Listen: The Cisco Kid / War WarCisco.mp3
Today is the first full day of spring, according to my neighbor who knows all these things. Actually it started yesterday at around 1:15, so that didn’t count. Whatever. When it’s about 70°, no humidity with clear blue skies, and I find myself digging through boxes of doubles stockpiled for some 15 years back out in the garage, I know it’s spring. It’s the first thing I do, having itched to get at something or other all winter – and that’s exactly how yesterday was spent. The place is actually a scene from that new TV show about hoarding, the latest condition a doctor will give you tablets for. Corinne went in to get something, and being her first time for a couple of years, and just flipped out on me. So I needed to do some shuffling around anyways.
Brought one of those portable suitcase record players out with me. I bought this one for a steep $20 sometime in the late 80′s when those two parking lots on 6th Ave and 26th St had the weekly junk sales, dealers of everything covering the two spaces. I got into a habit of getting there at dawn, and found records even I can’t believe. One time, I got it into my head I needed a wlp of The Faces debut on Warner Brothers, and found it that very day. Like I willed it to be there. True story.
The player still works, perfectly in fact. It’s one of my favorite pieces, complete with interchangeable 45 adapter spindle. So off I go to the garage to dig and spin. First box, first handful, I find a copy of ‘Cisco Kid’. I’d forgotten Island UK licensed their catalog off Jerry Goldstein around ’75, and proceeded to be his English outlet for War, although quite why United Artists there didn’t hold on to his Far Out Productions was probably a mistake in hindsight.
I freaking love ‘Cisco Kid’. It reminds me of April ’73, when I took my pal and college radio rep for United Artisits in LA, Rich Fazekas, up on his offer to come on out and visit Easter week. The Pretty Things were making their US debut at the Whisky Au Go Go. Did I need more reason? We tooled around non-stop. He turned me on to Mexican food – there was no Mexican food in my college town of Rochester. I’d never had a taco, and given Rich is Mexican, he knew the real deal places to go.
‘Cisco Kid’ was easily the soundtrack to the trip. It was being played everywhere, you remember how hits used to be unavoidable. By early summer when I went to London, it had migrated to their airwaves, and I heard it constantly all over again.
So this time of year brings that all back, and to find a copy in that first handful I grabbed does make me feel frighteningly connected to my records. I love those records.