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Monday, May 25, 2009

Bjork Yorke vs Michel Lotito (and how we almost got shot)

Here's a Story For the Kids
by C.S. Baker
A family of five [or five thousand] goes out for a dinner picnic on Memorial Day weekend, the fourth Sabbath of May, 2009. As they eat in the fenced-in field, Mr. and Mrs. Baker and their three children consider and meditate on the events of the previous week. Night falls and the fields surrounding the family begin to glow by the rear portions of thousands of lightning night creatures. After reflecting on the beauty of the situation, the satisfied-by-decadization group of five reclimb the gate and return to their van. Feeling pleasant and ready to return to their chambers for a much needed nights sleep, they drive back to their Motel six to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening.
They parked in their old space - - - - - taking up 5 spots with the trailor and Chevy Suburban **under the lights**, at the front of the motel, as Mr. Baker was especially worried about the van getting broken into. Having this parking space gave the family comfort and calmed the nerves of the patriarch. The van doors opened.
50 feet away.
Close enough to see. Close enough for their ears to ring.
And then the curses came down. They came from the mouths of the family, from the mouths of people a hundred yards away, from the mouths of dark clouds surrounding the cheap motel.
A gray cadillac with 20 inch rims and blacked-out windows screamed out: 8 feet, 7 feet, 6 feet, 5 feet away from the family.
Ben was on top of it. Stuart was frozen. Liz was frozen. Dave was already out of the car face-down behind the bunker-like hill beside the van. Nathan follwed the orders of his new brother.
4 feet, 3 feet away.
The shooter's car was there. Radiating death and threatening the five with the six, the seven, the eight rounds left in the gun. And Mr. and Mrs. Baker were kissing the asphault and the Suburban tires just in time.
The words tore and dripped like fire and Myhrr with a serious cool collectedness from Ben's throat.
Seconds after the dark car and pursuing motorcyle had passed the family, the five stood. After cursing the situation, they walked in a cool panic to the McDonalds across the street. Another group. Ten girls, probably a volleyball or softball team, passed by the family--guessing at the shots. The five's morbidly abridged testimony quickend the pace of the softball team and hieghtened their sensitivity to their surroundings. Turning around and walking backwards, family eyes saw a group of rough men gathering around the Suburban.
Were they the shooters? Did they need to eliminate the five whitnesses to the shots? Did they think the family had shot? Either way, McDonalds promised the safety of an INTERPOL headquaters. Walked turned to run as fearful assumptions terrorized the five's brains.
CALL 911
The McDonalds cashier did it for them. Ben, with a calming wisdom, suggested Nathan, Liz, and David stay at the fast food haven while he and Stuart walk around to calm his friends nerves.
It was deserved.
The cops arrived. The Firetruck arrived. The family reconviened. The parking lot at the motel accross the street was full of police cars. It seemed safe. They walked back. Talked to the policemen. Nathan and Stuart got a refund at the front desk then went back to the room to pack up.
A man in a biker gang had shot another biker's Harley. Twice. Trying to blow up the gas tank. Right next to room 138, where the Baker Family was staying. If the family had arrived as little as 10 seconds earlier, the five could have been right between the shooter and his target.
They stayed the night at Motel 6. Right next to the society of bikers.


  1. Guys...this is awesome. Next time don't stand there frozen. Shoot back. :)

  2. Ok, so…being Nathan’s dad…and knowing how important this tour is to all of you…I’m plagued by this feeling that I would be remiss somehow if I just sat back and did nothing about having grown up with this guy… this Mike Klenfner…who, if you google him, you’ll see was a big mucky-muck in the music business, back when the music business was…ummmm... let’s say…somewhat less mature than it is now. Mike and I were friends…not great friends, but good enough to pal around together some. Mike gravitated towards our family mostly because he didn’t have a father and your grandfather, Nathan, stepped into that breach a little and did nice things for him, like taking him fishing. Back when I was exactly the same age as you are now Nathan, and I was home from college for the summer, Mike had just gotten his job working security at the Fillmore East. A big boy by any measure, he rounded me up one afternoon and asked if I wanted to go into work with him, to watch Santana sound check for their evening performance. The fish weren’t biting, so I went. It was cool, sitting in the middle of the deserted Fillmore East balcony, in the middle of the steamy summer day, all by myself, watching the band get themselves ready for the crowds everyone knew were gathering. Much later that night…or maybe it was another night, I dunno, things get fuzzy…Mike produced some Panamanian Red, which was like nothing *I* had ever smoked before, and we wandered out onto the wide Coney Island beach, dark and starry. Mike drifted off into the darkness, heading first in one direction and then another, aimless, like a spider on acid, paranoid as hell that we were going to get busted somehow, the cops right behind us, about to pounce. It struck me as insanely funny, since we were so totally alone. I couldn’t stop laughing. I fell down, the sand still warm from the heat of the day, laughing and laughing….

    Yea…so… Mike’s career really took off right about then. I went back to school, and he quickly became the stage manager at the Fillmore, guiding the likes of Jerry Garcia and Brian Wilson on one-on-one tours of our Coney Island neighborhood, killing time until their performances, and probably toking cigar-sized joints of Panamanian Red with them under the boardwalk, like there was no tomorrow…. A few years later, Mike became Head of FM Promotions at Columbia Records, where he somehow got hooked up with Clive Davis; and then he went on to become Head of Promotions, period, at Arista Records. The man lived a large life in the music business, for sure. (But not so large a life as I have lived, for I…and you can ask Nathan about this, if you don’t believe me…went on to become a librarian….)

    Yea…so…I’m not sure what to do. I mean, I have not spoken with Mike in years. For all I know, he may be down and out…a bum on skid row…laid low by the devastation Napster wrought in the music industry’s business model. (Things change. You may have noticed.) And further, I just don’t know what to ask him…. “Make my kid’s band famous?”... “Help them realize their dream?”… “Do you have any more of that Panamanian Red?”… I don’t know…. I just really don’t know.

    So I’m throwing this out to you guys. What do you think? Should I just let it rest? Should I contact Mike on your behalf? Would you like to contact him yourself? (I have several phone numbers for him…, his business (212-7778030); his cell (516-8502872); his home (516-7913930). (I have no idea if any of them are still active.)) If you contact him yourselves, you would likely be better able to ask him the questions that matter to you; and if you, Nathan, tell him who you are, I’m sure he will do his best to give you honest answers. If nothing else, he likely would be able to convey something useful about how best to promote yourselves.

    Think it over….

    -- Andrew Ribner
    (Big Nate’s Dad)

  3. holy crap, y'all.
    don't die on your first tour. at least wait for the third.

  4. I want to just say that you all are giving God a lot of work lately in answering my (our) prayers to keep you safe! PTL for His protection.