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~ 10/27/05

~ 10/25/05
"deep in my heart, i do believe, that we shall overcome, one day"



thank you, sister rosa


What: A candle vigil to honor 2000 fallen soldiers in
the Iraq conflict.

Where: 61597 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree

When: Wednesday, October 26th, 6:30 pm

This will be a dignified, non-political event to mourn
the loss and honor the memory of 2000 of our country's
finest young men and women who have given their lives
in the conflict in Iraq.

Please bring a candle, a flower and/or a prayer.

Immedately after the vigil, all participants are
invited to express their thoughts and feelings at the
open mic inside the Joshua Tree Beatnik Cafe, through
poetry or song.

~ 10/21/05
art and ted are sitting in the beatnik cafe on afriday afternoon discusing the new free press.

this paper is going to transform the world!!!


sage andreas quinn blair hits a landmark today. the day coincides with boys night out. we plan to celebrate by listening to our friends amritakripa (kripa, robbi & sam) doing kirtans at urban yoga. then, we'll take in some transcendental americana with bingo band (bingo, tony mason, jess carrot and special guest guitarist louie.) i celebrated the occasion myself yesterday by getting my first ever tattoo. old friend evan at pair-a-dice tattooz in 29 palms did a perfect job replicating my picasso-inspired 'bundle of sage,' the logo i designed for the sage festival in august. i'll post a picture sometime soon. never thought i'd be inspired to have a tattoo, until a couple of weeks ago, when i made the decision (or did i? it was just a moment of inspiration & i've always believed that, when inspiration strikes, it's meant to be followed...)

i love you , my alien baby boddhisatva!!
~ 10/18/05
(when something of tragic proportions happens, it's always good for people to have a place to gather.

on the night of 9/11/01, i remember a lot of people just filtering out of their houses, away from their television sets, down to the beatnik.

a teenage girl named christine got everyone to hold hands in a circle and we bowed our heads to pray, to cry, until we could raise them again to sing. ray woods and i stayed there until the sun came up, playing every song i could think of. the first one i thought of was the bee gee's "1941 new york mining disaster" ('have you seen my wife, mister jones?')

when fred drake was dying, hosting the open mic each week was my only time away from him and the rancho. it was a much needed place of community, hope and music for me then. a year later, it was there that the drake family and about twenty bands who'd recorded at the rancho gathered to celebrate the tenth anniversary of fred's beloved studio, with portraits of some of the artists on the wall,: elia, shawn mafia, mark & victoria, kyoti & carol ann.

yesterday i stopped by the beatnik for a minute to drop something off and found out that a dear member of the beatnik family, a 19 year old girl named amy, had been killed in a car accident. once again, i saw how a place to gather is so important. anyone who thinks the kids singing karaoke are somehow beneath them - or that it's not something worthwhile to have happen in a small town - are sadly deluded. what was going to be a quick stop last night turned into several hours of badly needed community, for me and the others. i, for one, thank mike and linnea for keeping the doors - and hearts - open in joshua tree. there is truly nothing like it in the world, as far as i know.)
Yesterday, a 19 year old girl named Amy was killed in a car crash on Highway 62. She was always a cheerful and loving person that everyone around the Beatnik knew and loved. I gave her a lift home a couple of times . At one point she wanted to learn how to do sound at the Beatnik and I forgot we'd made an appointment. I'm sorry, Amy. The past couple of weeks, an interesting thing happened. The teenagers who normally only came in on Monday and Thursday nights for karaoke started coming in for Open Mic on Wednesdays and my radio show on Sundays. I started going to more karaoke nights, too. I enjoyed the energy of all the unpretentious, sweet kids, some of them openly gay and holding hands or kissing, while i sat at the computer working. Just better than being home alone sometimes. Amy, in these past couple of weeks started to sing at the Open Mic, and not just at Karaoke. I was amazed at her perfect pitch and gorgeous high voice. I thought, as I sometimes do when I hear a voice like that, that I would ask her to sing with my band sometime. I really loved the melding of the two worlds. It felt like an erasure of class lines, Marines and their girlfriends drifting in and feeling comfortable with old hippies and younger punks. I went by the Beatnik to drop off a key to a house which has been donated for a New Orleans musician and got the news about Amy, and her friend Bear, who I didn't know. I couldn't leave for at least a few hours. It was just too sad to go home. I needed to be around the kids, who all sang Karaoke versions of songs Amy liked. Her mother was weeping. There was a Guadelupe candle going. This is a picture Michael McKinsey took with his phone as the kids sang for Amy.

"Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)"

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

-Green Day
~ 10/9/05

i was asked for a comment about john lennon for today's desert sun newspaper. i don't know if it made the paper or not, but heres' what i wrote, on this ,
john lennon's 65th birthday:

John Lennon was in a rare position, for an artist,
where he could speak truth to power, express his
deepest self, warts and all, and still maintain a
connection to his vulnerable side, without ever
seeming weak. He was a world leader, elected by his
fans to sing on their behalf. The adventurously
loving portion of the human race has never fully
recovered from his sudden removal. That an era of
greed and war-mongering followed his death is a
bitter consequence.

Luckily, in the end, the Blue Meanies are driven
from power with his song, "All You Need Is Love."

tonight , we'll sing his songs and i'll open my art show at the beatnik, 8pm.

as it turns out, bruce wrote a lovely piece...
(to the left)

last night, my band, the tree played a great, if abbreviated set at the wild west coyote fest for the people of joshua tree, including ten week old and close to eleven pounds, sage andreas quinn blair. also in attendance, rock diva in the making, chelsea doll with my old pal, her dad, kenny malloy (ken doll of rodney's fame) plus a girl in a pink fuzzy hat, a man with a dreadlocked beard and many, many more.

we ripped (if i may say so) through "death of cool," "highway 61," "i think we can do better," "woodstock/what are their names," "hado (my son)" and "apocalypse no" (with bits of "(i can't get no) satisafction" & "paint it black" thrown in for good measure. only sorry we couldn't play longer. our closer was to be hamilton camp's "pride of man." but we were more than the excited crowd could handle! especially with the wooden train on board with wild backing vocals. last night's tree was tony mason, robbi robb, sam willmore and me. the wooden train choir was jane allingham, sue bradley, bill maresh and victoria williams.

also, got to sing with the lovely thrift store all stars. thank you, stephanie, for the loan of your make-up and mirror before showtime!!

one satisfied festival-goer

photo by judy wishart
~ 10/3/05
"his soul had an argument with itself and the side that won decided to stop killing itself, to stop singing for release and to start singing for love."

You've always made this sound like such an amazing family, Ted. I'm sorry
for your loss.

I think I'll go listen to Pride of Man now...

Love on,


From: Ray Camp

Hamid Hamilton Camp passed away at around 9:30 PM on
Oct 2nd 2005 at his home. The doctors were not 100% sure but it looks
like a heart attack. The family is taking a few days to decide the next steps
and then a notice will be sent out. I know he is happy now as he is back
with his true love and soul mate my mother Rasjadah. God bless him and them
both. Please feel free to pass on any info or reply back
Thank you,
Raymard Camp

heaven can't wait: hamilton camp

my dear friend & often mentor hamid hamilton camp joined his beloved rasjadah last night. i am in shock right now and terribly sad.
i met hamilton in 1967, the summer of love. i had a tv show called 'accidental family' and hamilton appeared as a guest. he played the role of a leprechaun and part of me, even at eight years old, knew he really was one.
he told me he had a son about my age, in fact, we looked like twins. stephen (sounds like steffen) and i became very close. hamilton opened for tiny tim, both from greenwich village, and we all went to see them at the santa monica civic auditorium. coincidentally, stephen and i went to the newport (california) pop festival together in 1968 and saw the byrds, who were now wearing cowboy suits and singing country music. nobody around us liked them very much and we wondered why they weren't hippies anymore. they seemed to be identifying with the rednecks who hated anti-war protesters and the like. odd that hamilton died the weekend i was dis-invited to perform at the festival in honor of the byrd who steered them away from their psychedelic folk roots to country music, the year rfk and king were shot and nixon was elected.
(my friends pointed out to me tonight that gram parsons recorded a version of 'pride of man.' good call, gram.)
when the camp family showed up at our house in a vw van, they gave me the first real taste of what a family of flower children looked like up close.
he was a great comic actor, in real life as well as on film and stage. he always had us playing 'theatre games,' singing songs. the best version i ever remember of 'yellow submarine' was all the kids on the way to the beach, as hamilton drove us through los virgenes canyon. years later, my mom noticed that camptown family band was set to play at the lhasa club in hollywood, where my band telekin played frequently. i went to see them and the whole family was playing, including rasjada on tambourine. so alive and musical. after so many years, it was a family reunion for me, of the family i wanted to belong to as a kid. stephen joined my new band, the new flesh in the late eighties and we played all the time at the heliotrope theatre where hamilton led viola spolin improvisational theatre games. he had done it for years in chicago and in san francisco, with second city and the committee and could turn any phrase into a skit. amazing talent.
visiting hamilton some years after that, he greeted me at the door with the name he had given me as a child, thaddeus. he told his tiny gandchildren that i had been 'away at sea' and was just returning. he made me feel like his prodigal son.
after 9/11 i rediscovered his song, 'pride of man' and recorded it over at the rancho. it was the only cover on my 'help wanted' album. i think he liked my version, noticing that i had switched the word 'god' for 'love' in one verse.
a year or so later, he did me the huge honor of appearing at the first chuckwalla festival - with son raymard on bass and two beautiful grandchildren along for the ride to the desert -and there he did a majestic version of that song he'd written so presciently in 1964.
when i described the scene in joshua tree, around the rancho, nomadhouse, my lucky, eternal, small circle of friends, he told me he was reminded of the song, 'bob dylan's dream,' which i recorded in his honor but sadly never got to play for him.

"with half-damp eyes I stared to the room/where my friends and I spent many an afternoon,where we together weathered many a storm/laughin' and singin' till the early hours of the the old wooden stove where our hats was hung,
our words were told, our songs were sung/where we longed for nothin' and were quite satisfied/talkin' and a-jokin' about the world outside...with haunted hearts through the heat and cold,we never thought we could ever get old..."

he and his partner bob gibson had been the first people to ever record a bob dylan song, "tomorrow is a long time," and they were asked by albert grossman to be 'peter' and 'paul' to mary travers 'mary' but thought it was a corny idea. hamilton missed being in the most successful folk group of the sixties but he was a success at everything he did, without ever selling out. he was a scorpio like me, and we had many of the same tastes: strong coffee, strong smoke, strong women, strongly held political views and a strong loyalty to our loved ones. victoria williams heard his last record, "mardi's bard" and pointed out that my singing style is a lot like his. i had never thought of that until then but she was right and it made sense. he had a flair for the dramatic and could cut straight to the bone. i will always carry a part of hamilton within my mind and body (indistinguishable..) in my work and in my life. he was an original and a great big soul who i was graced to have worked with as a child and as an adult and who i was blessed to have known as a person in this world.

tonight, at pappy and harriets. i sang 'pride of man' in hamilton's honor. an actor friend named don calfa, who worked with ham in two films, 'nickelodeon' and 'the 4th tenor' with rodney dangerfield, was saddened by the news and we traded our hamilton stories. his were all the way back from greenwich village, a time he was refamilarized with by the scorsese/dylan film last week. then, a young man named edward complimented me on hamilton's song, saying it should be the national anthem. another friend, mark hughes, said that quicksilver messenger service's version of the song, which he heard them play live in 1967, was THE song which changed his life completely. hear that, hammy?

from your adopted prodigal sailor son,

The Old School of Chicago served as the backdrop for Hamilton Camp's early musical career. Whether performing solo or in a duo with Bob Gibson, Camp served as one of the crossroads between the Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger folk music of the 1940s and the singer/songwriter school of Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs in the 1960s. Camp's tune "Pride of Man" was covered by Quicksilver Messenger Service in 1967, while his and Gibson's collaboration "Well, Well, Well" was recorded by Simon and Garfunkel on their debut album, Wednesday Morning 3 A.M. in 1966.

In the early 1960s, Camp and Gibson played in clubs, coffeehouses and festivals throughout their United States. Their most influential album, At the Gate of Horn, was recorded in 1961 at the famed Chicago folk club. When the duo separated, Camp continued to perform as a soloist. His debut solo album was a live recording at the same club in 1963. Camp's subsequent albums included Paths of Victory in 1964, which featured his original version of "Pride of Man" and renditions of seven Dylan tunes, including the rarely heard "Guess I'm Doin' Fine," "Walkin' Down the Line," "Long Time Gone" and the title track. Here's to You, released in 1967, was produced by Felix Pappalardi and featured musical accompaniment by Van Dyke Parks, Earl C. Palmer, Jr., Bud Shank, Glen Hardin, Hal Blaine and Larry Knechtel.

Camp's musical career has been dwarfed by his success as an actor. First attracting attention for his skills in improvisation as a member of Second City in Chicago and the Committee in San Francisco, Camp played recurring roles in such TV series as He & She in 1967, Too Close for Comfort in 1980, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Lois & Clark :The New Adventures Of Superman in 1993. In addition to appearing in such films as American Hot Wax (1978), Heaven Can Wait (1978), Eating Raoul (1982) and Dick Tracy (1990), his voice was heard in animated movies including The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1993), Pebble and the Penguin (1995) and All Dogs Go to Heaven (1996).

Originally known as Bob Camp, he adopted the name "Hamilton" in the mid-1960s. According to the liner notes of his album, Paths of Victory, the name change was inspired when "his soul had an argument with itself and the side that won decided to stop killing itself, to stop singing for release and to start singing for love." ~ Craig Harris, All Music Guide

turn around/go back down/back the way you came
can't you see that flash of fire/ten times brighter than the day
and behold, that mighty city/broken in the dust again
oh god, pride of man, broken in the dust again

turn around/go back down/back the way you came
babylon is laid to waste/egypt's buried in her shame
the mighty men are all beaten down/their kings have fallen in their ways
oh god, pride of man, broken in the dust again

turn around/go back down/back the way you came
terror is on every side/though our leaders are dismayed
for those who put their faith in fire/ their faith in fire shall be repaid
oh god,pride of man, broken in the dust again

turn around/go back down/back the way you came
shout a warning out to the nation/that the sword of god is raised
oh babylon, that mighty city/rich in treasure, wide in fame
oh god, pride of man, broken in the dust again

the weak shall cause the tower to fall/make a new pyre of flame
you who dwell on many waters/rich in treasures, wide in fame
you bow unto your god of gold/your pride of might shall be your shame
for only god can lead the people back unto the earth again
oh god, pride of man, broken in the dust again

oh holy mountain be restored/have mercy on the people, lord

- hamid hamilton camp 1964

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