On a recent Sunday morning, sitting outside Good Karma Cafe, drinking coffee and having a conversation, a thin, pony-tailed man in biker leather and boots strolled by. Then he turned around …
Biker: You all say you’re musicians?
Me: I’m not, no.
Biker: I thought you said notes. I thought maybe you’re songwriters.
Me: Oh, no. There’s part of me that wants to be. I just haven’t gotten there.
The gates opened and Dave entered a monologue that ran for 15 minutes, rambling across topics of U.S. geography, relationships, construction work, the King of Saudi Arabia, politics, religion, guitars, brawling, and a head-on car collision …
Basically, music is nothing but human emotion put into a spirit form that floats through the air to people, right to their souls.
Biker: Well, I’ve been into it since the Sixties. You know what that was? You ever heard of the Sixties? So, since the early Sixties I was into it. I studied classical music and learned to read and write music at 10, and was in all kinds of bands too, late Sixties and Seventies, like Black Sabbath and all the stupid hard (bleep), but I was into classical. …
… Basically, music is nothing but human emotion put into a spirit form that floats through the air to people right to their souls. It’s vibration, but that’s what it is. So, basically, whatever you feel — anybody can write anything, as long as it’s honest. …
… And to be a musician — talk about being a drummer, man, that’s like the hardest (bleep) you can do — but no matter, it can be just easy, easy and as long as it’s honest emotion it sounds killer, no matter who’s doing it, and it could be even if it’s a simple part. …
… And that’s one thing, music has got no doors. You can write anything from the something simple to the most complex, but there’s no doors in the arrangement of the instruments also, because you could have each musician play really easy, simple parts, each one of them is simple, I mean anybody could do it, but the way you stick it together it sounds like it’s cerebral as hell. …
… Say, for the drums, you could be playing drums your whole life and have mastered every rhythm there was but some drummer could take the simplest, easiest part and the way they arrange the timing of the rest of the stuff, it’s like, you couldn’t even figure out what the dude is doing, you know?
I asked the biker his name. “Dave, as in Dave’s not here.” I mentioned Humanitou, gave him a business card, and asked if he would mind my getting a few photos of him as he told story after story. He said he has no use for computers.
It seemed as if Dave had some things to get off his chest. A solitary rider passing through Manitou Springs. “Man, I’ve been all over the U.S. I’m from Baltimore City, man. I’m headin’ to Hawaii, man. I’m at the tail end of a monstrous 16-year family, just, nightmare, man. I’m headin’ to freakin’ Hawaii.”
Eventually … I make a polite but direct effort to disengage and return to our conversation at the table.
Me: I had just met my new friend here, so I’m going to talk with him now.
Dave: Oh, I’m sorry. I lost all my blood to shock trauma, my blood got hooked up with all these old people’s blood. I was always a real quiet learner before, man, but then I turned into some loudmouth ladies’ man, you can’t shut me up, I’ve been (bleepin’) promisin’ myself a muzzle for Christmas. Anyway, thanks for listenin’ you all.
Me: No problem. Have a good day.
Dave: Have a good one, man.
He strolls down the sidewalk, back the direction from where he came. Maybe 25 feet down the line he turns back and says, “This is a cool town, though, really. This is pretty cool.”