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Surfin USA

Yesterday I was driving into San Francisco along the coast, and stopped to pick up a 50-ish-looking lady hitchhiking with a gas can. She got in, saw my fishing rods and said I'm from Montana, best fishing in the world. Then she heard the bluegrass music on the radio and said I'm a musician, I play lead guitar player for Aaron Neville.
Well, wow.
She went on to describe other bands she'd played with. Impressive.
Then: I'm a buddhist and have taken the vows of poverty.
You know Mavericks, she asked?
You mean the surf spot?
Yes, well I won the contest. I entered as a boy, they don't allow women to enter.
You won the whole contest?
Yes. I'm a surfer, I'm going out at Stinson Beach when I get gas.
I handed her a Tiny Homes mini-book as she got out.
I built a little house, she said. I'm a builder.
Medley: Surfin' Safari/Fun, Fun, Fun/Shut Down/Little Deuce [Live] by The Beach Boys on Grooveshark
 Inside, outside, USA…

Old International Scout

This was in San Francisco, out by the beach. I thought it had integrity.

Brown Sugar by -- Little Richard

Brown Sugar by Little Richard on Grooveshark
Never heard this before. The whoooos are still tremulating here. Not sure of date -- '71?

Some years ago, Little Richard was called upon to introduce Paul McCartney at I believe, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At that point, I don't believe L.R. had been inducted. I was watching it on TV and was surprised and pleased to see him come up to the mike and say "I am -- the architect of rock n roll!"
Well, all right…moment of truth. Who should have been introducing whom here?

Heard this on maybe my favorite radio show, Michael Des Barres' program on Sirius' Underground Garage channel, preceded by the Stones original. Michael plays such good stuff, incl. many bands from the 60s to 70s I've never heard of.

Two of my favorite Little Richard songs (not so well known) are "Bama Lama, Bama Loo," and "I Got It," where he says
It ain't what you eat,
It's the way how you chew it…

Our Next Book: SMALL HOMES

Our book TINY HOMES has sold over 60,000 copies and with a recent surge of interest in the subject, is selling over 1,000 copies per month. We are getting a lot of inquiries from reporters and film makers about the subject; they want to contact people living in (or building) tiny homes.

I've taken to telling people I'm not the tiny homes guy, I'm the build-it-yourself guy, and that the important thing about the tiny home "movement" is not that all people should be living in tiny homes, but that the size of new homes should be getting smaller, rather than continuing to grow in size.

Bring it on Home - Sonny Boy Williamson

Bring It On Home by Sonny Boy Williamson on Grooveshark

New Book of Godfrey Stephens' Art Just Published

At long last a book documenting the art of Godfrey Stephens has been published, and it's stunning. Godfrey has been painting, drawing, carving, and assembling all his life (he's now 70), and his niece Gurdeep Stephens has performed a Herculean task of sifting through a blizzard of Godfrey's art to assemble this collection. Oh yes, he's also built over a dozen sailboats.

I'm hardly an objective observer: I've known Godfrey and his art since meeting him on a Mexican beach in 1964, and he's a dear friend. I've never been able to figure out why he isn't world-famous. The quantity and quality of his output is staggering. And his energy: there are almost 800 emails in my "Stephens" mailbox, over 600 photos in my "Stephens" photo folder. How Gurdeep ever prevailed to assemble this excellent collection is beyond me. High five!

It's best to let his art speak for itself, but I'll just point out something about his carving: when he was 12, he hung out around Mungo Martin, a famed Kwakwaka'wakw chief  who was creating totems and building a "big house", at Thunderbird Park in Victoria. Godfrey's best friend, Tony Hunt was Mungo's grandson, and Godfrey and Tony started out carving little bears to sell. Godfrey has always been close to the native "First Nations" culture,  with many Indian friends, and it shows in his carving. It seems to me a blend of the powerful north coast indigenous art and wide-ranging abstract and representational artistry. Godfrey doesn't drive and he's never had a "job." Just art.

Wood Storms, Wild Canvas: The Art of Godfrey Stephens will have a first book-signing at Munro's Books in Victoria, BC, on November 1st at 1 pm. Both Godfrey Stephens and the author Gurdeep Stephens will be signing copies at Munro's between 1-2 pm on Saturday November 1st.  The book will be available for sale at local independent book sellers in addition to online.  For each copy sold, the publisher will plant one Native tree species locally in BC.