Music: Callin’ Old Souls

In July 2018, Magazine by William SteindlerLeave a Comment

Time is not limitless.

When I was young this scared me, itched in my bones. So I did what many teenage outcasts do and attempted to channel my anxiety through art. I chose poetry. It did not work. I am a lousy poet, but I kept at it because I sure as hell couldn’t draw. I read Ginsberg, Bukowski, and others. I tried to mimic their work in my own. I dropped out of high school at sixteen and moved to Washington State, where my first girlfriend attended University. Unemployed, I lived in the basement of a decaying punk rock house. I could not afford to share in the rent, so in lieu, I cleaned up after the perpetual tornadoes which left cigarette butts, stale booze and human hair– my god the hair! I scrounged for change in the deteriorating couches and lived off half-gallons of Carlo Rossi.

There was a guitar and I was bored. This is where my songwriting began.

“We were wild, horny and ornery as any healthy American youths should be.”– William Steindler

I moved back home to Carbondale, got a job and set my eyes on the love of my life, Kenna. I told my friends I would marry her someday though I knew it was a long shot. I didn’t feel like I stood a chance but I was persistent. Roses were not effective with this caliber of woman, so I purchased a four foot tall pinata from La Carniceria and snuck it into the passenger seat of her car while she was working. That turned her head, and after a while, I cast the same spell on her that she had on me long before. Music was not a priority at this point. I had written some songs in Washington but never thought much of them. But having won over Kenna, I wrote a song about her I called “Curtains Are On Fire,” and she still loves when I play it today. Other than that, contentment was derived from a steady paycheck and a savage night life with my Kenna. We were wild, horny and ornery as any healthy American youths should be. Life was grand and time was limitless.

Then our universe was shook with the loss of my best friend. He had just moved out of our house a year before his passing. He travelled. He went to cockfights in Tijuana. His rested eyes opened mine. Initially my rage lead to breaking every stick of worthless furniture and burning it on the front lawn, but then I began to write. The words began to flow like they’d been dammed up in a mine and he lit the dynamite.

For the first time ever we felt the necessity to plan; to plan on living. We were determined to leave the grind and let the gears buckle. We traveled to New England, played open mics in Montpelier, busked the subways of New York City, and shuddered from the unfamiliar tune of gunshots which rattled our sleep in the deserts of New Mexico and the city of Memphis. I love Memphis. We played for tips and free beer in Luckenbach before the real bands showed up and kicked us out. Our abode was a 93 Ford Econoline and the road was our home. Time was limitless.

Despite our urge to never look back we got homesick for the rivers like gypsies and the mountains proud and tall. Plus we hadn’t been stoned in six months. We missed Sopris. We missed Carbondale. So Maurine, our van, carried us back, the needle on empty, our last dime spent. This special town has as much to offer our music as any Nashville bar or New York street corner. Not to say the road won’t call us again but for now, we’re just happy to busk in Aspen, play at Batch once a month, and tend our garden up the Crystal. Time is limited and I’m cool with that.