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The Mort Report

Sex and the Jazz Musician: The Brutal Truth!

By Published: January 27, 2013
Yeah, half the cats in town learned what the word paranoid meant, back in the day. OK, I used to get up at the crack of noon, have some cold pizza, potato chips and, of course, Fritos left over from the night before—oh, and a wee dram of the hair of the dog to kinda soften the harshness of reality that usually confronts one upon awakening in the circumstances that I found myself in at the time. Cats started fallin' by as the day progressed and the sun's march to the Pacific Ocean went unimpeded. The union's business office closed at 5pm, but the rehearsal halls and rooms stayed open to ten and of course there always was shit going on in the parking lot—I'm sure that it was the same way back at #802.

All right then, it's around 4pm and there's about, oh, say, four or five cats hangin' and getting mellowed out on whatever, and Igor and I were maintaining—ya know, just enough, but not too much, and as if by some cosmic spark of intellect, either one of us would kinda, ahh, ask the question aloud to no-one in particular, "Anyone into darts?" Oh yeah! And that was how we paid the rent, ate, drank and were merry for a while, back in the day.

Stay wid me y'all, as I'm going to take y'all back to the jazz free and me segment. Yep, gonna tie this all together, so stay tuned in.

About a year before, while I was driving a Yellow cab around Hollywood at night, I met another driver on the same shift who was an ex-soldier of fortune, as is said about the wild geese that ply the hot spots of the world selling their military skills to those to whom their (shall we say) talents seem attractive. This fellow was a combat infantryman, on the point most of the time during the Korean debacle. Having survived that, he went to Cuba and joined Fidel Castro in the jungles as he was training and amassing a viable army with which to overthrow the Batista regime and to bring some sort of, in his mind, decent government to the peoples of Cuba. We all know how that turned out.

After the coup was completed, my to-be chum went to North Africa and joined up with the French Foreign Legion, losing his American citizenship in the doing of such. During his tour of duty, the truck he was riding in hit a mine destroying the truck and killing everyone in and on it except him. He was severely hurt, with deep and penetrating injuries including the spiting open of his head. When I met him the hundreds of stitch laced scars were clearly visible on his face and neck. I used to refer to him as the Mad Legionnaire; It was shortened to Mad as we became more acquainted.

Mad was married and lived with his wife and newborn baby in the town Of Burbank, California, just over the hill from Hollywood and across from the N.B. C. studios where the Tonight Show was televised. Mad was a sculptor and mural painter of some talent, make that a lot of talent! The first time I went to his pad, he had told me that he had something that he wanted me to see. We went there one night after work about 3am and he took me into this room I'll never forget, turned on the light and there on a podium was a statue of arms from the elbows up about five times the size of real ones carved out of a huge piece of gray granite reaching up out of the ground, no mistaking that they were reaching for and towards the sky, complete with carved out finger nails with real barbed wire wrapped around the whole work digging into the granite flesh with real—looking red blood running back downward to the earth from whence it came.

Oh yeah! It seemed that Mad had a thing about hands and had numerous works smaller size all over the place also paintings of the same. Mad has become somewhat of a well-known personality in the arts so he shall remain anonymous, also. We, he and I did some serious weird shit during the time that we hung together back in the day.

Here's a little taste. The landlord of my Hollywood pad didn't live anywhere near the place. I use the term my, as Igor had moved out and gone on with his life and I resided in this double everything place alone. I had since been let go from the Yellow Cab Company (I drove for one year) and Mad and I seldom saw each other at the time. I don't remember the circumstances, but one day he was there visiting me. Yes, day, as in the sun was shining. I vaguely remember the series of events that led up to the idea, but I'm sure that we did up a few— yeah, a few. Back in the day the shit was so weak that sometimes all one got for their efforts was a sore throat and an "I think I'm high" mindset. I had noticed earlier that Mad seemed to be intrigued with the wall space that I had at the ol' double everything pad and his body language was not unlike that of the Alex Guinness' character, Gulley Jimson, from the movie The Horse's Mouth.


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