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FM to Web: REUNIONS by James Lowe

A month ago, Mark Tulin of the legendary ELECTRIC PRUNES passed away unfortunately. Today James Lowe, the singer of the band writes for the column and remembers...
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A month ago, Mark Tulin of the legendary ELECTRIC PRUNES passed away unfortunately. Today James Lowe, the singer of the band writes for the column and remembers...

Hi this is James Lowe of the Electric Prunes. Last week I had to say goodbye to my band mate, song writing partner and friend, Mark Tulin. To say Mark had an edgy wit would be an understatement. Here is a reflection from Mark after all our equipment failed to show up at the Madrid airport in December
2006 for a show in Leon, Spain. Don't be afraid we never really die.


As I lay sprawled on the stone floor of the Madrid airport all I can hear is the empty baggage carrier rotating around its track. One lone torn bag goes around and around. No takers.
Your equipment will be here at 4:00, I had been told. Sure, effex pedals, guitars, bass; not to mention our stage clothes, had been riding all over the Atlantic looking for us. Like I can believe that!
Why am I going through this? I have such an easy life if I stay out of airports. Oh yeah, the music and the Purple Weekend in Leone.
I was looking at some photographs we looked the way we used to be I never dreamed they’d be my epitaph and I’d be drowning in a sea of lost dreams.
The music has always been the muse for us. Being told early that You can’t write songs makes you hike it up and at least try. If you piss us off we write a song about it, if you lay us down, we write a song about it. Say something mildly funny and the next thing you know it‘s a song. What a therapy!
"you give me Big Stick you make my mother sick you come around too quick.
Nothing is sacred. Even our mothers! This is the chance you have to take when you’re playing in the big time ‘garage scene’. Spill all.
Ride on the past? Why write new things? Old thoughts sell! New thoughts might offend the senses of the obsessive and the malcontent stay-at-homes with beatle haircuts that know all the frigging chords. Hell, I don’t even know all the chords. Why not just keep playing the same old stuff? Dull. If you don’t do anything new people will like you for the past and think you’re cool. Dumb. Don’t they want to hear how it was? How it is? How it might be?

Songs used to drive our generation to action. They were anthems that made people respond to social issues. They were stories; little parables. They made people see visions of the future or laugh at the past. Seems we have lost the sense of belonging to something greater. Hell everything tells us we are the greatest; all the time anyway. How do you beat the mundane? Get a new SUV?
I was enticed into this live thing with the chant that people would be interested in hearing us play one more time. In some cases a few brave souls risked the night to relive a remembered ‘67 fantasy; but I get the feeling most are content to let it die as a memory of the past. This is not surprising if you consider most people had to walk away from their dreams and plans a long time ago to make some kind of contribution to the status quo.
This is a slimy pit where you can’t tr
ust the promoters or even your band mates as they rewrite history in an unblinking grab at some kind of place for themselves. Suddenly the passive guy that couldn’t bother to learn the songs or had to be supported by others to play on the records is THE reason you were ever together or successful; really weird.
If you can manage it, it is like taking pain and turning it into something progressively successful. Athletes do this with new tricks. Lady chance plays into every move until someone actually does it. Then the bar goes up and the new crew comes in.


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