Curtain Call - Fur Peace Ranch - 2015
The sparkling, garish colors of fall in southern Ohio are gone but the magic remains. The closing of another year at Fur Peace Ranch, the litany of brilliance based on selected bands / musicians, the inveterate aging hippies and the powerful and poignant playing of Hot Tuna (Jack & Jorma). Those who traverse the highways of Ohio to stroll down memory lane are greeted with brilliant ensembles of iconic musicians, the euphoria of yesteryear and the camaraderie that has been intricately woven into the tapestry of what is now the Valhalla of the Counter Culture / Woodstock Nation. The grassy knolls of southern Ohio are a welcome enter, the home of what remains of the hippie-esque survivors of the The Counter Culture who continually visit the ranch in search of those golden moments and the euphoria of psychedelia. The pragmatic demeanor of those who work to make the ashes of yesteryear burn those embers and the aura of San Francisco, Laurel Canyon, The Fillmores, The Avalon Ballroom, The Matrix, all the ghosts of those we most emulated and admired, return from the recesses of the mind. The dystopian attitude of “The mainstream” 2015 is lost in the proverbial shuffle as we digress to the barefoot mavens and rolling hills of Golden Gate Park and other noted places where burgeoning hordes cling to the ideology of The Counter Culture / Woodstock Nation. In some manner I have evolved to a docent of the times,
a historian of those treasured moments, a pocketful of memories that are easily
remembered while strolling the grounds of Fur Peace Ranch. Iconic bands and musicians are those who are booked for the ranch and are those who broaden the smiles and warm the hearts but for some of us, it is the appearance of one of the three greatest guitar players on the planet augmented with the brilliance of John William Casady, an innovator of melodic bass playing and certainly the best player in the history of recorded music.
Through the years, both young and old have taken the parables of yesteryear, the ardor of long ago “free” performances in The Panhandle & Golden Gate Park, morphed into a chasm that should will forever be known as a magnetic force that sees the light as we strived for so long ago while in our own hearts, canonize the rich and resonate tunes by one of the great bands and musicians in the history of recorded music. We now await 2016, a myriad of storied musicians and the soirees that define each weekend at Fur Peace Ranch. The bells will ring, excitement of tomorrow brings massive chortling for those who revel in the aura of the ranch and to paraphrase and noted axiom, “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee”.
Don Aters - 11/18/15