More Songs From Living on the Earth – extended album notes and lyrics

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buy More Songs from Living on the Earth

 

This CD is available from CD Baby, plus (soon) a multitude of digital download sites, including iTunes.

I wrote these songs in the 1960s and ‘70s, when I lived and created my books in rural communes in Northern California, Vermont and Hawaii – except for Paisley Days, which I wrote in 1986, looking back on those times. Miraculously, the cassette home recordings I made of them survived into 2013, when I digitized them, relearned the songs, and began producing this recording, with the help of a host of super-talented collaborators.

ItÂ’s not my first dip into the well of songs I composed during that time. My first CD, Music from Living on the Earth, released in 2000 during my national tour for the 30th anniversary edition of my book Living on the Earth, is another collection of 17 of these songs. ItÂ’s mostly a solo vocal/guitar recording (the last track is an a capella choir), and is also available on CD Baby.

Also, the CD Songs from Being of the Sun, released in 2013, is a re-mastered recording of music I wrote or co-wrote during the late 60s and early 70s, recorded with and by composer/musician Ramon Sender Barayon, just before our book Being of the Sun (Harper & Row, 1973) was published. It, too, is available on CD Baby.

The musicians on More Songs From Living on the Earth (including me) were recorded by Chris McNeil (at his studio in La Herradura, Spain), Mark DeCozio (at his studio in Scottsdale, Arizona) and Ron Grant (at his studio in Los Angeles CA).

The synth orchestration and programming on “Devotion to a Spiritual Guide,” and the editing, mixing and mastering of the whole album are all by Ron Grant, an Emmy and Oscar-winning film composer. He created the orchestral/choral arrangement for Devotional for a Spirit Guide, plus sound effects on New Years Eve Party, and additional synthesizer sound tracks on Butterfly Farewell and Yabyum. This is the 4th CD on which we have collaborated. He also creates animated stories for children.

Los Angeles-based graphic designer and marketing consultant Al Lopez created the digital layout for the packaging from my illustrations, lettering and design ideas. This is the fifth CD art collaboration IÂ’ve done with Al. I respect his abilities and ideas tremendously.

The dazzling golden photo of me on the traycard was taken by Vin Oota on May 30, 2012 at Café Slow, Kokubunji, Tokyo, Japan.

In the photo, I am wearing organic cotton, handmade, fair trade clothing designed by the brilliant Kaorico Ago for her Japan-based natural fashion company, Little Eagle.

I created all of the music, lyrics, and arrangements, the packaging design, liner notes and illustrations (most of which are from my book Living on the Earth.) I sang all of the lead vocals, played guitar on every track (melody guitar on all except tracks 5, 9, 14 and 17, on which I played rhythm guitar), sang harmonies on tracks 4, 6, 11 and 15, and produced the CD on behalf of Indigo With Stars, Inc. The songs are published by Bay Tree Music, a subsidiary of Indigo With Stars, Inc., and all of the songs are copyrighted and registered with ASCAP as of 2014.

About the musicians:

Some of Mark Hewins’ guitar solos are played on a guitar synthezier, and sound like pan pipes (Piper of the Woods), bells (Yabyum) and ethereal harmonics (Butterfly Farewell). HeÂ’s from the UK and recorded for me in Spain. Besides playing guitar, he does research and development of electronic musical instruments.

Gwendolyn Sanford is a psych folk luminary who has made many beautiful CDs of her own. Her soprano harmonies are on Beautiful, Beautiful, Have a Good Time, and New Years Eve Party. SheÂ’s based in LA, where she and her husband Brandon Jay create soundtracks for TV series including Weeds and Orange is the New Black, as well as perform in bands they lead, separately and together.

Brian Brigham is a professional vocalist based in Los Angeles, currently singing back-up in Â’60s pop legend Franki ValleeÂ’s band, and doing studio vocal work in between tours.

Gonzalo Palacios is a wonderful young guitar player from Madrid who we recorded on mandolin in Los Angeles, where he lives and works. I love that his mandolin style is more southern European than bluegrass; it works perfectly on Have a Good Time and New Years Eve Party.

Tom McNalley is a great young guitarist based in Los Angeles. I totally under-used his talents, requesting only a couple of rhythm guitar tracks (Surviving in Style and Song of You and Me) and a lead solo (Song of You and Me).

Louis Hanshaw is a pop guitarist/vocalist/arranger from the UK, based in Torrox, Spain, whose genius for middle harmonies shows up on Have a Good Time and New Years Eve Party.

Benn Clatworthy is a multi-reed player from the UK, based in Los Angeles. He played a swinging tenor saxophone on Paisley Days (1986), as well as a lovely classical flute duet that Ron Grant wrote for Devotional for a Spiritual Guide.

Doug Webb is a renowned live and session player in Los Angeles. He played soprano, alto and tenor saxophones as well as clarinet on my 2006 CD What LivingÂ’s All About. So, I called him to play clarinet in the 1920s style again, on Hang Around and Boogie.

Dwight Kilian is based in Phoenix, and used to be Adjunct Professor of Jazz Bass at Arizona State University, but now works as the musical director of a big church. HeÂ’s a very busy man, but, in an astonishing marathon, he managed to record all 17 of the bass tracks in one epic day at Mark DeCozioÂ’s studio in Scottsdale, and kept his usual positive attitude through it all. I especially love his bowed drone on Onward, Onward Ever Flow.

About the songs:

1. Surviving in Style:

These lyrics contain a statement of my personal philosophy, beginning with a reference to William Blake’s poem, “Eternity”:

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternityÂ’s sunrise.

BlakeÂ’s poem is about spontaneity and non-attachment as a spiritual path.

The lyrics of Surviving in Style observe us all learning from each other, expanding our ability to love, and caring for the Earth. They visualize peace and disarmament, and all people sharing the resources of the Earth. They also allude to the mass extinction toward which the human race is currently rushing.

I wrote this song in the early 1970s, long before climate change was even being discussed. This song refuses defeat. It is a call to action.

Verse 1
Well, I have seen both fame and fortune
I have let them go by
Only thing that I hold on to
Is to kiss the joy as it flies
Flying away, each moment giving birth
To the next and next, on forever
Time is a teacher, second only to love
And we are learning to be better
Better at loving, better letting go
Better at living in the shadow of the future

Verse 2
Well, I have blamed the older people
For the way the world was spinning
Towards disaster, bend over,
And kiss your ass goodbye
But now I say each generation
Can find a means or measure
To help out, and make the world survive
We are all teachers, we are all yearning to love
And we are learning together to be better
Better at sharing, better at showing our love
Better at shining through the shadows of our fears

Bridge
Someone with the right tools could take the bombs apart
Someone with the right words could open peopleÂ’s hearts
With open-hearted sh
aring, there is still enough for all
With open-hearted daring, erase the writing on the wall

Verse 3
Well, I have had another vision
Of a world where everybody
Lived in harmony and safety and non-conformity
ItÂ’s just a conscious jump away
And we can take that jump today
To make a future our children can survive
LetÂ’s let them teach us
To laugh and to love
And to make our little world a little better
Better for children, better for creatures of the earth
Better for coming generations of the future

Coda
Singing about survival, surviving in style
Living long, and dying with a smile.

2. Piper of the Woods:
An erotic love song, in which the archetypal god of the woods and fields is invoked through the eyes of a human lover. His iconic pipes surround the listener, darting from one stereo channel to the other, as if the Piper were merrily dancing through the trees, calling and enchanting with his music. The beloved singing to the Piper is clear that, while she surrenders to him, she is not subservient. They meet as equals.

Verse 1
And in the morning you awakened next to me
Took my pretty body in your arms
Through the trees the sun was shining gently
Spreading warmth, as we flirted and fused
Through your eyes Pan was smiling at me
The playful piper of the woods

Verse 2
Over longer distances you have spoken to me
Taken my soul into your own
Through the wires we exchanged electricity
From your home, over highways and roads
Through the words spoken explicitly
Of playful mornings in the woods

Bridge
Speaking your beautifully chosen words
Weaving your stories of whimsy
You ignited my gypsy soul
Reminding me, strength is within me
Strength is within me.

Verse 3
And on the morning we awaken next, youÂ’ll see
As you take my picture with your mind
Through our lives we collect memories
Cruel or kind, we interpret as we choose
Through our youth time both lingers and flies
Oh, playful piper of the woods

Bridge 2
Singing my quickly frozen words
Believing the gift merely comes through
IÂ’m repaying a debt in kind
Reminding you, faith is within you
Faith is within you

Verse 4
And in the evening our stars intertwine
As you take my pretty body in your bed
Beneath conjuncting moons so freely
You have said that I am what you choose
Beneath our fantasies we meet equally
Oh, playful piper of the woods

Coda
Playful piper of the woods, playful piper of the woods
Playful piper of the woods, playful piper of the woods

3. Hang Around and Boogie:
“Groovy” was the superlative of choice for English-speaking bohemians in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It implies being “in the groove,” in synch with the natural rhythms of life. The narrator of the song, a flirtatious girl speaking first to herself, and then to a prospective partner, describes the very relaxed intimate relationship she desires, and then suggests that we all live a life we love.

Verse 1
Would you like a love in your life?
Yes, IÂ’d like a love in my life;
I want somebody groovy
To hang around and boogie with me.

Verse 2
Would you like to live by the sea
And plant a little garden with me?
I want somebody groovy
To hang around and boogie with me.

Bridge 1
Somebody easy to laugh with
Someone to go half and half with
On the dues and the juice.

Verse 3
I like to do the things that I do,
And I like the way that I do them, too.
I want somebody groovy
To hang around and do them with me.

Verse 4
Would you like a girl in your life?
You wouldnÂ’t have to call her your wife.
All she wants to do with you
Is hang around and boogie with you.

Bridge 2
Somebody mellow to hug with,
Someone to roll on the rug with
And play in the hay

Verse 5
WhatÂ’s your favorite version of bliss?
Wrap it up and seal with a kiss
Take it home and open the card
Have a little love in your life

Coda
Have a little lovinÂ’ in your life!

4. Devotional for a Spiritual Guide:
A hymn of appreciation for a person who has focused over a long period of time on developing unconditional love, selfless service, and higher consciousness, thereby inspiring others to do the same, but in their own ways. The third verse is a set of life instructions received from such a being.

Verse 1
Your love is the signature of GodÂ’s love in our lives
When you came we knew that God was listening
And your heart is the temple drum at our initiation
Your eyes are the altar of our christening
So deep is the love youÂ’re expressing
From a Source thatÂ’s never lessening
So remember wherever you go today
YouÂ’re going with our blessings.

Verse 2
Your soul is a masterpiece painted of compassion
Your mind is a channel of creation
And your life is a Sufi tale of non-attachment
Lived in every moment and location.
And our love is a heart to heart connection
With a movement toward perfection
And the beauty that we find in you
Could only be a reflection

Verse 3
Each day is an amphora full of holy wine
Each breath we sip it from a chalice
Drink deep of the nectars of the sun and the moon
Shining on our planetary palace
And whoever you meet here, love them
For our cups are always filled again
And follow your wildest fantasy
For that will be your salvation.

5. Serenade:
A shimmering summer blues-waltz for two lovers living close to nature.

Verse 1
Sun down, moon crown, blue skies, rosy clouds
Oh moon, youÂ’re the song that IÂ’ll sing about
As the sun goes down
Lily ponds, coconut fronds
In your crescent light

Verse 2
Sun-crowned moon man, blue eyes, gentle hands
Oh you, youÂ’re the one that IÂ’ll serenade
As the sun goes down
Stars fall through the hall
Of the citadel of time

Verse 3
Sunrise, sleepy eyes, another day in paradise
With you, free to follow our fantasies
‘Til the sun goes down
You take me far beyond the stars
IÂ’ve ever seen before

Verse 4
Sun high, you and I, in a meadow in July
And you dance above and inside of me
‘Til the sun goes down
Shadows pass through the grass
Bowing to the east

Verse 5
Sun down, moon crown, blue skies, rosy clouds
Oh moon, youÂ’re the song that IÂ’ll sing about
As the sun goes down

6. Beautiful, Beautiful:
A celebration of the powers of positive thinking, appreciation of others and self, enjoyment of the moment, and the beauty that radiates from a person engaged in these processes.

Chorus
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

Verse 1
Everyone I know is so beautiful, beautiful
And everywhere I go is so beautiful, beautiful
My oh my, itÂ’s all beautiful, beautiful
And so am I, IÂ’m beautiful, beautiful

Bridge 1
IÂ’ve taken off those blue-tinted shades
This rosy colored visionÂ’s paying back in spades
I believe in magic that flows from above
And beauty is a talent for inspiring love

Verse 2
Look at yourself, youÂ’re so beautiful, beautiful
And everyone else is so beautiful, beautiful
When you can see weÂ’re all beautiful, beautiful
ThatÂ’s how you can be so beautiful, beautiful

Bridge 2
Throw away the worry and b
ring on the bliss
Turn your mind right over, let it dance like this
No more waiting for pie in the sky
We get to go to heaven before we die

Verse 3
Everybody here is so beautiful, beautiful
ThereÂ’s nothing to fear when itÂ’s beautiful, beautiful
So come on and say itÂ’s all beautiful, beautiful
A beautiful day, so beautiful, beautiful

Chorus
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

7. Green, Green Rain:
A year of weather changes in Northern California, from arid summer to stormy winter, with its flooding rivers. The sheet music was first published in the book Being of the Sun, which I co-authored with Ramon Sender Barayon, in 1973.

Verse 1
Green, green, green, green spring valley forest
Sun smiling shy, gently calling
Back the rain from the grass, turn, turn summer brown
‘Til the green, green rains come falling.

Verse 2
Fall, fall, fall thunder showers in the autumn
Dark clouds shout, for theyÂ’re roaring
Power songs to the grass, turn, turn winter green
When the green, green rains come falling.

Verse 3
Long, long, long, long cold winter nights
Rain seems to call out a warning
Of a flood, and the grass cries, cries in the mud
Like a lady all covered for mourning.

Verse 4
Pray, pray, pray for the sun to come back
Sun shining warm on our bodies
That have grown, with the grass, green, green in the winter
When the river came up to the cottage

Verse 5
Green, green, green, green spring valley forest
Sun smiling shy, gently calling
Back the rain from the grass, turn, turn summer brown
‘Til the green, green rains come falling.

8. Hard Living:
The work of changing human society so that it benefits the many rather than the few is often stressful, exhausting, and dangerous. Yet, it must be done. Loving and sharing imparts strength and inspiration.

Verse 1
ItÂ’s hard to go on living when you canÂ’t go to sleep
ItÂ’s hard to go on walking when youÂ’re falling on your feet
And itÂ’s hard to be forgiving when the whole world weeps

Chorus
But itÂ’s doing things that are hard that makes you strong
ItÂ’s doing things that are hard that gives you song
Lord, itÂ’s hard, hard living, loving brothers and giving,
No, it never, never was easy in this hard, hard world

Verse 2
ItÂ’s hard to go on talking when you canÂ’t back down
ItÂ’s hard to go on walking through a racetrack town
And itÂ’s hard to see the blocking that youÂ’re doing now

Chorus
But itÂ’s doing things that are hard that makes you strong
ItÂ’s doing things that are hard that gives you song
Lord, itÂ’s hard, hard living, loving brothers and giving,
No, it never, never was easy in this hard, hard world

Verse 3
ItÂ’s hard to face the lessons that you thought you learned
ItÂ’s hard to face the people that you know you burned
And itÂ’s hard to take the karma that you know youÂ’ve earned

Chorus
But itÂ’s doing things that are hard that makes you strong
ItÂ’s doing things that are hard that gives you song
Lord, itÂ’s hard, hard living, loving brothers and giving,
No, it never, never was easy in this hard, hard world

9. Hippie Hill:
In the mid-1960s, in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, drum circles formed, dancers gathered, and neighbors from the Haight-Ashbury, Richmond, Sunset and Fillmore districts would gather to socialize, share what they had, and talk about what they hoped to build. It was the birth of a new society, based on compassion before profit, creativity before conformity, and serenity before materialism.

Chorus
Hippie Hill groovinÂ’, white clouds movinÂ’ on, so slow
Cool grass is soothinÂ’, long dresses movinÂ’ past, billow
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Verse 1
IÂ’m feeling the sun in the air
Through the tangles of my hair
There are children and dogs running free
Through the conga drumsÂ’ African beat
Whoa, whoa

Chorus
Hippie Hill groovinÂ’, white clouds movinÂ’ on, so slow
Cool grass is soothinÂ’, long dresses movinÂ’ past, billow
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Verse 2
If thereÂ’s heaven, itÂ’s here, right now
If it isnÂ’t, itÂ’s a-cominÂ’ any how
So IÂ’m digginÂ’ that comfortable sky
And the trees are all nodding in time
Whoa, whoa

Verse 3
Get a groove on and move on, down here, right now
ItÂ’s the happÂ’ningest place in this town
Bring the best thing that youÂ’ve got to share
Cause a new world is being born here
Whoa, whoa

Chorus
Hippie Hill groovinÂ’, white clouds movinÂ’ on, so slow
Cool grass is soothinÂ’, long dresses movinÂ’ past, billow
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

10. Butterfly Farewell:
People evolve, and, like caterpillars becoming butterflies, they depart for new realms that resonate more harmoniously with their evolved selves. This song is a farewell to enduring forced conformity, ridicule and cruelty. This is a departure without revenge, but, rather, with the joy of newfound freedom.

Verse 1
Today I am a butterfly
Flying to a better sky
Not another bitter sigh
To utter as I flutter by
So high, so high
Goodbye, goodbye

Verse 2
Once a walking sleeping bag
Caterpillar scallywag
Followed any waving flag
IÂ’ve taken off my number tag
IÂ’m free, to be
Just me, IÂ’m free

Verse 3
Aloft upon these lovely wings
Everything inside me sings
Far from those confining things
Those frowning clowns, those poison stings
I go, I grow,
I flow, I glow

Verse 4
Today I am a butterfly
Flying to a better sky
Not another bitter sigh
To utter as I flutter by
So high, so high
Goodbye, goodbye

11. Have a Good Time:
Happiness becomes possible when consciousness is focused entirely in the here and now moment. Then, many kinds of fulfillment can be realized.

Chorus
Have a good time, have a good time
Everybody loves to have a good time
From the ridiculous to the sublime
Everybody loves to have a good time

Verse 1
You can make your work play, just have a good time
And once you get your pay, go have a good time
ItÂ’s a beautiful day, so have a good time
DonÂ’t delay, go have a good time

Chorus
Have a good time, have a good time
Everybody loves to have a good time
From the ridiculous to the sublime
Everybody loves to have a good time

Verse 2
Well, the way to relate is to have a good time
Or rehabilitate, try to have a good time
Are you looking for a mate, just have a good time
DonÂ’t hesitate, go have a good time

Bridge
Eat when youÂ’re hungry and sleep when youÂ’re tired
Love when youÂ’re loving and dance when youÂ’re wired
Hug when youÂ’re lonely and cry when youÂ’re sad
Everybody does it and it ainÂ’t so bad

Verse 3
Instead of making trouble just have a good time
And if youÂ’re seeing double, got to have a good time
Blow a shiny bubble, and have a good time
RockinÂ’ in the rubble, gonna have a good time

Chorus
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la

Verse 4
If you want to find God, just have a good time
If you find it too hard to have a good time
Tell us what you want is to have a good time
YouÂ’ll get your reward, youÂ’ll have a good time

Chorus
Have a good time, have a good time
Everybody loves to have a good time
From the ridiculous to the sublime
Everybody loves to have a good time

12. Onward, Onward Ever Flow:
Inspired by this quote from the Book of Tao:

Nothing in the world is more gentle than water, yet nothing is stronger.
Water nurtures life, yet cuts through solid rock.
Overcome obstacles with the strength of gentleness.

The sheet music was first published in the book Being of the Sun, which I co-authored with Ramon Sender Barayon, in 1973.

Chorus
Onward, onward flows the water
Quiet sounds and life below
Lapping soft against the earthÂ’s side
Never stopping, ever flowing,
Onward, onward, ever flow.

Verse 1
Find me in the mountain meadows
If I go, I never know,
Find me smiling on the valley
Onward, onward ever flow

Chorus
Onward, onward flows the water
Quiet sounds and life below
Lapping soft against the earthÂ’s side
Never stopping, ever flowing,
Onward, onward, ever flow.

Verse 2
Sunshine humming on the mountains
Ever down the melting snow
River running in the valley,
Onward, onward ever flow

Verse 3
Rocks are stiff against the water
Never let their softness show
Soon are broken down to sand dunes
Onward, onward ever flow

Chorus
Onward, onward flows the water
Quiet sounds and life below
Lapping soft against the earthÂ’s side
Never stopping, ever flowing,
Onward, onward, ever flow.

13. Song of You and Me:
When two artists fall in love, they share not only their erotic and emotional attraction to one another, but mutual appreciation of their creativity, skills and knowledge as well.

Verse 1
Ever since I was thirteen years I played a steel guitar
And I dreamed of a man from a guitar band with a face like a movie star
Well, now weÂ’re sitting face to face, singing harmony
ItÂ’s a love duet that I wonÂ’t forget, the song of you and me

Verse 2
You look at me so easy, smiling as you play
YouÂ’re one electric guitar man for a ukulele lei
Are you thinking of the moment that surely lies ahead
When we put aside our guitars and play drumbeats on the bed

Chorus
Synch your rhythm with me, baby
Raise your action, letÂ’s go crazy
Sing me a song and IÂ’ll sing you a song
And weÂ’ll listen to each otherÂ’s music all night long

Verse 3
My heart is pumping thunder, and stars light up my eyes
Your laid-back cowboy poet style kind of took me by surprise
YouÂ’re holding me and humming a love song you just wrote
IÂ’m singing one to you right now that matches note for note

Chorus
Synch your rhythm with me, baby
Raise your action, letÂ’s go crazy
Sing me a song and IÂ’ll sing you a song
And weÂ’ll listen to each otherÂ’s music all night long

14. Yabyum:
The title (which means “father/mother” in Tibetan) describes a position used for tandem meditation, with the male seated cross-legged and the female straddling his lap, facing him. It is often depicted in Tibetan and Nepalese sacred paintings and sculpture. The partners gaze into one another’s eyes, aligning their breathing and heartbeats. This practice does not aim at creating orgasms or babies, but rather at raising kundalini (spiritual energy) through the chakras (energy centers of the body), raising consciousness beyond the ego and into oneness with the Universe.

Verse 1
Long we have grappled in the darkness
Enter the pyramid of light
Come, oh come and love me now
Enter the pyramid of light

Verse 2
Long we have fumbled through the curtains
Of fear and ego in the night
Come, letÂ’s now be god and goddess
Come letÂ’s be channels of the light

Bridge 1
Folded in a lotus on a shimmering lake
With all the cosmos swimming by
We will breathe together, beat our hearts together
Chakra to chakra, eye to eye

Verse 3
In your body is the presence
Of my angel spirit guide
In my aura, love eternal
That seeks to lift your fallen pride

Bridge 2
So, love you, love you, wonÂ’t you love yourself?
Love you, love you, itÂ’s the wealth
That will sustain you and glorify you
Give you your freedom and your health

Verse 4
Divine beyond all human sorrow
Enter the pyramid of light
Ascend the throne your rightful home
Enter the pyramid of light

Coda
Ascend the throne your rightful home
Enter the pyramid of light

15. New YearÂ’s Eve Party:
I love that there is a holiday that celebrates the passage of time. I spontaneously created the song “Goodbye 1974” at a New Year’s Eve party at Modelia studio on Maui, on December 31, 1973. The other musicians at the gathering, including dear Delia Moon (for whom the recording studio was named), made up more verses as we went along, and the song became a tradition for some years after that, with new verses added as the dates changed. So, now I am inviting anyone who would like to join us in this song, to create new verses at New Year’s Eve parties to come.

Chorus
Goodbye 1974, weÂ’ve seen the last of you
Goodbye 1974, we sang until you were through

Verse 1
I remember the birthdays when they all came ‘round
We danced ‘til both feet rose off of the ground
I remember the sights, I remember the sounds of 1974

Chorus
Goodbye 1974, weÂ’ve seen the last of you
Goodbye 1974, we sang until you were through

Verse 2
I remember the time I got so high
It maybe was June, or maybe July
I laughed ‘til the tears rolled out of my eyes in 1974

Chorus
Goodbye 1974, weÂ’ve seen the last of you
Goodbye 1974, we sang until you were through

Verse 3
And now that we’ve made it to ‘75
IÂ’m glad that we all came through it alive
It looks like we all are gonna survive ‘til 1976

Spoken word:
Now you can customize this song for any New YearÂ’s Eve you happen to be celebrating. Just change the year and write a new third verse! IÂ’d love to hear it if you do.

Chorus
Goodbye 1974, weÂ’ve seen the last of you
Goodbye 1974, we sang until you were through

Coda:
Sang until you were through
Sang until you were through
Sang until you were through

16. Last Song of the Night:
This song recalls those gorgeous nights without electricity, when we retired from singing around the campfire together, to our simple, hand-built, candle-lit, dwellings. The sheet music was first published in the book Being of the Sun, which I co-authored with Ramon Sender Barayon, in 1973.

Verse 1
ItÂ’s the last song of the night
ItÂ’s the last song of the night
WeÂ’re going to lie down
But weÂ’ll still hear the sound
Of the last song of the night.

Verse 2
ItÂ’s the last song of the night
ItÂ’s the last song of the night
WeÂ’re going to our beds
But echoed in our heads
Is the last song of the night.

Verse 3
ItÂ’s the last song of the night
ItÂ’s the last song of the night
WeÂ’re going to sleep
But in our hearts weÂ’ll keep
The last song of the night

Coda
ItÂ’s the last song of the night.

17. Paisley Days (1986):
By the mid-1980s, the great flowering of the flower children had all but disappeared, although some of the rural communes continued, and most of the political activists remained active. Many of my friend
s arranged their lives around providing a middle class upbringing for their children. I was studying music, working as a musician, and writing jazz tunes, including this one. It’s a sentimental review of the ’60s and ’70s, and also a decision to continue with the best of what I learned and lived then. And, to my astonishment, the Paisley Days DID come back again – a decade later – with the Millennials, many of whom struggle mightily for environmental preservation and for social justice, and who are as proactive in creating creative, ethical and natural lives as we were in our youth.

Verse 1
When will the paisley days come back again?
Sometimes I wonder with my old friends
We would always spare the rod
And each of us could talk to God
And poverty was chic in our paisley days

Verse 2
I used to hitchhike everywhere by myself
My faith was unshakeable and so was my health
Costume tatters we would wear
Beneath the wildness of our hair
We said “Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it” in our paisley days

Bridge 1
We were survivors who boycotted war
We were living proof that less is more
We thought weÂ’d outnumber the rich and their guns
By showing that sharing could be much more fun

Verse 3
Perhaps we were blind, fashion passed us by
And as we got older, our ideals didnÂ’t fly
Upwardly mobile now, good consumers anyhow
Sometimes we felt ashamed of our paisley days

Bridge 2
But we were pioneers of inner space
We dreamed of a peaceful human race
For music we gathered half a million strong
Blind you may say, but I donÂ’t think we were wrong

Verse 4
Friends, “peace and love” is still all right with me
And freedom includes non-conformity
IÂ’m gonna try to seek the Light, and cheer for men who will not fight
And live the simple ways of my paisley days

Coda
Praise the simple ways of my paisley days
Praise the simple ways of my paisley days
I praise the simple ways of my paisley days

Kimberly Hughes article about my 2013 Japan Tour

06-29-13-Japan-Kyoto-Cacao Magic-ABL laughs w guitar onstage

Below is Kimberly HughesÂ’ interview/article for the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, which she created during my 2013 Japan tour. I met Kimberly in 2012 when she worked with me interpreting for me at several of my concerts, and weÂ’ve been good friends ever since.

The photo was taken at my 2013 concert at Cacao Magic (a vegan café in Kyoto). I am wearing organic fiber clothes created by my friend and collaborator, fashion designer Kaorico Ago for her company, Little Eagle.

U.S. artist and author brings timeless message of natural, sustainable living to Japan

Alicia Bay Laurel was barely over twenty when her self-illustrated book “Living on the Earth” — often referred to as a “bible” among those seeking to live in harmony with nature — became a best-seller in the United States in 1971.

The book included tips on everything from canning food to making handmade soap to stitching shoes — all knowledge that was essential for outdoor living among those, like Laurel, who had joined the back-to-the-land movement of the day.

Far from being out-of-date, however, the book continues to resonate among those who crave a simpler way of living within today modern, chaotic world.

Now 64, Laurel — who is also an accomplished guitar player and singer — is presently on tour in Japan to promote her two latest CDs, sign books, and share stories of her fascinating life growing up in the U.S. during an era of collective living and large-scale social movements for peace and justice.

Laurel’s swift rise to author fame surprised herself as much as everyone else. “I had moved from Los Angeles to a hippie commune in northern California in the late 60s, and as a city girl with no outdoor skills, I decided to interview residents to get their advice for living in nature — which I then compiled into a hand-written notebook together with my illustrations,” she told an audience packed inside a cozy venue in Kunitachi, western Tokyo.

“At first, I didn’t even know how I would go about making a single photocopy of it — much less imagine that it would go on to be published and reach international fame.”

The Japanese translation of “Living on the Earth” was published in 1972 by Soshisha Ltd., which also went on to release her next book, “Being of the Sun” — which Laurel describes as her first work’s “spiritual sequel” — as well as her three books for children.

Laurel toured Japan for the first time in 1974, where her artistic muse found deep inspiration. “Right away,I noticed that the entire country shared an advanced sense of design that permeated even the most humble and commonplace objects,” she recalls. “I also noticed that ordinary transactions were conducted with a sense of awareness and decorum that I had not previously encountered anywhere else.”

Her connection to the country was renewed in 2005, when outdoor magazine Be-Pal sent a journalist to interview her in Hawaii, her home for some 25 years. This was followed by introductions to the environmental nonprofit organization Artist Power Bank, who invited her back to Japan to perform at its events and hold workshops — and its sister project Kurkku, a complex of environmentally sustainable businesses that organized the first of her yearly tours for Laurel in 2006.

Following the 2011 disaster in Tohoku, both organizations also helped coordinate an initiative to raise funds for survivors by selling T-shirts and other goods at their music concerts that featured LaurelÂ’s trademark flowing line designs.

Laurel is presently on a two-month tour of the archipelago, where her itinerary includes some 30 performances across 12 prefectures, as well as an art retreat on the island of Niijima, a sacred shrine tour in Okinawa, and a performance at a farm on southern ChibaÂ’s Boso peninsula.She is also collaborating with numerous other artists and performers, including natural clothing designer Little Eagle and Hawaiian reggae band Inoue Ohana.

Laurel’s message of reconnecting with nature has found an eager audience in Japan, where people inevitably line up in their dozens for a chance to speak with her following her performances. One man told her that he and his wife had home-birthed all three of their children using advice from “Living on the Earth,” while another woman said that Alicia’s message reminded her of an earlier era in Japanese history when worship of the sun goddess Amaterasu was a common practice.

During a performance last month at Beach Muffin Café, located along the shores of Zushi in Kanagawa Prefecture, Laurel swapped her guitar for a zither and began performing a series of songs from “Being of the Sun.” She explained that the tunes were in fact chants— each of which expressed reverence for a particular natural cycle,such as a time of day or a particular season.

“Mountains, wind, ocean and sun are teachers,” reads an excerpt from the book. “Lessons abound for the observant.”

During a recent performance held at an art gallery in Tokyo’s Daikanyama district, which also hosted an exhibition featuring illustrations from “Living on the Earth” that had been framed in driftwood, Laurel told the audience, “I strongly support the ‘hydrangea revolution’ movement in Japan, where people have taken to the streets to call for an end to nuclear power. We in the United States have much to learn from the Japanese people in this regard.”

In an interview with the Mainichi, Laurel commented, “Sustainable technology has been around for a long time. We don’t need fossil fuels or nuclear power, which are used only because they are enriching the 1400 billionaires of our planet.”

Asked about any advice she had to share with those seeking to revive the passion and spirit of earlier eras, she said, “Vote with your wallet. Avoid buying products made by companies that pollute the planet and/or violate human rights, and support politicians that try to stop these companies from doing so.”

“Also, volunteer,” she concluded. “Whether it’s helping with childcare for single working mothers or organizing clean-ups of polluted places, there are thousands of necessary things to be done to make this a more sustainable and just world.”

Alicia Bay LaurelÂ’s Japan tour will conclude on August 4th [2013]. For more information and a schedule, visit her website at http://www.aliciabaylaurel.com.

Alicia Bay Laurel 2013 Japan Concert Tour

This tour celebrates the release of two new CDs!

 

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It’s available here.


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It’s available here.

 

Here are the bookings and posters as of 06/29/2013.  Please check back for any changes!

06/06 Live with RabiRabi at OPPA-LA at Enoshima, open at 19:00 http://www.rabirabi.com/top/top.html
RabiRabi OPPA-LA event.jpg
06/07 Live at Hapon in Shinjuku, start at 19:00 http://hapon.asia/shinjuku/event/post2725/

06/08 Live with Little Eagle at Café Slow in Kokubunji, start at 19:00 http://event.cafeslow.com/?eid=1080490 and http://plusminustsuchi.com/littleeagle20120530/
Little Eagle Cafe Slow event.jpg
06/09 Live with Little Eagle at Beach Muffin in Zushi, start at 17:00
Little Eagle Beach Muffin event.jpg

06/15 Live with Little Eagle at Jisoan in Sue, Gifu, start at 14:00
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06/16 Live with Little Eagle at Café Ocean in Nishio (near Nagoya), start at 17:30
Little Eagle Cafe Ocean event.jpg
06/21 Live with Little Eagle at Art Café Nafsha on Awaji Island, start at 19:30 (Summer Solstice!)
Little Eagle Art Cafe Nafsha event.jpg
06/22 Live with Little Eagle at MiCaLi in Mino, Osaka, start at 18:30

Little Eagle MiCaLi event.jpg
06/23 Live with Little Eagle at Bagus in Wakayama, open at 15:00
Little Eagle Bagus event.jpg
06/29 Live with Little Eagle at Cacao Magic in Kyoto, start at 18:00
Little Eagle Cacao Magic event.jpg

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07/02 Live at Gallery Speak For in Daikanyama, Tokyo, start at 18:00. Reception event for show of original 1970 drawings from Living on the Earth, many with new Alicia Bay Laurel drawings on the mat boards, and framed in driftwood by master craftsman Yuji Kamioka.  Show runs 06/21 ~ 07/03
. Alicia’s live music at 18:30 on 07/02.  Address information: http://www.galleryspeakfor.com/ Here is a video of the installed show:
http://youtu.be/bZeFuZSVGUE  The music is “Everything is Flowing” from the CD “Songs from Being of the Sun.”
07/05 Live in Kanazawa, private event for Earth Keepers, start at 18:00
http://aas205.blogspot.jp/2013/06/living-on-earth.html

07/06 Live with Little Eagle at Oromina in Yokohama, start at 15:00
Little Eagle Oromina event.jpg
07/07 Live with Little Eagle at Alishan Organic Center in Saitama, start at 16:00
Little Eagle Alishan event.jpg
07/12 Live with Little Eagle at Cafe Unizon in Gi
nowan, Okinawa, start at 20:00

Little Eagle Cafe Unizon event.jpg

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07/13 to 07/15 Okinawa Sacred Sites Tour and Shrine Art Workshop at beautiful Donto-in, Tamagusuku, with Alicia Bay Laurel and Sachiho Saraswatie Kojima. For reservations, please contact Sachiho Saraswatie Kojima on Facebook or at OZUNU369 (at) dpx (dot) ne (dot) jp or call her at 070 5812 9088. Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/158003121048714/

07/18 Live in Ueda at Café PANI http://www.pani.jp/

07/20 Live with Little Eagle at Lumiere du Lazuli in Matsumoto, start at 15:00.  Tickets 2000 yen in advance or 3000 yen on the day of the event.
Little Eagle Lumiere du lazuli event.jpg

07/25 Live with Inoue Ohana at Thumbs Up in Yokohama, start at 19:30 Facebook event page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/602798496410762
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07/26 Live with Inoue Ohana at Chikyu-ya in Kunitachi http://chikyuya.info/contents/pickup


 

07/27 Live at YAMADA PARADISE FARM, presented by Green People
Open 16:30
Kathie and Keni Inoue (Inoue Ohana Band)17:30
Alicia Bay Laurel 18:30

608 Nakasakuma, Kyonan-machi, Awagun, CHIBA
ticket 1300(advance) 1500 (door)500(middle & high-school students)
more info by phone : 080-1282-6586 (Ohyama)

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/198969503593654/

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07/28 Live with Inoue Ohana at Studio M in Koganei starting at 16:00

Send us email for reservation to spoonful.tlh@gmail.com. More information on our web page http://www.tinylittlehideout.com/spoonful/top.html

07/30 to 07/31 SARO resort Nii-jima Island – Overnight massage, nature, music and art retreat with Alicia Bay Laurel and Rie Kuwahara of Rie-treats for Under the Light Yoga. For tickets, please contact Rie at rie (dot) kuwahara(at) gmail (dot) com

 


Niijima workshop poster for 2013.jpg

07/30 Live at SARO resort on Nii-jima Island (open to public), starting at 19:00. Address: Cafe and accomodation SARO, 3-3-4 Honson Niijima-mura Tokyo.

08/02 Live with Little Eagle at Shonan Club in Kamakura, start at 17:30
Event Fliers for 2013 Japan tour

 

 

08/03 Live event:

Vibration1 from Agriculture & Music
WASEDA SCOTT HALL
August 3rd, 2013, open 15:00
talk session about agriculture 16:00 by Alicia Bay Laurel, Kaoru Sugita & Kaoru Kawai
music session 17:00 by Alicia Bay Laurel, monk beat, DJ TATSUTA
close 19:00
Ticket 2000 yen advance?2500 yen at door

Music and agriculture event 08-03.jpg

08/04 Live with Inoue Ohana at Art Station POKARA in Nasu
Open at 14:30, start at 15:00
2500 yen for Live Event
1000 yen for Vegetarian Dinner after
Hula show included! 

253 Yumoto, Nasu-machi, Tochigi prefecture.
Tel 0287-76-4119
For more information, please call Kat-chan at 
090-6543-8272


 

In Which I am Interviewed by Laura Theodore, The Jazzy Vegetarian, on her Internet Radio Show

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I met Laura Theodore online via LinkedInÂ’s Vegan and Vegetarian discussion group.  Laura is a jazz vocalist with an impressive resume and a unique voice, who also hosts vegetarian cooking shows on television, radio and the Internet. 

I pitched myself to her as a guest on her internet radio show, telling her I had recorded one (well-received) jazz/blues CD, and IÂ’d also written and illustrated a book that had been a best seller in the 1970s, is still in print in English and Japanese, and was recently selected as one of the 101 most influential American cookbooks of the 20th century by the Fales Library at New York University. 

She bit. 

So, here is the result of our phone collaboration last December, a show first airing today, January 31, 2013.

Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

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I have evolved this recipe over many holiday seasons.

Prepare one of these crusts:

BAKED CRUST Enough for one pie; multiply as needed

Two cups of gluten-free baking flour (usually a combo of rice, garbanzo, oat, and millet flours – any or all of these)

¾ cup coconut oil

Measure and then chill the coconut oil. Place it in a food processor with the flour and an ice cube. Blend until it forms a soft ball of dough. If it doesnÂ’t form a dough ball while blending, very gradually add a tiny bit more cold water. As soon as it gets the right amount of water, it will form a soft ball of dough.

Flatten the ball into a disk and press into a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie pan so that it is of even ¼ inch thickness all over, and form a scalloped edge with your thumbprints. Make fork holes every ½ inch all over the bottom and sides of the pie shell. Bake at 375 Fº until golden, but not brown.

If you have extra dough, form it into a cookie shape (star, heart, tree, etc.) in another pan, make fork holes every ½ inch on it, and bake it along with the piecrust. After the filling has chilled and become firm in the crust, place the cookie shaped piece of piecrust on top of the filling. For ease of handling, I suggest forming and baking the cookie shaped piece on top of a piece of baking parchment, so that you can easily slide it onto the top of the pie without it crumbling in the process.

RAW CRUST

In a (clean) coffee grinder, powder one cup each of walnut meats and raw cashews. Remove pits from 6 dates, chop them well and place them in a food processor with the nut flours. Blend until it forms a soft dough. Press the dough into a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie pan. Keep the edge small and simple, since an extended, scalloped edge will crumble off when the pie is cut and served. Chill in the refrigerator.

If you’d like to make a decorative raw cookie for the top of the pie, take some of the nut/date dough, form into the shape of choice, and dehydrate at 105 Fº until almost crisp.

FILLING

Cut a medium sized butternut squash or small kabocha (green) pumpkin into pieces about 1 to 2 inches on a side.

Spoon out the seeds, and either roast, plant or discard them. (If you compost them, who knows, you might get volunteer squash plants growing out of your compost..)

Peel two thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger and chop into small pieces.

Steam the squash and ginger until soft and let them cool until you can easily pick up one of the squash pieces with your (clean) hand, at which point you can spoon the flesh out from the shells into the food processor bowl, and compost the shells. Then dump the steamed bits of ginger from the steaming basket into the food processer with the squash, and blend until smooth. If the mixture is so thick that it bogs down the food processor, slowly add a tiny bit of the cooking water, until the blades are moving easily.

After blending, just to be sure there are no annoying bits of ginger in the pie filling, pour the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl, and stir with a wooden spoon to complete the separation.

If you’d rather not bother with peeling, chopping, steaming, blending and sieving fresh ginger, you can always skip it, instead adding ½ tsp. powdered ginger along with the other spices below. (Personally, I think it’s worth the extra work.)

Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly: one cup of unsweetened, non-flavored vegan milk (hemp, almond, rice, soy, or, if you’d like a very rich pie, coconut cream) with 2 teaspoons of agar flakes, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. cloves, ½ tsp allspice) and 3 droppers of non-flavored stevia glycerite, stirring until the agar is completely dissolved and the spices are well blended into the milk.

Place the food processor: the butternut squash and the agar/milk mixture. Blend until completely smooth.

Pour the filling into the pie shell and chill until the agar is set (at least one hour, although you can make this pie the day before serving it and keep it in the refrigerator until then).

If you have more filling than pie shells, pour it into custard cups and chill.

A nine-inch pie will serve 8 people.

Topping (optional):

Coconut Bliss vegan ice cream (Naked Coconut flavor) would be my choice, but there are also excellent choices available from Tofutti, So Delicious, and other vegan ice cream brands.

Alicia Bay Laurel 2012 Japan Tour Schedule

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Truly a wonderful tour.  I enjoyed every day of it!

May 20 live at Ocean Café 18:00-20:00 in Aichi (near Nagoya) for Little Eagle Fashion Exhibition

May 25 live at Juzu (Go West Hemp Boutique) in Ebisu, Tokyo 19:00 for Little Eagle Fashion Exhibition

May 27 live at Natural High Festival at Doshi, 11:20 to 12:00.  Otherwise I’ll be at Kurkku/apbank booth.

May 30 live at Cafe Slow in Kokubunji, Tokyo, 19:00 to 12:30 for Little Eagle Fashion Exhibition

June 2 live at Jisoan Gallery in Gifu, 14:00 – 18:00 for Little Eagle Fashion Exhibition. Telephone 0572-65-2010

June 3 live at MI.CA.LI Gallery in Osaka, 19:00 for Little Eagle Fashion Exhibition

June 9 live at Beach Muffin Cafe in Hayama, Kanagawa, 16:00 for Little Eagle Fashion Exhibition

June 14 live at Cay in Aoyama, Tokyo with Inoue Ohana Band, start 20:00.

June 15 live at Natural and Harmonic Plants (organic mall) in Yokohama 18:00 for Little Eagle Fashion Exhibition

June 16 live at Studio M in Koganei, Tokyo. Doors open 14:00, show 15:00. For information, call Spoonful Cafe at 080 3386 0635

June 19 Art workshop and live performance at Holistic Health Care Institute in Kichijoji, Tokyo. 18:00 – 22:00.

June 21 live at Thumbs Up in Yokohama with Inoue Ohana Band, start 20:00.

June 22 live at Chikyu-ya in Kunitachi, Tokyo, with Inoue Ohana Band, start 19:30.

June 23, live at Yukotopia in Umejima, Adachi, Tokyo, with Ha-Za-Ma, High Blood Pressure and Howdy Groovies. Doors open at 18:30, live begins at 19:00. I play last.

June 24 live at Alishan Organic Center in Hidaka, Saitama, 16:00 start.

June 29 live in Fukushima at Ginga No Hotori (Edge of the Milky Way) Café with Yoshie Ebihara, Inoue Ohana Band and Kaorico Ago. A gift to the Tohoku people from Little Eagle. Doors open at 17:00, start time 18:00.

June 30 live in Ishinomaki at Cafe Roots with Yoshie Ebihara, Inoue Ohana Band and Kaorico Ago. A gift to the Tohoku people from Little Eagle. Doors open at 18:00, start time 19:00.

July 1 art workshop (making fabric picture books) in Sendai, co-led with Kaorico Ago 13:00.  Live with Yoshie Ebihara and Kaorico Ago at 15:00. Location: Akiu Kinoie Center. A gift to the Tohoku people from Little Eagle.

July 4 live at Marunouchi House (close to Tokyo station), CD Release Party for Monk Beat’s 2nd CD, Animal Collection.  Monk Beat, Alicia Bay Laurel and Mirrorbowler.  First set begins at 17:00.

July 7 live at Nagoji Temple in Tateyama, Chiba, with Monk Beat featuring vocalist Yae. Doors open at 17:00, show starts at 18:00. A fundraiser for Tohoku survivors. 

July 13-15 – Weekend workshop in beautiful Tamagusuku, Okinawa, co-led with Sachiho Kojima, including nature walks to sacred sites, musical meditation, beach time, live music, and shrine-building art workshop. To join us, or for more details, please contact Sachiho at octagontara@yahoo.co.jp or message Sachiho on Facebook.

July 15 live at Roguii Cafe, Okinawa, with Amana band.  Doors open at 19:00, show at 19:30. Cafe address: 1663 Yogi, Okinawa City, Okinawa. Phone: 098 933 8583.  Hand craft and farmers market at the cafe from 15:00.

 

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The Los Angeles Visionary Association Salon and a Walking Tour of Victorian Downtown Los Angeles

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The Los Angeles Visionary Association, founded and directed by art historians Kim Cooper and Richard Schave (who are also the owners and operators of the amazing Esotouric), has been holding monthly salons for nearly two years at historic CliftonÂ’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. IÂ’ve been a member since the beginning, but this was the first time IÂ’ve managed to attend a salon. It was wonderful fun.

 

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The opening event was a set of original songs performed by the Ukulady, Thessaly Lerner, and her band (on mandolin and electric autoharp). The Ukulady evolved her act during her years as a student and then a teacher at Wavy GravyÂ’s Camp Winnarainbow Circus and Performing Arts Camp in Northern California.

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Next up was a slide show lecture by the gorgeously attired Dr. Paul Koudounaris, professor of art history at California State University Dominguez Hills, to introduce his book The Empire of Death, a lavish collection of his photos and research on the worldÂ’s forgotten charnel houses, ossuaries, and reliquaries.

 

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After the salon, we all trooped out after Richard Schave and Nathan Marsak, who gave us a rousing walking tour and lecture on Victorian Los Angeles.

 

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I particularly loved this wonderful old building and our guidesÂ’ tale of how it was saved from destruction by fire by a brave and dedicated elevator operator.

 

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Kim pointed out that the building’s elevator grills had little demonÂ’s heads in the filigree.

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Even the view out the side door of this building offered a dream scene.

 

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Downtown Los Angeles fascinates with unapologetic Victorian grandeur, Â…

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Â…ambitious, passionate murals,Â…

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Â…and unexpected entertainers (thatÂ’s a banjo player on a bicycle trailer).