Saturday, February 8, 2014

Picture - Diamond Dreamer + Picture 1

We were three drinks in on a Thursday Night and Rufus was lamenting the retirement of Motley Crue.

"How could they do that?  I even heard they signed an agreement never, ever to have a reunion or re-form.  What the hell is up with that?  They must pretty much hate each other."

I thought about it for a fleeting moment as I ordered another round, and then responded,

"A contract is paper.  It don't mean nothing if they decide not to honor it sometime in the future. Look, the Eagles said they wouldn't play together again until hell froze over. So what was the name of their reunion tour - "Hell Freezes Over."  Don't believe all you read.  Nothing is constant except change."

Rufus downed the latest round, wiped his bushy mustache with the back of his hand, and banged the empty on the bar to get the bartender's attention to order two more. He continued,

"It just seems all good rockers now go corporate and then stop playing to make us want them even more.  They usually put out a Greatest Hits album and then, when sales fall off, get back together for a reunion tour.  It is ridiculous.  I even saw Gladys Knight is back touring again, but with only one Pip.  Where are the pillars of rock today? The landmark, head blowing, 'rock and roll will never die' rock bands?  Sure, there are the Stones, but who else has been around continuously for over thirty years?  For Christ's sake, Deep Purple may be around but I don't think any of the present musicians were even members of the original Deep Purple.  It's like baseball.  The players change so often I think I just root for laundry."

I paused as the fifth bourbon sat before me.  I downed it straight up, and said,

"I get the Picture, but, do you?  Seems you are focused on American Bands where the almighty dollar usually trumps art.  Look beyond North America and you will find what you want. Picture."

Rufus stopped cold. He turned his bar stool toward me. He stared with wide open bloodshot eyes, put one of his bearpaws on my shoulder and interrupted,

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

I continued,

"Picture.  They have been around for over thirty years successfully rocking the Dutch and are just now making their first U.S. tour.  They say they are the first ever classic heavy metal band from the Netherlands.  To me it sounds more like classic heavy rock. Whatever, it is pretty awesome."

Rufus closed one eye, reached for his fifth bourbon, said, "So where was I supposed to have heard of a band of finger dikers here if they're just making their first U.S. tour?", and chugged the whiskey.

I took the sixth, turned toward Rufus while holding on to the bar with one hand and replied,

"Shhhurrrre.  Umm.  You got me.   Divebomb Records is re-issuing Picture's first four releases for the first time in the U.S. in advance of the tour and, and, I jussst happen to have the first re-release riiii, right here on my phone."

Rufus immediately ordered more whiskey, pulled out earbuds, squinted, and said, "Okie dokie, let's hear it."

I patted myself down in an effort to find the phone.  While looking for it I retorted,

"Hold on, I have it here somewhere.  It'ssss a greaaat package.  Picture's first two albums, Diamond Dreamer and Picture 1, haave beeen put together on one C, one CD and it totally rocks, even for ro, rooock, Excuse me, rock first recorded in the early 1980's. The two founding Baaaand Members are still with the baa, baa, band and continue to sur, surround themselves with grrrreat musicians."

Rufus asked,  "Ah, What are the founding members' names?" just as I found the phone. As I handed it to him, I answered his question,

"Rin, Rinu, Rinus Vreug, Vreugde, Vreugdenhil and Laurens  Ba, Ba, Bakker."

Rufus put on the headphones and I fumbled with the phone to find Picture.  I turned it on and downed my final bourbon.

I don't recall leaving the bar.  I awoke the next morning to a knock at my front door.  It was Rufus.  I opened the door and Rufus handed me my phone.  He said,

"Here, thanks. I got it now."

I was confused.  I took the phone, looked at him and asked,

"What?  What do you now have?"

He replied,
        "I went to Divebomb Records and got the whole Picture."

- Old School


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