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Locomotive Breath 1971

By Taper Ron, 11/23/2018

The Led Zeppelin video made me think of Jethro Tull, can't think Tull without thinking of  Aqualung which brought up a memory of Locomotive Breath.

Here's the tale:

Sometime in 1971 I was "between jobs".  I had no money, but I had a car (1969 El Camino), my friend, Gerry, Had no car, but he had a little money. In those years Ger and I were inseparable (most of the time), anyway Ger wanted to go to LA I said sure you pay for gas and I go to Disneyland.


Off we go, I had the clothes on my back, a toothbrush and a garbage bag full of moldy Kansas "Dirt Weed" stashed in the tailgate. (we sold most of that in Prescott, AZ, felt kinda guilty about it - but they liked it). I don't remember the exact route after Prescott/Phoenix. I-10 may have not been completed yet, we were on a two lane highway through the desert we both had to pee, there were these HUGE cacti so we pulled over.  We had to cross a barbed wire fence to get to them, on the way to the cactus Ger held up one wire and stepped on the other so I could go through.

"Wouldn't it be funny if my foot slipped" he joked.

On the way back to the car this was on my mind.  "I think I'll climb over" I said.  As I threw my leg over the top wire it slipped and I straddled the metal fence post.  I went on across and started towards the car.  Gerry's freaking "Are you alright, are you alright" he kept asking and I kept saying "I'm fine"  then my Knees buckled.  I had a gash in my leg and other "parts" were damaged and bleeding.  Gerry started driving - Like a fuckin' maniac, passing cars with cars coming towards us, flashing the headlights.  Soon a AZ Highway Patrol came toward us and Ger flagged him down.  After explaining the circumstances he had me set with my feet on  the ground while he applied bandages.  I'm still pissed that Gerry didn't take a picture of the Trooper between my knees.  Luckily it looked and felt worse than it was.


Back on the road, with bandaged balls and no crotch in my pants. (we're getting closer to Locomotive Breath).  A few miles down the road we pick up a girl hitchhiking to San Francisco.  Gerry was still driving, admittedly I was not a good passenger, I loved that El Camino.  So, anyway were getting close to downtown LA Jethro Tull is full blast on the 8-Track Gerry's playing air guitar to Locomotive Breath I'm bitching about his driving, can't put my knees together because it hurt too much, I can only imagine what's going thru her mind, so she wants out T the I-10/I-5 interchange rush hour in LA!  We offered to take her further (I think Ger even offered to take her to SF) but she was determined.  I didn't think we'd ever get back on the freeway, but she probably had better luck getting a ride.


So that's what Locomotive Breath reminds me of.  Incidentally, I never did get to Disneyland.  Ger met a girl and the money went up their noses - when his money was gone so was she!  I don't think Gerry and I spoke all the way home to Kansas.  Someday I'll tell you about all the shit that happened in LA on that trip, it's a rather sordid tale!



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