"Before I joined the love commune I was a Yamaha biker chick, a notorious barfly who constantly frequented the Route 66 honky-tonks gaining fame amongst the inebriated as "Left-Lung Lilly."
The chapters of my life are filled with soiled and torn pages bearing the stains of misguided accidents and wrong turns. Born happy initially, I left home when I was two. I was the unhappy child of a small-town Cadillac salesman, and I was fed up with all of his broken promises to bring home more costume jewelry. Father was an embittered man after mother left him for the boys down at J.D. Walts Plumbing.
After I learned to walk I taught myself to read off the miles and miles of road signs while hitch-hiking south and soon I was giving directions to all who stopped to ask. This included midnight truckers running contraband moonshine to the dry states along the artery of Route 66. It was they who adopted me, calling me "Lilly" because of my "lily-white" blonde hair. They taught me how to sing for pocket change in the beer joints as a novelty act (pre-Karaoke) and they were always watching out for me along the highways and byways, protecting me from deadly evils. "Get in little Lilly" still echoes through my mind...just like the voices in Amoco station bathrooms.
|Hitchin' under the midnight lights.||No place and every place...was a destination.|
One particular and endearing trucker named "Clydesdale Clarence" taught me how to play pool and the life-skills to shark for large rolls of cash which I used to buy my first motorbike, a loud 'n dirty 750 Yamaha. I was set free on that bike and for once the whole countryside was mine...and I freely rolled noisily through it, often packin' moonshine on saddle bag runs for gas money. I got the name "Left Lung Lilly" after the big accident and my singing wasn't all that great after that - so I learned the lucrative art of table dancing...becoming known far and wide as ..."Limpin' Lilly".
|One of the many honky-tonks in my past - this was my favorite, "Sideband Sally's Soap 'n Suds", a 3.2 beer backroad joint and laundromat where I first learned the song and dance trade - that's the very piano Clarence and the other truckers used to play.|
While on a west coast "big-cash rum-run" from Tijuana to Portland with a trucker named Big Jose I became enamored with a van of hippies on their way to San Francisco while I was pumping diesel at the Amoco for Big Jose - I told him I had to go and he finished the rum-run without me. I was never to see the truckers or the truckin' life again. An awakening overtook me as I lived in this van of souls. A kaleidoscope of experience that I will treasure forever. One timeless and life changing moment happened when one of the girls, Moonbeam McGregor, saw me finishing up some personal drawings in one of the Amoco bathroom stalls and stared at it saying, "Wowwwwwwwww, thaaat's art maaaannnnn." I knew then and in that very snapshot of time what it was that I would do with the rest of my life.
|One of our many stops with the Commune to contemplate park lawns...a Dobie Gillis moment...||Moonbeam McGregor tells me about "cool stuff" at Woodstick (the lesser known concert).|
After 10 years of the whole Haight Ashbury/Woodstick (the lesser known concert) scene I became disenchanted, my sidewalk chalk art was good but wouldn't sell and I was tired of the freeloaders in "free people's art". And most of all, I'd had enough of Moonbeam McGregor's stupid stories, finally recognizing them as the senseless babble that they were - fueled by heavy doses of mushrooms and bean sprouts. I was enlightened, I "renaissanced" and I split maaaan! I was off on the road again with my surplus army duffle, making tracks back to the grounded sensible trucker life on good old Route 66. But again, my life was about to be detoured by providence.
While I was making my way southeast through Nevada I stopped at a Holiday Inn in Elko to look for loose casino change when I heard the deep thump-thump of a new kind of music beating out of a dark bar. It was the 70's and disco was taking the country by craze. I looked in to see a smartly dressed band locked in a primitive thump-thump dance trance, I too locked in and joined the dance of thumpa-thumpa trance. My old motorcycle injury didn't matter here because "Limpin' Lilly" was in style to this new music! By the time the night was over I had caught the attention of the drummer. I joined the band the next day and for the next few years we toured the perimeters of small towns as "The Mellowtones".
|Me and The Mellowtones||Me and one of the late drummers|
I didn't know about the curse on drummers at the time and in four years I went through five of them before I "switched instruments" and started dating the horn sections. These were to be the best times of my life...and unfortunately the disco craze was to be far too short-lived and I married a retiring trumpet player in Tucson, AZ. We skipped the honeymoon and moved into Sunset Valley trailer park 50 miles outside of town and I settled myself into a long and wonderful trailer home park life. Unfortunately boredom got the better of me and by the weekend I was busted for hosting high stakes poker games during the afternoon when my new husband was working.
|Happy bride in the trailer park (Monday)||Police raid and bust photo (Friday)|
My husband didn't take well to the sudden publicity, I had ruined his reputation in the community cesspool cleaning business...we split and the short white dotted lines of the highway were slowly blinking by me....once again.
Next chapter - My Art Blooms
Tongue In Cheek Productions, Inc. ©2005
Photographer/Copywriter: Dean "I can make a story out of anything" Daniels