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The Carriage Driver 4 - Peter Tork

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“Knee high air guitar is only going to get you so far. I was a day dream believer and a home coming queen. We were The Monkees and people said we monkeed around.” The young man in the back of the carriage leaned back.

With a slight movement of the reins Griffin signaled Nuelle to stop. He climbed down and walked to her. Placing his hands on her cheeks, he said, “You are going to have to help me with this. I recognize the words are English, but I have no idea what this young man is saying.” Nuelle twitched her head and Griffin climbed back into the carriage.

Still leaning against the backrest he began to talk again. “As things go, I was famous for about a minute. I fell into a job with some other guys; we played musicians on a television show. Just the day before we were out of work actors. Though we had a following, it was the sixties, and there were musical rock stars such as the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. They defined the big leagues.”

The young man made himself comfortable. He watched as the surroundings changed to otherworldly images. “I held many jobs after that. Teaching was very rewarding, not glamorous but rewarding. Of course one of the subjects was music. With lots of practice my skills became adequate. Fame could not shield me from the fact that many students became far better musicians than I had hoped to be.”

He sat transfixed by his surroundings. Notes swirled down staff lines, and notes escaped clef symbols, as if garaged, at the starting line for a musical marathon. Notes raced down their lines, they turned into colorful balloons that drifted upward then became evaporating droplets once played, sending puffs of misty glitter into the universe. “Teaching teenagers with language that included words like machine head and solfeggio could be entertaining. Half the boys wanted to be drummers, the other half wanted to play bass guitar. Half the girls wanted to be lead singer in a band, the other half wanted to date drummers.” Pastel-paisley patterns flickered by.

“Over the years I thought that my music was prophetic with titles like Tear the top right off my head, Merry Go Round, and I’m a Believer. I convinced myself over and over again that the lyrics from I’m a Believer could come true. Love is a mystery. It’s the exploration of the mystery that makes life sweet. Fame intensives the human condition. Suffering alone in the human condition in private is tough enough; fumbling along in public is a hell, often referred to as art.”

The carriage guided by Nuelle was now following a rolling road paved as staff lines. Octaves and ornaments jumped in the air as each hoof taped the psychedelic pavers.

Peter leaned forward, “There was money, and drugs and booze. Before my moments of fame, I played music on the streets of the Village for coins. After the fame, for a time, I played on the streets for coins. I never strayed far from the music. I formed a small band we called it Shoe Suede Blues, of course we played the blues. There were small clubs and small theaters, small engagements where I connected to people. They seemed to forgive me for the fame and we shared our blues.”

Nuelle turned down Sostenuto Pedal Lane, crowds of applauding, energetic fans appeared and returned to vapor as Nuelle passed. Peter took a deep breath and sighed. The carriage slipped off the staff lines as Nuelle stopped in front of a club named Pleasant Valley Sunday.

Griffin climbed down and went to Nuelle. He reached into his jacket pocket and produced an apple. Nuelle and Griffin shared pieces of apple.

Peter stood; Griffin walked over and extended his hand. “This is the place?” Peter asked.

“You will find your elusive contentment here,” Griffin offered as Peter took his hand and stepped down.

Peter walked towards the doors as Griffin climbed back into the carriage. The double doors swung open Jimmy Griffin, a member of Bread walked though as part of the greeting party, he was followed by Dave Brown, of Santana fame, he was carrying a Fender Mustang guitar. Gram Parson a member of The Byrds stood in the doorway. On a ladder changing the marquee was Robert Popwell from The Young Rascals. The marquee read, “Appearing here for the first time, Peter Tork.”

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