Graciously gather round the big table or snag a cozy seat, this is one for the books, well remembered and well-deserved treat. Feast your ears and listen to my tale, if you please. I have a Rocky and Bullwinkle Thanksgiving as inspiration. This jive talkin’ turkey is on the scene, spare my neck and my giblets, in turn receive some “delectable” mentions. Better than gravy, less calories, gluten, soy, and dairy.
“Who uses jive turkey? In contemporary speech and writing, jive turkey is a humorous, deliberately outdated way to call someone a “fool.” (i.e., me) It’s often used nostalgically for the groovy 1970s, funk-a-licious music, and old-school TV characters like George Jefferson. (Shout out to dictionary.com, Marla Gibbs as Florence Johnston, high-rises, cleaners, and after-school programs!) Jive turkey jokes are common puns around Thanksgiving, since everybody’s got turkey on the mind. The turkey’s sure wished it stayed that way! A minute on the lips a lifetime on the hips … I digress and these hips don’t lie!
Back to the story and Thanksgiving being right around the corner, awkwardly and bashfully staring at us; “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is an American animated comedy streaming television series produced by DreamWorks Animation Television which is a reboot of the 1959–64 animated television series of the same name.”
“The series sees Rocky and Bullwinkle “thrust into harrowing situations (just like the Holidays every year) but end up saving the day, time and again”. As Rocky and Bullwinkle’s innocent and silly ambitions to become rock stars or find lost treasure end up dovetailing with Fearless Leader’s sinister plans to take over the world, our heroes are set on a collision course with his notorious superspies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale.” (Source Wikipedia, my husband’s awesome impersonations, and childhood cartooning around, about, and everywhere on-line to boot.)
Now this isn’t an episode like “Director Peachfuzz and her new faithful sidekick Rocky racing to the Le Grand Yum-Yum Finale in Prague to stop a brainwashed Bullwinkle from using his pie to “stinkify” the World Leaders’, but you have to admit, sounds exactly out of today’s headlines. Just one squirrels opinion, or maybe I have already partaken in too many sweets. I like to munch on the ingredients and claim quality control to justify my actions.
This particular Thanksgiving wasn’t that long ago, but yum-yum for sure! No spies, that I know of, but of course they wouldn’t be spies if I knew. Now, I know; they were there, and supreme evil plans are sinister. However, please allow me to introduce to you a musical, familial, and godly legend; our Rocky was a trucker, a drummer, a pilot, a preacher, and an actual rockstar of epic proportions. My husbands beloved uncle and he saved the holiday by picking up his guitar, playing, more like channeling or performing Jimmy Buffet, Elvis, The Everly Brothers, and in perfect tune. Time stopped and shuffled his feet while harmony flung back her hair and hummed a divine strum.
From the golden farm days to the mostly neon nights in San Francisco, at The Warfield and The Winterland Ballroom, but originally from St. Paul Minnesota; made his way the youngest of four, all the way out to Modesto California.
“The Warfield Theatre, colloquially referred to as The Warfield, is a 2,300-seat music venue located in San Francisco, California. It was built as a vaudeville theater and opened as the Loews Warfield on May 13, 1922.”
“Called “the heart of American show business”, vaudeville was one of the most popular types of entertainment in North America for several decades. Although women were the highest-paid and most popular Vaudeville entertainers, many men also rose to fame. Martin Beck, the Orpheum Circuit founder, discovered magician Harry Houdini. Vaudeville emerged as an independent theatrical genre during the Great French Revolution and soon became wide-spread in Europe.”
Today we have so-called magicians and otherworldly musicians who levitate, evaporate, and mysteriously propagate all over this wonderous world. “In the 1920s, The Warfield was a popular location that featured vaudeville and other major performances, such as Al Jolson, Louis Armstrong, and Charlie Chaplin. New Life came to the Warfield in 1979 when Bob Dylan played 14 shows at the start of his first Gospel Tour in November 1979, and again 12 shows in November 1980 during his “A Musical Retrospective Tour”. The Warfield had an appeal as a rock concert venue because it has more intimacy and better sound quality than an arena. The venerable hall has been rocking ever since.”
Uncle Rocky played the scene, like a pro, late 60’s, real early 70’s and was a stagehand for an out-of-this-world, extraordinary, exceptionally talented crew. Hendrix, Cream, The Doors just to name a few all agree Rocky was everything and then some. I don’t know about you Boo-Boo, but Rocky could play the best with the best, for sure! Stories so good, they were better than pie, and a song to always get you by. Of course, that’s another day of ghostwriting when I have more time, spicy rhymes, and way more pies.
“Winterland Ballroom (more commonly known as Winterland Arena or simply Winterland) was an ice-skating rink and music venue in San Francisco, California. The arena was located at the corner of Post Street and Steiner Street. It was converted for exclusive use as a music venue in 1971 by concert promoter Bill Graham and became a common performance site for many famous rock artists”, including our Rocky! “Starting on September 23, 1966, with a double bill of Jefferson Airplane and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Bill Graham began to rent the venue occasionally for larger concerts that his nearby Fillmore Auditorium could not properly accommodate. After closing the Fillmore West in 1971, he began to hold regular weekend shows at Winterland.”
“Various popular rock acts played there, including such bands and musicians as Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, The J. Geils Band, The Who, Black Sabbath, James Gang, Mahogany Rush, Quicksilver Messenger Service, UFO, REO Speedwagon, Queen, Slade, Boston, Cream, Yes, Fleetwood Mac, Kiss, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Styx, Van Morrison, The Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, The Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin), Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Ten Years After, Rush, Electric Light Orchestra, David Bowie, Genesis, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Sons of Champlin, Sex Pistols, Traffic, Golden Earring, Grand Funk Railroad, Humble Pie, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Robin Trower, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Sha Na Na, Loggins and Messina, Lee Michaels, Heart, Journey, Deep Purple, J.J. Cale, Spirit, Chambers Brothers, Alice Cooper, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Foghat, Mountain, B.B. King, Montrose, George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers and Elvis Costello. Led Zeppelin first performed their song “Whole Lotta Love” there.”
“Many of the best-known rock acts from the 1960s and 1970s played at Winterland or played two blocks away across Geary Boulevard at the original Fillmore Auditorium. Peter Frampton recorded parts of the fourth-best-selling live album ever, Frampton Comes Alive!, at Winterland. The Grateful Dead made Winterland their home base, and The Band played their last show there on Thanksgiving Day 1976. That concert, featuring numerous guest performers including Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and many others, was filmed by Martin Scorsese and released in theaters and as a soundtrack under the name The Last Waltz.”
“Winterland closed on New Year’s Eve 1978 / New Year’s Day 1979 with a concert by the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Blues Brothers. The show lasted for over eight hours, with the Grateful Dead’s performance, documented on DVD and CD as The Closing of Winterland; lasting nearly six hours, beginning at midnight with Bill Graham’s favorite Dead tune, Sugar Magnolia. After the show, the crowd was treated to a hot, buffet-style breakfast.”
Now apartments, but I’m positive, the ghosts still play the blues, and when the bay’s fog rolls in, a purple haze appears, and a faint electric guitar can be heard. The torch has been passed and my husband and Rocky’s son will carry his music, memories, and well-treasured wishes onto the future rocks of the world.
Can’t think of Thanksgiving without him, and sadly this will be the first year, on the day, not physically with him. Though his spirit is as bright and as sunny as his disposition was, dearly missed, and greatly loved. Such a profound loss, we’ll carry his candle and pray too above. Hope your Holiday is blessed beyond measure and your cups runneth over. Filled to the rims with joy and heaps full of love. Turn the music up, whistle while you work, skip some beats, and be merry this Thanksgiving!