The Beatles and the Maharishi 1967 –Philip Townsend
“The Beatles and Maharishi at the Meditation Centre, Abbotsbury Road, Kensington. After this meeting, they went to the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, where Maharishi gave a lecture. These shots for Beatle purists were taken before they went to Wales or India. The shot of all the fabs, partners and road crew is interesting as it is one of the few with the whole lot in one snap.
The photographs are exclusive as I was the only photographer there. I had been asked by the holy man’s Public Relations agent to take them but they failed to pay, me therefore I own the copyrights.”
What I love is every Beatle has a distinctive expressionat the meeting. Note John contrasted with Paul.
Gallery Loulou 2008
Philip arrived from London late in the evening. We met him at La Posada Resort Hotel. He did not stop smiling and chuckling in spite of his lost luggage, and a twelve-hour flight. His photographs had arrived and were already placed when we invited him into the gallery. Again, a resonating joyous outburst, ” Oh, it’s lovely, marvelous, just marvelous.” He was tall, lanky, and at seventy-something majestically youthful. We spent hours together over the next week. He loved when I made him a cup of Tea, the bumpy New Mexico road trips we planned, and the dinners. The slightest bit of congeniality towards him was returned with a pat or a hug and kiss. Opening night was a sensational tribute to a prince of a man.
I‘ve been stalked by a sensation and image of Loulou, scrambled up in whistles blowing, each one commanding me in a different direction. The annoyance of conflicting orders robs me of my Aladdin ( magic moments)
AS I CLEAR OUT THE FEAR OF NEW ORBITS, I feel like time is belted with interior stop lights, instructions, taboos, restrictions, and preparation for a new passage to go through. What happens is subtle, but when so much time is placed in questioning and introspection, life loses its Aladdin. It is time to polish my gold lamp and follow an unknown light. Do you know what I mean?
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THE MEMORIES are fading, like images floating through a mist, not just of Dodger but the life pre-break-up, a carousal of my favorite places; swimming, hiking, running, new restaurants, gallery openings, shopping, concerts, clubs, dancing in the street and our porch parties, but I cannot remember the state of grateful, emerging in the vortex of sensations, stimulation, surprise.
Do we ever return to that kind of forever spectrum, as if it will never end, and then it does, and we cannot go back. It’s not too late to feel grateful, fortunate, and lucky to have lived so many acts of my choice.
5Carolyn Gootgeld-Levine, Erika Marie Schwalbach and 3 others
Direction is a choice; move back home, move near your children, move for a job, but in my case, I move because my act in Saratoga will come to a close. I’m like a blank space between two paragraphs; it sounds like freedom, no commitments other than being the best I can be. Starting over in a new location is about redesigning within.
I’m still a nomad, searching for adventuresinlivingness. As I lay my head down on my pillow, the interim is asking me to be peaceful, faithful, and confident. It’s about time!
Reminds me of when I went off to college, a liberating extension of those early days when belonging to things didn’t matter, life mattered. If you are single and without children, this is the knife that we must slice into a piece we accept, or no peace will lull us to sleep.
ON THE ROAD FROM SOMEWHERE TO SOMEWHERE, I CAN’T REMEMBER. MAYBE SANTA FE TO SAN DIEGO.
The list of projects stares at me; donating boxes of what I can do without, vacuuming, calling friends, grocery shopping because my frig looks too vacant, finishing the manicure I started yesterday, estimates on the cracked steps, and painting the front porch, well, it’s a short list because I live a short life. Not working on a specific project, other than managing my home, tenants, and repairs. It leaves me with more time than I have ever had, to think, process and write. This week’s Tik-Tok hearing enraptured my attention. I stopped my life to watch game changers change the game. The result will most likely ignite protests, appeals, and millions of Tiks! I write because my head is full of thoughts. I exert neutrality to ignore the number of readers that read it, share it, or like it. It’s not any easier than being the only one without a date on Valentine’s. Day. Why do we all crave an audience? Hmm, has social media collapsed our self-esteem, importance, and relevance? It is comical; hits, clicks, and shares mean we matter.
Academy of Loulou Awards. All of you that respond to my nuanced writings are awarded. A Star award for a few that push my cart.
Marc Romano, Historian, J’amie Rubio, author, and archivist, Antonio Mendoza for the best photographs of the Rolling Stones, Alison Martino for Vintage LA, Rare Jazz Photos for the best photographs of Jazz, Eric Dezenhall real friend and author, Cynthia Duncan, my consiglieri, Santa Fe Bulletin Board to bring back the memories, Scott Varley, the best real estate broker I ever met in 25 years, Las Vegas Mafia History… I’ll think of more later. Warren and Annette Hull, filmmakers, Danielle Haynes, an angelic warrior who joined my battle, William Winant, a high schoolmate and acclaimed musician who remembers me, Larry Henry, torch-carrier of Mafia history and Greg Price, my UK 911 call, along with Gloria Devan, Tere Tereba and Armen Ozaynan who settles me down. Friends, when you are single, are food for the soul.
My direction is following Lawrence Durrell, “Spirit of the Place,” and living where I would never expect to live. I wish I could control my impractical, impulsive, and annoying spirit of adventure. I think about architecture, Jewish deli’s, Italian restaurants, at least five movie theaters built in the 1930s, and neighborhoods of unfamiliar lighting, expressions, and conversations. Gambling on yourself is how much you can adapt, change, influence, and accept the days of your life.
In my syndicate, there must be a dozen pals with the same unsolved equation. Is it age that blocks me and maybe you from relocation, or is it the trauma and stress? What liberation to just pack a suitcase and board a plane like in the movies. Separation from the familiar..
In the fall of 1993, I worked for a king-sized jerk in his commercial real estate office. Dirksen used every opportunity to remind me that I was not as successful as he was.
I was the only female in an office of twelve better-suited men. My Chanel 5 was used sparingly and, I dressed in navy-blue two-piece suits, low-heeled pumps, a leather briefcase slung over my shoulder, and an HP calculator that I refused to master. I was a shrimp swimming with the sharks. On hot blue sky days, I drove around San Diego searching for new listings, meeting prospects and showing office space. One eye was always drifting; scanning the museums, galleries, theaters, and artist hang-outs. The lyrics from EnVogue’s latest release became a sort of mantra to inhale each morning as I dressed for work. I had just turned forty, and Free yourmind and the rest will follow,” spoke to me. I bought the CD and played it continuously, a sort of morning prayer. I tuned out the world I’d been accustomed to and insulated myself in my North Park San Diego bungalow.
I infused my senses with music and dance. During the hottest of summer days, I imploded myself with music videos, magazines, and dancing. I was seated cross-legged on the worn carpeting, watching MTV and flipping through magazines. Hip-Hop was the most exhilarating dance choreography rising to the surface. I watched the music videos over and over. When I searched the yellow pages for dance classes; I found only one offering hip-Hop. Turning forty, without technical training since I was a teen in jazz class, was all against me, but with me was my passion for rearranging myself, and getting back to the art of dance.
Now I needed to find some dancers. The concept was to integrate jazz funk, hip-hop, and Afro-Cuban dance into a collage of classes and performances. Piper Jo was the first dancer to join. He came at me with everything he had; talent, faith, intelligence, and belief in this crazy white chick who wanted to hip-hop. Piper played Miles Davis, emulated jazz-funk, and moved like Michael Jackson. He was twenty years old and this was his first teaching job. When I asked him who taught him to dance he answered; ‘Michael Jackson and James Brown. I danced in my living room every day. My mother couldn’t get me out of the house. God blessed me with this gift, and I want to share it. So, if you put me in your dance troupe I guarantee, you won’t be sorry, no you won’t.’
The second dancer, “Master Jam,” was a former break-dancer and studied classical dance. Vince was the coolest; he sat back and waited for his chance, unhurried, and relaxed, but when the music came on, he flipped everyone out. He was thirty. Both of them belonged to the no smoking, no drinking, no drugs, group. At our first audition, Piper said, ‘How do you expect to pick dancers if you don’t know what to look for? I swear Lue, you are crazy. But don’t worry, I’ll show you, and don’t be picking every guy out there ’cause he can Hip-Hop, there’s nothing to that. We want dancers with classical training.’ He was right, I wanted to select half of the thirty-some dancers that auditioned. They came dressed in street clothes; wearing scarves and bandannas, and I watched them leap, kick, split, and turn inside out for the job. It was at that audition that I knew I was in the right spot. I added Monique, a startling beauty with Afro-Cuban dance training, and a roster of dancers that came for a while and then moved on. For the first few months, the Jammers taught under a leaky roof, on a tiled floor, without any heat. Piper rode a bus, from the other side of town to get to the building. Vince drove an hour each way to teach one class at night. The first few months showed up for Vince’s Hip-Hop class. But he kept coming back every week. When I apologized, he said, ‘That’s okay Lue, we get it going on, don’t worry about it. They show up soon, I’m sure.’ Master Jam, Moniique, me,, and Piper…
They did show up, and we moved into a suitable Health Club in downtown San Diego. The classes filled up with students, dancers, and working women looking for a new challenge. They came from all different races; Asian, White, Hispanic, and Black. I danced with the classes and promoted our troupe. They laughed at my attempt to be a soul sister, and I laughed with them. We were reviewed by KPBS magazine, and a photographer took pictures of us and featured us in the magazine. People began to think I knew what I was doing. The Jammers thought I could take them places. I pictured them on the front page of Variety, the problem was I was too early.
San Diego was still into rave and rock and roll. The people I was calling for gigs didn’t know Hip-Hop yet. That was too bad because we were having the greatest experience of our life. When I ran out of money, I took a job managing a condominium project, where I lived rent-free and had weekends and evenings for Jammers. After a time of observing their self-expression, I asked myself, where is mine? I still refused to get on stage, Masteer Jam used to bawl me out because I made Piper introduce the group.
After two years Piper moved to Los Angeles to launch his career, he had showmanship in the way he held his hands. Vince took over the troupe and added twelve more dancers. Monique became a stage actress. These three were the sparklers in my life, like that star you think you’ll never hold.
When I left the Jammers, I was a different woman. They put the rhythm back in my spirit, and faith into my soul. I mean there are things a business career will never offer; you have to go into the arts for this kind of awakening.
Curiosity doesn’t always kill the cat, sometimes it brings confidence. I asked my British friend, ‘is it common for people to lose their curiosity, passion, and desires as they age?’ He responded, LOL, yes. That’s where we are different, he has certainty, whereas I don’t. Being single and living alone affords you freedom of thought, and so it was this weekend, while enveloped indoors to avoid the chilling grip of winter, my thoughts were in a heated argument.
Go to Saratoga and visit the Casino Museum, have a croissant or lobster roll, roam the gallery district, window shop, and get out of this house now.
It’s too cold to walk, I’ve been to the museum, I don’t feel like dining alone again, and the galleries I’ve been to are arts and crafts.
That’s not the reason, is it?
No, I’m not curious.
Just four years ago, I’d pop out of my Santa Fe home and walk up to Canyon Road Friday Night. All the galleries are open and serve appetizers, some live music, some street vendors, and some costumed characters and it was a party. I didn’t mind eating alone because I knew the restaurant owners, bartenders,and regular guests. Sedation of spirit came in the last six months. The first year coming back to my home after a six-year absence was invigorating and new, and unexpectedly in need of serious maintenance and lease management.
In front of El Farol, Canyon Road on a stranger’s beauty mobile. Twice a week for live rockin music and dancing. One of my favorite dance floors because the stage is three feet away.
The second year was getting about town and exploring and then Covid so it was an incomplete year. The third year was a wicked winter and when spring came, the ebullient appreciation of the sun and flowers renewed, and my curiosity temperature was down but not dormant. Circumstances too complicated and gruesome to write, force me to stay here. I’m one of the millions, that live where they don’t choose to live anymore. When the day comes, the freedom to relocate is my curiosity. My next nest is undetermined. My friends, ask me, ‘where are you going to move to?’ This comes up in every third or fourth conversation. And the answer is the same, ‘when I know I’ll tell you.’
Upstate on a clear day.
Poetic justice for a life-long wanderer. Curiosity I call on you to visit my spirit and paddle me out to waters and roads unknown. Give me the confidence to keep my oars afloat; confident, curious, and passionate.
On the road from New Mexico to somewhere… I can’t remember.
He’s digging my grave For the dragon he pays With our nest, now shaved Tumbling into the abyss I visit the comfort robes of the past Monogrammed in stone
The will to relive what’s past comes at night
And must be excluded by daylight.
Of HUMAN BONDAGE
The sky hasn’t decided if it will let clouds overturn the sun, and I haven’t decided if I will pack the stack of books on the floor. No, I don’t feel the drive to lift and organize, my bed is warm and the house is not as warm.
I brought my coffee and peanut butter and honey toast upstairs, on a tray, I happen to collect trays, reminiscent of times when women ate breakfast in bed. Propped upright, I explored a movie about uneven love, tragedy, and resurrection. Of Human Bondage lit my taste, featuring Bette Davis and Leslie Howard. —– FILM MADE IN 1930 IN GRISLY BLACK & WHITE. Uneven love. Days now remind me of reading 1984 in high school, and Fahrenheit 451 on film. We did evolve from a simplistic, hand-carved culture, built on rebars of freedom to a house full of furniture, relics, gadgets, screens, gates, and beeps. The beeps for me, make me jumpy, not seductively strolling around my apartment lighting candles in peace. I really do shimmy every time I hear the beep. I chose Sunday to shut down all communication with the mainland, take the longest bath I can stand, and write. I need a rest, like a chaise lounge on a spacious veranda with honeysuckle, wisteria, and lavender, and then a mile away is the ocean, let me swim again.
I feel artists, and their works are not featured in the media, or maybe it’s because my scrolling is stuck on the essentials of living. In times of war, people must have known, see it now or never. Over two million working artists in the country, so google says, and when was the last time you discussed it at dinner, with anyone. I haven’t, and I don’t know why? Pop-up thoughts on life.
Remember when you opened the door to your own car and took hold of the steering wheel without any parental supervision.As a teen, my Chevrolet Impala was a haven away from my father. I rolled all the windows down, turned the volume up on the radio, and smoked. My secret joy was hoping the driver next to me would hear the music and notice me. If he was a suitable face I turned around and bobbed my head. Then, just as he looked over at me, I turned away, and looked in the rearview mirror, or sang my heart out to show off brazen behavior, the kind I couldn’t express at home. There was a sense of freedom from examination and explanation. When I drove my spinning Impala that leaped over road bumps in three waves, I was going somewhere alone.
It was the only self-contained space my father wasn’t attached to, and he didn’t like driving with me, because he didn’t like me being in control. That is the sensation that life brings to us in volumes as teens; explosions of discovery. Today I don’t experience that sweat of discovery; my life is deodorized. Remembering the sensations I felt as a teenager, reminds me to intertwine more challenges. If I’m lucky to break through all the percentages of disease, that the late-night commercials warn me of, the edge of my rhythm is asking me to make a commitment; to put the Bo’ Jangles back in my steps. I heard the voice yesterday, almost a whisper, asking me why I exclude long-term commitments: joining groups, classes, associations, serving on committees, planning ahead, and even magazine subscriptions are not worth the trouble because I am always planning on moving.
The answer always comes in the photographs that bring back that moment in time, and the immediate recollection of the internal places I moved from venturing into the unknown. Many years ago, I was in therapy, and in one discussion, this discourse occurred that I considered an awakening then. “I think you jump into unknown places, and situations, to test yourself, and you do that because that is what your father did most of his life.” That is what adolescent behavior is meant for, to learn by experiment, to see how far our strength of character will take us. We each have a different set of alarms and temptations. Why compare what one has to the other? My path is familiar to me, I am a born mistress of unfamiliarity; the quest for discovery keeps me moving.
FORMER HOME IN SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO 2015
As a teenager, I remember the most remarkable configuration of images, that passed by while I was driving, the faces of shopping mothers walking the streets of Beverly Hills and Westwood, the prostitutes positioned along one section of Sunset Boulevard, and their counterpart degenerate gin-soaked soul mates inched up against abandoned buildings, the Ocean Park joggers, and walkers, and picnickers, waving to each other, as they slapped together hard-boiledegg and tuna sandwiches. Like a playroom without walls for Europeans and senior citizens to elope with each other. I didn’t favor one street life over another, they all made sense to me.
Living in the Northeast calls for pragmatic and sensible strides. I’m still learning how to tame my lust for unpreparedness; like going out without an umbrella, leaving delicate brick a brac on the porch, driving with caution for deer, rabbits, and turtles, maintaining a close eye on the water in the basement, and dressing down so I don’t look like I’m from Los Angeles. Every day is experimental in some way. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, maybe that is how I like it.