You see it in racing all the time, a car traveling at high or maximum speed; it either twitches or slides. The professional at the wheel often catches the car but sometimes doesn’t. To become a better driver, amateurs and near professionals should examine their sometimes less successful techniques up close. What you do behind the wheel; steering, throttle control and braking, should always be questioned if you’re interested in improving racing and driving skills.
I see a photograph of myself. In it I was on the bus travelling north to Tehran. We were going to visit friends, but that is not so important to the story. I was sitting alone because he was not talking to me. We were driving through the flat, dry landscape of my dreams, like the movies. I was wearing a maghnae, like a schoolgirl would wear, or a nun’s wimple. It’s tight around my face, but easier than wrestling with a headscarf that slides off my hair too easily. This particular day there was a stray hair sticking out, under my chin. I remember trying to locate it, unsuccessfully. It was troubling me. In the photograph I can see it, under my chin. That little hair sticking out reminds me of how I felt that day. Resigned. As much as I may have tried to tame the stray bits, one always found its way out of its cover.
What do The Cockroaches, Lou Reed, The Ramones, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Mingus, Jimmi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Bob Marley all have in common – aside from the fact that they are captivating performers and musical geniuses? They have all graced the stage of a legendary Toronto concert venue.
The El Mocambo, notorious for trying to save itself, for stimulating the careers of countless musicians, for bringing joy to the lives of music fanatics, and at times, for pumping badly needed oxygen into the lungs of a suffocating live music scene, is set to close its doors on November 6, 2014.