New Speedway Boogie

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November 9, 2012 at 7:27am

In the early 60s in New York there was a dive called Slugs way over on the Lower East Side where none but the brave or stupid dared venture. Every Thursday night this musician (also from Alabama) who called his act Sun Ra and his Arkestra held court there, and me and my girlfriend would get brave and stupid and go have a beer and catch what was happening. Many times we would be the only people there, except for the bartender and the Arkestra folks who were a costumed multitude, some musicians, some who danced some kind of Afro-mythology interpretation and others who held weird poses for hours. One time I got up to go take a leak and there was an African warrior balanced on the urinal playing a saxophone. Amazing… and beer was only 25 cents a mug. What I learned from this, that has stuck to me like flypaper, is that music is whatever the musician says it is!

— Simeone Cox, The Silver Apples



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