Days of Lore

Courtesy Of Moriss Taylor

Orange you glad I didn’t say red? As I write this week’s column, I’m going on my 48th hour of solitude in what I call the germ den. The germ den is what my apartment has become over the last few days as I’ve been fighting one nasty cold. It’s been years since I’ve had one of these—I guess it would qualify as orange on the Fox News terror alert scale.

Living the dream This cold has pretty much relegated me to the couch, where I’ve kept all the necessities within arm’s reach: remote control to the stereo, computer, roll of toilet paper and a large bag of strawberry-flavored cough drops. For two days, I’ve been in one of those strange delirium-filled slumbers where I fall in and out of sleep, never knowing exactly what time it is and never sure if I’m awake or dreaming. It’s kind of fun, actually.

It’s raining cats and bros I think I have some new neighbors moving in. I heard some noises outside my door—two male voices that I counted saying the word “bro” nine times in the span of four minutes. This was one of the instances when I wished I was dreaming. It sounded like one of them hurt himself as obscenities kept flying from his mouth … he could have lopped off an arm for all I knew. Startled, I listened for a bit until the commotion subsided. From what I could gather, he probably just hit his funny bone. I think they might own a cat, too. I really do hope it was only a dream.

I wanna be a singing cowboy, too So here I sit—a pile of used tissues at my feet, a wad of toilet paper shoved in my right nostril and enough grease built up in my hair to lube the chassis of a small Japanese automobile. Life is swell.

But there are a few things in view from my couch that remind me of the fun that was had prior to my confinement in the germ den. The stack of Moriss Taylor CDs on my coffee table given to me the day I went out to what I thought was going to be a 15-minute photo shoot. It actually turned into a two-hour trip down memory lane as Taylor showed me old photos and told me story after story about his childhood dream of becoming a singing cowboy.

I grew up watching the show—not by choice. In Red Bluff we had four channels, and it was either Moriss Taylor or ABC’s Wide World of Sports. I’ll never forget the campy sequined outfits, the goofy hairstyles, the songs (especially the closing number, “High Sierra”) and the different set pieces (which I discovered were made by his late wife and that he still keeps in storage). Oh, and the jokes …

But now that I’m older I can appreciate everything he did. Moriss Taylor did exactly what he set out to accomplish. And, at 82, he’s still the same man I grew up watching, and I feel honored to have met him. Check out the complete story on page 20.

A sweet time Also in my CD player is the new La Dolce Vita record. It took the band about a year to complete, but it was well worth it. It sounds great—punchy—the vocals and drums especially. The band played its CD-release party at Lost On Main last Friday. By most accounts, it was a great night. I had fun.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T A couple of the members in West By Swan, who also played that night, told me after the show that they dealt with some less-than-professional behavior on the part of Lost On Main staff. I’ll leave it at that. Let’s just hope the new 21-and-over venue is treating bands with respect.

Turn your head and cough!