Monday, February 13, 2012

The week I worked for Sun Ra

It was sometime between 1980 and 1983 and I was between my two stints at Massachusetts College of Art. I was thrilled to discover that Sun Ra had a five day performance planned for the Longwood Theater, the very stage that I had spent many hours doing every job from lighting to acting to producing.

Arriving very early the first day of the performance I found Sun Ra and his Arkestra alone in the theater without a single representative of the College to be found. John Gilmore and Marshall Allen were desperately searching for things like light switches.  Luckily for all involved I knew the space like (what ever cliche inserted here). I made a few quick phone calls to my pals and easily had a staff willing to work for comp tickets. My friends sold and took tickets and did lights gladly and I played supervisor.

Not only did I get a front row seat for three of the shows, I had to work during two of the shows, but I was rewarded with a private audience with Sun Ra back stage.  He gave me his personal thanks and signed my freshly purchased Saturn Records copy of "I pharaoh".

First informing me that it was their last copy of the album and then regaling me with an epic vision of what I was to experience upon listening to the vinyl.

"You will be transported to ancient times and see other worlds..."

To this day I have no idea who could have scheduled this astounding event and not showed up, but I am quite grateful to them.

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