Does A Four-Year-Old Know The Truth Between Truth And Lies The Truth About the Great In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida LIE!

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The Truth About the Great In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida LIE!

you know me. I only tell the truth in my story. (Mostly.) So maybe this time I told a big lie just so I could tell a better story that was actually true (Mostly.) Is it worth sacrificing my soul? You decide.

Jim Ottea and I cruised around Colorado for a few days, he in his Yamaha FJR and I in my BMW K1200LT. After nearly two weeks on the road, the trip draws to a close, but not the fun. As far as we’re concerned, it’s not over until it’s over. People get hurt trying to prove us wrong.

We kept the bikes low enough to kiss the pavement near Telluride, driving from Silverton to a town called Ouray (pronounced “OO-ray”), where the corners were sweet and the downhills were steep. The roads are so good, we took two days and spent one night in a nearby town so we could have fun on the 550 freeway again and again.

On our last day in the neighborhood snaking into Ouray, I came out of the last hairpin and parked next to Jim while pulling the car on the side of the road, Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gada-Da-Vida from the speakers on the Beemer.

“How many times have you listened to that record?” Jim asked, probably annoyed at hearing its horns on the last 3 or 4 stops. (I’m also not sure he’s completely happy with me wanting to play my ABBA CD whenever we park near a Harley guy in leather and rags.)

“About seven,” I replied, “I just found it in my CD case this morning. Pretty good stuff, huh? Ever heard the song?”

Jim snorted, and I continued, “Even on these winding roads, the drums alone can do 20 miles.” For his listening enjoyment, I turned the volume up a bit, just in time for the song. season finale.

“Yes, yes, yes,” he winced, clearly jealous of my six-CD changer. I shrugged, and we pulled back to the freeway, out of town, toward Gunnison, pointing east—the general direction home, though neither of us wanted to face the ugly truth, not yet.

The next day we were on our way to rafting the Royal Gorge, although we didn’t realize we were on our way because conceptually we hadn’t thought of that adventure yet. We pulled into a small park where the Arkansas River surged from a wooden deck overlooking the water. A kid in his 20s stood on the platform, taking pictures of white water rafting in the rapids (sold at a sky-high price after returning to the rafting company headquarters).

When Jim returned to his motorcycle, no doubt to see where he could install a 6 CD changer and 8 speaker sound system on his FJR, the young man chatted with me about his job and his camera, chatted in general terms, nothing special,

“Hey,” the kid said to me, out of Jim’s ear, “did someone tell your friends he looks like a rock star?”

I leaned against the railing, bathed in the warm sunshine, and casually replied: “It’s funny you said it. Which one do you think he looks like?”

I already know where I am going. I’m Bad Ted, it’s too easy.

“Well, I’m not sure, but he looks familiar. He looks like some rock star I might have seen somewhere.”

“Somebody said recently that he looks like Keith Richards,” I suggested. “you think?”

“Wow, yes,” agreed the kid, now annoyed. “Hey,” he added, hopeful rather than suspicious, “he’s not, is he? Keith Richards?”

“No,” I smiled. “But…” I pulled it out, as if I was hesitant to reveal a really big secret, and then relented.

“Ever heard of the Iron Butterfly band?”

“Yeah…?” (“Come on,” his eyes plead, “you’re going to tell me he’s a really cool guy, aren’t you?! I know it!”)

“Ever heard of a song called In-A-Gada-Da-Vida?”

“Yes!”

“Jim did the drum solo on that song,” I admit, with dramatic reluctance. “That’s Jim Ottea, man. That’s him!”

“No shit? Wow! Hey, I play the drums too.”

“When he comes back and asks him for an autograph, he’ll be happy to give it to you.”

Around this time, Jim came back from a stroll along the wooden pier, and as he approached, I announced, “Jim, I told this guy you played drum solo in Iron Butterfly in In-A-Gada-Da-Vida. I miss him I want your autograph.”

We closed our eyes. Jim gave me a look of disbelief—poor guy, he’s having a bit of a hard time getting over his ingrained sense of honesty and justice and righteousness.

“You must be joking,” his piercing eyes accused. “No, not kidding,” I replied with a conspiratorial wink, “whether you like it or not, you’re a part of it.”

“Sign this guy up,” I coaxed loudly, “he’s a drummer too.”

Then I explained to the kid, “Jim was embarrassed by that drum solo. Now thinks it’s immature and childish. But trust me,” I assured him, “you can still get the most out of that classic In-A-Gada-Da- Vida drum solo.”

I don’t know if that’s true, I’m not a drummer – but to my credit, when I say it, I think it might be true.

“I can’t believe it,” Jim muttered. I can’t remember if he actually said it out loud, or if he just hinted at it with another glare of deep disappointment in me, but I didn’t at all. The game is on, and it doesn’t matter anyway—celebrities have a reputation for being shy and sometimes reticent. Jim’s squirrel behavior now only adds to the puzzle.

With paper, pen and even a clipboard, the aspiring drummer couldn’t believe he had such good luck on that happy day.

To his eternal shame, Jim was completely caught up in the sinister spirit of the affair. His reluctance quickly turned to agility. Jim Ottea (Whoa! The real Jim Ottea, that’s him, man!) with his eyes twinkling, lovingly crafting an autograph that could one day be worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars – if he did some things of my own.

Meanwhile, I grabbed my camera and captured the moment while Jim cheekily signed with a bold hand and a proud wave – HA! get this:

Keep it up, kid.

Jimmy “Rotty” Ottie

iron butterfly

For the next few minutes, the two of them discussed the subtle differences between traditional drumming styles and drumming styles that I didn’t know about. I must say that Jim held his own in the conversation, though he had absolutely no idea what the excited young man was babbling about. Mostly, “Jimmy Rotten” just nods wisely and grunts in a way befitting a successful professional. I was so proud of him at that moment.

Of course, he also gave the young man great encouragement. That’s a lot for young people, and Jim is a caring man.

Now, I should admit that before we left the scene, we told the kids the whole truth, explaining that it was all just a harmless joke.

I should admit it, but I can’t, I won’t, we don’t. We never admitted a thing. Why, in our opinion, spoil a young dreamer’s big day, just to save our own miserable souls?

Now you know the truth about the lie. I swear.

Ted A. Thompson [http://www.phfft.com]

PS Two days later, on our way home, halfway through Kansas in 104 degrees on the nasty, flat, scorching, tiresome interstate through the Midwest prairie, I was on a motorcycle The car pulls up next to Jim at about 85 mph.

I got his attention with the horn, grinned, and as he looked and wondered what I was doing, I put the Beemer on cruise control and imitated crazy drumming moves with my arms, fists clenched Imaginary drumsticks.

It was a close call. Jim somehow got control of his bike, but I almost lost my good friend to the wicked Kansas asphalt.

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