I think it was 1970. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was the year, although it could have been a year earlier. Or, maybe it was '71. Doesn't matter. It was on a very warm September evening, and it was the first of many times I was to see Frank Zappa and his Mothers of Invention perform. After it was over, I remember coming out of the old Barn with hundreds of others, all of us quietly shuffling along lost in a stunned silence, back to our cars, or wherever. I was so thoroughly amazed, humbled even, by what I had just witnessed. And since that night, and on through the days of my life, through all of the changes that have occurred, he has been a constant, perfect companion.
And several years later, when I rediscovered the gift my father had given me, the magic of fishing with flies, I found to my delight that it was a most perfect fit for me to include Frank on my journey.
For so many more reasons than just his music.
It was his attitude. How he saw through all the crap, flash, and bravado. How clear his vision, and his mind, despite what most people thought, were. And, as I move further down my road, I would have a hard time pointing to many people who have had, to this day, a bigger influence on my overall viewpoint. His uncanny ability to see right through what it is that most of us blindly accept as our reality makes him a profound and yet personable fishing companion. And then, there's his music.
I tie flies with Frank's mind in mind. Casting soft hackles with Evelyn, the modified dog, at my side. Taking in the hills as night approaches, wondering if a vehicle came from somewhere out there just to land in the Andes.