Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sky Saxon is Really Dead

In the mid-80s, I discovered Greg Shaw's Cavern Club in Hollywood when he booked my band Blue Garden Blue to open for The Unclaimed there. I guess he considered us a part of the Paisley Underground scene, which we really weren't. We did, however, self-consciously adopt elements of what was, at that time, a twenty-year old look and style. We wore short paisley-esque ties and black boots and played a garage-type of post-punk that also tapped into The Kinks, Hard Day's Night-era Beatles, Love, and The Seeds. We were simpatico, it seemed.

It was through that experience at the Cavern Club in 1985 that I began to go to the club to see different bands from time to time. One night, I went with my friends to see Yard Trauma and Sky Saxon. I knew The Seeds, I dug The Seeds. What I saw on stage was not exactly The Seeds but Sky Saxon solo. Here was a skinny, scraggly, loosely-garbed Saxon, mumbling into the microphone between songs and lettin' loose when the music played. I didn't recognize a lot of the tunes, except for "Pushin' Too Hard" and a few others. (I can't recall who was his backing band. It could have been Yard Trauma themselves.) I enjoyed it. It was memorable. I got the sense that Saxon was somewhere else, mentally. Impenetrable.

I have no idea if that aptly gets at who he was offstage. It's only an impression from my teen years. Maybe he was still into Father Yod at the time and had his mind-antenna pointed to the center of the cosmos. Or to Laurel Canyon. I don't know. But I'm glad I got to see him when he was probably the exact age I am now, being free and creative.

Sky Saxon, sadly, is really dead.


Anonymous said...

Wow - really sad news. Over the past couple decades I always made a point to check out what Sky was getting up to musically; he never bored anyone, inspired lots of us, and probably scared the heck out of the rest, that's for sure. He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.

But Blue Garden Blue! I didn't know you'd once rocked the Cavern Club! Gonna go check out your MySpace tunage and pronto.

Michael said...

Ok: so I'm totally digging the songs on the BLUE GARDEN BLUE MySpace. I've just gone and ordered your CD! No doubt I'll be reviewing it over at PS Recon in the next month or so . . .

Damon said...


Sorry it's still just a CD-R. I will go ahead and scan the original cassette cover art and make that available.

(Once we scrape up some dough, we'll release a proper CD...probably just in time for no one to buy CDs anymore...)