Monday, November 11, 2002
Prepare for a terribly boring blog log. I don't know what's up, or why I'm so boring lately. I guess the wang chung of my dad's desk here in Minneapolis is wrong. It's a shame, because my life is kind of all right, and if I had the skillz, I could convey it to you.
Today I began my Top-Secret Mission. I won't tell you what it is, but I'll tell you that it involves the following elements:
1. The drums in "Drive My Car." Ringo does not get enough credit for the drums on this song. They are a big wow. I could go on and on, but better that you listen to them yourself. Listen to the way he omits certain beats on the pre-chorus (which makes me want to totally, you know... you know), and dig the masterful cowbell. I mean just swallow that cowbell whole, baby.
2. Becherovka (see below)
3. Garrison Keillor
Fortunately, during my mission I was able to stop at Liquor Depot and pick up a nice big bottle of Becherovka. Becherovka is the world's finest liqueur. It is Czech, and it's from Karlovy Vary, also known as Carlsbad.
Carlsbad is special for a few reasons. One: Beethoven and the secret love of his love were supposed to have a romantic tryst their at their fave B&B. Somehow they missed each other, and it ruined his life. (According to the fun Gary Oldman movie, "Immortal Beloved.")
Also, Carlsbad was the first HQ for Hitler when he started to invade the Sudenlands. Close to the German border and a popular tourist (and living) spot for Germans, it was a Nazi-friendly town. Supposedly when Hitler arrived, he went to the Becherovka distillery and sat down and demanded a drink. (They have a special tasting room for visitors. I drank there, too. It is wonderfully exciting to be in the birthplace of the world's best magical elixir.)
Hitler thought he was so big. He thought he could just waltz in and take over. Steal the recipe, take the money, drink the booze, kill the Jews, Gypsies, weirdos and dissidents . He wasn't much fun. After he left, the Commies got the recipe. I don't know who owns it now.
The next time you go to Prague, you simply have to go to a small hole in the wall bar and order a Becherovka on ice. You will sip and then shoot it.Your belly will blush, and you will find the bartender heartcrushingly beautiful, and you will feel alive.
Carlsbad has 12 springs of mineral waters, and the Becherovka distillery is known as the 13th.
They also have a film festival in Karlovy Vary. But who cares about that.
Becherovka is made from a secret recipe which only the chief of the distillery knows. He goes into a small room alone to mix up the basic recipe. Anyone with taste buds knows the primary ingredients are sugar and cloves. It is the taste of an Austro-Hungarian Christmas, put in a bottle for your tum.
For what it's worth, Frank Zappa was in love with it and said it was the best product of the Czech nation. Frank Zappa produced Captain Beefheart.
I don't know that much about Central European history and politics, but I wonder what would have happened if the Austro-Hungarian Empire hadn't broken up when it did, and if Czechoslovakia hadn't gotten independence when it did. What would have happened with the Nazis? Matt, do you have any ideas on this?
When I lived in Prague, my fondness for Becherovka became a bit of a shtick. It was my "big thing." Some people, their big thing is they smoke a lot. Or they love Hunter Thompson. Or they're really big on candy. My thing was Becherovka. It had a spiritual, sacramental quality for me. Maybe that's because it nursed me through countless painful "lady times." It's a girl's best friend---even better than diamonds, chocolate, and a VCR.
Anyway, I never drink it because it's hard to find in L.A., but maybe because of the large Slavic situation here in Minnesota, you can get it at Liquor Depot.
Naturally, the Big Excuse for Becherovka is that it's "medicinal." So today I used that excuse to pound Becherovka and get drunk while on my mission. It was just super. Getting drunk during the day in a cold Midwestern city is just the bee's bonnet. Especially since I don't have to stay all winter, and I can go back to California and go swimming in Jim and Jean's hot tub pool.
But now I have to write an article and all I want to do is:
1. Go to sleep and think about Johnny Depp
2. Go to sleep and think about the fun I had at Halle's sexy wedding
3. Go to the Red Dragon and smoke and drink
4. Drive around with Jim Walsh, who is in California, and listen to "Odessey and Oracle" and get high, and then stop by at the 400 Bar and say hi to Bill Sullivan, the owner. Bill used to manage the Replacements, or something, and he claims that he is the reason for why the Pixies and the "Mats" were both so loud. Something to do with some weird loud-ass amp or speaker or something he bought for the Mats on the road when one of theirs blew out, and the Pixies copied them. See, I need to go get the details again, because I was probably drunk when he told me the story. I think that was the night Lenny Kaye was there, and he and Hillary were making out, and he said he liked the Backstreet Boys. These are just two reasons to like Lenny Kaye. Anybody who likes Hillary and the Backstreet Boys (well, you know, back in the day) knows how to keep hope alive. Not to mention the fact that he included Paul Revere and the Raiders' "Just Like Me" on one of the Nuggets' compilations. It's just a gorgeous act of proto-punk rock.