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Stone soup

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The Rolling Stones performing "Angie" in 1973.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – In the past five days or so, I’ve had two dreams involving The Rolling Stones. In fact, when it comes down to The Beatles and the Stones, Mick Jagger & co. play a bigger role in my synchromystic Dust Devil Dreams realm. Here is 2013's "Stones and oranges under a rainbow," for starters.

Perhaps it’s the band’s longevity. I just saw this morning that the Stones are touring the UK and Ireland as I type this.

In the first dream, from what I can recall (which isn’t much), I was watching the band perform their 1973 number one hit “Angie,” the pretty, acoustic ballad written by guitarist Keith Richards while he was in Switzerland being treated for heroin addiction, and recorded for the underrated Goat’s Head Soup album.

I had a girlfriend in college named Angie – albeit briefly. I remember talking to her about her name and the song. She liked it. But was more into Phish than the Stones.

When Keith Richards was asked about the song, he insisted that it wasn’t about his daughter Angela. Rather, Richards has said that the name was a “placeholder” or a “working title.”

As a side note, Richards, along with guitarist Ron Wood, appeared in a 2015 dream I had that was full of balloon imagery. I called it "Up, up and away.

Now, Richards is still very much alive (to the amazement of many), and is not often thought of as a guy who inspires deep insight or triggers synchronicities. And yet, the man who called their psychedelic output known as Their Satanic Majesties Request a "mishmash of rubbish," well, perhaps that's a good thing (Satanic Majesties is our fave Stones record). Keef is grounded in his own rock icon sort of way.

SCYLLA & CHARYBDIS

So, last night, the Rolling Stones appeared again. This time, it was at some sort of music festival where the band was headlining and two other bands were playing before them. I don’t know which bands, but one of them was some sort of novelty band where the actor Chevy Chase was playing Frisbees as drum cymbals.

As I later thought about the Chevy Chase angle, I thought about my first UFO experience, which took place in the mid-1970’s in Chevy Chase, Maryland. And the Frisbee cymbals looked like the classic flying saucer.

Anyway, I have a VIP pass for this Rolling Stones show and I’m dressed well. I’m excited, because I love the Stones, although I have “mixed emotions” about Mick Jagger (as does Keith Richards, we are told). That is due to his treatment of fellow Stone and band founder Brian Jones, who would die under suspicious circumstances on July 3, 1969 at the former farm/home of Winnie-the-Pooh author A.A. Milne. It was called Cotchford Farm.

Despite multiple hurdles preventing me from making it to the show, I finally get in the darkened building and catch the band performing a soundcheck. And the song? “Rock and a Hard Place,” a driving, socially-conscious rocker that was featured on their 1989 Steel Wheels album.

That album, I should note, has come up more than once here at Dust Devil Dreams. Most significantly is a post I did regarding the Moroccan-flavored track “Continental Drift,” which was the band exorcising the demons of the past and their association with the late Brian Jones.

So, in a March 2016 Dust Devil Dreams post "Keys (King of pain)," I wrote that we were entering a strange place in American history, a sort of awkward, "rock and a hard place" which is not dissimilar from other periods of trials and turbulence in American history.

Specifically, I wrote: "(b)ut back to Scylla and Charybdis ... That line is, of course, an idiom in Greek mythology, derived from Homer, regarding the sea monsters and whirlpool between Italy and Sicily. Odysseus had to pass between the two “evils” and chose the sea monster over the whirlpool – resulting in the deaths of some of his men but avoiding the utter destruction of his ship that would have befallen it had he chosen the whirlpool."

And now we have a seriousl divided country that at times seems to be teetering toward some sort of civil war. 

Interestingly, it is Keith Richards who has been one of the most vocal anti-Trump folks out there, getting angry in 1989, during the Steel Wheels tour, when Trump tried to upstage the band before an Atlantic City, NJ show Trump was "promoting." Richards was so mad he pulled out a knife and jammed it into the table and said,  "'You've got to get rid of this man.'" Richards has reiterated this position, telling America to "get rid of" Trump. 

Richards' hatred of Trump (not unlike Woody Guthrie's hatred for "Old Man Trump" before him) is white hot. And Trump likes to get back at the band by using their music just to piss them off, from "You Can't Always Get What You Want" to the odd use of "Heart of Stone" at his inaugural gala. It was just bizarre, like everything this man does.
Perhaps Keith Richards' repeated appearances in my sync dreams is a sign. Like Johnny Cash's ghost tapping me on the shoulder at Sun Studio in Memphis. 

The artists of our era know a lot. They have a sixth sense about these things. They know trouble when they see it. We need them desperately in this hour of need.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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