Sunday, June 28, 2009

Remembering Sky Saxon

For almost twenty-five years I am running into people who know Sky Saxon, or have their Sky Saxon story.

My last time was just about a month ago. Another record dealer who I have lunch with about once week had a Little Richie Marsh 45 that he listed on eBay. Sky Saxon contacted him and offered his phone number. He really just wanted to say how cool it was that someone had found one of his old 45's. He also kindly sent a signed CD to my friend.

That is the typical Sky Saxon story. Friendly, unassuming and always looking for a conversation. I met him twice at shows in the 80's.

Unassuming is the word that always comes to mind when I think of Sky Saxon. Years ago I was friends with a girl who hung out frequently at Sky Saxon's apartment. This was during a period in the eighties when garage music was going through its first revival in Los Angeles. Saxon was a part of it. And a part of the next revival. Of couse he never left the sixties, and if you didn't know the particulars, the reports of him working jobs at stationary stores and Baskin Robbins would make him sound like a burn-out, a pathetic case.

But Sky Saxon was not a Syd Barrett or Roky Erickson. He was always genuinely authentically always doing his own thing, as they used to say so so long ago. And he was most comfortable in his own skin.

Maybe it was his association with the Source Family, to which he kept connections all his life, that kept him grounded, humble even. Yeah, the Source was one of the many seventies cults in Los Angeles. But here again to call the Source a cult is to trade on stereotype. I'm no fan of any religion, and suspicous as all out doors about it too. So when I say the Source people didn't have the ick factor, it should come with some currency. Hell, I get more icked out by the Saddleback Church types that live all around me.

If I were to believe in such spiritual things, which I don't, I would say that something rare happened on June 25th. That humanity lost such a powerful soul that morning that a correction had to be made in order keep balance. That the death of a man who had obscurely acheived a rare height of authenticity and freedom had to be counter-balanced with the taking of a man who had sadly fallen to a rare depth of spuriousness and confinement. I'm not looking for the Google points so I choose to leave out the name of this second man.

Remember, I don't actually believe any of this anymore than I believe that something I read in a great novel is true, other than that sometimes great literature is more true than reality.

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