HIGH LONESOME
excerpted from
Infinite Tuesday
An Autobiographical Riff
Michael Nesmith

 

Deep in the bowels of sorrow, in the songs of the hard-laboring, slow-growing, painful life that is mortality, there is embedded a concept shared among country and blues writers and musicians, called High Lonesome. Those two words describe the deepest pain experienced in this life—a pain so intense that to merely describe it is to experience it in some degree. This High Lonesome is beyond the reach of anything the human senses know. It cannot be seen, heard, or felt physically. It’s accessed only through the heart and soul. It is the essence of loss—lost love, lost chances, lost life—and nothing is ever sadder or more difficult to bear. It is wanting to love—feeling the need to love, deep and real—and having no place for it. It is affection, pure and sweet, with no one to receive it, no one to know it, no one to give it to or share it with.

High Lonesome had been the unknown and unintended theme of my life, even when my life looked to an outsider like an example of great success. Buried within the life of all mortals is one resounding and echoing heartbreak after another—one despairing moment repeating and repeating—even if it is unrec­ognized. High Lonesome is the feeling that accompanies it and is the purest blue the mind can paint.

It is truly said that, only by the blessings of universal order, from such a point there is no way to go but up.

What was really happening was I was running off with my friend’s wife, leaving two sad, angry mothers and four innocent kids behind, along with a failed marriage and a pile of unwanted recordings. What was really happening was I was at the bottom of the darkest box canyon I could have been in, without a shred of sunlight. I found myself in free fall. Every seam in the sack of my life started to split, and all its contents started leaking out. My affair with my friend’s wife became even more horrible to me, but I didn’t know how to retreat. Let’s call her Kathryn, because that was her name. We were thrown together by circumstance, and maybe it was because I was getting desperate that I fell in love with her, or maybe it was really true love. I didn’t know how to tell. I only knew the attraction was impossible to resist.

I had naturally reached out to my mother, whose fortunes were waxing and whose company, the Liquid Paper Corpora­tion, was expanding in leaps and bounds, causing a stir in the office-supply business. Maybe, I reasoned, she would like to go into the record business with me. She sent her top execs out to meet with me and look at a possible fit. I can only imagine how thrilled they were to be sent to meet with the loony son of their chief executive.

It didn’t take long for Mom’s business team to figure out how incompetent I was as a businessman. Their advice to my mother was not the thing a mother wants to hear, especially after she’s discovered that leaving my wife and children to flee with a friend’s wife was a real option for me.

Countryside piano player David Barry told me that he met someone he thought maybe could help. She was part of a traveling commune coming through town, living in a school bus. He thought the woman might be happy to lend me some money to keep Countryside rolling while I got on my feet. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I had no feet, so I agreed to meet her.

The hippies were really more a commune of yogis. They were a beautiful bunch, following a form of Hinduism and trying to live an ascetic life. Their trip looked Keseyian, and even if the bus they were in wasn’t actually named Furthur, they were immersed in the developing counterculture of communes. They were educated, calm, radically left of center, and Countryside must have seemed to them like a good alternative-music enclave—except for the politics of country music, a not insignificant problem. Bringing them into my world, or me into theirs, would create a weird conundrum in my ever-growing sample box of conundrums, but I had little choice, and I pri­vately thought of their presence as a blessing, the slight touch of the spirit of the Merry Pranksters’ stopping by the ranch and nodding their approval.

Michael Nesmith’s career in music television and movies took him from starring in The Monkees to a celebrated run of albums as a solo artist in his First National Band. He created the TV show Popclips, a forerunner of what would become MTV, and produced the films Repo Man and Tapeheads. He is the author of two novels and the founder of Pacific Arts Corporation, which produces projects in the worlds of audio, video and virtual reality, including Videoranch 3D. He lives in Carmel, CA.

 

Michael Nesmith’s INFINITE TUESDAY (an Autobiographical Riff) is available in hardback from Crown Archetype – ISBN: 978-1-101-90750-4, in eBook – ISBN: 978-1-101-89752-8, and as an unabridged Random House audio book.

Excerpted from Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff. Copyright © 2017 by Michael Nesmith. Published by Crown Archetype, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Leave a Reply

Stories From Around the Web

Who Killed MLK?



At last a Smoke Signals NO BRAINER
MACACA SPEAKS
MAKE FRAGMERICA GREAT AGAIN
THE BRAND ON TRUMP’S BIG FUCKING WALL

Truly, we’re fucked if we can’t call off and reschedule this whole lose-lose election the failed two-party-system has stuck us with in order to keep control of the country. In order to change things it's going to take a plan that bars anyone who ran for POTUS in this election and replaces them with... »

Jack Wesley Hardin’s
THE ONE THAT GET AWAY

If you unlucky enough to be out in the soup tonight, baby, you don’t have to be told this toxic brew of critics and crucifiers alike is not pissin’ chicken soup for the soul down on us. All you gotta do is watch the waves of rage exploding out over the high bluffs above... »

an Octoberfest hors d’oeuvre
I AM FIFI

I am FiFi (not my real name), the French maid sex slave of two beautiful, brilliant, strong Amazon Lesbians. And though they tell me I am badly flunking the French part of my maid, What, Dear Vibrator, I must ask, is the correlation between pain and sexual excitement? Am I a sickness? »

A SHORT UPDATED HISTORY OF THE EVER POPULAR BELIEF IN MAGIC

As she obliviously barked on, I looked out the corner of my eye to see if everyone was staring at us. But they were totally frozen in time. I mean, they were all completely stuck in mid chew, or suck, as they case may be -- trapped in the unconscious flytrap of our... »

Charles Bukowski's
Six Inches

Sarah picked me up and placed me down between her legs, which she spread open just a bit. Then I was facing a forest of hair. I hardened my back and neck muscles, sensing what was to come. I was jammed into darkness and stench. I heard Sarah moan. Then Sarah began to move me slowly back and forth. As I said, the stench was unbearable, and it was difficult to breathe, but somehow there was air in there—various side-pockets and drafts of oxygen. Now and then my head, the top of my head bumped The Man in the Boat and then Sarah would let out an extra-illuminated moan. Sarah began moving me faster and faster »

an excerpt from John Goodman’s
MINGUS SPEAKS
Avant-Garde and Tradition
Photograph by Robert Frank

I don't want to be so junglish that I can't climb a stairway. I got to climb mountains all day long? We're going to the moon, right? Well, I'm with the guys that wrote music that got us to the moon. Not the guys who dreamed about it. Bach built the buildings, we didn't... »

Excerpts from
THE LAST INTERVIEW WITH JAMES EARL RAY
A Counter Myth
from Mike Golden’s
BEEN TO THE MOUNTAINTOP, WENT OVER THE EDGE

Sad to Say, if you ask any graduating class today who James Earl Ray was, less than 10% of those over-priced diplomas would know the confessed, then-unconfessed, alleged-assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King was indisputably one of the three biggest hand-picked-stooges in history, along with Curly Larry Sirhan and Mo Harvey Oswald... »

Victor Harwood’s
THE WRITERS’ CONFERENCE
excerpted from his novel
TO DIE IN MADRID

That Saturday night Malraux and I sat side-by-side, facing the room, watching the crowd flow in and out in waves as it passed through the Dingo, quick to find out what was doing in the Quarter, savor a Jimmy Charters Gin Fizz and head off for dinner at the Brassarie Lipp or the Dôme... »

Now entering the 50th year of having to ask
WHO KILLED MLK
HERE’S A CONVERSATION
WITH PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR WILD BILLY HICKS


“I’d rather be dead than afraid,” the spirit said to Hicks It was Dr. King’s mantra, but all Wild Billy saw was a poor lost soul who didn’t know he was dead. “I never felt so small as when I realized it was my job to inform Dr. King’s spirit his body was gone »

DARIUS JAMES
DR. SNAKESKIN SPEAKS


BOYS TOWN
They took their beer from the bar to a table in the back, and then Johnson started talking about whore houses it had been his distinct pleasure to know. Like shortstops or writers, there was a rating system."There was a place in Jersey. In Wildwood. A grand old House, for its... »


THE NATIONAL PASTIME
Die for it or live for it, it always comes down to whether you go for what looks most inviting in the moment or wait for what you're lookin' for. Call it Yes or call it No, to swing or not to swing appears to be the only room left to move in... »

What's Happening In:

Little Rock - Arkansas Times
Buffalo - Artvoice
Athens, OH
The Athens NEWS
Austin, TX - Austin Chronicle
Baltimore - Baltimore City Paper
Birmingham - Birmingham Weekly
Black & White
Boise
Boise Weekly
Boston
Boston Phoenix
Boston's Weekly Dig
Boulder - Boulder Weekly
Charlottsville, VA - C-Ville Weekly
Chicago
Chicago Newcity
Chicago Reader
Chico
Chico News & Review
Cincinnati - Cincinnati CityBeat
Rochester - City Newspaper
Minneapolis - City Pages (Twin Cities)
Lansing - City Pulse
Des Moines - Cityview
Halifax, NS - The Coast
Colorado Springs - Colorado Springs Independent
Columbia, SC - Columbia Free Times
Atlanta - Creative Loafing (Atlanta)
Charlotte, NC - Creative Loafing (Charlotte)
Sarasota, FL - Creative Loafing (Sarasota)
Tampa, FL - Creative Loafing (Tampa)
Dallas - Dallas Observer
Dayton - Dayton City Paper
Oakland - East Bay Express
Hermosa Beach, CA - Easy Reader
Eugene, OR - Eugene Weekly
New Haven - Fairfield County Weekly
Calgary, AB - Fast Forward Weekly
Athens, GA - Flagpole Magazine
Jacksonville, FL - Folio Weekly
Fort Worth, TX - Fort Worth Weekly
New Orleans - Gambit
Vancouver, BC - The Georgia Straight
Hartford, CT - Hartford Advocate
Honolulu - Honolulu Weekly
Houston - Houston Press
Springfield, IL - Illinois Times
Durham, NC - Independent Weekly (NC)
Corona, CA - Inland Empire Weekly
Madison, WI - Isthmus
Ithica, NY - Ithaca Times
Jackson, MS - Jackson Free Press
Los Angeles - L.A. Weekly
Las Vegas - Las Vegas CityLife
Las Vegas Weekly
Louisville, KY - LEO Weekly
Long Island, NY - Long Island Press
Maui, HI - Maui Time Weekly
Memphis - The Memphis Flyer
Knoxville - Metro Pulse
San Jose - Metroactive

Great Moments in Sportz
Fear & Loathing @ The Kentucky Derby



RALPH STEADMAN remembers meeting HUNTER S. THOMPSON: I heard a quick hiss from the spray can Hunter was brandishing. He had Maced me again!...

HUNTER meets RALPH: Another problem was his habit of sketching people he met in the various social situations I dragged him into--then giving them the sketches. »

Mike Golden’s
Inside Outsourcing
Even if eating it is not exactly their thing they always have the option to use it as a dildo made exclusively for them personally by white trash fashionistas from the south of France collection, Dominique, would you like a tattoo of your face on your ass, dear, while you’re waiting for the designer to take measurements we can use to fit your soul into a gift package? »
Although Tuli was dubbed “the Noel Coward of Bohemia” by his friend co-founding Fug Ed Sanders, I always thought of the multidextrous humanist-humorist as “the Tom Paine of standup protest performance art”, but no matter what handle any of us pin on him it’s safe to say he has probably subliminally influenced more underground writer-poet-artist-publishers than any other Boho to come down the page this century. »

WAA!!
WHAT AN ASSHOLE!


painting collage of UBU, THE DECIDER by aka
Fred Wistow introduces Malcolm Gladwell

Max Blagg Commercial



  • 1965 collage by d.a. levy

  • Before you leave...
    visit Lally's Alley
    for daily updates
  • Visit Richard Cummings'
    The Fire Insider

    for daily updates
    Dick Lit
    Missionary Positions
    fiction by Joe Maynard

    Painting by Peter Cross

    "dick lit" is here to acknowledge the good, bad and ugly that goes with it, as it celebrates every young boy's quest to get off the next time, and every old man's quest to get off one more time, before there is no time left to get off on... »

    THE BEATS:
    REMEMBERING THE TEA
    an excerpt from Ellen Pearlman’s
    NOTHING & EVERYTHING

    Nothing and Everything is about the relationship of Eastern thought, particularly Buddhism, to the arts in post-war New York City —from the early 1940s to the early1960s—a handful of individuals brought about major changes in music, performance, dance, theater, installation, video, mixed media, painting, and sculpture, as the evolution from modernism to postmodernism broke down the idea of art as a practice devoted to a particular medium. The world—or life itself—became a legitimate artist’s tool, aligning with Zen Buddhism’s emphasis on enlightenment occurring at any moment.... »


    A Message from Senator Franken


    Please take 2 minutes to watch this important video.

    Alan Greenberg’s
    ROPE-A-DOPING WITH MUHAMMAD ALI



    For three hours Ali was in the ring sparring, and the entire time he never threw a punch. When he finally stepped down I asked him what he was doing. “I’m gonna get that sucker so tired of punching me he’s gonna fall flat on his face,” Ali replied. And so the “Rope-a-Dope” was born, not in the ring in Zaire, but in a gym in Pennsylvania. »
    MY LIFE & TIMES IN THE SKIN TRADE

    Up on the stage a man who looks like Klinger on Mash lifts his dress for the audience to inspect him. He has a clit. An actual clit. Then suddenly the legs spread, and PRESTO SLEAZO, there's a schlong! What a bargain! A real live hermaphrodite is about to take the skin of his female genitalia and stretch it over his male genitalia and get it on with itself »

    Great Moments in Sportz
    Professor Irwin Corey Accepts The National Book Award for Thomas Pynchon



    It happened Thursday, April 18th, 1974, at Alice Tulley Hall, and those that were there will never forget it (if they remember it at all). The National Book Awards, commercial publishing’s now defunct version of the Academy Awards was in the bottom of the ninth, down »

    Mimi & Richard Farina Live


    In 1965, Mimi and Richard Farina dropped by the studios of WTBS (now WMBR) with electric guitarist Barry Tashian (of Barry & the Remains) for music and talk with DJ Ed Freeman. Richard is on dulcimer. One of Mimi’s two guitars is tuned like a dulcimer. The explanation for the brief gap in the tape has long been lost.

    CLICK HERE

    Michael Disend's RIDER OF THE JADE HORSE


    Li looked firmly into his eyes. “No! I want man who is also a woman.” Penman nodded against his will, his gaze stealing down toward the strap-on dildo she was generously coating with lube. It thrust out like a red cannon from her leather harness. Why red? Is it because she’s from China?

    »

    Dick Lit
    Stacia St. Owens’
    DISCOVERED


    “Dick lit” has been around since the first caveman’s curiosity stuck his dick into the equation when he rubbed those two rocks together around it until....
    DISCOVERED
    Millie tittered, which is how girls used to be taught to laugh. Tilda wondered if this were an intentional jab.

    Barney Rosset Interview
    (The Subject Was Left Handed)


    Nightlife