Love Sun Ra. …now.
It was 1989. He set up his band right in the main travelled lane in the middle of the dining hall in college. I walk in for lunch and I’m assaulted by a blast of cacophony: drums, squealing soprano saxes, keyboard, guitar, bass, bells, tambourines, unintelligible lyrics. “Holy fuck!” I said to the air, but nobody could hear that over the din. Nobody is watching. A couple people walk in and walk right back out to go eat somewhere else. I have to walk next to the mic stands to get my tray. I brushed against some shiny material: an older black dude is standing there in his purple shiny outfit, not phased by anything, seemingly engrossed in the musical garbage dump going on behind him, around him, around us, in my ears, in my stomach. All I want is a plate of food and then to get the fuck outta there. My ass got to go, cuz he pushed that button.
It wasn’t until years later when I listened to a Sun Ra album start to end that I realized what was really up. Absolutely love Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Wish I could have appreciated it more back then.