“The sun can’t be down there. And I know it’s not the moon. What is that?”
Idyllopus Press: Have you ever seen a UFO?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: OK, 575. 575 Highway. Going to Blue Ridge. I was going to buy a farm. This woman I talk about, R_____, she sold property and this kind of stuff. She also wrote books and stuff, really deep person, and…
Artist Wife of Guitarist: But she did past life regression.
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: She did past life regression…
Artist Wife of Guitarist: Therapies…
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Oh yeah…and she was 20 years older than me and she and I dated, which everyone thought was like the weirdest thing in the world. She was like 60 and I was like 40 something. Anyway, so, she took me up to see this farm in Blue Ridge, and I had an Oldsmobile, uh, Cutlass 88. And I filled up with gas when we left her house which was right over off Ashwood-Dunwoody Road. We got on the expressway and we drove up there. Full tank of gas, right? So we get to Blue Ridge and this farm is on a bed of crystal. Literally, quartz crystal. You could walk across the ground and it was like stories I’d heard about Africa and diamonds. You could walk across the ground and just kick the dirt and crystals would pop up. And I thought, well, this is just weird as shit. And it was phenomenally cheap! So, anyway, we hung out for a little while and that kind of stuff. We ate at this Greek restaurant, coming back down. There was just this incredible food, stuff like that.
So we were coming down 575, after we ate dinner and stuff, and it started getting dark. So all of a sudden I’m looking–we’re laughing, talking, this kind of shit–and I look down at the gas gauge and the gas gauge is dropping like somehow I’ve got a hole in my gas tank. And so we’re coming down 575 and I don’t want to frighten her so I said, “I think we’re getting ready to run out of gas.” And sure as guns, gun’s iron, I can take you exactly to the exit where this shit happened, we ran out of gas right before this exit. And this exit is black! I mean no street light’s up the exit. Nothing where you can tell where gas was. So I, that kind of weirded me out.
So, at the time, I look over to my right and there’s this gigantic field. And there’s this orange, huge globe that looks like the sun, in this field, and I turn around and I show it, I said, “Is that weird to you? The sun can’t be down there. And I know it’s not the moon. What is that?” And she goes, “That is weird.” And it was just very nonchalant to us. And so we start to get out of the car–and she and I both experienced this, but I was the one who voiced it–but when we started to get out of the car, it was almost like shoving your foot through a screen door. Through the screen, like the old style screen doors, you know, and it’s like literally it’s not easy to get out of the car. So I close the door, I close the door and lock it. And we start up this exit, and I said, “It’ll all work out. Don’t worry about it.” This was before cell phones. I said, “It’ll all work out, it’ll all work out. This is going to be a grand adventure for us.”
Halfway up the exit…
Artist Wife of Guitarist: Y’all were walking…
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: We were walking…we’re out of the car, the screen door experience, and we start walking. Neither one of us looked back at the orange thing…
Idyllopus Press: Never? It didn’t even occur to you to go to the orange thing?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: It was down, we would have had to go down an embankment and over this field. I mean, 575 is kind of a raised highway from all the farm lands below it, right? So, uh, and we never mentioned the orange thing again, which I always thought was just kind of fucking whacky as hell.
“I noticed this tattoo on him is a Spook Squad, is a Spook group. Y’know, I mean. Like Black Op kind of thing in the military, this is not a normal guy.”
So we start up this exit, we’re about to the top of this exit and this guy pulls up in a car and goes, “Can I give y’all a ride to go get some gas…uh, can I give you a ride? What’s the matter?” And we said, “We just ran out of gas.” So he says, “Well, I know where this filling station is right over around the corner.” Uh, ok, this is weird. So I told R_____ to get in the back and we’d been talking about this UFO shit and all this kind of New Agey stuff and this guy looked military to me from the get go. So we get in the car and I told R_____ you get in the back seat and you shut the fuck up, don’t be bringing any of this shit up or we might not get any gas. So you just get in the back seat. So I get up front and the guy and I start talking and I noticed this tattoo on him is a Spook Squad, is a Spook group. Y’know, I mean. Like Black Op kind of thing in the military, this is not a normal guy. And I said, “Oh, you’re in the military,” and he said, “Yeah, I train pilots in survival techniques.” And I went well that’s the most, in the back of my mind, I think, well that’s the nichiest thing, how fucking nichey can you be in the military but to just train plain pilots and Special Op guys in survival techniques, I mean that’s some weird shit in and of itself. And I said, “Well, what are you doing here?” And he goes, well, I train them some place up north in North Carolina, one of the big military bases up there, my wife lives up there and my ex-wife lives in Tucker and I drive down every so often and visit her and my son.
And I’m thinking, “OK,” and I just store that in the back of my mind. So all of a sudden he drives down and takes us right to this filling station. And I’m thinking in the back of my mind how in the fuck does this son of a bitch know where this filling station is when there’s no…there’s not even a sign that says gas at this exit. And I’m thinking how in the fuck does this bastard know…and I just store this information. So, he gets back and he goes, “Well, I’ll take you to the car,” and I say, “No, that’s fine, we’ll just walk right down here.”
So, anyway, we get the gas and put it in the car. And I told R_____, trust me darlin’, that was something weird about this and this is not normal that this guy would know where this exit is. This is just too abstract of an exit for someone to know where gas is. Y’know, the fillin’ station was a mile or a mile and a half away from the exit. So that just…I’m somebody who looks at things and that’s what kept me alive over the years, being involved in some of the things I’ve been involved in…so that’s just one of those weird things.
So we get the gas and we start off down the road. So, all of a sudden, we get about four or five miles down the road. By this time we’re looking at 11 o’clock at night. And all of the sudden the car…
The dog starts barking, drowning out several words.
…just spikes. Literally, as if someone had pulled the plug…
Idyllopus Press: It just stopped.
“It was like it was an electric car and someone had just pulled the plug out of the wall.”
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Pulled the plug on the car. It was like it was an electric car and someone had just pulled the plug out of the wall. And so, uh, I told R_____, I don’t know how to break this to you but, uh, I don’t think we’re going to make it home tonight. I think something is going on and we’re just not going to make it home tonight, darlin’. So we pull over and, lucky for us, there’s this filling station and…(laughs)…right off to the side, all we have to do is walk up this other exit going the opposite direction, back up this way, and over to the filling station, and I call Triple A.
So we go back to the car. So we sit there talking and we’re just talking and stuff and we can’t listen to the radio, you know, and you know it’s pretty dark up there so a lot of stars and we’re just having a lot of fun talking trash and stuff. So, I’m sitting there watching traffic coming by and so now we’re easily into the 1 o’clock hour, and I’m wondering why hasn’t Triple A showed up? And so all of a sudden I see this car come by and it’s like a hot rod, you can actually hear it coming around the bend, there’s a bend and you can hear this thing late at night. And so all of a sudden this guy passes us and I’m lookin’ in my rear view mirror and the guy pulls around and cuts across the freaking median, through the grass, and pulls up behind us. And I told R_____, I said, get down and lay down, I don’t want this guy…I don’t want anything happening, you lay down. So I get out of the car real quick and I walk to the back and the guy says, “You need some help?” and I said, “No.” And he has his shirt open and he’s got a 9 millimeter in his pants. And it’s a government issue 9 millimeter. It was right when we started issuing 9 millimeters in the United States military. And he had a military tattoo on his arm.
And I said, “No, man, I just called the Triple A, but I really appreciate the thought.”
So he for some reason went ahead and pulled this gun out, I reckon to get a reaction to it or something. And he goes, “Well it’s late at night and I always carry this thing”, or something, and I said, “I’m the same way, I’ve got a 44 magnum under the seat,” y’know, this kind of stuff. Didn’t have a gun…
Idyllopus Press: I was going to ask…
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: No, I just thought I’d talk trash with him in case he wanted to try to see if…because I didn’t give him a response at all. I didn’t, nothing…
Artist Wife of Guitarist: You didnt’ act afraid or…
“The whole experience was just military from the get go.”
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Hell, no, you know me, I’m not ever going to show anybody, I’m not going to show…the old adage, never allow anyone to see you sweat, you just don’t do that. So the guy’s talking to me and I said what’s going on? And he said, “I’m just heading up to Dallas, I’ve got to finish work,” and, well, you don’t go to Dallas on 575, the first thing, right off the bat. And, uh, so anyway, I talked to him for a little while and he says, “Well, I just thought I’d stop and try to help you, man.” And I said, “Fine.” He goes in the opposite direction, back the way he came. He doesn’t even turn around to go north like he’s going to Dallas. He heads right back down and, trust me, we sit there until three or four o’clock in the morning and I say Triple A isn’t coming. So I went and called them again. And Triple A said, “We never got a phone call from y’all.” And I said, “Trust me, you got a phone call from me ’cause here’s the person’s name I talked to.” No record of any phone call ever being made to this person. The guy in the hot rod never came back up the highway.
Take my car to my mechanic the next day, or this guy tows it to my mechanic, and the guy said, well, that’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Your whole electrical system is like burnt out, just literally like it got hit with some electrical charge or something and died. He had to replace a huge quantity…had to replace the alternator, the battery, everything that ran with the electrical system that was a part, other than the wiring, was cooked.
So I get home the next day and I’m thinking, when I wake up, we didn’t get home until like six o’clock in the morning, and so I crash out and I get up and I’m thinking to myself, “That was such a military freaking experience.” The whole experience was just military from the get go. Y’know, here are the military guys showing up, asking us a bunch of questions, knows where this filling station is, and this shit. So I break out a map and I see that if you literally start out on a straight line and gone about five or six miles you would have ended up over at the military base over in Marietta.
Artist Wife of Guitarist: Lockheed?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Well, no, the military base. Lockheed’s at the military base. The military base is, you know what I’m talking about, the Air Force, Naval…
Idyllopus Press: Yes, I know.
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Up there. So it is. That’s the whole story. Y’know. And I didn’t have a watch on so I never checked to see if there was ever any missing time.
Idyllopus Press: Ok.
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: So, but, the whole experience was way…and I’ve had some weird experiences but this rates right up there with like, for me, well this could have been an acid trip, y’know? It was that whack. So that was that.
I’ve had other things where I’ve been driving along and, uh, this one happened right before I decided I had to have a tattoo. I was driving back from Lawrenceville one night…driving along, and you know how sometimes you space out and then you come to and you go well where in the hell am I? That happened to me. And when I finally came to, or whatever happened, instead of heading to Tucker, I was headed to Athens. I was almost out of gas again. This gas thing plays a real odd part in all of this in my life. Woke up the next morning and had to have a tattoo.
Same thing happened to me about maybe a year later. Same exact thing. I was going one direction, then another direction, out of gas again. The next day I woke up and I had to be in Texas in seven days or I felt like I was going to die. Moved to Houston, Texas. Then I had a weird experience on the roadway to Houston, out in Texas, between Austin and San Marcos, where me and this girl that I was staying with, that was a friend of mine, we had our dogs in this truck of mine and we pulled over to the side of the road because the car started acting weird and the dogs jump out and one of the dogs got hit by a car. And so this guy stops by, out of the blue, in a truck, uhm, a, tow truck. This is right when they’ve got these…ones and you pull the truck over and put the car up on it? And he pulls over to the side and he says, “I’ll take your dog to the hospital.” And I went, “Wait a minute, what’s this…” So he literally loads the dog onto the back of his truck and takes off. And it was my dog. And he takes off. And suddenly I snap to and I just start running after the guy and I chase the guy like four or five miles down the expressway full blast, which trust me, I don’t know how that can happen, I’m not someone who can run four or five miles. And suddenly I came to and I went, “What am I doing? I’m running down the edge of the expressway chasing a truck” with my quote unquote dead dog lying in the back of it.
Idyllopus Press: So what tattoo did you get?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: A dragon, of all things.
Idyllopus Press: Was it a place you had already known about? Or how did you find the place to get your tattoo?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: I’d heard there was a tattoo shop in Decatur. Another strange thing. The guy that owned the tattoo shop…this tattoo shop was right across the street from this black high school. This was before…
Idyllopus Press: Yeah, I know.
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Right before you cross the railroad tracks.
Idyllopus Press: We used to live across the railroad tracks.
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: So, yeah, I just knew I had to have a tattoo. I felt if I didn’t get this tattoo I was going to die.
Idyllopus Press: Had you already decided it had to be a dragon tattoo or was that a decision you made when you got there?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Saw a dragon. I saw this dragon and I went Whoa! I had no idea what I was going to get or anything. So anyway, the guy’s name was Rain Goon Ricky.
Idyllopus Press: What?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: The tattoo artist’s name was Rain Goon Ricky. That was the name he went by. Real cool dude. So he knew I was young so I was like 18.
Idyllopus Press: Ok, so this was when you were 18. For some reason I was assuming this happened after…
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: No, this was…
Idyllopus Press: I was thinking sequentially…
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: No this was back when tattoos was not favorable. If you had a tattoo you were criminal.
Idyllopus Press: So what year would this have been?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: 69 maybe?
Idyllopus Press: And then your Houston move.
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: About 72. So, ah, he starts giving me this tattoo and he does the outline. You know when you’re giving a tattoo you have to do all the outline first, the black line, before you start adding color.
Idyllopus Press: Is that it?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Yeah. And he always signed them with this little tattoo mark down there. So anyway he does this, we’re laughing, I really lock into the guy because he’s into motorcycles and all that shit, so anyway he takes a picture and goes, “You need to help me out here.” I said, “Oh, what you need me to do?” He goes, “I’m color blind and you need to tell me what…
Laughter all around.
Artist Wife of Guitarist: He was a tattoo artist and he was color blind?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: That’s what he told me. And I just all of a sudden went, “Oh, shit!” Because the black line was so good, the outline was just phenomenal, and I just went…
And he started laughing and said, “I’m not color blind, I just thought I’d get ya.”
There followed more stories and talk about synchronicity.
“Oh, here’s a synchronicity story.”
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Oh, here’s a synchronicity story.
Idyllopus Press: OK.
Artist Wife of Guitarist: Got your tape going?
Idyllopus Press: Yes.
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: G_____ is in this story. Remember when ______ Music was right there where the train station is now?
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: I was hanging out with G_____ and the woman that became my second wife…G______ and I were sitting in the store, it was after hours…and, uhm, this girl walked in the door. The minute she walked in the door I knew I was going to marry her. I knew that she was going to be my wife. She comes in the door and she’s good friends with G_____’s wife, C______, the girl that is the face on the Tropicana thing. Did y’all know that?
Idyllopus Press: No.
Guitarist with Gold Ceiling: Yeah, her mom and dad were the family. She was the little girl on the thing. So, anyway, M______ comes in, she comes in and goes, “Where’s C______?” And, uh, G______ says, “I haven’t seen her. Why?” And she goes, “I was following her here and I swear to God she turned in here and that’s why I’m here.” And I went, “Whoa, too weird.”
I didn’t ask the third question, which is usually what story the person would like to tell. There were stories enough already.