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New Mix: Negócios ou lazer? 3

posted Apr 25, 2014, 7:43 PM by LNew OkiRonin

Number three of the Negócios ou lazer? series is an odd and kinda solemn mix, because this one's in memoriam of an old (& formerly long-lost) friend from back in the day, Harrison Van Sickle.

I first got to know Harrison around late 1989-early 1990.  Both of us were volunteer workers at a new contemporary arts center in Tulsa.  He was a VERY talented, multifaceted artist.  A home-grown Dadaist/Surrealist.  In particular, I credit him for helping me to understand basic B&W film developing and how to make Rayographs.

A few years later, on a dark & stormy night, he, I and two other former art center workers, David Only & John Bruner, sat around David's dining room table, drinking beer and envisioning Substance Magazine (1992-1993).  He would become our design editor, and adorn most of our issues with collages reminiscent of Max Ernst...but crazier.  Harrison also wrote an "advice" column under the nom de plume of "Blotto".

As the years passed, we saw less of each other and lost touch.  Almost 15 years later, I found him again on Facebook, and still in Tulsa.  We caught up on how things had gone for us, but not much correspondence beyond that.  I always meant to visit him if life would allow me enough days for a decent trip back home.  Earlier this month, noticing that I had not seen any posts from him lately, I went to his FB page.  On it was a new post from his sister saying that he had passed away...THAT DAY.

As for the man, Harrison was foremost kind, smart & funny.  But like many creative types (myself included), behind the scenes & deep inside, he suffered from depressions and other personal demons.  In later years, after the art center's closing and Substance's slow demise, and when we did see him, he wasn't quite the same...sometimes in a deep funk.  One problem was his weight.  Over the years it didn't get better, and eventually lead to serious diabetes, of which he died of those complications.

Yeah, Harrison deserved better.  I hope things are better for him on that other side.

As for the tunes on this mix, I chose a few that were reminiscent of those days back then.  (...Wow...It wasn't easy, but, goddamn, it was good to be an artist back then.  Before all this social media & ironic hipster bullshit...)  And one note about the Cal Tjader track: On piano is Vince Guaraldi (of the Peanuts/Charlie Brown music fame), who played with Tjader's quartet for a few years.  Come to think of it...both those musicians died a fairly early death, too.  And I remember hearing Harrison play a truly beautiful improv piece on the piano once...

Enough.  Bad enough that the anniversary of my mom's passing is in April...bad enough I'm worried about the healths of others close to me...bad enough I'm just another year older...

Enjoy the mix for what it is, folks.  I promise a better mood next time.  LN