I am haunted – as usual. For an entire week after hearing Paul Aleman and Renee Armand in their new show ‘Timeless’ in the Red Room. Haunted by snippets of songs they sang that pop into my head at random moments. I hear one note, a phrase and my love and appreciation for them grows a bit more. When I first heard them, it was because my sister Patrice insisted on seeing the John Denver tribute show called “Rocky Mountain High.” I was NOT a fan. I didn’t dislike John Denver; he just wasn’t Led Zeppelin. I ended seeing RMH at least four times that season and the one that followed. I missed Laurel Canyon that apparently introduced more songs done by friends of Renee’s. ‘Timeless’ has a few John Denver songs, of course, but the highlight of the show to me was the mash-up of “For What it’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield with its lower register, almost mono-tonal protests with “We Better Stop” by the Youngbloods. It bounced me right back to the mid-sixties when everyone with a conscience was trying to stop a war. In Canada, we were getting draft dodgers and deserters places to stay and jobs. Then Renee likened that time to now with children in her country protesting against gun violence in their own schools. And so I had a thought: Renee’s brother Rick is a fine musician and singer obviously with a hard rock bent and has been joining Paul Aleman and his sister on stage here in Vallarta for two seasons. A good song for Rick to shine in to follow the mash-up: The “Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die-Rag.” You remember Country Joe McDonald at Woodstock? “Give me an F! Give me a U! Give me a C!” And etcetera. You remember.
So I wanted to get that part of the haunting off my chest, then Renee sang “I want to go to Mexico.” A very famous singer heard it years ago and asked Renee if she could record it. No, was the answer. The song is still so intensely personal Renee has a hard time getting through it without her voice breaking. If she does, then she cries at the end. Like the rest of us.
And so it was at a super party at Jim Davis and David Wilhoit’s house this past weekend. Paul, Renee, and Rick were there, of course, and did an impromptu, unplugged, unmiked couple of songs. Everybody sang along, and that was that until Jim Davis had a request…his favorite song. You guessed it. She cried; we cried, and, I’m into another week of haunting.
Vallarta has a new magazine! Paul Crist, the owner of Hotel Mercurio, hosted a fabulous launch party to celebrate the first issue of “Out and About Puerto Vallarta.” The magazine is dedicated to the Gay Community focusing on the people that make that part of our city so enticing to the rest of the world. Good luck to you!
Paco Ojeda was behind the scenes at the magazine launch, making videos and slideshows; however, on April 17, Paco will be at center stage at Incanto with another installment of El Placer de Escuchar. This month his lecture is on “Sweeny Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Two days later on the 19th, the movie will be shown. Both events at 7:30 pm.
Be kind to each other and remember, “We are but a moments sunlight fading in the grass…” From Here.