Friday, September 18, 2009

Ramblin' Man Cuts Down On Dreadnought Guitar In Freight Yard

By Jim Parks

When Johnson woke up, we told him the radio said Mary of Peter, Paul and Mary, had died.

This was his hoo-raw; he got loud, then he played his guitar.

It was pretty easy to listen to Woodie Guthrie songs and Bob Dylan songs and Pete Seeger songs, man. Songs about marijuana and strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. Yeah.

He finger-picked this one right quick:

You can read out your bible;
you can fall down on your knees,
pretty mama and pray to the Lord,
but it ain't a'gonna do you no good.

You're a'gonna need.
You're a'gonna need my help some day, now.
Yes, you will, now.
But if you can't stop your sinnin', please quit your low-down ways! - Bob Dylan

He shouted out Dylan's name.

They did that one and it came blasting out of my little transistor radio I held to my ear when I was a'diddy-boppin' on down the street.

I heard the cotton patch; I heard Bob Wills; I heard Woodie Guthrie; I heard that lonesome whistle moan; I heard that dust cloud blowing.

I shouted redemption; I shouted out hallelujah; I drank a cold beer; I stuck my nasty old hand down some old hide's drawers and got stink finger; I rared back my head and howled at the moon and when I was through, I was ready for anything.

It was a real jamboree, one of them there shoot-outs on the plantation and guess what.


I won't 'fraid no more. I told ol' flat top he could suck my dick. I tol' old beetle brows she could kiss my red ass.

I headed out down U.S. 90 and damn near got my little ass shot off in Langtry siphoning gas out of this old boy's Jeep parked just up the hill from The Jersey Lily, The Law West of the Pecos, where we stole a cooler filled with Lone Star and burned on out across the world - headed for El Paso and points west. Man, I proved then and there that I ain't nothin' but a natural Vinegaroon.

Fuck'em if they can't take a joke. That's the way I remember it.

Yeah. I'd have done anything for the bitch if she had just smiled at me. Just one time.

Someone told me there's a girl out there with stars in her eyes and flowers in her hair.

Did some Puff and got tickled and couldn't stop laughing at everything those damn Meskins did. Then we got some mushrooms out the cow shit and really got high.

Beep beep. I'm a road runner, honey. Beep beep.

He strummed out Bo Diddley's "Road Runner Blues." Then he taken up the jug and got hisself a real healthy drink.

Later we all caught north out of Marysville, rode over the hump. He got off the train at Portland and it was the last time I ever seen him.

He won't nothin' but a natural born hootchie kootchie man. Had a high whining yodel in his voice. Somebody told me was from Virginny, but I think he was from thin air, railroad smoke, grease and magic and dust.

That's how it run.

Name was Johnson, I think.

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