car, an agent, a dog, and 25 guitars ago…


25 Guitars

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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

lyrics
25 Guitars

Go back home and
tell all the kids
this is what it’s like
when their hero hits the skids

go out to the farm and
tell my ma and pa
the higher you climb
the farther you must fall

I started out thinking
that I’d always know the score
now I hardly know
what I was counting for

I lost my one true love
my agent and my car
my condo and my dog
and twenty five guitars

but baby I was lost before
I ever got to town
I threw the map away
the day I let you down

yeah I hit the big time
but the big time it hits back
and all the way up
I was looking back

Wake me up and say its all a dream
we could drink coffee and talk about what it all means
I dreamed I dreamed I threw it all away
If I could just wake up back in your arms today

I was on the fat side of heaven
how come it felt like hell
each day was a struggle
one day I just fell

The bottom dropped out
I laughed the whole way down
with a noose around yer neck
LA is a much nicer town

Wake me up and say its all a dream
we could drink coffee and talk about what it all means
I dreamed I dreamed I threw it all away
If I could just wake up back in your arms today

Go back home and tell all the kids
this is what it’s like when their hero hits the skids

(C)1997, 2007, TK Major

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