Oakland Ghost ship fire is a tragic day in house music history

You know the more i hear about this absolute tragedy in Oakland at the Ghost Ship wherehouse, i can not help but compare the party on friday night to one of the parties we had back in the day of early underground rave parties.  Not only would and did we do parties in places like this we also broke into abandoned wherehouses, turned on a generator or 3 and powered up.   This tragedy could have very easily happened to us at our parties any number of times.

There was an incident back in the early 90’s where a hillside caught fire on private land at a party in Livermore.  Thank heavens the promoters of this party were not only conscience but also on the ball by having a water truck on site and acting quickly. I remember that fire. (see videos below) It didnt last long and it didn’t get  very big, but i do remember it  being scary all the same.  The thoughts of the whole hillside going up in flames and us getting trapped crossed my mind a few times that night.

 

 

There was also a party that i went to in the early 90’s that was at the Fashion Center in San Francisco.  It was in the basement and i remember someone letting out the contents out of a fire extinguisher.  I remember that you could not breathe.  You just wanted to get out of there and find some air.  No one could see where an exit was with all the smoke from the smoke machine and people smoking and the fire extinguisher contents.  It was just like thick white smoke that you could not breathe.  It was terrifying.  I was lucky i was able to remember what color lights were near an exit.  But people did not know where to go.  There was nowhere to run.  Luckily that situation ended without any injuries.  We were lucky no one was trampled.

So when i hear about this absolute tragedy it hits very close to home.  I feel we all got very lucky that there was nothing like this that we ever had to contend with when we were throwing parties in a similar fashion.

My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of this fire.  They predict that the count of victims may be over 100 people to parish.  It is unthinkable.  All young people just starting their lives who just wanted to go and enjoy some good house music.  It is an extremely sad day in house music.

I dont know exactly how this is going to change the way people put parties together but i guarantee that there will be changes.  We can say goodbye to any spaces with code violations which unfortunately means probably greater loss of artists and musicians and bohemians to the fabric of our communities and will force more gentrification within the bay which is also a tragedy.

I will say thank you to the people who put on all of the parties that i attended as a young person.  And that they had been more aware of safety than i was clearly aware of.  If this had happened back in my day, it would have practically ended all of the house music parties on the spot.  The rave movement would have ended before it started.

House music usually heals.  But on this dark week, it killed. 😦

 

**my prayers and hope goes out to all the family and friends and loved ones of the victims of the Ghost Ship Party.  You are all in my thoughts!

Fleet Week’s Blue Angels final day flying. Seen from atop Bernal Hill. Oh what a beautiful day!!

I dont think that once in the last 20 years, have i seen an entire week (yes i mean 7 whole days!  and it is still going now!!) with incredible weather during Fleet Week.  Usually we get a couple days, but (as in last year), the fog came in right around the time they started flying and only were able to do one trick and pass over the bay before having to call it.  Some years, they dont even fly.  If they cant see their plot points it is very dangerous as well as if it is too foggy, we cant see them.  This week though, none of that issue as you can see below.. It was maybe the most beautiful weathered Fleet Week in the last 2 decades!  It was really awesome. 🙂

Blue Angels doing their loop-de-loop over SF bay. Thank heavens they use the smoke or i’d have never been able to capture it on my iphone!

One of my favorite members of the Blue Angels team… FAT ALBERT!

From atop Bernal Hill at the top by the Microwave tower. the little speck in the sky fat albert leaving scene of the fly by!

Oh what a view!

That speck up there is not a plane, but a beautiful Red Tailed Hawk.

Neighbor and his boy were enjoying the sites at the top too. They were very nice.

Hey hey hey!

Oopsie… a little bit of trouble atop the tower. I dont know if the girl who was running on the roof of the tower got arrested or just warned. Note… should never trespass on city govt. property while hundreds of people are there watching.

whoops. another guy being talked to by the popo. i saw him later though so they let him go. yea.

pretty steep up here at 436 feet up.

while we are here, lets check out our 49ers! Candlestick is just to the left of the bluff.

I hope you enjoyed the photo recap.  I know we dont have the best view to see all the exciting flying, but i personally think that 1. the views of the city make it worthwhile!  And 2. not having to fight the traffic makes it all doable!

It has been kind of a strange week of clarity and epiphanies (or at least new theories!)

I think my brain is shifting into trying to understand some things in a new way.  It has been an interesting week for you if you were my brain.

I remember, when i was 26, i was really at a bad place in my life at that time.  I was suffering from SEVERE depression and such severe anxiety, that i had a hard time keeping food and water down and i could not leave the house.  I would sit for days just crying or stressing out so bad that that would make me start crying and getting really despondent.  At this time i had not had any psychological help and i had no idea what was going on or how serious it was.  I knew i was in a seriously bad place, but i did not know how or if i could get out of it.

The reasons i were in it, seemed obvious at first and they were big and easy ones to blame.  And they WERE to blame! But they were not the only thing i had to blame for me to getting to where i was at that point.  (Just so you know what i kinda mean, in a series of a couple years when i was 19, i went through quite a few unfamiliar situations.  Heavy situations.  At 19, i had lived a fairly strict and protected life as a child and had no experience in dealing with things as big as my best friends suicide, a roommate going crazy, evictions, death of grandma which put my dad into a bad depression that became at that time projected onto me.  etc.. Since then, it hasn’t stopped.  I have been through a bevy of unpleasant or unexpected and often life altering situations since then. I feel like I have been through it all (Not all!  Thank god! But unusually strangely large amount of nightmares since my 20’s.  I won’t bore you with more of my sorry ass tales
, but it has been quite an interesting last 2 decades with as many stories to match.)  I think it is to even out my great childhood..  It better be at least!)

Anyway, there was this week when i was 26 years old.  Nothing was better or had happened to trigger it, but i had this one week that i call my week of epiphanies.  I had this amazing brain thing happening where all of a sudden, something that i didn’t even know i was wondering was understood and that actually had a huge impact of relevance  to what i WAS actually thinking i needed to figure out.

It was like, i was so focused on the problems that i was trying to solve, i never even thought about why i had these problems in the first place.  The obvious i had thought was the culprit but strangely, it went way WAY deeper than that.

It happened again in 2008.  All of these questions that i had been mulling through my brain for years were like poof!  solved.  I got it.  I would have never thought of that  being the answer.   And that time, it  turned out that the answer was actually the question!  It was so crazy that week!

The only other thing i can compare it too is those damn 3d posters that i thought were a hoax to try and see how many people they could get to gullibly stare at a boring poster for 45 minutes, until… you see it!  WOAH!  Was that there that whole time?  How can i not have seen it?  It was right there and I SEE IT!!  Amazing!

That is kinda like what i am experiencing this week.  Maybe it is my grandma’s passing, my family reunion, my 38th birthday and my 20 year high school reunion, not to mention ending a relationship.  Maybe my brain is getting some perspective on things and am doing some brain sorting.   Anyway, when i do figure out  what it is that i am now in understanding of, i will try and let you know.  In the mean time, please excuse me if you see a few brain blabbing posts this week.  I know what i now understand, trying to express it in words, well, we will see….!

Epiphanies, bring it on!  I am ready for you! Even if it is not on a 12 year cycle!

🙂