On the following pages you will find some tales of my adventures…I named this
page in honor of an old 70’s or 80’s TV show called “Tales of the Gold
Monkey.” That was a great show and always left me dreaming that
I could have adventures like that. Well, I haven’t been to Borneo on a
rickety old plane yet…but we’ll see what the future brings. And I’ll
be sure to keep you updated here and on my BLOG.
To get started I have done a bit in my life…I’ve been to something like 4000
live music concerts…and I’ve been on the road for about 13 out of the past
16 years…so there’s a few stories in there…I think I’ll divulge a few things
that people who know me don’t even know about me…nothing bad, no dark secrets
that are worthy of the movies…but some things that will be funny and make
people go Huh?!? I’m trying to get some of the stories I babble out down
in print…Who knows maybe they’ll end up getting published or something…stranger
things have happened…
I think I’ll organize them by date…that way you can follow along at home really
This is going to be a sort of work in progress, and if it really progresses, I’ll
make little notes on what updates there have been here at the top. If
something comes up in the middle of my writing, I’ll just save and publish that
part, so you may be left with a sort of cliff-hanger…if you must hear the
rest of any story right away, drop me a line,
and I’ll make it my top priority to finish that tale…
This project was begun around Tuesday, April 27, 2004 9:45 and the last time I updated
Monday, April 16, 2007 17:53
….some things might be out of order for a while…as I write and edit placement…
In the beginning…1995 sure as hell wasn’t the beginning, but originally, that
was where I started…now…we’ll stretch back…way back, you’re getting sleepy…very
sleepy…ok, not that far…but sometime, a long time ago, on a tour far far
Ya know, I never got to meet Jerry…that’s Garcia, if you didn’t already know…I
passed him by one day on the street, outside of the Warfield Theater in San
Francisco, didn’t even realize it was him until he’d ducked inside the backstage
But I have gotten to hang out with a lot of cool people in my day…
Once, at the Hog Farm Pignic in Laytonville, CA, just after Jerry died, I got to meet
Timothy Leary. I was so excited, he was in the paraded through the festival
on a bus…I can’t remember what bus it was (if you were there, and know, drop
me a line and let me know…) anyway, the parade was going on, and everybody
was dancing and playing and having fun…and I found my way to the front of
the bus, where Leary was sitting, and walked up and stuck out my hand and said,
“I’m Pu Tzu…”
Leary kinda glanced at me, and then up in the air at some bubbles that somebody was
blowing nearby…and said, “Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles…”
Well, that was it with Timothy Leary…I then danced away with the biggest grin on
my face saying, “bubbles, bubbles, bubbles…” in that moment, I understood
everything in the universe…
Boy, I’ll tell ya 95 was one tough year. The end of 94 was great. Between
a fantastic New Year’s eve show in Boston with Phish on the giant hotdog and
getting to kiss Melissa at midnight, (I think that might have been the only
time I’ve kissed somebody at the stroke of midnight) I had high hopes for 95.
I decided to go spend some time with Melissa in Vermont. But then on the
5th day of the year, I got a phone call from my friend Emily in Boston, telling
me I really needed to call my buddy Morgan, who I’d been living with for a little
while in Humboldt County California. When I called Morgan, he laid the
biggest, worst news I think I’d ever received in my life down. He told
me that the house had caught on fire and burned to the ground.
Whoa!!! What ever was I to do. I was at a total loss. So after one more
night at Melissa’s place, I couldn’t handle the cigarette smoke so I mostly
stayed secluded in her room and was going stir-crazy, I decided that I’d find
a way back west, and figure out what to do from there. With no shows announced
yet for the spring from any of my favorite bands, and no home to return to,
I decided to catch a ride back to Colorado with my buddy Tom.
Things were going good on the drive back. We were riding in our buddy Clete’s
car and he had this high tech radar detector so we were cruising along, fast.
Somewhere just west of Hays, Kansas, I was driving, but not really fast.
Well, Clete tells me that he’s got that great radar detector, and if I wasn’t
going to drive faster, he’d drive. Well, I gave into the peer pressure
and pushed the needle up over the 100 mph mark. I was probably doing about
105 when the radar detector screeched out it’s warning, but it was too late.
As I slowed down past 90, just about 85, I saw the Kansas State Trooper in the
median with his radar gun pointed right at me. I gave Clete the pipe that
had been sitting between my legs and told him to stash it.
As the officer pulled out behind us with his lights already blazing, visible even
in the clear mid-afternoon Kansas prairie sun, I pulled right over and Clete
stuck the pipe in my shoulder bag on the floor at his feet. He left it
hanging out in plain sight. Big mistake!!!
The officer asked to see my licence and registration and walked back to his car.
After running my licence, he came back to the car and asked if he could search
the car. Now, me being somewhat experienced in this sort of thing, I couldn’t
get my mouth open quick enough to tell him, “No,” before Clete said,
“sure.” Now Clete, being a Wharf Rat, doesn’t use any intoxicating
substances, so he had nothing to worry about. Well, it didn’t take the
time that it takes a bumble bee to sting you once it realizes it has landed
on flesh for the officer to find my pipe that was so insecurely stashed.
Now, with a piece of paraphernalia found, that gave the officer cause to thoroughly
search the rest of the car. What he found was about 1/2 ounce of some
of the best marijuana from Vermont and California. When he came across
the two cases of glass in the back of the car, I told him they were “beads,
I sell in art stores in San Francisco.” Somehow the officer bought
that story and didn’t confiscate my glass.
But, they did cart me off to the jailhouse. They processed me, and told me
my bail would be $2500. Luckily, I had just been to the post office and
gotten 3 $700 money orders, and I had $400 in my pocket, reaching the magic
number. After calling the local Postmaster at the bar, who was watching
the AFC Playoff game, to verify that the money orders were legit, I was signed
out and was sent on my way. But not before they asked me if I had any
I told them, “No!”
And they said, “What about Pooh?”
I said, “That’s just a nick-name.”
They said, “Well, that’s what an alias is.”
So, my cover was blown.
I lived on my buddy Tom’s couch for the next two months…
I used to sell a lot of glass in the parking lot, but on September 30, at Shoreline,
I decided that there were more important things to do. I was showing some
pieces to some folks in the lot when my friend Greenpeace Mike came from backstage
and found me. He asked me if I had wanted to play Page a game of chess.
I’d been after Page to play me for a couple of years so, I said, “Yeah!”
Mike told me, “Come on.”
So, I closed the case of glass, and excused myself and followed Mike to the backstage entrance.
When we got there, he told me to meet him back there in 1 hour. So, I
told the clients that were checking out the glass that I was closed, went and
put away my glass case, and hurried back to meet up with Greenpeace Mike.
When I arrived he led me inside the big wooden doors to the back-stage area of Shoreline.
It kinda felt like the big castle doors opening up to let me inside.
We bee-lined it to the sort of “hang-out” area for the band-members where John
was playing a video game, I think it was Ms. Pac-man. Mike and Page were
sitting on one side of a table with a chess-board on it and Trey was just kinda
I said hey to everybody, but John’s attention was taken by Ms. Pac-man, and sat down at
the board across from Page.
We each made three moves. I think I opened with my knight. I’ll try to find a
play by play and update this when I do.
But a lot of folks think that was a horrible move. I have played chess for over
30 years at the time I wrote this and I play chess like I live life, from the
hip. I only thought I was playing an innocent game of chess.
After the three moves, Trey had been pacing around, watching the game, Trey came over
and said, “That’s good.”
I said, “Huh?!”
“Oh, you don’t know what’s going on.”
I said, “What?!”
“Oh, You don’t know what’s going on,” and pulled me out of my seat
and took me to the front of the stage and showed me a giant velcro chess board.
He proceeded to tell me that they were starting this chess game against the
audience, where the band would make a move at the beginning of the show and
a different member of the audience would make the move for the audience each
night after set break.
I was like,
So, Brad showed me around and told me how things would go, and how I wasn’t supposed
to cross certain lines and where to stand. Then I was dismissed, and told
to meet Brad at the beginning of the show.
I ran outside and told everybody I knew not to be late for the show. I didn’t tell a
soul why. I wanted it to be a surprise. A surprise it was.
I found out later that many of my friends were seeing their first Phish show,
and then I went and got up on stage. This was the first time, but wasn’t
to be the last time I would get onstage with the band.
So then the moment came, and the show began. Phish opened the show with the always
eerie, My Friend followed by an instrumental version of Jefferson Airplane’s
quintessential psychedelic tune, White Rabbit. During the My Friend and the
start of the White Rabbit Jam, I was on the risers stage left. (Jerry’s
side) The jam kinda thinned out and Trey began to explain what was going
on to the audience.
Phish are all big fans of chess, and spend a lot of time on the road doing battle at the
chessboard. They would be challenging the audience to a game of chess on this
national tour, with one move played at each concert. I was invited onto
the stage during the White Rabbit Jam. Having moved from the side of the
stage to the front row, all I had to do was climb onto the stage. And
there I was, a little nervous to say the least. Trey called me out to
the front of the stage to meet the audience. With 20-something thousand
in attendance, a large percentage good friends of mine, there I stood on the
front edge of the stage at Shoreline, home of the Grateful Dead, in my Jerry
Garcia postage stamp shirt, hands folded in front of me like a little kid.
But on with the game…
The game began with keyboardist and vocalist Page McConnell making a very normal move
1.e4 (1.P-K4) and then I responded, some have said, “sensibly, with 1…e5
(1…P-K4). Then Page played one of his favorite opening moves, 2.Bb5!?
(2.B-N5) which is the unorthodox opening known in some circles as the Portuguese
Opening. I responded with another reserved move, 2…Nc6 (2…N-QB3), and Page’s
next move was, 3.Nf3 (3.N-KB3). The music continued with Reba, Uncle
Penn a touch of Antelope, and then an acoustic rendition of Blue and Lonesome
dedicated to Jerry Garcia, with Sample in a Jar closing out the set. But
for me, the night was to become a strange psychedelic journey into the draw-bridge
that was coming down between The Grateful Dead and Phish.
I was wandering around backstage for a little while when I saw this woman playing basketball
with a young boy, perhaps her child. Not really knowing what I wanted
to do next, I sure didn’t want to leave the inner sanctum of Shoreline’s backstage
area with Grateful Dead emblems and iconography everywhere, I watched them play
horse for a minute and then asked them if they were with Phish.
“Nope, Grateful Dead,” she replied.
And that was all I needed to make my night complete.
Phish Vegas for Halloween.
Boy was that a good time!!! And I had quite an adventure that on that Halloween.
I decided to go to the Stratosphere and ride one of the rides that they have
on top of the building. For those of you who don’t know about the Stratosphere,
it is one of those space needle-type buildings near old downtown Las Vegas.
There are two rides on top of the building. One of them is called the big-shot,
it is a ride that shoots you up above the top of the needle at high-speed.
It gives you an incredible view of the whole area from the strip to the mountains
surrounding the city. Somehow, I ended up in line behind Trey Anastasio
from Phish. He was with a couple of ladies and Tom Marshall, the lyricist
for Phish. I was with my buddy Tim Hurley. So, that was all exciting
and fun, but the real adventure began when the ride was over. See, I’ve
known Trey for a while, so when I caught up with him in line to take the elevator
back down I said hello. We chatted for a minute about stuff, and how it
was gonna suck to wait in line for over two hours to get back down the 113 flights
of stairs. So, I suggested taking the stairs…well, Trey being a guy
who’s up for all kinds of adventures said, “Good idea!” And
off we went, the six of us, to take the stairs. We found a door that said
“stairs” and opened it up and started down. I think we must
have made it a dozen flights or so, when we came to a weird machinery room,
and it appeared our adventure had come to an end. We stood there and looked
around for another door with more stairs when doors opened from opposite sides
of the room and out popped a couple of Vegas-style goons with suits and earpieces.
They asked us what we were doing, and I said we had just wanted to take the
stairs instead of waiting in the long line for the elevator. Trey said
he didn’t really have time to wait for the elevator since he was playing a show
at Thomas and Mack that night. The goons consulted their earpieces, talked
to their supervisors, and got the OK to send us down in the service elevator.
It arrived and we jumped in and we were out of the Stratosphere in a matter
of minutes and on our way to the show.
That night when Phish played the Robert Palmer song, “Sneakin Sally Through the Alley,”
I felt a bit of a rush thinking that Trey might have actually been referring
to our little adventure that afternoon.
Tales from the Thai Jungles filled with mystery and intrigue…I’ll keep your appetite
Two days before I was to fly to Hong Kong and begin my Southeast Asian adventures, I
spent the night outside of the famous “Fabulous Fillmore” in San Francisco,
CA. Luckily the weather and the company was pleasant as over 400 people, most
of whom were my friends, waited until 10 am when the coveted tickets for the
first shows from Phil Lesh since he’d received his new liver would go onsale.
Nobody knew that there would only be 150 tickets sold that morning, two per person.
Luckily I was number 63, so I got my tickets and prepared for my adventure.
I only mention this part of the story because it will become rather pertinent
later in the tale. Those of you who know me, know my passion for live
music, especially when it’s related to the Grateful Dead and would understand
The day before my flight I mentioned to a friend that I was going to Thailand and he told me
I should email his friend there. I got a quick reply that he would pick
me up at the airport in Bangkok.
Well, the next night after getting everything packed and ready, I was off to the San Francisco
airport. I pulled a “california roll” at a stop sign and presently
got pulled over by SFPD. After explaining to the nice oficer that I was
flying to Thailand that night and still had to get the car returned to Budget
Car Rental before I left for my flight, and of course then showing him my plane
tickets, he let me go with only a warning.
I arrived in Bangkok with no idea what I was doing or where I was going.
Well, that’s not exactly true…the nature of my constant wandering in life has tended to pay off a bit…in this case I had mentioned to a friend that I was headed to Thailand a few days before I actually left, and he replied that he had a good friend living in Bangkok and I should contact him.
I did just that, and Pat said he’d pick me up at the airport when I arrived.
I’m sure something happened that year…but you know how they say if you remember, you